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Need help buying a mini Hi-Fi component system

Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 & 11.2 Speakers

sance

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Hello everybody,

I need some help in picking a decent mini hi-fi component system in the price range of Rs.15k - 20k. I plan to use it exclusively for listening to stereo audio, so I wont be needing 5.1 speakers, dvd playback, etc. The features I need are pretty much these: audio/mp3 CD playback, FM/AM Radio and external audio inputs to hook up to my PC. Playing from a USB stick would be a bonus.
I am pretty new to the world of hi-fi. I have owned a basic micro hi-fi system from Sony (NEZ 33) before, and am looking to upgrade. I came across the Onkyo CS-325 (ONKYO SIGHT & SOUND INDIA), which seems to meet all my requirements. However, I feel it's grossly overpriced here. (Rs. 18k here, vs $200 on Amazon US).
Could any of the knowledgeable crowd here point me to suitable systems?
Also, kindly point me to any threads on the site, if something similar has already been discussed before.
Any suggestions/help appreciated !

Thanks,
Sandeep.
 

dinyaar

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Hi,
From the very few Mini comps that i have heard the onkyo seems the best bet. I heard the older model and i presume the newer offering is as good if not better.
Since u are decided on a mini comp i wont ask u to look at a seperates system which will be more musical and upgradeable.
Most things in audio are over priced, some ridiculously and some moderately so its no point ranting. Bargain with them and get the best deal but dont expect US prices here.
Regards
 

sance

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Hello Dinyaar,

You mentioned building a system out of individual components. I am definitely not against it, but I am worried it will be well over my budget. Is it possible to build one at the Rs. 20k price point?

Sandeep.
 

rikhav

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Hello Dinyaar,

You mentioned building a system out of individual components. I am definitely not against it, but I am worried it will be well over my budget. Is it possible to build one at the Rs. 20k price point?

Sandeep.


Welcome to the forum Sance
What you can do is upgrade step by step if you want to go with the individual components route
No doubt your options will be budget components, but I feel everyone starts like that. Then maybe after few years you can opt for higher quality components. Its a never ending story :)
But one thing is for sure that individual components would be definately better then those mini-hifi systems which I feel are a waste of money
Also you can look out for well kept used equipment. That way for a lesser budget you can better amp/speakers
In your 20k budget you can opt for Indian brands like Norge/Sonodyne/Pulz/Torvin
There are others as well. Search for their pricing and see what fits into your budget and then have an audition.
Maybe you will have to strech your budget a little bit to have amp/speaker/dvd player combo
A dvd player will be the best bet considering the price and your requirements of playing through USB drive, mp3s, audio cds. Then later on you can add a Tuner and a dedicated cd player
 

sance

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Thanks a lot rikhav.
The thing is, I am pretty new to the world of hi-fi, so I will have to start my learning from scratch. For eg, I had never heard of the Indian brand names that you mentioned :).
So I have a request. Could you throw out a couple of decent cd player/amp/speaker combos that come to your mind, in this price range? I could start from there, look the components up, read reviews, find out what to expect etc. That would be a great starting point for me.

Thanks,
Sandeep.


Welcome to the forum Sance
What you can do is upgrade step by step if you want to go with the individual components route
No doubt your options will be budget components, but I feel everyone starts like that. Then maybe after few years you can opt for higher quality components. Its a never ending story :)
But one thing is for sure that individual components would be definately better then those mini-hifi systems which I feel are a waste of money
Also you can look out for well kept used equipment. That way for a lesser budget you can better amp/speakers
In your 20k budget you can opt for Indian brands like Norge/Sonodyne/Pulz/Torvin
There are others as well. Search for their pricing and see what fits into your budget and then have an audition.
Maybe you will have to strech your budget a little bit to have amp/speaker/dvd player combo
A dvd player will be the best bet considering the price and your requirements of playing through USB drive, mp3s, audio cds. Then later on you can add a Tuner and a dedicated cd player
 

rikhav

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Thanks a lot rikhav.
The thing is, I am pretty new to the world of hi-fi, so I will have to start my learning from scratch. For eg, I had never heard of the Indian brand names that you mentioned :).
So I have a request. Could you throw out a couple of decent cd player/amp/speaker combos that come to your mind, in this price range? I could start from there, look the components up, read reviews, find out what to expect etc. That would be a great starting point for me.

Thanks,
Sandeep.


Hi Sandeep
Dont worry, I am also just a learner over here. Only thing i started a few months back. :)
Whatever information I have is with interaction with Hi-fi members. I have yet to take audition of any good sounding system and not up to date with the prices.
For your budget of 20,000 INR a dedicated CD player is out of question, so start with a DVD player as i suggested. And for amp/speakers you can go for budget Indian or international brand. But for used products you will need patience for a good deal to come your way
I would like other members to help Sandeep with the selection as I dont have total information about the market.
Also post what kind of music do you like so others can suggest accordingly. If you have luck you can easily get a used amp/speaker combo of a good quality within your budget. Also keep a check on the the classifieds section of the forum. Members who wish to sell any product post about it over there.
Most of the members here are from Bangalore so I am sure you will get help soon :)
We have some hardcore Diy'ers and audiophiles from Bangalore
 
Last edited:

venkatcr

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Sance:

If you are not too averse to a 2-in-1 concept, consider the following:

LG's LPC D1000 that has a DVD Player, a tuner, a cassette deck and a remote. It has everything you asked for except the capacity to play from a USB. It is composite out, as well as digital out. It has RCA in to connect external devices. The DVD plays anything, and CDs quite well. Actually if it did not have the shape of a 2-in-1, it will be a excellent budget receiver with a built in DVD and cassette decks.

Marry this to a AudioEngine A2 or A5 speakers, you will have a very decent system within your budget.

The LG has been giving me good service for the last one year.

Though there are budget receivers and amps available, they start at a minimum 15K, and you will end up spending some 30 to 35K before you end up with a system. In addition to Onkyo, CA makes a super two channel amp (340A), and there is the very decent receiver from Yamaha - the RX-V397. This will cost you around 18K, and by the time you add a player and speakers, you will end up spending some 35 odd thousand.

Cheers
 

dinyaar

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Hello Dinyaar,

You mentioned building a system out of individual components. I am definitely not against it, but I am worried it will be well over my budget. Is it possible to build one at the Rs. 20k price point?

Sandeep.

Hi Sandeep,
I suggest u be patient and scout for pre owned gear. Look basically for a Nad/Ca/Marantz integrated which can be had for 7/8K. The forum is a good place to start. Guys who deal in stuff here are homiyar and hifipal4all. Send them a PM. A budget cdp should cost 10/15 K new but can be had for half that if bought used or u can start up with a dvd player which will play cd/MP3. The tuner is the problem as that will be difficult to find used IMO. If a tuner is a must go for an Indian tuner. I think a basic Norge tuner is 2.5K(read somewhere on the forum). That leaves u with speakers, and u will definately get very competent stand mount speakers for less than 10K new.
This way in about 22/25 K u get a competent HIFI which is a better start up than a mini component in my opinion.
Regards
 

sance

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Thanks a lot for the info venkatcr.

I looked at the LPC D1000, as you say it has lots of features, but I wont be using the speakers, the cassette deck or the DVD playback capabilities at all. Somehow, I feel I need to have a system that does exactly what I need it to, and nothing more :)

I will do more research on the CA/Yamaha/AudioEngine components you've mentioned. Maybe I will have to stretch my budget a bit in the end.

Thanks,
Sandeep.

Sance:

If you are not too averse to a 2-in-1 concept, consider the following:

LG's LPC D1000 that has a DVD Player, a tuner, a cassette deck and a remote. It has everything you asked for except the capacity to play from a USB. It is composite out, as well as digital out. It has RCA in to connect external devices. The DVD plays anything, and CDs quite well. Actually if it did not have the shape of a 2-in-1, it will be a excellent budget receiver with a built in DVD and cassette decks.

Marry this to a AudioEngine A2 or A5 speakers, you will have a very decent system within your budget.

The LG has been giving me good service for the last one year.

Though there are budget receivers and amps available, they start at a minimum 15K, and you will end up spending some 30 to 35K before you end up with a system. In addition to Onkyo, CA makes a super two channel amp (340A), and there is the very decent receiver from Yamaha - the RX-V397. This will cost you around 18K, and by the time you add a player and speakers, you will end up spending some 35 odd thousand.

Cheers
 

sance

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Thanks dinyaar.

No, the tuner is not a must for me, so I could skip it for the time being, and add it later on. Regarding pre-owned gear, I am a bit apprehensive, as I dont know how to judge a used component. Will audio quality deteriorate with usage? What things do I check for in a pre-owned component?

Regards,
Sandeep.

Hi Sandeep,
I suggest u be patient and scout for pre owned gear. Look basically for a Nad/Ca/Marantz integrated which can be had for 7/8K. The forum is a good place to start. Guys who deal in stuff here are homiyar and hifipal4all. Send them a PM. A budget cdp should cost 10/15 K new but can be had for half that if bought used or u can start up with a dvd player which will play cd/MP3. The tuner is the problem as that will be difficult to find used IMO. If a tuner is a must go for an Indian tuner. I think a basic Norge tuner is 2.5K(read somewhere on the forum). That leaves u with speakers, and u will definately get very competent stand mount speakers for less than 10K new.
This way in about 22/25 K u get a competent HIFI which is a better start up than a mini component in my opinion.
Regards
 

dinyaar

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Hi Sandeep,
All electronics will age. Some components are safer to buy used and some like a cdp i am a little jittery. An amp is relatively safe to buy used. A very old speaker is a NO NO in my opinion.
Most people (with the exception of teenagers) use their gear carefully and most guys today frequently upgrade.
Prefer if u could buy directly from original user but thats not always possible. Verify papers/inspect equipment thoroughly and finally rely on your instinct about the seller and his claims. Since u are from Bangalore Ramesh(HIFIPAL4ALL) will surely help u find something suitable and once u shortlist a few available options am sure guys like Shreekant/unleash will make sure u dont buy a dud!!!
Regards
 
Last edited:
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Hello everybody,

I need some help in picking a decent mini hi-fi component system in the price range of Rs.15k - 20k. I plan to use it exclusively for listening to stereo audio, so I wont be needing 5.1 speakers, dvd playback, etc. The features I need are pretty much these: audio/mp3 CD playback, FM/AM Radio and external audio inputs to hook up to my PC. Playing from a USB stick would be a bonus.
I am pretty new to the world of hi-fi. I have owned a basic micro hi-fi system from Sony (NEZ 33) before, and am looking to upgrade. I came across the Onkyo CS-325 (ONKYO SIGHT & SOUND INDIA), which seems to meet all my requirements. However, I feel it's grossly overpriced here. (Rs. 18k here, vs $200 on Amazon US).
Could any of the knowledgeable crowd here point me to suitable systems?
Also, kindly point me to any threads on the site, if something similar has already been discussed before.
Any suggestions/help appreciated !

Thanks,
Sandeep.

Hi Sandeep

Greetings from Inspired Innovations...!!!

First of all, Welcome to the forum...!!!
Have a nice stay...

I am Sagar Nandi, from Inspired Innovations...

Sorry for the delay in Introduction, will just post it after this Post...

Sandeep you are basically looking at a HiFi System...
Basically 2.0...

I can suggest you one good system...

i9200D

i9200_main_img.gif


Features :
High-fidelity mini audio system with 4CD / MP3 CD changer for your iPod
? 4 MP3 CD / Audio CD playback system with the integrated universal
dock for your iPod
? Powerful 2-way speakers allow you to enjoy your favorite songs from
your iPod with depth and clarity
? Plays and charges your iPod
? Supports Random, Repeat, Intro, and Program functions
? Programmable memory for 40 audio tracks
? Provides a variety of convenient functions, such as Mute, Sleep, Timer
and more
? Enjoy AM / FM radio with PLL digital tuning technology
? Programmable presets for 32 radio stations (16 for AM / 16 for FM)
? Clock display with sleep function
? Timer function with snooze capability
? Supports subwoofer output
? Liquid crystal display with white backlight
? Sliding motorized CD door mechanism
? Remote control included

Warranty - 1yr...

This product from US is priced @ Rs.16,000 only...

This product will be available for display by month end...

We are the exclusive importers & distributors for this product...
 
Last edited:

venkatcr

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Sance:

I just read about a new product introduced by LG called the FA163DAB. This is supposed to have been designed and tuned by the HiFi guru Mark Levinson. This is selling for 18K. See if you can ask your local LG dealer for a demo. It looks good with a CD player, inbuilt iPod socket, a USB, and a tuner.

Cheers
 

sance

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Thanks again Venkat. Will find out more..
Wow, you guys are amazing! I have never seen a forum before, where the members are so helpful.
 

sance

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Venkat, one small question. Can you let me know where you came across this model, and its price? The LG india site does not list this in their range of music systems, so the system must be brand new here..

Thanks again Venkat. Will find out more..
Wow, you guys are amazing! I have never seen a forum before, where the members are so helpful.
 

psychotropic

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this "tuned by Mark Levinson" shtick that LG is using all over the place...including on their Scarlet LCD TVs....any idea how true it is? and any idea if the results live up to the expectations you would have from such a claim?.....and how much can Mr. Mark Levinson "tune" or improve something that's cobbled out of bargain-basement components?

Sance:

I just read about a new product introduced by LG called the FA163DAB. This is supposed to have been designed and tuned by the HiFi guru Mark Levinson. This is selling for 18K. See if you can ask your local LG dealer for a demo. It looks good with a CD player, inbuilt iPod socket, a USB, and a tuner.

Cheers
 

venkatcr

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sance said:
Venkat, one small question. Can you let me know where you came across this model, and its price? The LG india site does not list this in their range of music systems, so the system must be brand new here..

I read it in the September issue of What Hifi. Yes it is a brand new product, and if it is any good, it might make sense to wait and see. An LG dealer may not be of much help. It will make more sense to call LG's office and speak to a senior marketing person.

psychotropic said:
this "tuned by Mark Levinson" shtick that LG is using all over the place...including on their Scarlet LCD TVs....any idea how true it is? and any idea if the results live up to the expectations you would have from such a claim?.....and how much can Mr. Mark Levinson "tune" or improve something that's cobbled out of bargain-basement components?

It looks to me that LG is making some smart and some desperate moves to gain the confidence of the audiophiles and videophiles. They are entering a market where there are a large number of well entrenched players backed by product and brand reputation.

The Mark Levinson is one such move. I am also hoping Mark has enough concerns about his own reputation to ensure his name is not misused. Some excellent amplifier designs have been attributed to him, and he should not let that be belittled. And, I am sure, he will not allow 'bargain basement components'. If that is to happen why sign up with LG? Why not some small garage business where Mark can have a greater say and more shares in the success?

Who had heard of Ken Ishikawa, until Marantz made the products with his name legendary? Similarly, the LG / Mark Levinson combination will have some value only when their products deliver and succeed in the market. And that nobody can guarantee that, not even Mark Levinson.

But one thing is sure. With Mark's name, most of us will start looking at LG products with a little more respect. And if that happens, LG has won half the race.

Cheers
 
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