S/h buying advice - £500 for second hand system - suggestions please

nickyp

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One of my friends has just hit 60. We (as in school friends) have given him about £500 - £600 to blow on a s/h separates system. Amp, Speakers, CD and record deck. Would you guys mind making some suggestions as to kit he could look at as a starting point. I think he's overwhelmed by the choice on ebay. In the past I bought some kit off ebay and it's been great (NAD amp, Marantz CD, can't remember the record deck and some Mourdant Short speakers, with the help of the forum) so I'm hoping he can do as well as I did.

Rock, Jazz and Classical - the whole lot really (he's a guitarist and trained as a french horn player at music college) so music is a big part of life and it's about time he rocked to a "big" room filling sound :)

Thanks in advance - I'll pass on your suggestions and comments (rude or polite)
 
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nickyp

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Erm, errr... will the speakers be standmounts or floorstanders? If it's the former he'll need to budget for dedicated s/h stands or wall brackets.
floor we recon - but wouldn't kick decent bookshelf/standmount speakers out of the room - he can nick his family food budget to pay for the stands if necessary - they are vegans so can eat tree leaves for a month if it comes to that :)
 
floor we recon - but wouldn't kick decent bookshelf/standmount speakers out of the room - he can nick his family food budget to pay for the stands if necessary - they are vegans so can eat tree leaves for a month if it comes to that :)
Best for the budget would be floorstanders. How big is his listening room?
Does he actually own any LPs?
If not I would forget the turntable.
 

nickyp

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Best for the budget would be floorstanders. How big is his listening room?
Does he actually own any LPs?
If not I would forget the turntable.
got a ton of LP's from back when he was a long haired rocker going to Monsters of Rock festival in the 80's. listening room is probably 16ft by 13ft
 
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matthewpianist

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I'd argue that in general standmounts would be better than floorstanders within this budget, unless you can find a true bargain. Affordable floorstanders are often blighted by their cabinets being less rigid than the standpoint equivalent, and this can cause issues.

If it were me, I'd be looking for a Rotel RCD965BX CD player, Pioneer A400 amp and Mission 751 speakers. I've owned this system, and if I went back to separates this is what I'd go for. The key is finding good examples, as ever. Turntable wise, I'd be looking at a Pioneer PL12D, Dual CS505 or an original Rega Planar 2 or 3. Hook this bundle within budget, and buy some secondhand speaker stands as well, and he'll be wrapped up in the music. Cables? QED 79-strand to the speakers, and a secondhand pair of reasonable QED or Chord Company interconnects for the CD player.

If it HAS to be floorstanders Monitor Audio are a good option - Bronze BX5s if you can find a good pair within budget. Cabinet quality is better than a lot of budget floorstanders, and the drive units are excellent.

Alternatives worth considering are a NAD C320BEE/C325BEE, Arcam A65+ or Rotel RA-01 (amplifiers), Dali Zensor 3 or B&W 685 (standmounts), and pretty much any Marantz CD player in good working order.

Things to avoid? Older Cambridge Audio amps can be very brittle, which is unfortunate given that the Azur 540A v2.0 and 640A v.20 were both capable of sounding nice.

There is another option, and I urge you not to dismiss it out of hand. Look at the system in my signature. The Denon CEOL and Mission QX1s cost me just under £600 in total (new), and the PL12D was just under £200 fully serviced. It's as good as any current budget CD/amp combination (and I've had enough to know) and gives me more pleasure than most of the more expensive kit I've had. It's also nice to use, looks good and adds excellent quality streaming to the mix. OK, it's above budget and I also use a phono stage I had hanging around, but perhaps you could gift him most of the system and leave him to sort the turntable.
 
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nickyp

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got a ton of LP's from back when he was a long haired rocker going to Monsters of Rock festival in the 80's.
l
I'd argue that in general standmounts would be better than floorstanders within this budget, unless you can find a true bargain. Affordable floorstanders are often blighted by their cabinets being less rigid than the standpoint equivalent, and this can cause issues.

If it were me, I'd be looking for a Rotel RCD965BX CD player, Pioneer A400 amp and Mission 751 speakers. I've owned this system, and if I went back to separates this is what I'd go for. The key is finding good examples, as ever. Turntable wise, I'd be looking at a Pioneer PL12D, Dual CS505 or an original Rega Planar 2 or 3. Hook this bundle within budget, and buy some secondhand speaker stands as well, and he'll be wrapped up in the music. Cables? QED 79-strand to the speakers, and a secondhand pair of reasonable QED or Chord Company interconnects for the CD player.

If it HAS to be floorstanders Monitor Audio are a good option - Bronze BX5s if you can find a good pair within budget. Cabinet quality is better than a lot of budget floorstanders, and the drive units are excellent.

Alternatives worth considering are a NAD C320BEE/C325BEE, Arcam A65+ or Rotel RA-01 (amplifiers), Dali Zensor 3 or B&W 685 (standmounts), and pretty much any Marantz CD player in good working order.

Things to avoid? Older Cambridge Audio amps can be very brittle, which is unfortunate given that the Azur 540A v2.0 and 640A v.20 were both capable of sounding nice.

There is another option, and I urge you not to dismiss it out of hand. Look at the system in my signature. The Denon CEOL and Mission QX1s cost me just under £600 in total (new), and the PL12D was just under £200 fully serviced. It's as good as any current budget CD/amp combination (and I've had enough to know) and gives me more pleasure than most of the more expensive kit I've had. It's also nice to use, looks good and adds excellent quality streaming to the mix. OK, it's above budget and I also use a phono stage I had hanging around, but perhaps you could gift him most of the system and leave him to sort the turntable.
Thank you very much for taking time to type this lot in! great suggestions, and i love my NAD amp which might well be the C320 - but it's in storage so I can't check the exact model number and I've got a Marantz CD :)
 

twinkletoes

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My list would be.

amps
rotel 970, rotel ra 05/06 or an 01 even
if you want to splash out on something special a Marantz PM 7200 runs in either class A tor AB (25watts or 95watts) these all have phono stages.

CD player.

you could do this really cheaply and buy an old (ish) Pioneer DVD DV-717 for 50 quid which SHOULD allow you to play SACD's if thats your thing or a Pioneer 565a for 20 quid I know this one plays SACD's I had one.

proper CD players Id look at pioneer stable platters but there pretty highly sort after but the lower end one cans be had fairly cheaply, NAD c540/1/2 and any marantz players, but these option will all be more expensive than the DVD option.

speakers

Mission 703 pretty rare
mission 702e or 701 if you want stand mounts
mission m74 m73
B&W 600 series speakers but there exspensive and will eat up most of your budget but the DM 603's, oh man great speakers.
there some kefs but not my cuppa though
monitor audio bronze
and the highly underrate Tannoy 6 series there some 637's on the bay right now in Norwich.

one place I draw the line with second goods is turntables especially on eBay, id look on dealers preowned listings for that sort of thing. but Rega and project is probably a safe bet.
 
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twinkletoes

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l

Thank you very much for taking time to type this lot in! great suggestions, and i love my NAD amp which might well be the C320 - but it's in storage so I can't check the exact model number and I've got a Marantz CD :)
the problem with the NAD is you would need a separate phono stage, not a problem per say but would add to the cost.
 
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l

Thank you very much for taking time to type this lot in! great suggestions, and i love my NAD amp which might well be the C320 - but it's in storage so I can't check the exact model number and I've got a Marantz CD :)
You need an amp with a built-in phono stage, so I would avoid older NAD amps. The likes of Arcam Alpha 8R, Rotel RCD 965BX, with a s/hand pair of B&W 601 or 602. Both used to work well with Arcam and with Rotel.

I'm dubious about used turntables as components like styluses are easy to degrade.
 

matthewpianist

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You need an amp with a built-in phono stage, so I would avoid older NAD amps. The likes of Arcam Alpha 8R, Rotel RCD 965BX, with a s/hand pair of B&W 601 or 602. Both used to work well with Arcam and with Rotel.

I'm dubious about used turntables as components like styluses are easy to degrade.

Also easy to replace without going crazy. Some form of AT95 is more than enough. My PL12D came with a new AT3600 on it (the same as a Rega Carbon) and it was fine. I upgraded to the AT95 elliptical nude because it's a substantial upgrade in sound without going crazy. It's a better turntable than any current entry-level Project or Rega.
 
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jjbomber

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l

Thank you very much for taking time to type this lot in! great suggestions, and i love my NAD amp which might well be the C320 - but it's in storage so I can't check the exact model number and I've got a Marantz CD :)
You can give him the NAD to start him off! Then he can check out the Richer Sounds clearance items for some bargains that will have a guarantee.
 
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Jasonovich

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I have something for your friend, courtesy of Amazon (you can also compare the prices on eBay). This costs about £500 or less (All Brand New)

1. Active Speakers £249.99
Fluance Ai41 Powered 2-Way 2.0 Stereo Bookshelf Speakers with 5" Drivers, 90W Amplifier for Turntable, TV, PC and Bluetooth 5 Wireless Music Streaming with RCA, Optical & Subwoofer Out
1699459356513.png
2. Turntable £129.00
Teac TN-175 automatic HiFi turntable (belt drive, 33/45 rpm, integrated phono preamp, AT3600L MM system, high-density MDF cabinet) Black
1699459579645.png
3. Streamer / DAC £89.98
1699459696821.png
WiiM Mini Audio Streamer AirPlay2 Wireless, Multiroom Stereo, Preamplifier, Works with Alexa and Siri Voice Assistants, Stream Hi-Res Audio from Spotify, Amazon Music and More
Total Costs £468.97
This leaves small change for interconnects and a cup of coffee.:)
 
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Also easy to replace without going crazy. Some form of AT95 is more than enough. My PL12D came with a new AT3600 on it (the same as a Rega Carbon) and it was fine. I upgraded to the AT95 elliptical nude because it's a substantial upgrade in sound without going crazy. It's a better turntable than any current entry-level Project or Rega.
I would still be weary of going s/h as you don't know how it has been treated.
 
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matthewpianist

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I would still be weary of going s/h as you don't know how it has been treated.
That's where vigilance comes in. I eBay stalked the guy I purchased the PL12D from, checked his feedback and found out what I could about how general knowledge of hi-fi. I also messaged him to ask what the advertised servicing entailed and how he intended to pack the turntable.
 
I had also thought he may as well get new, albeit modest kit. Used gear varies so wildly, unless you know what you want and research it relentlessly, or get very lucky, then it could end badly.

How about this little system, significantly discounted as a bundle…

Plus this matching CD player…

£548 all in, with a guaranteee!
 
That's where vigilance comes in. I eBay stalked the guy I purchased the PL12D from, checked his feedback and found out what I could about how general knowledge of hi-fi. I also messaged him to ask what the advertised servicing entailed and how he intended to pack the turntable.
Fair play.

Some people don't have the time or patience to scrutinise any particular item, if you do you are taking the word of a person that perhaps just wants to offload a component.

Think @nopiano option looks a safer bet.
 
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Jasonovich

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Fair play.

Some people don't have the time or patience to scrutinise any particular item, if you do you are taking the word of a person that perhaps just wants to offload a component.

Think @nopiano option looks a safer bet.
I'm a chain smoker purchaser of eBay. I often check the sellers rating, anything less than 99% should be treated with absolute caution.
Also, if the seller is omitting information about the product, go to another seller with more transparency.
Many sellers on eBay are well known retailers such as Peter Taylor, Curries, EBuyer.com oh there's many but usually with those, you have the assurance of better consumer protection and better customer service (not always).
Sole sellers may not allow the same level of warranty, if any, or allow return of goods.
The usual caveats apply, not just eBay.
 
I'm a chain smoker purchaser of eBay. I often check the sellers rating, anything less than 99% should be treated with absolute caution.
Also, if the seller is omitting information about the product, go to another seller with more transparency.
Many sellers on eBay are well known retailers such as Peter Taylor, Curries, EBuyer.com oh there's many but usually with those, you have the assurance of better consumer protection and better customer service (not always).
Sole sellers may not allow the same level of warranty, if any, or allow return of goods.
The usual caveats apply, not just eBay.
Also, bear in mind not everyone has the experience of the likes of you, @matthewpianist or myself of buying hi-fi on auction sites. If I sniff something is half dodgy I'll run for the hills.
 

record_spot

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What a lovely gesture!

Edit: just noticed that this dates back to the turn of the year. The below might be useful for other possible purchasers or future reference....

I'd bypass the old route and get your friend a pair of Triangle AIO Twin actives (actually, I think they're powered rather than genuine actives, but in this case, no matter).

A smart streaming ststem for £699. Throw in a Rega P1 and your friend is done for £1,000.

 
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