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Help me build a setup on budget...

Eland

New member
Jan 11, 2017
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Looking to build a listening setup (amp/speakers) for my living room. I'm a musician, listening to every kind of music. Budget is unfortunately pretty tight at $400. I'm in NYC, if that changes anything.. Anyways, I don't know much at all about this stuff, so I would really appreciate any advice.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Eland said:
Looking to build a listening setup (amp/speakers) for my living room. I'm a musician, listening to every kind of music. Budget is unfortunately pretty tight at $400. I'm in NYC, if that changes anything.. Anyways, I don't know much at all about this stuff, so I would really appreciate any advice.
Welcome to the forum. You mention amp and speakers but don't say what you will be using as the source of your music. Please expand a bit on this.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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18,670
Hi,

Perhaps for this price range, active speakers would be most cost effective? Pro monitors are cheaper compared to their hifi equivalents?

Regards,

Shadders.
 

luckylion100

New member
Nov 6, 2011
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Have a butchers (look), at least it will help you decide if it's an option worth considering. Depends on what you need it terms of connections as well...

http://www.audiorumble.com/best-studio-monitors/under-500/

I'd imagine you've heard of M-Audio...

Otherwise spend your $400 on an amp and speakers but also bear in mind you need to budget around $10K for decent leads or it ain't worth the effort. ;-) Sorry couldn't resist.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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luckylion100 said:
Have a butchers (look), at least it will help you decide if it's an option worth considering. Depends on what you need it terms of connections as well...

http://www.audiorumble.com/best-studio-monitors/under-500/

I'd imagine you've heard of M-Audio...

Otherwise spend your $400 on an amp and speakers but also bare in mind you need to budget around $10K for decent leads. ;-) Sorry couldn't resist.
The fact that the site on your link suggest KRK would make me weary. I heard some of their speakers and they are truly awful imho.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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shadders said:
Hi,

Perhaps for this price range, active speakers would be most cost effective? Pro monitors are cheaper compared to their hifi equivalents?

Regards,

Shadders.
I may be wrong but I don't think you get Pro Monitors for that money.

Industrial looking and probably equally bad sounding bedroom DJ Chinese boxes yes. Personally I'd stick to Hifi at this price. A little NAD or Marantz Amplifier with some decent budget speakers should be entirely possible, depending on what's available where the OP resides.

Second hand you may be able to buy some older active Dynaudios. At least you know you get some sort of quality. You may be able to get some ex display Adam actives, the ones with the ribbons, they are not bad.

Unless the OP says how big the room is, features and volume required etc etc its probably difficult to make any meaningful suggestions.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
89
18,670
drummerman said:
shadders said:
Hi,

Perhaps for this price range, active speakers would be most cost effective? Pro monitors are cheaper compared to their hifi equivalents?

Regards,

Shadders.
I may be wrong but I don't think you get Pro Monitors for that money.

Industrial looking and probably equally bad sounding bedroom DJ Chinese boxes yes. Personally I'd stick to Hifi at this price. A little NAD or Marantz Amplifier with some decent budget speakers should be entirely possible, depending on what's available where the OP resides.

Second hand you may be able to buy some older active Dynaudios. At least you know you get some sort of quality. You may be able to get some ex display Adam actives, the ones with the ribbons, they are not bad.

Unless the OP says how big the room is, features and volume required etc etc its probably difficult to make any meaningful suggestions.
Hi,

If you check gear4music.com, then you can search on price. This is a UK website, so there must be a US equivalent dealer.

The makes on this site I have heard of and are rated highly too, so I suppose check the reviews. Also, they seem to sell single speakers, so just make sure you are purchasing a pair.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

luckylion100

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Nov 6, 2011
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I just thought it may be worth the OP reading it as he states he has very limited knowledge. Prices are in $'s I assumed US, so perhaps it will provide him with some idea as to what he can't get for his $'s. This info may be the deciding factor that makes him think passive amp and speakers are the way to go. I'm not pushing active. It was a link to a simple Google search I hoped may be informative.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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luckylion100 said:
I just thought it may be worth the OP reading it as he states he has very limited knowledge. Prices are in $'s I assumed US, so perhaps it will provide him with some idea as to what he can't get for his $'s. This info may be the deciding factor that makes him think passive amp and speakers are the way to go. I'm not pushing active. It was a link to a simple Google search I hoped may be informative.
Your suggestion is as valid as mine, no problem. Just giving my thoughts :) As has been mentioned earlier, these active speakers are often sold single so he has to budget for 2.
 

Eland

New member
Jan 11, 2017
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Al ears said:
Eland said:
Looking to build a listening setup (amp/speakers) for my living room. I'm a musician, listening to every kind of music. Budget is unfortunately pretty tight at $400. I'm in NYC, if that changes anything.. Anyways, I don't know much at all about this stuff, so I would really appreciate any advice.
Welcome to the forum. You mention amp and speakers but don't say what you will be using as the source of your music. Please expand a bit on this.
Hi!! Wow! Thank you so much everybody for responding in such detail! You guys are great! The room is rectangular, and small. I intend to listen to music both from my phone/laptop as well as from a record player (crosley, not really looking to replace as I only use it ocassionally compared to playing from computer/phone). I don't need a lot of volume, but would like to have some headroom I think!
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
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Eland said:
crosley, not really looking to replace as I only use it ocassionally compared to playing from computer/phone.
Err, which crosley model are you using? Generally they are a path to destruction for your cherished vinyl.

As an aside would anyone think that the Denon DAB40 with some decent speakers would fit the bill, or maybe a Marantz MCR511 or 611, or something similar in a one box solution?
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
253
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4,920
From your description a set of powered speakers could be ideal. These have the amp build in etc, saving on space and for your budget I'd imaagine could be a better per price product.

Someting like these

http://www.whathifi.com/q-acoustics/q-bt3/review
 

seemorebtts

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2013
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0
18,540
DougK said:
Eland said:
crosley, not really looking to replace as I only use it ocassionally compared to playing from computer/phone.
Err, which crosley model are you using? Generally they are a path to destruction for your cherished vinyl.

As an aside would anyone think that the Denon DAB40 with some decent speakers would fit the bill, or maybe a Marantz MCR511 or 611, or something similar in a one box solution?
yes I'm with you.denon n9 will do everything out of the box even hi Res music
 

Eland

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Jan 11, 2017
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Thanks again guys.

I think I would rather go with passive speakers and an amplifier for 1. The vibe, and 2. so that I would be able to upgrade them separately from each other in the future!

Not sure how to find out the model number of the Crosley I'm using, but it is a small "portable" one, with just a tone knob and a volume knob, which don't have any effect when you play it through external speakers.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
974
172
19,070
muljao said:
From your description a set of powered speakers could be ideal. These have the amp build in etc, saving on space and for your budget I'd imaagine could be a better per price product.

Someting like these

http://www.whathifi.com/q-acoustics/q-bt3/review
Not shure the have Q Acoustics in usa, nyc (New york city)

A Pair of Jbl LSR305 and a dac with volume ***,found under the speaker and just some cabel in the right lenght

https://www.amazon.com/JBL-LSR305-Studio-Monitor/dp/B00DUKP37C
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
253
49
4,920
I meant Amazon have q acoustics. It was only a suggestion, if the OP wants them they can figure where to get them. It's irrelevant anyway as op wants seperates
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
253
49
4,920
This would be a nice set up for a little over 400

https://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-A-9010-Integrated-Stereo-Amplifier/dp/B00SY20TE8/ref=sr_1_10?s=aht&ie=UTF8&qid=1484240659&sr=1-10&keywords=stereo+amplifier

https://www.amazon.com/Acoustics-Bookshelf-Speaker-American-Anniversary/dp/B01L2JG344/ref=sr_1_7?s=aht&ie=UTF8&qid=1484240715&sr=1-7&keywords=hifi+speakers&refinements=p_36%3A1253506011

It is said the Onkyo amp without the DAC (uk version) is a little better, but I'm willing to bet this one is also really very good
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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gasolin said:
muljao said:
From your description a set of powered speakers could be ideal. These have the amp build in etc, saving on space and for your budget I'd imaagine could be a better per price product.

Someting like these

http://www.whathifi.com/q-acoustics/q-bt3/review
Not shure the have Q Acoustics in usa, nyc (New york city)

A Pair of Jbl LSR305 and a dac with volume ***,found under the speaker and just some cabel in the right lenght

https://www.amazon.com/JBL-LSR305-Studio-Monitor/dp/B00DUKP37C
Didn't Vladimir have something like those?

I think he disappeared from here shortly thereafter and some say he lost his mind :)

Honestly, I would stay away from these cheap actives.

I'd say they are probably a sure way of putting you off listening to music. With the OP's budget you want something that masks its faults reasonably well and sounds nice rather than attempting to be accurate and failing ... which they almost certainly will for that money.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
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0
Eland said:
Al ears said:
Eland said:
Looking to build a listening setup (amp/speakers) for my living room. I'm a musician, listening to every kind of music. Budget is unfortunately pretty tight at $400. I'm in NYC, if that changes anything.. Anyways, I don't know much at all about this stuff, so I would really appreciate any advice.
Welcome to the forum. You mention amp and speakers but don't say what you will be using as the source of your music. Please expand a bit on this.
Hi!! Wow! Thank you so much everybody for responding in such detail! You guys are great! The room is rectangular, and small. I intend to listen to music both from my phone/laptop as well as from a record player (crosley, not really looking to replace as I only use it ocassionally compared to playing from computer/phone). I don't need a lot of volume, but would like to have some headroom I think!
Ok, I would probably recommend a Marantz PM6006 which has a decent phono stage and a built in DAC. Add something from QAcoustic such as a pair of 3010 if you can get them where you are.

I know this seems like a rather boring suggestion in the face of all these amazing active 'studio monitors' ... but I reckon it will make very nice music rather than taking your head off ... and probably look better in the process.

Whether you believe in reviews or not, they're unlikely all wrong.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
974
172
19,070
drummerman said:
gasolin said:
muljao said:
From your description a set of powered speakers could be ideal. These have the amp build in etc, saving on space and for your budget I'd imaagine could be a better per price product.

Someting like these

http://www.whathifi.com/q-acoustics/q-bt3/review
Not shure the have Q Acoustics in usa, nyc (New york city)

A Pair of Jbl LSR305 and a dac with volume ***,found under the speaker and just some cabel in the right lenght

https://www.amazon.com/JBL-LSR305-Studio-Monitor/dp/B00DUKP37C
Didn't Vladimir have something like those?

I think he disappeared from here shortly thereafter and some say he lost his mind :)

Honestly, I would stay away from these cheap actives.

I'd say they are probably a sure way of putting you off listening to music. With the OP's budget you want something that masks its faults reasonably well and sounds nice rather than attempting to be accurate and failing ... which they almost certainly will for that money.
Don't know what Vladimir had
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
1,008
650
20,070
Eland said:
Not sure how to find out the model number of the Crosley I'm using, but it is a small "portable" one, with just a tone knob and a volume knob, which don't have any effect when you play it through external speakers.
Try here: http://www.crosleyradio.com/turntables

If it's one of the portable ones I would be very very inclined to ditch it at the first opportunity and get a semi-decent turntable, even a cheap Audio Technica will perform far better than that awful Crosley... and your vinyl will thank you in spades for the change.
 

Al ears

Moderator
DougK said:
Eland said:
Not sure how to find out the model number of the Crosley I'm using, but it is a small "portable" one, with just a tone knob and a volume knob, which don't have any effect when you play it through external speakers.
Try here: http://www.crosleyradio.com/turntables

If it's one of the portable ones I would be very very inclined to ditch it at the first opportunity and get a semi-decent turntable, even a cheap Audio Technica will perform far better than that awful Crosley... and your vinyl will thank you in spades for the change.
Indeed it will. Don't even bother with the model number. ;-)

Stick to music from laptop. Those cheap 'record decks' will kill your vinyl eventually. New vinyl is not cheap and cannot be done on the cheap. If you are on a tight budget avoid vinyl and if you value the vinyl you already own avoid Crossley.
 

Eland

New member
Jan 11, 2017
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Wow. Okay. Thank you! Will avoid playing vinyl then. How much would the cheapest accceptable record player cost me? Maybe that's another question for another thread even...

Back to the original question. Will I not get the best value buying vintage/used stuff?
 

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