What to buy... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-17-2008, 08:58 AM
Hi Guys,

I'm new in the audio world would love your advice!

My parents are looking to upgrade their sound system. He has an old marantz (20 years or something).

Here's what he is thinking of getting:

Speakers = B&W 804s

CD player = mcintosh mcd201

Amp = mcintosh ma6900

My parents basically only listen to classical music.

From my research (as limited as it is.... google..lol), everything above seems like a good choice. I did notice though that a lot of the reveiws are a bit old (2002... etc) which might mean there could be better products in the same price range since then.

My parents got the ideas from above from some korean broker and I don't trust salesmen in general.

Any help is greatly appreciated! :thumbsup:

04-17-2008, 09:10 AM
Hi, welcome to AR...

your parents made a good choice...

B&W's are really good with classical music, and the combination with Mcintosh is pretty much perfect.

I would, however, also audition other speakers, I have Thiels myself, and I can highly recommend them...

also, the MCD 201 has recently got a brother, the MCD 301, which is better than the 201, and the early MCD201 bugs are definately fixed (some versions of the 201 could suffer from transport noise...)

Mcintosh products will last forever, so be it new or old, you can't go wrong with a Mcintosh. 2002 isn't old actually, and definately not in the stereo world...

Keep them spinning,

04-17-2008, 09:40 AM
Thats some seriously good equipment there. I think that many people here would be envious of that system. Your parents got some great advice.

04-17-2008, 11:10 AM
I agree - good system!

04-17-2008, 11:13 AM
Good simple system, limited in resolution and a bit soft and colored which most people find quite pleasing. The B&W is small too and quite pretty. Your electronic choice is ok too, solid stuff.


Jim Clark
04-17-2008, 11:26 AM
Hi Guys,

I'm new in the audio world would love your advice!

My parents are looking to upgrade their sound system. He has an old marantz (20 years or something).
Here's what he is thinking of getting:
Speakers = B&W 804s
CD player = mcintosh mcd201
Amp = mcintosh ma6900
My parents basically only listen to classical music.

Tell them I'm interested in the old Marantz! seriously : )

I own very limited amounts of McIntosh gear but what I've experienced has been positive. I wouldn't know about these particular pieces but I see no reason to stop them so long as they've heard the B&W speakers and like them.


04-17-2008, 12:23 PM
I'd try some more full range speakers.. from what I hear the 804s is a little light on the bottom end. I've never heard them so it's hear say, just don't be shy about trying other stuff.

04-17-2008, 02:50 PM

Thanks for some great feedback!! keep them coming =)

seems like the running theme is about the speakers. Which other speakers do you guys reccomend in that price range?

Thanks :)

04-17-2008, 03:33 PM
I think B&W is a good brand, and from all available information they seem like a good pick. It's just that speakers are the voice of the system, and will have different types of sound it's up to you to determine what you like. A good idea is to try stuff that is really different and see what fits the bill: ribbon, planer, electrostatic, horn, etc. there is no right answer.

I have not looked at retail speakers in a very long time so I'll leave it to the others to offer suggestions on specific models/brands.

04-17-2008, 04:28 PM
Have them buy speakers that sound good to them, not necessarily what sounds good to others. If they really like the B&W's then they should get them. They are an excellent speaker. The Thiels that were mentioned earlier are excellent for classical music and are one of my favorite speakers.

04-17-2008, 06:50 PM
What great equipment to own. If they get the 804's I suggest a subwoofer. Listening to classical music I might want them to audition Martin-Logan speakers. They are in the same price range.

04-17-2008, 07:35 PM
Hi Mieir, If only your Mom and Dad could think about buying second hand, depending on the budget, you could look at the B&W 803D (floorstander). It retails for $8000, but I've seen them sell used for between $4-5k. They are truly exceptional speakers with a diamond tweeter sounds incredibly pure compared to the norm. I listened extensively to this speaker driven by Parasound electronics and was very impressed. Very good balance from top to bottom. The tweeter is what makes the 803D very special though. Very neutral. Will need a good bit of power to drive. The McIntosh will do nicely.

04-20-2008, 10:46 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm new in the audio world would love your advice!

Since you are new, you may not know about this equipment site:


Literally thousands of items mostly used, but closeouts and auctions as well. These folks are frequented by most audio buffs, sales are free to purchasers, many sellers prefer PayPal.

They also must make some effort to keep out the crooks common on many other sites. You'll find no "super deals" from Nigeria there. I found a super deal on eBay for an amplifier that weighed over 100 lbs. Free air freight from Malaysia the ad said. I called the airlines, the air freight was more than they were asking for the amp. After I emailed eBay, it took them 4 days to get rid of the phony ad.

Mr Peabody
04-26-2008, 05:30 AM
If your folkd are Classical buffs I second the suggestion of at least listening to electrostats such as Martin Logan or a planar such as Magnepan. These give a different sound than box speakers and your parents may enjoy them a lot. I'm partial to electrostats but as you can see Magnepan has many fans as well.

There are many choices as well in good electronics and Mac is definitely one. I won't bother suggesting anything to keep confusion down for them. But other types of speakers is worth the effort if available in your area.

04-26-2008, 01:43 PM
One thing I haven't seen suggested yet: when you parents audition the systems, make sure they bring along some of their favorite music with them. Whether LP or CD, listening to recordings that they are familiar with is important. They know what it sounds like on their current system so it will be easier for them to make a mental comparison than if unfamiliar recordings are used.

They might also want to ask if the dealer will allow a home trial. Some do. This can be important as sometimes equipment (especially speakers) that sounds fine in the dealer showroom may not be well suited to their home listening room.

That said, the equipment you noted is good, well regarded stuff, made by reputable manufacturers. I assume they probably want to buy new from a local dealer. The good part of that is you can hear and see it before you buy and you have a local person to help if there are questions. The disadvantage is that limits you to the brands and models carried by the local dealers. However, I suspect that your parents are more interested in listening to music than becoming "audiophiles" so I think they have made some pretty solid choices.