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Amp/speakers/cd player for under £350??

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by beanzine, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. beanzine

    beanzine
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    Hi there,

    Am new to these forums,so bear with me:
    Having recently had my ten year old technics midi hi-fi knicked during a break in, and having had no insurance, I desperately need a new system that will do me for a couple of years until I can begin to upgrade it. I dont have a lot of cash at the moment as have been replacing some of the other things those charming burglars knicked, but have got £350 together to buy a new system. I need cd player, amp, speakers and cable. I deeply appreciate that this amount is hardly anything, but it is all I have and want to get the best out of it.
    Have been looking at richersounds and ebay, but am quite confused.
    Have read throught these forums, which have been quite helpful, but need to know if I should:
    buy new?
    buy a mixture of new and second hand?
    if so what do I buy new/what second-hand?
    buy all second hand?
    where to buy from?
    what makes/models?

    My flat isnt too big, the lounge is about twelve feet square, thin walls so dont need something that will blow the neighbours away, but really want to feel the music when I play it rather than just hear it.
    I listen to a huge variety of music so need a great all rounder system.

    Any direct help/suggestions would be deeply appreciated, as am going slightly mad listening to music through my cheap kitchen stereo which sounds like a mono radio being played in the back of a garage.

    help!
    dave
     
  2. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    Dave,

    On a budget, imho you'd be best buying at least part of this secondhand - amps and speakers are both a pretty reliable bet, so long as you have a look at/listen to them beforehand to check nothing's been damaged. Cables are fine to buy secondhand (the budget ones all tend to be pretty robust, so unless you do something daft to break them they should last pretty much indefinitely), though on your budget you could always look at using freebee speaker cable/interconnects to begin with (or try something like the 99p/m gale speaker wire Richer Sounds do, or make a DIY interconnect using something like the 99p/p interconnect cable you can get from Maplin) and then upgrade later if you feel that would be an improvement.

    CD players are less certain - less reliable than amps and speakers, but they can still last well over a decade if you're lucky and you can get good savings by buying secondhand. Depends if you want to take the chance, I guess ;)

    Have a look at/listen to what's one Richer Sound's trade counter (they often get refurb stuff in) and in your local classifieds, and on the classifieds here; you could also try e-bay, though it's a bit of a risk if you haven't heard the item. You might like to look out for Cambridge, Marantz and NAD products in terms of CD players and amps (though some of the budget Sony CD players can also be pretty good); in terms of speakers, Mordaunt Short, tannoy and Mission ones could be good bets... I like the mission 733 floorstanders - you often see them for £50-80 pounds and they're well worth a listen at that price...the sound of the 733i speakers I've got seems to suit everything from punk to jazz fairly well (there's a pair on ebay here, which'd be a good deal if they go for £40 and if they are in good nick - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=14993&item=5769022859&rd=1)

    hth,

    Jon
     
  3. beanzine

    beanzine
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    Many many thanks for your reply Jon, it has helped lessen the anxiety of doing this. I know its not a lot of cash, but I need my music to sound good.
    Anyway, and you may kick me for this, I trawled through ebay and bought a brand new, boxed Nad C300 amp for £70 (without hearing it may I add, which may or may not have been a good idea-so desperate was I to start the ball rolling-possibly paid too much, who knows, I thought it was worth it). I did my research through the reviews that mainly gave it a great rating, and as its not too powerful (25w per channel) is sure not to rip the neighbours too much (ahem).
    I now have £280 left to but cd player and speakers (+cables) which is more than I thought I might have and am hoping to sweet talk richersounds into letting me bring the amp in the try different set ups.
    The ebay link you sent me had been closed early by the seller for some reason, but will be sure to look out for the floorstanding missions if they come up in the meantime.
    ANything else you see on ebay/elsewhere that is truly worth a look, please feel free to post the link; it would really be much appreciated.

    Please let me know if I have made a major mistake in buying the nad c300. Hope not...
    cheers
    Dave
     
  4. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    Haven't heard the c300. Sounds a good deal at the price - hope you enjoy it :) 25w can still go pretty loud - depending how sensitive the speakers you get are :devil:

    Best of luck with finding the remaining pieces... You might want to try to sort the speakers first - imho these can have a bigger effect on the sound than the CD player (at least with budget gear) and you will then be in a better position to choose a CDP to match.

    Oh yeah, other people seem to like these - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=14991&item=5768763843&rd=1 see http://forum.hifichoice.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=16206&highlight=tannoy+saturn for discussion. I haven't heard them, but they might be worth a try...esp if you can get down to listen to them...

    Jon

    Jon
     
  5. beanzine

    beanzine
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    HI Jon,
    Many thanks for that. Have checked out the links am am very interested in the Tannoys, but just cannot make it down to Bournemouth. Have itchy fingers......money in pocket.....you know what I mean.
    Am thinking, if I buy them (and the other forums postings seemed to like them) and they are good, Ive got myself a bargain. If I dont like them, I'll re-sell em on ebay etc.
    Anyway, I know I should be getting my ass down to richersounds to try out a few set-ups but at the rate Im going at the moment wont make it for another two weeks.
    Dunno why Im blurbing all this. Thanks for the help.
    Again, anything else of interest post me a link.
    Again, many thanks Jon, much obliged
    Dave
     
  6. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    Get the Marrantz CD5400 for 100 quid and also the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Speakers for 180 quid. The buy some CAT5 cable (15 quid for 100 metres) and make your own speaker cables. You could also go DIY with your interconnect.
    If not buy a Mark Grant one for 25 quid.
     
  7. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    Yeah, if you don't mind risking having to resell the tannoys if you don't like them they could be a good bet... If you don't mind the odd risk then you may be better going for a 2nd hand CD player as well ;)

    Jon
     
  8. beanzine

    beanzine
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    Many thanks for your help. Will consider the suggestions made. Am seriously considering the suggestions of Tannoys and Missions, and will get a decent enough cd player, probably a Maratnz, which I was seriously considering anyway.
    Again, any more thoughts will be appreciated,
    cheers
    Cannot wait to get it all set up (hopefully by the weekend)

    nice one
    dave
     
  9. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    Best of luck with bidding etc :) One other thing you might want to look at - if your DVD was nicked as well, you could kill 2 birds with one stone by getting something like one of the cambridge audio DVD players and using it for DVD and CD playback. Call it personal prejudice (I've got one myself, and like it :D ) but you often see the Cambridge DVD300 secondhand for around the £50 mark and imho it's a pretty good CD player for that kind-of money and also much better for films than an el cheapo DVD player would be. That'd also leave you spare money in your budget to buy an external DAC at some point (see the thread on DACs at the top of the forum). But yeah, Marantz make some good CD players as well :)

    Jon
     

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