Advice on entry level setup

Apr 17, 2015
I've never owned a turntable (they were a little before my time!) but have been debating for quite some time getting myself set up, and I'm about to take the plunge. I'm after advice on all the equipment I'll need, so turntable, pre-amp, amp, speakers (as far as I know that's everything i'll need). The music I will mainly be listening to is indie/rock/punk and I am looking at a budget of around £600-£800 all in. For this I know I'm not going to get anything like a top end setup, but I'm hoping I can get a very enjoyable one.

Obviously I have looked myself and researched review articles etc. so have a few ideas, but there's plenty of conflicting advice out there!

In terms of the turntable, I keep seeing the Rega RP1[/b], Pro-Ject Essential II [/b]or I have seen a good review for the Audio Technics ATLP120 [/b]I prefer the idea of automatically being able to change the speed but as far as I understand turntables with a manual change are 'better'. Is manual a pain in the arse, or is it a simple matter that I shouldn't worry about? Any other turntables I should consider?

I know some turntables come with a pre-amp built in (again I know this is going to be of poorer quality to buying a seperate), but is pretty much any old cheap pre amp going to do the job for an entry level system such as mine?

In terms of an amp, I've been recommended the Denon PMA520AE[/b] . Would this be decent, or does anyone have any better alternatives?

Speaker wise, I've been pointed towards Q Acoustic 2020i[/b]. Again, any alternatives or are these as good as it will get in my price range? (I also see that Q Acoustic 3020i have been released for a little more [/b]

Am I in the right area here? Anybody have better suggestions for a complete setup in my price range? Thanks in advance for any help / advice!
Hi Gareth, welcome to the forum.

Not wanting to be negative to start but I am amazed at the number of 'newbees' that want to start a vinyl set-up. Just be sure you are aware of the cost of new vinyl.... :)

I can see you have done a bit of research and what you have come up with is not bad at all. I would suggest the Rega turntable over the other you have suggested or even the equivalent priced ProJect turntable which come as pre-set-up packages. I mention Project because I am not a fan of the cartridge that is fitted as standard to the Rega.

If you are going for the Denon amp then you do not need a preamp (see we like to save you money here .... but more on that later :) ), as this has a moving magnet phono preamp built in . Note there is a big difference between a preamp and a phono preamp.

The speakers are fine but if you can spend a little more I would suggest you try to audition the Wharfdale Diamond 220 as these are larger and have a little bit more of everything really. There goes that money i previously saved you.

Lastly do not forget to budget for some decent speaker stands, basic speaker cables and interconnects and, if you intend buying it all from one place then don't be afraid to ask for them to throw in the speaker cable for free. :)


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