Assembling a budget stereo.
October 13, 2008 11:05 AM Subscribe
I am confused about assembling a relatively budget, quality home stereo system. (long)
posted by Marquis to home & garden (14 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Some thirteen years ago, I received a Panasonic stereo minisystem (radio/CD/tape) as a gift. It served me well over the years. More recently I added a powered (AudioTechnica) turntable, which I play through the stereo on the AUX setting.
A couple of weeks ago, the Panasonic CD player died. Although the amp is still okay (ie, vinyl works fine), the CD's the thing I use most often.
I have decided I want to buy a new system. I am an adult now, after all. I also work as a music critic, so this seems to make sense. Unfortunately my budget's not very large - for this reason I've mostly invested in quality headphones (Grado HF-1s, Senns) over the past several years. Now, though, I'd like to make a few careful purchases and hopefully have the stereo problem "solved" for a decade or two.
What I am looking for is a system with good sound, that will fill my living-room well. Should include CD player and allow me to bring in my turntable (which has a pre-amp) and plug in my iPod/computer if I like (preferably without swapping out the turntable). Do not need cassettes, radio, home-theatre set-up, fancy iPod dock, etc.
I'm inclined to buy separate components, not one big set at Futureshop or Best Buy. Vintage is also presumably good. I'm a bit confused about what exactly I need, though.
I am particularly confused by all the mixed-up talk of "tuners", "amplifiers" and "receivers". Aren't tuners radios? Can I just forego a tuner? If my receive has two "phono" slots, can I use one of those for a CD player?
I would really appreciate it if someone could suggest what type of components I need to find, and then what kinds (brands, styles, price-ranges, and also tech specs I need) I should try to obtain.
I have found a good price for lovely PSB Model 40 mk II speakers (freq range-39Hz-21KHz, impedence 6 ohm, sensitivity 1 watt-90db, power-100 watts program), but I have no idea what else I need to fill this system out. Presumably some kind of amp? With what specs? Can I then just use a dirt-cheap CD player? I'm sorta lost.
I'm looking to spend $400-$700, all-in, which I realise is not very much but I think should be able to take me somewhere if I'm able to make patient, prudent purchases.
Thanks for your time!