Budget Stereo Amp & DAC - Beginner to Hi-Fi

Wharfedale Speakers

samyboy_jssp

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Greetings to all FM's.

I am a beginner to Hi-Fi and am intending to build a Hi-Fi system.

I have very old book shelf speakers from a Sony Mini Hi-fi System MHC GR66 with the main unit working & almost one foot in the grave though with very good quality sound and great bass output. I am now looking to drive these speakers which will be placed in the living room. I already have a Sound bar (JBL 3.1) which caters to my movie requirements and occasional music listening (though not as good as a dedicated stereo setup).

I will be using these speakers purely for music - Hence am looking to drive these speakers with an integrated stereo amplifier.

The speakers have the following specs - RMS 85W + 85W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, THD 10 %).

Most of my music are via FLAC / WAV files with some of these as Hi-Res files with music ranging from Western Classical to Heavy Metal. I am planning to use my mobile (supports Bluetooth 5.0) as the source with VLC Android Player & Bluetooth streaming. I already have a Signature Acoustics Phoenix Bluetooth receiver that I will be using in the chain that I intend to build. I want to have something of a basic audiophile system and then work on upgrades later once budget permits.

My main requirements are :-
1. Driving these speakers with a budget stereo amplifier (heard many recommendations like Marantz PM5005 / Norge 2060 / Concerto Gold 1000 etc. Any other VFM recommendations are most welcome !!)
2. Buying a DAC (Topping E30 comes to my mind, please suggest if there are any other VFM DAC's) - would prefer to have an external DAC if possible within the budget.
3. Total Budget that I can spend as of now is 25-35K including cables / connects if needed.

Currently the speaker cables that are being used are the regular speaker cable wires available from an electric shop - though I do have unused amazon basics 16 AWG cables. Will that be safe to use and could that cause an improvement in the sound quality ?

In addition to the Amp + DAC combo - kindly also suggest good cables / connects if the 16 AWG Cables will not be sufficient.

Based out of Mumbai , I would definitely like to audition the Amp with my speakers if possible before zeroing in my purchase.

Would request the FM's to share recommendations which can help me decide on the purchase.

Regards
Sam
 

Bhaskar Jyoti Talapatra

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Hello
Welcome to our lovely forum and hope that you will find like minded people here. As regards your requirements I will recommend marantz amplifier for its robust built and musicality. Yamaha is another good amp to be relied. Initially you can start with your existing Sony speakers and later you can upgrade . Please remember speakers are the most required/ useful things in audio chain as they can bring radical change in one's listening experience. About DAC I have no experience as I have only a DAC in built in my marantz amp and honestly I haven't used that DAC till date. Because I am quite contented with my DVD player's DAC. You can use Amazon basics speaker wire at present and upgrade later on as cables can contribute to subtle change in sound signature. I would also request you to go slow because if you hurry, you may end up buying something which may not give you satisfaction. Besides, before buying anything do audition as audio is subjective and what I choose may not be your choice and vice versa. Also please don't forget to keep us updated.
Cheers
 
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Orez

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premoddev

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As you based out of Mumbai, please bring your speakers and do audition Norge first as they are very much regarded amplifier brand among Indian audio manufacturers..
 
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samyboy_jssp

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Hello
Welcome to our lovely forum and hope that you will find like minded people here. As regards your requirements I will recommend marantz amplifier for its robust built and musicality. Yamaha is another good amp to be relied. Initially you can start with your existing Sony speakers and later you can upgrade . Please remember speakers are the most required/ useful things in audio chain as they can bring radical change in one's listening experience. About DAC I have no experience as I have only a DAC in built in my marantz amp and honestly I haven't used that DAC till date. Because I am quite contented with my DVD player's DAC. You can use Amazon basics speaker wire at present and upgrade later on as cables can contribute to subtle change in sound signature. I would also request you to go slow because if you hurry, you may end up buying something which may not give you satisfaction. Besides, before buying anything do audition as audio is subjective and what I choose may not be your choice and vice versa. Also please don't forget to keep us updated.
Cheers
Thank you Bhaskar for those kind words. As mentioned intent is to go slow and take it one step at a time.

Will Marantz PM5005 be easily able to drive the speakers based on the speaker specs mentioned above ?
 
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samyboy_jssp

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As you based out of Mumbai, please bring your speakers and do audition Norge first as they are very much regarded amplifier brand among Indian audio manufacturers..
Thanks premoddev for the suggestions - Am planning to contact Norge & audition the amps this coming week as I have also heard a lot about Norge in this forum and seems to considered as VFM.

What would the FM's recommend for an external DAC ?
 
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Nitin K

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Thanks premoddev for the suggestions - Am planning to contact Norge & audition the amps this coming week as I have also heard a lot about Norge in this forum and seems to considered as VFM.

What would the FM's recommend for an external DAC ?
Hi Samy,

I would suggest hearing out the recommended amp's with the speakers. If you feel a dac is required, then you can go for it. But if you are satisfied with the amp's dac then why bother at the initial stage.

Regards.
 
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Bhaskar Jyoti Talapatra

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Thank you Bhaskar for those kind words. As mentioned intent is to go slow and take it one step at a time.

Will Marantz PM5005 be easily able to drive the speakers based on the speaker specs mentioned above ?
Yes, marantz pm 5005 can drive your Sony speakers but it has no on board DAC. So you will have to buy a DAC to use your digital sources. Some FMs whom I know have this amp and atleast one FM has used external DAC with this amp. You can also think about an Indian brand Norge which is also very much praised here. But marantz is doubtlessly a very nice musical one.
Regards
 
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Nitin K

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Yes, marantz pm 5005 can drive your Sony speakers but it has no on board DAC. So you will have to buy a DAC to use your digital sources. Some FMs whom I know have this amp and atleast one FM has used external DAC with this amp. You can also think about an Indian brand Norge which is also very much praised here. But marantz is doubtlessly a very nice musical one.
Regards
Hi Bhaskar,
Thanks for pointing out that the PM 5005 does not have an inbuilt dac.

Regards.
 
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hemya

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All the amps you have mentioned above should easily drive the stock speakers from the sony mini hifi system

My suggestions would be to add a DAC later and go for a the pioneer a-10AE or marantz PM 5005 from hifimart or one of the norge options. These should be in the 20k range or lower

For speakers look at options available from 10-15k. So you are within your max budget of 35k.
16 AWG wires should be fine

This system will give you more pleasure than using the existing speakers you have.

Lastly you say you are mostly going to be streaming flac and wav files from your phone via bluetooth and you have a decent Bluetooth receiver so you dont really need an external DAC at this time.

Also you can put your sony hifi system speakers on olx and whatever you get from that sale can be put away for upgrades such as a DAC at a later time or added to the budget you have right now for the best possible system.
 
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dinesh1201

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Thank you Bhaskar for those kind words. As mentioned intent is to go slow and take it one step at a time.

Will Marantz PM5005 be easily able to drive the speakers based on the speaker specs mentioned above ?
I think YES, I'm using it with Polk RTI A3. It's a good entry-level amp.
 
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samyboy_jssp

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Spoke to Mr. Anil from Hi-Fi Mart. They have stopped all auditions as of now- so am stuck with Marantz PM 5005 from auditioning point of view.:(

Spoke to Norge and have scheduled an audition this coming Saturday - 12/26. Will be taking my speakers along for the same.

Will keep the group posted regarding the same.
 
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Kannan

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Marantz, Onkyo and Audiolab have integrated amps with digital inputs which will suffice your need.
For streaming, you can add a Bluetooth streamer
 
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SEANDSILVA

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Greetings to all FM's.

I am a beginner to Hi-Fi and am intending to build a Hi-Fi system.

I have very old book shelf speakers from a Sony Mini Hi-fi System MHC GR66 with the main unit working & almost one foot in the grave though with very good quality sound and great bass output. I am now looking to drive these speakers which will be placed in the living room. I already have a Sound bar (JBL 3.1) which caters to my movie requirements and occasional music listening (though not as good as a dedicated stereo setup).

I will be using these speakers purely for music - Hence am looking to drive these speakers with an integrated stereo amplifier.

The speakers have the following specs - RMS 85W + 85W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, THD 10 %).

Most of my music are via FLAC / WAV files with some of these as Hi-Res files with music ranging from Western Classical to Heavy Metal. I am planning to use my mobile (supports Bluetooth 5.0) as the source with VLC Android Player & Bluetooth streaming. I already have a Signature Acoustics Phoenix Bluetooth receiver that I will be using in the chain that I intend to build. I want to have something of a basic audiophile system and then work on upgrades later once budget permits.

My main requirements are :-
1. Driving these speakers with a budget stereo amplifier (heard many recommendations like Marantz PM5005 / Norge 2060 / Concerto Gold 1000 etc. Any other VFM recommendations are most welcome !!)
2. Buying a DAC (Topping E30 comes to my mind, please suggest if there are any other VFM DAC's) - would prefer to have an external DAC if possible within the budget.
3. Total Budget that I can spend as of now is 25-35K including cables / connects if needed.

Currently the speaker cables that are being used are the regular speaker cable wires available from an electric shop - though I do have unused amazon basics 16 AWG cables. Will that be safe to use and could that cause an improvement in the sound quality ?

In addition to the Amp + DAC combo - kindly also suggest good cables / connects if the 16 AWG Cables will not be sufficient.

Based out of Mumbai , I would definitely like to audition the Amp with my speakers if possible before zeroing in my purchase.

Would request the FM's to share recommendations which can help me decide on the purchase.

Regards
Sam
If you could increase your budget, in addition to the amp recommendations made by others, imho I'd upgrade the existing speakers to decent BS offerings on hifimart. I feel the current speakers won't do justice to any integrated amp. Even budget BS speakers from norge would be a huge upgrade. All the best in your quest for a basic hifi setup.
 
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samyboy_jssp

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Thanks Kannan & Sean for your inputs. I will also test their speakers as part of the audition. Alternatively I can look at purchasing BS Speakers first and then look at buying DAC at a later stage. Which BS speakers would the FM's recommend in the 15-20K range. Mr. Anil from Hi-fi mart recommended me to go for Wharfedale 11.1 BS speakers which is slightly above my budget.

Also would the Mumbai FM's know where I can audition the above suggested Amps & BS Speakers - that would be really great.

I dont want to make a blind purchase without auditioning the Amp + speaker combo to my satisfaction...
 
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SEANDSILVA

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The Wharfedale 11.1 is a good recommendation. Norge amps pair well with their own speakers. Also look at the Q3020i. Apart from Eastern Electronics at mahim, I'm not sure you'd be able to audition amp and spk combos elsewhere in these covid times.
 
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