Sub $1K Recommended Systems

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JLM

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #20 on: 14 Nov 2012, 10:19 am »
Jon,

My guess is that the unicorn is scaring away more input.   :green:


RClark,

Funny you should mention that $1,000 is too much for starting out.  Over on the starting block there's been a recent thread for an $8,000 starter system where I raised the same concern.  OTOH I suppose it depends on your station in life.  Spoiled pre-teen, struggling college kid, young family, empty nester, etc. could all have different starting points.  Anyway I keep coming back to small/simple systems as I see sub $1k systems going more to starting out/smaller situations (bedroom, dorm, cabin, office), so here's my next contribution:

Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE speakers ($380 shipped)  The original was highly reviewed/recommended.  I've owned these small 2-way standmounts for years and they are very musical, image like magic, and offer extreme content value.  Some days these make I wonder why I've dropped over $3k on speakers in my main rig (and they've been compared to $6k speakers).  Not much to look at, but that'd be perfect in dorms where nice stuff is often stolen.

NuForce DDA-100 DAC/integrated amp ($550)  Another plug for an AC manufacturer.  Signal stays digital (hi-res) as long as possible, small size, minimalistic/sexy looks (in aluminum), 4 digital inputs, 50 wpc continuous/250 wpc peaks.  Reviews just starting to appear (see 6moons.com tease).

Go to monoprice.com for really cheap toslink/USB and speaker cabling ($70 to stay within budget).

rockadanny

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #21 on: 14 Nov 2012, 03:06 pm »
For a desk or small room ...

NA-208C CD Player ($399)
http://www.napaacoustic.com/Electronics.html

NA-208A Hybrid Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier ($399)
http://www.napaacoustic.com/Electronics.html
 
NA-208S Compact Monitor Speakers ($199)
http://www.napaacoustic.com/Speakers.html

Or a used pair of high efficiency, easy to drive speakers as alternative as the NA-208S are rated down to 55Hz.

I had the amp and speakers in my home - real nice sound. Depending on volume and type of music, low end was acceptable.

Guy 13

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #22 on: 14 Nov 2012, 03:53 pm »
Hi all Audio Circle members.
How about a system with all " Made in USA " components
for under 1,000 USD ?

Guy 13

JohnR

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #23 on: 14 Nov 2012, 03:58 pm »
NO, let's not do that...

Guy 13

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #24 on: 14 Nov 2012, 04:11 pm »
NO, let's not do that...

Hi JohnR and all Audio Circle members.

WHY ?

Guy 13

cujobob

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #25 on: 14 Nov 2012, 04:14 pm »
I find that you guys appear to be putting too little of your budget into speakers. Also, used prices vary and availability does, as well.

I have three immediate ideas with that in mind:

Used, I'd pick up a pair of Maggie 1.6 for $800-Ish and find a high powered cheap receiver used or whatever else that could power them.

Used, I'd get whatever GR-Research speakers I could find. They all provide great value and I've seen some fabulous deals on the used market. AV3 for $500 or less? Yes, please. The N2X or N3 are even better, but all are easy to drive and sound fabulous.

New, the Chase Home Theater SHO-10 were around $700 last I checked. They sound great, can reach any level one desires, are efficient, and have some attention paid to directivity. You can pair them with pretty much anything given their efficiency. Used receiver, new receiver, plenty of options.

I think while some other systems mentioned pay more attention to the electronics side, the speakers are way too limiting.

srb

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #26 on: 14 Nov 2012, 04:28 pm »
WHY [not have a topic with all "Made in USA" components] ?

If you live in the US or Canada why would you want to exclude all of the great products from your North American neighbor?
 
Each person, if so inclined, might prefer to have components originating from their own country.  All other things being equal (quality, price, availability, etc.), I would guess John R might prefer to buy Australian made components if it were possible.  Someone from England might prefer UK components as their first choice.
 
There is a lot of fine goods made all over the world, and each person may or may not have a preference to buy their own country's products from a socio-economic view.  Lastly, it always gets into a complicated analysis of of the fine line and grey areas of "Designed in ...", "Assembled in ...", "Manufactured in ...".
 
Steve

brooklyn

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #27 on: 14 Nov 2012, 06:37 pm »
While I personally do have a bias towards American made products, I own a Prima Luna preamp and a Graham Slee phono preamp.
That said, I don't see how you could put a $1000.00 system together if the system was all US made unless it was used.

I also think that $1000.00 in the grand scheme of things is a lot of money but if your reading an audio forum such as A/C, $1000.00
for a decent system to start these days is down right cheep. 

jarcher

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #28 on: 14 Nov 2012, 07:54 pm »
For a desk or small room ...

NA-208C CD Player ($399)
http://www.napaacoustic.com/Electronics.html

NA-208A Hybrid Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier ($399)
http://www.napaacoustic.com/Electronics.html
 
NA-208S Compact Monitor Speakers ($199)
http://www.napaacoustic.com/Speakers.html

Or a used pair of high efficiency, easy to drive speakers as alternative as the NA-208S are rated down to 55Hz.

I had the amp and speakers in my home - real nice sound. Depending on volume and type of music, low end was acceptable.

It's precisely learning about companies / options such as this that makes this topic valuable in my opinion.

A personal anecdote : in late high school I saved up money from my after school / weekend job to buy hi-fi gear, and after not too long, assembled a system in the $750 - $1,000K range (in more valuable late 80's money).  In retrospect it was middling to lower quality at best : a technics integrated amp & cd player, teac tape player, and some KLH speakers from Price Club subsequently modded.  I would have been very happy to have good advice on how to better spend that money to get a system that would have given me better value for the money.  Perhaps it would have been a system I would have continued to keep & own today.  As it was, I quickly ended up selling everything.  Today I only have the teac tape player.

Keep the great system ideas coming folks!

jarcher

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #29 on: 13 Jan 2013, 10:47 pm »
Sorta surprised there haven't been more recommended systems so far.  Aside from being interesting, I think this is a useful resource for many.  If there's something about the idea or original post which is hampering participation, would be interested in comments.

Otherwise, I propose a competition for best Sub $1K Recommended System 2012.  That is not to preclude 2013+ honors....unless interest totally shrivels on the vine.

Some suggested basic rules:

1) Worldwide eligibility to post / enter
2) System must be posted by 11:59PM EST December 31 2012.
3) Propose as many systems as you like - no limit. 
4) Two or more components have to be changed from an already posted system to qualify as a different system
5) I - or if others join in the selection process - exclude their systems for consideration for the "prize". 

The winner will either be selected by me, me + other people, or perhaps a "short list" of candidates followed by a voting poll. To be determined. In any case, winner to be decided by 13 January 2013.

Prize is your choice of one of the following in your choice of size.  My gift & yes, will send it to you wherever you are.  You're welcome - and thanks django11 for the unintended prize idea!





Well, its 13 Feb 2013 already & it seems like the unicorn got bored & left long ago, and the wolves took the party elsewhere. 

With only 6 contributors, myself excluded, doesn't seem like there was either enough interest or perhaps other problems w/ the concept to merit proclaiming a "winner" in the suggested 2012 C&C Under $1K Recommended Systems. 

What contributions were made was interesting to me as it brought new companies to light & also opened debate about where money is better spent on components (e.g. speakers first vs spreading $ evenly across components, etc). 

Letitroll98

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #30 on: 13 Jan 2013, 11:55 pm »
What?  I didn't win??  This thing is rigged. 


Or maybe it wasn't rigged and that's the problem.


Anyway, I didn't get a shirt I wouldn't wear and is too small for me.  I'm heartbroken beyond consolation.  I'm gonna make a martini and forget this ever happened.  Which is a better outcome than getting the shirt.  See, I feel better already. 

jarcher

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #31 on: 14 Jan 2013, 12:44 am »
What?  I didn't win??  This thing is rigged. 


Or maybe it wasn't rigged and that's the problem.


Anyway, I didn't get a shirt I wouldn't wear and is too small for me.  I'm heartbroken beyond consolation.  I'm gonna make a martini and forget this ever happened.  Which is a better outcome than getting the shirt.  See, I feel better already.

Keep it on the down-low: the unicorn is infamous for its predilection for raging all-night martini benders...

You do not want a drunk thousand pound animal with a four foot spike coming out of its head at your home after midnight - trust me.

The wolves are good guests, as long as you don't run out of chips & dip. That's when the howling begins.

wushuliu

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #32 on: 29 Jan 2013, 06:28 pm »
Actually had no idea this thread was going since it's hanging out with a bunch of other stickied threads at the top.

My Recommendations:

Definitive Tech SM45 Speakers: Small but pack a HUGE wallop thanks to the passive radiator. The tightness and depth of bass is unreal. I was very impressed with them and so far reviewers agree. ($199/ea. Amazon)




TPA3123 50W Amplifier ($70-90 ebay): Seems like while the uber budget amp crowd has been distracted by the TK2050/Sure/Virtue and ClassDAudio amps, Texas Instruments has been busy. The TBI Millenium is a TPA-based amp and so far every TPA chip I have heard stomps the Tripaths into the ground. There's a new beer-budget amp king in town.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TPA3123-50Wx2-Audio-digital-Power-supply-amplifier-TA2024-TA2021-AC110V-AC240V-/110927623354?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item19d3cd34ba




Audio-GD Sabre ES9018 DAC ($300+sh): Audio-GD is steadily building an awesome rep. If they were part of a dealer network they would be huge by now - and I just LOVE to look a their pics. Where else can you get an ES9018 DAC/Pre for this price and so frickin' well-made? No where.



http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB11.32/NFB11.32EN.htm


Too many source options but just saw this at Amazon.
Source: Zotac Nano ($190/Amazon). Just saw this at Amazon. The Celeron 867 is fast and great for audio/htpc needs. Heck may even get once for myself. You'll need Windows and a HDD and memory, but thought it was worth mentioning as this Zotac is much faster than their previous offerings.



http://www.amazon.com/Zotac-Dual-Core-Celeron-Barebone-ZBOXNANO-ID61-U/dp/B008OHRFE0/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1359485188&sr=8-10&keywords=zotac+nano












wushuliu

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #33 on: 29 Jan 2013, 06:31 pm »
ugh, hate when that happens. double post.

rif

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #34 on: 29 Jan 2013, 08:45 pm »
This is more unconventional, but I'd be inclined to recommend a denon 1613 AVR ($300 used from electronics-exp, auth. dealer).

It has built in Ethernet so can stream Pandora, airplay, dlna or play files off a USB stick. DAC via optical or coax inputs. Audyssey to correct for speakers/room.

And very importantly for someone on a budget, can serve double duty as the receiver on their TV.

Spend the rest on speakers and cables. The speakers I know are over the $350 limit (blumenstein orcas $600). That leaves a healthy $100 for cables - I'd make my own or go Dayton audio or blue jeans.



Doublej

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #35 on: 29 Jan 2013, 09:11 pm »
Has anyone mentioned the floorstanding version of the Tad Jones Pioneer loudspeakers? At $129/pair they would fit well into a sub $1k system. Unlike the highly reviewed and regarded bookshelf version, there seem to be no reviews of this one.

As mentioned, add in a $300 network ready receiver or integrated amplifier from Cambridge Audio or Marantz and your off and running for under $500. Add $100 for the subwoofer as desired. I haven't seen any reviews on that either.

wushuliu

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #36 on: 29 Jan 2013, 09:19 pm »
Has anyone mentioned the floorstanding version of the Tad Jones Pioneer loudspeakers? At $129/pair they would fit well into a sub $1k system. Unlike the highly reviewed and regarded bookshelf version, there seem to be no reviews of this one.

As mentioned, add in a $300 network ready receiver and your off and running for under $500. Add $100 for the subwoofer as desired. I haven't seen any reviews on that either.

Are you sure that's 129/pr? I thought that was each? Either way for an ultra-budget <$500 total system there is no better option.

wisnon

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #37 on: 29 Jan 2013, 09:24 pm »
Well StereoMojo just gave maximum mojo props to the Vanatoo speakers, which are down to 50hz monitors with built in amps and Dac for $499!!!!!
I hear that the bass is so good that SW is not really required.

Use and iPod/phone/pad and you are good ta go!

Doublej

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #38 on: 30 Jan 2013, 01:36 am »
Are you sure that's 129/pr? I thought that was each? Either way for an ultra-budget <$500 total system there is no better option.

You are correct. They are $129 each.

fredgarvin

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #39 on: 30 Jan 2013, 05:58 pm »
I've been using the Dayton dta100-A with the Pioneer BS21's in my office. $180.  :thumb: