Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Help recommend which stereo system components are more important to upgrade

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by vanny1, Aug 18, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. vanny1

    vanny1 Active Member Thread Starter

    , pa
    I have a space (finished on 1 side of the basement 500/600sqft)

    Was looking for some help/suggestions which components are more important to upgrade for a stereo system upgrade?
    (ex..Is it more important to have a better upgrade in speakers than better receiver and or better turntable than a receiver?Should I just upgrade my phono cartridge)

    I listen to allot of vinyl and cd's.In vinyl listening I am looking for that nice clear/loud sound w/out spending $10k...want something that really enhances the vinyl sound that its meant to sound like.
    I have a $1k/$1,500 budget no more then $500 on EACH components and speakers.

    I currently have:
    -Sony PS-LX300 USB turntable
    -Technics SA-EX140 60hz/155w Receiver
    -Bose 201 iv series

    After researching stuff I was looking at these to get. What do you think and or do recommend something else?
    -Pro-Ject III debut turntable
    -Or keep my Sony turntable and just upgrade my cartridge to a Sumiko Pearl cartridge
    -Yamaha A-S500......looking for a built in Amp for more sound in my receiver

    Also what CD player is good to get under $500 that enhances the sound?
  2. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    Get the best speakers that you can afford. Then get a better cartridge and turntable. I recommend the new Rega RP1. It comes with a decent Ortofon cartridge, which you can easily and afford-ably upgrade the stylus or cartridge on later. Keep the receiver for now.
  3. PrestigeWW

    PrestigeWW Forum Resident

    Jacksonville, FL
    +1 on the above. Check out audiogon too - save yourself some money and buy used when you can..
  4. GreenDrazi

    GreenDrazi Truth is beauty

    Atlanta, GA
    Definitely upgrade your speakers first.
  5. cathare34

    cathare34 Forum Resident

    Yep speakers first + 5
  6. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk I think we were meant to be but we did it wrong

    Gilbert Arizona
    Upgrade the speakers and stretch to the very best you can afford
  7. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Speakers first, and then the turntable and cartridge. For the most part, if you budget at least $300 for a turntable, there is a likely chance you will get a decent turntable. The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is one of the best lower priced turntables out there. It does come with an adequate for most people cartridge already mounted and adjusted although you can upgrade the cartridge as well.
  8. BIG ED

    BIG ED Forum Resident


    then source, then PLC, then amplification, then cables/wires, then tweaks.
    The room is actually 1st, however you have a room ;-) ; just treatments/placement can be HUGE!
    And some how people rarely spk (pun) too seating and not just placement, comfort.
    Butt yeah, spk will be BIG; even if you don't like em!

    Welcome too the forum!
  9. HiFiGuy528

    HiFiGuy528 Formerly Dj_AmTraX

    Bay Area
    Speakers is my vote.
  10. screener

    screener Forum Resident

    York, Maine USA
    Speakers are #1
  11. HiFiSoundGuy

    HiFiSoundGuy New Member

    Look at my profile :righton:

    Look for these products on the used market

    I think all these products are Giant Killers and
    they are some of the very best bargains on the market right now ! :cheers:

    Hope this helps you out
  12. McGruder

    McGruder Eternal Musicphile

    I've not heard the Bose 201 speakers before, but I've heard the EPOS-8 and think they're an excellent value for a monitor speaker. With that caveat, the speakers have the potential to impact your sound more than changing entry level turntables or receivers. If the EPOS-8 are representative of your budget to buy speakers (currently available for $250 for a pair at NeedleDoctor), I think they're an excellent choice to upgrade your system.
  13. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

    I still say try changing any cable/cords first....
  14. HiFiGuy528

    HiFiGuy528 Formerly Dj_AmTraX

    Bay Area
  15. motorcitydave

    motorcitydave Enlightened Rogue In Memoriam

    Las Vegas, NV, USA
  16. McGruder

    McGruder Eternal Musicphile

    I love the Ken Kantor era NHT speakers too - they're classics. They like to be driven hard though. Weren't these models among the first with side firing woofers?
  17. phallumontis

    phallumontis Active Member

    Chicago, IL
    I hope you're kidding. This will make by far the subtlest (if any) difference in sound. Room, speakers and source are absolutely crucial. The receiver will get the job done just fine for now.

    Vanny, if you're open to used gear, I think you'd be wise to skip the Pro-Ject Debut III and get something better for similar money on the used market. It is a good table, but it's practically begging for upgrades right out of the box. The OM5E cartridge sounds OK until you get near the end of a side, then it's unbearable. The motor noise is quite high and doesn't get quieter until you get the Speed Box and the Acryl-It platter upgrade. This really hinders the low-level detail and bass impact. After all that money spent on upgrades, you could have already had something far better. This is from personal experience, I bought the Debut III when I decided to get serious about vinyl years ago.

    For example, here is a lightly used Cambridge TT50, which is just a re-branded Pro-Ject Xpression III (a huge step above the Debut): http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?anlgtabl&1316520336&/Pro-Ject-/-Cambridge-Audio-TT-. $500 with free shipping, and it comes with the wonderful Denon DL-110 cartridge. Pretty tough to beat. Or, be on the lookout for old Pioneer or Technics tables, or whatever strikes your fancy. Sometimes you can find great deals. I recently found a near-mint Pioneer PL-518, put an Audio-Technica AT120E cartridge on it and I was out the door for less than $200. Admittedly it is part of my bedroom system, but it has sounded spectacular no matter where I've connected it. That AT120E sounds 95% as good as the AT440MLa to me, for far less money. Really an underrated cartridge.

    But seriously, that Xpression/DL-110 deal is fantastic. If I were in need of excellent analog and had $500 to spend, I'd grab that in a heartbeat. It's cheaper than a Debut III with the same cartridge. I love those Denon carts. Lots of detail and snap, but they still sound like vinyl, if that makes any sense. Huge stereo image, lots of fun to listen to. I have the DL-160 on my Rega P3 and can't imagine life without it.

    As for speakers, you will need to get out there and hear them for yourself. Demo, demo, demo. Subjective testimony about the sound of speakers is exactly that, subjective testimony. One man's "bright" is another man's "musical". You'll need to hear them first-hand to know if you like the sound. The recommendation for used NHT is a good one. Also look at Vandersteen, Paradigm, KEF and Wharfedale. They can be a steal on the used market.

    Whatever you choose, do plenty of research and most importantly, enjoy the music! Good luck.
  18. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk I think we were meant to be but we did it wrong

    Gilbert Arizona

    I have to disagree with you here. I am very much a proponent of quality cables in a system but I see them as the last step in compiling a solid system. No, I have to say speakers first, then sources then control and amplification then cables.
  19. laynecobain

    laynecobain Active Member

    Lake Tahoe / Reno
  20. preferred user

    preferred user Member

    no. calif.

    Another vote for speakers
  21. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    Let's be obvious here, in case he's missing the point: upgrade the speakers until they no longer have the word "Bose" on them.

    Now playing on Ariel Stream: Sophie B. Hawkins - As I Lay Me Down
  22. Henry Love

    Henry Love Senior Member

    Why draw a line in the sand on your budget?Maybe you spend more on speakers now,take a break and get an RP3 turntable later.

    Take your time and you'll build a system that you won't need to upgrade later.
  23. HiFiSoundGuy

    HiFiSoundGuy New Member


    He has the right brand name But the wrong model.

    You know, I think a lot of you on these forums are just pissed off because the BOSE 901's can hang with the HIGHEST PRICED SPEAKERS on the market , "sound wise" !

    I think that's why a lot people that loves these 901's don't come on these forums ..at all !...
  24. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    I was just wondering when you would show up.......:sigh:
  25. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Senior Member

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page