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  1. #1
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    Question how to start buidling my audio equipment??

    Hello, i just joined audioreview today. The thing is, i recently got as a gift a stanton t.92 direct drive turntable and i want to get a nice set of speakers to listen to my vinyls collection. I dont own a receiver or amp and i dont know which way to start building up my sound equipment.
    Should i buy the receiver and the speakers? should i go only for the speakers? do i need an amp/preamp? can a receiver also be an amp?
    Im willing to spend between 300-500 on speakers and another 300 (should i spend more on receiver less on speakers??) for a receiver/amp. Ive been wandering on amazon and ebay and have found good (at least i think so) deals for receivers like HK 3390 High Performance 2 x 80W Stereo Receiver 270, and a couple of ONKYOs between 200-300.

    Like i said, i am new at this and any help could really be useful.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Personally, I would look for a used Sansui or Marantz intergrated amp with a built in phono pre amp. An intergrate amp combines both the pre and power amp into one chassis. Speaker are a very personal choice so I would try to listen to as many as I could.

    BTW, welcome to the jungle.

  3. #3
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    $599/pair and you can be satisfied by them for many years:

    http://www.magnepan.com/model_MMG

    Then look for a receiver with 100W/chanel at 8 ohms / 150 - 200 W/ch at 4 ohms

    Phono preamp in receiver may be a challenge in today's CD/DVD world. Google/Bing for phono preamp stand-alone units.

  4. #4
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    thanks for your recommendations guys, if anything else comes to your mind please let me know!! im trying to aknowledge as much as i can so i can make the best decision.
    i have been going trough amazon mostly, the MARANTZ integrated amp that i found are a bit more expensive..
    is it the same the integrated amp / receiver / stereo power amplifier?

    sorry for the confusion guys, but as i said, ive never bought nothing but a sony stereo!!
    Mash, im looking over those speakers, they seem to be quite a good deal, i wanna go to a hifi shop so i can try those and a few more.
    The ones ive been looking at are MMG, PSB, HK, and B&W.


    As for the receiver amps/ i found these MARANTZ
    MARANTZ PM 5004 $449
    SR 5004 AV RECEIVER $429
    NR 1402 AV RECEIVER $399
    what do you think LUVIN DA BLUES??

    One more thing, what is your general opinion for HK Onkyo and denon??

    thanks again guys.

  5. #5
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    The MMG are "introductory" speakers, intended to lure you into the world of Magnepan. Magnepan dealers are not on every corner nor even in every town, and I doubt you will find an MMG at a dealer unless it was a trade-in. I do not know what Maggie dealers do with MMG's traded-in on new Magnepan speakers- probably send tham back to Magnepan to prevent loss of, say, a 1.7 sale.

    The new MMG are money back if dissatisfied. They can also be found used at $500/pair because some people had kept them beyond their "trade-in for $600 off new Maggies" date.

  6. #6
    RGA
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    lmonv

    What kind of music do you listen to? It matters - not all speakers are good for all kinds of music. If you listen to small scale classica strings at medium volume - the MMG is fine - if you listen to any top 40, rock, dance or anything where somone plugs an instrument into something - amplified - the MMG is not a speaker worth looking at.

    As for budget - BUY USED. Your money will go way further on the used marker. I recently saw a pretty upscales Pioneer Elite receiver at a local cash converters (glorified Pawn shop) selling for around $400 - it is pretty new in that it has HDMI in and outputs and is a large beastie of a receiver - probably sold for $2-4 thousand dollars a couple of years ago. Receivers depreciate very quickly so whatever your budget is you may be able to buy a 3 year old model that was flagship in the line for your same budget. I have seen top of the line Sony Receivers from 3-4 years ago going for $150. And Cash Converters gives you 30 day warranties which is better than buying off E-bay.

    This also applies to speakers. They had a nice set of big Mission floorstanders selling for $175, B&W Matrix Speakers going for $400. I picked up a nice set of Tannoy standmounts for $60 and they're in perfect shape sound wise - a few scuffs on the cabinet but I can live with that.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    lmonv

    What kind of music do you listen to? It matters - not all speakers are good for all kinds of music. If you listen to small scale classica strings at medium volume - the MMG is fine - if you listen to any top 40, rock, dance or anything where somone plugs an instrument into something - amplified - the MMG is not a speaker worth looking at.
    I do not know ANYBODY who changes their ears when they switch from listening to classical music to listening to jazz or whatever. I know I do not. So why change loudspeakers?

    If a loudspeaker is acceptably accurate for one kind of music it should be acceptable for all kinds of music. Let's not complicate this.

    I have found the Mackie HR824 to be very detailed similar to the detail presented by a Magnepan speaker, but I have never tried to determine if the servo-feedback controlled Mackie HR824 presents depth anywhere close to the depth that Magnepans produce for Blumlien-recorded music.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    For $300 for a receiver I would seriously consider this Harmon Kardon 3490 marked down to $299
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...DON-_-82121064

    It has plenty of power, 120wpc, is a high current design-45 peak amps, has preamp out in case you just want to use it as a preamp and get a free standing amp in the future, has a phono preamp, has 2 sub outs for bass management if you decide to get a subwoofer, and it can handle 4ohm speakers so you are not limited to 8ohm speakers. For $299 and your budget, I doubt that you could do better.

    AS far as the MMG's go, they are are great speaker at its price level, but planar speakers are not for every one. I am a planar fan and own 2 sets including the MMG's. If you listen to music that has a lot of bass thump then forget about them, unless you buy a good subwoofer, preferably non ported. But for jazz, classical, acoustic and vocal music they can't be beat at that price point. They have pretty good bass if you place them near the corners of the room.

    I would consider PSB B6's, B&W 685's, NHT Classic 2's anc Classic 3's, Wharfedale Diamond 10.2's, Paradigm Titans. These are all bookshelfs and you will need some decent speaker stands, about $100pr.

    www.audioadvisor has a pair of Monitor Audio M6 floor standers, demo pair for $285 each, normally $800pr. They also have a 30 day money back return policy if you don't like them. They are worth a look. You will have to call for the demo price but here's the speakers-

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo...%20%20%20EABLK
    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

  9. #9
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    Hey guys,
    well i pretty much listen to everything, but mostly or more frequently to trance music.
    Ive been looking up a couple of HK receivers, pioneer, sony and Denon, all of them used and i think i could get something pretty great for my money. These ive found are around 300-400 which is more less my budget.
    As for the speakers, my brother has an old set of bose speakers (... i know) that hes not using anymore. Im gonna start with those. my plan is to sell them later on and maybe save a few more hundreds so i can buy some nice speakers for around 1000.

    Blackraven, thanks for your recommendations, ill make sure to check all of them speakers out before i make a decision.
    can someone direct me to different webpages to buy these kind of things online other than amazon and ebay?? i wanna have several options!!

    thanks again guys!

  10. #10
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    I would say speakers would be more important than the Amp. and you could/ or should buy a good older semi-highend receiver or integrated Amp,tuner set-up because it will have the phono/cartridge pre-amp you need to listen to your vinyl and would be more reasonably priced. As for the Bose, if they're Older 601's,901's(I doubt) keep them,(or if they sound good to you, whatever they are,you can use them as a second pair when you find the ones you like.) Take a look at the surround(outer edge)of any old speaker to make sure the material/foam hasn't detieriating/has rips,holes in it. Unless there worthy, they might not be worth the cost of repairing.

  11. #11
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by limonv View Post
    Hey guys,
    well i pretty much listen to everything, but mostly or more frequently to trance music.
    Ive been looking up a couple of HK receivers, pioneer, sony and Denon, all of them used and i think i could get something pretty great for my money. These ive found are around 300-400 which is more less my budget.
    As for the speakers, my brother has an old set of bose speakers (... i know) that hes not using anymore. Im gonna start with those. my plan is to sell them later on and maybe save a few more hundreds so i can buy some nice speakers for around 1000.

    Blackraven, thanks for your recommendations, ill make sure to check all of them speakers out before i make a decision.
    can someone direct me to different webpages to buy these kind of things online other than amazon and ebay?? i wanna have several options!!

    thanks again guys!
    There are tons of speakers but if I were to buy a set of loudspeakers and I listened to trance (and other music) and if space is not a big concern then my choice would be the Cerwin Vega CLS 215

    CLS-215 | cerwinvega.com $1000 I believe for the pair.

  12. #12
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    A rubber mallet to your head would be much cheaper................

  13. #13
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    Most foams surround kits for vintage speakers are under $30 including glue, shims and detailed instructions. Don't let rotted foam surrounds deter you from buying a good set of speakers. Last month I refoamed some great old JBL Lancers for a friend who paid $20 for them and re-sold them on ebay for $300. Today I'm refoaming some AR2's which he picked up for $10 and should bring between $150-$200. There's much less time and expense in rehabing old speakers vs old amps. It's a fun little hobby bringing vintage speakers back from the dead.

    It's better to buy your speakers first and if you go with 90 or above db's you'll have many more amps to chose from. So many of the old classic speakers from the golden age of sound are 90dbs and above.

  14. #14
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    ive found some surround sets for good price,
    what do you guys think of these? since i dont have a budget to buy a nice set of speakers and a receiver, i starter looking for something like this so i can have some nice speakers on budget and save for maybe buying a good set maybe next year.
    im a bit indecisive to which the correct thing to do... so what do you think?

    http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S5400...464729&sr=1-11

    http://www.amazon.com/Denon-DHT-391X...2464474&sr=1-3

    http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3400...2464437&sr=8-3

  15. #15
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limonv View Post
    ive found some surround sets for good price,
    what do you guys think of these? since i dont have a budget to buy a nice set of speakers and a receiver, i starter looking for something like this so i can have some nice speakers on budget and save for maybe buying a good set maybe next year.
    im a bit indecisive to which the correct thing to do... so what do you think?

    http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S5400...464729&sr=1-11

    http://www.amazon.com/Denon-DHT-391X...2464474&sr=1-3

    http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3400...2464437&sr=8-3
    If music is the primary purpose of the system an HTIB would not be my choice. While OK for movies they come up way short on music. As someone already mentioned, used gear especially speakers is the way to go. Your $300 to $500 speaker budget will buy a REALLY GOOD pair of used speakers. Check your local Craig's List for speakers. The HK receiver you mentioned in your first post would be my choice.

    As for the Bose recommendation: I wouldn't recommend Bose speakers even to people I dislike immensely.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  16. #16
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    There are tons of speakers but if I were to buy a set of loudspeakers and I listened to trance (and other music) and if space is not a big concern then my choice would be the Cerwin Vega CLS 215

    CLS-215 | cerwinvega.com $1000 I believe for the pair.

    Actually I second that. It is not like me to recommend CV but their newer stuff is quite good for certain kinds of music. I have a friend who has a pair of them and they absolutely blew my mind when I first heard them. He has a Rotel preamp running a Adcom 5500 so he has lots of power and these speakers absolutely rocked with this setup. They aren't as controlled as some of the other speakers spoke about but they are close and the dynamic capabilities are quite astounding. And you really don't need a boat load of power to make sing either. They aren't my Dyn's but they do a really good job for what they are.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  17. #17
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    i finally got rid of my bose set!! so i have a bit more money to buy a nice pair of speakers... i bought the onkyo tx-nr509 for $220, its a great deal! not with me yet, but lookin forward to it... as for speakers im still undecided, i havent had a chance to try as many as id like... but ive narrowed it down to
    PSB B5S B6S which Blackraven recommended
    the monitor Audio M4
    polk tsi400
    Klipsch RF52

    these last 2 i need to try, but ive had quite good reviews from owners...
    Ill start building up my set as i get my hands into more money, so i can buy the center speaker and a subwoofer. Ive heard that the best thing to do is to set up the speakers on the same brand right?

    Thanks again guys!

  18. #18
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Stick with the same brand speakers for the center and surrounds. I think that you will really like the B6's. They have a midrange that is to die for, its silky smooth with good depth and clarity. These speakers are really forgiving of poorly or brightly recorded music. They have excellent bass for a bookself. I also have a pair of Monitor Audio S1 bookshelfs that list for $650 and the B6's midrange and bass blow the S1 out of the water. The S1's however have a better top end and better resolution as they should for $200 more.

    I can't comment on the Klipsch model as I have not heard it and I have never been a fan of Klipsch. Same goes for Polk. I have always thought Polks sounded muddy but I have not listened to a pair in several years.
    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

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the great advise here.

    Quick question - I am looking at Monitor RX1s for fronts, and a non Monitor for a center. I assume I should not do that - but get the matching Monitor center?

    Thanks!

  20. #20
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericc22 View Post
    Thanks for the great advise here.

    Quick question - I am looking at Monitor RX1s for fronts, and a non Monitor for a center. I assume I should not do that - but get the matching Monitor center?

    Thanks!
    Stick with the matching center!
    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

  21. #21
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    Hey guys!
    well i finally bought a pair of B5s. I didnt have enough for the B6 so i decided to go with these. I must say im impressed... of course the improvement from having a pair of cheap stereo speakers from the 90s to the B5s must be shocking for almost anyone, but ive reached the point where they have exceeded my expectations. Im glad they did, since is my first buy of a well known and hifi speaker brand, and now im motivated to comleting my whole audio system..
    so this is what i think im going to do... i think im going to buy the alpha B1 as rears (240 pr) and for a center speaker i think im gonna go with the image C5, sticking to hace the whole system by PSB. Now budget ofcourse is an issue again, so i dont know which way to go first, if buying the rears or buying the center speaker?? or maybe look for a center speaker a bit cheaper so it wont be too much $$.
    WHat do you guys think??

  22. #22
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    any recommendations on good speaker stands for my B5s??

  23. #23
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    Long Wonderful Journey

    Welcome as others have said. For your price range, here is something to consider. A Harman Kardon HK3490 can be had new for $300. Silverline Audio Minuets can be had for $500 to $600. A Polk PSW10 can be had for about $100. So for between $900 and $1,000 you get 120 watts per channel, a built in phono preamp, subwoofer out, and an awesome little setup. That is the system I recently built and am loving it. You will have to go for the Silverline's on faith since I don't know anywhere they can be auditioned. If you can spend a little more on a subwoofer there are lots of options with better Polks, Hsu, Outlaw, Definitive Technology, Sunfire and Dayton Audio kits. Not that the PSW10 is bad, but I am planning on using it for an office system and figure I should upgrade the home system.

    Good luck and enjoy that album collection.

    Oops. Didn't read through the entire thread so much if not all of the above may be pointless.

  24. #24
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    thanks for all the info! yeah well i bought the psb B5s and im loving them!! now i need to go for a sub so i might use your rommendations for it... I wanna buy my center or rear speakers first, but as i am on a tight budget i dont know what to do first!!! i might go for the Alpha B1s before the center speaker and a sub.. what do you think?

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