Looking for my first budget kit...what do you suggest from the following?


Novice Member

I'm a Uni student and I'm looking for a decent starter setup. Naturally I'm on a very tight budget so I've had to look at my options very carefully.

Should I:

Buy a Marantz SR4200 (£200) or a Denon 1602 (£220) and keep my current speakers (hi-fi speakers but very good quality - Dad gave them to me last year and I really like them - but would want a centre speaker; RS have an Eltax speaker for £20 that looks pretty suitable)


buy a cheaper amp (Looking at the Aiwa AVNW30 for £120) and buy a speaker package (RS have a Panasonic set for £60 I think)

Naturally theres a difference between amps.

The Aiwa doesn't have Pro Logic 2 but has all the connections I need. Is PL2 worth £80 more? Will the Aiwa amp be poor compared to the other amps?

So is it worth going for a cheaper amp in order to get better speakers? Or get a great budget amp and stick with current speakers for now

I know it's an oldish topic that you probably get sick of :rolleyes: :) but I've read through recent posts and not found anything to really help me. Although a post about PL2 has swayed me back to option A

Thanks for any help


Active Member
I can only comment on a couple of things, as I am a relative Newbie.

The Marantz SR4200 is excellent, and would probably be best paired with your very good hifi speakers rather than a cheapo 60 quid set. Then save up and get decent additions to the speakers over time. I personally don’t like it’s universal remote, and will be replacing that in due course.

PL2 (IMVHO) really adds to TV broadcasts, you get a much fuller sound than stereo. All of a sudden, TV movies and old videos have a new lease of life. It is worth the extra.

I would say though that I revert to stereo for music. Hard to explain, but PL2 seems to merge the sounds too much, giving an overall blandness. I guess it’s because that most CDs are recorded in stereo and so are best heard in stereo.

Hope this helps


Novice Member
Thanks for that. Since I listen to a lot of music (CDs, Minidiscs etc), music playback is important for me. Is the Marantz good for music playback then? :rolleyes:

I don't watch much TV but watch a lot of videos; have a lot of 2 channel DVDs (eg Buffy) so you're saying PL2 is worth the extra? Seems to be the general response so it's almost certainly true.

Guess the current plan is to stick with current speakers, buy a PL2 amp and upgrade over the space of a year or so. Thank you Student Loan :D

Thanks, you've helped quite a bit there :)


Active Member
my mate just bought the marantz and it sounds great £199 from richer sounds.


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