Help on stereo receiver & speaker selection


New member
Username: Kun

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-09
This is the first time I am going to assemble audio system (budget < $2,500) primarily for listening to classical music. Here is my plan:

Audio CD player: Onkyo DX-7555
Receiver/Preamp: OnkyoTX-8555
Power amplifier: Onkyo M-282
Floorstanding Speakers (a pair):
Paradigm Monitor 7, or

1) Do I really need a power amplifier?
2) Is the above a reasonably setup? I greatly appreciate your advices.

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3766
Registered: Sep-04
Hello Kun Li,

I am not familiar with the Onkyo units in question. I looked at the Onkyo web site and noted that the TX-8555 is an integrated amplifier so it has a power amplifier built into it. In theory you should not need a separate power amplifier therefore. This does depend somewhat on the speakers, but if they're not very difficult to drive, then the 100wpc available from the TX-8555 should suffice.

I cannot comment on whether it's a reasonable setup since I don't know the units in question.


New member
Username: Kun

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-09
Hi Frank,

So I'll go without the power amp now. If extra amp is indeed required, I guess I can always get it at a later time.

Thanks a lot!
- Kun

Silver Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 463
Registered: Oct-07
If possible, and I'd make it so, please go listen to integrated systems at a 'better' than big box or multi-mart level of store.
2500$ is a place on the money map where you can either do well and have a lasting value system or crash. The 9555 Onkyo integrated amp gets pretty good reviews and may make up a good start to a lasting system.

Silver Member
Username: Edison

Glendale, CA US

Post Number: 897
Registered: Dec-03
Dear Kun,

You can do better for the money - I too am a classical music lover.

The onkyo A-9555 sounds considerably better than the onkyo TX-8555 - even if you add the power amp M-282, since the 9555 is a digital amp - sounds smooth like an upscale piece. You can get one at ebay for a good price.

Paradigm studio is a better sounding speaker than the ones you mentioned.

For a CD player, you might want to get a Playstation 1 1001 model from ebay for $35 - one hifi magazine said it sounds like $6000 CD player ! I have it, and it beat my $2200 player in some ways !

You can connect it all up with Ixos gamma RCA and speaker cables - cables are vital as well : -GAMMA-GEOMETRY-SPEAKER-WIRE-WHITE-PER-FOOT/1.html C-Gamma-Geometry-Audio-Cable-2m/1.html

If you don't mind used, you can buy gears at and end up with better quality for the same price.

You should be able to assemble a quite enjoyable system for the price, if you buy used gears. I would consider these - especially the first one is a great deal on a good sounding speaker that looks good too ! -color

If you have more questions, post it here and you will get more help - you might want to go slow and research on line, as you are doing now - for a few months even.

I would visit several hifi shops near by and hear as many systems as possible - sub $6000 systems - you can buy them used for $2500 at

Since you will be enjoying the system, "you" got to like it - and it's subjective and personal, so you might want to hear as many speakers and amps as possible.

But as I said, the onkyo A-9555 and the NHT speakers on audiogon will put you back less than $1000, if you go with the playstation as your Cd player - even with the Ixos cables.

It will sound pretty smooth and liquid like an upscale system - it will be better than your initial choosings in my humble opinion.

You can also get powervar power conditioner to make the sound even better.

With some info, you will end up with a higher quality system that is more enjoyable for the same price. Another good thing about buying them used is that you can resell them if you don't like them, and not lose much money.

This way, you can experiment with different gears - which is the fun thing about this hobby.

Best luck...
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