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  1. #1
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    Advice on Bookshelves

    I need some advice on purchasing some book shelf speakers.My current system includes the optimus speakers LX5 with ribbon tweets (I am wanting to upgrade from this), receiver is Yamaha HTR5940, I use a basic coby DVD player and my sub is Velodyne VX10. I also use a passive Boston sub (that was part of the Boston SUb sat series)

    I live in a medium size apartment and I am more into music. I am looking for some nice music setup and dont care for HT.I am even considering selling my HT receiver and going for a integrated stereo amp. The kind of music I listen to are Christian contemporary, Praise and worship, some rock, classical, oldies like 80s and Carnatic.

    I am looking to get audiophile quality for around $300. When I look up online there seems to be a whole lot of choices from Bose to Boston to Klipsch to Internet only speakers. I am trying to come up with top5 that I can consider and shortlist and buy. I need some help in coming up with this list. Right now, I have paradigm and Axiom in my list. Can anyone recommend some more top quality bookshelves for this price. I am willing to go a little higher if the SQ can be justified.

    Thanks
    VIc

  2. #2
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    I just saw this link in antoerh thread: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hb-1.html take notice the low end cutoff.

    Some guys here have said good things about Mordaunt Short 902's

    A really interesting speaker are the Anthony Gallo. The spheres are a bit over your budget and they definitely need a sub.

  3. #3
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    Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by just4surf
    I need some advice on purchasing some book shelf speakers.My current system includes the optimus speakers LX5 with ribbon tweets (I am wanting to upgrade from this), receiver is Yamaha HTR5940, I use a basic coby DVD player and my sub is Velodyne VX10. I also use a passive Boston sub (that was part of the Boston SUb sat series)

    I live in a medium size apartment and I am more into music. I am looking for some nice music setup and dont care for HT.I am even considering selling my HT receiver and going for a integrated stereo amp. The kind of music I listen to are Christian contemporary, Praise and worship, some rock, classical, oldies like 80s and Carnatic.

    I am looking to get audiophile quality for around $300. When I look up online there seems to be a whole lot of choices from Bose to Boston to Klipsch to Internet only speakers. I am trying to come up with top5 that I can consider and shortlist and buy. I need some help in coming up with this list. Right now, I have paradigm and Axiom in my list. Can anyone recommend some more top quality bookshelves for this price. I am willing to go a little higher if the SQ can be justified.

    Thanks
    VIc
    Considerations for Mordaunt Short 902i, Cambridge Audio S30, Canton GLE 402 and Canton GLE 403. The Cerwin Vega CLS series also has book shelf speakers that may interest you near the price range you are looking to stay in.

    Good luck with your research and selection.

    LeRoy

  4. #4
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Tough price point. How about used speakers off your local Craigslist? Or maybe these... http://www.tektondesign.com/model45.htm

  5. #5
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    If you can swing an extra $100, www.saturdayaudio.com has a pair of demo Monitor Audio S2's for $399. They normally sell for $750pr. They are very good speakers and will be hard to beat at that price. Others to consider would be the PSB B25's that are on sale at audioadvisor for $299pr.

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PBIMB25

    These are both larger bookshelfs and are well worth the money. I would also consider getting a dedicated Cd player like the Marantz 5003 or a used 5001.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  6. #6
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    How about a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's? They sell new for around 299. E-Bay also has the older version (9.1) for 250.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark111867
    How about a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's? They sell new for around 299. E-Bay also has the older version (9.1) for 250.

    I wouldrather have a pair of PSB B25's. Here is a review of them. (But I would have no problems with the Diamonds either.)

    http://www.stereophile.com/budgetcom...psb/index.html

    Now you have to take these reviews with a grain of salt. These reviewers listen to these speakers with high end amps and Cd players so that they get the most out of lower end speakers. They also tend to polish reviews although this review was very positive and there were no red flags.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  8. #8
    Rob_a rob_a's Avatar
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    Ebay is a great place to score Audiophile speakers on the cheap. PSB, KEF, Paradigm, Axiom, Emotiva, Cambridge, Wharfedale, Monitor Audio, ect... These are all good brands to check out, and many others listed on this thread.

    But please!!! Stay away from the speaker of the week sales deals. These are the same people who sell speakers out of the back of Vans.


    Friends don't let friends listen to BOSE
    HT system:
    Marantz SR7001 receiver
    Emotiva UPA-2 Amplifier
    Adcom GDV-870 DVD-A/CD player
    Yamaha S1800 DVD/SACD player
    Panasonic DMP-BD60K blu Ray player
    PSB Image series speakes s/s
    Dayton RSS210HF 8" reference sub
    Hitachi 46" HD projector screen

  9. #9
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Welcome to AR!!

    Try searching the speaker forum for your query. Lots of threads already on the subject. Love and praise unto him...

  10. #10
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    Off the top of my head ans around that price range I'd go with the KEF IQ10's, B&W 686's or Psb B25's. I am not a fan of Axiom or Paradigm at all.

  11. #11
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    Thank you folks for responding to my questions. I really appreciate each your comments

    1. HSU hb-1 - Are these audiophile quality. Also, slighly concerned about horn and if it will be fatiguing to the ears on prolonged use
    2. Mordaunt Short 902's - Seems interesting and researching on this.
    3. Anthony Gallo spheres - The style is not to my linking
    4. Cambridge Audio S30 - 4.5 inch woofer is kinda on the small size and so cant expect much of bass. So not very keen on this.
    5. Canton GLE 402 and Canton GLE 403. - Never heard of this. Not many reviews also. But seems interesting on paper
    6. The Cerwin Vega CLS series - Again, not sure if it is audiophile quality.
    7. tektondesign.com - Never heard of these, Are these a reputed brand and good SQ ?
    8. Monitor Audio S2's - this seems attractive but slightly pricier than my budget, I am considering it
    9. PSB B25's - This is in the top of my list but I saw a few isolated negative user reviews, so kinda thinking about it
    10.Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's - I have heard diamond 8.2s and they just did not have the 'wow' factor I expected
    11. KEF - I am researching this
    12. Paradigm - Again top of my list
    13. Axiom M3, M22 - In the top of my list
    14. Emotiva - are these bookshelves also know for high SQ ?

    I have listed all the ones suggested. I have also listed my thoughts. Please let me know if my understanding on these are not accurate.
    I am kinda concerned about ebay and so staying away from it. I am looking up craigslist but nothing so far in my budet or liking. Comments are welcome and thanks again.
    -Vic

  12. #12
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    Can you please expand on why Axiom and Paradigm are not to your liking. I am giving serious consideration to both.
    Thanks
    Vic

  13. #13
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what you mean by audiophile. You are going to have to spend over $2K on speakers to get audiophile sound and that will only occur if you have $3-10K worth of amp, preamp and CD player or DAC. Now that that's just my opinion and audiphile price points vary to each individual. That's not to say that you can't get good sound on a budget. You are not going to find audiophile quality with a $300 budget or even $500.

    When talking about speakers you are talking about personal tastes because we all like something different and hear differently. Speakers aver very subjective, what sounds good to one person may sound terrible to another.

    You need to decide what type of sound appeals to you- Bright with crisp treble, warmer tone, neutral, exaggerated bass, what ever. Those Monitor audio S2's I mentioned slightly roll off the high frequencies and are good for cheap power amps and Cd players which tend to sound bright and harsh. But you have tone controls on your yammy receiver so that can help with harsh recordings. I think tone controls are a must in lower end gear and sometmes even in high end gear if you like to listen to Cd's from the early days or of music from the 60's or 70's. The PSB's treble is more pronounced about the speakers have pretty good resolution and bass.

    The PSB's would be a good starting point because audio advisor has a 30 day money back guarentee. If you don't likem, send them back! You have a good list of speakers above and have gotten some good advice from others on this forum. I would also look for a used pair of NHT Classic 2's or the well rated Calssic 3's.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  14. #14
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    The Tektons will give you wonderful sound for the price. They are most certainly audiophile quality. The owner and chief engineer is available by email for questions. They will play even better with your sub. Your only problem with these and possibly other revealing speakers is your source. I recommend an upgrade, this doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune. There are affordable used CDP's out there to get you moving in the right direction.

    Here's a wonderful write up on the open baffle design of Tekton's...

    http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...esign_ob45.htm

  15. #15
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    Those Canton are nice if you can find them for your budget. A very nice midrange with a live presence and airy.

    The Wharfdale's aren't a bad budget speaker. Several of the other models mentioned are good choices too, getting a pretty good list.

  16. #16
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    Just wanted to update you all. I got a refurb Marantz DV4001. I am not sure if it is my imagination, I can really see a big improvement from by cheap Coby player. The sound is more rounded, fuller and the bass is better. Can anyone confirm if this is possible just upgrading the player or is my ear playing tricks on me
    I am impressed with marantz
    As far as my speaker search, I am strongly considering PSB Alpha B1, PSB B25, the Ascend CBM-170 SE, the KEF iQ10 and iQ30 (beyond my budget)
    Just wanted to check if I should consider any sound matching with my existing electronics or it doesnt really matter. I enjoy sound that is open and vibrant but not fatiguing to the ears
    Thanks for your response. The whole audio thing is getting addictive to me but I am enjoying it
    Thanks,
    -Vic

  17. #17
    RGA
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    Speaker technology changes very very little. You will be FAR FAR better off buying a set of speakers at a pawn shop - You will probably get 5 year old $1000 speakers for $300 - or 10 year old $2,000 speakers for $300 or close.

    Buying used of course requires some "back" knowledge of which speakers are good and ones to avoid. But in general if you are considering a speaker from Paradigm, Monitor Audio, Wharfedale whatever now then those names still line the shelves of pawn shops. I picked up a nice little set of Tannoy speakers for $60 and they're just as good if not better than my B&W standmounts that cost me $300.

    If you go back 15-20 years and you can get a good shape speaker you may really find a star for $300 but it may need a bit of work so you'd have to check them out in person rather than looking at photos on the net.

    If music really is a priority I would get rid of the receiver and use a dedicated CD player or external DAC (if the dvd player has a digital out). Again used market.

  18. #18
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just4surf
    Just wanted to update you all. I got a refurb Marantz DV4001. I am not sure if it is my imagination, I can really see a big improvement from by cheap Coby player. The sound is more rounded, fuller and the bass is better. Can anyone confirm if this is possible just upgrading the player or is my ear playing tricks on me
    I am impressed with marantz
    No it's not your imagination. A Coby player has been designed to play DVDs and that's it. Sure, it may be compatible with other disc formats, but in all reality it's components can barely cope with the task of DVD.

    I'm not a fan of using a DVD player. Recently Yamaha DVD S1800 went into closeout mode on the net and guys were picking them up for less than $100. It's a multi tasking unit, and most people bought them for playing Cd's. Every owner raved about the sound, so who am I to argue with that?

    Obviously when you get into a high enough bracket such as Oppo, the CD fidelity becomes quite high. At the sub $50 level, you should be happy that all the screws are in place.

    Enjoy your Marantz, I'm glad you improved your source. Keep researching, saving money and moving forward. The best is yet to come!

  19. #19
    Sophisticated Red Neck manlystanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Speaker technology changes very very little. You will be FAR FAR better off buying a set of speakers at a pawn shop - You will probably get 5 year old $1000 speakers for $300 - or 10 year old $2,000 speakers for $300 or close.

    Buying used of course requires some "back" knowledge of which speakers are good and ones to avoid. But in general if you are considering a speaker from Paradigm, Monitor Audio, Wharfedale whatever now then those names still line the shelves of pawn shops. I picked up a nice little set of Tannoy speakers for $60 and they're just as good if not better than my B&W standmounts that cost me $300.

    If you go back 15-20 years and you can get a good shape speaker you may really find a star for $300 but it may need a bit of work so you'd have to check them out in person rather than looking at photos on the net.

    If music really is a priority I would get rid of the receiver and use a dedicated CD player or external DAC (if the dvd player has a digital out). Again used market.

    As usual, some great advice. The most important thing is that a person has to do lots of research and understand what he's looking for. But, buying used has some real advantages, such as:

    -- Your tastes will change with time (at lest mine has). Buying cheap allows you to dabble and experiment with different sounds and see what suites your tastes.

    -- It's kind of cool to have speakers that cost some guy a $1000 10 years ago and you got them for $100.

    -- It gives you a chance to listen and evaluate for a long time. Then if you don't like them, sell them.

    -- You'll learn a lot doing it the used route. I've had generally good luck going the used route. Only once did I get stuck with a problem set of speakers. But then, I was able to fix them myself.

    I personally, like the Jamo sound (it's not for everyone, very laid back), but since they are not a real well known speaker, they don't have the best re-sale value [e.g. read this as you can stick it to the first buyer :-) ].

    Here's some options:

    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...671088350.html
    http://columbus.craigslist.org/ele/1661440562.html



    Best Regards,
    Stan
    Listening/Movie Room: ADCOM GTP-500, XPA-2, Denon 3930ci, Front: Jamo C809; Surround: Klipsch R-5650-S; Back: R-5650-S; Denon AVR-687,. Projector: Sharp XR-32X.

    Family Room: Denon avr-687, Denon CD player, Klipsch RB-5II

  20. #20
    Sophisticated Red Neck manlystanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just4surf
    Thank you folks for responding to my questions. I really appreciate each your comments

    1. HSU hb-1 - Are these audiophile quality. Also, slighly concerned about horn and if it will be fatiguing to the ears on prolonged use
    2. Mordaunt Short 902's - Seems interesting and researching on this.
    3. Anthony Gallo spheres - The style is not to my linking
    4. Cambridge Audio S30 - 4.5 inch woofer is kinda on the small size and so cant expect much of bass. So not very keen on this.
    5. Canton GLE 402 and Canton GLE 403. - Never heard of this. Not many reviews also. But seems interesting on paper
    6. The Cerwin Vega CLS series - Again, not sure if it is audiophile quality.
    7. tektondesign.com - Never heard of these, Are these a reputed brand and good SQ ?
    8. Monitor Audio S2's - this seems attractive but slightly pricier than my budget, I am considering it
    9. PSB B25's - This is in the top of my list but I saw a few isolated negative user reviews, so kinda thinking about it
    10.Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's - I have heard diamond 8.2s and they just did not have the 'wow' factor I expected
    11. KEF - I am researching this
    12. Paradigm - Again top of my list
    13. Axiom M3, M22 - In the top of my list
    14. Emotiva - are these bookshelves also know for high SQ ?

    I have listed all the ones suggested. I have also listed my thoughts. Please let me know if my understanding on these are not accurate.
    I am kinda concerned about ebay and so staying away from it. I am looking up craigslist but nothing so far in my budet or liking. Comments are welcome and thanks again.
    -Vic

    I know next to nothing about Canton speakers, but I'd imagine these you could get some really good deals on (since there not well known). Here's a couple options, other can tell you if there good speakers or not:

    http://austin.craigslist.org/ele/1638731436.html
    http://palmsprings.craigslist.org/ele/1681321581.html
    http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/ele/1675131863.html


    One final piece of advice, for a newbee (e.g. take it with a grain of salt): look at the speakers weight. The more heavy it is the bigger the magnets the better the sound. Others can tell me if this is a good rule of thumb or not.

    Best Regards,
    Stan
    Listening/Movie Room: ADCOM GTP-500, XPA-2, Denon 3930ci, Front: Jamo C809; Surround: Klipsch R-5650-S; Back: R-5650-S; Denon AVR-687,. Projector: Sharp XR-32X.

    Family Room: Denon avr-687, Denon CD player, Klipsch RB-5II

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Speaker technology changes very very little. You will be FAR FAR better off buying a set of speakers at a pawn shop - You will probably get 5 year old $1000 speakers for $300 - or 10 year old $2,000 speakers for $300 or close.

    Buying used of course requires some "back" knowledge of which speakers are good and ones to avoid. But in general if you are considering a speaker from Paradigm, Monitor Audio, Wharfedale whatever now then those names still line the shelves of pawn shops. I picked up a nice little set of Tannoy speakers for $60 and they're just as good if not better than my B&W standmounts that cost me $300.

    If you go back 15-20 years and you can get a good shape speaker you may really find a star for $300 but it may need a bit of work so you'd have to check them out in person rather than looking at photos on the net.

    If music really is a priority I would get rid of the receiver and use a dedicated CD player or external DAC (if the dvd player has a digital out). Again used market.
    I dont mind going the used route. But, I am not in a position to fix or mend any issues. Apart from that, the other concerns is the condition. How do I know it is full working condition by just looking at it at a pawn shop. Craigslist might work better if the guy lets me listen to it.
    Also, my music/HT is about 90/10 and due to space constraints, I can not have a separate system for both at this point. Howvever, If I can get a really cheap used decent stereo receiver, I might be able to convince my wife. But, I would need the sub out to connect the sub, Alternatively, I am thinking of selling my Yammy and getting a better HT reciever, possibly used or refurb.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    No it's not your imagination. A Coby player has been designed to play DVDs and that's it. Sure, it may be compatible with other disc formats, but in all reality it's components can barely cope with the task of DVD.

    I'm not a fan of using a DVD player. Recently Yamaha DVD S1800 went into closeout mode on the net and guys were picking them up for less than $100. It's a multi tasking unit, and most people bought them for playing Cd's. Every owner raved about the sound, so who am I to argue with that?

    Obviously when you get into a high enough bracket such as Oppo, the CD fidelity becomes quite high. At the sub $50 level, you should be happy that all the screws are in place.

    Enjoy your Marantz, I'm glad you improved your source. Keep researching, saving money and moving forward. The best is yet to come!
    Thanks poppachubby
    The more I listened to it, I can tell the SQ improved by a few notches. It has a nice smoothness to it that I am liking

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by manlystanley
    I know next to nothing about Canton speakers, but I'd imagine these you could get some really good deals on (since there not well known). Here's a couple options, other can tell you if there good speakers or not:

    http://austin.craigslist.org/ele/1638731436.html
    http://palmsprings.craigslist.org/ele/1681321581.html
    http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/ele/1675131863.html


    One final piece of advice, for a newbee (e.g. take it with a grain of salt): look at the speakers weight. The more heavy it is the bigger the magnets the better the sound. Others can tell me if this is a good rule of thumb or not.

    Best Regards,
    Stan
    Thanks Stan for your thoughts. Yes, I do look at craigslist. I did not find anything interesting in the northern VA or even in DC area. So, that when I thought of going new. I did see the Bang and Olufsen from 90s, but not sure how they sound. and the shape was kinda odd and not sure how to mount it on my stands.

  24. #24
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Keep the Yammy and put the money to sspeakers. These Wharfedale Daimond 10.2's are a good deal. These and the PSB B-25's/B-6's would be my top 2 choices in your price range. Also consider NHT Classic 2's which are a warmer sounding speaker with very good midbass.

    http://www.onecall.com/productdetails.aspx?id=29719


    http://www.wildwestelectronics.net/w...-speakers.html

    http://signature.crutchfield.com/S-X...Black-Ash.html

    The B-6's replace the outgoing B-25's.

    One thing to remember about user reviews is that speakers are so subjective. I've got Magnepans and some peolpe love them and others hate them.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  25. #25
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just4surf
    Thanks poppachubby
    The more I listened to it, I can tell the SQ improved by a few notches. It has a nice smoothness to it that I am liking
    Might I make a suggestion that won't break the bank? If you enjoy smoothness, consider a vintage Philips/Marantz/Magnavox CDP. They have a wonderful analog quality which gives fantastic smoothness, yet maintains detail. EBay frequently sell these for a reasonable price. If you are truly interested, PM me or let me know and I can give you a short list of models to watch for.

    Here's a link currently on Ebay. They are sought after for their great sound, and ease of modification. There are also tons of parts available to fix any of the wear and tear issues that may come up. A fun and popular mod is to add a tube stage, ultra smooth!

    The Marantz CD-40 was well built and sounds incredible with it's TDA 1541A and CDM4/19 transport. This auction will likely finish around the $100 mark. As I said, great fidelity for a great price.

    Specifically about the CD-40, it's a lower end version of the CD-60. Same components, but cheaper materials for the chassis and faceplate. Essentially, doesn't look as nice, but sounds the same as many of their higher models from this vintage. They were made in Belgium at a Philips factory, a desirable trait in itself. lot's of room inside for modifying. Just an example for you to consider, great sound without breaking the wallet.

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/Marantz-CD-40-Pla...item2c53f8c133

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