Testing from scratch


New member
Aug 10, 2019
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My room size and budget suggest £300-400 speakers and an amp and possible CD player or DAC to match.

I see that recommended kit is the Yamaha Amp S500, Marantz CD player and Monitor Bronze BX2 speakers. I'm also interested in the Monitor Siver RX1's or the B&W 685's for speakers as well as the Marantz (PM6003) or Pioneer (A-A6) Amp.

But the consistent advice seems to be try before you buy. Which do you try first or do you fit in the 9 different combo's with the 3 CD's I'm thinking of testing with (Pink Floyd, Mozart Requiem and Bon Ivor)? Of course at this price point it may not matter too much as long as I go for the 5 star pieces of kit.


New member
Apr 8, 2011
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You can try before you buy if you like.

Or you can buy before you try.

I prefer the latter option as my buying choices are then not restricted to whatever my local dealers have in stock.


New member
Sep 1, 2010
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Depends how much time you have, and how much you enjoy trapsing round various hi-fi shops to listen to stuff.

From experience, CD players tend to sound similar at that price point (some differences I admit, but not massive if you go for well rated ones). On the other hand, speakers can be quite different due to their differing sizes, port arrangements, tonal character etc so it really is a good idea to listen to speakers if at all possible, ideally with the amp you have plumped for.

You'll only need a DAC if you have a device that has a digital output that you want to upgrade - eg a music streamer, or Ipod Dock with digital output.

Try to find a dealer that stocks most of the stuff you are thinking of, and go and have a listen to see what you think - they might well chuck some other bits of kit into the mix as well, so don't be constrained by "it must be 5 star review", go with what you like.