I Need a Sound System and Advice
November 7, 2017 10:12 AM   Subscribe

I am in the market for an excellent sounding system - speakers, subwoofer and amp. Maybe 50 watts per speaker. I'd go for something used if it was in pristine condition. It needs to be solid, a decent name, attractive, relatively compact and sound amazing. Clear and resonant like a bell. I want to hear everything that needs to be heard. Price range (clincher) around 300 bucks. What are my options?
posted by watercarrier to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Elac Debut B6 speakers on Amazon, 279. Amazing pair of speakers for that price, and I don't think a subwoofer is really needed with them.

Scour craigslist for a vintage receiver in good condition for around 50-75. Solid state components age really well, and you'll get much more value going with a used receiver.
posted by steinwald at 11:56 AM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you want to go new and can live without the sub-woofer I would suggest the Yamaha R-S202BL receiver for $149.95 and Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones bookshelf speakers for $129.00. These are both well thought of on audiophile forums. Andrew Jones has since moved on to design for Elac, and you could go up to the Debut B4 for $179.98 and stay close to your budget, or spend more for the B6 that steinwald recommends. The sub-woofer would be about $200 more. These are all Amazon prices. I have the Pioneer speakers and they are quite good. Be careful about getting too old of a SS amp - ones from the 70's are starting to have electrolytic capacitors go bad and need recapping.
posted by rfs at 12:13 PM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

$300 price point is tough. I'd look to estate sales and goodwill. For amps, besides used, there are "class T" and "class D" amps from China if you insist on new that are pretty cheap $/watt, and are very compact. But really, $300 for "excellent sounding" and "sound amazing" is really, really tough. Spend most of the money on the speakers.
posted by smcameron at 6:38 PM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

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