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Stereo nargery requested - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
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Stereo nargery requested
I'm thinking about getting a new stereo. I basically want something that sounds as realistic as possible within my budget. I'm not really sure if I want to fork out anyway, but here's the sort of system I'm thinking about. I like the small size of an all-in-one CD/amp, but I'm a bit worried about the compromise in quality. However, it seems like top of the range all in one systems equate to entry level separate amp systems, and I have an uneasy feeling about buying entry level anything. Add to all of this the fact that I really have no idea how good I *need* it to sound, i.e. at what point I'm crossing the price/performance threshold. All I know is that I'm disappointed with the loud noise and poor audio reproduction of my current Philips all-in-one system (cost about £100 last year). Quality is definitely more important than quantity.

So here are the ideas I have, anyway. I'm looking at buying from Richer Sounds since they seem to offer good value for money.

All in ones:

Denon DM31 or Teac Legacy 600 - both at about £200.


Mordant Short Avant 902 @ £150. I'm told that for my needs (fidelity rather than volume) floor standing speakers are probably overkill - is this so?)


mid range speaker cable (combined) for biwiring.

Or I could go the separates route in which case I have a couple of options

1) get a Cambridge Audio Azur 640A (£250) to use with my existing Panasonic CD player (vintage circa 1992 - cost then £150 or so). This might be somewhat akin to sticking a mini engine inside a sports car - I don't know.

2) get the more modestly priced Azur 340A (£150) and an Azur 340C CD player (also £150)

This would also require an interconnect cable costing about 20 quid and would mean I don't get a radio, although I don't listen to the radio much anyway currently.

Any thoughts anyone. Recommendations for other kit in the same price bracket also very welcome.
4 comments or Leave a comment
From: robinbloke Date: February 16th, 2005 08:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Have a look in Richer Sounds before you buy anything, they invariably have some grey import speakers and amps that are good quality and worth much more than they sell for; I got my speakers from them and they've been very nice indeed.
mobbsy From: mobbsy Date: February 16th, 2005 09:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Bookshelf speakers will probably give better value for money than floorstanders.

I'd go for the seperate good CD player and amp, remember it's the CD player that gives the amp the signal to amplifiy, if the amp gets fed crap all it can do is produce louder crap no matter how good an amp it is.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: February 16th, 2005 10:42 am (UTC) (Link)
The thing is, I usually seem to listen to music from the line in of my MP3 player, it being so much more convenient that digging through albums. Now I know MP3 isn't supposed to be brilliant for home stereo, but I do encode at 256Kbps, which AFAICT is considered serious overkill.
crazyscot From: crazyscot Date: February 16th, 2005 09:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm quite pleased with the separates I bought from Richer in 1997 and are still going strong (the amp has been in for repair once). If I were you I'd see if the demo room in your nearest branch is bookable (the Cam branch often uses theirs as an extra stock room!) and take along a CD or two you know well; if you ask, they'll provide further suggestions within your budget. IIRC, the difference between the handful of sets of speakers they showed me was quite noticeable, between amps a little and between CD players negligible.

Oh, and Richer have a not-stupid extended warranty scheme too, if you're interested in such things; they recently replaced my DVD player, 18 months after purchase, with an apparently better one.
4 comments or Leave a comment