Separate system for under £200 Advice

Chazz83

Novice Member
Apologies if this has been posted here before I am grateful for any help and advice regarding getting started. I am thinking trying to get a nice old amplifier and then a graphic equaliser separate I love to have complete control over the sound. I have speakers Mission bookshelf that sound very good to me from my dads old denon udm30 midi system. Will add a subwoofer in future. I am looking for a 3d style sound from 2 speakers. I mostly listen to radio and have a dab input via headphone socket from a hitachi mini sperates system I bought recently sounds good through my pioneer surround sound system S-DV88SW
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Onkyo 9010 is usually the amp to get at this price point.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
I mostly listen to radio
I am thinking trying to get a nice old amplifier and then a graphic equaliser separate I love to have complete control over the sound.
I have my suspicions about this thread but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt...

Most DAB radio stations broadcast poor quality transmissions. Perhaps you've tracked down the few high-ish quality stations and listen mainly to them? Even so, feeding the DAB into your system via a headphone output from an Hitachi mini system is likely to further degrade the signal.

Unless you're listening to high quality broadcasts, money spent of half-decent hifi gear is wasted. And the use of a graphic EQ, in this instance, can only modify a poor quality signal, not improve it. A bad signal is a bad signal and no amount of fiddling with EQ will turn it into good audio. If you really want hifi quality audio, then re-consider your source and your system building strategy. CD will, in general, give better quality sound.

I think you are heading down a cul de sac with this piecemeal approach to system building and it's unlikely to end in good quality audio. Do reconsider. Be clear in your mind what you're trying to achieve before mapping out your route to get there. Honestly, the Mission/Denon speakers are probably the only part of your system that I would think are worth keeping when building a 2-channel hifi system. My suggestion would be to sell everything except speakers, add whatever money you get to the current £200 budget then purchase a quality modern mini system, like this:



... to use with your Mission/Denon speakers. And only then, decide if you still want a graphic EQ. I wish you luck.
 
Last edited:

JoyDivision1982

Standard Member
To be honest most DAB stations sound so awful any old amplifier would do. DAB sounds awful even in my car system which is nothing special. I have to use FM.
 

Chazz83

Novice Member
Thanks for replies I will expand a bit on what I actually want from a audio system then I will go into more detail. I like dab radio because I find it is much clearer and the sound seems to have better stereo properties. Regarding the graphic equaliser Issue I want to be able to fine tune the sound so I get the most from it personally. I am not in a music studio and don`t need the sound to be accurate towards live sound. I don`t mind how much the graphic eq or amplifier I buy flatters the sound I just like it to be adjustable to my needs. Some comments about my low budget are very good but I am looking to get started I could spend alot more if I wanted but don`t want to rush into things and love the look of the older hi fi seperates.
 

Chazz83

Novice Member
To be honest most DAB stations sound so awful any old amplifier would do. DAB sounds awful even in my car system which is nothing special. I have to use FM.
Ok I changed a car radio from a fm unit to a dab unit and the difference when dab reception was good it sounded as good as a cd this was 12 years ago admittedly. Fm radio for me never sounded as good as a cd with the colourful sound. It`s hard to explain it was just better in my personal experience. There were downsides when a great song was played sounding great and I was enjoying it and dab signal was patchy it ruined the whole experience.
 

Chazz83

Novice Member
I have my suspicions about this thread but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt...

Most DAB radio stations broadcast poor quality transmissions. Perhaps you've tracked down the few high-ish quality stations and listen mainly to them? Even so, feeding the DAB into your system via a headphone output from an Hitachi mini system is likely to further degrade the signal.

Unless you're listening to high quality broadcasts, money spent of half-decent hifi gear is wasted. And the use of a graphic EQ, in this instance, can only modify a poor quality signal, not improve it. A bad signal is a bad signal and no amount of fiddling with EQ will turn it into good audio. If you really want hifi quality audio, then re-consider your source and your system building strategy. CD will, in general, give better quality sound.

I think you are heading down a cul de sac with this piecemeal approach to system building and it's unlikely to end in good quality audio. Do reconsider. Be clear in your mind what you're trying to achieve before mapping out your route to get there. Honestly, the Mission/Denon speakers are probably the only part of your system that I would think are worth keeping when building a 2-channel hifi system. My suggestion would be to sell everything except speakers, add whatever money you get to the current £200 budget then purchase a quality modern mini system, like this:



... to use with your Mission/Denon speakers. And only then, decide if you still want a graphic EQ. I wish you luck.
I have that very system and it`s great bought it from what hifi recommendation for holiday home. But I am not looking to have a great out of the box system I am looking to build a separates hi fi using old technology mixed with dab so I can get the sound quality and adjust the sound to my personal likes. But thanks for that link the sound is very good for that price point. I can spend more than £200 But I don`t want to it`s more of a journey rather than just get amazing sound for £4k or more. That would be my maximum budget for a system and I would not enjoy the whole journey as much.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Now I understand your aim.

I changed a car radio from a fm unit to a dab unit and the difference when dab reception was good it sounded as good as a cd this was 12 years ago admittedly.
Times have changed. I'm no expert on this topic but as I understand it, DAB radio has become very crowded over the years as more stations have been shoe-horned into a limited bandwidth range. DAB radio stations now have less bandwidth (on average) than they did many years ago. Basically, DAB audio quality has been so compromised that it's now, generally, considered unsuitable as a hifi source - note that there may be a few stations that are an exception. And you certainly won't get that 3D sound you're after using DAB as a source, generally speaking.

Many folk now consider Internet radio as a superior alternative to DAB. I use both DAB and Internet radio and I would agree that Internet radio is, generally, better quality audio (although many, maybe most, Internet radio music stations still don't broadcast high quality sound):


However, what I say is irrelevant if you're happy to have DAB as your main source of music.

If you're considering 1980-90 amps, you won't go far wrong with an amp from Denon (their PMA range), Rotel, NAD (3020i), Pioneer (A400), Mission (Cyrus one), Audiolab (8000A) or Sony. The older the amp though, the more likely you are to suffer age-related issues with it - that's the 'retro' price you pay. Amps from around 2000-10 would, in general, have more life left in them. Marantz PM66SE or PM66KI or PM5003 or PM5004 , Rotel RA-04 & RA-04SE, Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 and 350A SE, Yamaha AS-500, Technics SU-A600 Mk2, NAD C326BEE. Most of these were popular amps so still appear regularly on UK Ebay and other second hand sellers' websites.
 

Chazz83

Novice Member
Now I understand your aim.



Times have changed. I'm no expert on this topic but as I understand it, DAB radio has become very crowded over the years as more stations have been shoe-horned into a limited bandwidth range. DAB radio stations now have less bandwidth (on average) than they did many years ago. Basically, DAB audio quality has been so compromised that it's now, generally, considered unsuitable as a hifi source - note that there may be a few stations that are an exception. And you certainly won't get that 3D sound you're after using DAB as a source, generally speaking.

Many folk now consider Internet radio as a superior alternative to DAB. I use both DAB and Internet radio and I would agree that Internet radio is, generally, better quality audio (although many, maybe most, Internet radio music stations still don't broadcast high quality sound):


However, what I say is irrelevant if you're happy to have DAB as your main source of music.

If you're considering 1980-90 amps, you won't go far wrong with an amp from Denon (their PMA range), Rotel, NAD (3020i), Pioneer (A400), Mission (Cyrus one), Audiolab (8000A) or Sony. The older the amp though, the more likely you are to suffer age-related issues with it - that's the 'retro' price you pay. Amps from around 2000-10 would, in general, have more life left in them. Marantz PM66SE or PM66KI or PM5003 or PM5004 , Rotel RA-04 & RA-04SE, Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 and 350A SE, Yamaha AS-500, Technics SU-A600 Mk2, NAD C326BEE. Most of these were popular amps so still appear regularly on UK Ebay and other second hand sellers' websites.
Thankyou for your reply Rotel amp is what I would like I had some rotel speakers and they sounded amazing think they were from the 1990s
 

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