Great CD player + speaker set up for around $600

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Bluebair, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Scottish Borders
    Tannoy Reveal 402 or 502 actives. Simple passive preamp or CD player with preamp onboard. Connecting cables.
    harby likes this.
  2. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    I would not buy used, especially a cd player. Onkyo and Yamaha make decent cd players, I would spend a few hundred there. See what the best powered bookshelf speakers you can get for the remaining $400. Done.
  3. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    South West, UK.
    Here is a suggestion depending on US prices.

    Pioneer XCHM51DAB mini system.
    Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers.

    Should be under $500 with discounts.
  4. Galactus2

    Galactus2 Forum Resident

    Let me be one more person that chimes in on the Wharfedale Diamond bookshelf series, either the 10.1 or the 10.2. has them on sale frequently, or as open box items. I bought the 10.1 version a couple months ago, as it was being phased out, and marked down considerably. Lovely little bookshelf speaker, and worth every penny.

    Good bookshelf speakers, such as the Wharfedales or Elacs also have another important advantage for you: they can be placed up high (such as on a bookshelf or dresser), and out of reach for a toddler. You’ll see how important that will become.
  5. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    Radio, octaneTom and patient_ot like this.
  6. paulieb00

    paulieb00 Forum Resident

    Onkyo C-7030 CD Player $180 at Amazon. Wolfsen DAC.
    NAD C 316BEE Integrated Amp $285 at (factory refurb from NAD, and an Authorized Dealer) otherwise $380 new.
    Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Speakers $100 at Amazon. Andrew Jones Design.


    All are highly praised and reviewed, they would make a superb system.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    Doc Diego and patient_ot like this.
  7. chodad

    chodad Forum Resident

    Northern NY
    Great recommendation. I run a NAD 316 and it's excellent. For speakers however I'd go for Sony Core SSCS5 bookshelfs over the Pioneers. I live with both and like the Sonys better ... and they can be had right now for $120 per pair (Amazon, Best Buy).
  8. somnar

    somnar Forum Resident

    NYC & Amsterdam
    Although I've only bought used CD players for the last 25 years (and have never had a reliability issue), I get that people are skittish about buying used. But for speakers, it's a no-brainer. There are so many terrific (lightly) used speakers out there for very little money - more every year as a matter of fact.
    Bluebair likes this.
  9. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident


    My recommendation would be as follows. Check the Music Direct site and Amazon for these things:

    Spend ~$300 on an integrated amp:

    Look at Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer, Onkyo, etc. They should all have options in your price range.

    Spend ~$300 on a set of speakers:

    Look at Wharfedale, Pioneer, ELAC, Cambridge, etc.

    CD Player, budget between $200-300 unless you need to play formats other than regular redbook CDs. If so, budget $550+

    Look at the Onkyo C-7030, Yamaha S-300, etc.

    For cables, check Blue Jeans Cable for interconnects and speaker cable. $100 should do it. If you are really on a budget, check Monoprice or Amazon Basics.

    Total cost: $900-$1650

    I didn't include speaker stands, because I'm not sure if you'll need them. I would recommend them to help with properly positioning your speakers and allowing you to adjust as needed. Add another $100 for that. If you need an audio rack, add another $100 to that again.

    Make sense?

    I see some folks are recommending powered speakers. That is certainly one way to go but I don't personally recommend them. It's hassle to add components on a powered speaker system (you'll need a preamp/switcher box or mixer) and when you want to upgrade to better passive speakers (which you inevitably will) you will be starting from scratch and buying an integrated or separates in addition to the new speakers. You will also likely loose a substantial amount of money when you try to sell off powered speakers to fund an upgrade.

    NOTE: many new integrated amps like those brands I listed above come with a DAC. You could start with just the integrated amp and the speakers, cheap cables from Monoprice, and use your computer hooked up to the integrated amp's DAC until you can afford a CD player. That would get you started more quickly.

    Good luck.
  10. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Austin, TX
    Here you are. All new equipment with free shipping for a total of $611.25.

    Wharfedale 10.1 from $199.00

    Yamaha A-S301 also from $349.95
    Sony BDPS1700 disc player from Amazon $62.30
  11. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    London UK
    Over here the What HiFi mag rates the £200/US260 Onkyo A 9010 the best amp under £300. There are lots of good speaker brands around the £120/150 mark, Wharfedale, Dali, Q Acoustics, Mission etc. If you have the cash buy a CD player or get a BluRay player for less (Sony etc) and buy a separate CD later. Don't know what it's like in the US but if you buy here from someone like Richer Sounds there are frequently good packages with amps and speakers together e.g. Yamaha amp/Dali speakers (£300/$400) at big savings over the separate prices, and even more if you buy the third bit of kit too. Depending on US prices that would still leave you $200 for a CD or BluRay player.
    Bluebair likes this.
  12. jeffsab

    jeffsab Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    You have more than enough in your budget to build a really nice sounding system. PM sent.
    Bluebair likes this.
  13. octaneTom

    octaneTom Man of Leisure

    No affiliation to the seller but that Yamaha S501 integrated in the Classifieds section here seems like a great deal to jump start a system.

    Pair it with Elac B6 speakers that always seem available used for under $200 and you have cash for a cheap CD player of your choosing.
    Radio likes this.
  14. frimleygreener

    frimleygreener "It 'a'int just is"

    united kingdom
    [​IMG] One of these "used" would more than satisfy your immediate requirements and leave monies for some good entry level bookshelf speakers.
    Dhreview16 and Bluebair like this.
  15. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    I agree about the Arcam Solo, but only on the used market. I have the previous generation model and it's a heck of a good performer. I'm currently using it as a pre-amp into a Lector hybrid power amp. I paid around $450 for mine on Ebay, last I checked that was still the price point. If bought new these are way more than the OP's budget.
  16. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Scottish Borders
    There's no more or less hassle adding components to active speakers than there is for anything else.

    My Cambridge 752BD goes directly into my Quad's input.

    A suitable cable with RCA at one end and a 1/4" jack or XLR at the other would go from a CD player into the back of the Tannoy actives I suggested. Assuming the source had its own on-board preamp, as many do.

    As for upgrading to passive speakers, there's this notion that actives aren't up to the job. Happy to dispel that. I wouldn't go back to passive speakers after three years using actives now. The only thing I'd upgrade to are better actives!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  17. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    The actives you're running aren't cheap. Well out of OP's budget. At OP's budget level, I think actives would be a mistake unless he caught a very good deal or bought used. OP already mentioned that they didn't want to buy used.

    And running one source is a lot different than running multiple sources. I realize OP is only talking about a CD player right now, but I suspect more sources will get added in the future. That's usually how things go.

    FWIW I had a set of active speakers a few years ago. Started with one source and eventually moved to multiple sources. That would've required a preamp or switcher box like I said before unless you want to be constantly hooking and unhooking cables. Don't need that with my integrated amp that has 5 inputs.

  18. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Scottish Borders
    The speakers I quoted are within his budget, can be connected directly and aren't rubbish.

    Previously, I used Acoustic Energy AE22 actives with an Onkyo TX-NR818 amp. It had about six sources connected and worked well. A preamp is fine too (the 818 ran in preamp mode). Why not indeed.

    The benefits of amplifiers built and designed to match each driver and minimise distortion are more important. IMO.
  19. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
    You've allocated your money incorrectly. $500 for the speakers, and $50 at the Goodwill store for a 2(.1) integrated receiver and CD or DVD deck with optical out.

    A pair of Boston Acoustics VR-M60 or VR-M80, or ~VR975, are certainly within that range used (if you can find someone to part with them), and they have a full sound that has a nearly flat widefield frequency response.

    If you want revealing uncolored sound, you can even go with small powered studio monitors like Genelec 8010, and if you buy them on sale, have enough for the XLR cables to hook up a CD player directly.
    fluffskul and Brother_Rael like this.
  20. paulieb00

    paulieb00 Forum Resident

    I am a believer in the garbage in-garbage out, way of thinking. With the system I suggested the other person will be able to upgrade speakers as they see fit. (maybe towers down the road for a new house or different room).
    The cd player and amp will handle those upgrades for quite some time, and will be better than mid-fi thrift store receivers and cd players. The other person also stated that he did not want to buy used, and with a baby was not concerned with loud volume. Have you heard the Pioneer's? They are actually quite remarkable and have low end beyond what you would think is possible. I basically have this system in my office with the exception of an Oppo dv-980h for the cd player and c315bee instead of the 316. A lot of my friends and clients who have very high dollar systems are amazed at how well it sounds. It is entry into high end audio.
    Bluebair and patient_ot like this.
  21. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Scottish Borders
    If there's a CD player or Blu-ray player or there now at any cost that can't handle an accurate data transfer, I'll eat my hat.

    GIGO might have applied as a concern years ago in hifi, but for the last twenty years? Nah...! Dealt with.
    fnord likes this.
  22. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Bluebair and Synthfreek like this.
  23. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!

    Eastern MA
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