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post #1 of 83 Old 02-27-2015, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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A $500/$600 stereo...

It's easy to spend $3k+ on a 2ch system... how about $500-$600? I did this - replacing previous generations of Yamaha HT AVR's and DVD players in my office which had been recycled as a basic 2ch 'system'. Last summer, I first changed the Yamaha DVD out for a new Onkyo C-7030 ($165) - good history and DAC's. As summer ended, I went with the 50Wpc Onkyo TX-8020 due to it's low THD + N rating (<.08% @ 50Wpc; <.03% @ 25Wpc - the damping - 60 - was a bit low.). The pair are interconnected with the R1 cable for easy/convenient remote control. For speakers, I recycled a pair of my 20yr old Polk Large Monitors first - then the recent HT satelites, now excess, a pair of Infinity P163's. Christmas brought a pair of NHT SuperOne 2.1's ($210) into the mix - WOW! Get some #16 pure copper zipcord and a decent audio cable for the CDP interconnect and you're out $600. I 'discovered' the entry level Klipsch bookshelf system, specifically, the KB-15 ($130/pr) a month back - and really like them... they grow on you! Get them - and find your old cables - and you can have a nice lunch on the change from your $500! All items were purchased from AMAZON and used their 2-day Prime delivery.


My system has been used with the PC for hours daily, for desktop movie watching on my 25" monitor, and, of course, for listening to my CD's (Loreena McKennitt's 'Troubadours on the Rhine' is on now.) - ever since last summer - and it's been flawless. The speaker migration has been interesting. Truth be told, I thought I was happy with the Infinity P163's! I recycled them in my hobby room on the 20 yr old Yamaha RX-V480 AVR - and the old DVD player from my office, which was replaced because it would, at odd times, run wide open, speeding up until the CD/DVD would jump it's arbor, running/skidding about in the tray - marring it, of course. I cleaned it - same odd behavior - it ate Bonnie Raitt's 'Longing in their Hearts' the first of the week (A replacement is on the way '- $4.58!). Hard as it is to admit by this hoarder, but sometimes, it's time to trash old electronics. Maybe it's time to admit it - and just buy another pair of Onkyo's...


John
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post #2 of 83 Old 02-28-2015, 10:50 AM
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Go for a Pioneer A-30 + KEF Q300, like I did
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post #3 of 83 Old 03-01-2015, 06:42 PM
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Cool. I'm on the $250.00 system right now:

  • Sony Blue Ray DVD player - $120.00
  • Lepai LP-2020A+ integrated - $20.00 (class T digital)
  • Bose 141s - $80.00
  • Cables - $30.00
Very happy with it. Been steadily downgrading from the enormous $10,000.00 plus systems I had in the 90s. Of course, I listen to music differently now, more as background when I am moving around the apt. This gives me all I need without breaking the bank. Highly recommended. The Lepai amp is a gem, and I feel that the Bose 141s are maybe the best affordable speaker Bose has ever produced. If you can find them, you can steal them for around $80.00.



Cheers.
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post #4 of 83 Old 04-19-2015, 11:12 AM
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I'd start with this Denon AVR for $150and then use the rest or most of the rest on some good speakers.
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post #5 of 83 Old 04-19-2015, 01:08 PM
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These have shocked me - and they are dynamic - and will beat a lot of popular
named mass market speakers out there.

IntelliTouch EOS bookshelf speakers - price per pair
http://www.amazon.com/Intellitouch-E...shelf+speakers

Denon or Yamaha receiver
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

----------------
Who AM I

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post #6 of 83 Old 04-22-2015, 03:07 PM
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It is amazing how many people are abandoning Surround Sound if favor of concentrating their money on a Stereo system. Certainly not a majority by any means, but a significant number of people. I run across similar posts all the time.

Myself, never bothered with an AV Surround system. It spreads my already limited budget way to thin.

That said, I do recognize that Surround Sound can be a very good immersive experience ... if you have three to four times more money to spend. That is 3 to 4 times more than an equivalent Stereo. Though 5 to 6 times would be better.

Here is one scary fact about Surround Sound. You can go to Walmart (or similar) and get a full 5.1 in a box system for about $150, and the Surround effect will sound impressive ... even as the sound quality in general sounds like crap ...so...apparently...impressive crap.

The point is that you have to be able to separate the impressive effect from the general sound quality. If you have enough money, not only are the effects impressive, but the sound quality is equally impressive ...but... that takes substantially more money.

Myself, I'll pay for the sound quality and forget the special effects. My stereo as configured does a stunning job for movies, and even without a Sub, I've felt the hair on my head ruffle and my pant legs move under the impact of bass. I'd say I'm doing OK.

I just changed amps, but my original system broke down like this -

$_270/ea = Yamaha RX-797 Stereo Receiver 100w/ch ($550 retail)
$_425/pr = Wharfedale Diamond 9.6, 2x8" each, 3.5-way ($1000/pr retail)
$_200/ea = Pioneer PL-35A turntable ($600 in today's dollars)
$_150/ea = Harman Kardon DVD-48 Universal Player as CD ($450 retail)
$_165/ea = Harman Kardon BDP-1 BluRay ($500 Retail)
------------------------
$1210 = Total ($3100 retail)

For movies, I add -

$_150/ea = Onlyo TX-8255, 50w/ch, Stereo Receiver ($199 retail)
$_300/pr = DIY 12" 3-Way Big Box speakers (best guess $500/pr retail)
-----------------
$450 = Total

The Yamaha is Pre-Amped in to the Onkyo driving the second set of 12" speakers, which makes for some killer action movies.

By the way, because of another discussion, I measured my sound levels during an action movie (Hobbit-5 Armies), Though it hit the end of the meter, I did read peak 110db levels with no noticeable distortion. The added 12" speakers boost the output by about +6db.

The Diamond 9.6 are rated down to about 28hz at -6db, and the 12" 3-way DIY, surprisingly, are only rated down to about 40hz. But, I swear I can bring the THUNDER to action movies.

I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

While the above is potentially above average in consumer grade equipment, my previous system was a decent 45w/ch Pioneer amp and the 12" DIY speakers listed above. That modest system served me extremely well for several decades.

For what it is worth.

Steve/bluewizard

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post #7 of 83 Old 04-22-2015, 04:28 PM
 
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Very interesting thread. For my two cents worth, I am definitely in that "put together an affordable two-channel system using quality components and be satisfied" camp, rather than drool and pointlessly envy those "audiophiles" with record cleaning machines that look like pieces of obscure furniture, ridiculously exotic-looking digital transports and clear-based turntables that look like a NASA contraption and speaker/power cable so thick and expensive they can be stand-ins for a power company's backup generator accessories platform. Me? I like to piece together affordable -- yet of good, solid quality far beyond the likes of the garbage you see on the shelves of your local Best Buy -- stereo components (I also have a separate 5.1 surround setup) and I've always been impressed by people and their systems that boast these more down-to-earth setups...you know, stereo receivers from Yamaha or Onkyo, or perhaps an integrated amp, plus affordable CD players/changers, speakers, etc...


In my two-channel system, I have been EXTREMELY happy with my Onkyo TX-8555 stereo receiver (the last of the 100-watt-per-channel amp-supplied stereo models they offered) which looks gorgeous with its no-nonsense aluminum front panel and which sounds, honestly, like a really good, well-made integrated amp that just happens to have a tuner built in. Connected to this receiver is a Marantz CC4001 five-disc CD changer (looks gorgeous, as well, with its brushed aluminum face, but exhibits some programming hiccups when I'm doing recording compilations...which I think changers in general are prone to), a professional TASCAM CD recorder, a professional Numark dual CD player/mixing console and an Audio-Technica AT-LP120 turntable. I was previously running a pair of old Polk R20 bookshelves in this system on horribly-designed Sanus stands, but upgraded to Infinity's Primus P363s when Fry's ran their awesome sale on these towers and my wife and I haven't looked back since...
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post #8 of 83 Old 04-22-2015, 06:21 PM
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I haven't read what bells and whistles you're looking for but Sherwood receivers are solid buys.

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post #9 of 83 Old 04-22-2015, 08:35 PM
 
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This is just opinion, but I respectfully disagree with Citizen's assessment of the Sherwood receivers -- from experience, these things (especially the models sold through RadioShack) are cheap, not put together well and downright disappointing; even the surface ergonomics (i.e. buttons/switches/etc.) don't seem like they're going to hold up with much use...I've seen them side-by-side at some Best Buys with their own "Insignia" house brand receivers and both these products just scream "cheap" to me...

I am not trying to belittle Citizen's opinion; just sharing my own and merely saying I disagree that Sherwood is a good choice, even for a "bang-for-the-buck" selection.

Now, I know this company (Sherwood) is making strides in their AVR (surround receiver) line, with the somewhat sophisticated Trinnov analysis systems and such, but I don't know if I'd touch their stereo units (there's an entry level Sherwood AVR too that looks beyond cheap)...
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post #10 of 83 Old 10-14-2015, 07:25 PM
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I just stumbled upon this thread and have an idea of what would work as a decent 2-channel system. All items are on amazon.com.

Onkyo TX-8020 Stereo Receiver 50 W/Ch= $174.00
Onkyo C-7030 Compact Disc Player = $169.00
JBL ES80BK 4-Way Dual 170mm 6-Inch Floorstanding Speaker $119.00 ea = $238.00 pair



Total = $581.00

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post #11 of 83 Old 10-14-2015, 07:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacodutaco View Post
I just stumbled upon this thread and have an idea of what would work as a decent 2-channel system. All items are on amazon.com.

Onkyo TX-8020 Stereo Receiver 50 W/Ch= $174.00
Onkyo C-7030 Compact Disc Player = $169.00
JBL ES80BK 4-Way Dual 170mm 6-Inch Floorstanding Speaker $119.00 ea = $238.00 pair



Total = $581.00

I ABSOLUTELY agree!


Then, if the desire for vinyl comes along, add a turntable and you're all set...
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post #12 of 83 Old 10-14-2015, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
I ABSOLUTELY agree!


Then, if the desire for vinyl comes along, add a turntable and you're all set...
That is what I was thinking. At 50w/ch it isn't a bad receiver at all but it does have the phono hookups if you ever want to add a turntable. The receiver has much better stats than the entry level Yamaha many people gravitate to and it also has the ability to add a turntable (already mentioned) and a sub-woofer which the Yamaha doesn't.

The Onkyo CD player is one of the best rated dedicated CD players on the market and it comes in at a fantastic price too.

I really find it hard to beat this system for the budget conscience who still want high quality performance out of their investment.

Myself, I would pop for a different pair of speakers than what I listed above. The JBL's aren't bad at all for the price, but I personally prefer Klipsch and Polk but both would have exceeded the monetary cap for this challenge. Also, there are some great bookshelf speakers that could be substituted in place of the JBL floor-standing speakers. I didn't get into that because my goal was to find speakers where you would not need a sub-woofer if you wanted to experience some really nice bass in your music. The JBL's will do that. As you can see, a $500 -$600 2-channel system can easily be done.

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post #13 of 83 Old 10-14-2015, 08:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacodutaco View Post
That is what I was thinking. At 50w/ch it isn't a bad receiver at all but it does have the phono hookups if you ever want to add a turntable. The receiver has much better stats than the entry level Yamaha many people gravitate to and it also has the ability to add a turntable (already mentioned) and a sub-woofer which the Yamaha doesn't.

The Onkyo CD player is one of the best rated dedicated CD players on the market and it comes in at a fantastic price too.

I really find it hard to beat this system for the budget conscience who still want high quality performance out of their investment.

Myself, I would pop for a different pair of speakers than what I listed above. The JBL's aren't bad at all for the price, but I personally prefer Klipsch and Polk but both would have exceeded the monetary cap for this challenge. Also, there are some great bookshelf speakers that could be substituted in place of the JBL floor-standing speakers. I didn't get into that because my goal was to find speakers where you would not need a sub-woofer if you wanted to experience some really nice bass in your music. The JBL's will do that. As you can see, a $500 -$600 2-channel system can easily be done.

Paco,


I concur with pretty much everything you said; heck, I have the Onkyo TX-8555 stereo receiver in my two-channel system, which was the powerful predecessor to the current line of their stereo models, and it kicks ass. I would even suggest, if the original query individual is interested in multi-disc convenience, Onkyo's beautiful changer:





As for the speakers, I too am a Polk fan (use 'em in my home theater) and had JBL towers years ago for a stereo setup, but the JBLs mentioned would probably do alright --I would add to your suggestion of Polks or Klipschs, Infinitys, which I'm running in my stereo rig (though that puts the focus back on the Harman Group/JBL)...
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post #14 of 83 Old 10-14-2015, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
I ABSOLUTELY agree!


Then, if the desire for vinyl comes along, add a turntable and you're all set...
Quote:
Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
Paco,


I concur with pretty much everything you said; heck, I have the Onkyo TX-8555 stereo receiver in my two-channel system, which was the powerful predecessor to the current line of their stereo models, and it kicks ass. I would even suggest, if the original query individual is interested in multi-disc convenience, Onkyo's beautiful changer:





As for the speakers, I too am a Polk fan (use 'em in my home theater) and had JBL towers years ago for a stereo setup, but the JBLs mentioned would probably do alright --I would add to your suggestion of Polks or Klipschs, Infinitys, which I'm running in my stereo rig (though that puts the focus back on the Harman Group/JBL)...
I know some folks like CD changers. They were a fad about 20 years ago with Sony and Pioneer both having numerous offerings. I tried a Sony 5-disc changer once and it was garbage. It played fine but the indexing of CD's and the way it was tray-fed led to nothing but problems. I also tried a Pioneer changer (100 disc I believe) which lasted a single day then was returned due to issues with not feeding CD's correctly. After these two failures I resolved myself to always stick with single disc units for simplicity and best performance. I know Onkyo, Yamaha and I believe Sony all still make CD changers although I don't know how popular they are. I've always been more concerned with performance than features.

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post #15 of 83 Old 10-14-2015, 10:17 PM
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Current desktop setup:
Macbook USB out to
Muse mini dac 30$
Audioquest RCAs paid $20
Adcom GFA 535 II Paid $40 at thrift store
Random 16 guage wire
Mission MS 50 (made in england ones) 10$ at thrift store
Total: 100$
Key to the story, HUNT thrift stores.

What i'd spend 600$ on for stereo bliss...
2 JBL LSR308s $430
FiiO D3 DAC $30
(couldnt find a cheap enough dac with XLR)
and $60 on BJC RCA and long optical cable to plug into MacBook
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post #16 of 83 Old 10-15-2015, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacodutaco View Post
I know some folks like CD changers. They were a fad about 20 years ago with Sony and Pioneer both having numerous offerings. I tried a Sony 5-disc changer once and it was garbage. It played fine but the indexing of CD's and the way it was tray-fed led to nothing but problems. I also tried a Pioneer changer (100 disc I believe) which lasted a single day then was returned due to issues with not feeding CD's correctly. After these two failures I resolved myself to always stick with single disc units for simplicity and best performance. I know Onkyo, Yamaha and I believe Sony all still make CD changers although I don't know how popular they are. I've always been more concerned with performance than features.

I own this unit, personally:






The Marantz CC4001 five-disc changer...and it's been a bit quirky since the day I got it in terms of remembering a programming sequence or sometimes recognizing a disc is even in a tray; I have always gone with changers because as one of my hobbies I used to make (and sometimes still do) mixed CDs of my own, so I would load up five commercial CDs and then burn a custom mix, five songs at a time, to my CD recorder (the recorder always connected digitally to the changer's coaxial out). Prior to this Marantz, I owned another Marantz and before that a Kenwood (when Kenwood was still making good home audio gear, not just car audio stuff like they do now)...


I never really bought into the whole "single disc players have better performance" than the changers theory; aside from mechanical quirks, like I mentioned I experience with my deck, most of these companies use the same DACs (at a certain price point) and share parts with their more expensive siblings -- case in point: I know Marantz uses the same Cirrus Logic componentry that's inside my CC4001 in a couple of their Reference Series CD and SACD players (or at least did).

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post #17 of 83 Old 10-16-2015, 06:10 PM
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Back in the day ...you know... when Dinosaurs roamed the earth, you could get a really good system for $500 to $600, but sadly, in today's market, this is a struggle. Yes, you can get something. Something to tide you over until you can get a better system, but today a good system is pushing $1000, and that is just for consumer grade.

Here are some low cost (in today's market) Amps -

Yamaha RS300, AM/FM, 50w/ch, Phono - $280 -

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022RS30....html?tp=47041

Yamaha AS301 Amp with DAC, 60w/ch, Phono - $350 -

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022AS30....html?tp=34948


Here is the matching CD Player, though a bit expensive -

Yamaha CDS300 CD Player - $300 -


http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022CDS3...00.html?tp=197


Here is an exceptional deal on some very good speakers.

Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 Bookshelf, 6.5", 40hz - $380/pr -

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15479-w...eakers-pr.aspx

There is nothing special here. This is all quality, but generally middle of the road entry level stuff.

And you can also see that the price tag is closer to $1000/set.

$280/ea = Yamaha RS300, 60w/ch Receiver
$300/ea = Yamaha CS300 CD Player
$380/pr = Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 bookshelf speakers (on sale)
----------------------------------
$960 = Total


$350/ea = Yamaha AS301, 50w/ch Amp with DAC
$300/ea = Yamaha CS300 CD Player
$380/pr = Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 bookshelf speakers (on sale)
----------------------------------
$1030 = Total



Yes, it is possible to drive the price down, as you can see below -

Yamaha RS201, AM/FM, 100w/ch - $130 -


http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022RS20....html?tp=47041

Sony CDP-CE500 CD Player - $150 -


http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158CDPC...00.html?tp=197

Yamaha NS-6490 bookshelf, 8", 3-way, 45hz - $130/pr


http://www.parts-express.com/yamaha-...-pair--312-606

$410 total, unless I added wrong, well under budget, but I would consider this a Get By system. Something you have that works but is just enough to get by until you can afford to by a real quality entry level system.

Back in 1978, I paid about $200 for a turntable (2nd from the bottom), about $200 for a 45w/ch Pioneer amp, and about $150 for an AM/FM Tuner. Then I build some speaker for about $150.

$200 TT + $200 A + $150 T + $150 S = $700 total

A 45w/ch amp, tuner, second from the bottom turntable, and some basic home-made speakers, and this was 1978.

Let's take that amount, and move it forward into today's dollars - $2000 to $2500 in 2015 dollars.

Certainly other factors come into play, other than raw inflation. Today, with the turntable, it would be hard to duplicate my system for $2000.

$550/ea = Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver 80w/ch
$300/ea = CD Player, or $600/ea for a Universal Player (BluRay, DVD, CD, SACD)
$500/ea = Typical entry level turntable with cartridge
$800/pr = Typical floorstanding speakers (on-sale) (Diamond 10.7 Towers)
--------------------------
$2150 = Total

Using the non-DAC, non-Streaming Yamaha RS300, the price would drop by $270, so the new total would be $1880. Not really that much difference. Still about $2000/set.

Scaling the above back to the Yamaha AS301, 60w/ch amp with DAC, the price goes down $200 to $1950. Again, not really that much difference when you consider the RN500 has both Streaming capability and DACs.

Today, $600 simply doesn't buy that much if you want a complete Stereo system of even basic good consumer quality.

And today, with so many people having digital audio files, Streaming takes a bigger role. So, today, for many new buyers, a simply CD Player is not enough. They really do want and need Streaming capability with access to Internet Radio and Streaming services. Though there are lower cost, but lower quality ways of accessing the Internet with your Stereo; Bluetooth would be one example.

So, yes, we can come up with something for about $600, but you are pretty much scraping the bottom of every barrel. Though that doesn't mean it won't sound good. Just not as good as a $1000 or $2000 system.

Steve/bluewizard
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Last edited by bluewizard; 10-16-2015 at 06:39 PM.
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post #18 of 83 Old 10-16-2015, 06:23 PM
 
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Quote:
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but sadly, in today's market, this is a struggle.
That's not true. Dollar per dollar (with inflation counted) amps have better spec today than decades ago. Speakers have gotten smaller, lighter and more capable pound per pound than they were decades ago.
Quote:
and that is just for consumer grade.
What's wrong with consumer grade players, DACs, preamps, amps and speakers?
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post #19 of 83 Old 10-16-2015, 10:19 PM
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Previously, I came up with an Onkyo 2-channel system under $600 using JBL floor-standing speakers. I believe this is a decent entry into 2-channel stereo equipment. Since speakers will make or break a system and receivers not really affecting the sound all that much in this price range, I included the JBL ES80's to give the listener the most bang for the buck. It was suggested that the minimum quality "consumer" rig should consist of Yamaha equipment, at a minimum, so I thought I would examine what a decent Yamaha system would cost and see if it can fit in the $500-$600 budget limit. Here is what I came up with:

YAMAHA R-S300 Natural Sound Stereo Receiver = $200
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

YAMAHA CD-S300 Single-Disc CD Player = $230
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...-player/1.html

POLK AUDIO R300 Floorstanding Tower, 6.5" Mid/Bass Drivers (R300) $69 ea. x2 = $138
http://www.frys.com/product/4965501?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG

Grand Total is $568.00

This Yamaha rig is actually less than the Onkyo system by $12. So, if a person would like a Yamaha system for under $600, this can be done as well. Myself, it is a toss-up. Both systems have basically the same features including phono capability, inputs for sub-woofers and both have 50 w/ch. The Onkyo CD player gets better reviews but I am not sure if it's really all that much better either. They both have the same features and probably the same DAC at this price level. When it comes down to it, the speaker choice would probably push me to go with the Onkyo simply because those JBL ES80 speakers blow the Polk R300 floor-standing speakers away IMO. I suppose another factor would be the condition of the equipment. All of the Onkyo equipment is factory new. The Yamaha equipment is all factory refurbished but includes a factory warranty so if anything should happen you would be protected. The Yamaha system looks to be another option to consider.

Here are pics:






Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier | Marantz CD5005 Compact Disc Player | Music Hall USB-1 Turntable | Audio-Technica AT95E Cartridge
Denon DRW-830 Cassette Tape Player | Monitor Audio Bronze BX2 Bookshelf Speakers | AudioQuest Evergreen Interconnects

Last edited by Pacodutaco; 10-16-2015 at 11:13 PM.
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post #20 of 83 Old 10-17-2015, 02:34 PM
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With judicious shopping around, the price can be driven down.

The JBL ES80BK ($120 each) are a super bargain right now ... for as long at it lasts -

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...2x6-119-a.html

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00166ZFXO/...8f5d45a1c3e4_S

HUGE discounts on the speakers. Though I find JBL a bit bass heavy, but at the same time, I've never had models this high in the range.

The using Accessories-4-Less -

Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver - $380 -


http://www.accessories4less.com/make...airplay/1.html

Yamaha CDS300 CD Player - $230 -


http://www.accessories4less.com/make...-player/1.html

Amazon - JBL ES80BK - $240/pair -

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00166ZFXO/...8f5d45a1c3e4_S

$380/ea = Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver
$230/ea = Yamaha CDS300 CD Player
$240/pr = JBL ES80BK speakers
--------------------------------------------------
$850 = Total

Over budget, but still a very nice system for the money.

Of course if we scale back the amp to the Yamaha RS300, a more basic amp, the price becomes more reasonable.

$200/ea = Yamaha RS300 Receiver
$230/ea = Yamaha CDS300 CD Player
$240/pr = JBL ES80BK speakers
--------------------------------------------------
$670 = Total

But for the $180 more of the RN500, you get a lot more features, more power, and the bonus of Network Streaming.

If you are willing to shop long and hard, you can get a fair system in the suggested price range. But, it does time and effort to find the bargain. Many times, you simply stumble across them by accident.

I found the JBL ES80 because they popped up in some side-bar advertising.

Myself, while I keep buying Receivers, I virtually never use the Radio part of them. Typically I'm at my computer and I'll just Stream music from a Streaming service.

Accessories for Less has continual bargains, but a part of my suspects this might be B-Stock. Still I have a B-Stock Yamaha RX-797 Stereo Receiver 100w/ch, Retail $550, I paid $275 with 1 year Warranty from Yamaha. I've had it about 6 years without a problem.

In fact, I got my $1000/pr speakers for $425 with free shipping, as above my Yamaha Receiver for $275 instead of the suggested $550. And I got a Harman Universal Player, for DVD and CD with a Retail of $450, for about $150. Best sounding CD Player I could have possibly gotten for the money.

But, it took a lot of shopping and a lot of time to find those bargains.

$1000/pr = Diamond 9.6 = ....................... $425/pr
$_550/ea = Yamaha RX-797 = .................. $275/ea
$_450/ea = Harman DVD-48 Universal = ... $150/ea
------------------------------------------------------------------------
$2000/set ....... = Total = .......................$850/set

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 10-26-2015 at 02:15 PM.
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post #21 of 83 Old 10-17-2015, 02:50 PM
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Though slightly off topic

JBL ES90BK Tower (2x8") = $249 each -


http://www.amazon.com/JBL-ES90BK-8-I...0_SR160%2C160_


JBL Arena 180 Tower (2x7") = $262 each -


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W5TQDDM/..._t2_B00166ZFXO


Though I can say about these models, but I found the JBL Venue Stadium (2x8") to be too bass heavy, which in turn meant they required way too much room to sound right. But the Stadium speaker are well under the JBL ES series. I would expect a bit more refinement for the "ES".


Just passing it long.

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post #22 of 83 Old 10-17-2015, 03:28 PM
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Here is a nice review of the JBL ES80 Speakers.

http://hometheaterreview.com/jbl-es8...kers-reviewed/

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post #23 of 83 Old 10-17-2015, 03:42 PM
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I have been eyeing the new Elac Debut Series Speakers by Andrew Jones that just released. I think the B5 speakers would make an outstanding starter speaker. A pair of them sells for $230 and from what I have read the quality and materials are better in them than the JBL ES80. I am looking forward to seeing more reviews on them in the near future as people start receiving them now that they are shipping. I am tempted to get a pair to try out. You could certainly build a starter 2-channel system around them for $500-$600 but I don't see how it could be done with Yamaha equipment. An Onkyo system could still work. We can upgrade the receiver to the TX-8050 for Network support w/USB and add another 30 w/channel over the TX-8020. Looks like another solid build within the $500 - $600 price point.

ONKYO TX-8050 80 watts x 2ch Network Stereo Receiver = $220
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

ONKYO DX-C390 6-disc Carousel Cd Changer = $140
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...changer/1.html

ELAC B5 Debut Series 5.25" Bookshelf Speakers by Andrew Jones (Pair) = $230
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01...d_i=B014GSEQ06


Total = $590

Here are the pics:





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Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier | Marantz CD5005 Compact Disc Player | Music Hall USB-1 Turntable | Audio-Technica AT95E Cartridge
Denon DRW-830 Cassette Tape Player | Monitor Audio Bronze BX2 Bookshelf Speakers | AudioQuest Evergreen Interconnects

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Yeah, the 8050 looks pretty solid and if I am not mistaken, was the first replacement after my 8555 was discontinued...
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post #25 of 83 Old 10-17-2015, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
Yeah, the 8050 looks pretty solid and if I am not mistaken, was the first replacement after my 8555 was discontinued...
I believe you are correct. It was the model that replaced the TX-8555. Onkyo makes good stuff. I had an Onkyo, which was my last 2-channel receiver back in the 90's, before I got into AVR stuff. If you look at my signature below you can see I am currently using a 15 year old Sony AVR which I run in 2-channel mode. I always hated the sound of music playing through 5.1 surround sound. I especially hate the sound of the Bose speakers, which I am testing out to make sure they still work, before I sell them. I plan to purchase a pair of decent speakers around the 1st of November but I may hold off to see what comes up during black Friday sales.

Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier | Marantz CD5005 Compact Disc Player | Music Hall USB-1 Turntable | Audio-Technica AT95E Cartridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacodutaco View Post
I believe you are correct. It was the model that replaced the TX-8555. Onkyo makes good stuff. I had an Onkyo, which was my last 2-channel receiver back in the 90's, before I got into AVR stuff. If you look at my signature below you can see I am currently using a 15 year old Sony AVR which I run in 2-channel mode. I always hated the sound of music playing through 5.1 surround sound. I especially hate the sound of the Bose speakers, which I am testing out to make sure they still work, before I sell them. I plan to purchase a pair of decent speakers around the 1st of November but I may hold off to see what comes up during black Friday sales.

Indeed; the 8555 was the last of Onkyo's "100 watt-per-channel-speced" stereo models and enjoys a rich heritage in terms of amplification implementation...


And, yes, PLEASE -- get rid of those Bose speakers!!


J/K....but I think you can do a heck of a lot better.
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post #27 of 83 Old 10-17-2015, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
Indeed; the 8555 was the last of Onkyo's "100 watt-per-channel-speced" stereo models and enjoys a rich heritage in terms of amplification implementation...


And, yes, PLEASE -- get rid of those Bose speakers!!


J/K....but I think you can do a heck of a lot better.
Yeah, those crappy Bose are gone as soon as I can get better. I have had them in storage for 14 years and re-discovered them when I moved recently. Right now I am considering an Onkyo, Yamaha, Cambridge and Nad system. I am trying to justify the extra cash for the more "exotic" brands. I am mostly set on Polk speakers though but not set in stone yet.
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post #28 of 83 Old 10-17-2015, 08:50 PM
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Loved the changers. The problems with 5-disc or greater changers are almost always mechanical in nature. SQ is not an issue. I owned a couple of Denon changers for years. I think I was lucky but I never had any complete failures. I sold them during my transition to computer audio. I still own a Marantz single disc player however as I still enjoy spinning a disc occasionally (still working on copying the library to the server).
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post #29 of 83 Old 10-17-2015, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacodutaco View Post
An Onkyo system could still work. We can upgrade the receiver to the TX-8050 for Network support w/USB and add another 30 w/channel over the TX-8020. Looks like another solid build within the $500 - $600 price point.

ONKYO TX-8050 80 watts x 2ch Network Stereo Receiver = $220
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html
The TX-8050 can be had at Shop Onkyo for $199 if you are a member of or join their 'club'. New members get 10 points towards their first purchase IIRC - a point equals $1 so take $10 off the $199 price tag and get it for $189 with free shipping.

I owned an 8050 for the last half year - selling just recently. I'm regretting that and think I'll be buying another to replace it. I don't know of any other stereo receiver that has a USB port and decodes FLAC coded music plus it has wired network capability. It also has lots of connections - I couldn't see ever running out of connections to this receiver. I used it in the bedroom most of the time but did have it in my living room stereo setup for a month or so. I moved it to the bedroom since it doesn't have direct inputs to the amp section and I needed something with home theater bypass. The sound quality is very good. I used it to drive Salk song towers with the Hiquphon OW2 tweeters. I was a bit surprised that the sound quality was every bit as good as most of the many stereo preamp/amp and vintage receiver setups I've owned over the years. At $189 shipped I don't think you can get anything that equals this receiver. Not even close.
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post #30 of 83 Old 10-17-2015, 11:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post
Loved the changers. The problems with 5-disc or greater changers are almost always mechanical in nature. SQ is not an issue. I owned a couple of Denon changers for years. I think I was lucky but I never had any complete failures. I sold them during my transition to computer audio. I still own a Marantz single disc player however as I still enjoy spinning a disc occasionally (still working on copying the library to the server).

Yes, the main issues regarding changers is the mechanism; I can't tell you how many times, frustratingly, I would program five discs to record a custom mix CD on my CD recorder and the changer would completely ignore one tray, skip a disc completely or otherwise "whack out"...it seems it doesn't matter how much one spent in the heyday of changers, the mechanism was always beyond quirky...


And I agree -- I never bought the "single-disc players SOUND significantly better than multi-disc units" argument.
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