• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

New Hifi with budget of £1000


Standard Member
Backgorund: I used to have a great technics Hifi with a wonderful CD collection. Unfortunatly i got burgled in 2002 and all my CDs got taken. This was the time that mp3's became accessible to people so i moved over to them. Since then i've often wished to move back to proper CDs and a good Hifi. I now have this oppurtunity :)

Can people point me in the right direction of a new Hifi so i can start to enjoy my music in the way i used to without all the distortions i had with mp3s. I need everything i.e. cd, amp and speakers. My budget is £1000 but i can go over if necessary as its something i can see lasting me many years and dont mind the cost.

Also can someone explain quickly why you have a preamp in systems.

Many thanks


Standard Member
Are you willing to go second hand?

I've just bought my first system... Rotel 951 CDP, through a Rotel pre-amp and two matching power amps. These items are all from the mid to late 1990s. I've got these hooked up to B&W 602s.

The whole things sounds fantastic to my ears, and cost me under £500. The equivalent new would be a lot more. Amp design improves very little year on year, so it may be worth getting one second hand providing it's been looked after. That way you save money and can always sell it on at a similar price to what you paid, as the first owner has taken all the depreciation.


Standard Member
More than happy to go 2nd hand. The cost isnt my biggest concern its the actual setup i need. I'm more used to buying a system whereas know nothing about setting up seperates


Standard Member
Theres a Sevenoaks in town so i can pop in there tomorrow and see what they have to say. I'm sure they will be more than happy to explain some of the bits i dont really understand. I like the idea of being able to test more expensive alongside a cheaper option and see what the differences are


Prominent Member
Theres a Sevenoaks in town so i can pop in there tomorrow and see what they have to say. I'm sure they will be more than happy to explain some of the bits i dont really understand. I like the idea of being able to test more expensive alongside a cheaper option and see what the differences are

Ring them now and make an appointment. You'll get more attention and they'll set up a demo room just for you, allowing you to avoid the queues.

(2pm Sat would be a good time if you're not into rugby; The Lions game is on and most fans will be in the pub watching it. :smashin:)


Distinguished Member
I think to some extent there are a few parameters we need to establish, and these are related to quantity vs quality. Myself, being on the cheap side, I'm trying to find the prefect intersect between these two. I want as much power as I can get, but not to the exclusion of quality. I need good build, high power power supply, etc..., but at a reasonable price.

Amps that give lots of power are reasonably quality are Yamaha. Amps that give less power, but absolute to quality are amps like Rotel. Marantz does a bit of both. There midrange amps are good power, good quality, good price. There better amps are very expensive, but the quality is there too. Cambridge Audio seem to be in the sweet spot, good quality, solid power supplies, good power, reasonable price. There are certainly better amps and there are certainly more powerful amp, but in my view, these are sitting on the crest of a blend of quality and quantity. There are several other brands that fall in the high end of the middle, like NAD or Denon.

Again, this is just an overview to illustrate my point. There are amps of supreme quality, but they tend to be lacking in power. Though the power they have, the deliver superbly. There are amps with tons of power at very low prices, but I'm a little leery as to how well they can deliver that power in real world situations, and also concerned about longevity and reliability.

You have to decide what your priorities are, and what areas you want to emphasize.

In speakers, we need to know any priorities and/or restrictions. Are you looking for bookshelf or can you handle floorstanding speakers?

You emphasize music and speak of a 'HiFi', can we assume that means a stereo?

You should have not problem getting a good system in your price range; £250 for a CD, £300 for an amp, £450 for a pair of speakers, and you should be sitting sweet.

Clarify your needs a little better and we can start pointing you in the right direction.



Established Member
or if you have some sort of transport then you could go the DAC/amp/speakers route.

use something like a laptop or PS3 to get an optical out to a (DAC) then speakers and amp.

motile rod 2

Established Member
There's a massive range of speakers, amps and cdp's to choose from so it's difficult to recommend something from scratch. It's well worth spending a bit more as it will definately pay off. If you're very value conscious then try and stick with british kit as you'll get alot more for your money due to the costs of importing and distribition. If I was looking to spend around as much as you, I'd be looking at two options:

1) Something like monitor audio rs6 speakers (£650 new, around £400 ex-dem) or even better ex-dem gs10's (around £450). These are very revealing and slightly bright speakers that need to be paired with a smooth sounding amp. One advantage of this is that they will work well with very high end gear should you wish to upgrade electronics in the future. Pair them with something like a musical fidelity integrated amp - a3, a300 or a308 should all be around £500 2nd hand, they tend to be quite common on ebay. Source-wise, for your budget keep it cheap, a cambridge audio dac magic will do (£200 new), you can feed any old CDP into it or even lossless files from a PC. This would be a similar, though much cheaper set up to mine which should work very well together, though it might not suite your tastes ....

2) The other option I'd look at is B&W 683 speakers (£880 new, around £550 ex-dem). These will sound very different to MA speakers, sounding much more relaxed and as such should be paired with brighter/neutral sounding amps. The primare i21 works well with them though it's a bit pricey at £750 new, if you can track down an ex-demo one then it'd fall into your budget. Having said that most amps out there are neutral-bright so most should work well with the B&W's. There's loads to choose from, cyrus, arcam, naim, roksan etc. The downside of this combo is that you might find it a bit dull and the B&W's won't shine as much with high end stuff. I'd still stick with the CA dac as I believe it to be a better/more flexible option than a budget cdp.

Although I usually wouldn't recommend sevenoaks for buying stuff, afaik they carry all the brands I've mentioned so it's well worth arranging a demo there and trying out the different kit.

Hope it helps!
Last edited:

The latest video from AVForums

Is 8K TV dead? Philips OLED+907, Pioneer LX505 AVR plus B&W 700 S3 Reviews & Visit + AV/HiFi News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom