Help with new system


New member
Username: Smythen

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-05
OK -- I hope I dont get flamed for posting such a broad, desperate request, but:

I have about $6000 from a Xmas bonus that I would like to spend on a stereo-only (not multi-channel) system that would go into a "listening room" (read: bedroom) with no intentions of listening to anything but CDs. I am looking for a good recommendation on a setup that would include:

Preamp (?)
CD player

that would not surpass that budget, at least by much.

The room is 17x20 (carpet-floored) with cathedral ceilings and drywall around. I listen mainly to folk/rock and need good separation of all musical elements (vocals, etc) with the best dynamic range I can get and excellent dimensionality (word?) and modeling of sound.

I have found the entry to this hobby to be a very steep climb, in terms of understanding, and would like some help as to what I should compare/listen to to help narrow my choices. I sure dont trust those show-room retailers!!

Thank you, and all help is appreciated!!

New member
Username: Smythen

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-05
Anyone wanna take a stab? Starting from scratch, being able to pick good matches between speakers/amps/CD, with a budget of $6K or so for the whoel shootin match?

New member
Username: Orangeclockwork

Post Number: 7
Registered: Dec-05
Is there a WAF(Wife Acceptance Factor) involved?

If not, your options are wide open.

If I were you I would not go crazy on the cables part. So-called mid-fi cables woud do just fine. You'll be better off if you spend the money on the amp, preamp, speakers and CDP.

Silver Member
Username: Sun_king

Leeds, West Yorkshire UK

Post Number: 302
Registered: Mar-04
For that sort of money you're not going to get a crap system. Go out to dealers listening to kit and make your own mind up because sound quality is subjective - you need to decide whether you want a warm, bright or inbetween sound first of all. Speakers can make a BIG difference to any system so just because you've heard such & such a cd player with such & such an amp it doesn't mean anything unless you connect several pairs of different speakers to it. In short buy some hifi magazines and ring some dealers to book demos. Don't buy the first system you like the sound of. Spend weeks if necessary because for that outlay I'd be expecting to live with the system a very long time.

Choosing components that match well together is really down to your own personal taste as what one person likes may not suit another even when the system is for similar musical tastes. I recently heard some Primare components with various speakers and was quite suprised how different they sounded. Some setups were relaxing while others were lively and energetic. If you're buying new then I guess you have the luxury of putting together a system thats ideal as opposed to buying used then you may not have that luxury unless you are persistent. A visit to a few of those dealers you don't trust is really the only way to get EXACTLY what YOU want. Do some research on the web and mags to see whats being recommended then visit those dealers with an initial shortlist to listen. If you feel they are forcing anything or misleading you take your $6K elsewhere, remember you're not obliged to buy. I'm sure someone will appreciate a slice of all that dough. I guess it would be fine if we all knew what we wanted then we could just scour the net or phone around for the best deals.

There are some good guys out there.

Good luck.

Bronze Member
Username: Awafaehame

Post Number: 11
Registered: Oct-05
Stephen I was faced with a very similar "problem" for want of a better word a few months ago. I had originally thought that BOSE (don't shoot me for this) was pretty much as good as it got and that there was no need to pay thousands of dollars for something else.
After reading hundreds of different reviews and coming on here and annoying everyone, I ended up with a Rotel system and B&W speakers.
The components are RC 1070, RB 1070 and RDV 1060.
The speakers are B&W 704's. Now I am sure the more educated than me guys on here will spot flaws in my equipment, but to me it is incredible.
I am not saying that this is the be all and end all not by a long shot, but by god it is the best system I have ever heard and I am so happy that it is in my living room!!!

New member
Username: Smythen

Post Number: 5
Registered: Dec-05
Thank you for all of your help and responses. Part of the issue is that I live in Cleveland, Ohio, and there is only one real dealer of hi-fi, who sells:

Rotel, Krell, Denon, B&W

and another, selling: Definitive, Anthem, Phase Tech,Paradigm, Yamaha, McIntosh, Pioneer

Tooling around these forums, I am convinced that I need to go and listen to the Rotel/B&W combo (and I'll listen to other stuff while I'm there), but I dont see NAD/EPOS and many many other brands that are getting good reviews here.

I do like a warm sound with good modeling and separation of audible components to the music -- somewhat tube-like. I listen to the music loud enough to surround the space entirely, but it wont be a "party" room or be played at airport runway levels.

Thanks for the specifics, Ian -- I will definitely take a look at that set-up at one of the retailers above!


New member
Username: Smythen

Post Number: 6
Registered: Dec-05
Oh -- and no Wife Acceptance Factor need be accounted for -- my girlfriend is kindof a technophile and music nut herself

Bronze Member
Username: Awafaehame

Post Number: 12
Registered: Oct-05
If you have no wife acceptance required, then you are sorted then Stephen!!!
I was looking at B&W 603's as well as the 704's that I ended up with.
I loved the sound from the 704's but felt they were a little bit pricey, that was ofcourse until the missus said she preferred them to the 603's!!!!
I obviously forgot to mention that the 603's also came in cherry wood finish and not just black, but by that time it was too late.....

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 1086
Registered: Sep-04
C'mon Ian, the 704s murder 603s...!

Steve, go to both dealers. Let them know that you're shopping around but that you need advice and that you fully intend to use both their services to find the best deal for you in Cleveland. That way they won't feel short-changed when you choose the other system and you won't feel guilty letting one of them down.

The dealers will put on the best deal they can, but both dealer has kit worth a listen.

Shame neither of them do my favourite brands, but there you go! :-)


New member
Username: Smythen

Post Number: 9
Registered: Dec-05
Thanks again for being so helpful, Frank.

Actually, after looking into it much further, in the NORTHERN Ohio area, I have found dealers/individuals that will allow me to audition a LOT of different stuff -- so I guess just get out there and start listening, huh? Its such a broad, completely foreign world to me that I guess I was hoping for a few specifics to give a shot to, but I hear people saying over and over to (like Nike) Just Do It -- get out and listen to as much as I can.

Maybe I should ask -- at this price point are there brands or combinations to AVOID?!

Bronze Member
Username: Awafaehame

Post Number: 13
Registered: Oct-05
Frank, I am not denying that fact at all!!!!
I was merely pointing out that I didn't need to tell the one I love a little white lie about the prices as she picked them herself!!!

Was obviously very happy about it, and yes they did murder the 603's. Thank god they were not in cherry wood and the 704's in black in the catalogue photo!!!
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