• 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.

Recommend an amp and speakers

Bob George

Active Member
Hi all, new to the forum

Got a load of vinyl in the house that I have bought and now have a burning desire to play. I have been given a mates Technics 1210 and I'm looking for a decent amp and set of speakers to go with it. I'm not exactly flush with cash at the moment, so looking for as cheap as I can go without it being rubbish.

Also wouldn't mind being able to connect my Sonos 1 to it if that is at all possible. Any advice appreciated
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
You wouldn't be able to use your Play1 with an external source I'm afraid - it is a stand alone speaker. You could add a Connect to a system to enjoy the benefits of Sonos' choice of music apps and streaming. If you want to take this route, it is usually best to get an amp with a good quality DAC built into it, as the Sonos one is OK, but nothing special. But as amplifiers with DACs start from around £300, you could add an external DAC at a later date (if it is being used for more than just casual listening).

You could pick up a used Audiolab 8000A for around £100-150, which despite being about 20+ years old now, still sound decent - just give it a good test to make sure it is fully working. This will have a pretty decent phono stage built in, and be able to drive most speakers with ease. Personal preference here, but if you're looking for new, there's plenty of good speakers out there from Monitor Audio, KEF and Dali for a couple of hundred quid.

If you're looking for even cheaper than that, a used Rotel amplifier (RA01, for example) and some B&W DM601 speakers usually sounds pretty impressive, which you should be able to pick up for a few hundred quid all in.
 

Bob George

Active Member
You wouldn't be able to use your Play1 with an external source I'm afraid - it is a stand alone speaker. You could add a Connect to a system to enjoy the benefits of Sonos' choice of music apps and streaming. If you want to take this route, it is usually best to get an amp with a good quality DAC built into it, as the Sonos one is OK, but nothing special. But as amplifiers with DACs start from around £300, you could add an external DAC at a later date (if it is being used for more than just casual listening).

You could pick up a used Audiolab 8000A for around £100-150, which despite being about 20+ years old now, still sound decent - just give it a good test to make sure it is fully working. This will have a pretty decent phono stage built in, and be able to drive most speakers with ease. Personal preference here, but if you're looking for new, there's plenty of good speakers out there from Monitor Audio, KEF and Dali for a couple of hundred quid.

If you're looking for even cheaper than that, a used Rotel amplifier (RA01, for example) and some B&W DM601 speakers usually sounds pretty impressive, which you should be able to pick up for a few hundred quid all in.
Thanks for your reply.

As is clear, I'm a total novice. Not too fussed about the Sonos, just wondered if it could be connected. It's really all about the 1210 for me.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Whats the budget? Plenty suggestions can be given once that is known.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
That's not much money, but this would get you started -

Yamaha AS501, 85w/ch amp with DAC - £220 -

Yamaha AS501 Amplifier with DAC - Superfi

You simply won't find a better deal than this.

For speakers, the only thing that remotely fits your budget are these -

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Bookshelf Speakers - £80/pr to £100/pair -

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Speakers (Pair) (Opened Box, Black) - Superfi

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Speakers (Pair) (Opened Box, Walnut) - Superfi

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

There are other amp choices, but they don't have the power of the Yamaha, and they don't have a DAC -

Denon PMA520AE Amplifier - Superfi

Denon PMA720AE Amplifier (Opened Box, Black) - Superfi

Denon PMA720AE Amplifier - Superfi

Though you are so much better off buying the Yamaha AS501, for £20 less you can get the Yamaha AS301 which also has a DAC (digital to analog converter).

Yamaha AS301, 60w/ch Amp w/ DAC - £199 -

Yamaha AS301 Amplifier with DAC - Superfi

Both these Yamaha amps are amps that could last you through several speaker upgrades, and having an internal DAC makes is so much easier to connect your TV for TV and Movie watching.

Now, if you can really scrape together some serious money, for $310 you can get the 80w/ch Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver, which has Network Streaming of Audio from local storage and from the Internet. The Amp also has a DAC and digital inputs.

Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver, 80w/ch, Phono, Sub Out, Network Streaming, etc... - £310 -


Yamaha RN500 Networked Receiver - Superfi

That is pushing your budget to the extreme, but that is a lot of amp with a lot of features, at a very appealing price.

And as long as we are spending too much money -

Tannoy Mercury V4i Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Wharfedale Diamond 155 Walnut Pearl Floorstanding Speaker (Pair) - Wharfedale - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

Wharfedale Diamond 155 Cinnamon Cherry Floorstanding Speaker (Pair) - Wharfedale - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

Wharfedale Diamond 155 Walnut Pearl Floorstanding Speaker (Pair) - Wharfedale - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Another absolutely first rate deal on the previous Monitor Audio BX2 at £150/pr -

Peter Tyson - Monitor Audio BX2

These are large (6.5", 165mm) bookshelf speakers with Deep Bass Response. A very appealing bargain. Also, note the smaller 5" (130mm) BX1 are available from Peter Tyson for £120/pr. Though the larger BX2 would certainly be preferred for the considerable bass response.

It is very hard to hit your £300 budget, but the Yamaha AS301 and the Monitor Audio BX2 would be £350, and the Yamaha AS501 and the Monitor Audio BX2 would be £370. Those are systems that have legs, meaning they can take you a long way into the future. These are by no means - get by - systems.

It is always easy to spend other people's money, but it seems foolish not to spend the extra £20 and get the AS501 over the AS301. But you are the best judge of your budget. The Monitor Audio BX2 would work well with any of these suggested amps, even the lowest cost amp. And if you really are on a starvation budget, for their size, the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 are very good speakers, but they don't have the bass depth of the Monitor Audio BX2.

The lowest priced combination (Denon 520 + Diamond 9.1) would bring you in about about £240.

The system I would best recommend would be the Yamaha and Monitor Audio, which as previously mentioned would be £350 to £370, but would be a very good system.

The most expensive bookshelf system, would be the Monitor Audio BX2 and the Yamaha RN500 (£150 + £310) which comes in at £460, but that is a lot of system for what is really a very modest amount considering what you get.

And if you want to go to Floostanding speakers, they are going to cost you a minimum £250/pair.


Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

Bob George

Active Member
Another absolutely first rate deal on the previous Monitor Audio BX2 at £150/pr -

Peter Tyson - Monitor Audio BX2

These are large (6.5", 165mm) bookshelf speakers with Deep Bass Response. A very appealing bargain. Also, note the smaller 5" (130mm) BX1 are available from Peter Tyson for £120/pr. Though the larger BX2 would certainly be preferred for the considerable bass response.

It is very hard to hit your £300 budget, but the Yamaha AS301 and the Monitor Audio BX2 would be £350, and the Yamaha AS501 and the Monitor Audio BX2 would be £370. Those are systems that have legs, meaning they can take you a long way into the future. These are by no means - get by - systems.

It is always easy to spend other people's money, but it seems foolish not to spend the extra £20 and get the AS501 over the AS301. But you are the best judge of your budget. The Monitor Audio BX2 would work well with any of these suggested amps, even the lowest cost amp. And if you really are on a starvation budget, for their size, the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 are very good speakers, but they don't have the bass depth of the Monitor Audio BX2.

The lowest priced combination (Denon 520 + Diamond 9.1) would bring you in about about £240.

The system I would best recommend would be the Yamaha and Monitor Audio, which as previously mentioned would be £350 to £370, but would be a very good system.

The most expensive bookshelf system, would be the Monitor Audio BX2 and the Yamaha RN500 (£150 + £310) which comes in at £460, but that is a lot of system for what is really a very modest amount considering what you get.

And if you want to go to Floostanding speakers, they are going to cost you a minimum £250/pair.


Steve/bluewizard
Many thanks for the reply, given me plenty to think about!

I realise my budget is miniscule, so I may hang off a little. I appreciate the response.
 

rorackowe

Well-known Member
Plenty of good amps second hand, NAD, Rotel, Sony, etc. If money were tight I'd seriously consider something like a NAD 3130 for £50-70. Great phono stage and seem reliable. Speakers: older mission, Tannoy, Wharfdale. There are some great models if you hunt around. Some of my favourites were the 1980s Tannoy Mercury and the Wharfdale 505.2 and 507.2. These all have a good range with nice bass. Gumtree can be good as it's local so you get a chance to try things out.
 

Bob George

Active Member
Ok, I went a little over my budget for the amp, and purchased a Yamaha rn301. Delivered tomorrow. Seems as though I've made an arse of it though, as it doesn't have a phono stage. Is there anyway I can connect it, or will I have to return it?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The Yamaha RN301 at £220 is very high value, but not very high quality. To get all those features at that price point, they had to compromise something. The RN301 is really just the low cost RS201 with Streaming added. While I'm sure these amps work fine, they had to cut corner to hit that price point.

While well over your budget, the Yamaha RN500 is a better quality amp with more features, but admittedly it eats your entire budget at £310. But at £310, the RN500 is an exceptional bargain, originally costing close to £500.

To add a PHONO input would cost you about £50, taking the overall cost to £270. Myself, I would either go for the Yamaha AS301 (£200) or find the money to move up to the Yamaha RN500 (£310). The Yamaha AS301 doesn't have the features or the power of the RN301, but it is higher quality amp. Though the AS301 does have PHONO and DAC.

Project Phono Box MM Turntable Pre-Amplifier - Superfi

You may be perfectly content with the Yamaha RN301, but it wouldn't be my choice. Though it is easy for me to be picky, when I'm not paying the bills.

The best quality system with a good feature set remotely close to your budget would be -

£200/ea = Yamaha AS301 (£300 retail)
£150/pr = Monitor Audio BX2 (~£300 retail)
---------------------
£350 = TOTAL = ~£600 retail


In terms of bookshelf speakers, in addition to the Diamond 9.1 and others I've mentioned, also consider these -

Tannoy Mercury V1i Dark Walnut Bookshelf Speaker Pair - Tannoy - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

These speaker have reasonably deep bass response, and are at a about a 35% discount.

£200/ea = Yamaha AS301 (£300 retail)
£100/pr = Tannoy Mercury V1i (£150/pr retail)
---------------------
£300 = TOTAL = £450 retail


If you want to step back on the amp, they the Denon PMA-720 (£170) and the Monitor Audio BX2 (£150/pr) are just a trace over budget.

£170/ea = Denon PMA-720 (£350 retail)
£150/pr = Monitor Audio BX2 (~£300 retail)
--------------------------------
£320 = TOTAL = ~£650 retail


I know money doesn't grow on trees, but the Yamaha AS301 and the Monitor Audio BX2 are a system that will take you many years into the future.

Still ... like I said, you may be perfectly content with the Yamaha RN301, that's something only you can know.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Bob George

Active Member
The Yamaha RN301 at £220 is very high value, but not very high quality. To get all those features at that price point, they had to compromise something. The RN301 is really just the low cost RS201 with Streaming added. While I'm sure these amps work fine, they had to cut corner to hit that price point.

While well over your budget, the Yamaha RN500 is a better quality amp with more features, but admittedly it eats your entire budget at £310. But at £310, the RN500 is an exceptional bargain, originally costing close to £500.

To add a PHONO input would cost you about £50, taking the overall cost to £270. Myself, I would either go for the Yamaha AS301 (£200) or find the money to move up to the Yamaha RN500 (£310). The Yamaha AS301 doesn't have the features or the power of the RN301, but it is higher quality amp. Though the AS301 does have PHONO and DAC.

Project Phono Box MM Turntable Pre-Amplifier - Superfi

You may be perfectly content with the Yamaha RN301, but it wouldn't be my choice. Though it is easy for me to be picky, when I'm not paying the bills.

The best quality system with a good feature set remotely close to your budget would be -

£200/ea = Yamaha AS301 (£300 retail)
£150/pr = Monitor Audio BX2 (~£300 retail)
---------------------
£350 = TOTAL = ~£600 retail


In terms of bookshelf speakers, in addition to the Diamond 9.1 and others I've mentioned, also consider these -

Tannoy Mercury V1i Dark Walnut Bookshelf Speaker Pair - Tannoy - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

These speaker have reasonably deep bass response, and are at a about a 35% discount.

£200/ea = Yamaha AS301 (£300 retail)
£100/pr = Tannoy Mercury V1i (£150/pr retail)
---------------------
£300 = TOTAL = £450 retail


If you want to step back on the amp, they the Denon PMA-720 (£170) and the Monitor Audio BX2 (£150/pr) are just a trace over budget.

£170/ea = Denon PMA-720 (£350 retail)
£150/pr = Monitor Audio BX2 (~£300 retail)
--------------------------------
£320 = TOTAL = ~£650 retail


I know money doesn't grow on trees, but the Yamaha AS301 and the Monitor Audio BX2 are a system that will take you many years into the future.

Still ... like I said, you may be perfectly content with the Yamaha RN301, that's something only you can know.

Steve/bluewizard
Thanks mate, I appreciate you taking the time

Just for clarity, an RN500 will be good to go without the need for a preamp?

The network stuff is more for my wife, so it's probably a deal maker here
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The RN500 has a PHONO Pre-Amp built in, as do the AS301 and AS501, and the Denon PMA-720.

I can appreciate that you have something of a fixed budget, but the Yamaha RN500 is a very versatile Receiver, and well worth the current price and then some. The Monitor Audio BX2 have pretty deep bass down to about 40hz or a bit less. But both are extreme bargains, so if you can raise your budget, so much the better. The RN500 seems an amp that can last for many year, perhaps decades. The lesser RN301, in my highly biased opinion, is simply a get-by amp.

The system would break down like this -

£310/ea = Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver (£500 Retail)
£150/pr = Monitor Audio BX2 (£280/pr retail)
---------------------------------
£460 = TOTAL = £780 retail


You are getting an over 40% discount on that system.

Since the Yamaha RN500 has Digital Inputs, you should have no problem connecting your TV for movie watching.

Assuming you have a home computer network, you should have no trouble connecting the RN500 to the Network for Audio Streaming from both local storage and from the Internet. Though of limited value, you also have AM/FM.

With such a huge discount, you can probably use it for a year, and sell it on if you don't like it.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Bob George

Active Member
Ok, thanks for all the advice. I known have an RN500 hooked up to two monitor audio bx1 speakers (space dictated I went for the smaller pair). Very pleased with the setup. Enjoying some LPs this evening
 

The latest video from AVForums

Fidelity in Motion's David Mackenzie talks about his work on disc encoding & the future of Blu-ray
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom