New to forum - upgrading on a budget

WilliamF

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Apr 2, 2024
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Hello all. Am buying (somewhat later in life than I'd imagined) my first house, and looking to put together a separates system again - most of my first system, assembled 25 years ago, is now dead, and while I'm managing well enough with a second-hand Bose Acoustic Wave (itself made in 1998), am keen to make the most of having some more space at my disposal. However, budget is not all it might be, due to the necessity of buying furniture and boring things like that, so am looking at second-hand amps and speakers, but a new CD player (am still very much a hard-format media person - I do have some LPs in the attic, too). Having bought a NAD C370 on Ebay, the model having evidently received many plaudits when new, I was thinking of pairing it up with a Marantz SA8005 and Spendor S5e speakers (having seen some on Ebay, again). Had also been thinking about Dali Oberon 5 speakers, which apparently like the good dose of power the NAD can give, and another possibility for the CD transport is the Marantz CD60 - the players are in budget as not A-grade. Am a classical musician (mainly piano and chamber music, but as I'm an organist, good bass is also a bonus!), so that's the focus of my listening. I've been impressed by a former housemate's fairly ancient NAD/Marantz system in the past (hooked up to some B&W standmounted speakers - can't remember all the model numbers), so hope I might be on the right lines. I think the amp and speakers should be compatible, looking at specs, and bi-wiring should be possible with the Spendors. Any advice welcome!
 
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Juzzie Wuzzie

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If you're comfortable with the risks and rewards of Ebay, it is a good (and some would say, fun) way to system build. At worst, if you don't like something, you resell it and probably only suffer a 20-25% cost. My advice to you is to trust the research you do and your ears once everything is in place. Only you'll be able to judge whether you are happy. If you've listened to others systems and like them, replicating them (or as close to as possible) is a good starting point (assuming budget allows).

Let us know how you get on.
 
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Rodolfo

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Jul 31, 2023
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Welcome to the forum! I've had very good luck with eBay purchases, but patience and very good evidence of condition and care are essential. I've enjoyed a like-new integrated amp and cd player from there for years. The amp came from a guy who decided to trade up after just a few months and still had everything including all packaging, and the player was a similar offering, though from a dealer. My best find may be a pristine Sennheiser HD598 that a private seller offered just last year: It was a great deal on an older and discontinued model that I had been watching and waiting for and is a second/backup of my favorite headphones. The seller convinced me with a credible story of his use and care case, along with excellent close-up photos; and, he accepted my "best offer" that he made available.

Another excellent budget option has been Amazon used. Not sure what is available elsewhere, but in the US, buying "like-new" (returns) from Amazon/Amazon Warehouse has also yielded some excellent buys on electronics.

I'm generally more cautious with speakers, turntables, and even CD players, where care of use can vary significantly, but is more difficult to discern, even in person, let alone on line. The big difference between eBay and Amazon in my experience is that returns are usually much more available and easy with the latter. In all cases, even with new, luck is also important, and I was burned twice, both times with a turntable.

Sorry that I don't have experience with the specific units you're considering. Take your good time shopping, good luck, and enjoy your eventual choices.
 
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Stuart83

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You won't be disappointed with a Marantz CD 60.

I've just gotten one to replace an older twice repaired Marantz cd52 mk2 which is still a favourite of mine but the improvement is undeniably there.


I have it both connected as a transport via the digital out and analogue connections to utilize a second DAC.
The CD 60 hair raisingly good and helped me fall back in love with music after only sporadic listening.

I've had many CD players over the years and it's probably the best sounding within the hifi system I have now.
The 2 filters it provides are excellent tbh I prefer it's inbuilt DAC for most things but as a transport it's also excellent.

I'm not a Dali fan recently replacing a pair with Q Acoustics but thats just a personal preference on their inherint sound, they are however a good quality speaker.
I found the QA 3050i to effortlessly fill the room much better with the bass rich sound I prefer.
If your like NAD's "house sound" they would probably integrate well.

I've only had 2 older NAD amps one being 3240PE to compare with which isn't ideal.

Speakers are a very personal affair and must be heard first if possible but purchasing second hand usually prevents that.
They are foremost second to the amp itself in effecting the sound you hear providing the other anciliries are decent.

That said hearing a NAD/Marantz combo is a good place to start combined with the reviews of the day.

I wouldn't worry about bi-wiring as the speakers you mention are separated like most with a high and a low frequency filter within the crossovers regardless negating the point.
It can be a debate starter but has been proven sonically to make no difference unless your bi-amping, which is a different story.

It's well covered online with arguments for/against but in practice despite already knowing the theory I've personally tried it many times over the years and heard no difference at all.

If it's something you think will help then definitely just do it, otherwise you will get the niggling feeling your missing something.

Speakers can be a minefield second hand as they are by nature prone to wear within their lifecycle.
A good pair of well cared for speakers can last much longer than usually expected.
I've had a pair of missions over 30 yrs before they finally needed a driver replacement.
So take care in studying the pictures online of the drivers, especially the surrounds.

I've had (mostly) good experiences when paying due diligence purchasing speakers second hand.
I always ask a seller to show me close up pics of the drivers etc if not let's face it there's plenty of scope to just move on to the next lot.

I recently bought pair of Mission mx3's off eBay needing a narrower floorstander for a second hifi.
I already knew after already owning a pair yrs prior they are excellent,
After following my above scrutiny they arrived well packaged and in perfect condition thus I enjoy them regular.
Knowing I spent a fraction of what they sold for originally only gives me extra satisfaction.

I was ripped off once with a driver that wasn't the one pictured as being sold, a regular trick within ebay but they keep all correspondence so it's easy enough to prove anything against their rules.
Always use PayPal that will give you an extra layer of protection if all else fails that Amazon won't provide.
I've had good experiences with them.

Record players can be sent properly if asked for second hand.
Common sense things like taping the arm down and removing the platter and placing foam around each component.
Always ask for this to be done to negate the common damage caused by their posting.

Anyway let me know how things go 😀😀
 

twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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I owned the c370. Speakers I’d look for would be mission from same time or just before 700 series (late 90s) or the m7 series from the early 00s

Personally if you can find them, some mission 702 or 703 would be my choice or if you need small 701s 90quid to a 150 quid. If not m73 or m74 100 quid when I last looked.

If you fancy something more upfront b&w 600 series with the silver fronts but they are highly sort after and will set you back a few bob but are fantastic speakers.

Cd player just pick up an old dvd player like a pioneer 565 or was it 656? , anyhow should 10quid all day long.
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
Hello all. Am buying (somewhat later in life than I'd imagined) my first house, and looking to put together a separates system again - most of my first system, assembled 25 years ago, is now dead, and while I'm managing well enough with a second-hand Bose Acoustic Wave (itself made in 1998), am keen to make the most of having some more space at my disposal. However, budget is not all it might be, due to the necessity of buying furniture and boring things like that, so am looking at second-hand amps and speakers, but a new CD player (am still very much a hard-format media person - I do have some LPs in the attic, too). Having bought a NAD C370 on Ebay, the model having evidently received many plaudits when new, I was thinking of pairing it up with a Marantz SA8005 and Spendor S5e speakers (having seen some on Ebay, again). Had also been thinking about Dali Oberon 5 speakers, which apparently like the good dose of power the NAD can give, and another possibility for the CD transport is the Marantz CD60 - the players are in budget as not A-grade. Am a classical musician (mainly piano and chamber music, but as I'm an organist, good bass is also a bonus!), so that's the focus of my listening. I've been impressed by a former housemate's fairly ancient NAD/Marantz system in the past (hooked up to some B&W standmounted speakers - can't remember all the model numbers), so hope I might be on the right lines. I think the amp and speakers should be compatible, looking at specs, and bi-wiring should be possible with the Spendors. Any advice welcome!

Hello all. Am buying (somewhat later in life than I'd imagined) my first house, and looking to put together a separates system again - most of my first system, assembled 25 years ago, is now dead, and while I'm managing well enough with a second-hand Bose Acoustic Wave (itself made in 1998), am keen to make the most of having some more space at my disposal. However, budget is not all it might be, due to the necessity of buying furniture and boring things like that, so am looking at second-hand amps and speakers, but a new CD player (am still very much a hard-format media person - I do have some LPs in the attic, too). Having bought a NAD C370 on Ebay, the model having evidently received many plaudits when new, I was thinking of pairing it up with a Marantz SA8005 and Spendor S5e speakers (having seen some on Ebay, again). Had also been thinking about Dali Oberon 5 speakers, which apparently like the good dose of power the NAD can give, and another possibility for the CD transport is the Marantz CD60 - the players are in budget as not A-grade. Am a classical musician (mainly piano and chamber music, but as I'm an organist, good bass is also a bonus!), so that's the focus of my listening. I've been impressed by a former housemate's fairly ancient NAD/Marantz system in the past (hooked up to some B&W standmounted speakers - can't remember all the model numbers), so hope I might be on the right lines. I think the amp and speakers should be compatible, looking at specs, and bi-wiring should be possible with the Spendors. Any advice welcome!
If you are buying second hand do overtaking it trying to buy something specific. As long as it works and you get it for a fair price you can always sell it on.

Look for collection only near where you live S there are often bargains to be had.

On a budget I would say look out for any Marantz Amp and Mission Loudspeakers (easy to match and position) from the past 30 years and you won't go far wrong.
 

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