Help a Newbie with their Vinyl Setup

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by icecoldfire, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. icecoldfire

    icecoldfire Member Thread Starter

    Hi awesome people! I'm a newbie, and got Rega Planar 2 vinyl player. I'm now ready to buy an amp and speakers, but can't really choose which ones are good that's not THAT expensive. The man at the store recommended Rega IO, but of course I think he's biased since that's what he sells. I still have my old speakers from our Sony mini hifi component, but I'm not sure it'll do since I don't have the amp yet to test. A budget friendly amp was suggested by a friend too - BRIK, hard to weigh reviews for both since they're not apples to apples. I'm not that techy yet when it comes to these things, but I want great sound quality. I know it comes with a price, but for starters like me, any suggestions (first hand experience) would help. I think I'll only allow myself to get 600-700 USD for both (amp and speakers) for now. Another question in case you're all in the mood to answer, is it better to focus on having a great quality amp? or speakers first? Thanks!
  2. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    East Coast, USA
    Unfortunately, $700 isn't much when it comes to a "great" amp and speakers. I'd suggest buying the Io and using your old Sony speakers until you can invest in better ones. Rega makes a quality speaker, also KEF, ELAC, SVS, Hsu, and others. Count on another $700 or so.
    KT88 likes this.
  3. bobbradley

    bobbradley Active Member

    Eagle nebula
    You might consider going to a shop that sells used Hifi and see if you can’t get a refurbished marantz receiver or something similar. I’ve just eaten most of your budget but if you watch the online local marketplaces you can prolly score some older klipsch speakers. That would be a nice little vintage rig that I think would be cool with your table. There are some new options but you’d only get one of the two. Also if you go new, your resell will be less when it’s time to upgrade… as entry level gear is less desirable on the used market. Hope this helps in some way. Cheers
  4. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Do what @Apesbrain suggests. You are getting a really nice built-in phono stage with the Rega Io, which makes it ideal for a really good yet cost effective amplifier for Lp playback. Many affordable amps have average to pretty crumby phono sections, so the Rega is a real step-up there where it matters most. The Io amp also have a wonderful sound when paired with efficient speakers. It's limitation is it's output being 30w isn't going to drive difficult speaker loads, and it has only two line level inputs. If those suit your needs, then it is a great sounding and nice quality amp. Customers have been thrilled with the sound from the ones which I have sold.
  5. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    I would highly suggest going used, buying an 80s Amp with a built in phono stage since I assume you dont have one. A quality one like my old Cyrus 2 can be had for about 200$ Im sure.
    Then spend the rest on Speakers.

    Speakers will have the most impact on sound, followed by Cart and Phono stage. Amps, tables etc wont matter much purely in terms of sound.
    As long as the amp can drive the speakers and the table is problem free you shouldnt care too much about them.
    bobbradley likes this.
  6. rufus t firefly

    rufus t firefly Forum Resident

    Long island, NY
    I find myself in a similar position as the thread starter. Can someone recommend a site or youtuber who can walk me through the basics of 21st c stereo ? I am finally dumping my 25 yr old system and starting from scratch. Thanks for any help.
    Rich-n-Roll likes this.
  7. popol_vuh

    popol_vuh Forum Resident

    I wouldn't go for cheaper refurbished vintage electronics. Rega makes nice affordable amps. And since Io even has a phono stage - there you go. I'm sure it'd blow lower end vintage receivers out of the water. But be sure to listen first. With speakers, definitely audition Elac.

    Also, I'd always buy speakers I like first and then choose the amp. Remember - with amps it's not only about power, it's about the amp's tone, resolution, balance etc. as well. You should listen to the combination you want to buy.
    rufus t firefly likes this.
  8. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous.

    Denver CO
    I started with the base P2 and a Cambridge Audio Topaz SR 20 receiver which has a good built-in phono stage. I was really happy with it for a starter unit, if you can find one used it's a good solution.
    rufus t firefly likes this.
  9. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous.

    Denver CO
    What was your old system built around? Turntable? CD player? Both? If you're going that route things are basically the same as 25 years ago. Streaming is a whole nother thing.
  10. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    East Coast, USA
    I'd start with a modern integrated amp that has a phono section and an onboard DAC, such as the Parasound NewClassic:
    Model NewClassic 200 Integrated « Parasound

    Cambridge Audio, Yamaha, NAD, Denon, and Marantz all offer similar products.

    Not much in the 21st century those can't do. Add a Raspberry Pi streamer for internet radio, online music services, and listening to local files. Turntable/cartridge, if desired, is also straight-forward, but count on spending upwards of $800. As for speakers, there's no substitute for listening. Get out and visit some shops.
  11. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Washington State
    Try Steve Gutenberg the audiophilac

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