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Best Hifi System for Classical Music (low budget)

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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Hello, 

I am looking for a mid low budget (around 1200 euro 1000£) for classical music only and for a mid range room (40 meter square).

What would you advice.

I was thinking of the C326BEE and some b&w 685, but I am not sure but I am not sure for the CD player yet..

Any idea, or other advice...

What about a marantz with the EB accoustics EB1..

I am hesitating, so advices will be really welcome..

Thanks, 
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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18,970
My system is incredible for classical music and it is based around the very amp you mention. The NAD C545BEE is the natural CD player for the amp and it is brilliant. There is a great synergy between my electronics, speakers and cables and everything from intimate chamber recordings to large scale orchestral music and opera sounds completely involving and without any of the irritating edginess some budget components can be guilty of when reproducing strings. I am listening to Poulenc's 'Les Biches' as I type and it sounds wonderful.

You could do a lot worse and I doubt you could better it without doubling your budget. The Marantz amp isn't as good as the NAD. It suffers from a slow, plodding bass that takes the excitement and pace out of more complex passages. You should listen for yourself though to be sure.

The other combination you might want to try is the Rotel RA-04SE with some MA RX2s and the Marantz CD6003.
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
1,039
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19,195
For some general advice, I would read reviews and look for kit that is strong on clarity, detail and not bass heavy. If you are into classical you want to be able to hear the whole orchestra. Something which has dynamic as well, so when there is a shift in the pace of the music you will get a nice dramatic kick.
 

batonwielder

Well-known member
May 13, 2008
32
2
18,545
You've walked right into my domain with that heading.

I listen to classical music only and have exhaustively auditioned the budget range.

The 685's are quite good with classical music, but they need to be turned up quite a bit.

I would recommend the Wharfedale 10.1's and the Cambridge Audio 550A instead. It is a clear yet warmly voiced system that excels in soundstaging and detail.

Unfortunately classical music occupies all but a fraction of the music industry and we can't expect engineers to voice their products for the minority.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks, some poeple have proposed my the Monitor Audio RS1 instead of the B&W 685..What would you think about it..

thanks,ÿ
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
would have loved to get the Whatferdale but there is a hugr problem to get them in Belgium..Some sort of problem with the importer..

Some poeple have told me anout the Monitor Audio RX1. what do you think of it?

thanks,ÿ
 

batonwielder

Well-known member
May 13, 2008
32
2
18,545
verhoeven:
would have loved to get the Whatferdale but there is a hugr problem to get them in Belgium..Some sort of problem with the importer..

Some poeple have told me anout the Monitor Audio RX1. what do you think of it?

thanks,

Monitor Audio's RX series is quite competitive in its class, but not exactly ideal for classical music, I'm afraid.

Here's another important point. Orchestral music is the most difficult to reproduce regardless of the price of the speakers.

If your budget is limited, try to get the best quality of gear for reproduction of voice and chamber music. It's easy to end up with a messy and bloated system otherwise that sounds impressive at first with thumping bass and superficial detail, but eventually fatiguing.

If Wharfedale is not available, try anything from Acoustic Energy and Dali. Two very different sounds with different strengths, but you will get a better picture of what kind of sound you are after.
 

batonwielder

Well-known member
May 13, 2008
32
2
18,545
By the way, if you are in Belgium, I suppose Atoll is more readily available than in the UK. Have a listen. You might be surprised.

Buying gears based on reviews here might be more comforting, but you must find what you like. I started out with an intention of buying Naim/Rega, only to find that the opposite end of the spectrum was my calling.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
299
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18,970
I think the speakers are perhaps the hardest part of a system to get right for playing a lot of classical music. I have been through so many pairs of speakers trying to find the right ones and I still have about 6 pairs here.

One conclusion that I have come to is that floorstanders are much better than standmounts for most classical discs. Decent floorstanders have a natural bass weight and authority that is vital for realistically reproducing a Mahler symphony or for giving a true sense of the full range of resonance produced by a concert grand piano. The quality of that under-pinning then needs to be matched with a fluid midrange and a treble that is detailed and informative without veering towards making upper strings sound harsh and overly bright.

If you must have stand mounted speakers the B&W 685s come closer to achieving these qualities than any other reasonably priced stand mount I've heard but they still don't have the overall sense of balance that the Q Acoustics 1030i and 1050i provide.

As Batonwielder says, it is all too easy to end up with a system that sounds initially impressive with a bash through 'Lieutenant Kije', but which starts to grate and fatigue over longer listening periods.

This is what made my search so difficult, but I am delighted with the system I have now. The bonus is that it is good with all styles of music so whatever I play is enjoyable.

The only way you will find out what equipment can do the same for you is to embark on some extensive auditioning, preferably including a home audition when you feel that you might have found the right gear.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks a lot.. I am going tomorrow for some listening, I will let you know..
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The B&W 685s isn't a speaker that excels in classical.

From my experiance, I would reccomend the Epos M5i's which are relatively unknown. They lack in bass but make up for it for being far more revealing and detailed than the B&Ws. It's bigger brother, the M12i's will provide you the bass and slam that the M5i's didn't have if you're looking for more of an all-rounder.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Do consider Harman-Kardon's HK980 amp, also their HK990 CDP. The former is around £250 in some places, while others go up to about £350. The latter was £500 and designed to partner the well regarded HK990 amp. It's now available for about £300, so could be worth a look - it has balanced XLR capability and shares much of the technology found in the Cambridge Audio 840C by all accounts, so could be shortlisting.

Over and above those, Yamaha's 700 series amp and CDP and I would be loathe to not mention Marantz. Go back on generation and you may well find the rather fine SA7001 (and possibly the SA7001-KI). Forerunners to the present 7003 and 8003, they are excellent players for classical. Need partnering with a warmer amp, so think the HK or NAD would do the trick nicely.

Try to hear them if you can though, but these will give you some alternatives you might want to consider. Big recommendation for the Q Acoustics range though - the 1030i and especially the 1050i (big speaker in the latter case though, a lot for the money there) would be going on my shortlist at the drop of a hat.
 

bay24

New member
Aug 13, 2007
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A little over budget but the avi adm 9.1 and a cheap cd/DVD player as transport would be a great option. For classical I have not heard anything close to as good as they sound for the price (much better than my system which including cables would cost about £1600). Be warned though the reason I did not go for them was that thery are very revealing of the recording and as I listen to alot of indie/rock they seemed to realy let you know about a bad recording. But for classical they sound amazing!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I'll second the ADM9.1 suggestion.

If you already own a computer, you don't need the CDP.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
299
95
18,970
bay24:A little over budget but the avi adm 9.1 and a cheap cd/DVD player as transport would be a great option. For classical I have not heard anything close to as good as they sound for the price (much better than my system which including cables would cost about £1600). Be warned though the reason I did not go for them was that thery are very revealing of the recording and as I listen to alot of indie/rock they seemed to realy let you know about a bad recording. But for classical they sound amazing!

There is an assumption engrained in that thinking, that classical music is universally well recorded, but it most certainly isn't. Yes, there are some incredible classical recordings (pretty much the entire Chandos catalogue/LSO Live/60s Decca/60s EMI) but there are also incredible amounts of fairly ropey recordings that can truly awful if they are exposed too starkly.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Fahnsen:
I'll second the ADM9.1 suggestion.

If you already own a computer, you don't need the CDP.

And if you're on a budget, and a tight one at that, running a computer all day will soon eat it up...something to bear in mind before splashing the cash.
 

Messiah

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2008
205
9
18,795
the record spot:Fahnsen:
I'll second the ADM9.1 suggestion.

If you already own a computer, you don't need the CDP.

And if you're on a budget, and a tight one at that, running a computer all day will soon eat it up...something to bear in mind before splashing the cash.

It wouldn't cost that much. Probably not much more than a CD player, certainly nothing that would really be noticeable.....
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
an older budget system that many say works very well with classical:

Pioneer A400 amp ... £140

Marantz CD63 MKII K1 signature cdp ... £140

The older Quad 11L speakers ... £150

decent stands ... £150

total: £580 ... then add in decent speaker cables and an interconnect for £150 ... so grand total: £730
 

bay24

New member
Aug 13, 2007
160
0
0
matthewpiano:bay24:A little over budget but the avi adm 9.1 and a cheap cd/DVD player as transport would be a great option. For classical I have not heard anything close to as good as they sound for the price (much better than my system which including cables would cost about £1600). Be warned though the reason I did not go for them was that thery are very revealing of the recording and as I listen to alot of indie/rock they seemed to realy let you know about a bad recording. But for classical they sound amazing!

There is an assumption engrained in that thinking, that classical music is universally well recorded, but it most certainly isn't. Yes, there are some incredible classical recordings (pretty much the entire Chandos catalogue/LSO Live/60s Decca/60s EMI) but there are also incredible amounts of fairly ropey recordings that can truly awful if they are exposed too starkly.
I am sure you are right matthew I am not an expert when it comes to clasical music but from my (relatively limited) experience of hearing them with classical/jazz and acoustic music from what I heard they sounded better than any other mid price system I have heard.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Messiah:the record spot:Fahnsen:
I'll second the ADM9.1 suggestion.

If you already own a computer, you don't need the CDP.

And if you're on a budget, and a tight one at that, running a computer all day will soon eat it up...something to bear in mind before splashing the cash.

It wouldn't cost that much. Probably not much more than a CD player, certainly nothing that would really be noticeable.....

Hard to quantify I think, but if the OP is running a desktop then could be quite high.
 

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