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Recommend me a stereo amp and speakers for £500

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by lil old me, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. lil old me

    lil old me
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    Hi all,

    I've been saving for a while now to get a hifi to use at school. I'm using a cheapo JVC cd player and am looking for something a bit better.

    I haven't included a cd player in my request for now partly because I can use my current one or my pc and i'd rather spend the cash on an amp and speakers and upgrade to a proper cd player later.

    Bookshelves are a must really, ive got no space for floorstanders here but apart from that I don't really have any specific requirements. £500 is my budget but I could stretch a bit further if you find me something really nice ;)

    I've read autumns what hifi ultimate guide and got a few ideas but could do with some more from 'real' people :)

    TIA L

    (copied from integrated amps)
     
  2. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Rotel RA-02
    Castle Richmonds
     
  3. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Rega Brio
    Tannoy Eyris 1
     
  4. lil old me

    lil old me
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    Thanks for your suggestions, I have also been recommended the

    NAD C352CT (second hand to fit my budget)
    with B&W 602S3s (new)

    What are your opinions on these ?
     
  5. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    602s3 are nice speakers big for standmounts and packing a good punch. I don't know much about NAD so I'm afraid I can't help.
     
  6. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    If space is limited the B&W's might be to big. To get the best from a bookshelf speaker you really need a decent stand.

    Just to be different, I would recommend something like a Kel84 valve amp from www.worldaudiodesign.com these also appear quite cheap on ebay
     
  7. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Cambridge 640A
    Epos M5 A combo far better than it has a right to be in smaller rooms

    Marantz PM7200
    Mordaunt Short MS914 Well worth a look if you have a bigger room
     
  8. lil old me

    lil old me
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    Thanks for the other ideas. The room they will be in is about 6M X 7M so it's no cupboard, but the way it is laid out there is no real space for stands. They would more than likely have to sit on a chest of drawers or on top of my cupboard. I realise this will affect sound quality but I don't know how else the room could be arranged ( i share so it has two beds two cupboards two desks and a sofa.
     
  9. aliflack

    aliflack
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    that kinda rules out the 602's - they're massive!
     
  10. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Ohh, let me see....

    I have a bias towards Rotel, but that's because its the best budget equipment money can buy, IMHO! The RA-02 is a fantastic performer (auditioned one the other day) and is a no-brainer at £250. Slim, beautiful, powerful & musical. Excellent build quality & reliability too.

    As for speakers, assuming a remaining budget of £250, look at any of the following:

    B&W 601 S2/S3
    Kef Q1
    Focal-JMlab Chorus 706 S
    Monitor Audio Bronze 2
    Tannoy Eyris 1
    Mordaunt Short 902

    Or if you can stretch a little more:

    Ruark Sabre
    Castle Richmond 3i
    Epos M5

    Whilst shopping around and auditioning new speakers recently, I chose the Chorus 706 S to go with my Rotel gear. Any of the speakers above will do a fine job though.
     
  11. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I think you'll find that it's the RA-01 that's £250 and the RA-02 is £350.
     
  12. aliflack

    aliflack
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    i would add the wharfedale 9.1s to the above list - I much prefered their sound to the MA B2's (which felt muddy in the mid/bass department to my ears)

    also, AE Evo 1's?
     
  13. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Yep, good point! AFAIK They are exactly the same though, apart from the remote (which judging by lil's e-mail, might not be needed anyway).
     
  14. lil old me

    lil old me
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    Thanks again guys! Even more to think about!

    Some more things have come to my attention while thinking through this today. I'm not at college all the time, holidays I go home taking all oy my stuff with me. At home I have a pioneer vsx D912 powering Acoustic Energy AEGISEVO 3B package. I play all of my music stereo through the Evo 3's. A suggestion came from another forum to use whichever stereo amp I buy for school as a power amp for them and use my D912 as a pre amp.
    Also thinking about my space concerns at school I'm edging towards something quite small.
    Would it perhaps be better to skimp on my speaker budget and go for a better amp? I'm thinking I don't really want expensive speakers sitting redundant for months on end at home, whereas my amp will still be used.
    Obviously I will lose out on quality while I'm at school but anything would be an improvement on what I'm currently using!
     
  15. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    £500 on a better amp will pay big dividends later on. Of course if you willing to spend £500 on a second hand amp, the choice is much wider :)
     
  16. lil old me

    lil old me
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    Yea that is what i was thinking. An expensive amp will be worth alot more than expensive speakers. I am willing to go second hand but then it is a problem of finding what I want. I also don't really want to spend all of my budget on an amp, I still need some speakers even if I'm not going for the same quality as before :)
     
  17. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Well, If £500 is your budget, and it has to be small, the first amp I'd consider is the Musical Fidelity X-80 - £480.

    The old Cyrus 6 integrated is also supposed to be very good (haven't heard it though) and seems to be going for around £450 these days.

    Can't think of any others, except the new Audio Analogue Primo integrated. Haven't heard that one either, but it might be worth checking out. Around £450 I think.

    Incidentally, Audio Analogue make some beautiful kit, don't you think? One of the few companies that can make a massive power amp look attractive! Very high WAF!!!
     
  18. lil old me

    lil old me
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    size isnt really a problem for the amp, I can find somewhere for it because it doesn't really matter which surface it is on. The speakers were my only stumbling point because they need to be on stands or something solid.

    Those small amps are nice but looking at their dimensions they seem to have more depth then 'normal' size ones. If anything width is preferable to depth because of the surfaces I have available.

    For instance the NAD C52 is 435 x 100 x 290mm

    and the X80 is 218mm X 98mm X 339mm

    So there isn't alot in it but I think i could fit something a bit larger in.
     
  19. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Well, you could always turn the MF on it's side :laugh:
     
  20. lil old me

    lil old me
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    lol yea that might be an option, wouldn't the sound fall out of the top then though? :p

    Is the NAD more or less my best option? Without going much more expensive?
     
  21. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    Speakers make more difference than an amp hands down.

    However, you should still buy the best amp you can afford. I recommend the Rotel RA-01 and the speakers of your choice. The RA-01 is a great amp for the money IMHO.
     
  22. lil old me

    lil old me
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    I went down to sevenoaks on saturday and demoed the RA-01 with some b & w 601s and all i can say is wow! I then tried it with some evo 3b's and despite being more bassy the 601s still held their ground quite well! So as soon as i've got the money together ill go down and get them. Gonna try and persuade my roommate to rearrange the room a bit so I can get them on stands. I know it might appear like I could have got floorstanders if I'm fitting standmounts in now but I think they'd be a little too hefty and quite impractical to take home (and find somewhere to live) during the holidays.

    Thanks for everyones help! Hopefully Ill be back along after xmas looking for a cd player to go with them, altho the rotel player I was using on saturday impressed me quite alot!
     

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