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Budget system finally finished

Ahh, finally. Having started about 6 years ago with a Cambrige A1, a pair of Eltax Monitor IIIs and a 10 year old Technics CD player (which is still working, now aged 16) I've finally completed my first "proper" budget system today, now consisting of:

Cambridge 540C v.2

Pro-ject Debut III

Marantz PM6002

Pro-ject Phono Box Mk.2

Pro-ject Head Box Mk.2

Eltax Monitor III

Grado SR60s

Soundstyle Z2 speaker stands

Pixel PXHS30 rack

QED Silver Anniversary Biwire

QED Qunex 2 interconnects

All supplied through a Tacima CS929 Mains block (no comments please)

Ok, I know it's no giant killer, but I'm enjoying it a lot. Would've got a lot further than this by now, but geographical and travel considerations were the main constraints (there's only so much stuff you can take as hand luggage, and choosing between an amp and a CD player can be a tough call). The only surviving component of my original set up is the Eltaxs, which I know could do with being upgraded at this point. However, since they've served me so well over 6 years and 3 different countries, I'd feel somewhat treacherous if I got rid of them. Besides, I still really like their sound. Smile

MiddleMan's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 23/01/2008 - 19:27
Posts: 47
Re: Budget system finally finished

Glad you have got the system you are now happy with Tractorboy. I'm in a similar situation having recently upgraded my (17 year old) Pioneer PDS801 CD player and Mission speakers with the Cambridge 640c v2 and Monitor Audio BR2 speakers. I am now looking to replace my Cambridge Audio A5 amp with either the Cambridge 640 v2, your choice Marantz PM6002, or go second hand and find a Rotel RA-03. I also have the Pro-ject Debut III.

What made you go for the Marantz rather than the Cambridge 640c, or was this never a choice?

 Even with the A5, my system is sounding good, but can't wait to add a better amp to finalise the system to my liking. However once you get hooked on improving, you always want to go one step further and upgrade again, so its a never ending cycle over the years, as I sure most people on this forum will agree.

Anonymous's picture
Re: Budget system finally finished

user="MiddleMan" wrote:

What made you go for the Marantz rather than the Cambridge 640c, or was this never a choice?

You mean the Cambridge 640a? Actually, I originally went with the 540a v.2, which had been the plan all along since I upgraded to the 540c v.2 several months ago. However, I didn't get on so well with this amp. See this thread for details: http://whathifi.co.uk/forums/t/6110.aspx?PageIndex=1

The 540a was bought from Richer Sounds, who offered me an exchange or a credit note rather than a refund, which is fair enough given that according to the manufacturer, there was nothing wrong with the amp. The only other amp that RS have in that price range is the Marantz, and having heard good things about it on this forum (including from the editor) it seemed like a good choice. So far I'm very pleased with it - and no problems with channel balance!

Just to be clear, the 540a could give out a very good sound, very punchy and clear, but only really started giving this good performance when well cranked up. Partnered with the 540c, it did also sound a bit harsh at the top end. The Marantz is a lot more relaxed and seems to compliment the 540c very well. Build quality isn't quite up to Cambridge standards, but quite reasonable nonetheless. The Marantz also has a built in phono stage, so if you're using a phono pre-amp with the Pro-ject, you'll need to run it through one of the other inputs.

The icing on the cake for me has to be that the volume control on the Cambridge remote works with the Marantz. Joy! All in all, I'd definitely recommend the Marantz. Presumably the magazine will be doing a test on it soon.

I think Superfi are doing it for less than the £270 retail price. I'm not sure if they do auditions though. Or you could try Sevenoaks. Definitely worth trying to hear it before buying, as it may not be agressive enough for everyone's tastes. I've never heard the A5, although I understand it's a very competent amp. Not sure whether you'll consider the improvement the Marantz offers worth the money.

Anonymous's picture
Re: Budget system finally finished

And here's a picture.


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