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stylin74

Newbie setup under $7.5k

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Posted (edited)

Hi All,

 

Looking at getting a setup to listen to my old viynl from the 80's onwards. I have around $7.5k to spend and tend to choose things on looks ūüė¨. Looking at getting an Amp, TT and Bookshelf speakers.

I have a rough idea what I want but really have no idea about the individual components if they go together, etc so looking for some feedback please.

I am currently using an old Yamaha 7.1 receiver with the floor speakers and sub to match with a old Pioneer PL-120 TT so anything is going to be better.

 

Amp I was thinking of the new Yamaha A-S1200. Mainly because I like the VU meters, secondly have had numerous Yamaha components over the years with the home theatre.

Speakers I am leaning towards Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 bookshelves.

TT is where I am getting stuck not sure whether to go old school or new school, growing up always wanted a Technic's 1200 or even source an old Yamaha GT out of Japan. Or go new modern with a Rega P3 or a Thorens TD 240-2 or TD 402 DD.

 

Would love some comments and any suggestions.

 

Edited by stylin74
error in info

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Music genre has a bit to do with it - anything acoustic, and '60s/70s rock sounds better with more accurate, balanced amps and speakers than Yamaha and B&W. 

 

But seeing as your collection is '80s and beyond perhaps this isn't as important.

 

Regardless, I'd strongly recommend a Graham Slee phono stage.

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Thanks was_a for your comments. Yes Music Genre is 80's onwards not so much rock a little Van Halen, Midnight Oil but a mix of modern including electronicia.

 

This stuff is so overwhelming so just don't where to start was going to that retro look.

 

Any other suggestions for speakers

 

Thanks for the tip on the Graham Slee phono stage.

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That new Yamaha A-S1200 looks really cool. In my opinion one of the best looking amp out there.

When it comes to look of B&W speakers I like the new B&W 705 Signature

BTW Yamaha has TT as well. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Disregard post

Edited by 2Brix
wrong post

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Welcome to the hobby. It's great! 

 

Exciting times ahead for you so, in turn, I'll pitch in with my 2c.

 

Unless this is your entry point into this and you're planning to spend a lot more money later then my advice would be this:

- Listen to as many different speakers as you can within your budget. Given the genre of music that you like, unless your room is very small, a bigger speaker would be better than a standmount. Alternatively you could go small mains + sub but from my experience it's better to spend the money on a bigger speaker. I listen to a lot of 80s - you need bass!

For me, different speakers will affect the type of sound you get much more than say a DAC/Amp/TT etc. They matter too of course but it doesn't make sense to get a speaker that you don't like and then try to change the sound using electronics. Spend a bit more time on this and you will be rewarded later - B&W has indeed made (and makes) some good speakers but a badge is hardly a guarantee that you will like them. Try to see beyond the name and press reviews. Trust your ears and nothing else. Each of us is different and likes different things.

- Once you have your chosen speakers I'd then start looking at all the other stuff. Given your budget I'd strongly consider used gear as you'll get much more bang for your buck. A good integrated amp would probably be the way to go (e.g. a used Luxman or the Accuphase 406 that's currently being advertised vs the Yamaha - used buy gets you a different league). The former of these comes with a phono stage as well so you won't need an external one.

- As for the TT, I'd say something from Rega or Pro-ject easy to set up and get going. Thorens are lovely, just harder to set up. The other way to go would be a Technics (like you mentioned) in good condition but they're becoming increasingly hard to find in good condition and the good ones tend to be expensive.

 

In summary: You are spending a good amount of cash on a 2 channel system. I get you're keen on VU meters and brands you trust but in my opinion if you think a bit outside the box there's the potential there for a much better system.


Good luck.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Checkout the tagged speaker audition short list on that forum page for ideas in the price range 

 

 

Edited by Al.M

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Source first, always. Get some advice from the turntable experts on SNA regarding cartridge choice and record players. Direct-drive might suit your music, although the latest belt-driven models are pretty dynamic.

 

Then look for second-hand bookshelf speakers and suitable amp to drive them i.e. the amp should have enough current and headroom to control the drivers. 

 

Suggestion for amp and speakers: NAD M3 with Epos Epic 2 

Phono stage: Graham Slee Era V 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, was_a said:

Source first, always. Get some advice from the turntable experts on SNA regarding cartridge choice and record players. Direct-drive might suit your music, although the latest belt-driven models are pretty dynamic.

 

Then look for second-hand bookshelf speakers and suitable amp to drive them i.e. the amp should have enough current and headroom to control the drivers. 

 

Suggestion for amp and speakers: NAD M3 with Epos Epic 2 

Phono stage: Graham Slee Era V 

 

 

 

Totally disagree.  I always recommend going speakers first, noting that the speaker - room interface will have by far the biggest influence on sound quality.  Once you have speakers sorted, then work out what amplifier topology, sound signature, and power is required and purchase something that syncs well with your chosen speakers for your ears.  With speakers and amp sorted then consider source and interconnects, but honestly in this day and age you can easily turn an existing laptop into an audiophile source with a decent USB DAC.

 

I never understand folks that suggest starting with source; this just doesn;t make sense to me at all!

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10 hours ago, Stedes said:

Welcome to the hobby. It's great! 

 

Exciting times ahead for you so, in turn, I'll pitch in with my 2c.

 

Unless this is your entry point into this and you're planning to spend a lot more money later then my advice would be this:

- Listen to as many different speakers as you can within your budget. Given the genre of music that you like, unless your room is very small, a bigger speaker would be better than a standmount. Alternatively you could go small mains + sub but from my experience it's better to spend the money on a bigger speaker. I listen to a lot of 80s - you need bass!

For me, different speakers will affect the type of sound you get much more than say a DAC/Amp/TT etc. They matter too of course but it doesn't make sense to get a speaker that you don't like and then try to change the sound using electronics. Spend a bit more time on this and you will be rewarded later - B&W has indeed made (and makes) some good speakers but a badge is hardly a guarantee that you will like them. Try to see beyond the name and press reviews. Trust your ears and nothing else. Each of us is different and likes different things.

- Once you have your chosen speakers I'd then start looking at all the other stuff. Given your budget I'd strongly consider used gear as you'll get much more bang for your buck. A good integrated amp would probably be the way to go (e.g. a used Luxman or the Accuphase 406 that's currently being advertised vs the Yamaha - used buy gets you a different league). The former of these comes with a phono stage as well so you won't need an external one.

- As for the TT, I'd say something from Rega or Pro-ject easy to set up and get going. Thorens are lovely, just harder to set up. The other way to go would be a Technics (like you mentioned) in good condition but they're becoming increasingly hard to find in good condition and the good ones tend to be expensive.

 

In summary: You are spending a good amount of cash on a 2 channel system. I get you're keen on VU meters and brands you trust but in my opinion if you think a bit outside the box there's the potential there for a much better system.


Good luck.

 

 

Thanks for your advice, I was planning on starting with speakers first. The hard thing is we are in lock down in Melbourne so who knows how long before I can venture into the city to listen to some. I was also planning on having a sub. But will get out on about when I can to listen to different speakers it may lead to bigger in the end.

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7 hours ago, Al.M said:

Checkout the tagged speaker audition short list on that forum page for ideas in the price range 

 

 

Thanks dude

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13 hours ago, stylin74 said:

Thanks was_a for your comments. Yes Music Genre is 80's onwards not so much rock a little Van Halen, Midnight Oil but a mix of modern including electronicia.

 

This stuff is so overwhelming so just don't where to start was going to that retro look.

 

Any other suggestions for speakers

 

Thanks for the tip on the Graham Slee phono stage.

Having seen that Van Halen is on your listening list here I sincerely wish you all the very best in getting your new system 'spot on'.
I do however revoke this though, should it cross over into the VanHager era. 
 

 

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23 minutes ago, stylin74 said:

Thanks for your advice, I was planning on starting with speakers first. The hard thing is we are in lock down in Melbourne so who knows how long before I can venture into the city to listen to some. I was also planning on having a sub. But will get out on about when I can to listen to different speakers it may lead to bigger in the end.

Yes, impossible to go out and audition speakers in Melbourne. And it may be much more than 3 weeks away...¬†ūüėʬ†

 

:welcome: to the forum.

 

One option during this COVID-19 times is to try various used components from the Classifieds (you will soon have access with more posts). For example, get an integrated amp to replace your AVR. 

 

What you need to do is to educate your ears on a wider range of brands and gear. That way, you can pick gear based on looks and what you hear.  And, if the sound does not match your taste, you can resell used gear with minimal or small loss.

 

Take your time, enjoy the journey.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, POV said:

Totally disagree.  I always recommend going speakers first, noting that the speaker - room interface will have by far the biggest influence on sound quality.  Once you have speakers sorted, then work out what amplifier topology, sound signature, and power is required and purchase something that syncs well with your chosen speakers for your ears.  With speakers and amp sorted then consider source and interconnects, but honestly in this day and age you can easily turn an existing laptop into an audiophile source with a decent USB DAC.

 

I never understand folks that suggest starting with source; this just doesn;t make sense to me at all!

And I totally disagree with you.

 

Start with the source and make that the investment priority. The signal going into the amp and speakers is the first thing you need to get right. Sound quality of speaker and room, although also important, depends on it. Tweaking amp, speakers and acoustics downstream of an average source is a waste of time - often an expensive one! 

 

Certainly, espousing a laptop into a USB DAC is folly. This is of course irrelevant to the OP, but let me say that surely most people in this hobby know that good digital sound depends heavily on the transport - be it a disc spinner, network streamer, or audio PC.

 

I'm responding to your misguided advice, POV, because a relative beginner asking questions on SNA deserves better.

 

 

Edited by was_a

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Posted (edited)

It’s certainly not misguided to advise people to focus their attention on speakers and room as their priority. There is no question that this will have by far the biggest impact on ultimate sound quality.


 I would however classify advising someone to focus their spending on a source, then hobble together an amp and speakers from second hand market whilst arguing that digital transports are important to be in the highly unusual category, and a fringe type view.

 

To the OP, I strongly recommend doing your homework on this.  I don’t always agree with Steve Guttenberg but he has been doing this stuff for a very long time and I think he nails this one:

 

 

Edited by POV
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TT wise, you like the looks of a Technics SL-1200, then have a look at the new Technics SL-1500C. Available in Black or White.

 

SL-1500C
 

Mr Relish

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$7.5k is a big budget... so many options. 
 

My work system, which gets extensive use, is Adam Tensor Deltas (active) fed by a Mytek Brooklyn DAC (which does duty as DAC, preamp and phono stage). I run it from a Sonore Sonicorboter which functions as a Roon endpoint. For vinyl, I use a Technics SL-10. There are (much) better sounding turntables, but it looks cool and is idiot proof so I don’t mind anyone in the office using it. 
 

That’s just one example of a system you could assemble for comfortably under $7.5k. 
 

It sounds like you’ve got a good idea of what you want speaker wise. There are no rights or wrongs but, personally, I would also start by trying to find speakers that are voiced to your liking, likely spend about 1/2 to 2/3 of my budget on speakers and infill from there. There are many, many high quality choices in your price range. If you can, I would absolutely try and hear some active speakers that fit within your budget. 

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$7500 is indeed a lot of money, so I think the best advice that has been posted so far comes from @Snoopy8, and that is: Take Your Time.

You say that you are leaning towards a Yamaha A-S1200 and some B&W 707 S2 speakers, so I think it would be worthwhile to have a look at a few of the hifi shops in Melbourne ( I think that's where you said you come from) that sell both these brands and have a listen. While there, ask what else they have at a similar price, and see if you can have a quick comparison, making sure that you like the looks of any of the things suggested by the staff. I think aesthetics play a role in any choice you make, and you've said it's important to you. As to which shops in Melbourne could help you out in this fashion, and indeed when you'll be able to venture out again, I'll leave that to the local members to say, coz I'm a bit far away to know.

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It is also worth considering whether you are buying new or used. Going used can mean your money could go twice as far at least if you are doing it right. 

 

I'm listening to a rig with a total $RRP of around $10k and paid actually $6k. I'm happy with both the quality and the value.  Honestly, the only thing worth buying new are speakers, and vendors are so competitive that your desired item will surface at a price you are prepared to pay. 

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Having a look around doesn't hurt, though. Can be fun, too!

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26 minutes ago, The Rock Puppy said:

As to which shops in Melbourne could help you out in this fashion, and indeed when you'll be able to venture out again, I'll leave that to the local members to say, coz I'm a bit far away to know.

We are lucky in Melbourne to be well served by many good Hifi retailers like Tivoli, Klapp, Selby, Clef, Audio Trends, Sight & Sound Galeria, Stereophonic, Audio Connection, Carlton Audio, Melbourne, HeyNow, to name a few. Problem is the COVID-19 lockdown which is likely to get worse...¬†:cry:¬†ūüėʬ†

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22 hours ago, POV said:

It’s certainly not misguided to advise people to focus their attention on speakers and room as their priority. There is no question that this will have by far the biggest impact on ultimate sound quality.


 I would however classify advising someone to focus their spending on a source, then hobble together an amp and speakers from second hand market whilst arguing that digital transports are important to be in the highly unusual category, and a fringe type view.

 

To the OP, I strongly recommend doing your homework on this.  I don’t always agree with Steve Guttenberg but he has been doing this stuff for a very long time and I think he nails this one:

I agree with POV here, so count me as a "me too" with respect to prioritising speakers and room. Speakers are ultimately the character of your system. Source can't override them.

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On 31/07/2020 at 7:41 AM, POV said:

I never understand folks that suggest starting with source; this just doesn;t make sense to me at all!

I totally agree.  If you have ordinary speakers how will you be able to tell whether the source is any good or is what you want?  To me it is fundamental to start with the speakers first and then over time fill in the beginning and the middle.  I started with very good speakers which to me was a crazy and sheer indulgence cost wise approximately 10 years ago.   It took 10 years before the quality of the components, as I built the system, exceeded the quality of the speakers.  I am now into my sixth variation of amplification.   It was only recently when I reached the point where I needed to upgrade to new  speakers to be able to appreciate fully the quality of rest of the system. 

 

John

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You like meters and retro looking? Find yourself a used Macintosh pre, and mate it to a pair of Kef powered speakers. The Kefs look ultra modern, if you can put up with that, you have amps and speakers sorted that will cost many $k extra to gain a meaningful upgrade. This should still leave you a couple of grand to get a nice used table. If you like the sound signature of the Kefs, you'll be happy for quite a while.

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12 hours ago, alistairm said:

$7.5k is a big budget... so many options. 
 

My work system, which gets extensive use, is Adam Tensor Deltas (active) fed by a Mytek Brooklyn DAC (which does duty as DAC, preamp and phono stage). I run it from a Sonore Sonicorboter which functions as a Roon endpoint. For vinyl, I use a Technics SL-10. There are (much) better sounding turntables, but it looks cool and is idiot proof so I don’t mind anyone in the office using it. 
 

That’s just one example of a system you could assemble for comfortably under $7.5k. 
 

It sounds like you’ve got a good idea of what you want speaker wise. There are no rights or wrongs but, personally, I would also start by trying to find speakers that are voiced to your liking, likely spend about 1/2 to 2/3 of my budget on speakers and infill from there. There are many, many high quality choices in your price range. If you can, I would absolutely try and hear some active speakers that fit within your budget. 

Thanks, nice to have a setup at work. Yes the Technic SL-10 does look cool.

We are about to be locked down further in Melbourne so plenty of research over these couple of weeks.  thanks for your comments

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