I have a modest budget for a new hi-fi system of around £350-400. Having browsed the internet for the past couple of weeks, the clear favourite on such a restricted budget would appear to be the Denon DM39, which I intend to pair with decent budget speakers eg Monitor BX2s or Dali Zensors. I am booked in at Superfi in a week's time for an audition and shall listen carefully to all the speaker options. Fine. The only problem is that as someone who owned and loved the NAD 3020 (paired with B&W DM110s) back in the 1980s, I have this nagging thought that I should cash in a few more beanies and up my budget the necessary £300 for a NAD 316 amp and NAD 515 CD player instead of the Denon.
In readers' opinions is the step-up in price for the NAD separates really worth it? Is there really such a substantial difference in sound that I should consider the pricier option, ignoring some pretty spectacular deals on the Denon (£349 for the DM39 and the BX2s from Richer and Superfi to name but two).
What do people think?