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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year I had to sell all my home audio equipment. I am trying to ease back into it and want to start with a "good" 2 channel set-up. My budget is roughly $900 for speakers and amplification. I already have an Oppo BDP-83 for a source.


Some one near by is selling a set of Swan F3B-F speakers. I am going to try and give them a listen next weekend. I also see a set of B&W 686's and 685's on ebay. Your thoughts on these speakers? Any other recommendations for "good" bookshelf or "mini tower" speakers? No floor standers at this time. I am leaning towards the used market so I can get more speaker for my $. I know I need to audition speakers, but because of where I live that is not easy. The only thing near by is a Best Buy. No thanks.


For amplification, I get lost with all the options out there. It needs to be small or thin since I don't have much space. Obviously, the more power the better. I am looking more for quality than power this time around though.


I am interested in learning more about tubes. I am looking at used or refurb'd Peachtree Decco's as they are pretty and look very flexible. I have seen Bada mentioned a few times also.


I also found some interesting units from Marantz. Their NR1501, NR1402, and NR1601 look like possibilities even though they are ht receivers. The PM5004 looks like it would work too. What about the PM-17? I see one on Audiogon. Then there is Rotel.


The Rotel RX-1050 looks similar to some of the Marantz stuff. What about the RA-970BX? There are a few on Audiogon also. Like I said, there is so much out there. The list is getting overwhelming.


NAD C320 has been mentioned in the past. I had a NAD receiver last and liked its sound. It went through a Sherbourn A5200 into some Triangle Antal's with an infinite baffle sub set-up.


Your guidance is gratefully appreciated!


Thanks
 

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I have an original Decco which is excellent and flexible. I also use Era 4 speakers and the combination is terrific value for the money. You can get a combo of the refurbed Decco and those speakers from Peachtree directly at your price point.


If your Oppo streams from your computer, then you're all set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugith /forum/post/20794923


I have an original Decco which is excellent and flexible. I also use Era 4 speakers and the combination is terrific value for the money. You can get a combo of the refurbed Decco and those speakers from Peachtree directly at your price point.


If your Oppo streams from your computer, then you're all set.

Thanks for the suggestion. I will look into those.
 

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I think you're on the right track. Also, take a look at integrated amps from Cambridge, Music Hall and Rega. Rega is my favorite, you should be able to find a Rega Mira or possibly a Brio in your range.


Speaker choices are too numerous. Models from Focal, Usher, Vienna Acoustics, Dali, Epos, Quad and Revel (to name a few) are in range.


A tube integrated may be worth consideration. There are many available from China that look interesting. Jolida may be a brand to consider. Customer support for Jolida is US based (MD).


Good luck! You won't make a bad decision with the path you're on.


BTW, the suggestion from Sugith is also good one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt /forum/post/20795925


I think you're on the right track. Also, take a look at integrated amps from Cambridge, Music Hall and Rega. Rega is my favorite, you should be able to find a Rega Mira or possibly a Brio in your range.


Speaker choices are too numerous. Models from Focal, Usher, Vienna Acoustics, Dali, Epos, Quad and Revel (to name a few) are in range.


A tube integrated may be worth consideration. There are many available from China that look interesting. Jolida may be a brand to consider. Customer support for Jolida is US based (MD).


Good luck! You won't make a bad decision with the path you're on.


BTW, the suggestion from Sugith is also good one.

I forgot about Jolida. They are comparable to Bada.


The Mira and Brio have good reviews. One review said the Brio 3 sounded almost like a tube amp. They were both available on Agon within budget.


The Era speakers actually sound that good? I guess you should not judge by size and looks. They seem pricey though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by weverb /forum/post/20796097


I forgot about Jolida. They are comparable to Bada.


The Mira and Brio have good reviews. One review said the Brio 3 sounded almost like a tube amp. They were both available on Agon within budget.


The Era speakers actually sound that good? I guess you should not judge by size and looks. They seem pricey though.

I think Era D4s were selling at $450 or so new from Underwoof HiFi. The D4 are solid performers. I had a pair for a few weeks included with about a dozen or so different pairs of speakers in this range ($350-$800, mostly used) for in home comparisons/auditions (not all at same time but at least two, usually three). Other speakers were Sierra-1, Monitor Audio R10, Spendor S20 and SP3.5se, Paradigm Studio 20, Focal 807V, B&W 685 and DM602s3, Quad 11L2, Dali Ikon2, Neat Motive and Critique, Linn Katan, Epos ? and maybe one or two others. The D4 was middle of the pack for my listening preference. All were driven by a Rega Mira. I ended up keeping the Neat Critiques from the list above.


The Mira is a gem IMO and a solid value, speaker selection was strongly based on pairing with the Mira.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt /forum/post/20796213


I think Era D4s were selling at $450 or so new from Underwoof HiFi. The D4 are solid performers. I had a pair for a few weeks included with about a dozen or so different pairs of speakers in this range ($350-$800, mostly used) for in home comparisons/auditions (not all at same time but at least two, usually three). Other speakers were Sierra-1, Monitor Audio R10, Spendor S20 and SP3.5se, Paradigm Studio 20, Focal 807V, B&W 685 and DM602s3, Quad 11L2, Dali Ikon2, Neat Motive and Critique, Linn Katan, Epos ? and maybe one or two others. The D4 was middle of the pack for my listening preference. All were driven by a Rega Mira. I ended up keeping the Neat Critiques from the list above.


The Mira is a gem IMO and a solid value, speaker selection was strongly based on pairing with the Mira.

Wow!
A major undertaking in that comparison. How were the 685's?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by weverb /forum/post/20796317


Wow!
A major undertaking in that comparison. How were the 685's?

685s are comparable to the D4, the edge to the D4 due to better low end extension and overall better balance. Appearance and build quality was better with the D4. However, I preferred the B&W DM602s3 over the D4.


Not that much of an undertaking and in fact very fun and rewarding. This was done with the 3rd 2CH system at home and the least expensive of the three. I think it is more difficult to piece together a $1000 system than a systems 3 to 4 times more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt /forum/post/20796340


685s are comparable to the D4, the edge to the D4 due to better low end extension and overall better balance. Appearance and build quality was better with the D4. However, I preferred the B&W DM602s3 over the D4.


Not that much of an undertaking and in fact very fun and rewarding. This was done with the 3rd 2CH system at home and the least expensive of the three. I think it is more difficult to piece together a $1000 system than a systems 3 to 4 times more.

How do you think these will compare to the Swan's. The Swan's have a 9" woofer, a mid, and a ribbon tweeter. Looks like the D4 is running about $479 right now. So they are both in about the same price range.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by weverb /forum/post/20796647


How do you think these will compare to the Swan's. The Swan's have a 9" woofer, a mid, and a ribbon tweeter. Looks like the D4 is running about $479 right now. So they are both in about the same price range.

Not familiar with the Swan's other than the M200MKII active monitors although a 9" mid/bass and ribbon tweeter seem worth listening to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just an out of the blue question. Is this a good set-up/price?


McIntosh Stereo System - $450


Item Description Serial No. Condition

McIntosh Tuner & Pre-Amp MX 113 57043 Good

McIntosh Power Amplifier 2205 Good

XR Speakers XR 7 2048/2049 Good

McIntosh Environmental Equip MQ10174162 1V001 Good

Bang & Olsen - turntable 4002 125G 056 Good

Nakkamichi tape Deck Model 1000E Good


Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by weverb
Just an out of the blue question. Is this a good set-up/price?


McIntosh Stereo System - $450


Item Description Serial No. Condition

McIntosh Tuner & Pre-Amp MX 113 57043 Good

McIntosh Power Amplifier 2205 Good

XR Speakers XR 7 2048/2049 Good

McIntosh Environmental Equip MQ10174162 1V001 Good

Bang & Olsen - turntable 4002 125G 056 Good

Nakkamichi tape Deck Model 1000E Good


Thanks
Is this a joke?
$450 for all? If you don't buy this right now, send me the details and I'll buy it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt
Is this a joke?
$450 for all? If you don't buy this right now, send me the details and I'll buy it!
No it is not. Found it on Craigslist. I already sent them a message asking for pictures to verify the actual equipment. Just waiting for a response.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by weverb
No it is not. Found it on Craigslist. I already sent them a message asking for pictures to verify the actual equipment. Just waiting for a response.
Good luck. If this is at all legitimate (unlikely) it is gone. For your sake, I hope otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt
Good luck. If this is at all legitimate (unlikely) it is gone. For your sake, I hope otherwise.
It is not stopping me from my initial reason for this post. I just saw it and thought I would mention it hear. Like you said, probably gone or not real.


Any way back to the original questions....


I am leaning more towards the Peachtree option so I can play music from a laptop. Any other options similar to the Peachtree's?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by weverb
It is not stopping me from my initial reason for this post. I just saw it and thought I would mention it hear. Like you said, probably gone or not real.


Any way back to the original questions....


I am leaning more towards the Peachtree option so I can play music from a laptop. Any other options similar to the Peachtree's?
The Decco is a solid choice but you can achieve the same with other integrated amps with the addition of a DAC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt
The Decco is a solid choice but you can achieve the same with other integrated amps with the addition of a DAC.
So something like the Brio-R and the DAC would work? What would be a comparable or better set-up for the same $?


As an aside, stevensctt I truly appreciate all your input!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by weverb /forum/post/20800656


So something like the Brio-R and the DAC would work? What would be a comparable or better set-up for the same $?


As an aside, stevensctt I truly appreciate all your input!

No problem -- Yes a Brio/DAC will work. I use a DAC with my Rega Mira and stream over WiFi with an Airport Express from my iMac.


Just a personal opinion, but I think Rega offers great value for the dollar but I'm sure other choices are comparable. The decision is up to you.


I find DACs interesting devices to tinker with. I'm relatively new to computer audio. Once started, it seems I'm always chasing something to remove the digital from audio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So what is a better option (integrated + external DAC) for the same money as the refurb Decco? Everything I have started looking into is more.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by weverb /forum/post/20800864


So what is a better option (integrated + external DAC) for the same money as the refurb Decco? Everything I have started looking into is more.

No real answer. The Decco is an all-in-one choice and probably the safe choice. But given the flexibility available with integrated/DAC you could eventually acquire something more tuned to your liking.
 
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