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Any Audiophiles in here? I could use some advice

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Kmaxbrady, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    I had a Dual 505 with OM10 cartridge in the early 80s, with a NAD 3020 and a pair of KEF Codas.

    I've still got the Codas. I wonder if they still work? :)
     
  2. Mahleu

    Mahleu TDPRI Member

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    Take your time and pick up used stuff advertised locally. I don't know what the market is like there but:

    There are lots of midrange Japanese turntables that you can pick up cheap such as a Teac PX500 that are very capable, just stick a decent cartridge on it. If you want a more modern look, see if you can find a Rega Planar.

    Lots of 80s amps that are decent too, I would look for a NAD, Marantz or similar. Make sure it has a phono input otherwise you'll need an external phono stage to hear anything.

    A good pair of small bookshelf speakers should be in budget too. Boston, Mission or similar.
     
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  3. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Holic

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    Ha! The 505 was the entry level drug until you could afford a Sondek, or in my case a Rega Planar 3 :) The 3020 is an absolute classic.
     
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  4. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a 3020 in the garage, gets used for my old minidiscs, currently hooked up to some B&W DM309s that I'm selling. Wish I had room to keep them as they sound fantastic. I haven't headed down the vinyl revival path yet, though back in the 80s i had a Dual 502 (i think) , Magnat Monitor B speakers (soooo good) powered by a NAD 7040pe. A fella came to do some work on the house one day and he nearly cried when I told him what the system cost me, he paid about 5x what I paid for mine. He tried to buy the Magnats off me but no deal. I've still got them (35 years later) but one has blown a mid range driver. Good for the garage though!

    If the OP could find a 3020 (mine cost AU$120 second hand), some old B&Ws or similar (I'm selling mine for AU$100) , add a second hand Rega or similar, that would get some nice sounds happening?
     
  5. 63telemaster

    63telemaster Tele-Meister

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    If you're serious about going down this particular endless rabbit hole you really need to spend some time on research otherwise you will end up disappointed. First off, join a decent hifi forum and search the threads then when you have a little knowledge, start asking questions/advice. Most of my purchases have been made through hifi forums rather than auction sites particularly because used kit tends to be better looked after and usually cheaper.

    Don't bother asking advice on guitar forums because we are all cheapskates and most musicians I know are not into hifi in any shape or form. With time and care you could actually buy something usable for your budget or close to it.
     
  6. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Afflicted

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    For 350.00 you can put a good little system together. I would look for a used TT for the 100 to 150 range. A set of bookshelves like some Minumus 7s. And there are tons of decent two channel receivers for 100 or under. I just bought a mint Kenwood KR 6050for example for 50 bucks. Now I am an avid buyer of hi fi gear. I have over 15 receivers and about 20 sets of speakers and various other gear. I do most of my buying at Goodwill and FB marketplace. And estate sales. Buy used unless you like tube gear and some of the little 20 watters on Amazon aren’t bad. But you will need a phono pre amp. Goodluck. Let us know what you find. If you were close I could fix you up. I’ve got a set of KLH Model 6s for sale right now that sound glorious. Also I could ship you a set of AR 4s I’ve restored that are about as good as it gets in a compact bookshelf speaker , but they would take all that 350.00.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2021
  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Not all of us are cheapskates and some of us are into hifi.

    I’m not into snake oil though. I’m fond of saying I’m low-brow hi-if, meaning I still believe in Goodwill and yard sale finds. I’m not a $1000 power cable guy. In any case, 350 means its gonna take some time.

    Gently used is the way to go, and plan on doing more research and finding local deals, i.e. compromising. I wouldn’t skimp on a turntable though. That’s the first order of business. Second is the speakers. Those two items should be priority in order of actually listening to something while you build a system. I’m in that ‘stage’ myself. I found a used amplifier, something modest with lots of power for the ducats. I’m using a used Oknyo stereo receiver at the moment, with a cheap Marantz CD player. This is separate from the ‘free’ Yamaha theater system in the other room. I’m still waiting/balancing-guitar-photo-gear-monies so I can eventually get a good integrated amplifier. I only need a turntable, CD, and aux input for my purposes...your needs might be different.

    Since I use an 80s Micro Seiki turntable, I went ahead and ‘splurged’ on new speakers. I bought Wharfedale Diamonds. Eventually I will replace the turntable, after I find a good integrated amp. I’ve been looking at the U-Turn Audio stuff. $179 with their lowest priced cartridge:

    68754F64-1598-4938-9F98-7BF71722D3A0.png
     
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  8. koen

    koen Friend of Leo's

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    Make sure the needle is swappable so you can upgrade it.
     
  9. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    The entry level stuff of the eighties was good then, and is still good now. Dual and Rega turntables are always recommended for a reason. Even the turntables that came with Hi-Fi 'starter kits' are perfectly useable. Marantz, Sony, Pioneer, Trio/Kenwood. Stick an Ortofon cartridge in, replace the belt if applicable, and away you go.
    I've still got my Dual and Marantz turntables. You never know when they'll come in useful again :)
    Add NAD in to the above list for really fine sounding amplifiers and tuners too. Yes, I still have a NAD 3020, and an Arcam, and a Cambridge Audio amp... I'm a pack rat by nature. They all could do with a recap of the electrolytics. All bought second hand for pennies on the original price.
    As for speakers, whatever you can find that work and fit the room. Wharfedale Diamonds have always been good. Wharfedale came out with a secondary range called Sapphire. Well worth hunting down. Mine replaced my Diamonds and they still sound fine after dog knows how many years.
     
  10. Goldenshellback

    Goldenshellback Tele-Meister

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    A system at or under 350 will leave you disappointed. I tried to be frugal and build a system and I purchased Audio Technica LP5 turntable 450.00, a Yamaha N303 receiver 350.00. Four Crutchfield speaker cables 60.00. A pair of Klipsch 600M Bi-wire bookshelf speakers 650.00. I upgraded the AT cartridge 289.00. This is a very nice system, not the greatest but it is budget system. A decent system will cost at or under 2K.
     
  11. Cloodie

    Cloodie Tele-Meister

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    Paired some Dali 2 Spektors with a Rega Planar 1 plus a few months ago and it all sounds good to these ears.
     
  12. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    I see a trend in the audio geek circles lately, where the "golden ears" at Stereophile are finally figuring out what I've known since the 70s, that a good direct drive turntable will beat any belt drive POS. When all our fiends were wasting money on their Duals, we instead got great sounding direct drive tables from Technics, Pioneer, JVC, or Kenwood. The Technics SL1200 is now a legend, and is still in production, and is very pricey, but Audio Technica makes a fine DD table for $250. I'd take that over any entry level Rega or Project. AT also makes fine MM cartridges, which, unlike moving coil types, don't need to be returned to the factory for replacement styli. 6405424_sd.jpg
     
  13. fozhebert

    fozhebert Tele-Meister

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    I would go for an Audio Techica direct drive with an integrated preamp and powered studio monitors. The monitors are the simplest solution that is easily upgraded.
     
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  14. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Afflicted

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    It’s an office system. Some on here are giving you advice on a home setup. Totally different setups.
     
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  15. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Spend your budget on just the turntable (unless you get the $100 Walmart suitcase).
    Then buy the other components at garage sales here and there when those happen again.

    In the interim rig up a connection between the turntable and your computer or recording studio monitors or even ... a guitar amp ;)


    And enjoy the tone of pops and clicks and track skips and jumps.
    You'll need a penny or two to tape onto the end of the needle cartridge arm to lessen the skips, like in the olden days.

    .
     
  16. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 on U-Turn for the turn table. For an office system I wouldn't spend too much on the receiver and speakers. Get some 2-way bookshelves and small reciever. Given the size of the room, it's not critical.
     
  17. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Woah, there is some crazy bs flying in here. I'm not even touching any of it. I will tiptoe just inside the door, and set down my best $350 suggestions, and try to get out.
    There is a ton of used stereo stuff out there cheap, but turntables need setup, and sometimes repair, so I'll recommend going new if you don't want to learn to service it.
    You can find an old receiver and speakers in most areas for $150, leaving $200 for a turntable. If you can end up with $300 for a turntable, it will be a lot easier.
    I have not personally tried any new turntables at this price point, except I've heard lots of other peoples' audio technica LP-60s. They don't sound very good but they work. I would try to do better. The less DJ or automatic features it has for the money, the better it's likely to sound.
    If I take your $350 challenge today, it would look like:

    Speakers: $100 for a pair of H.H. Scott 188T for sale right now where I live.

    Reciever: $40 black front Pioneer sx-201 I see on CL right now.

    Turntable: I'm going to roll the dice on the $180 U-turn orbit basic.

    I have $30 left over. I wouldn't have to find too much in the couch to uograde to a better turntable, or a 70s receiver like a sansui.
     
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  18. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Afflicted

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    Used sansuis aren’t cheap. And a good used TT can be had if you look. I just got a mint PL15 with manual and Shure m75 cartridge for 60 bucks. I mean dead mint. And give me belt over DD anyway. I would much rather replace a 15 dollar belt than a broken gear.
     
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  19. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    My sansui 551 was purchased a couple years ago for $60. I've seen them very recently under $200. Local sales can be very cheap.
    At this price point, it's ridiculous to debate dd or belt. Just try to get something that isn't trash. Maybe a plinthe that isn't plastic.
     
  20. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree. I bet he could get a good setup for an office for under 250.00 if he wants to spend the time looking. I got a thorns also from FB marketplace for 75.00. The Stanton Cartridge is worth 200 bucks. Keep looking the deals are out there.
     
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