Updating Setup: Newbie Question

MrNatural

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
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I plan to upgrade my elderly setup, and wonder whether I should start by replacing the receiver or the speakers. All this is going to happen at an absolutely minimal budget, so I'll do it one step at a time.

I have a Rotel RX-830 receiver and Celestion DL4 speakers. I bought these back in 1985. I did without a turntable until recently, when I purchased an Audio-Technica AT-P60XBT and a pair of Bose 35 headphones. Now I'm listening to much more music, and am eager to enhance the experience.

So how should I start? Replace the receiver with an amp? Or buy a decent pair of speakers?

Be gentle, OK? :cool:
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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Hi,
My personal opinion is that speakers make the largest difference, so i would upgrade them first. Then, the Rotel RX-830 is 20watts per channel, so the replacement speakers may need to be sensitive.

What is your budget ?

If using vinyl then you will need the amplifier to incorporate a phono stage.

Maybe look at Richer Sounds for your price range.

Others may be able to indicate their subjective preferences.

Regards,
Shadders.
 
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bigfish786

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Jan 29, 2013
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Try some Q Acoustics speakers to begin. See if that old amp has life left in it. Your money, so chose a pair in your budget.
then amp, again, your money but there’s a budget onkyo amp that gets a lot of praise.
then if you like vinyl, eBay that plastic turntable and get something decent. A cheap option are Dual turntables, or Pro-jest, plenty on eBay for little money. it’s all budget dependent really. But doable.
 
My personal opinion is that speakers make the largest difference, so i would upgrade them first. Then, the Rotel RX-830 is 20watts per channel, so the replacement speakers may need to be sensitive.
Agree with the first part, though I wonder if the amp isn't then limiting future choice of its replacement, and having too much sway on speaker choice. How loud do you listen, Mr Natural?
 
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Al ears

Well-known member
I would agree, amplifier first as the old one will limit your choice of speakers.
Do you actually require the tuner section of a receiver or do you just want a straightforward stereo amplifier? If you don't require tuner section then don't waste money by buying another receiver.

having said all that I have just looked at your turntable and all you actually need are a pair of active speakers as it has aptX Bluetooth......
It would be better wired in conventionally I feel but if you really want to save money just buy a pair of active speakers that support Bluetooth
 
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shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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Agree with the first part, though I wonder if the amp isn't then limiting future choice of its replacement, and having too much sway on speaker choice. How loud do you listen, Mr Natural?
Hi,
If the OP uses the system at domestic listening levels, then 20watts is sufficient.

I would save the money and purchase the amplifier and speakers as a pair to ensure that the final result is known. So, demonstrating the equipment is a must.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

MrNatural

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
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What is your budget ?

If using vinyl then you will need the amplifier to incorporate a phono stage.

Maybe look at Richer Sounds for your price range.

I'm working out a budget. As I'm new to this, I'm still getting a sense of what I might have to spend to achieve the desired improvement.

Richer Sounds is a UK firm, so I'd have to factor in shipping costs (I'm in Canada).
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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I'm working out a budget. As I'm new to this, I'm still getting a sense of what I might have to spend to achieve the desired improvement.

Richer Sounds is a UK firm, so I'd have to factor in shipping costs (I'm in Canada).
Hi,
Sorry, i assumed you were in the UK. Maybe pick a local dealer to demonstrate.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

MrNatural

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
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Agree with the first part, though I wonder if the amp isn't then limiting future choice of its replacement, and having too much sway on speaker choice. How loud do you listen, Mr Natural?

Not so loud. I listen to very little rock, and jazz and blues come across very nicely at less-than-loud levels, at least for me. Clarity and purity of sound are more important to me than loudness.
 

MrNatural

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
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Do you actually require the tuner section of a receiver or do you just want a straightforward stereo amplifier? If you don't require tuner section then don't waste money by buying another receiver.

having said all that I have just looked at your turntable and all you actually need are a pair of active speakers as it has aptX Bluetooth... just buy a pair of active speakers that support Bluetooth

I don't require - or want - a tuner, so I plan to buy an amp.

I've wondered whether a pair of Bluetooth-capable speakers might do the trick. Can you suggest what brands I might look at?
 

Navanski

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Sep 7, 2020
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Contrary to almost everyone else I would consider keeping the old Rotel receiver. I have a Rotel RA-971 amp, admittedly it's 55w per channel, but the output from it, in terms of volume, is phenomenal. I've never, even in mad moments, turned it past 10 o'clock. It beats an equivalent modern amp. So I think speakers, possible Wharfedale Diamonds, and then see whether the receiver is up to it. It might surprise you.
 

MrNatural

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
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Contrary to almost everyone else I would consider keeping the old Rotel receiver. I have a Rotel RA-971 amp, admittedly it's 55w per channel, but the output from it, in terms of volume, is phenomenal. I've never, even in mad moments, turned it past 10 o'clock. It beats an equivalent modern amp. So I think speakers, possible Wharfedale Diamonds, and then see whether the receiver is up to it. It might surprise you.

Really good to hear to hear your views on the Rotel. I'm really fond of mine, for both its sound (it works well in delivering the kind of sound I like) and also for sentimental reasons (it's seen me through both good and bad times over the past 37 years).

The Wharfdale looks interesting. They're available in Canada, so I'll be looking at them.

Many thanks.
 

Navanski

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2020
75
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Really good to hear to hear your views on the Rotel. I'm really fond of mine, for both its sound (it works well in delivering the kind of sound I like) and also for sentimental reasons (it's seen me through both good and bad times over the past 37 years).

The Wharfdale looks interesting. They're available in Canada, so I'll be looking at them.

Many thanks.

Let me know how you get on. The Rotel amps and receivers are all high current so you could have sufficient oomph.
I can also recommend the Elac Debut B6.2 which should be available in a limited number of Canadian outlets. It's an Andrew Jones design speaker on a budget. They are, to my ears, superb.
 

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