Cheap Denon vs NAD, and Bose cube speakers worth it?


Standard Member
Hi all,

First post for me. I'm not a massive audio expert, nor have I invested thousands in nice kit, but would love to as I do appreciate a good setup.

Anyway here's my position. For a good few years now I've had a Denon DRA/DCD-101 paired with a couple of Tannoy Mercury MX2s with decent bi-wiring and it's served me fine. However the amp/tuner has now died (transformer has gone) leaving thinking what to do. Would love to take the opportunity to upgrade and have seen a NAD CD/amp combo (320bee & 521bee) for £200 which really appeals and would try and get a matching DAB tuner at some point, but with most cash reserved for furnishing our new house I'm temped to just get a cheap Denon 201 (similar era but next model up to my old one) as I know it's a decent enough sound and can pick up a system for under £100.

I have the option of 2 for sale, one is £60 and comes with the standard Denon speakers which I'd flick on ebay, and one is £100 and comes with 2 pairs of Bose cubes.

So my questions are:

1. Clearly there is no sub with the Bose one, should there be?
2. Using the bose cubes without the acoustimass system, is there a price paid there in terms of quality?
3. Am I better of sticking with the cheaper system and using my Tannoys or is the Bose setup worth the little bit extra
4. Should I forget all this and just get the NAD kit (I know the answer to this).... but would my speakers handle it ok or would it be pointless because the speakers would really limit the potential of the system and I wouldn't notice any increase in quality. If I had to upgrade speakers that would really rule it out.



Distinguished Member
I would not bother with the Denon and Bose cubes unless you can sell the Bose cubes for a good amount of money. The cubes are too small to create a full frequency sound and are designed to be used with the bass unit to create the same sound as would be expected from a more conventional speaker. Without that bass module they are not going to sound good IMHO (even with the bass module they are not going to sound great anyway!!!!). Getting the cheaper Denon and then selling the Denon speakers sounds the best options in terms of cost and assuming you like your current sound then should be an upgrade so good on that front. Only you can tell if the Nad will be worth paying 4 times as much for although it would give you a good base from which to upgrade speakers in the future.

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