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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    7,235

    Audiophiles, help me build a decent stereo

    As a Christmas gift to myself I'm hoping to finally piece together a decent stereo for the living room. I'm looking to spend a decent amount (about 2k) but nothing remotely close to top of the line stuff. I've poked around the internet and pieced together what some guides have recommended but I honestly have zero idea if they are just selling me something or if they are actually any good. When I was a broke teenager I could go to a store and blast some tunes and get a feel for stuff I couldn't afford then but those days seem to be history now when I can. I'll be utilizing an old mac mini for digital stuff but want to focus on old school hi-fi sound as classic rock is mostly the stuff I listen to. I still want to have the ability to stream from my phone (and friends when they come over and show me new bands) though as I'll need to build a record collection over time.

    So what say the collective for the following setup?

    Amp: NAD-C316BEE-V2
    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_745C31...316BEE-V2.html

    Speakers: Klipsch RP-600M's (on some stands most likely)
    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_714RP6...0M-Walnut.html

    Record Player: Pro Ject Debut Carbon EVO
    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_252113...tin-Black.html

    Bluetooth Receiver/ DAC: Audioengine B1
    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_772B1A...engine-B1.html

    Cable: AudioQuest X2 (I struggle to see how copper wire has any differences)
    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_703X23...feet-Gray.html

    I want to eventually be able to build into a better system but am unsure where I should really focus on spending money now other than the speakers. I have zero knowledge on amp brands and who is good and who isn't. 600 bucks seems like a lot for a record player but the Pro Ject seems to be the one to get wherever I look for advice. My initial reaction is it is hard to justify spending more money on copper speaker wire other than upping the gauge. I can't see it being any different from brand to brand but will take advice from those who know more.
    Live Free or Die

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    594
    If you want these you're welcome to them for shipping and some beer money...
    https://reno.craigslist.org/ele/d/re...416508221.html
    I also have a center channel if you're interested in a home theater setup.

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7,235
    Link takes me to a login page for your account? Would like to see what you got though.
    Live Free or Die

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    6,990

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    594
    Quote Originally Posted by AdironRider View Post
    Link takes me to a login page for your account? Would like to see what you got though.
    My bad, fixed it...

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    关你屁事
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    4,574
    Iirc there’s a mag here that makes custom gear. Maybe more than one.

    bitd McIntosh made good amps (technically, dunno what earophiles say) Shits changed though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    10,791
    Don’t worry about cables and interconnects. Fluance is a great budget turntable, you won’t notice the difference unless you spend thousands. Indistinguishable from the Projekt. Look at the Creek and Music Fidelity integrated amplifiers. Great value. Look at the small Chinese tube preamps on eBay for digital input. Surprisingly great sound for very little money. Spend most of your budget on speakers. Look for high end used.

    Most of the reviews are written by dorks who are into esoteric gear and not the music.

    If you want to stay stereo( two channels) you might start with something like the Topping tp-60. I use that amp most of the time for streaming Spotify and internet radio. I got mine for around $200 a few years ago. It’s great and class D so it doesn’t draw much power in spite of the output and you can leave it on all the time.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    6,990

    Audiophiles, help me build a decent stereo

    And if you have any interest in a Schiit Modius I’ll cut you a maggot deal on a brand new but not in box one in black!

    https://www.schiit.com/products/modius

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
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    10,791
    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyCarter View Post
    And if you have any interest in a Schiit Modius I’ll cut you a maggot deal on a brand new but not in box one in black!

    https://www.schiit.com/products/modius
    Do you have any other Schiit products?


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    6,990
    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    Do you have any other Schiit products?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I do not, the Modius was a casualty of changing approach mid-build when I grabbed a pair of KEF with a built in DAC.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Bull City
    Posts
    7,321
    Your amp's 40 watts per channel... What size room are you setting this up, the bathroom? Speakers are best at 100 watts but can handle up to 400 per channel Nice speakers. 100's OK for a bedroom or small living room. 40's going to leave you looking for "one louder" on your volume.
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    in a freezer in Italy
    Posts
    4,063
    I have that Audioengine B1 bluetooth receiver, I think based on a Wirecutter recco. I mean it's fine but it's pretty pricey for what it is.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,042
    Our stereo was pieced together for as cheap as we could afford, so YMMV

    We were given a Fluance record player as a gift and have been happy with it. We listened to it next to the Project Evo, and while the Evo does sound better, it's twice as much and not twice as good. If you think you're going to go down the rabbit hole, it might be worth spending less now if you expect to spend serious coin in a few years.

    From cruising around hifi forums, there seems to be some consensus that used speakers are a place for real savings. $700 can score you something really nice on the used market. It is incredibly easy to refoam surrounds, redo crossovers, etc.

    A friend who can afford whatever stereo system he wants prefers queuing music over his home network rather than bluetooth. He uses an allobridge, which sounds great, through his admittedly very high dollar system.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    2,759
    Lots of good points in this thread - just echoing the comments of MagnificentUnicorn and others:

    - get used speakers. whoever you buy them from should let you demo them first. find something that matches the music you listen to and the style you like
    - don't spend any money on interconnects or wires.
    - I have a project debut carbon, but I've listened to the Fluance and they're very similar decks
    - more efficient speakers means you can spend less on amps. the advice to get a Chinese tube preamp is great, but the Chinese tube power amps are also fantastic. I run a 4 watts per channel SET kt-77 amp with a pair of Klipsch Heresy's, and I have enough power to annoy the neighbors a full acre away from us. With the same amp on my Klipsch La Scalas I can easily do permanent hearing damage.

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    1,589
    RE: Used market - my surround speakers are mostly used Polk (model series is maaaaybe one or two steps up from their bottom tier stuff) and I've loved how it's transformed my viewing experience. So glad I got them. At full price that wouldn't have been an option.

    RE: refoaming - agreed, don't be afraid, I did a pair of decent speakers, kinda butchered the job but they were 95% better after.

    Source - Am cheap and basic.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
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    Quote Originally Posted by SumJongGuy View Post
    Your amp's 40 watts per channel... What size room are you setting this up, the bathroom? Speakers are best at 100 watts but can handle up to 400 per channel Nice speakers. 100's OK for a bedroom or small living room. 40's going to leave you looking for "one louder" on your volume.
    This is hogwash. It depends on the amps reserve and what sensitivity your speakers are. I have my 25 year old 60 watts per channel tube amp set up with some vintage ADS speakers and the volume level gets painful at half way. Most modern amplifier ratings are way to generous. A decent 100 watts per channel solid state amp with undersized output transformer/s will be driven into distortion and clipping while my underpowered amp will be happily singing along at the same volume.


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    inw
    Posts
    1,136
    Not a fan of Klipsch.

    If you're looking for bookshelf size take a look at NHT C1 or C3.

  18. #18
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    Mar 2017
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    SLC, Utah
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntblanks View Post
    Not a fan of Klipsch.

    If you're looking for bookshelf size take a look at NHT C1 or C3.
    blocked and reported (/s)

    cheaper Klipsch == meh

    Klipsch legacy speakers == life-changing


    you haven't lived until you've heard Kind Of Blue on vinyl on big Klipsch boxes

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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Juan Islands, WA.
    Posts
    1,121
    I'd look take a look at Yamaha's S-701 amp, It always seems to get good reviews and has a little more power than the NAD. Accessories4less has factory refurbished units for not much more than the NAD. I wouldn't hesitate to buy any of the Yamaha refurbished amps, I bought a RX-A1070 for the HT system a few years ago and it looked brand new in unopened factory packaging, I've had no problems with it.
    I hear things I've never heard before while listening to my Khorns, good quality live recordings do in fact sound live.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    594
    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    blocked and reported (/s)

    cheaper Klipsch == meh

    Klipsch legacy speakers == life-changing


    you haven't lived until you've heard Kind Of Blue on vinyl on big Klipsch boxes

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk
    +1 but for Gerry Rafferty Baker Street...
    Sold my mains for pennies, still regret it.

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Masshole
    Posts
    2,355
    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    bitd McIntosh made good amps (technically, dunno what earophiles say) Shits changed though.
    My father was a collector of McIntosh audio equipment. A lot was purchased directly from Gordon Gow in Binghamton NY. Their tube amps and preamps as well as their solid state equipment was amazing. When I was 12/13 years old we took a weekend trip to tour the factory and had dinner with Gordon, he was very accommodating as I remember. This was back in 84-85.

    Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk
    Why don't you go practice fallin' down? I'll be there in a minute.

  22. #22
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    May 2015
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    inw
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    blocked and reported (/s)

    cheaper Klipsch == meh

    Klipsch legacy speakers == life-changing


    you haven't lived until you've heard Kind Of Blue on vinyl on big Klipsch boxes

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk
    Next time I'm in SLUT I'll look you up for a demo.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    inw
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    And when demoing speakers bring a high-fidelity copy of Muddy Waters' Folk Singer. You'll thank me later.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    SLC, Utah
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    2,759
    Quote Originally Posted by ntblanks View Post
    Next time I'm in SLUT I'll look you up for a demo.
    Ha, bet.

    --

    Basinbeater is the expert for stereo advice on a budget, and he always has great tunes to spin too.

    And Galabier Numero Uno designs and builds some of the highest end stereo equipment in North America. Absolutely incredible stuff - he knows more about audio equipment than anyone I have ever met, and he would probably kill me if he read me saying that interconnects don't matter. Sorry Thom...

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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    4,147
    Don’t be afraid of used. I have a Phillips 3841 in one of our rooms and it would take a pretty good chunk of change to get to that level with a new amp.

    FWIW.

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