Making the right choice - Newbie needs help !!


New member
Aug 10, 2019
Hi forum,

I'm new to this game so pls excuse me, particularly if I don't use the right lingo.

I've been looking into buying a new system to replace my old "music centre" and I've decided that I don't want one of those awful micro systems, so I'm going for separates.

Have browsed a number of copies of WHF, the internet and think I have come up with what I think is a reasonable budget range system. I have around £1000 to spend but as always unsure whether I am choosing the right equipment.

So far I have looked at the Marantz CD6002 and PM6002 for CD and amp, Denon TU1800DAB tuner. But then as I've looked around other models have come into play like Denon DCM500AE (5 disc CD player) and Denon DRA700AE Tuner/Amp. If I went for a turntable I was thinking of the Project Debut III USB as I have an extensive vinyl collection that I'd like to copy. As for speakers, no decision made so would appreciate your thoughts. Also like to add a dock station for my iPod. Any suggestions?


New member
Sep 6, 2007
If youre after a separates system id say the best way is to get yourself a list together including amp, CDP and speakers and get yourself some demo's arranged.

What kind of music do you listen to?

What speakers are you after; standmount or floorstanders?

Is it essential that you get a turntable in your 1st purchase(s) or can you wait till you've got the basics together? Also; do you need to have a radio (there are other possibilities like using a digibox or cable/sky TV box if youve got them).

Id say for £1k there are a lot of possibilites but the demo's are the essential thing to do before you start paying for goods.

IMO id stay away from multi CD changers. They dont offer the decent sound that you can get from a stand-alone CDP.

The marantz set-up you mentioned is good but IMO they lack in punch and can sound a little clinical if matched with the wrong speakers etc...

There is a very good offer on for the NAD C352 amp and C542 CDP for just over £500. That gives you enough for decent speakers and speaker cable/interconnects and speaker stands if necessary.

It could also be worthwhile looking at eBay for 2nd hand separates. You can get some quality separates on eBay and would be able to build a superb system for £1k off eBay.


Ta for the prompt reply.

I have tastes of all kinds of music, except classical. Fav bands Coldplay, U2, The Killers, MoS dance music, Mowtown, I have quite an extensive collection.

Speakers, not sure really re fllorstanding or on stands.

Only reason I thought about the CD changer was to placate the other half. She likes people round and we normally just bang in a number of discs and that does us for the night. She's a bit of a technophobe so she doesn't know how to MP3 and all that.


New member
Sep 6, 2007
Id still stay clear of CD changers :)

You have a similar tatse of music as i do but i have a bit more electronic music in there too... Daft Punk, Air, Morcheeba, Leftfield, Underworld, Bob Sinclair etc...

For your budget, IMO i'd definitly consider the NAD separates as mentioned above matched with either B&W 685 standmount speakers (or if youre happy with 2nd hand seprates B&W 602 S3's standmounts or 603 S2'3/S3 floorstanding speakers. Search on them on Google and eBay)

You could also consider the Monitor Audio BR4 or BR5 floorstanding speakers or the Monitor Audio BR2 standmount speakers.

Another good choice could be the Rotel RA-04 integrated amp again matched with the above speakers. Or an Arcam A85 integrated amp (off eBay). Both very good and would suit your music tastes well.

As for CD players i'd look at the NAD C542, an Arcam Alpha 8SE CDP (off eBay) or the Arcam DiVA CD72 CDP (again off eBay).

If youre considering stand mount speakers you need decent stands that can be mass loadable. The Atacama Nexus 5/6 stands are very good as are the Atacama SE20/24 stands (off eBay).


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