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post #1 of 18 Old 10-21-2017, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Amp For Daughter

My 24 year old daughter has recently started listening to vinyl. She has been trying to explain to me how great it sounds. I don't think she really understands how I had grown up with vinyl and had some nice systems. (Carver, Hafler, Luxman, Technics, etc.) I really don't know that much about 2 channel stuff now.
Her boyfriend bought her a Audio-Technica turntable. I would like to find a amp or receiver and pair of speakers and give it to her. I was thinking about a DIYSG speaker package and some kind of amp or receiver. I have seen some of the Monoprice tube amps for around $150 and others. I would like to spend no more then $400 for speakers and amp or receiver. I know it is not much. Can someone recommend something that will sound decent for that price. I don't care if it is old, new or DIY stuff.
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-22-2017, 02:12 PM
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Philharmonic affordable accuracy speakers and find a used receiver with phono pre. Maybe a Yamaha

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post #3 of 18 Old 10-22-2017, 02:49 PM
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What is she using now?

HT: Sony 940C, Oppo 203, Harman/Kardon DPR1001, Infinity Interlude IL40 x2, Infinity Interlude IL36C, Infinity MS-1 ii x2, Infinity MSW-1
Computer: Elac Uni-Fi UB5 x2, Elac Element EA101EQ integrated amp, SVS SB-12NSD
Dedicated 2-channel: Infinity Intermezzo 4.1t towers, Bluesound Node 2, Emotiva PT-100, Crown XLS 1502, Furman PL-8C
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-22-2017, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuteTibiImperes View Post
What is she using now?
Cheap powered computer speakers. lol
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-22-2017, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nxs450 View Post
Cheap powered computer speakers. lol
Gotcha. I'm not a vinyl guy, but from what I understand since turntables output a lower level signal than other devices you need a preamp or receiver with a special phono input, or a separate phono preamp. It doesn't look like those Monoprice tube amps have that.

This refurb Yamaha over at A4L does though, and the price seems right.

Pair that with some of the Philharmonic Audio Affordable Accuracy monitors mentioned above, something like these closeout Wharfedale Diamond 10.1s, or something of your choice from DIYSG and you'd have a nice little setup for around $400.

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post #6 of 18 Old 10-22-2017, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool guys thanks for the info!
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-22-2017, 08:10 PM
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Onkyo A-9010, amazing amplifier for the price, it has a built in DAC, handy if you want to connect a PC with optical output and a CD player with coaxial output, and a built in pre-phono but I suspect your daughter's AT has it yet.
About speakers:
  • Boston Acoustics A25 - great overall balance, bass extension and detail, for someone a bit too polite (I love them);
  • PSB Alpha B1 - Very good quality, balanced and engaging sound;
  • Q-Acoustics 3020 - Refined highs and mids, tight bass but not very deep;
  • Wharfedale Diamond 220 - Good build quality, bottom reflex, good sound but the mid bass is inflated;
  • Elac B5 - Average build quality, the tweeter has a strong roll off after 12kHz but whoever listens to these is impressed by the sound quality, Andrew Jones infused some magic in these;
  • KEF Q100 - Coaxial driver, amazing quality and actually available at a very good price, some find the tweeter a bit on the harsh side.
You talked about computer speakers so I suppose you are going to put these on a desk for a close range listening, let's say under 4 feet or so from the speakers, all the speakers in this list have a 5" driver to avoid listening fatigue. If this is not the case then consider to stretch a bit the budget for 6.5" woofer speakers to achieve better bass response and extension.

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post #8 of 18 Old 10-23-2017, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nxs450 View Post
Cool guys thanks for the info!
Yes, for 2.0 you can't beat the AA monitors on a budget.

http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html

This $150 Yamaha receiver has a phono input and plenty of power for the AAs...and even a subwoofer RCA connection should she ever wish for more bass though the AAs have pretty good bass.

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...specifications

Geoff A. J., California
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post #9 of 18 Old 10-23-2017, 12:53 PM
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Marantz 2215/2216
Polk Monitor 7 or 10

The Marantz has a Phono input - not sure how good it is.
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-23-2017, 03:38 PM
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The Audio Technica turntables have a built in preamp so you don't need a phono input on the receiver. I would have to agree with the Philharmonic Audio AA's and one of the above listed receivers. You could also look at the Dayton Audio APA 102 which sells for under $100 from Parts Express.

Last edited by Rgarc; 10-23-2017 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #11 of 18 Old 11-05-2017, 08:17 AM
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Monoprice

Monoprice has now released an all-tube amp with phono-pre, line ine, Bluetooth and pre-out to add a sub.
A bit speedy at $329 but seems to have it all. I may have to pick one up....

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post #12 of 18 Old 11-05-2017, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdash View Post
Monoprice has now released an all-tube amp with phono-pre, line ine, Bluetooth and pre-out to add a sub.
A bit speedy at $329 but seems to have it all. I may have to pick one up....
It's rated at 10 watts per channel. I know when it comes to pure tube the power is different, do you feel like it is enough?
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=27222
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post #13 of 18 Old 11-05-2017, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nxs450 View Post
It's rated at 10 watts per channel. I know when it comes to pure tube the power is different, do you feel like it is enough?
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=27222
Yes, should be enough.
It will not blast you out of the room but it should provide great listening levels.
I would suggest getting efficient speakers, the PSB Alpha B1’s listed above would pair well.

“The world's intelligence is a constant, the population is growing.”

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post #14 of 18 Old 11-05-2017, 12:28 PM
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Before we go any further, let's clear a few things up.

What Turntable does she have?

If it is the Audio-Technica LP60 ...meh... its tolerable. If it is the Audio-Technica LP120, it is probably fine, but likely needs a cartridge upgrade. If it is an Audio-Technica LP1240 it is great, and likely did not come with a Cartridge in which case, the cartridge will have to be chosen carefully.

Then we need an equipment list - I assume - Amp and Speakers?

Then we need to know what SIZE speaker? Bookshelf? Floorstanding? Other?


In order to determine the right size speakers, we would need to know the dimensions of the room?

In conjunction with this, how much physical space does she have for the Turntable, Amp, and Speakers? This is a big amp and floorstanding speaker will probably not go well on a Desktop. Equally a tiny desktop system will not do well in a large Living Room.

Then, most importantly, we would need to know THE WORKING BUDGET? (Again for clarification)

And, will this be exclusively a Music system or is there a chance she would like to connect this to the TV for TV and Movie watching?

Are there other features she might need? For example, does she have any interest in CD, or does she have any interest in Network Streaming of Audio from either local storage or from the Internet. These are all possible if you have the money.

All these details matter. If you want focused and realistic responses, then we need this information.

In generally, a good multi-purpose system in STEREO is going to run close to $1000.

I suggest you look at Yamaha Stereo Amps and/or Stereo Receivers for very high value while still maintaining quality.

For maximum value, versatility, and a long list of features, I would recommend this -

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ut-pair/1.html

The total is about $800. Receiver with AM/FM, 80w/ch, Bluetooth, Network Streaming, DAC, etc... and nice Floorstanding Speakers.

Though there are other amps and other speakers, but we need a much better sense of what you are looking for to really make productive recommendations.

Though if your working budget is really only $400, then we can compromise, but it is going to be more difficult-

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html

The total above is about $450, amp with Phono and 75w/ch plus AM/FM with 6.5" bookshelf speakers.

If you want to take it down one notch further -

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html

Yamaha Receiver with 50w/ch and some decent bookshelf speakers. Total $400.

The Yamaha RS are receivers and do not have a DAC. Though it is possible to get a workable DAC for as low as $30 that would allow the TV to be connect to the Amp.

It is just a question of how far you want to take it.

At tremendously versatile full-features system with very decent power would be the first system I suggested -

$399 = Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver ($599 retail)
$399 = Cambridge SX80 Floorstanding (Pair)
-----------------
$800 Total

However, in Bookshelf that would be -

$399 = Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver ($599 retail)
$249 = Cambridge SX-60 Bookshelf (Pair)
------------------
$650 Total


Though these are above budget, but the Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver is an exceptionally full featured Receiver - Full Specs here -

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...602/index.html

Yamaha RS500 Specs -

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...500/index.html

Yamaha RS300 Specs -


https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...300/index.html

Cambridge Audio SX-60 Bookshelf - retail $299/pr -


https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/usa/e...speakers/sx-60

Cambridge Audio SX-80 Floorstanding - retail $599/pr -


https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/usa/en/products/sx/sx80

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 11-05-2017 at 12:48 PM.
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post #15 of 18 Old 11-07-2017, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Before we go any further, let's clear a few things up.

What Turntable does she have?

If it is the Audio-Technica LP60 ...meh... its tolerable. If it is the Audio-Technica LP120, it is probably fine, but likely needs a cartridge upgrade. If it is an Audio-Technica LP1240 it is great, and likely did not come with a Cartridge in which case, the cartridge will have to be chosen carefully.

Then we need an equipment list - I assume - Amp and Speakers?

Then we need to know what SIZE speaker? Bookshelf? Floorstanding? Other?

In order to determine the right size speakers, we would need to know the dimensions of the room?

In conjunction with this, how much physical space does she have for the Turntable, Amp, and Speakers? This is a big amp and floorstanding speaker will probably not go well on a Desktop. Equally a tiny desktop system will not do well in a large Living Room.

Then, most importantly, we would need to know THE WORKING BUDGET? (Again for clarification)

And, will this be exclusively a Music system or is there a chance she would like to connect this to the TV for TV and Movie watching?

Are there other features she might need? For example, does she have any interest in CD, or does she have any interest in Network Streaming of Audio from either local storage or from the Internet. These are all possible if you have the money.

All these details matter. If you want focused and realistic responses, then we need this information.

In generally, a good multi-purpose system in STEREO is going to run close to $1000.

I suggest you look at Yamaha Stereo Amps and/or Stereo Receivers for very high value while still maintaining quality.

For maximum value, versatility, and a long list of features, I would recommend this -

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ut-pair/1.html

The total is about $800. Receiver with AM/FM, 80w/ch, Bluetooth, Network Streaming, DAC, etc... and nice Floorstanding Speakers.

Though there are other amps and other speakers, but we need a much better sense of what you are looking for to really make productive recommendations.

Though if your working budget is really only $400, then we can compromise, but it is going to be more difficult-

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html

The total above is about $450, amp with Phono and 75w/ch plus AM/FM with 6.5" bookshelf speakers.

If you want to take it down one notch further -

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html

Yamaha Receiver with 50w/ch and some decent bookshelf speakers. Total $400.

The Yamaha RS are receivers and do not have a DAC. Though it is possible to get a workable DAC for as low as $30 that would allow the TV to be connect to the Amp.

It is just a question of how far you want to take it.

At tremendously versatile full-features system with very decent power would be the first system I suggested -

$399 = Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver ($599 retail)
$399 = Cambridge SX80 Floorstanding (Pair)
-----------------
$800 Total

However, in Bookshelf that would be -

$399 = Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver ($599 retail)
$249 = Cambridge SX-60 Bookshelf (Pair)
------------------
$650 Total

Though these are above budget, but the Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver is an exceptionally full featured Receiver - Full Specs here -

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...602/index.html

Yamaha RS500 Specs -

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...500/index.html

Yamaha RS300 Specs -

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...300/index.html

Cambridge Audio SX-60 Bookshelf - retail $299/pr -

https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/usa/e...speakers/sx-60

Cambridge Audio SX-80 Floorstanding - retail $599/pr -

https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/usa/en/products/sx/sx80

Steve/bluewizard
Thanks for the reply. Her budget is around $400, but with Christmas coming I could pitch in with her. System is in living room approx. 12x14 with large opening to dining/kitchen. I gave her an old Audio Tower for equipment and a Makes-me-bichy DLP TV. So she has room for small towers or will need monitors on stands. I need to check witch model of turntable she has.
I was wondering about DIYSG speakers? I know for the HT world it's hard to beat them for cost. I built 3 of the HTM 12's for my room. Several have recommended Yamaha receivers, would they sound then the tube amp from Monoprice? https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=27222 Uses for system will be vinyl and Bluetooth connection from phone.
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post #16 of 18 Old 11-07-2017, 09:36 AM
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Regardless of which model TT he bought her, if she can hear the records, it has a built in phono amp. All she will need to get is an amp and speakers and appropriate cables.

Monoprice stuff is great, from cables to electronics, everything I've purchased has been wonderful. You don't need to break the bank w/expensive speaker wire and interconnects. However, I splurged on their "Monolith RCA" cables and was blown away by the difference in sound they made for my turntable system. I'd never heard that big of a difference in any cables, and I used to get Monster cables cheaply as I sold home theater equipment in the late 90s.

a note about those Monolith RCAs, they are sold individually, so you'll need to buy 2 should you choose to get them. I bought red and white electrical tape to mark each end for ease of keeping the connections straight.

Since she doesn't need to worry about an amp w/a phono input, you can get her a decent AVR and just plug the turntable's RCAs into basically any input and it will be fine. I like 2nd hand gear since I love to get higher end equipment than I could buying new. I recently set my 14 year old up w/an Integra AVR from around 2006 (was a $1400 amp - MSRP that is) and a 1981 Technics SL-QL1 fully auto TT. Being 14, I figured that an auto would protect the vinyl and the stylus from his forgetful ways.

I also hooked him up w/some second hand Klipsch RB-5 speakers. His system is better than the majority of my co-workers, but not everyone is into audio.

As long as your daughter doesn't mind 2nd hand, you can get her great equipment very inexpensively.

If you'd rather go new, there are unlimited options and any price range.

Good luck and keep us informed on what you select!!

Vinyl, tape, digital... I don't care as long as I can listen to my music...
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post #17 of 18 Old 11-07-2017, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nxs450 View Post
Thanks for the reply. Her budget is around $400, but with Christmas coming I could pitch in with her. System is in living room approx. 12x14 with large opening to dining/kitchen. I gave her an old Audio Tower for equipment and a Makes-me-bichy DLP TV. So she has room for small towers or will need monitors on stands. I need to check witch model of turntable she has.
I was wondering about DIYSG speakers? I know for the HT world it's hard to beat them for cost. I built 3 of the HTM 12's for my room. Several have recommended Yamaha receivers, would they sound then the tube amp from Monoprice? https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=27222 Uses for system will be vinyl and Bluetooth connection from phone.
First the Monoprice Tube amp is outside your budget, or at least, as your budget stands as stated. Just the amp alone will eat nearly the entire budget, plus you don't have the budget for any exotic amps, you need to stick with something very straight forward. And for straight forward B-Stock amps, you absolutely can not beat the price of Accessories4Less amps.

To connect the system to the TV, we would need to know the specifics of the TV. A few older TVs had RCA Analog Outputs, that would be the simplest thing. Second best would be if the TV had Headphone Outputs. Most modern TVs have Digital Audio Out most often in the form of an Optical Out, though a few have Coaxial. For the Digital Out, you need an external DAC either something like that linked below or an Amp with a DAC in it.

As I mentioned, if your amp does not have an DAC with Optical In, they you can get a low cost DAC for about $30, similar to this -

FIIO 24b/192k DAC - $20 -


https://www.amazon.com/D03K-Digital-.../dp/B009346RSS

I think this just needs a USB connection to supply power, so either a USB connection for the TV, or a separate USB Power Supply like the type you use to charge your phone.

If you would rather go a low cost way, then a Receiver like the Yamaha RS500 with 75w/ch, while it does not have a DAC, it does have a Phono Input, plus is very attractively priced.

If you want maximum speaker for minimum money, then consider the Yamaha NS-F150 which are £250/pair.

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...150/index.html

https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-NS-F15.../dp/B0058GZWI6

So we would then have this -

$_25/ea = Low Cost DAC
$200/ea = Yamaha RS500 Receiver (75w/ch, Phono)
$250/pr = Yamaha NS-F150 Speakers (2x6.5")
-----------------------------------
$475 = Total


You won't do better than that for $475.

Yamaha does have Amps (not receivers) that have DACs built into them, but they tend to be more expensive.

The Yamaha AS501 is absolute best value with 85w/ch, Phono, and a DAC -

Yamaha AS501 Integrated Amp w/ DAC - $399 -


https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...c-black/1.html

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...501/index.html


$400/ea = Yamaha AS501 Integrated Amp (85w/ch, Phono, DAC)
$250/pr = Yamaha NS-F150 Speakers
-----------------------------------
$650 = Total



Since I virtually never listen to the Radio at home, the AS501 above would be my choice. Though there are perhaps a few other speakers in the $250/pr to $350/pr range that you could consider. More on that later.

But you can move one model down to the Yamaha AS301 with is 60w/ch -

Yamaha AS301 Integrated Amp w/ DAC - $280 -

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...-in-dac/1.html

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...301/index.html

You will not find better value while still maintaining quality than you will with Yamaha Amps and Receivers.

Though perhaps not the quality of the above, but still Yamaha, Yamaha does make some lower cost Network Receivers.

For example -

Yamaha RN301, 100w/ch, Network Receiver, etc... - $199 -

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...301/index.html

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

The RN301 does NOT have a Phono Input, but it does have a DAC and Network Streaming. It would cost you about an additional $75 to $100 to add a Phono Pre-Amp to accommodate the Turntable.

There is a newer version of this Receiver, the Yamaha RN303 still at a reasonable price.

Yamaha RN303 Network Receiver, 100w/ch, DAC, Network Streaming, Phono - $250 -


https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...303/index.html

This new RN303 version DOES have a PHONO input.

However, Receiver like the Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver have TWO Optical and TWO Coaxial Inputs, as well as Bluetooth and Network Streaming, and of course PHONO. That is above your budget, but a good versatile amps with 80w/ch. And generally, the standard AS or RS Amps/Recievers have better internal amps than the Lower Cost RN Receiver. However, for someone on a tight budget those lower cost RN Receivers are still worth considering. If you really want to maximize what you get for your money, the Yamaha RN303 Network Receiver is certainly worth investigating.

Now DOUBLE or TRIPLE your budget and you will have a much wider range of Amp/Receivers to consider, but at this low price point, I'm giving you about the best there is.

As to alternative Speakers -

Yamaha NS-555 (2x5") Floorstanding Speakers - $220/pr -

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-each/1.html

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...555/index.html

Cabasse Jersey MT31 - 2x6.5" - $300/pr -


https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...speaker/1.html

Canton (Germany) GLE-470.2 - 2x7" - $350/pr -


https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-each/1.html

Cambridge Audio SX-80 - 2x6.5" - $400/pr -


https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ut-pair/1.html

Once again, in a compact floorstanding speakers with 2x5" bass drivers, Yamaha wins -

$_25/ea = Low Cost DAC
$200/ea = Yamaha RS500 Receiver (75w/ch, Phono)
$220/pr = Yamaha NS-F555 Speakers (2x5") Floorstanding
-----------------------------------
$445 = Total

Alternative -

$400/ea = Yamaha AS501 Integrated Amp (85w/ch, Phono, DAC)
$220/pr = Yamaha NS-F555 Speakers (2x5") Floorstanding
-----------------------------------
$620 = Total

Or really pushing it to the limit -

$400/ea = Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver
$220/pr = Yamaha NS-F555 Speakers (2x5") Floorstanding
-----------------------------------
$620 = Total

If you can pull together $620, I don't see how you can do better than the two systems described above.

Yes there are dozens of other amps and speakers to choose from .... IF... you have more money. But I've laid out about the best there is at or near you low budget.

This the most and the best you will find at or near you budget.

We will see if anyone comes up with anything better for the money.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 11-07-2017 at 10:33 AM.
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post #18 of 18 Old 11-07-2017, 10:55 AM
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The Yamaha R-S500 from accessories4less has a built in phono stage and is a very good amp for the 200 bucks they are asking. Does not have a DAC or digital inputs though, for those, you are gonna have to step up a bit to something like the NAD3020D (maybe used for 250-300 bucks)
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