Suggestions for a $2500 stereo system


New member
Username: Lo134

Markham, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-06
Hello, I am a long time reader, and I thoroughly enjoy reading the discussions. This is my first post!

I am considering to buy a stereo music system. (I don't really know which category to post this message...) But after spending lots of effort putting my home theater system, I am looking more at integrated package offers. Below are three of those packages I am considering:

1. Odyssey $1500 system ($1500 without source)
3. Onix Rocket sp3/x99 CD player and Ref 1 speakers. ($1500) -reference-1-speakers-9-2005.html

All have great reviews, and all said they are the best deal available. But I haven't have the chance to hear any one of them. Can someone give me some guidance as of how they compare? Any other suggestions apart from the above three (ie. am I going about this the wrong way?)

I listen mostly to classical music and pop music. I prefer a large soundstage and precise imaging (ie. close my eyes and I can locate the musicians...). Loudness and deep bass is not a priority. My room is a ~200 sq feet rectangular room.

God bless
Roger Cheng

New member
Username: Lo134

Markham, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2
Registered: Apr-06
Just wanted to add one more thing to complete my question. I read Jan Vigne's excellent review of the Autocostruire Tripath amp and it seems to have the imaging qualities that I longed for. So should I get that Amp (~$200) and spend a larger proportion of the money on speakers (good, easy to drive ones like the Reference De Capos) and the source?

God bless,

Silver Member
Username: Paulfolbrecht

Post Number: 171
Registered: Dec-05

I have the Melody SP3 and can vouch for that peice of kit - it is really 1st-rate. Amazing bargain for the price. Dead quiet, very powerful (drives DynAudio Audience 42s very well), very good soundstage. All the good 'tube' characteristics but no midrange-forwardness or bass softness. I got it on sale for $700, and I don't know of anything in that price range that can compete, sand or glass.

I don't have the rest of the Onix combo that av123 sells, but if the quality of the rest of it comes close to this amp, well...

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 1205
Registered: May-05
The Onix CD player is a re-badged Music Hall. I'm pretty sure it's the CD 25, but may be the 25.2. I've heard them (the Music Halls) several times and haven't been impressed in the least bit. It sounds dull and lifeless to me. Nothing's overly bad about it, but it's one of the least involving and engaging CD players I've ever heard, especially at it's price.

I've heard a lot of great things about the rest of the system though. Maybe the SP3 and x99 match very well together. I've heard gear before that I didn't like, and with the right gear it sounded a lot better. I have heard the Music Hall CDPs with a lot of different gear, and it was the same every time though.

Some people love the Music Hall CD player, some hate it. I belong to the second group. I've also heard their are a lot of QC issues with Music Hall on a number of ocassions.

If you can, track down a Music Hall dealer. It'll give you some idea of how the Cd player sounds.

Bronze Member
Username: Ravbains


Post Number: 37
Registered: Mar-06
Hi Roger,

although I can offer you no advice, and hence I am not really adding any value! I certainly enjoyed reading your post, and reading the review links you have provided.

Wow, very interesting choices of equipment, seems to me that you guys on the North American continent have a much wider array of choices than we have down here in Australia. Certainly makes a change from the usual Arcam, NAD Rotel etc stuff, not that there is anything wrong with these fine brands, just that they tend to dominate the space of affordable hifi.

I read the reviews that you have provided links to
for me the ML designed Red Rose stuff looks most interesting. But I see that the Red Rose combo costs $2000, from your stated budget that would leave only $500 for a CD player. Would you consider a second hand CD player in that case?

I am guessing that you are able to listen to these combinations in your local area? Since whatever you decide you will need the help of a good dealer.

Anyhows, I wish you the best of luck, and best regards from Melbourne, where it is windy and rainy at the moment (good weather to stay indoors and listen to music).


Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 1322
Registered: Sep-04
I recently heard a Red Rose Spirit in a speaker demo. I was really quite impressed with this little amplifier - really rather good and certainly better than I expected.

Do not discount the importance of the source! There's little point in having decent speakers or amplifier if the source feeds it a crappy signal. Try to balance your budget a bit in order to feed a good signal into the system. Here in the UK we would say you can spend up to 50% of your budget on source and still reap the benefits.

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