Budget Stereo Amp & DAC - Beginner to Hi-Fi

marsilians

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I would first try to get out of the bluetooth streaming option you mentioned before any purchase. Irrespective of other gear, the quality of music deteriorates with bluetooth streaming. As an alternative look for a way to stream either via wifi or a direct internet connection. A DAC will help here. Also look for an integrated with built in DAC from Yamaha or Marantz. Otherwise you will spend tons on interconnects etc. The amazon speaker wire should be fine.
 

matazooma

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Hi Bhaskar,
Thanks for pointing out that the PM 5005 does not have an inbuilt dac.

Regards.
@samyboy_jssp,. For pm5005 or norge amplifier use external DAC like schiit modi3, it will sound much better. Also use good budget speaker cables like DAC those are much better than Amazon basics or C&E. You will definitely hear the difference and it's worth it.
 

Nippy

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+1 to above... I own PM5005 and schiit modi3 sounds pretty good. Also if you would only be streaming via bluetooth and do not plan to upgrade or change ur mode of playing music then you can go for ifi zen blue dac. Also you can get Klotz 225 speaker cable if mogami 3103 is out of budget.
 

Kannan_madhu

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You can go for Raspberry Pi + Allo Boss DAC 1.2 which offers excellent sound quality and for amp Allo volt + is a good choice total cost will be less than 10k but it will match or out perform many systems which cost more . If you need even more power Allo Volt D is a good option .
 

sridhar-v

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I would recommend the Denon PMA-650NE. It has a very good bluetooth 4.2 implementation. The inbuilt DAC is really good. And I have compared this setup to music played through an Allo Boss dac. The sound quality is comparable to the external dac.
I now land up streaming everything from my phone to the amp.
It may be a tad bit out of budget, but is a perfect for entry systems.
 

sound1

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You can go for Raspberry Pi + Allo Boss DAC 1.2 which offers excellent sound quality and for amp Allo volt + is a good choice total cost will be less than 10k but it will match or out perform many systems which cost more . If you need even more power Allo Volt D is a good option .
I am using Khadas Tone Board and it is excellent too, less than 10k in India. Way cheaper if sourced from abroad.
 

samyboy_jssp

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All,

Just wanted to update the group on my audition with Norge last week.

Took my speakers to Norge Factory where Mr Laxman gladly helped answer all my queries. Auditioned both the Norge 2060 UBT and Norge Concerto Gold 1000 for almost 1.5 hours. Did listen to both their bookshelves as well as the Tower Speakers in addition to listening via my Sony speakers.

Since audio experiences are very subjective in nature, I felt my Sony speakers were bright with good bass output and decent sound stage whereas the Norge bookshelves were quite warm to my taste. As of now both the Norge 2060 and Concerto Gold 1000 are VFM with both costing 10.5K & 14K respectively per my discussion with Mr Laxman. He also suggested to go for Norge 2060 if the plan was to use the existing Sony speakers else go for Concerto Gold 1000 if planning to change and upgrade the speakers (ideally would be the logical way to go).

Due to limited auditioning capability, as of now I am more or less thinking of going for Norge Concerto Gold from future proof perspective (I presume these could easily drive floor standers from a future upgrade point of view). Am still calling up dealers to see if I can get to auditioning Yamaha Amps. If I can audition the Yamaha Amps & Marantz PM5005 that would be really great. Would anyone know of any dealers in Mumbai who stock this amp so that I can call up and try for an audition.

I am now, also toying with the possibility of buying new bookshelves within the 15-21K range considering it will fit well within my budget. There are so many speakers available in HifiMart and it is very confusing. I am looking for a speaker which has ample bass with good sound stage and doesn't require me to go for a subwoofer in the future. I did audition couple of speakers locally namely Polk S15 & Polk RTI A1 but both of these were not to my tastes. Surprisingly the Polk RTI A1 was sounding more full and better than the S15 which was more subdued.

I am seeing some really respected brand names like Mission LX2, JBL Stage A120, Wharfedale D320, Q Acoustics 3020i & PSB Alpha P3 within the 15-21K range. Which one of these would fit my requirement & pair really well with Norge Concerto Gold 1000 ? Since there is no way to audition these speakers, I would defer to FM's for advice on the pairing.

Regarding DAC, as many FM's have suggested, I will look at it as my next step.

Thanks Kannan for suggesting Raspberry Pi + Allo Boss DAC 1.2. I have been reading up on the RPi based Hifi solutions including findings of Raghu in this forum concerning Allo products and am definitely intrigued by this possibility (to be undertaken as the next step) considering all of my music are stored in HDD.

As always grateful to all the FM's for providing their valuable & excellent suggestions.

Regards
Sam
 

Yogesh

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I am now, also toying with the possibility of buying new bookshelves within the 15-21K range considering it will fit well within my budget. There are so many speakers available in HifiMart and it is very confusing. I am looking for a speaker which has ample bass with good sound stage and doesn't require me to go for a subwoofer in the future. I did audition couple of speakers locally namely Polk S15 & Polk RTI A1 but both of these were not to my tastes. Surprisingly the Polk RTI A1 was sounding more full and better than the S15 which was more subdued.
For BS, Also check India Audio Gold Mishra. Other good option in your budget would be QA 3020i.
 

matazooma

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All,

Just wanted to update the group on my audition with Norge last week.

Took my speakers to Norge Factory where Mr Laxman gladly helped answer all my queries. Auditioned both the Norge 2060 UBT and Norge Concerto Gold 1000 for almost 1.5 hours. Did listen to both their bookshelves as well as the Tower Speakers in addition to listening via my Sony speakers.

Since audio experiences are very subjective in nature, I felt my Sony speakers were bright with good bass output and decent sound stage whereas the Norge bookshelves were quite warm to my taste. As of now both the Norge 2060 and Concerto Gold 1000 are VFM with both costing 10.5K & 14K respectively per my discussion with Mr Laxman. He also suggested to go for Norge 2060 if the plan was to use the existing Sony speakers else go for Concerto Gold 1000 if planning to change and upgrade the speakers (ideally would be the logical way to go).

Due to limited auditioning capability, as of now I am more or less thinking of going for Norge Concerto Gold from future proof perspective (I presume these could easily drive floor standers from a future upgrade point of view). Am still calling up dealers to see if I can get to auditioning Yamaha Amps. If I can audition the Yamaha Amps & Marantz PM5005 that would be really great. Would anyone know of any dealers in Mumbai who stock this amp so that I can call up and try for an audition.

I am now, also toying with the possibility of buying new bookshelves within the 15-21K range considering it will fit well within my budget. There are so many speakers available in HifiMart and it is very confusing. I am looking for a speaker which has ample bass with good sound stage and doesn't require me to go for a subwoofer in the future. I did audition couple of speakers locally namely Polk S15 & Polk RTI A1 but both of these were not to my tastes. Surprisingly the Polk RTI A1 was sounding more full and better than the S15 which was more subdued.

I am seeing some really respected brand names like Mission LX2, JBL Stage A120, Wharfedale D320, Q Acoustics 3020i & PSB Alpha P3 within the 15-21K range. Which one of these would fit my requirement & pair really well with Norge Concerto Gold 1000 ? Since there is no way to audition these speakers, I would defer to FM's for advice on the pairing.

Regarding DAC, as many FM's have suggested, I will look at it as my next step.

Thanks Kannan for suggesting Raspberry Pi + Allo Boss DAC 1.2. I have been reading up on the RPi based Hifi solutions including findings of Raghu in this forum concerning Allo products and am definitely intrigued by this possibility (to be undertaken as the next step) considering all of my music are stored in HDD.

As always grateful to all the FM's for providing their valuable & excellent suggestions.

Regards
Sam
For bookshelf speakers, Check for Elac debut b6 original version. Its a fantastic speaker with good bass. One of the FMs was selling a used one for around 20k. Check the sale section for it.
 

vinyl

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All,

Just wanted to update the group on my audition with Norge last week.

Took my speakers to Norge Factory where Mr Laxman gladly helped answer all my queries. Auditioned both the Norge 2060 UBT and Norge Concerto Gold 1000 for almost 1.5 hours. Did listen to both their bookshelves as well as the Tower Speakers in addition to listening via my Sony speakers.

Since audio experiences are very subjective in nature, I felt my Sony speakers were bright with good bass output and decent sound stage whereas the Norge bookshelves were quite warm to my taste. As of now both the Norge 2060 and Concerto Gold 1000 are VFM with both costing 10.5K & 14K respectively per my discussion with Mr Laxman. He also suggested to go for Norge 2060 if the plan was to use the existing Sony speakers else go for Concerto Gold 1000 if planning to change and upgrade the speakers (ideally would be the logical way to go).

Due to limited auditioning capability, as of now I am more or less thinking of going for Norge Concerto Gold from future proof perspective (I presume these could easily drive floor standers from a future upgrade point of view). Am still calling up dealers to see if I can get to auditioning Yamaha Amps. If I can audition the Yamaha Amps & Marantz PM5005 that would be really great. Would anyone know of any dealers in Mumbai who stock this amp so that I can call up and try for an audition.

I am now, also toying with the possibility of buying new bookshelves within the 15-21K range considering it will fit well within my budget. There are so many speakers available in HifiMart and it is very confusing. I am looking for a speaker which has ample bass with good sound stage and doesn't require me to go for a subwoofer in the future. I did audition couple of speakers locally namely Polk S15 & Polk RTI A1 but both of these were not to my tastes. Surprisingly the Polk RTI A1 was sounding more full and better than the S15 which was more subdued.

I am seeing some really respected brand names like Mission LX2, JBL Stage A120, Wharfedale D320, Q Acoustics 3020i & PSB Alpha P3 within the 15-21K range. Which one of these would fit my requirement & pair really well with Norge Concerto Gold 1000 ? Since there is no way to audition these speakers, I would defer to FM's for advice on the pairing.

Regarding DAC, as many FM's have suggested, I will look at it as my next step.

Thanks Kannan for suggesting Raspberry Pi + Allo Boss DAC 1.2. I have been reading up on the RPi based Hifi solutions including findings of Raghu in this forum concerning Allo products and am definitely intrigued by this possibility (to be undertaken as the next step) considering all of my music are stored in HDD.

As always grateful to all the FM's for providing their valuable & excellent suggestions.

Regards
Sam
Firstly, if you want a no frills, simple and reliable amp, then go for Norge. Norge amps are neutral to slightly bright in comparison with Marantz, but that brightness is also required if you want to be involved in the music you listen to, but if you prefer to listen to music in the background, without much involvement, then go for Marantz as it is a neutral to laid back type of amp. Marantz has slightly more bass in comparison to Norge. Other aspects of audio quality are more or less the same in Norge and Marantz. Yamaha can be clinical.

Secondly, take into account the service and maintenance aspect. New versions of Marantz may not be locally repairable and has to be sent to service center, whereas Norge is locally repairable. You have to decide which is more feasible to you.

Thirdly, Norge with it's own speakers is the best, but of-course you can use your Sony speakers for now and later opt for Norge speakers.
Sony is inherently bright, but that can be controlled from the amp's tone controls. If you opt for Norge 1000 Gold, then always pair it with 8 ohms speakers, never with 4 ohms. Norge 2060 can be paired with 4, 6 or 8 ohms without issues.
 

Sean de Silva

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Firstly, if you want a no frills, simple and reliable amp, then go for Norge. Norge amps are neutral to slightly bright in comparison with Marantz, but that brightness is also required if you want to be involved in the music you listen to, but if you prefer to listen to music in the background, without much involvement, then go for Marantz as it is a neutral to laid back type of amp. Marantz has slightly more bass in comparison to Norge. Other aspects of audio quality are more or less the same in Norge and Marantz. Yamaha can be clinical.

Secondly, take into account the service and maintenance aspect. New versions of Marantz may not be locally repairable and has to be sent to service center, whereas Norge is locally repairable. You have to decide which is more feasible to you.

Thirdly, Norge with it's own speakers is the best, but of-course you can use your Sony speakers for now and later opt for Norge speakers.
Sony is inherently bright, but that can be controlled from the amp's tone controls. If you opt for Norge 1000 Gold, then always pair it with 8 ohms speakers, never with 4 ohms. Norge 2060 can be paired with 4, 6 or 8 ohms without issues.
All Norge amplifiers from their 1515 to their pre-power are designed to handle 4 ohm loads.
 

samyboy_jssp

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All Norge amplifiers from their 1515 to their pre-power are designed to handle 4 ohm loads.
Sorry but I am confused now.....

What should I plan to go for ? Norge 2060 or the Norge Concerto Gold 1000 from speaker upgrade perspective in the future? Will either of them suffice as they both are good ?

As mentioned in my earlier post, even if I consider Norge Concerto Gold 1000 i can still invest in a good speaker in the 15-21K price range which most of the FM's have suggested will give a better sound quality than the Sony speaker that I already have.

Yogesh has suggested India Audio Gold Mishra / Q Acoustics 3020i both of which are in the price range for speakers having very good bass response.

How about the other speakers like Mission LX2, JBL Stage A120 / 130 , Wharfedale D320 or PSB Alpha P3 in terms of sound quality and bass output ? What are the FM's experience of pairing these with Norge 2060/ Concerto Gold 1000 ?

Apologies for asking so many noob questions ..
 

Sean de Silva

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Sorry but I am confused now.....

What should I plan to go for ? Norge 2060 or the Norge Concerto Gold 1000 from speaker upgrade perspective in the future? Will either of them suffice as they both are good ?

As mentioned in my earlier post, even if I consider Norge Concerto Gold 1000 i can still invest in a good speaker in the 15-21K price range which most of the FM's have suggested will give a better sound quality than the Sony speaker that I already have.

Yogesh has suggested India Audio Gold Mishra / Q Acoustics 3020i both of which are in the price range for speakers having very good bass response.

How about the other speakers like Mission LX2, JBL Stage A120 / 130 , Wharfedale D320 or PSB Alpha P3 in terms of sound quality and bass output ? What are the FM's experience of pairing these with Norge 2060/ Concerto Gold 1000 ?

Apologies for asking so many noob questions ..
I'd recommend the concerto gold 1000.
 

vinyl

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All Norge amplifiers from their 1515 to their pre-power are designed to handle 4 ohm loads.
Yes, all Norge amplifiers are designed to handle 4 ohms loads, but the 1000 Gold will heat up if 4 ohms speakers are used as the transistor's heat sinks are not adequately sized, so it is better to use 8 ohms speakers with the 1000 Gold.
 

Sean de Silva

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Yes, all Norge amplifiers are designed to handle 4 ohms loads, but the 1000 Gold will heat up if 4 ohms speakers are used as the transistor's heat sinks are not adequately sized, so it is better to use 8 ohms speakers with the 1000 Gold.
I have used power-hungry 4 ohm floor standers with the 1000 Gold and never faced any such overheating issue. anyway ymmv. More importantly, the late Mr. Bajaj and Mr. Laxman have both never ever mentioned 4 ohm loads presenting any issues with their amps from the 2060 upwards. cheers
 

vinyl

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I have used power-hungry 4 ohm floor standers with the 1000 Gold and never faced any such overheating issue. anyway ymmv. More importantly, the late Mr. Bajaj and Mr. Laxman have both never ever mentioned 4 ohm loads presenting any issues with their amps from the 2060 upwards. cheers
2060 has no issues with 4 ohms speakers, but 1000 Gold has, and Mr. Laxman has accepted this in my discussion with him over telephone.
4 ohms speakers with lower sensitivity, can give heating issues, but that can be solved with the aid of cooling fans.
 

Sean de Silva

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2060 has no issues with 4 ohms speakers, but 1000 Gold has, and Mr. Laxman has accepted this in my discussion with him over telephone.
4 ohms speakers with lower sensitivity, can give heating issues, but that can be solved with the aid of cooling fans.
Hmmm interesting indeed. Then this is something Mr. Laxman would have to sort out wrt the 1000 especially if it's driving low sensitivity speakers.
 
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