Suggestions [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-24-2006, 10:43 AM
Ok....hopefully I get all the information in here you need to help me. I am looking for a audio system that will at first be strictly music, and then move into theater. I am ok with buying things piece-meal but don't want to have to buy things over again. Make sense?

I am in a 900+sf apartment, and listen to a vast mixture of music. Andrea Bocelli to traditional Irish to System of a Down. Typically I like my music a little on the bassy side. I have most of my music on my pc, ripped from cd's, but I also like to listen to the radio at times. I have a good ear, used to play an instrument, but not an audiophile type ear for sound.

I am looking to spend around $1000 to start. Ideally it would be for a receiver, speakers, and a cd player/tuner. I may go a little higher but not more than 1200. Recommendatoins for retailers would also help, and for non-online retailers I am from MA. Thanks.

PS. I would gladly RTFM if you can point me to a good one. I have looked at posts on this board, and have no problem doing research.

07-24-2006, 10:57 AM
Welcome to
Buying piece meal is the way to go...start with a quality a/v receiver, $300-$400 (ballpark, new), a decent CD player (maybe another $200 to get you started) and throw the rest at your speakers.
You've got a ton of choises at $400-$600, that are sure to please if you're coming from a basic mini-system/PC system/ghetto blaster type unit.

Most people here will probably agree with dedicating at least 50% to speakers.

Consider buying used - whether at a/v stores, ebay, or
People with quality stereo components tend to take good care of them. Electronics last for years, and most importantly, you can save 40% - 70% over new, which allows you to afford much better sounding equipment.

For example, basic Denon/Harman Kardon/Sony cd players go as low as $100 or less used, but sold for $200-$300 new just a few years back (not much has changed in the last 5 years excpet mp3/wma reading ability). Receivers are even cheaper. $100-$300 will probably buy a receiver that cost 3 to 4 times that a few years ago. And since speakers make the biggest difference on the sound you hear, saving 40% or more off new MSRP makes a big difference as well.

The home theater stuff you add later.

I'll let other recommend brand names, models etc for you - you can do well new or used, depending on which you prefer, but I can't stress enough the value in the used market. I'd hazard a guess that the majority of the regulars here wish they could go back and elect to buy 2nd hand over 1st hand for at least something in their systems. Best part is, you can sell it again in a year, two, three, whenever and and still recover a sizeable portion of you investment...New equipment generally depreciates in value like a car does...

Good luck.

JoeE SP9
07-24-2006, 11:33 AM
kexodusc has already steered you in the right direction. The used route is the best way to get the most for your money especially with speakers. If your MP3 files are encoded at one of the lower bit-rates you may find that those files don't sound very good. The better your equipment the more obvious this will be. The only advice I have concerns speakers. Listen before you buy!!!! Your ears are the only ones you have to please.
Welcome aboard. Have fun ask questions cause controversy. Above all remember everyone here has their own opinion about equipment. Soon enough you will have yours.

What do you mean by cd player/tuner? A receiver will already have AM/FM reception built in.:idea:

07-24-2006, 03:24 PM
well, if you're going to move into HT, then I suggest getting a DVD/CD player instead of a dedicated one, it won't be "audiophile" sound, but it will sound great for your purposes.

I recomend the Denon DRA-295 for your receiver, and the paradigm Mini Monitors as your mains, you can always add a sub later if you so desire.