Budget System

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Like so many others, I'm looking to build a good system on the cheap.

Right now, I only have $1000 bucks to spend.

I'm keen on the NAD C320 BEE ($400). Unless somebody knows of a
better deal for the money, I'm sticking with the NAD.

For now, I think I'll stick with my current CD player (Sony). I will
upgrade later.

Now for speakers...
I like the Huark Epilogue ($500). I would prefer to go the bookshelf
route as opposed to floor standing (for reasons of space). I'm a bit
worried that I'll long for more bass. However, at my first test
drive, I thought the Epilogues handled the low end pretty well all
things considered.

Any other suggestions for speakers?

Thanks in advance
11 answers Last reply
More about budget system
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    jftonk@hotmail.com (mt) wrote in message news:<ck57vc02rjl@news2.newsguy.com>...
    > Like so many others, I'm looking to build a good system on the cheap.
    >
    > Right now, I only have $1000 bucks to spend.
    >
    > I'm keen on the NAD C320 BEE ($400). Unless somebody knows of a
    > better deal for the money, I'm sticking with the NAD.

    A good choice.

    I picked up a Pioneer Elite brochure the other day and discovered they
    make an integrated, the A-35R, rated 45w/ch into 8 ohms (65 into 4),
    although they don't list a distortion spec. (Hmmm.) I think it goes
    for only $250, so it might be a great value, but I don't know anything
    more about it.
    >
    > For now, I think I'll stick with my current CD player (Sony). I will
    > upgrade later.

    As good as any.
    >
    > Now for speakers...
    > I like the Huark Epilogue ($500). I would prefer to go the bookshelf
    > route as opposed to floor standing (for reasons of space). I'm a bit
    > worried that I'll long for more bass. However, at my first test
    > drive, I thought the Epilogues handled the low end pretty well all
    > things considered.
    >
    > Any other suggestions for speakers?

    If you're concerned about bass, I'll echo a recommendation made in
    another thread: Try 'em at home. Bass can really differ depending on
    how big a room you're trying to fill. Don't assume you'll get the same
    response at home that you hear in a shop.

    Bookshelf speakers worth a listen in your price range ($400-600)
    include:
    --B&W 601/602
    --Paradigm Monitor 3/5
    --PSB Image 2B

    That's only a beginning, really. There's no best speaker, so it comes
    down to what you like. You're better off choosing among whatever
    brands you have reasonably available to you than trying to track down
    a speaker that somebody tells you is the greatest. If the Huarks sound
    good to you (at home!), then they're a good choice.

    bob
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    On 10/8/04 1:18 AM, in article ck57vc02rjl@news2.newsguy.com, "mt"
    <jftonk@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > Like so many others, I'm looking to build a good system on the cheap.
    >
    > Right now, I only have $1000 bucks to spend.
    >
    > I'm keen on the NAD C320 BEE ($400). Unless somebody knows of a
    > better deal for the money, I'm sticking with the NAD.

    That is an excellent choice - though I think it depends upon what it
    replaces - some people think a better source is a worthy first step, and
    better speakers is a second. But it depends upon where the "weak link"
    might be in your system.

    Still, I don't think you would go wrong with the NAD.

    > For now, I think I'll stick with my current CD player (Sony). I will
    > upgrade later.

    NAD has some really great CD players - the BEE series is really
    sophisticated, when you are in the market for a CD player, it would be a
    good consideration.

    > Now for speakers...
    > I like the Huark Epilogue ($500). I would prefer to go the bookshelf
    > route as opposed to floor standing (for reasons of space). I'm a bit
    > worried that I'll long for more bass. However, at my first test
    > drive, I thought the Epilogues handled the low end pretty well all
    > things considered.

    One quick comment: to get the most out of bookshelf speakers, they really
    need to be mounted on stands - if they are actually placed on a bookshelf,
    in my experience, you aren't going to get the most out of them and in
    extreme cases it would sound pretty nasty. If you are committed to having
    them on stands - you have to buy stands - and it might be cheaper to get a
    floorstander in some cases.

    PSB, Paradigm are both good choices for speakers in the price range you
    mentioned- you also should consider the bookshelf speakers from Quad and JM
    Labs - they are both excellent. You have to be careful with Energy speakers
    - but they have some good, affordable speakers to choose from. For more
    money, you could try Gallo Acoustics speakers with a small Gallo sub - it is
    perfect for tight spaces, though it is more money.

    Have fun!
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    B&D <bromo@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message news:<ck8vsk0leb@news3.newsguy.com>...

    > You have to be careful with Energy speakers
    > - but they have some good, affordable speakers to choose from.

    I almost added the Energy C-3 to my list, but then decided to stick to
    models I'd actually heard. Still, based on measurements alone, I'd say
    it's worth a listen:

    http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/measurements/energy_connoisseur_c3/

    What makes you say "you have to be careful" with Energy?

    bob
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    On 9 Oct 2004 15:25:08 GMT, B&D <bromo@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

    >One quick comment: to get the most out of bookshelf speakers, they really
    >need to be mounted on stands - if they are actually placed on a bookshelf,
    >in my experience, you aren't going to get the most out of them and in
    >extreme cases it would sound pretty nasty.

    If that is the case, they *are* not bookshelf speakers, now, are they?
    :-) I think that is a problem with many speakers, they are not
    designed for a room at all. It should not be that thard to design a
    speaker for bookshelf placement, in fact it is a rather ideal
    placement: a half sphere with a rather dead surrounding.

    On the other hand: if the speakers are designed to be placed on stands
    well away from the wall, they should marketed as such.

    >If you are committed to having
    >them on stands - you have to buy stands - and it might be cheaper to get a
    >floorstander in some cases.

    I agree, if the stands must be there, why not put the volume to good
    use?

    Per.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    mt <jftonk@hotmail.com> wrote:

    I thought that on this group one needed to use a real address, but
    I got a bounce ?
    ... while talking to mx1.hotmail.com.:
    >>> RCPT To:<jftonk@hotmail.com>
    <<< 550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable
    550 jftonk@hotmail.com... User unknown

    [Moderator's note: It looked valid but we found out it wasn't once it
    was approved. You won't see any more from that address. -- deb ]

    > Like so many others, I'm looking to build a good system on the cheap.

    > Right now, I only have $1000 bucks to spend.

    > I'm keen on the NAD C320 BEE ($400). Unless somebody knows of a
    > better deal for the money, I'm sticking with the NAD.

    > For now, I think I'll stick with my current CD player (Sony). I will
    > upgrade later.

    I suggest an universal player (DVD-Audio, SACD) for that upgrade.

    > Now for speakers...
    > I like the Huark Epilogue ($500). I would prefer to go the bookshelf
    > route as opposed to floor standing (for reasons of space). I'm a bit
    > worried that I'll long for more bass. However, at my first test
    > drive, I thought the Epilogues handled the low end pretty well all
    > things considered.

    > Any other suggestions for speakers?

    Buy (maybe later) _also_ a subwoofer. That is what I have (bookshelf
    speakers + subwoofer) and I think it is much better than the
    bookshelf speakers alone. Most subwoofers can be connected between
    the amplifier and the speakers, that is, even if the amplifier
    doesn't have a subwoofer output.

    --
    http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/

    ..pt is Portugal| `Whom the gods love die young'-Menander (342-292 BC)
    Europe | Villeneuve 50-82, Toivonen 56-86, Senna 60-94
  6. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    On 10/10/04 10:55 AM, in article ckbigu0bob@news1.newsguy.com, "Per
    Stromgren" <per.stromgren@telia.com> wrote:

    > On 9 Oct 2004 15:25:08 GMT, B&D <bromo@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
    >
    >> One quick comment: to get the most out of bookshelf speakers, they really
    >> need to be mounted on stands - if they are actually placed on a bookshelf,
    >> in my experience, you aren't going to get the most out of them and in
    >> extreme cases it would sound pretty nasty.
    >
    > If that is the case, they *are* not bookshelf speakers, now, are they?
    > :-) I think that is a problem with many speakers, they are not
    > designed for a room at all. It should not be that thard to design a
    > speaker for bookshelf placement, in fact it is a rather ideal
    > placement: a half sphere with a rather dead surrounding.

    There are some pro Audio items that can decouple the speaker form the shelf
    (which I *think* is the biggest problem with the arrangement -
    megaphone-effects aside) - Auralex has a hard foam wedge that keeps a pro
    audio monitor from vibrating the shelf it is placed upon - seems to work
    well, too. I have no idea if the weight of the pro audio monitor helps the
    foam work, or if lighter speakers work OK, too. YMMV.

    > On the other hand: if the speakers are designed to be placed on stands
    > well away from the wall, they should marketed as such.

    They usually are - most speaker ads show a "bookshelf" sized speaker on
    stands - I do not recall an AD where they are placed in a bookshelf.

    >> If you are committed to having
    >> them on stands - you have to buy stands - and it might be cheaper to get a
    >> floorstander in some cases.
    >
    > I agree, if the stands must be there, why not put the volume to good
    > use?

    One other possibility is to get the new on-wall speakers, though I have *no
    idea* if they sound any good at all!

    You could also get a pair of Klipschorns and put them in the corners and use
    the tops as tables? >:-)
  7. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    On 9 Oct 2004 15:25:08 GMT, in article <ck8vsk0leb@news3.newsguy.com>, B&D
    stated:
    >
    >On 10/8/04 1:18 AM, in article ck57vc02rjl@news2.newsguy.com, "mt"
    ><jftonk@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >> Like so many others, I'm looking to build a good system on the cheap.
    >>
    >> Right now, I only have $1000 bucks to spend.
    >>
    >> I'm keen on the NAD C320 BEE ($400). Unless somebody knows of a
    >> better deal for the money, I'm sticking with the NAD.
    >
    >That is an excellent choice - though I think it depends upon what it
    >replaces - some people think a better source is a worthy first step, and
    >better speakers is a second. But it depends upon where the "weak link"
    >might be in your system.
    >
    >Still, I don't think you would go wrong with the NAD.
    >
    >> For now, I think I'll stick with my current CD player (Sony). I will
    >> upgrade later.
    >
    >NAD has some really great CD players - the BEE series is really
    >sophisticated, when you are in the market for a CD player, it would be a
    >good consideration.
    >
    >> Now for speakers...
    >> I like the Huark Epilogue ($500). I would prefer to go the bookshelf
    >> route as opposed to floor standing (for reasons of space). I'm a bit
    >> worried that I'll long for more bass. However, at my first test
    >> drive, I thought the Epilogues handled the low end pretty well all
    >> things considered.
    >
    >One quick comment: to get the most out of bookshelf speakers, they really
    >need to be mounted on stands - if they are actually placed on a bookshelf,
    >in my experience, you aren't going to get the most out of them and in
    >extreme cases it would sound pretty nasty. If you are committed to having
    >them on stands - you have to buy stands - and it might be cheaper to get a
    >floorstander in some cases.
    >
    >PSB, Paradigm are both good choices for speakers in the price range you
    >mentioned- you also should consider the bookshelf speakers from Quad and JM
    >Labs - they are both excellent. You have to be careful with Energy speakers
    >- but they have some good, affordable speakers to choose from. For more
    >money, you could try Gallo Acoustics speakers with a small Gallo sub - it is
    >perfect for tight spaces, though it is more money.
    >
    >Have fun!

    My only comment on this is on the NAD. One thing that often is overlooked with
    budget systems is that, if you have only $1,000 to spend, then it's likely that
    reliability and longevity will be as important to you as sound. In this regard,
    I've unfortunately found, in the past, that NAD components don't really make the
    grade -- they sound great but, in the past, I have had issues with the build
    quality and durability of their components (this has been the case, in my
    experience, with multiple components they make, including integrateds and
    tuners). My experience is a bit dated at this point (once bitten, twice shy),
    so it may be that they have addressed these problems. I admittedly can't
    comment from personal experience on their current line.

    On speakers, you might also look at Polk; a used set of Vandersteen 2Cs (you
    might be able to pick up in the $500 to $600 range) is an interesting idea if
    you change your mind about floorstanders, in that they would likely address your
    bass issues pretty well and simplify the setup process. They have the benefit
    of being quite shallow for their height so the footprint is not massive.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    Fluance SV-10 (295/pr.) with or without B-10 subwoofer. very good
    build quality, too. You'll have to spend more than $1500 a pair to
    do better.

    http://www.fluance.com/index.html

    Cheers.


    On 8 Oct 2004 15:21:49 GMT, nabob33@hotmail.com (Bob Marcus) wrote:

    >jftonk@hotmail.com (mt) wrote in message news:<ck57vc02rjl@news2.newsguy.com>...
    >> Like so many others, I'm looking to build a good system on the cheap.
    >>
    >> Right now, I only have $1000 bucks to spend.
    >>
    >> I'm keen on the NAD C320 BEE ($400). Unless somebody knows of a
    >> better deal for the money, I'm sticking with the NAD.
    >
    >A good choice.
    >
    >I picked up a Pioneer Elite brochure the other day and discovered they
    >make an integrated, the A-35R, rated 45w/ch into 8 ohms (65 into 4),
    >although they don't list a distortion spec. (Hmmm.) I think it goes
    >for only $250, so it might be a great value, but I don't know anything
    >more about it.
    >>
    >> For now, I think I'll stick with my current CD player (Sony). I will
    >> upgrade later.
    >
    >As good as any.
    >>
    >> Now for speakers...
    >> I like the Huark Epilogue ($500). I would prefer to go the bookshelf
    >> route as opposed to floor standing (for reasons of space). I'm a bit
    >> worried that I'll long for more bass. However, at my first test
    >> drive, I thought the Epilogues handled the low end pretty well all
    >> things considered.
    >>
    >> Any other suggestions for speakers?
    >
    >If you're concerned about bass, I'll echo a recommendation made in
    >another thread: Try 'em at home. Bass can really differ depending on
    >how big a room you're trying to fill. Don't assume you'll get the same
    >response at home that you hear in a shop.
    >
    >Bookshelf speakers worth a listen in your price range ($400-600)
    >include:
    >--B&W 601/602
    >--Paradigm Monitor 3/5
    >--PSB Image 2B
    >
    >That's only a beginning, really. There's no best speaker, so it comes
    >down to what you like. You're better off choosing among whatever
    >brands you have reasonably available to you than trying to track down
    >a speaker that somebody tells you is the greatest. If the Huarks sound
    >good to you (at home!), then they're a good choice.
    >
    >bob
  9. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    "Stu-R" <stu-r@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
    news:cl1ksq02iho@news1.newsguy.com...
    > Fluance SV-10 (295/pr.) with or without B-10 subwoofer. very
    good
    > build quality, too. You'll have to spend more than $1500 a pair to
    > do better.
    >
    > http://www.fluance.com/index.html

    The essence of what you're saying is that there's no reason why there
    should be any speakers between $300 and $1500--or did I misunderstand
    you?

    Norm
  10. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    On 10/19/04 7:34 PM, in article cl48aa0di2@news1.newsguy.com, "normanstrong"
    <normanstrong@comcast.net> wrote:

    > "Stu-R" <stu-r@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
    > news:cl1ksq02iho@news1.newsguy.com...
    >> Fluance SV-10 (295/pr.) with or without B-10 subwoofer. very
    > good
    >> build quality, too. You'll have to spend more than $1500 a pair to
    >> do better.
    >>
    >> http://www.fluance.com/index.html
    >
    > The essence of what you're saying is that there's no reason why there
    > should be any speakers between $300 and $1500--or did I misunderstand
    > you?

    Seems like he really likes those speakers!

    I personally have a soft spot for Paradigm, and PSB at the low end of the
    range, but before saying that the Fluance SV-10 is the cat's meow as one
    approaches the multiple kilobucks, try the Vandersteen 2's latest
    incarnation. It clocks in around $1500 a pair and would eat most low end
    speakers for lunch! The Magnepan 1.6 (~$1600) and MG12's (~$1100) are in
    that range as well, and if you sit still when you listen, some would argue
    it really doesn't get much better for any amount. Focal JM Labs make a lot
    of speaker in that range (Electras) and you can get a pair of Harbeth's for
    around that money as well - and the Harbeth's are very, very neutral and a
    reasonable speaker to drive, though they aren't efficient.

    I think the speaker field is crowded, and you really can't say that speaker
    X is better than "all the speakers" up to 5x the price - you are bound to
    find something that does that to speakers 5x above their price.

    Sounds like a good speaker, but it might be good to consider that you are
    saying those monitors can beat some really good full or nearly full range
    speakers that are noted for being real-and-genuine high fidelity.
  11. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    No. I said what I said. No more, no less. I've owned more than 25
    speaker systems. And I've known a many people in the industry -
    designers, manufacturers, reps, and marketing folks. I can't account
    for their pricing, sales volume, or lifestyle. It's just another
    business. And they're entitled to a livelihood. For absolute quality
    and performance, I would certainly prefer a set of Aerials (at
    $27,000). And the size listening room to do them justice.
    Nevertheless, Fluance has done a great job and they sound great
    bi-amplified.

    On 19 Oct 2004 23:34:34 GMT, "normanstrong" <normanstrong@comcast.net>
    wrote:

    >"Stu-R" <stu-r@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
    >news:cl1ksq02iho@news1.newsguy.com...
    >> Fluance SV-10 (295/pr.) with or without B-10 subwoofer. very
    >good
    >> build quality, too. You'll have to spend more than $1500 a pair to
    >> do better.
    >>
    >> http://www.fluance.com/index.html
    >
    >The essence of what you're saying is that there's no reason why there
    >should be any speakers between $300 and $1500--or did I misunderstand
    >you?
    >
    >Norm
Ask a new question

Read More

High-End Audio Audio