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hi all. i have 500 quid to get me a new stereo for the house...

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by stepp, Apr 20, 2003.

  1. stepp

    stepp
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    i dont know much about stereos really. The last one i had was just a normal all in one midi hi fi. Im looking for seperates now but i havent got a clue what im looking for. Im looking for something which has a deep bass and is quite powerfull.

    does anyone have any recomendations?

    thanks
     
  2. Daneel

    Daneel
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    A 2 channel system, amplifier, speakers and source?

    Try a NAD amp like the C320BBE (£200).

    For speakers look at Mission, maybe the M73i or Wharfedale Diamond 8.3 (both around £150).

    CD source Sony XE570(£100), Marantz CD5000 (£125) or NAD C521i (£170).

    For deep bass you would either want standmounts with a sub or good floorstanders. Unfortunately with your budget those don't look like options so I've recommended lower end floor standers. They should still be a big step up from an integrated hi-fi system though.

    If you go for one of the cheaper CD players you could get the M74i or 8.4 (£200) which will give you more bass and still keep in budget.
     
  3. sounddog

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    No arguments with the electronics Daneel has recomended ... unfortunately the prices Daneel has quote arn't RRP ... the C320BEE is £220 and the C521i (which I would recomend over the Sony or Marantz) is £200.

    My opinion is that at the budget end, standmount speakers are invariably better than the respective floorstanders ... even taking into account £50-70ish for a pair of stands. If you actually look at most floorstanding speakers they are the same as stand mounts with just a extra wooden box stuck on the bottom.

    Remember to budget some for an interconnect - around £20 for a cambridge audio or similar - and a little for speaker cabe - £1-1.50 a meter will be sufficient - and stands if you're going for standmount - Atacama Nexus or similar for £70.

    If it's going to be possible for you ... get the NAD Amp and CD player now, buying a set of Mission 771e or similar from Richer Sounds now. Then later look for a better pair of speakers ... looking around £300-350 will get you B&W 602s3 (stand), KEF Q1 (stand) and even Accoustic Energy Evo 3 (floorstand) - these will all be a lot better than the M74i or 8.4 that you may be able to stretch to later. If you shop around now - you may be able to pick up the more powerful C350 for similar money which will be better for bigger speakers later.

    Having said all that ... do make sure you demo the kit you want to buy - even spending £500 you should demo.

    Vikki
     
  4. stepp

    stepp
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    thanks for the adivice. i have a richersounds shop near me so ill pay them a visit sometime this week. Also how much would i be looking at for a digital tuner?. Am i right in thinking that these digital radios pick up all stations with cystal clear sound? (i like listening to kiss fm but its hard to pick up in my area).

    anyway thanks for the advice much appreciated :)
     
  5. Daneel

    Daneel
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    sounddog is right about the prices. They are online prices from the likes of QED.

    I am going to partially disagree on the speakers though. I went for what you asked for, bass. I have the B&W 602s and tbh if I was doing this again I'm not sure I would buy them. The bass is boomy and the sound is a bit boxy. My receiver's auto-calibration has helped a hell of a lot, but few people have that benifit. I must add though that speaker placement is poor due to my room layout and that has a big impact on performance.

    If you are willing to forego a little bass at the moment try the Mission M51s. You can add a sub later which combined with your standmounts will give you better bass than a floorstander until you get to quite high prices, assuming it is well intergrated of course.

    I would also suggest that at this end of the market speakers and amp are far more important than source. As long as you don't buy a really cheap CD player I don't think you will notice the difference. The extra £100 or even £50 would have a larger impact if spent somewhere else.

    You might also consider buying second hand, for £500 you could pick up a pretty good sounding system.

    As sounddog said, do demo if at all possible.

    Feel free to ignore me though, sounddog has more experience than me, I have only listened to a few systems myself and most of the recommendations in my 1st post come from reading other people's opinions.

    [Edit] Just saw your post about digital radio. IMO you should give it a miss at the moment. Several of the transmissions have been cut in data rate which means that FM radio is actually better quality.
     
  6. sounddog

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    The 602 (both series 2 and series 3) need to be well placed and are not easy speakers to drive despite their 8ohm rating - but the NAD C320 will drive them as long as you're not wanting too high levels. Having said that they don't suit everyone - and at £300 arn't going to fit in your initial budget.

    My opinion is that all three components ... source, amp, speakers ... are as important and a 3-way split is generally the best ... however if something has to drop because of budget ... then Richer Sounds has some great prices on older speaker designs (e.g. the Mission 771e @ £80). Cheep floorstanding speakers however are often disappointing.

    Second hand equipment can be a bargain ... but be careful you don't get your fingers burnt - if a second hand CD player you buy privately breaks down you'll have nothing. For £500 though you should be able to pick up Arcam Alpha series amps and CD player and add your choice of speakers to that. Buying through a dealer will give you backup in case of a problem but you'll end up paying more. An amp is probably a better second hand buy than a CD player - an amp has no moving parts.

    RE digital radio, give it a try is best advise. Yes BBC and others are cutting data rates to fit more in, but if FM reception of Kiss FM is marginal and thats the station you want to listen to, a reasonable DAB reception is going to be better than bad FM - best bet at the moment seams to be to have both, or listen to radio through Sky dish.

    Vikki

    PS. feel free to ignore me too ... all my opinions are my own and should be treated with the same caution as you'd treat a plank of wood over a pool full of 'gators.
     
  7. Sunday Ironfoot

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    I reckon you should definetely consider the Mission M73i's in your system, at least give them a demo. These speakers have got rave reviews from the press and are considered great value for money. RRP about £200 although can be picked up for less online. They are floorstanders so should satisfy in the bass department.

    For amp, when I was getting into HIFI I was considering the Marantz PM4200 integrated amp (30 WPC) at £180 (cheaper if you shop around). Anyone know what this amp is like? I've heard it gives quite a punchy sound, especially good with the bass, but not very detailed in the high stuff.

    For CD player the NAD C521i CD PLAYER seems to have won a What HIFI award for best budget player, at £180. Haven't heard it myself though.

    Actually having checked out www.superfi.co.uk you'd be able to pick all that up for £490...doesn't include cables though.
     
  8. Orbital

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    I must agree that the M73i's are a very under estimated speaker. The price automatically makes people think they‘re an also ran budget speaker which is far from the truth. They sound totally different from the normal none 'i' M73 and give a lovely crisp and tuneful representation of the music being played.

    I have them twinned up with a Cyrus dAD 7 CD player and Rotel RA-01 amp and they sound very engaging. I too demo'ed the B&W’s and was fairly under whelmed by them to be honest. I hadn't even thought about the M73i's until the guy doing the demo asked if I wanted a listen and thought what the hey! in for a penny in for a pound (I must confess to not buying from the shop, I bought them online for much less, shame on me! :blush: )

    But please give the M73i's a demo you might be surprised!

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  9. sounddog

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    Off topic I know but ... not very fair on the shop was it ... the shop price is going to be more than you can get them online because of the costs of providing demo facilities, etc.

    If people regularly demo then buy online, HiFi shops arn't going to survive much longer on the high street.

    Yes I buy some AV kit online, but I have never demo'd in a shop, then bought online after using (abusing maybe) the shops facilities.

    Vikki
     
  10. Orbital

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    And I'm sure your little cloud in heaven is all ready and waiting for you.

    I spend more than enough in the store I mentioned above I assure you. Enough to qualify for a free demo once in a blue moon. So easy eh?

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  11. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Okay ... so you do spend money in the store ... but there seams to be lots of people who regularly demo products and then buy elsewhere ... and I feel its a practice that should be discouraged for the welfare of HiFi shops, etc.

    Vikki

    PS. love your .sig
     
  12. Orbital

    Orbital
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    Yeah I understand where you coming from Vikki. I think it's just human nature to hunt for the best deal sometimes. But be warm in the knowledge that I haven't done it since :cool:

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  13. Sunday Ironfoot

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    Last time I demoed at my local store, I checked the prices at other competitors and online first, and then demo'ed knowing they were pretty much in line with the competition. Ended up buying the speakers there as well.
     
  14. stepp

    stepp
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    Right. i went along and ended up getting the follwing (all cambridge audio)

    CD PLAYER---CD5-B
    DIGITAL TUNER----DAB300-B
    AMP----A1 MK3 special edition
    SPEAKERS---FLOORSTANDING ELTAX syphony 6.3


    to be honest im a little disapointed. The bloke in the shop said it would sound quite bassy but to be honest its not as bassy as my old pioneer midi system (one of those SUPER BASS systems)

    another problem i got is that i cannot get the digital tuner working at all....i have good signal but it doesnt seem to be coming through the amp

    anyway im going back to the shop and swopping the AMP for another one hoping this will sort it out.
     
  15. WhyAyeMan

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    You went to Richer Sounds then.

    Did you audition the kit. You should tell them about this. Floorstanders may not be the best for a small amp like the A1 to drive. The CD5 is a fine player, so I suggest you try some different speakers and a different amp. The A5i is an amp worth stretching to in my opinion, and see if you cant get some Wharfedale Diamonds stuck on there as well. IMO Eltax speakers on the whole suck... all boom and tizz.

    Remember as well, at first it may not sound that bassy because you are used to bloated, flabby, exagerrated bass that your Pioneer used to kick out. Once you get past this obstacle, you wont look back IMO.
     
  16. stepp

    stepp
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    the amp i wanted was 20 quid dearer and double the output power but they didnt have this in till wednesday. i told the bloke id take the smaller amp and try it. you say wharfedale speakers do you mean take the ones ive got back and swop them over?

    sorry to sound a bit vague! just getting into the seperates scene! lol

    thanks anyway
     
  17. Orbital

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    Got to agree with the main man pbirkett here. I have an CA A1 right here next to me connected up to the PC with a Dual CS-505 turntable and some old Kef speakers that are that old I've forgotten what their called :D Use it to record records into MP3 format now and again. It runs out puff driving the Kef's which are pretty easy to drive really so it may well be struggling with the Eltax's.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  18. WhyAyeMan

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    The amp is the main culprit IMO, I'd try to get a better one first. My mate has Eltax floorstanders, and while they arent good speakers IMO, theres no shortage of bass when using a suitable amp. You should be aiming at least for a 50 watter per channel Cambridge amp as a minimum. My mates' 60 watt Pioneer amp gives them plenty of bass.

    The A1 is only about 20 watts a channel IIRC.
     
  19. gilmore

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    Richer doing what they do best again... they seem very keen to push 'certain' brands (could it be anything to to do with margains perhaps?!)
     
  20. stepp

    stepp
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    swopped the AMP over today for the more powerfull one. What a difference! The sound is about 20 times better than my old pioneer midi stereo. I well happy with it.

    I got the digital tuner to work as well and was wondering if anyone knew any good sites where it gives the different MANUAL TUNING frequencies? (im trying to kiss 100 you see).

    one last thing...the bloke in the shop told to me to RUN the seperates in (36 hours) before i will hear PEAK performance. Is this actually true??

    thanks for all the help anyways :)
     
  21. buns

    buns
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    I had a horrible feeling for a while there that you werent going to be satisfied....... im really happy that you are pleased now! :D

    I dont know about digital radio, but i do know that a run in time is normally needed..... some kit is more prone than others but 36 hours should be enough.

    glad you are sorted

    ad
     
  22. WhyAyeMan

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    What amp did ya end up with?
     
  23. stepp

    stepp
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    @ pbirkett. its a cambridge audio A5 amp m8. was 20 quid more than the first amp but im happy with it. :)

    right im off to the TV forum now as the next thing im splashing out on is a nice widescreen! :)

    thanks

    stepp
     

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