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  #1  
Old 27th January 2007, 10:40 AM
 
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Best Budget Hi-Fi System


Best Budget Hi-Fi System

Looking for a great budget hi-fi system for yourself???

Well I too started as a beginner looking for the best bang for the buck system for myself. After many months and months of hearing many systems I put together a system for my self. As soon as I put together this sytem for my self I was reqested by a family friend to help him set up another system and then another one followed soon...

So in the last many many months I have had the pleasure of listening to many brands both at home an in the various hi-fi shops in Mumbai and Bangalore.

The one thing that I learnt from this pursuit was that one should spend a major portion of your budget on a good pair of speakers as it is the speakers that mainly determine the sound.

Ideally you should divide your budget as follows:

Speakers 40%

Cd Player 30%

Integrated Amp. 30%

I have not allocated any money for speaker cables or interconnects. I feel that one should concentrate on the system first and then later on save towards speaker cable and interconnects.

So based on my experience of setting up 3 different budget hi-fi systems I wish to share the configuration that I feel most beginners should hear!

Budget System

Speakers:

BookShelf
Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 or 9.2
Epos M5
Monitor Audio Bronze B2 (now BR2)

FloorStanders
Mordaunt Short MS914
Mission M33i
Acoustic Energy Aegis Evo3

CD Player
Cambridge Audio 540C or 640C (the best in the lot)
NAD C521BEE or c542

Integrated Amplifier
NAD 320BEE or C352
Cambridge Audio 540A or 640A
Rotel RA-04/05

Well I hope this list will help newcomers and beginners in deciding on a new budget hi-fi system.
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  #2  
Old 27th January 2007, 07:27 PM
 
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Re: Best Budget Hi-Fi System

Thanks for the info Jagat. Currently I'm more into HT. This piece of info will surely come in handy when I decide to take the Hi-Fi plunge - in fact I've sort of started already with the unapproved purchase of a pair of MS Avant 904's for 2 channel stereo listening (on top of 2 HT set ups)...unfortunately WAF got in the way (still working on it though).

By the way how much is the going rate of the Cambridge 640C/640A combo?

Cheers!

CR
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  #3  
Old 28th January 2007, 08:07 AM
 
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Re: Best Budget Hi-Fi System

Quote:
Originally Posted by paj4x4 View Post

By the way how much is the going rate of the Cambridge 640C/640A combo?

Cheers!

CR
You could easily buy the latest version (version 2) of the Cambridge 640C/640A Combo for INR 50K.

SInce you already own the MS Avant 904's ask your dealer for a home demo of the Cambridge 640C/640A combo. They generally do oblige.
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Old 28th January 2007, 01:08 PM
 
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Re: Best Budget Hi-Fi System

Thanks for the heads up on the price of the Cambridge combo Jagat. I will keep this in mind when I get the approval to set up a budget hi-fi system in our room…hopefully soon! On the side how does the Cambridge combo compare with say a similarly priced combo from NAD and/or Marantz?

In the meantime I will use the Zone 2 feature of the Onkyo 604 in my main listening room to drive the MS Avant 904’s (with a separate source) in order to fulfill my modest musical needs.

CR
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Old 28th January 2007, 03:24 PM
 
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Re: Best Budget Hi-Fi System

Quote:
Originally Posted by paj4x4 View Post
Thanks for the heads up on the price of the Cambridge combo Jagat. I will keep this in mind when I get the approval to set up a budget hi-fi system in our room…hopefully soon! On the side how does the Cambridge combo compare with say a similarly priced combo from NAD and/or Marantz?

In the meantime I will use the Zone 2 feature of the Onkyo 604 in my main listening room to drive the MS Avant 904’s (with a separate source) in order to fulfill my modest musical needs.

CR
I have not heard any Marantz setup.

Among the NAD I preferred the 320BEE to the 352. Among the Cambridge Audio, the 640C CD Player rocks (its a must buy if one has the budget).

The Cambridge Audio 640A offers great detail and refinement in style.

However I would suggest you hear both combos with your speakers and then make a decision. I am not too sure which combo will suit your speaker!!
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Old 24th February 2007, 07:35 PM
 
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Question Re: Best Budget Hi-Fi System

I am looking for a good budget system. I have been reading up What Hi-Fi to help me decide on my purchase.(I drool at this mag all the time I am at home)
I am in Gurgaon & I find that NCR lacks in the number of dealers for quality audio systems. They seem to be more visible in B'lore, H'bad,Mumbai.
I have decided on the following:
1. CD Player-Cambridge Azur 640C V2-from the Soundsmiths in New Friends Colony
2. Amp - First preference is Rotel RA05, because of the rave reviews but they have no dealers in NCR, so option is to get it from Mumbai (audiovisionindia are the dealers) on a freight collect basis. Has anyone any experience in doing anything like that? I am OK to buy it just based on the reviews but things like service, whether it will be a reliable purchase etc put me in doubt. Eagerly looking foward to suggestions here. . Next options are Marantz PM7001 & Cambridge 640A (tho' I still want the Rotels)
3. Speakers - Several options here. But I want to be more careful. WHF says Monitor Audio's Bronze BR2 are a good buy for the above setup but again no dealers here in NCR . Also, I will prefer Floorstanders. I have a medium sized L shaped room. Second Option is KEF's iQ5 but their dealers in Delhi (Trinity) are displaced because of the recent sealings so they can not give me an audition (but I can work around that one). Third Option is Focal JMLab's 714S which I can buy from Gurgaon's DT City Centre (Panpacific Exim). I seek help/advice on how to go about my buying.
My music preferences are Rock, rock & ROCK.
Thanks in advance,
Best Regards,
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Old 25th February 2007, 12:56 PM
 
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Re: Best Budget Hi-Fi System

The JM Labs 714 will go well with either the Cambridge 640A or Rotel 05.

If you are interested in the Rotel amp then I would suggest you hear them with B&W DM601/DM 602 bookshelf speakers or the DM603 floorstandars.

Since you are interested in floorstandars I would also suggest you to listen to the EPOS M15.2 and M16!
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Old 26th February 2007, 04:13 PM
 
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Re: Best Budget Hi-Fi System

Pnkrx,

I view product reviews for what they are – points one in the right direction…probably helps shorten one’s list of things to check out. To my mind reviews should not be the end all and be all…if you get the drift. I suggest you don’t buy AV gear based on reviews alone. Audition the gear yourself. Listen to how a specific component such as a pair of speakers mixes or jells with say an amp and try out different combinations.

Happy hunting!

CR
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Old 26th February 2007, 07:09 PM
 
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Exclamation Re: Best Budget Hi-Fi System

Thanks paj4x4 for the advice, I agree with you. But, unfortunately, being in Delhi, I do not have the luxury of trying out all the components. So, I am taking a risk in buying the Rotel RA05 without listening to it (but, the speakers, I will definitely try them out).
The Focal dealer in Gurgaon does not have the 714s & when I asked him if he could source them he did not seem very sure.
Thanks, Jagat. Any B&W/Epos dealers in Delhi? Audiovision (which does B&W) does not seem to be having any dealers in NCR, apart from the one in CR Park (listed on their web page) who only does Onkyo.
OK, I desperately need your help from you all here. Here are the facts:
A. I only have limited options as far as speakers go:
1. Mordaunt Short
2. Focal (only if delaer is able to procure them. He has 726s but they seem too big for my room & wallet)
3. Dali
4. Dynaudio
(Anyone from Delhi knows of any other speaker options. I do not want to try out Jamo because I hear nothing good about them)
B. My budget is Rs 50000 - 55000 for floorstanding speakers (Floorstanders are my first option)
C. My room is L shape with one leg being 12'*14' & other one 15'*13'.
D. I plan to expand my HiFi kit to a HT next year.
E. The equipment will be kept in a corner & speakers close to the TV so the speakers should not be touchy about positioning.
F. Again, I listen to Rock & sometimes classical too.
Thanks a ton for your advice.
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  #10  
Old 26th February 2007, 07:45 PM
 
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Re: Best Budget Hi-Fi System

I realised that I was kdisrupting this thread with my queries on which speakers to buy so I have moved my query to the Speakers section.
The link is: http://www.hifivision.com/speakers/2...a.html#post975


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