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good quality CD system with HDMI input


Standard Member
Hi all

my living room is only 12X12 so I'm not after anything too powerful, but I have been looking for a Stereo system that is a good quality CD player with possibly DAB but also will accept either HDMI inputs or maybe SPDIF as I want to also play stuff from my media center, i've seen some of the denon kit but they only have phono inputs.

I suspect I may have to get an AV receiver and a seperate CD/tuner but as I'm really not bothered about 5.1 and just want good stereo sound for music I feel that may be overkill, my budget would be between £250 - £500.

any ideas on which way to head?



Distinguished Member
That budget is for Amp, CD Player, and Speakers?

I think that is going to be a little lean, but we will see what we can do.

Stereo amps with digital input are rare, though there are a few around, but I don't think they will fit into your budget. The alternative is to buy an external DAC. These typically run in the +£100 to +£200 range.

But here is a thought, most good modern LCD/LED/Plasma TV's have multiple Digital Inputs. If your TV also has a analog (meaning not digital) output, you can plug all your digital sources into your TV, the connect the Audio Out of the TV to the stereo. The TV will also have a pretty good DAC (digital to analog converter). That is probably your cheapest option.

Next, how large of speakers did you have in mind? Basic bookshelf or are floorstanding speakers in the mix?

Right now, two of the best bargain are the 46watt per channel Cambridge Audio 340A-SE for only £130 from RicherSounds.com .

In speakers, it is extremely hard to beat the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 from SuperFi.co.uk for only £100/pair.

The next best amp is probably the 40w NAD C315 from (I think) SuperFi.co.uk for about £160.

You do have a little more budget, and Richer Sounds also has a few Cambridge 640A-V2 for only £199. This is a 75w/ch amp for about £200.

If you can handle a floorstanding speaker, consider the Infinity BETA 40 from HiwayHiFi.com -

INFINITY BETA 40 (BETA 40) 3-Way Dual 6-1/2" Floorstanding Loudspeaker Featuring Patented... - www.hiwayhifi.com

The Infinity speakers would bring the total budget (amp & speakers) to about £350. With the Diamonds above, the budget for amp and speakers would be about £250.

The Cambridge 640C CD player is about £150, and the lesser Cambridge 540C CD Player is between £120 and £150 from Richer Sounds.

For a radio Tuner with FM/DAB, the Cambridge model 640T is about £180. Though if you just want basic radio and aren't concerned about matching components, an AM/FM Tangent tuner can be had for as low as £20.

I suggest you browse around on the RicherSounds.com , Superfi.co.uk, and HiwayHiFi.com website and see if anything catches your eye. Report back, and we can discuss it.

When looking at speakers, especially bookshelf, it is important the the low frequency response is below 60hz. Ideally below 50hz, but that is somewhat difficult in a bookshelf speaker. In floorstanding speakers, the low frequency response should be below 50hz, and ideal at or below 40hz.

I probably haven't answered all your question, but hopefully I've given you enough to get you started looking at the possibilities.

Could you describe your Media Center a little more? Is it just a general computer used for media purposes, or is it a specifically designed Media Center, and if so, what brand and model?

There are many other possibilities and many other sources, but again, this is just to get you started.



Standard Member

my media center is a Acer Aspire Revo running Linux and XBMC, it has HDMI and SPDIF output, I would like to listen to music from it without having the TV on, I suppose budget wise I would prefer to buy a good amp and bookshelf speakers and then purchase a good CD player in a couple of months.

I'm sure there is a market out there though for a half-decent hi-fi with hdmi input , something like the Denon DM37DAB with hdmi and a lip-sync adjust feature would be ideal for me.

thanks for the advice so far

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