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Advice to a beginner on options for a new turntable system

teeeeee

New member
Jan 5, 2017
1
0
0
Hi,

My girlfriend and I are looking to buy a new turntable stereo setup as a present for her dad, who is an avid vinyl and CD collector. He currently has an old 1980s hi-fi stack system, which is not working correctly anymore, and is wanting an upgrade to get listening to his old music again! I have been doing a little research online and have joined this forum to hopefully get a little advice on which way to go, since I have very little experience shopping for this sort of equipment. We were hoping to spend around £400-£500 for a system which can play both vinyl and CD, and do not require any streaming / Bluetooth functionality.

There is a nearby Richer Sounds shop to us, and so it would be the most convenient to buy the gear from there. I will outline below some of the options that are appealing to us so far, and hopefully get some initial feedback and any potential do’s or don’ts, before we go and visit the branch.

There are two turntables on the website at the moment which have caught my eye: Denon DP300 (£180) and Pro-Ject Essential II (£170). I already have the Pro-Ject turntable in my own house and am very happy with it - but it does not have an onboard phono stage, and so if buying an amplifier without phono input I was thinking of the Pro-Ject Phono Box MM (£44) pre-amp. The DP300 on the other hand seems to have a built-in phono stage.

For the amplifier, I have shortlisted to a few: Marantz PM5005 (£165), Onkyo A-9010 (£195), and Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 (£150).

For the speakers, it seems to me that the Q Acoustics get decent reviews, and so there are a few models I see that are available: Q2010 (£80), Q2020 (£100), Q3010 (£130), Q3020 (£150). To be honest, I have no idea whether to expect any significant difference between these models.

The two cheapest CD players offered on the Richer Sounds site are the Cambridge Audio Topaz CD5 (£100) and CD10 (£150).

In addition, there are two other options that I was thinking of, and wonder if anyone has any helpful thoughts. Firstly, I have also been looking at the Denon DM40 (£180), which is a mini hi-fi amplifier with a built-in CD player, and so would be cheaper overall than buying separate a full-size amplifier and CD player as listed above. I don’t know if there is some good reason why the full-size versions seem to be most commonly used with turntables.

The second option I was considering was to buy active speakers, such as the Edifer R1700BT (£125 on Amazon) or Edifer 1280T (£95 on Amazon), and hook directly to the turntable (through pre-amp if necessary). This would then mean not needing to buy a separate amplifier (albeit still needing to buy the CD player). The reason that people seem to cite for not going this route usually seems to be that it limits later possible upgrade options, but for us this will probably not be an issue any time soon.

Apologies for the long post - I have been looking for a few days and as you can see my shortlist is still a relatively long list! I would really appreciate any thoughts or impressions on any of the different options I have mentioned.

Many thanks in advance,

T
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
301
5,270
Hi and welcome to the forum.

My first thought is this. Are you sure you need a new pair of speakers? It's possible that the speakers that your girlfriend's dad have are decent. Same goes for turntable. Maybe it would be good if you could find out what they are and let us know. The fact these components are old doesn't mean that they will need replacing. Turntable might just need a need belt and a cartridge upgrade.

Secondly, it also would be good to know which components are causing issues in current setup. You might get better quality components focusing only on a couple rather than all.

I think it's worth considering.
 

muljao

New member
Jul 18, 2016
154
0
0
Well you have a few options within your budget and obviously if uou can spend more :)

Insider9 gave good advice, but I am going to just give a few suggestions on the assumption that you just want to buy a new stereo and replace the old one. (I will just add that everyone hears things different, but I also think that most people just want something that looks and sounds and works well, and maybe aren't exactly audiophiles, so my suggestions may not be to your taste)

I am quite the fan of q acoustic speakers. I have a set of 2020i and 3020 and I recently advised my father to but a set of the 2010 to set up a system for him. I don't think you can go wrong in these price ranges. My pick of the bunch would be the 2020i simply because they are such good value and sound great. If the room they will be used in is very small, the 2010 might be a better call.

Everyone seems to love that Onkyo amp-it would be my pick from your list, and I know nothing about turntables, but the project seems well loved. here is your issue, you buy the three of these and your budget is shot. Would it be an idea to get this kit and leave someone add a cd player for a birthday/event in the future?

The 2nd suggestion- at the moment Richer sounds mini system deals. The Denon DM40 can be bought in a kit with q acoustic speakers (indeed it can be bought speakerless for 179, add the q acoustic 2020i and your at 279 pounds so the deal might be even cheaper, prices not shown on the site). If you look they also do a marantz TT5005 turntable, this is a plug and play model that has a built in pre-amp stage, so can plug directly into the denon midi sytem. This gives you cd/radio/turntable and speakers all for a tad over 400.Its all very well reviewd kit. If you have room and add a set of speaker stands, you are still under 500. I'd doubt anyone who likes music would be disappointed with this present
 

Al ears

Moderator
teeeeee said:
Hi,

My girlfriend and I are looking to buy a new turntable stereo setup as a present for her dad, who is an avid vinyl and CD collector. He currently has an old 1980s hi-fi stack system, which is not working correctly anymore, and is wanting an upgrade to get listening to his old music again! I have been doing a little research online and have joined this forum to hopefully get a little advice on which way to go, since I have very little experience shopping for this sort of equipment. We were hoping to spend around £400-£500 for a system which can play both vinyl and CD, and do not require any streaming / Bluetooth functionality.

There is a nearby Richer Sounds shop to us, and so it would be the most convenient to buy the gear from there. I will outline below some of the options that are appealing to us so far, and hopefully get some initial feedback and any potential do’s or don’ts, before we go and visit the branch.

There are two turntables on the website at the moment which have caught my eye: Denon DP300 (£180) and Pro-Ject Essential II (£170). I already have the Pro-Ject turntable in my own house and am very happy with it - but it does not have an onboard phono stage, and so if buying an amplifier without phono input I was thinking of the Pro-Ject Phono Box MM (£44) pre-amp. The DP300 on the other hand seems to have a built-in phono stage.

For the amplifier, I have shortlisted to a few: Marantz PM5005 (£165), Onkyo A-9010 (£195), and Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 (£150).

For the speakers, it seems to me that the Q Acoustics get decent reviews, and so there are a few models I see that are available: Q2010 (£80), Q2020 (£100), Q3010 (£130), Q3020 (£150). To be honest, I have no idea whether to expect any significant difference between these models.

The two cheapest CD players offered on the Richer Sounds site are the Cambridge Audio Topaz CD5 (£100) and CD10 (£150).

In addition, there are two other options that I was thinking of, and wonder if anyone has any helpful thoughts. Firstly, I have also been looking at the Denon DM40 (£180), which is a mini hi-fi amplifier with a built-in CD player, and so would be cheaper overall than buying separate a full-size amplifier and CD player as listed above. I don’t know if there is some good reason why the full-size versions seem to be most commonly used with turntables.

The second option I was considering was to buy active speakers, such as the Edifer R1700BT (£125 on Amazon) or Edifer 1280T (£95 on Amazon), and hook directly to the turntable (through pre-amp if necessary). This would then mean not needing to buy a separate amplifier (albeit still needing to buy the CD player). The reason that people seem to cite for not going this route usually seems to be that it limits later possible upgrade options, but for us this will probably not be an issue any time soon.

Apologies for the long post - I have been looking for a few days and as you can see my shortlist is still a relatively long list! I would really appreciate any thoughts or impressions on any of the different options I have mentioned.

Many thanks in advance,

T
In addition to the above post I would like to add that there are not many stack-type systems I would consider upgrading.

From your list I would start with a good basic turntable and not worry too much about built-in phono stages because in this sort of price range they are pretty poor quality. Best to go for an amp with an inbuilt phono stage which the Onkyo 9010 has, and it's pretty decent.

So that's the Project Essential 2 and the A9010. Speakers are another matter and are going to depend a good deal on the size of your listening room. See what RicherSounds recommend.

If you buy everything from them then see if you can get them to throw in some interconnects / speaker cables as part of the deal.
 

macdiddy

Well-known member
Sep 3, 2010
87
3
18,545
Richer Sounds, you mention that you have a local branch, give them a ring and tell them what sort of system you are looking for and your budget and I'm sure one of their excellent staff will demo some suitable equipment for you.

Happy listening.

*music2*
 

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