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$3000 USD Stereo 2021, Best Bang for the Buck

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Solrac575, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Solrac575

    Solrac575 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY, NY
    I've been enjoying hifi using a Schiit stack and some Sennheiser HD600s for a while now and have saved up 3k to put into a stereo system (DAC, [Pre Amp, Power Amp] or [Integrated Amp], and Speakers). Ive been really impressed with Schiit so I was thinking of going with the Schiit Freya+, Schiit Vidar, Schiit Modi, pushed through KEF LS50 Metas. After talking with some people I'm starting to doubt this combination. I want something that will be enjoyable for the foreseeable future but will also be upgradeable (I need bookshelf speakers since I love in an apartment but would eventually want to upgrade). There are so many options out there and I dont know nearly half of them so any advice would be greatly appreciate. Apologies if this is a common question, I searched before posting but didn't find any similar posts.

    The music I listen to primarily is John Prine, Townes van Zandt, Gillian Welch, Black Keys, Grateful
    Dead, Jazz, and Folk, but something that is a good all around would be ideal. I go in and out of hip hop phases.
     
    Dmann201, trd and Dennis0675 like this.
  2. trickness

    trickness Gotta painful yellow headache

    Location:
    Manhattan
    Primaluna - tubes without the tube hassles, and right in your price range.
     
    Solrac575 and Dennis0675 like this.
  3. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    The one where $1000 of it are my consulting fees. ;P

    I would start with the speakers; other components matter about 1/100th if you don't have good sound reproduction with a sound signature that works for you and your space.

    "Recommend me a ####" really should have its own subforum. Threads like "best $4000 phono stage?" seem almost price inflation normalization in HiFi.
     
    slovell likes this.
  4. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    Schiit Freya+ is good. Can you get the XTZ Edge A2-300? It’s a very nice combo and the XTZ has some oomph in the mid bass too.
     
  5. DavidR

    DavidR Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    What room size? You would probably need a sub with the KEF's, I don't have anything good to say about KEF so will say nothing at all!

    It is hard to give recommendations as I am in Europe, prices are very different.

    As mentioned above, start with getting the correct speakers for your room, then spec the amp depending on your speakers....
     
    The Pinhead likes this.
  6. Tim Irvine

    Tim Irvine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I would think that in your location there would be good places to audition stuff. I am not familiar with Schitt, but the Rega stuff I have heard has been nice and seems to offer good value. I would also consider pairing a Rega integrated with some Proacs, possibly used.
     
  7. D700

    D700 Just Add Scotch

    Location:
    USA
    2 Echo Studio+ and an Echo Sub. More than enough for an apartment and sounds great, then you can repurpose to a TV room or office when you move to a bigger place. Invest the remaining $2500 in BTC and then go big with the proceeds after you move.
     
  8. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    If you like the Schiit you already have, why are you doubting the new stuff? Vidar amp seems perfect for the LS50. For simplicity sake, I'd probably go with the DAC/pre-amp version of Jotunheim (USB input only, though). Leave some money for cables and speaker stands, if needed.
     
    Razakoz likes this.
  9. wellers73

    wellers73 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Is your total budget to build a system $3000? Do you plan to continue using whatever DAC is currently in your Schiit stack/headphone rig?

    As Apesbrain said, please don’t forget to leave a bit in the budget for proper stands for the stand mount speakers. Even the cheap Pangea stands from Audio Advisor will be way better than nothing. That’s what I use to mount my LS50s (1st generation) and they work beautifully in my Brooklyn apartment. I worry WAY less about disturbing neighbors than I did when I ran floorstanders. Having the speaker stands on a carpet helps, too.
     
    Razakoz and hi_watt like this.
  10. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    rogue audio cronus magnum
    freya+ and vidar with ls50 meta should be an excellent match and foundation for future expansion.
    later on changing tubes in the freya can sweeten the sound, adding a sub or two as you have the opportunity.
     
    Razakoz and Dignan2000 like this.
  11. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly

    Location:
    Missouri
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021 at 10:43 AM
    RhodesSupremacy and Dignan2000 like this.
  12. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SUDACA ROÑOSO

    Klipsch, not KEF:D
     
    Solrac575 likes this.
  13. Solrac575

    Solrac575 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY, NY
    Spending most of the budget on speakers seems to be the consensus from everything I've researched. The problem I run into is that there are so many options and with Covid I'm trying to avoid any unnecessary public places and part of why I want to upgrade to a speaker system instead of a headphone system is because I'm home so much now due to Covid. I was looking at KEF and Klipsch but I'm not sure if they are the best or the best marketed. If you have any speaker suggestions that you think would be good for a small apartment and wouldn't require a sub I'd be grateful for them.
     
  14. Solrac575

    Solrac575 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY, NY
    The room is 3.7x4.8 metes so pretty small. Would you have any recommendations for speakers that you think would suite my space, ideally with out a sub? Dont worry about the exchange rate, I have some wiggle room in my budget, I'm more interested in making a good informed decision rather than hopping at what is tending.
     
  15. Solrac575

    Solrac575 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY, NY
    I'm not really doubting the Schiit hardware just what portion of the budget I allocated to it. I was leaning towards KEF, but from some stuff I read and the more time I spend on forums the more I am convinced I will probably be disappointed and that there is probably something better out there for the price range, give or take a few hundred dollars. So if there are an amazing pair of speakers I'l love for 2k and an amp source that is a good pairing for them that is ~1k then I would be happy to know.
     
  16. Solrac575

    Solrac575 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY, NY
    I was going to keep using the modi for now but will eventually want to upgrade the DAC for the speaker system. For positioning I was planning on putting the speakers on isolation feet on-top of my butcher block tabletop desk. My current layout isn't ideal but I'd rather purchase something that I'm going to want to stick with for a while. I'm not to susceptible to upgrading gear unless I'm unhappy with what I have so ideally whatever I get will be with me though many different and hopefully more ideal room setups.
     
  17. rodentdog

    rodentdog Forum Resident

    Try to swing a multibit DAC. Some Bifrost used on the bay. Happy system building!!
     
    Solrac575 likes this.
  18. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

  19. Solrac575

    Solrac575 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY, NY
  20. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

    Speakerwise i can imagine that the British brands work well for the music you play. KEF, Spendor, Harbeth. Maybe ATC?

    Re Croft, no headphone and remote.
     
  21. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    There isn't any "best" here.

    You need to hear some speakers. Try to get an amp (at least temporarily) that will work with a variety of the bookshelf speakers you've looked at and use that to home audition some speakers. A decent 100w integrated is a good bet. Check the return policy. Crutchfield and Music Direct have liberal return policies for example.

    Then get say 3 sets of speakers in your place and listen to them and decide what YOU prefer. Return whatever you don't like. Again, save all the boxes and read the fine print on the return policy.

    The biggest mistake people make with speakers is just buying something based off YouTube or a "tell me what to buy" thread. Then they wind up with speakers they don't like, and end up spending money and time trying to get them to sound how they want (often blowing money on accessories that do nothing), which in some cases, they never will.

    If your primary source is digital files or streaming digital EQ should be easy to do. It won't save every speaker though.
     
  22. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    Would leave about $1,200 left for the new amp/accessories. A true classic...not trendy.
    Vandersteen Model 1Ci | Vandersteen Audio
    [​IMG]
     
    Solrac575 likes this.
  23. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    For desktop/nearfield listening, can you take a line out from your current Schiit stack and drive powered speakers such as Genelec or ADAM?
     
  24. catchthecarp

    catchthecarp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Missouri
    I put together 2 channel system back in late December for about $2200 built around the components below. Originally I was going a different direction on the speakers but after researching the Polks I determined these provided the best bang for the buck (normal price is the same as the Kef LS 50's) . Having listened to similar Polks (LSi9) before I felt comfortable these would work for me. The build quality is excellent and the sound is neutral-warm with excellent imaging and plentiful bass - the Polks don't start to roll until about 40Hz. Plenty of reviews to be found from usual sources/sites. Overall I am very pleased with how this system sounds - it surpassed my expectations.

    Yamaha S801 integrated amp (has USB input for streaming and plenty of power if you decide to move to floor standers later). Look for sales - I found a new unit on sale for $799.
    Polk Audio LSiM 703 speakers (on sale at Safe & Sound/Amazon) $799
    28" Monolith Speaker Stands $100
    A/V rack $200
    Speaker cables and interconnects $250

    If you need extra bass take the $800 you have left over and get a nice musical sub.
     
    Tim S, Razakoz and Solrac575 like this.
  25. Solrac575

    Solrac575 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY, NY
    When sitting at the desk I would just listen to my headphones, the stereo would be more for when I am moving around the room.
     

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