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$1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

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  • $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

    Let's say your friend says "I have $1000 for a music system, what should I get?"

    *primary focus is 2-channel
    *assuming no skills/abilities to DIY
    *assuming they have a CD or DVD player as a source already, but no speakers, amp, whatever

    What would you recommend? Interested to hear. I don't know a lot about commercial offerings that are a good value.
    -Dan
    Mandolin Curved Cabinet Floorstanding; Dayton Reference 18" sealed Subwoofer; Sealed 12" Dayton Reference Subwoofer ; Overnight Sensation builds

  • #2
    Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

    Originally posted by djkest View Post
    Let's say your friend says "I have $1000 for a music system, what should I get?"

    *primary focus is 2-channel
    *assuming no skills/abilities to DIY
    *assuming they have a CD or DVD player as a source already, but no speakers, amp, whatever

    What would you recommend? Interested to hear. I don't know a lot about commercial offerings that are a good value.
    Targeting retail products, then I would explore self-powered studio monitors. KRK Rokit series I feel is a safe solution. I extensively analyzed the previous generation KRK Rokit 5" 2 way. $300/pair and it has a very nice, relatively low resonance cabinet, good drivers and a response that was fairly neutral and a smooth symmetrical off axis behavior. Now, I would refer the 5" version for near-field use. But the 6.5" version(used on ebay - or the current gen if you need new) combined with good quality subwoofers would make for an excellent budget-oriented system for mid-field or far-field hi-fi use. I always urge twin subs (one placed near each monitor) as this almost always results in seamless(when configured properly) transition from subs to speakers as compared to a single sub. A Behringer CX2310 active xover would be perfect, as it handles the high pass and low pass to each respective speaker; the xover's balanced XLR outputs are perfect to use on the active monitors that have XLR inputs available. This removes risk of spurious noise/hum in a long line level cable run to feed the active speakers.

    You should seriously consider at least some acoustics control items to go along with the new system. DIY is very easy, or you can buy pre-made ones (at significant cost increase).

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    • #3
      Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

      I trust the opinion of the guy over at The Wire Cutter a fair amount. Here's a receiver he recommends, it's not two channel but the price is respectable, they'll probably be happy with it and if they want more later they can probably go that route.

      http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/onk...best-receiver/

      The problem is it seems like most dedicated two channel stuff is either botique (expensive) or very very entry level (maybe not so great) Unless you get like a Behringer A500 and cheap but nice preamp on ebay or something. Either way that leaves a good $700 left for speakers, which where spending the most money will pay the best dividends.

      But as to what retail speakers to buy, I have no idea. But Amazon.com has a pretty decent selection of Polk floor standers that most average people would probably be pretty happy to own.

      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_1_1_a...055&sr=8-1-acs

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      • #4
        Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

        This although it doesn't leave much for speakers. http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2150.html

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        • #5
          Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

          Hard to say. They should try and listen, but these guys are on sale. http://www.musicdirect.com/p-4917-fo...eakers-pr.aspx

          Doesn't leave much room for power, but the Behringer A500 should be able to drive them. Later he could get a good used HT AVR with pre-outs as a pre-amp, if he wants. Add a sub later....

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

            I don't know a lot about commercial offerings that are a good value.
            Well I've some experience in that area. A classic value combination would be the Yamaha R-S500 stereo receiver and the Polk RTi-A3 bookshelf speakers, that is 750$ at Crutchfield, and then you could sink 250 into a subwoofer if you need a boost in the low end easy. I'm not up with subs though, since I've always DIY'd those myself. I think for commercial this is a solid value combination. Its not boutique audio by any standard, but solid stuff.
            Audio: Media PC -> Sabre ESS 9023 DAC -> Behringer EP2500 -> (insert speakers of the moment)
            Sites: Jupiter Audioworks - Flicker Stream - Proud Member of Midwest Audio Club

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            • #7
              Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

              Is used an option. If so an older high end Yammy or Denon receiver. If not the Behringer A500 for ~$230 (if the source has volume control).

              This leaves $700 for speakers.

              He could go with a kit that includes cabinet. All one needs is a screw driver. I would do Infinity or Pioneer over Polk.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

                I wouldn't buy an A500- I heard one and it had some pretty bad or high noise floor.
                Not sure if it's still valid, but Magnepan had a deal for 5 wall-panels for $1000 awhile back.

                Personally, I feel a solid Pioneer receiver would likely get a lot of bang/buck, VSX523-k goes for just less than $250.
                So- you have $750 left.
                From Crutchfield, a Polk TSi200 would cost you $640. I can't stand the DQ25, so I'll advise not getting the PSB models that still fit the budget.
                From Newegg, a DT StudioMonitor 450 runs ~$520, which seems like a good deal.

                Others? I dunno,
                Wolf
                "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                *InDIYana event website*

                Photobucket pages:
                https://app.photobucket.com/u/wolf_teeth_speaker

                My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

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                • #9
                  Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

                  The A500 had a line noise if the volume was not turned all the way up. The problem was suppose to have been fixed, but I don't really know if it was or not. The reported problem was why I avoided it and went with Crown, but it has so many good reviews, I don't know how wide spread the problem is or isn't.

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                  • #10
                    Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

                    Wolf that shouldn't be the case with current A500's. Early units had a wonky volume pot that would introduce significant distortion as you adjusted the volume knob through the 3/4's position.

                    It's an ok amp for the budget restricted that want to go the separates route. I have an A500 as a bench amp and it's quiet.

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                    • #11
                      Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

                      Assuming that the room is not too large (< 3000 cu. ft.), only new equipment is being considered and easy operation is desired the following are recommended:

                      - Hsu Research Value 2 - 2.1 Package in Satin Black (HB-1 Mk. II satellite speakers and SFT-2 subwoofer)
                      - Onkyo TX-NR313 Receiver

                      There is some left over for a set of 12-16" speaker stands and cabling to connect the speakers, subwoofer and source components. If the budget can stretch a bit choosing a Hsu speaker package with a better subwoofer is an even better choice. Superb sound for very little expense.

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                      • #12
                        Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

                        +1 for is used an option? I don't remember exact model #s but this is what I could find recently(without trying very hard): Older Nad preamp, recently tuned up and cleaned: $120. Carver C-1 (I think) preamp, super clean:$150. Carver "Magnetic Field" amps in the 100-300 wpc range in good shape can be found for $100-250. I have a pair of Paradigm Monitor 5 that I'm not in love with, but some people think they're nice that I got for $250 in perfect condition. Someday I hope to get $250 back out of them when I build my own....(Crickets).... Hafler Amps are cheap and built to be worked on, modified, and maintained so there are always those around. I have a DH(?)120 and 240 that I really like and they cost me $300 total just tuned up. I'd skip the reciever unless your friend still listens to much broadcast radio. There is all kinds of simple, solid, old school gear around. I think in that price range it's the way to go.

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                        • #13
                          Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

                          I have had KRKs 1st gen V4s and RoKit 5s: The RoKits are truly a good deal.
                          Also I've have had a set of Mackie HR824s: Pretty clean sounding through the range but the bottom octaves (Down to 34Hz?) are amazing. It's got an active servo enabled woofer and a passive radiator behind the amp.

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                          • #14
                            Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

                            With these white Boston A360's selling for half off retail pricing it makes for an easy choice IMO

                            http://www.accessories4less.com//mak...specifications

                            The HK 3490 would also be an easy choice, with all the features and power one could want for a 2 channel setup.

                            http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-.../dp/B00198F89A
                            http://jaysspeakerpage.weebly.com/

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                            • #15
                              Re: $1000 for a 2-channel system, what would you buy?

                              to be honest if it was my money I would try craigslist first. Let the initial buyer pay ful price and you can buy it from him for 1/4 the price. You can get into high end equipment this way cheap.

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