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non-audiophile seeking basic advice/suggestions


Standard Member
Newbie here - hope it's OK to dive straight in with request for advice. I've looked through the threads and other internet research but couldn't find anything relevant.

I want to replace a v old stereo (about 17yr old all in one Aiwa -
as I said, I wouldn't class myself as an audiophile :)) to act as speakers for Airport Express (for podcasts and wide variety of music Ripped as Apple Lossless), TV and DVD/HDD player. Not really looking for 5.1 or anything at the moment (if can add later that'd be a bonus).

All three existing devices have optical out, so my initial thoughts were a system with optical in. Seems not many mini systems have that :( and not sure that my budget (up to £500) will stretch to separates/DAC too.

Been pondering this for about a year now. Have considered Onkyo 725 or 925, but the former is now end-of-line and don't really need HDD of the latter.

Am I barking up the wrong tree with optical? should I be going for separates or an AV receiver?

Any thoughts welcome. Thanks in advance.


Well-known Member
£500 will be plenty for separates in the second hand market and will sound much better than any all in one system.

As is mentioned in another thread you can pick up a minidisc player for peanuts and use that as a DAC.

Best to decide whether you want stereo or 5.1 though.

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