Suggestions for a new hi-fi

sbarbs

Novice Member
Hello, my uncle has decided to get rid of his old hi-fi that is more than 30 years old and doesn't work properly anymore, and asked me for recommendations.
Nothing apart from the speakers can be salvaged, as it's an all-in-one (radio, tape decks, turntable on top) and the separate CD player is not working properly anymore.
He's got a nice record and cd collection, connectivity and streaming are not important, probably just bluetooth (streaming from the phone or to the headphones).
Not sure about the type of speakers yet, he's trying to find out more details (he's not so young, so this may take some time...)
The room is approximately square, around 18 square meters.
He'd be happy to stay below £800 if possible, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't got the patience or confidence to look for secon hand items, unfortunately.

I thought two routes:
Route 1
Amp + cd player + turntable

Combinations:
Yamaha AS201 / Rega IO / Cambridge AXR85 / Yamaha RN602 / Denon PMA-600NE / Marantz NR1200 / Marantz PM6007
+
Cambridge AXC35 or AXC25
+
Rega Planar 1 / Pro-Ject Primary E

Route 2
Mini hi-fi with cd + turntable with preamp

Combinations:
Yamaha CRX-N470D / Marantz MCR412 / Denon DM41 / Denon CEOL N11DAB / Marantz MCR612
+
Pro-Ject Primary E Phono / Audio Technica AT-LP120 / Denon DP-300F / Audio Technica AT-LP3

Would be great to hear your opinions about which would be a good combination and why.
Sorry for the long post :)
 

muljao

Well-known Member
This probably sounds negative but chances are the speakers are very old and if supplied with an all in one might not get the best from anything you buy.

I'd be looking at a full setup
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Something like this and add a turntable. Bluetooth receivers are cheap on amazon for streaming

Or add a turntable and yamaha wxad10 and you still be within budget

Just an example
 

sbarbs

Novice Member
This probably sounds negative but chances are the speakers are very old and if supplied with an all in one might not get the best from anything you buy.

I'd be looking at a full setup
You're right, the speakers might be too old to be on par with the newer components.
So with "full setup" you mean something like the Yamaha N570D?
I have the RN602 with MA Bronze 2 and I l'm very happy with them, I may suggest him the same solution
 

sbarbs

Novice Member
Something like this and add a turntable. Bluetooth receivers are cheap on amazon for streaming

Or add a turntable and yamaha wxad10 and you still be within budget

Just an example
This is a brilliant solution I didn't consider - thank you!
You reckon having a separate preamp like the WXAD+turntable is money better spent than having, for instance, a Primary E Phono?
 

Hoku

Active Member
If you want to add Bluetooth to a conventional analogue amp, the iFi Zen Blue DAC is well reviewed and a very reasonable price.

In my experience, outright sound quality from a separates amp will be a fair bit better than an all in one. (I’m not referring here to the very high quality all-in-ones available at the £2k mark, but more at the budget end). The Marantz MCR series of old was well liked by many, but its amp was pretty weedy IMO and didn’t control the speakers any where near as well as my old Cambridge amp that was a similar price.

Admittedly the Marantz all-in-one had more features (CD, Tuner, Spotify etc), so its horses for courses. But when you need several component, it best to maximise the budget on the components that are important to you, rather than spending money on features you may not use.

Just be a bit careful when looking at CD players. I know some of the Cambridge CD players are just transports, so wouldn’t work unless the amp has its own DAC. Of course if your shortlisted amp does have a DAC, then this is a good thing as you’re not doubling up on components.

If you were looking at maximising the budget, there may still be some good deals around of the previous generation MA Bronze speakers, as the latest models have hit the dealers now.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
This is a brilliant solution I didn't consider - thank you!
You reckon having a separate preamp like the WXAD+turntable is money better spent than having, for instance, a Primary E Phono?
No. The wxad is a bluetooth option that also does streaming of many types so it gives you lots of options. You would still require a turntable with a built in phono stage
 

sbarbs

Novice Member
If you want to add Bluetooth to a conventional analogue amp, the iFi Zen Blue DAC is well reviewed and a very reasonable price.

In my experience, outright sound quality from a separates amp will be a fair bit better than an all in one. (I’m not referring here to the very high quality all-in-ones available at the £2k mark, but more at the budget end). The Marantz MCR series of old was well liked by many, but its amp was pretty weedy IMO and didn’t control the speakers any where near as well as my old Cambridge amp that was a similar price.

Admittedly the Marantz all-in-one had more features (CD, Tuner, Spotify etc), so its horses for courses. But when you need several component, it best to maximise the budget on the components that are important to you, rather than spending money on features you may not use.

Just be a bit careful when looking at CD players. I know some of the Cambridge CD players are just transports, so wouldn’t work unless the amp has its own DAC. Of course if your shortlisted amp does have a DAC, then this is a good thing as you’re not doubling up on components.

If you were looking at maximising the budget, there may still be some good deals around of the previous generation MA Bronze speakers, as the latest models have hit the dealers now.
All very good points, thanks, I think it will be better to focus on what the system is meant to be used for. And I didn't think of the risk of doubling up on the DAC, I may need to re-watch the shortlist and keep that in mind in case I spot a bargain.
 

sbarbs

Novice Member
No. The wxad is a bluetooth option that also does streaming of many types so it gives you lots of options. You would still require a turntable with a built in phono stage
Sorry, my bad, I was in a rush and didn't read the description. It's still a very good option in case he wants to get more connectivity in the future
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Sorry, my bad, I was in a rush and didn't read the description. It's still a very good option in case he wants to get more connectivity in the future
You mentioned bluetooth, it also has that, but really you could buy a bluetooth receiver later and for a lot less money if other wifi streaming wasn't a priority
 

gava

Active Member
Another option:

Sony PSLX310BT turntable (or similar). (£200) Supports Bluetooth and wired (RCA) connection.

Then add the best set of active speakers you can afford within your budget - ideally one that supports both Bluetooth and wired (RCA) connections. These go from £100 up to many thousands, so look for a nice set. Using active studio monitors can give excellent value for money in sound quality, but generally won't have Bluetooth and are slightly less pretty.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Speakers are Sony, but I don't know anything else yet, I asked him to take a closer look, I can't go to his place to find out unfortunately.

I've heard a couple of three-way Sony speakers from the 80's. Maybe that's the type your uncle has? Anyway, both pairs sounded similar. They had a well-integrated, yet overly warm sound that lacked detail and sparkle - and they had little soundstage.

If your uncles' speakers are anything like those I describe, then modern equivalent speakers may come as a bit of a shock.
 

Paul7777x

Member


This can be powered by the amps usb input too. A bit of blutac will stick it to the corner of the CD player

These to connect it to the amp,

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pair-Van-Damme-Custom-RCA-Phono-Cables-Pro-Audiophile-Silver-Plated-Pure-OFC/233725317344?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item366b1d50e0:g:k-0AAOSwVgtgSR7f&amdata=enc%3AAQAFAAACcBaobrjLl8XobRIiIML1V4Imu%252Fn%252BzU5L90Z278x5ickkai8xCwosGKpC0NWj85e%252FBzW8gZa0iLt0Hly9mumsi%252FzlQXPon3PJ2oFSc7oFbR79XLZEUyb2ioSvAfOB9vT6%252BUxYPxulK76%252BvDPhcRnhvgIwWRsr3MiQvunRVmEfR2WSxP6YPgMu1VGgUZiOABmy5JvQs5m8E%252FW7QPGuvUrEaSOAG3ZDI1P%252FZjGvggYwvhU9IneyIOyCgxasuTwqMlKrEGqOWkZZmINWhUYRpHjXmKuQOZPKbdNCmChmb9Vo06J5IZKQurioPHJMlmI1A2QTVouACCz226ahJlsBBaFOk4%252Fi6ZldbqTR8Pb8Ij85ElzT4mD%252F5Exwu0kOOQ171sy%252BbnexP4bjdxaa6mw1jtFLUgra9PjpxPNAnEv9CZuskdDeiNp6LBkDsIfytznsSv3yJcD3aIciiDBmXwuT0Bebfawfp0dVwWGjAiesmTbeOvrwKKVPwi9CqkmycRvLG1euPzZnIb0m83ZE3NIPbAMcfhH5UXqRMIYwMWsEXPhd2wXdtfFtVclGn8D9qurXTfcIaQeul7DsOjrjRyc7bCWon5KcDnD43y1RRi86vPMt%252BLPxh1mIwOXr4XX6lTS7ETPAArMTKBlDSZ6%252F%252BP9CDLVG%252BiU6M1ZQJHQhYSnSQxZlO58huL8tfhIJ4EE%252Bh3BbGJxX5xy2%252BM9OHA0sfvMAgfK%252FLZcTEH66bM%252BhdmOK1t0siPKMUft%252BAfJO1eHUh%252FCAtmq9sMqJchXMnfC3J57f0sFOOlaCicixQvA8X6i9D%252FrWDPWv%252BBP4XTJRnS1k9vpKJCSmmA%253D%253D%7Ccksum%3A23372531734404d2671633a546708c5711b928b6e311%7Campid%3APL_CLK%7Cclp%3A2334524

25cm will be enough.


£34 for a stereo pair with bananas.

Add all of this to muljaos suggestion and you have a fine hifi within budget that’ll last for many years. And, as a bonus, will sound so much better than the ancient and now deceased thing.

 

sbarbs

Novice Member
Another option:

Sony PSLX310BT turntable (or similar). (£200) Supports Bluetooth and wired (RCA) connection.

Then add the best set of active speakers you can afford within your budget - ideally one that supports both Bluetooth and wired (RCA) connections. These go from £100 up to many thousands, so look for a nice set. Using active studio monitors can give excellent value for money in sound quality, but generally won't have Bluetooth and are slightly less pretty.
This sounds good but the layout would need to be planned a bit more, mostly I'm thinking it would be cumbersome for him to get to switch the speakers on and off for each use (or maybe they now come with remotes? I need to research it), but it's a nice option nonetheless.
 

sbarbs

Novice Member


This can be powered by the amps usb input too. A bit of blutac will stick it to the corner of the CD player

These to connect it to the amp,

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pair-Van-Damme-Custom-RCA-Phono-Cables-Pro-Audiophile-Silver-Plated-Pure-OFC/233725317344?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item366b1d50e0:g:k-0AAOSwVgtgSR7f&amdata=enc%3AAQAFAAACcBaobrjLl8XobRIiIML1V4Imu%252Fn%252BzU5L90Z278x5ickkai8xCwosGKpC0NWj85e%252FBzW8gZa0iLt0Hly9mumsi%252FzlQXPon3PJ2oFSc7oFbR79XLZEUyb2ioSvAfOB9vT6%252BUxYPxulK76%252BvDPhcRnhvgIwWRsr3MiQvunRVmEfR2WSxP6YPgMu1VGgUZiOABmy5JvQs5m8E%252FW7QPGuvUrEaSOAG3ZDI1P%252FZjGvggYwvhU9IneyIOyCgxasuTwqMlKrEGqOWkZZmINWhUYRpHjXmKuQOZPKbdNCmChmb9Vo06J5IZKQurioPHJMlmI1A2QTVouACCz226ahJlsBBaFOk4%252Fi6ZldbqTR8Pb8Ij85ElzT4mD%252F5Exwu0kOOQ171sy%252BbnexP4bjdxaa6mw1jtFLUgra9PjpxPNAnEv9CZuskdDeiNp6LBkDsIfytznsSv3yJcD3aIciiDBmXwuT0Bebfawfp0dVwWGjAiesmTbeOvrwKKVPwi9CqkmycRvLG1euPzZnIb0m83ZE3NIPbAMcfhH5UXqRMIYwMWsEXPhd2wXdtfFtVclGn8D9qurXTfcIaQeul7DsOjrjRyc7bCWon5KcDnD43y1RRi86vPMt%252BLPxh1mIwOXr4XX6lTS7ETPAArMTKBlDSZ6%252F%252BP9CDLVG%252BiU6M1ZQJHQhYSnSQxZlO58huL8tfhIJ4EE%252Bh3BbGJxX5xy2%252BM9OHA0sfvMAgfK%252FLZcTEH66bM%252BhdmOK1t0siPKMUft%252BAfJO1eHUh%252FCAtmq9sMqJchXMnfC3J57f0sFOOlaCicixQvA8X6i9D%252FrWDPWv%252BBP4XTJRnS1k9vpKJCSmmA%253D%253D%7Ccksum%3A23372531734404d2671633a546708c5711b928b6e311%7Campid%3APL_CLK%7Cclp%3A2334524

25cm will be enough.


£34 for a stereo pair with bananas.

Add all of this to muljaos suggestion and you have a fine hifi within budget that’ll last for many years. And, as a bonus, will sound so much better than the ancient and now deceased thing.

Yep, this is what it's shaping up to be - thanks for the suggestions! For some reasons I end up missing some items in my shortlist, like this logitech you mention, as they're not in the usual retailers catalog, so this is much appreciated.
 

sbarbs

Novice Member
Looks like the speakers are some Sony SS-A20 (6 ohm, 35W), with bare wiring, and he's inclined to get the Maranz CR412 and the Audio Technica LP5X.
I think the turntable is a bit overkill for this type of setup, what do you folks think?
 

Paul7777x

Member
Looks like the speakers are some Sony SS-A20 (6 ohm, 35W), with bare wiring, and he's inclined to get the Maranz CR412 and the Audio Technica LP5X.
I think the turntable is a bit overkill for this type of setup, what do you folks think?

Without wishing to be be rather rude, I’d suggest that anything is overkill for those speakers.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
A few sellers bundle the MCR412 with half-decent speakers for a competitive price. Shame not to take advantage.

I think the turntable (Audio Technica LP5X) is a bit overkill for this type of setup, what do you folks think?

Cheaper turntables are a false economy, IME. I don't consider most turntable/arm/cartridge combinations to be the last word in fidelity. That's especially true at the budget end of the market. Some higher end turntables can sound really good - though still only matching the audio accuracy of digital sources costing far less - IMO.

It seems to me that whenever mechanical engineering is involved, it pays to spend - and I speak as a cheapskate who always seeks out a bargain and begrudges spending big on music playback systems.

Is your uncle OK with manual TTs? Audio Technica also make half-decent automatic ones too. For a fully manual TT at the same price point, I'd be more tempted by the Rega Planar One Plus.

Caveat: I'm assuming your uncle will realise that his Sony speakers are letting the side down and relent and buy some halfway decent ones.

One point about the MCR412 USB input. I'm unsure that the USB output from the AT-LP5X will be compatible with the Marantz's USB input. If your uncle intends to plug the TT into the Marantz USB input, best check manuals or maybe someone reading this has tried it?
 

plymman

Active Member
Maybe look second hand? I got my setup between gumtree, Facebook marketplace and eBay and am really pleased with how it sounds. All second hand but all looks pretty much brand new.

Rega P1 £150
Marantz PM5004 £90
Q Acoustic 3020 £60 or £80 I can't remember which.

So around £300 in total and it sounds fantastic. The Rega P1 just can't be beat for the money, it's an out of the box solution, not really one for upgrades but I've tried several others (Project etc..) and the P1 is just outright amazing for its price.

Marantz are always great amps and the Q Acoustic speakers punch well above their weight. The 3020i are about £250 new but the older 3020 can be had new for around £100, again, just amazing sound at that price point.

I love my system and deliberately tried to get most bang for buck out of it. In time if I upgrade it, it'll probably only be for a P3 and a Marantz PM6006.
 

plymman

Active Member
Maybe look second hand? I got my setup between gumtree, Facebook marketplace and eBay and am really pleased with how it sounds. All second hand but all looks pretty much brand new.

Rega P1 £150
Marantz PM5004 £90
Q Acoustic 3020 £60 or £80 I can't remember which.

So around £300 in total and it sounds fantastic. The Rega P1 just can't be beat for the money, it's an out of the box solution, not really one for upgrades but I've tried several others (Project etc..) and the P1 is just outright amazing for its price.

Marantz are always great amps and the Q Acoustic speakers punch well above their weight. The 3020i are about £250 new but the older 3020 can be had new for around £100, again, just amazing sound at that price point.

I love my system and deliberately tried to get most bang for buck out of it. In time if I upgrade it, it'll probably only be for a P3 and a Marantz PM6006.
I should add that I didn't bother with bluetooth, I just have a decent quality 3.5 cable plugged in that I use for my ipod or phone if I want to stream Spotify or Tidal. I don't do a lot of streaming so what I have is perfectly good enough for when I do.

I ditched my CD player completely as I already had a decent record collection (400ish) that dwarfed my CD collection. As I can stream high quality digital music I didn't really see the need for one so my CD's are ripped to my ipod at 320kbps and they're boxed up alone and dusty in the loft.
 

sbarbs

Novice Member
I'll bring these last suggestions to his attention, maybe even take a look at what's available on the second hand market, let's see if I can tempt him a bit...
 

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