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in the hope somone can help (home audio)

Simo44

Standard Member
hello

im new to the forum so please forgive me if i have places this request in the wrong area.

i am looking for a home audio system only i am having trouble finding one that fits what i am looking for.

unfortunatly i have a rather pin point request

with the £700 to £800 i have available i would like to find a good quality home audio system ........ (heres were the problem lies) that looks good and can stand as a feature in a room.

now a key example of exactly what im looking for is the sound space 9
:: Nakamichi ::

unfortunatly this is way beyond my budget just short of 3k however the design is fantastic for what i want. it can stand tall and be a feature in any room.

its destination is on its own against a blank wall about 4 metres accross and i need something that looks stunning...

can anyone help?

any help is much appreciated and i thank you in advance!

Simon
 

Sizzers

Established Member
Perhaps I'm missing something here, but I always thought a hifi system was there to be listened to rather than looked at?
 

Simo44

Standard Member
Perhaps I'm missing something here, but I always thought a hifi system was there to be listened to rather than looked at?

indeed. but if it were to be bland or plain it would look some what out of place in my home...
i still want the quality! just kind on the eye aswell
 

bam-bam

Established Member
Get some used B&O from the 70s/80s and you'll be fine. Some cracking stuff out there at reasonable prices.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
First, can we assume when you say 'home audio' you mean a Stereo system.

You really won't have a problem with that for £800. Though it depends on what you expect that £800 to buy you. Can we assume for the moment, that is for a pair of speakers and a good amp?

Typically, we divide the budget in half, the shift it slightly in favor of the speakers. The seems to be what people most commonly do, but it is certainly not etched in stone.

I can understand you wanting impressive looking speakers, but let's not let looks override sound quality.

A couple of quick suggestions -

Cambridge Audio 640A (black or silver) £299 with 75 watt per channel -

CAMBRIDGE AUDIO 640A-V2-SIL at Richer Sounds - HI-FI Separates, Home Cinema, Speakers, MP3 DVD Portables, Plasma LCD, etc.

Wharfedale Diamond 9.6, 3.5 way, twin 8" woofers, tower cabinets £429 per pair.

WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9.6 SPEAKERS (PAIR) (CHERRY) - available from Superfi UK Visit http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/2202 for details

Some prefer the dark massive appearance of Black speakers, but personally, I think nothing is more impressive that good quality wood (or wood-like) finish.

There are certainly a wide range of options, some give more power, but tend to be slightly less quality. Some give more quality, but give less power. It is up to you to strike a balance that suits your needs and priorities.

I can get you more amp for less money (Yamaha AX497, 85w/ch, £244), or I can get you less amp for more money (Pioneer A-A9-J, 55w.ch, £499).

Though most of us will be between the two extremes.

There are plenty of other speakers in this price range. Tannoy Revolution DC4, Tannoy Mercury F4, Mission M35i, Kef C5, Kef C7, Dali Concept 6, Monitor Audio BR5, and many others.

On the lower end of the range, but still good quality are the suggested Diamond 9.6, Mission M35i, and the Tannoy F4. All good speakers, all well liked, all highly rated.

Just a few suggestions to get you started.

Steve/bluewizard
 

bilge

Established Member
Another possibility might be a valve solution...

Looks cool with that lovely glow and can suit both ultra modern and tradditional styling.

How about a Fatman i-tube carbon or Roth MC4 amp / ipod dock and some efficient speakers?
Amp dock and ipod could be yours for about £400-£500 leaving you plenty for some reasonable speakers.

If you are into DIY try googling frugal horn for some esoteric speaker designs to be a talking point as well as sounding great.

I just made a pair of metronomes which sound remarkable for the money, are easy to put together and look so different to the usual box

Having said that the old B&O stuff did used to look nice...
Just hope you can solder Din plugs ;_)
 

cunny678

Distinguished Member
Audio Innovations Alto is the best looking system I have seen! No Produced anymore, probably due to the ridiculus lengthy flash intro on the site:- Welcome to Audio Innovations

If you click Alto and wait for all the intro's to finish you will see it. Sounds great to but only available second hand now. My mate has one on a stand and it looks fab!
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
While there is some merit to the more esoteric suggestions, I personally suggest you stick with brands that are easy to get service for.

Simply shop the more common websites for speakers and amps in your price range. So, amps or receivers in the £300 to £400 range and speakers in the £400 to £500 range. You should certainly be able to find something impressive in that range.

Though I favor floorstanders, or towers as I call them, you can still do very gwell in bookshelf, but you need stands. Though stands are reasonably priced.

There are several amps in your price range besides the one's I've already mentioned. Here is a cross section; all good amps -

Onkyo TX8555 Receiver (AM/FM), 75 watt/ch, £293
NAD C326BEE Amp, 50w/ch, £319
NAD C355BEE Amp, 80w/ch, £349
NAD C355BEE Receiver, 50w/ch; £371
Denon DRA700AE Reciever (AM/FM/DAB), 80w/ch, £379
MARANTZ PM6002 AMP, 60w/ch; £209
Yamaha A-S700 Amp, 90w/ch, £420 - £440
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 550A, 60w/ch, £299
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 650A, 75w/ch, £349

Onkyo, NAD, Yamaha from Superfi and HiFix
Denon and Marantz from HiFix

Cambridge Audio from Richer Sounds

Ideally you want 50 watt per channel to 8 ohms or more. Amps as low as 40 watts are acceptable, but below that is not recommended.

The same sites can lead you to a long list of speakers, many of which I have already suggested.

Here is a list of common websites, though there are countless more, many of whom might give you a better deal. It is simply a matter of searching Google-UK for specific model numbers.

Superfi Online - UK's best supplier of hifi equipment including separates, systems and accessories. Purchase Home Cinema Equipment, DVD players, minidiscs, amplifiers, cassette decks, CD players, Digital recorders, personal stereos, speakers, turntab
HiFix the Hi Fi and Audio professionals
Peter Tyson Online
Richer Sounds - The UK's Hi-Fi, Home Cinema & Flat Panel TV Specialists!
Hifi Gear ~ Buy HiFi and Home Cinema separates and accessories online

Hope that helps.

Steve/bluewizard
 

cunny678

Distinguished Member
While there is some merit to the more esoteric suggestions, I personally suggest you stick with brands that are easy to get service for.

Simply shop the more common websites for speakers and amps in your price range. So, amps or receivers in the £300 to £400 range and speakers in the £400 to £500 range. You should certainly be able to find something impressive in that range.

Though I favor floorstanders, or towers as I call them, you can still do very gwell in bookshelf, but you need stands. Though stands are reasonably priced.

There are several amps in your price range besides the one's I've already mentioned. Here is a cross section; all good amps -

Onkyo TX8555 Receiver (AM/FM), 75 watt/ch, £293
NAD C326BEE Amp, 50w/ch, £319
NAD C355BEE Amp, 80w/ch, £349
NAD C355BEE Receiver, 50w/ch; £371
Denon DRA700AE Reciever (AM/FM/DAB), 80w/ch, £379
MARANTZ PM6002 AMP, 60w/ch; £209
Yamaha A-S700 Amp, 90w/ch, £420 - £440
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 550A, 60w/ch, £299
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 650A, 75w/ch, £349

Onkyo, NAD, Yamaha from Superfi and HiFix
Denon and Marantz from HiFix

Cambridge Audio from Richer Sounds

Ideally you want 50 watt per channel to 8 ohms or more. Amps as low as 40 watts are acceptable, but below that is not recommended.

The same sites can lead you to a long list of speakers, many of which I have already suggested.

Here is a list of common websites, though there are countless more, many of whom might give you a better deal. It is simply a matter of searching Google-UK for specific model numbers.

Superfi Online - UK's best supplier of hifi equipment including separates, systems and accessories. Purchase Home Cinema Equipment, DVD players, minidiscs, amplifiers, cassette decks, CD players, Digital recorders, personal stereos, speakers, turntab
HiFix the Hi Fi and Audio professionals
Peter Tyson Online
Richer Sounds - The UK's Hi-Fi, Home Cinema & Flat Panel TV Specialists!
Hifi Gear ~ Buy HiFi and Home Cinema separates and accessories online

Hope that helps.

Steve/bluewizard

Think you need to look at the OP's question again Steve:D

Although as a previous NAD owner I can vouch for their value and sound quality they are very boring to look at you must admit:smashin:

Chris
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Think you need to look at the OP's question again Steve:D

Although as a previous NAD owner I can vouch for their value and sound quality they are very boring to look at you must admit:smashin:

Chris

He has £700 to £800 to spend on a home audio system, what else is there to know?

"i am looking for a home audio system..."

"...with the £700 to £800 i have available i would like to find a good quality home audio system ."

"i need something that looks stunning..."

I asked if that meant a amp and a pair of speakers and got no response. So, I recommended speakers and amp within his price range.

Now if he needs impressive furniture (a stereo stand) to set the amp on, that is a separate issue.

Further if he needs other equipment like a CD Player, a Tuner, a Turntable, etc... then he needs to say so.

If he is looking at something other than a stereo, then, again, he needs to say so.

With limited knowledge of what he wants, I making suggestions within his stated budget.

The better the question, the better the answer.

Steve/bluewizard
 

cunny678

Distinguished Member
Sorry Steve I must have misread it!

I thought he was new to the forums and looking for some quality kit with the main priority of it looking stunning!

Anyway, we have both given the OP food for thought!!

Chris
 

ryart

Established Member
Good sound quality costs money and so do good design and looks, although what constitutes both is a matter of opinion.

To get excellent sound quality and design in the same product really can cost a fortune. Sadly, in your price range you will find it difficult to achieve either at new prices. Second-hand is probably the best way to go, but will require a certain amount of luck to get everything working well.

B&O certainly has the looks but many have questioned the sound quality. Linn stuff is pretty good. Some of the older Quad gear in a wall mounted rack can look very impressive.

Not the solution you are after, perhaps, but an alternative is to concentrate on the sound quality and have the hifi out of sight but accessible by remote control. This has been my solution to this problem as I have ended up with lovely sound via a collection of big and ugly electronic boxes which I certainly don't want to have to look at in a room. From the direction the room is normally viewed from the only visible sign of a hifi are the speakers.
 

bilge

Established Member
Good sound quality costs money and so do good design and looks, although what constitutes both is a matter of opinion.
>Snip<
Not the solution you are after, perhaps, but an alternative is to concentrate on the sound quality and have the hifi out of sight but accessible by remote control.
>snip<
From the direction the room is normally viewed from the only visible sign of a hifi are the speakers.


A combination of BlueWizard's choice of separates and Ryart's suggestion regarding disguising the nasty big boxes could leave you with a reasonable compromise...

Or are we talking to the air? Still with us simo44?:confused:
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I guess we need Simo44 to explain his impression of 'looks good'. To some ultra-compact ultra-modern speakers look good. To me, large expanses of finely crafted wood look good.

So, until Simo44 clarifies or reacts to what we have said, I'm not sure how much more we can say.

We don't even really know what he is looking for. If he wants a tuner and CD Player in addition to an amp and speakers, I've got to scale back considerably on my suggestions. That likely means floorstanding speakers are out. Still, a tuner and CD player aren't that much when purchased within this budget, so he/she can still get a decent amp and speakers.

So... Simo44... what have you to say that can help us help you?

steve/bluewizard
 

bilge

Established Member
OK so simo44 has fled the coop but his question is still valid

We have 3 protagonists here bilge, BlueWizard and Ryart...

So what's your killer system for £800?

Here's mine...

My take is Fatman i -Tube 182 with i-pod dock at £440 (Audio affair)
{Huge assumption here that one has a computer and software to rip CD's in VBR320 using EAC}

Apple iPod Classic 80GB (Black) 134.99 (Play.com)
leaving £225 for speakers...

I'll forgo the esoteric speakers and go for something more mainstream to make things more equal.
{If it was me i would go the DIY route and make something with a single Fostex FE207E full range driver (Wilmslow Audio @ £214 for a pair) and a sheet of 8 X 4 plywood at ~ £ 40.}

But staying mainstream I'll go for Richer Sounds best bargain... Eltax Monitor 3 @ 69.95 (My son has a pair of the Monitor 2's which are outstanding for the price)

Interconnect between the I-Tube and Dock Cambridge Audio Pacific @ £30
Speaker cable QED Silver anniversary @ £4.40 /M X 6M

= £800 near as dammit


Ryart
Lets assume you have the IR sender and cabinet already so what would you hide away?

Blue Wizard
What's your preferred combo eh?

Note to both this includes interconnect and speaker cable :D

Bring it on!
 

stevedster

Established Member
Is a shame Audio Innovations no longer produce the Alto, I still have mine in my setup and it does indeed look 'stunning'. (and comes right within this budget)

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/154/375358327_a94425261b.jpg?v=0

375358327_a94425261b.jpg
 

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