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Digital-only system for £1000?

DonaldTrumpsWig

New member
Nov 9, 2016
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Hi everyone please be gentle I'm quite new to this so I might end up asking lots of stupid questions. I'm looking to build a digital only system for around £1000 and I'm trying to get my head round the options.

Some helpful background: much of my music is ripped CD's stored to a 128gb iPad Air as AAC, plus I use apple music and internet radio. The iPad sits on a Sony clock-radio dock in my bedroom (actually meant for an ipod but works fine with ipad) which shamefully is currently the only way I can hear my music other than on headphones. I have done some homework and I -think- my best way forward is one of the following:

(1) I buy some powred / active speakers, connect them to an airport express and stream to that

(2) buy regular speakers along with a separate amp + airport express

(3) buy regular speakers along with some kind of amp device with airplay built in

Space is limited because I still live at home with my parents so this will be a bredroom system (room is about 5m x 4m) but with a bit of re-arranging I will have room for speaker stands and amp. Though the stands will also have to come from the £1k budget.

Do I seem to have all my options covered for the price? Is there anything I've missed? Which is perhaps best value for money? What should take the bulk of my money, amp or speakers?

Thank's

DTW.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
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DonaldTrumpsWig said:
Hi everyone please be gentle I'm quite new to this so I might end up asking lots of stupid questions. I'm looking to build a digital only system for around £2000 and I'm trying to get my head round the options.

Some helpful background: much of my music is ripped CD's stored to a 128gb iPad Air as AAC, plus I use apple music and internet radio. The iPad sits on a Sony clock-radio dock in my bedroom (actually meant for an ipod but works fine with ipad) which shamefully is currently the only way I can hear my music other than on headphones. I have done some homework and I -think- my best way forward is one of the following:

(1) I buy some powred / active speakers, connect them to an airport express and stream to that

(2) buy regular speakers along with a separate amp + airport express

(3) buy regular speakers along with some kind of amp device with airplay built in

Space is limited because I still live at home with my parents so this will be a bredroom system (room is about 5m x 4m) but with a bit of re-arranging I will have room for speaker stands and amp. Though the stands will also have to come from the £1k budget.

Do I seem to have all my options covered for the price? Is there anything I've missed? Which is perhaps best value for money? What should take the bulk of my money, amp or speakers?

Thank's

DTW.
So ill go straight to the point for your budget, i think the AVI Dm10s will be one of the best sounding value for money and function options.

They cost £1500 and have all you require.
 

DonaldTrumpsWig

New member
Nov 9, 2016
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Hi andrewjvt, a typo in my main text, I only have £1000 to play with as per the thread title, I have now corrected it. Can't say ive ever heard of AVI anyway, but sadly £1500 is over-budget :-( I take it they are an all in one solution which don't need a separate amp or airplay receiver? Anything similar within my budget? Or am I better off with a different solution eg normal amp/speakers?

edit: forgot to say thank you for the welcome and such a fast reply!

DTW
 

muljao

New member
Jul 18, 2016
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I'd look into these. Just because you have 1000 doesn't mean you need to spend that much to get a great system

http://www.trustedreviews.com/yamaha-nx-n500-review
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
748
261
19,270
DonaldTrumpsWig said:
Some helpful background: much of my music is ripped CD's stored to a 128gb iPad Air as AAC, plus I use apple music and internet radio.

Do I seem to have all my options covered for the price? Is there anything I've missed? Which is perhaps best value for money? What should take the bulk of my money, amp or speakers?
Looking at your picture, I'm glad your parents are still alive and well. You must tell us all their secret!

Best value for money is what suits you. Everyone else on here will tell you what suits us personally, but you have to select what is best for you. It is no different to cars; we can advise you but you really must 'test drive' a shortlist. Any of those 3 routes may be best for you.

If it was me, which it isn't, I would go for Creative Audio's offer of a Marantz PM6006 amplifier and Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6T, reduced from £1,798 to £799. That leaves you £201 for an airport express and cables.
 

DonaldTrumpsWig

New member
Nov 9, 2016
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Thanks guys wow the replies have been quick and you've given me some ideas regarding kit to check out. As to which approach is best, I'm sensing there isn't a one true answer, which is kind of what I expected. The more I think about it, I'm leaning towards separate amp and speakers, as great as those Yamahas look, simply because if the hifi bug bites, with all my eggs in one basket there doesn't appear to be an obvious upgrade path eg better amp/better speakers without starting from scratch.

Definitely some ideas to ponder. Thank you very much. Wow this forum is great.

DTW
 

muljao

New member
Jul 18, 2016
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Someone mentioned a Montor Audio A100. I have one of these and really like it. They supposedly go cheap now (I got mine for 179 pounds about 2 months ago), but I tried to buy a second one recently and they are like hens teeth.

Mine works great but I have no apple products so use DNLA, but from what I read it is mde for apple so would likely even be better.

I use Q acoustics 2020i but at your budget I'd nearly look at q acoustics 3050
 

luckylion100

New member
Nov 6, 2011
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0
the choice is entirely yours (OP) but I wouldn't write off the active route. Try to get out there and hear a pair. They may pleasantly surprise you, perhaps more!

I know all about the separates route, been there, done that. It's costly and seemingly endless, the search for improvement, the voice in your head niggling away at you is there a better sound to be found with one more upgrade. I went from that to actives and don't regret it for a moment. My AVI's blow my old PMC's away just or the record. That's another story and I have no wish to hijack your thread. Anyway, I can still tinker with and upgrade my turntable...

Audition both or all potential options is my advice, enjoy and good luck.
 

luckylion100

New member
Nov 6, 2011
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maybe the upgrade bug has bitten me again, just with the OP's suggested budget. Nothing like spending someone else's money! ;-)
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
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DonaldTrumpsWig said:
Hi andrewjvt, a typo in my main text, I only have £1000 to play with as per the thread title, I have now corrected it. Can't say ive ever heard of AVI anyway, but sadly £1500 is over-budget :-( I take it they are an all in one solution which don't need a separate amp or airplay receiver? Anything similar within my budget? Or am I better off with a different solution eg normal amp/speakers?

edit: forgot to say thank you for the welcome and such a fast reply!

DTW
I read 1000 but saw 1500.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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luckylion100 said:
and if you don't like black they come in white as well. Money left over too...

Well sorted, well connected.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/666-yamaha-nx-n500-network-powered-speaker-review/
luckylion, have you heard the Yamaha n500's?

If you have, did you compare them directly against AVI DM10's? If so, please tell us the differences in sound between these speakers.

If you haven't, do you know of anyone whose judgement you trust who has heard the n500's. If so, what did they say about the sound of them compared to other speakers you can get for similar money?

If yes to either of the above, why not tell us your thoughts, or your trusted source's thoughts on how they sound, instead of linking to a bland online review?

If you haven't, why on Earth would you strongly recommend speakers when you have no idea if they sound any good or not when compared to something else that could be bought for less money?

My suggestion to the OP is: buy something like a 2nd hand pair of Heybrook HB1, HB2 or HB3, or Royd type speakers for £10 to £125. Buy a 2nd hand amplifier for £5 to £80, plus a digital source for a similar amount of money. IE spend £50 to £200 on a 2nd hand system with reasonable small speakers. Keep the rest of your money in the bank for help in more important things like a deposit for your first house.

Having gotten a reasonable system for £200 or less, you can then use that as a benchmark for comparing against anything else that you fancy.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
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0
DonaldTrumpsWig said:
Thanks guys wow the replies have been quick and you've given me some ideas regarding kit to check out. As to which approach is best, I'm sensing there isn't a one true answer, which is kind of what I expected. The more I think about it, I'm leaning towards separate amp and speakers, as great as those Yamahas look, simply because if the hifi bug bites, with all my eggs in one basket there doesn't appear to be an obvious upgrade path eg better amp/better speakers without starting from scratch.

Definitely some ideas to ponder. Thank you very much. Wow this forum is great.

DTW
This is true and also why many independent mix engineers avoid actives near-fields all together. However the concept of actives is theoretically much better than that of the inefficient passive, so it's a toughie... As with everything in hi-fi you are better off using the fine advice you receive on this forum to build a shortlist, and then listening before you buy.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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A lot depends on you and what you want out of a system. Clearly if you are using your iPad as your only source, the Airplay option is clearly the most convenient, hence the obvious AEX > Amp > Speakers.

How you put these together is up to you, a long term, 'one off' purchase, a component system you can build on, those are decisions only you can make.

Whilst commonplace in AVRs, Airplay is relatively rare in stereo amplifiers, so you may well need a separate AEX, that opens up the choice of amps and speaker to pretty much anything you fancy. In this case, get along to a dealer and choose what you like.

On the other hand, one (2 actually) box solutions such as the NS N500 are still relatively unusual, particularly as you need Airplay. The 'inbetween' solution of a streamer/dac/preamp, such as the WXC 50 at £300 driving a pair of, say, AVI DM5 or Dynaudio BM5 actives.

I feel that it makes sense if you decide which way you are going before auditioning at length.
 

luckylion100

New member
Nov 6, 2011
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davedotco said:
A lot depends on you and what you want out of a system. Clearly if you are using your iPad as your only source, the Airplay option is clearly the most convenient, hence the obvious AEX > Amp > Speakers.

How you put these together is up to you, a long term, 'one off' purchase, a component system you can build on, those are decisions only you can make.

Whilst commonplace in AVRs, Airplay is relatively rare in stereo amplifiers, so you may well need a separate AEX, that opens up the choice of amps and speaker to pretty much anything you fancy. In this case, get along to a dealer and choose what you like.

On the other hand, one (2 actually) box solutions such as the NS N500 are still relatively unusual, particularly as you need Airplay. The 'inbetween' solution of a streamer/dac/preamp, such as the WXC 50 at £300 driving a pair of, say, AVI DM5 or Dynaudio BM5 actives.

I feel that it makes sense if you decide which way you are going before auditioning at length.
Agree with this and it would have been my second recommendation (see my own signature) but thought better of it because I didn't want to appear to be digging up that old active v passive argument again. One other thing the OP does mention lack of space as it's a bedroom based system, to my mind this also strengthens the case for fewer boxes.

And I'm pretty sure any active combo at this price level would blow the previously mentioned passive set up out of the water sound wise. Trouble is the AVI can't be auditioned and as the OP states he's not even heard of the brand so Dynaudio or another more recognisable make will probably be a better suggestion...

Got me thinking, I wonder if the exploration of an active route is generally taken after one has experimented with the passive box swapping stage...
 

muljao

New member
Jul 18, 2016
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At the moment a few places are selling a Yamaha RN602 for about 339 pounds. The reviews on this network amp are few, but the ones that are there are positive.

This receiver has an awful lot of tech inside and covers your needs with a whole lot more. It might also be worth a look. Figure in a nice pair of speakers and stands and it, or something similar might be a good option also. So much choice....
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
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luckylion100 said:
davedotco said:
A lot depends on you and what you want out of a system. Clearly if you are using your iPad as your only source, the Airplay option is clearly the most convenient, hence the obvious AEX > Amp > Speakers.

How you put these together is up to you, a long term, 'one off' purchase, a component system you can build on, those are decisions only you can make.

Whilst commonplace in AVRs, Airplay is relatively rare in stereo amplifiers, so you may well need a separate AEX, that opens up the choice of amps and speaker to pretty much anything you fancy. In this case, get along to a dealer and choose what you like.

On the other hand, one (2 actually) box solutions such as the NS N500 are still relatively unusual, particularly as you need Airplay. The 'inbetween' solution of a streamer/dac/preamp, such as the WXC 50 at £300 driving a pair of, say, AVI DM5 or Dynaudio BM5 actives.

I feel that it makes sense if you decide which way you are going before auditioning at length.
Agree with this and it would have been my second recommendation (see my own signature) but thought better of it because I didn't want to appear to be digging up that old active v passive argument again. One other thing the OP does mention lack of space as it's a bedroom based system, to my mind this also strengthens the case for fewer boxes.

And I'm pretty sure any active combo at this price level would blow the previously mentioned passive set up out of the water sound wise. Trouble is the AVI can't be auditioned and as the OP states he's not even heard of the brand so Dynaudio or another more recognisable make will probably be a better suggestion...

Got me thinking, I wonder if the exploration of an active route is generally taken after one has experimented with the passive box swapping stage...
Normally yes regards passive amps first but the op has indicated he might be open to active
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
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I agree that you can get very good value for money and excellent sound quality from 2nd hand also
 

DonaldTrumpsWig

New member
Nov 9, 2016
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0
Clearly I have a lot of research to do regarding the systems and components you have all thrown into the ring. You have all been unbelievably helpful, but at the same time I didn't realise there were quite so many ways to skin the proverbial cat. Lindsay made a strong case to spend less and save more by buying second hand; I think it's great advice if you know what you're doing but probably less so if like me you're a bit wet behind the ears. Or perhaps I over-estimate the risks of an inexperienced enthusiast like me buying used.

Plenty food for thought in this thread, you have all been amazingly helpful, even though the thread has barely been up half a day. Thank you.

DTW
 

lpv

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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pair of active AVI DM5 + AirPort Express..

£700 new or £775 for premium finish or go to AVI forum > buying and selling page > wait for a pair to appear ( around £500) and if you don't like them ( unlikely) just sell them for money you've paid

that's the only speakers you ever need !

 

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