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Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

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JoeMcc's picture
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After much thought I have finally decideed that I want to go the seperates route as my first experience of Hi-Fi but on a budget - for now (Buying a PS4 so have to be sensible).  I am planning to get a nice little budget hifi set up for a year or two and then upgrade at a later date. I have set a budget of around £350 for an amp and a set of speakers. It will be used for music listening only in a small bedroom so im guessing i dont need to splash out too much pray

The Amps I have in mind are the Cambridge Audio Azur 351A and the Yamaha AS500. The reason for this is because they seem to tick most of the boxes im looking for. The Cambridge looks interesting because of the built in DAC and USB connection but doesnt have as much power as the Yamaha (still a newbie so im guessing the more power the better?) The Yamaha also has a subwoofer connection which is very appealing, although ive heard mixed reviews about this amp.

 

Now for the speakers, my choices are between the Wharfedale 9.1, Tannoy V1, Cambridge s30, Q acoustic 2010i or at a push the monitor audio BX1.

Can anyone point me in the right direction here ideally they should have adequate bass although i know not to expect too much from budget speakers. like i said its mostly for music listening of all genres in my bedroom at my desk. Will be listening to audio from my pc or iphone.  I will eventually get a CD player to go with this system but not at this moment in time.

 

Thanks in advance guys hope someone can recommend something! rockin out

 

 

AmigaNut's picture
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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

I have the Yamaha AS 500 and both Wharfedale 9.1 and 10.1 in various setups in my home, (all my amps are Yamaha all 4).

 

I am more than happy with both and with the 9.1s at a lovely £99 new they are a bargain.

 

AmigaNut

 

 

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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

If you are using your PC then the 351C is a good bet as you wont need a seperate DAC. Speaker wise you cant go wrong with the Diamond 9.1 which are excellent. 

 

Have you considered 2nd hand kit?

 

Alternatively, you could get a Fiio D3 DAC (£29) and some active speakers (such as Studiospares).

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drummerman's picture
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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

Sony STR DB930.

Power, Quality, DAC's and a good phono stage too. It may even be possible to squeeze in a pair of Usher S520's. - Cables, stands would be on top but for a price of a good night out you get those too and I'm pretty certain it will be better than your other options.

regards

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matthewpiano's picture
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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

If you are quick the Sansui SAP-201v amplifier is widely available for £149.  Put this with some Q Acoustics 2020i or Dali Zensor 1s, and you'll have a great start to your system.

The Sansui is half price because there has been a copyright issue between Sansui UK (who are responsible for this model) and Sansui in Singapore.  Unfortunately this means Sansui UK are going to be disappearing BUT with Henley Designs as the distributors you will have no problems with warranty support so I really wouldn't let it put you off a good bargain.

If you can find a bit more money, the Pioneer A-30 or Denon PMA720AE  would be better (both around £180 now) but you would need to add a £29 Behringer USB DAC.

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Sources: Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Roksan Kandy K2 CDS Phono Stage Cambridge Audio 540P

Amplification: Exposure 1010

Speakers: Dynaudio DM2/6  Stands: Atacama Nexus 6 + Blok 300

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shep1968's picture
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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

JoeMcc wrote:

After much thought I have finally decideed that I want to go the seperates route as my first experience of Hi-Fi but on a budget - for now (Buying a PS4 so have to be sensible).  I am planning to get a nice little budget hifi set up for a year or two and then upgrade at a later date. I have set a budget of around £350 for an amp and a set of speakers. It will be used for music listening only in a small bedroom so im guessing i dont need to splash out too much pray

The Amps I have in mind are the Cambridge Audio Azur 351A and the Yamaha AS500. The reason for this is because they seem to tick most of the boxes im looking for. The Cambridge looks interesting because of the built in DAC and USB connection but doesnt have as much power as the Yamaha (still a newbie so im guessing the more power the better?) The Yamaha also has a subwoofer connection which is very appealing, although ive heard mixed reviews about this amp.

 

Now for the speakers, my choices are between the Wharfedale 9.1, Tannoy V1, Cambridge s30, Q acoustic 2010i or at a push the monitor audio BX1.

Can anyone point me in the right direction here ideally they should have adequate bass although i know not to expect too much from budget speakers. like i said its mostly for music listening of all genres in my bedroom at my desk. Will be listening to audio from my pc or iphone.  I will eventually get a CD player to go with this system but not at this moment in time.

 

Thanks in advance guys hope someone can recommend something! rockin out

 

 

if you can get decent second hand then that might be the way to go, especially for a couple of years. For example i will hopefully soon be selling B&W685 and a Rotel RA-05 for not much more than that. Far better imho than what you can get new.

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NHL
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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

Try Rega RS-1 speakers, paper cones, the best speaker material there ever was and will be!

BigH's picture
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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

NHL wrote:

Try Rega RS-1 speakers, paper cones, the best speaker material there ever was and will be!

 

Did not rate the RS1s at all and they are £500? 

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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

For a small room you should get either the Q Acoustics 2010i or if you can afford it the Zensor 1.

Then buy the best amp you can afford, stretching the budget as far as possible.

 

Personally I would buy the Adam F5 and the cheap Behringer dac for the same money. But then I would, wouldn't I........ Cool

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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

BigH wrote:

NHL wrote:

Try Rega RS-1 speakers, paper cones, the best speaker material there ever was and will be!

Did not rate the RS1s at all and they are £500? 

They are £438 and sounded superb on all the occasions I heard them.

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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

chebby wrote:

BigH wrote:

NHL wrote:

Try Rega RS-1 speakers, paper cones, the best speaker material there ever was and will be!

Did not rate the RS1s at all and they are £500? 

They are £438 and sounded superb on all the occasions I heard them.

 

But £138 over OP's budget for speakers and amp Sad

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BigH's picture
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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

chebby wrote:

BigH wrote:

NHL wrote:

Try Rega RS-1 speakers, paper cones, the best speaker material there ever was and will be!

Did not rate the RS1s at all and they are £500? 

They are £438 and sounded superb on all the occasions I heard them.

 

Yes £438 or £482 depending on finish. In demo I had the CM1s were clearly better to me but they had their own issues. But clearly over budget anyway.

matthewpiano's picture
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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

BigH wrote:

chebby wrote:

BigH wrote:

NHL wrote:

Try Rega RS-1 speakers, paper cones, the best speaker material there ever was and will be!

Did not rate the RS1s at all and they are £500? 

They are £438 and sounded superb on all the occasions I heard them.

 

Yes £438 or £482 depending on finish. In demo I had the CM1s were clearly better to me but they had their own issues. But clearly over budget anyway.

Sorry but neither are a patch on the Dali Zensor 3s at £300.  I particularly dislike the CM1s.

Actually (and bringing things back into the OP's budget) I'd rather have the Q 2020i or the Dali Zensor 1s than the Regas or the B&Ws.

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Sources: Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Roksan Kandy K2 CDS Phono Stage Cambridge Audio 540P

Amplification: Exposure 1010

Speakers: Dynaudio DM2/6  Stands: Atacama Nexus 6 + Blok 300

Cables: Chord Co. and Merlin

Head-Fi System: PC/Spotify Premium - NAD C521BEE - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennhesier HD595

Listening to MUSIC!

matthewpiano's picture
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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

ALERT to the OP - Just had a look on the Richer Sounds website.  The 351A amp is in their sale at £199.  Alternatively the Denon PMA720AE is £149 in their sale.  Both fine budget amps at great prices. 

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Sources: Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Roksan Kandy K2 CDS Phono Stage Cambridge Audio 540P

Amplification: Exposure 1010

Speakers: Dynaudio DM2/6  Stands: Atacama Nexus 6 + Blok 300

Cables: Chord Co. and Merlin

Head-Fi System: PC/Spotify Premium - NAD C521BEE - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennhesier HD595

Listening to MUSIC!

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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

matthewpiano wrote:

ALERT to the OP - Just had a look on the Richer Sounds website.  The 351A amp is in their sale at £199.  Alternatively the Denon PMA720AE is £149 in their sale.  Both fine budget amps at great prices. 

The ca 351is an amazing amp.worth twice the sale price almost.I thought sounded much better than the yam.am pretty sure you would love that amp.

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Johnno2's picture
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RE: Budget Amps and speakers for a starting point.

matthewpiano wrote:

ALERT to the OP - Just had a look on the Richer Sounds website.  The 351A amp is in their sale at £199.  Alternatively the Denon PMA720AE is £149 in their sale.  Both fine budget amps at great prices. 

WOW that price denon is a geniune BARGAIN, my mate has one , qaulity amp, 

Vibrant, clean sound, but not bright