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post #1 of 81 Old 03-15-2017, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thoughts on entry level 2.0 system

I am thinking about setting up an entry level 2.0 system in my office (11x12x9). I have a budget of about $1000 and someone gave me an Ion Profile Pro turntable a little while ago. I know I should upgrade but I will wait until I actually have a record collection before i worry about that.

I am thinking about getting Elac B6 speakers.

for the rest of the system I was looking at the following options:

Emotiva Ta-100 integrated amp
Emotiva ERC-3 cd

or

NAD C316BEE integrated amp
NAD C516BEE cd

Which system would better fit my needs or is there another system or configuration I should check out as well?
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post #2 of 81 Old 03-15-2017, 02:48 PM
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I'd lean towards the NAD. Can you move up to the 326? You can get away with a cheap/cheaper CD player for now.

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post #3 of 81 Old 03-16-2017, 03:24 AM
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fwiw, with your budget i would put most of it towards your speakers this is where your quality of sound comes from ,not your amp or cd player or any other electronic device. depending on what kind of music you listen to, bookshelf speakers are going to limit your bass production(adding a subwoofer would be ideal).bookshelf speakers can also be wall mounted for rooms lacking floor space. towers will give you more bass, but many times their best placement can be a problem with their size.
even an avr in 2 channel mode would be a great entry level amp to start with.just my 3 inflated cents. good luck with your journey.

if you do get into vinyl you will want to upgrade your turntable first as the turntable you have will most likely deter your vinyl quest. starting out in vinyl can become expensive but a good entry level tt is highly recommended for beginners who are just starting out.

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post #4 of 81 Old 03-16-2017, 05:36 AM
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I think you are on the right track with both Emotiva and NAD, but I think Emotiva, especially with their new BasX line, are the value per dollar king.
IMHO I think with the tight budget that you have, spending half of that budget or $500 on a CD player is a total waste of money. Try the used market for a decent CD player.
I think you could build a great little budget system starting with the Emotiva Ta-100 (great internal DAC). I would also consider their newest subwoofer, the BasX S8 to go with any new bookshelf speakers you decide to go with.
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post #5 of 81 Old 03-16-2017, 06:38 AM
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I would also check out the Yamaha AS-501 w/the Yamaha CD-s300 CD Player. Excellent combo.
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post #6 of 81 Old 03-16-2017, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Class A View Post
I would also check out the Yamaha AS-501 w/the Yamaha CD-s300 CD Player. Excellent combo.

Or maybe get the Yamaha AS-301 and spend the $200 savings on getting the Elac UB5s instead of the B6s. (Disclaimer: I own the B6s) or put the savings toward a decent turntable.

The AS-501 is 85 w per channel and the AS- 301 is 60 w per so it would be real hard to hear the difference as far as power is concerned. The biggest advantage is that the AS-501 is available with a silver front instead of just black as is the case with the AS-301 in the USA. I much prefer the classic Yamaha silver.
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post #7 of 81 Old 03-16-2017, 11:42 AM
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Consider this -

$600 = Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver, AM/FM, 80w/ch, Network Streaming, DAC, Bluetooth, etc...
$300 = Yamaha CD Player
$280 = Elac B6 Bookshelf Speaker
---------------------------
$1180 = Total


Yes, I know I went over budget, but you get AM/FM plus Network Streaming of Audio from Local Storage and from the Internet (20,000 Internet Radio Stations from around the world, plus Streaming Services like Spotify, Slack, Amazon, Pandora...). And since it has Bluetooth, for causal listening, you can stream music stored on your Smart Phone. That's a lot of features and flexibility for only $180 over budget.

You can come close with this -

$550 = Yamaha AS501 Integrated Amp, 85w/ch, DAC
$300 = Yamaha CDS300 CD Player
$_30 = Google ChromeCast - Audio
$280 = Elac B6 speaker pair
--------------------------
$1160 = Total


That's not much saving to get less Network Streaming. ChromeCast work well with Streaming Services, but doesn't Stream from local storage.

Cutting back further -

$350 = Yamaha AS301 Integrated Amp, 60w/ch, DAC
$300 = Yamaha CDS300 CD Player
$_30 = Google ChromeCast - Audio
$280 = Elec B6 pair
------------------------------
$960 = Total


That's pretty close to dead on the budget. ChromeCast will integrate itself into the Streaming Service App. When you run ...say... Spotify, one of the options will be to use Chromecast as opposed to general WiFi or Cell Minutes/Data.

Though over budget, the Yamaha RN602 is really the best deal listed. Only $180 more, for much more flexibility and many more features.

Just one opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #8 of 81 Old 03-16-2017, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
I am thinking about setting up an entry level 2.0 system in my office (11x12x9). I have a budget of about $1000 and someone gave me an Ion Profile Pro turntable a little while ago. I know I should upgrade but I will wait until I actually have a record collection before i worry about that.

I am thinking about getting Elac B6 speakers.

for the rest of the system I was looking at the following options:

Emotiva Ta-100 integrated amp
Emotiva ERC-3 cd

or

NAD C316BEE integrated amp
NAD C516BEE cd

Which system would better fit my needs or is there another system or configuration I should check out as well?
$200 CD Player with media capabilities.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/denon-pr...?skuId=5363300

The $400 Emotiva looks good but the thread on poor customer service in the amplifier section gives me pause.

Me? I'd buy a $350 Yamaha R-S500 and use the savings towards the "step up" speakers below, (Bronze 2s).

Monitor Audio Bronze speakers $400, (I'd get the $100 more Bronze 2s if you can stretch a bit).

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_893BZ1...yl.html?tp=186

If you must pay more for the CD player then these are an amazing choice.

http://philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html
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post #9 of 81 Old 03-17-2017, 08:35 AM
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System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
I am thinking about setting up an entry level 2.0 system in my office (11x12x9). I have a budget of about $1000 and someone gave me an Ion Profile Pro turntable a little while ago. I know I should upgrade but I will wait until I actually have a record collection before i worry about that.

I am thinking about getting Elac B6 speakers.

for the rest of the system I was looking at the following options:

Emotiva Ta-100 integrated amp
Emotiva ERC-3 cd

or

NAD C316BEE integrated amp
NAD C516BEE cd

Which system would better fit my needs or is there another system or configuration I should check out as well?

I think the NAD components and B6 speakers would be a very good system; hard to beat for the price.
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post #10 of 81 Old 03-17-2017, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
I am thinking about setting up an entry level 2.0 system in my office (11x12x9). I have a budget of about $1000 and someone gave me an Ion Profile Pro turntable a little while ago. I know I should upgrade but I will wait until I actually have a record collection before i worry about that.

I am thinking about getting Elac B6 speakers.

for the rest of the system I was looking at the following options:

Emotiva Ta-100 integrated amp
Emotiva ERC-3 cd

or

NAD C316BEE integrated amp
NAD C516BEE cd

Which system would better fit my needs or is there another system or configuration I should check out as well?

I'd go a different route:

Leaves about 400 or so for a sub if you want one. Or swap out the Oppo for a cheaper brand, better sub.
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post #11 of 81 Old 03-17-2017, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for all your suggestions. I actually found a store in my area that supposedly carries Monitor Audio so I'll definitely check those out and I like what i read about the Philharmonic Audio as well. I have also read that some entry receivers/amps have trouble pushing the ELACs. Does anybody know about that?

My understanding thus far is that CD player is the least important part of the system. Am I correct? Also, I understand the difference between integrated stereo amps and stereo receivers but other than cost, is there an advantage for going one way or the other?

If this helps, I primary listen to orchestral classical, but i enjoy a good classic rock song as well. I want the system to emphasize nuance and clarity over power, but I would like to fill a bedroom sized office with sound .
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post #12 of 81 Old 03-17-2017, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
Thanks everybody for all your suggestions. I actually found a store in my area that supposedly carries Monitor Audio so I'll definitely check those out and I like what i read about the Philharmonic Audio as well. I have also read that some entry receivers/amps have trouble pushing the ELACs. Does anybody know about that?

My understanding thus far is that CD player is the least important part of the system. Am I correct? Also, I understand the difference between integrated stereo amps and stereo receivers but other than cost, is there an advantage for going one way or the other?

If this helps, I primary listen to orchestral classical, but i enjoy a good classic rock song as well. I want the system to emphasize nuance and clarity over power, but I would like to fill a bedroom sized office with sound .

"some entry receivers/amps have trouble pushing the ELACs. Does anybody know about that?"

I don't have any trouble in spite of using the dirtball cheap Yamaha AS-301 integrated. I don't listen very loud during the day because the phone might ring while I'm in the office. My Elacs are about 30-35' away in the living room and are on just loud enough for background type listening. I also don't have any front wall reinforcement given how my speakers are positioned.


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post #13 of 81 Old 03-17-2017, 11:07 AM
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[quote=Rgarc;51579585]
Quote:
My understanding thus far is that CD player is the least important part of the system. Am I correct?
It cannot be the least important as it is the source. good in - good out... crap in crap out etc.

The so-called Laws of Physic's are Theory's and nothing more, many of which remain unproven to any degree of certainty!
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post #14 of 81 Old 03-17-2017, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
.... I have also read that some entry receivers/amps have trouble pushing the ELACs. Does anybody know about that?
You don't want to cut that line too thin, it's much better to have a little extra power (or a lot of extra power)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
My understanding thus far is that CD player is the least important part of the system.
No it's not least important but even cheap players sound pretty good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
Also, I understand the difference between integrated stereo amps and stereo receivers but other than cost, is there an advantage for going one way or the other?
General statement: Integrateds often have a tad more beef. As you reduce features more money can be spent on the important stuff, like good power supplies.

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post #15 of 81 Old 03-17-2017, 11:28 AM
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You don't want to cut that line too thin, it's much better to have a little extra power (or a lot of extra power)

No it's not least important but even cheap players sound pretty good.

General statement: Integrateds often have a tad more beef. As you reduce features more money can be spent on the important stuff, like good power supplies.
IME integrates usually sound much better, but not always. The speaker system has a big role to play in this.

They tend to spec out better as well.

Good music reproductions can be attended for a reasonable investment, if one buys used. Speakers are prime, in the signal chain. if i have 10K in hand, Id likely spend it this way:

1. $7000 - speakers - Used
2. $1000 - media player with integrated preamp - New
3. $1800 - amplifiers - Used
4. $200 - cables - New

I'd likely bi-amp the speakers, if the right amp values could be found.

The so-called Laws of Physic's are Theory's and nothing more, many of which remain unproven to any degree of certainty!

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post #16 of 81 Old 03-17-2017, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
Thanks everybody for all your suggestions. I actually found a store in my area that supposedly carries Monitor Audio so I'll definitely check those out and I like what i read about the Philharmonic Audio as well. I have also read that some entry receivers/amps have trouble pushing the ELACs. Does anybody know about that?

My understanding thus far is that CD player is the least important part of the system. Am I correct? Also, I understand the difference between integrated stereo amps and stereo receivers but other than cost, is there an advantage for going one way or the other?

If this helps, I primary listen to orchestral classical, but i enjoy a good classic rock song as well. I want the system to emphasize nuance and clarity over power, but I would like to fill a bedroom sized office with sound .
Sound and Vision's review of the B5's showed perhaps veiled highs.

This subjective review seems to have found that same thing vs. the Philharmonic Audio AA Monitor.

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums...monitor.97171/

Geoff A. J., California
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post #17 of 81 Old 03-17-2017, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Sound and Vision's review of the B5's showed perhaps veiled highs.

This subjective review seems to have found that same thing vs. the Philharmonic Audio AA Monitor.

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums...monitor.97171/

The B5 / B6 certainly isn't as refined a high end as the UB5s, but perfectly OK at moderate to low levels. Once pushed though they get a little rough and dry. They do tend to smooth out a bit with some 'miles' on them. I'm ok with the B6s, but I wish I would have waited for the UB5s. A good thing though is that my Elacs are far far less colored than my B&W 685S2. The B&Ws are bad enough that I just don't listen to them.
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post #18 of 81 Old 03-19-2017, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
I am thinking about setting up an entry level 2.0 system in my office (11x12x9). I have a budget of about $1000 and someone gave me an Ion Profile Pro turntable a little while ago. I know I should upgrade but I will wait until I actually have a record collection before i worry about that.

I am thinking about getting Elac B6 speakers.

for the rest of the system I was looking at the following options:

Emotiva Ta-100 integrated amp
Emotiva ERC-3 cd

or

NAD C316BEE integrated amp
NAD C516BEE cd

Which system would better fit my needs or is there another system or configuration I should check out as well?

Between the two systems I would go for the NAD. The ELAC B6 is a nice choice to pair with it.

Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier | Marantz CD5005 Compact Disc Player | Music Hall USB-1 Turntable | Onkyo TA-R240 Cassette Tape Player
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Quote:
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post #19 of 81 Old 03-21-2017, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone. I can see many options now under $1000. It seems that $1200 would be a more realistic budget to not have to compromise on components if I can squeeze the extra cash or upgrade later. Many have suggested different stereo receivers that seem promising. Does anybody know about the quality of these components or am I crossing from entry level to cheap with these components:

Onkyo TX-8020 or TX-8140 stereo receivers
Onkyo C-7030 cd player
TEAC CD-P650-B cd player

If any of these components pan out I can divert more money towards speakers and maybe a better turntable.

Once again thank all of you for your help so far.
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post #20 of 81 Old 03-21-2017, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
Thank you everyone. I can see many options now under $1000. It seems that $1200 would be a more realistic budget to not have to compromise on components if I can squeeze the extra cash or upgrade later. Many have suggested different stereo receivers that seem promising. Does anybody know about the quality of these components or am I crossing from entry level to cheap with these components:

Onkyo TX-8020 or TX-8140 stereo receivers
Onkyo C-7030 cd player
TEAC CD-P650-B cd player

If any of these components pan out I can divert more money towards speakers and maybe a better turntable.

Once again thank all of you for your help so far.

Speaking of Teac you might want to check out the Tascam CD-200. It's dirt cheap, available on Amazon, and I use one in the system with the Elac B6s and the cheap Yamaha AS301. The Tascam works like a champ and is on everyday for most of the day (including right now) unless I'm listening to the main system.

I also have a Onkyo 7030 in my office system and don't like it as much as the Tascam.

The Yamaha, Elacs and Tascam make for quite a musical budget system. And for the TT I have the $299 Musical Fidelity Roundtable with an Ortofon Blue. Quite happy with all of it.

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post #21 of 81 Old 03-22-2017, 05:55 PM
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I would go with NAD, and a cheaper, maybe used CD player, so there is more money left for better speakers.

You don't necessarily need that new NAD CD player. I would want my player to be able to handle Blue ray, and preferably sport a DAC in it as well. But first NAD amp, and more money towards the speakers.

Here is a $900 NAD 356BEE with a DAC that can be had for $499 on audiogon. Plenty of power, but I never used a TT so I'm not sure how that hooks up if you planning on using it as well as CDs.


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post #23 of 81 Old 03-23-2017, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=michaellsv;51708089]

You don't necessarily need that new NAD CD player. I would want my player to be able to handle Blue ray, and preferably sport a DAC in it as well. But first NAD amp, and more money towards the speakers.

Please forgive my being a newbie, especially when it come to 2-channel audio. I thought about using a bluray for the added versatility but I read in a review somewhere about a cd player being more efficient for music because none of the processing power was used on video. That's what started and snowballed me on this little quest. I use my Panasonic Bluray to play cd's in 2-channel mode on my HT all the time and it sounds great.

I'm actually curious if there is some truth to this or was the review selling snake oil. I was also curious about the thin line between entry level and cheap. It seems the line is about $200 for new cd players and about $300 for receivers/integrated amps when talking about new equipment.

For a quality secondary 2-channel system I think $1000 is reasonable but I would definitely push my budget to $2000 if I could dig up the cash.
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post #24 of 81 Old 03-23-2017, 02:59 PM
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[quote=Rgarc;51725985]
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Originally Posted by michaellsv View Post
...I'm actually curious if there is some truth to this or was the review selling snake oil...
For an entry level system just about any CD player is going to do the job. As you get into mid level systems the sound quality of mid range players make a difference ($600 plus players), then as you move up the higher end players they offer detail and sonic characteristics that the cheaper players don't offer. The reason you use a dedicated CD player is because they are designed just for their sonic characteristics, more money goes into that than video features/hardware/software. The key is to match the player to your system's capability.
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post #25 of 81 Old 03-23-2017, 03:41 PM
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This is what I'd buy right now, at this moment....

Onkyo A-9010 stereo integrated amp - $300.00 at Amazon.com or directly from Onkyo
NHT SuperOne 2.1 B-stock - $254.00/pair direct from NHT
Onkyo C-7030 CD player or Sony UHP-H1 universal player - under $200

Alternately, you can substitute an Onkyo TX-8020 stereo receiver (usually about $150.00) for the Onkyo integrated amp. You may need to spend a little more for speaker stands and cables, but this will make a great sounding system. You may even have enough money left over for a 32" flat panel TV to hook up to the Sony

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post #26 of 81 Old 03-23-2017, 09:10 PM
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[quote=Russ69;51730329]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
The key is to match the player to your system's capability.


Well said!
The amp is always in between the player and the speakers and needs to be up to par to image all of those enhanced sonic characteristics.

Personally I've been using my Xbox for Bluray, and MacBook Pro for CD and Streaming, and I have not operated a DVD player since PS3 came out in 2005 and took care of Bluray playback for my needs. And now I just can't wait for Oppo 205 to come out, and then I'm all set for the next 10-15 years probably.... but that's just me


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post #27 of 81 Old 03-24-2017, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ematcion View Post
This is what I'd buy right now, at this moment....

Onkyo A-9010 stereo integrated amp - $300.00 at Amazon.com or directly from Onkyo
NHT SuperOne 2.1 B-stock - $254.00/pair direct from NHT
Onkyo C-7030 CD player or Sony UHP-H1 universal player - under $200

Alternately, you can substitute an Onkyo TX-8020 stereo receiver (usually about $150.00) for the Onkyo integrated amp. You may need to spend a little more for speaker stands and cables, but this will make a great sounding system. You may even have enough money left over for a 32" flat panel TV to hook up to the Sony
This. Or you can substitute a set of Q Acoustics 3020 or KEF Q 300 speakers and still be under budget.
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post #28 of 81 Old 03-24-2017, 11:56 AM
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This. Or you can substitute a set of Q Acoustics 3020 or KEF Q 300 speakers and still be under budget.
There are many inexpensive, yet great-sounding, components/speakers out on the market. Just be patient and watch out for good deals.

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post #29 of 81 Old 03-24-2017, 08:17 PM
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This. Or you can substitute a set of Q Acoustics 3020 or KEF Q 300 speakers and still be under budget.
On second thought, the NAD 316 BEE amp, with the Onkyo 7030, and KEF Q 300s.

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post #30 of 81 Old 03-24-2017, 11:37 PM
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As you get into mid level systems the sound quality of mid range players make a difference ($600 plus players), then as you move up the higher end players they offer detail and sonic characteristics that the cheaper players don't offer.
I've heard / read about such rumors but never seen any evidence.
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