Modest stereo system

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
friar1610
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Modest stereo system

Post by friar1610 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:55 pm

For many years we had a component stereo system and had background music on much of the time. Foe some reason (probably because some of the components were aging) we didn't set it up when we last moved. We've gotten out of the habit of having music in the house and it recently occurred to me that we need to remedy that. What we need is a modest system for a 2200 sq. ft. townhouse condo where virtually all of the living is done on the first floor. We would want to be able to listen to stereo FM stations (classical, jazz) as well as our own CD collection. Also have some old vinyl but could probably make do with our existing turntable. Have never downloaded music from I-Tunes but am not against getting with the 21st century. A few questions:

- what specific components should Inbe looking for?
- ballpark price for a decent but not extravagant system?
- where to look for a system (big box, stereo store, etc)?
- good web sites to research the above?

Any other advice welcome. Thank you.
Friar1610

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 5404
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by Pajamas » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:58 pm

What technology do you currently use, especially audio-visual?

bloom2708
Posts: 4140
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:59 pm

Smartphone or Tablet (likely already have)
+Music subscription (Apple, Google, Amazon, Spotify)
+Bluetooth speaker (Bose SoundLink Mini, Mini II or Revolve/Revolve+, Others mentioned below)

https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/spe ... iple_black

Compact. Virtually all music. Mobile. Great sound. Sit on the front porch, it is there. Sit on the deck, it is there. Go to the beach, it is there. Go on vacation, it is there.

Mini and Mini II are discontinued, but you can still find them. Revolve/Revole + are the new editions. Amazing sound from a small package.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:39 am, edited 4 times in total.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

123
Posts: 3304
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by 123 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:05 pm

The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Silk McCue
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by Silk McCue » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:11 pm

Definitely rip all your CD’s to digital. All that I own are in Itunes.

User avatar
Ozonewanderer
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:27 am
Location: Central NY, South FL

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by Ozonewanderer » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:43 pm

Sonos provides great sound quality, convenience, flexibility and value. It's all wireless. It will be able to connect whatever you have. You can start off with a few components and add to it to meet your budget and interests.

To get noticeably better sound quality you will need to spend at least double and will almost certainly lose in ease of use.
Last edited by Ozonewanderer on Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

PhilosophyAndrew
Posts: 306
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:06 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:43 pm

If you are interested in high-end stereo sound for an extremely modest budget (at least in comparison to insane audiophile budgets):

Tidal subscription ($19.95 per month for lossless quality subscription) + Roon subscription ($119 per year or $499 lifetime) + KEF LS 50 Wireless speakers ($2200). You’ll also need a computer to run the Roon software and to connect to the speakers, although you can also use a phone or tablet to control Roon.

This won’t play non-streaming FM stations, but will play your CDs (after ripping), streaming radio stations, and Tidal’s huge library.

The speakers are actively powered and contain good DACs, so there is no need for an amplifier, preamp, or external DAC. Tidal is needed only if you want access to a higher streaming service, but Roon + Tidal + your own files is a magical combination.)

The Roon interface is outstanding, Tidal is the best-sounding streaming service, and the speakers are a revelation.

For the price, you can’t buy a better-sounding stereo system. And Roon makes the process of selecting and playing digital music rewarding and fun. If this is within your budget, this combination would advance you to the 21st Century with audiophile sound quality.

For more information:

Roon: https://roonlabs.com/

Speakers: http://us.kef.com/ls50-wireless

Stereophile is a leading audiophile website, but focused on the much higher end of 5 and 6-figure systems. Here is there review of an earlier version of Roon:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/roo ... ayback-app

And here is their review of the original (not wireless version with built in amplifiers and DACs) KEF LS-50 speakers:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/tale-two-speakers

Positive Feedback is also a useful resource. Here is their review of the speakers I have recommended:

https://positive-feedback.com/reviews/h ... dspeakers/

The Absolute Sound is another useful resource. Here is their review of Roon:

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/article ... -software/
Last edited by PhilosophyAndrew on Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:10 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
patrick013
Posts: 2208
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by patrick013 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:21 pm

Check out a Sherwood 100 watt stereo receiver. As good
specs as the audiophile stuff of years ago. Look for a jazz,
classical, muzak station nearby. Otherwise it's an excellent
amp for a remote input.
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

freeride
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:39 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by freeride » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:42 pm

We enjoy our Sonos system. We have 9 different Sonos speakers arranged around the house and a Spotify subscription.

kmurp
Posts: 262
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by kmurp » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:37 am

Well, I don’t know your budget but can tell you what I did last year. I bought kef ls50w speakers. They are about $2000. Sound very very good. Compact, built in amplifier, WiFi and Bluetooth. No phono amp but we connect our turntable to it via an old 70s receiver which does have one and looks cool. Spotify connect is built into the speakers. To stream Apple Music you would need to use the lower quality Bluetooth or have an Apple TV or airport express via optical out to the speakers. No tuner but one can stream to the speakers as most stations are online.

strafe
Posts: 788
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:49 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by strafe » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:49 am

This won’t meet the requirements for FM or vinyl,but consider the Apple HomePod. You can link two or more of them for whole house sound.

mancich
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:05 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by mancich » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:50 am

Ozonewanderer wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:43 pm
Sonos provides great sound quality, convenience, flexibility and value. It's all wireless. It will be able to connect whatever you have. You can start off with a few components and add to it to meet your budget and interests.

To get noticeably better sound quality you will need to spend at least double and will almost certainly lose in ease of use.
+1 Elegant solution and sounds great

onourway
Posts: 1098
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by onourway » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:23 am

If it's just for background music, I don't think you need to spend all that much to have great sound. Traditional stereo 'systems' often don't sound that great unless you are sitting right near them in their sweet spot. I have such a system set up in our living room that ran several thousand dollars a decade+ ago, and for whole-house listening, it actually sounds worse than our Tivoli Audio Model 1 that is set up in the kitchen. That little device is mono and about the size of a loaf of bread, but connected to our iPhones with Airplay, it sounds great. I suspect it's partially some quirk of the acoustics of the location it happens to be placed in. 99% of our listening is on this device.

In theory, the Apple HomePod should do that, but even better, as it actively adjusts to the surroundings it is placed in. Apple spared no expense in the development of this speaker, and the sound you get from it is exceptional. The downside is that it is 100% Apple. You have to have an iPhone or iPad and an Apple Music subscription. Depending on the size of your CD library, and style of music you listen to, and your own inclinations, merely subscribing to a digital service may be a better option than ripping your current collection to digital. You simply tell Siri what to play and it's on. You listen to radio stations by telling her which station to play, and if that doesn't work, via a radio app and Airplay from your iPhone.

People are generally quite happy with Sonos systems as well.

JEC
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 2:09 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by JEC » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:13 am

Ozonewanderer wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:43 pm
Sonos provides great sound quality, convenience, flexibility and value. It's all wireless. It will be able to connect whatever you have. You can start off with a few components and add to it to meet your budget and interests.

To get noticeably better sound quality you will need to spend at least double and will almost certainly lose in ease of use.
This is false. You can spend half the amount of what Sonos costs and get significantly better sound quality. When you buy Sonos, you're buying the convenience, functionality, and brand name, not sound quality. Don't get me wrong, they have great products, but they are very low on the sound quality-per-dollar scale.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 7028
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:20 am

JEC wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:13 am
You can spend half the amount of what Sonos costs and get significantly better sound quality.
Such as?
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Iliketoridemybike
Posts: 572
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:03 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:23 am

freeride wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:42 pm
We enjoy our Sonos system. We have 9 different Sonos speakers arranged around the house and a Spotify subscription.
I agree with this. We have our Sonos, speakers in the kitchen, great room and patio. Better than any set up we’ve had previously. I think all in it was under $500 and that included installation of the speakers in the ceilings.

Iliketoridemybike
Posts: 572
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:03 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:26 am

I will chime in on what not to buy, a Bose Wave. Those are over hyped for the quality of the sound vs price.

JEC
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 2:09 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by JEC » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:17 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:20 am
JEC wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:13 am
You can spend half the amount of what Sonos costs and get significantly better sound quality.
Such as?
I prefer separates over an all-in-one system like a Sonos. A speaker is something that doesn't get obsolete, as is an amplifier. However, digital and wireless connections are always changing. So I prefer to spend my money on items that are future-proofed. I have Kef speakers in my main set-up with SVS subs, but I have a budget set-up in my workout room consisting of Dayton Audio speakers and a sub that sounds unbelievably great for the price. Another great budget brand is Micca, which I have also owned and enjoyed. For a little more, you can look into brands like Pioneer, Fluance, JBL, ELAC, Wharfedale, etc. Again, that's only if you are looking into separate components. For bedroom/sunroom casual listening I have a Harman Kardon Aura Studio. It was about $150, is omni-directional with 6 concentric tweeters (similar to the HomePod), and has a 4.5" ported subwoofer, which allows for much lower bass extension than any similar speaker. This speaker only connects via Bluetooth (and has an auxiliary input) and not through wi-fi/DLNA. I've heard it side-by-side with the Sonos Play 1 and can tell you it sounds significantly better and costs less. If you want to spend money on the Sonos connectivity, that's fine. But keep in mind, you're paying for just that.

Edited to add: I have nothing against Sonos. They make excellent products that I would recommend for many situations. For casual music listening, it is an elegantly simple solution. I just get tired of hearing over and over how it's the best sound quality money can buy, bar none.
Last edited by JEC on Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

fourwheelcycle
Posts: 392
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 5:55 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by fourwheelcycle » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:18 am

onourway wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:23 am
...... Tivoli Audio Model 1 set up in the kitchen .... connected to our iPhones with Airplay, it sounds great.
We have the same setup. I keep encouraging my wife to use the living room stereo, but she prefers to have the kitchen Tivoli Model One playing with NPR news, classical, or jazz. I like NPR news or blues.

We have an Apple Airport Express that feeds our Tivoli with a short audio cable. We have an iPod Touch that sends radio stations (Tunein Radio Pro) and ripped CDs on iTunes to the Tivoli via Airplay. The iPod can go wherever you go. You could use an iPhone or iPad (full size or mini) in place of an iPod.

barnaclebob
Posts: 2708
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:54 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:35 am

I'm not an audiophile but I know that most people here don't know what they don't know about sound quality. Many of these recommendations of X system sounds great probably actually mean "its what bought and don't have any complaints"

By the fact that you are asking here and not on an audio forum or doing your own research that probably means just about anything over about $250 that has the features you want will work great for you.

Something like this is worth considering:

https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Sixes-Po ... B01MZYT1RF

or for a few hundred cheaper they have these:

https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-R-15PM-P ... dpSrc=srch

They might not be the absolute best bang for the buck but I bet they sound great to 99.9% of people.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

aristotelian
Posts: 4137
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by aristotelian » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:42 am

Why not just keep your old system and plug an old phone or tablet into the AUX jack for your digital stuff?

mfng
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:06 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by mfng » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:58 am

I'm still running a two-channel stereo system and am very happy with it. I agree with the other posters that say Sonos and Bose aren't competitive with good two-channel stereos in terms of sound for the money. When people come over and hear my stereo, they can't believe how much better it sounds than portable or wireless speakers. That said, I haven't heard the Apple HomePod yet. It's really well reviewed but you can't attach any external sources (or even play Spotify!?) so it's pretty limited.

DO NOT go to a big box store to buy a stereo. Selection will be terrible, prices uncompetitive, service lacking. If you have a stereo store nearby, that can be a good place to try out equipment, but prices aren't typically competitive. Crutchfield.com has a lot of good brands, and you can read reviews to get a sense of what products people are bundling into a system.

To start with, you need an integrated amplifier + tuner OR a receiver (which is just those two things combined into a single product). Since you're hooking up a record player, look for an amp/receiver with a phono input (since turntables output a lower signal strength than CD players or cassette decks). You also need speakers, a CD player, and a bluetooth adapter if you want to stream music wirelessly.

You don't need to spend a ton to get a great system -- mine was under $2500 new. On the other end, there's almost no limit to the amount you can spend, but you're getting very incremental gains at the higher end of the scale.

My system: Rotel integrated amp, Audio Research Turntable, Arcam CD player, Monitor Audio Speakers, Apple TV.

onourway
Posts: 1098
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by onourway » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:03 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:35 am
I'm not an audiophile but I know that most people here don't know what they don't know about sound quality. Many of these recommendations of X system sounds great probably actually mean "its what bought and don't have any complaints"

By the fact that you are asking here and not on an audio forum or doing your own research that probably means just about anything over about $250 that has the features you want will work great for you.

Something like this is worth considering:

https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Sixes-Po ... B01MZYT1RF

or for a few hundred cheaper they have these:

https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-R-15PM-P ... dpSrc=srch

They might not be the absolute best bang for the buck but I bet they sound great to 99.9% of people.
Not sure why you would think this. People on this board who speak about whatever subject tend to be exceptionally well informed. I know that I have been through all manner of stereo systems for 25+ years spending way more than I'd ever like to admit. Someone who just wants decent sound for general listening around the house has no need to go down the endless rabbit hole of audiophile forums. God help them if they do.

The Klipsch speakers you list probably sound good to great. Like any bookshelf speaker of that style, that sound will be *highly* dependent on their placement and the listening position relative to that placement. If those two don't work well together, the sound could easily be worse than something smaller that can be better positioned.

User avatar
Alexa9
Posts: 1324
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:41 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by Alexa9 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:11 am

I would get a computer (can be a few years old) with a large hard drive. I would rip all of your CD's in a lossless format (WAV (Windows), AIFF (Apple), or FLAC) to a music program (there are better ones than iTunes I believe). This is the best way to have good sound quality IMO other than maybe using records. I'd also get a receiver that has AUX and Bluetooth if a friend wants to play music on your system. Spotify is a good choice for internet radio. Try the free version first to see if you like it. Tidal has a hifi option for $10/month more. May be worth it.
I would get some floor speakers, subwoofer, and stereo. Polk Audio is a budget speaker on Amazon that is highly reviewed. You may fit nicer speakers in your budget. I like Yamaha for budget receivers but you may want to spend more on the receiver as well. Being less likely to want to upgrade later is nice. I would also use this system as your home theater with a TV and possibly surround sound if you're into that. Plug the computer into your TV and audio output directly into your stereo. You can get just about any music source or song online with a computer.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... r+speakers
https://www.amazon.com/Polk-10-Inch-Pow ... +subwoofer
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... o+receiver

02nz
Posts: 258
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by 02nz » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:44 am

The LS50 Wireless is a great recommendation, but if you're not looking to spend that much, I'd highly recommend the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay S3 Bluetooth speaker, $160/each on Amazon but I'd strongly recommend getting a pair for stereo sound. (These speakers were initially priced at $400/ea.) The sound is nothing short of amazing for anything in this size and price range - far beyond any other Bluetooth speaker I've heard, and (when paired) competitive with my $3000 home stereo system.

If you go with a wireless system (whether a Bluetooth speaker or a proprietary system like Sonos), I'd strongly recommend choosing one (like the Beoplay S3) that allows putting out true stereo sound from two separate speakers, similar to a traditional stereo system. The lack of this is why most Bluetooth speakers (even if they have stereo drivers in a single enclosure) sound small and closed-in, and the advantage in realism from a true two-speaker system is huge.

BBQ Nut
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:19 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by BBQ Nut » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:10 am

Just adding some add'l info and options.

On-line sources specializing in new audio equipment:
musicdirect.com
audioadvisor.com

Some audio related forums where you could pose your questions for suggestions:
Steve Hoffman Music Forums- http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/
Audio Karma- http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/index.php

If there is no desire for multichannel/hometheater functionality, then from what the OP has described a basic 2-channel system would be comprised of:
* A 2-channel *receiver* (FM radio, CD and phono inputs)
* A pair of speakers (depending on OP's space either bookshelf or floorstanding tower speakers)
* A CD player (new units do still exist despite claims that physical media is dead)

Done, since the OP still has a TT.

I'd start here and worry about ripping CDs, integrating streaming digital audio, doing needledrops of LPs for later. Start simple, get the music going immediately with the OPs existing LPs and CDs, and add to it as motivation/time allows.

bloom2708
Posts: 4140
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:17 am

With music subscription services broadly and cheaply available, do people still buy and rip CDs?

Somewhere I have 130GB of ripped CDs. mp3, wma, went through the lossless and re-encoding. Funny how times change. All those hours ripping... :annoyed

Haven't touched it for 8 years. Maybe 10.

1 CD purchase pays for a month of "all" the music. Just have a hard time today sending someone in that direction.

Fine if you love LPs, Cassettes, 8-Tracks, CDs, etc. and have a big collection. Starting from scratch, just not worth it. Only my opinion.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:37 am, edited 4 times in total.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

skeptical
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:24 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by skeptical » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:23 am

Another vote for Sonos. I have a dozen units. Maybe not the "best" sound you can get, maybe not the "best price" you can find, but the ability to put any music or radio station into any room or group of rooms (and visitors can easily do the same from their own phones) is the real benefit, and everyone, wife, myself, and kids, can play different music at the same time. My only wish is support for wireless headphones, which I can cobble together at some point.

I used to have a lot of CD's, tried converting them to digital/streaming, gave up and went with Apple Music, for $10/month you get pretty much anything you want. Also have Amazon (free with Prime), but more limited than Apple.

User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 4108
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by Kenkat » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:04 am

I would set up your existing component system as a starter and see if it meets your needs. If you want to upgrade to the modern age, you could replace your exisiting Receiver / Amp with a Bluetooth and Dolby (5.1 or 7.2) enabled one which would allow you to connect to TV for movies, stream from your phone or iPod / iPad, etc. Another upgrade could be a subwoofer for the new receiver.

jrbdmb
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:27 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by jrbdmb » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:33 am

aristotelian wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:42 am
Why not just keep your old system and plug an old phone or tablet into the AUX jack for your digital stuff?
This. Unfortunately their products have been discontinued, but I have a Squeezebox Touch that streams music wirelessly to my legacy stereo system - I'm sure here are other products there to do this now. And just plugging an iPod into an existing AUX jack is the easiest "upgrade" of all.

Before making specific suggestions though, I think it would be good for the OP to tell us what they value in a music system. Audio quality above all else? Portability? Convenience? In my case, sitting on my back deck with a small bluetooth speaker is OK, but for my main system I want "real" speakers and a subwoofer. Meanwhile an AM/FM radio is just fine for the wife.

armeliusc
Posts: 259
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by armeliusc » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:54 am

Consider Amazon Echo with Amazon music subscription. You can get most radio station from TuneIn (comes with it by default). It's relatively inexpensive and it's simple to set up.

I consider myself a tech geek and picky about sound quality. My music collection is all digitized, have my own streaming server (Plex), and was considering having Sonos all over the house, with dedicated tablets for controller. But they are expensive and take some time to set up. Then just somewhat on a lark I bought the Echo. My wife and kids love it. She can just tell it to play kids songs, listen to NPR, etc. In the evening and weekend I tune it to jazz, classical, etc. Sound quality is acceptable (mostly we use in living room / family room). I don't really care anymore that I can't get easy access to my own music collection since most of them are available from Amazon music. Ideally I'd still like to get multiple Sonos + Plex setup. But I know likely it won't happen.

JEC
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 2:09 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by JEC » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:45 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:11 am
I would get some floor speakers, subwoofer, and stereo.
One small point of clarification: I would get floor speakers OR bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer. A subwoofer defeats the purpose of floor speakers (unless the room is massive and you simply need high output).

btenny
Posts: 4428
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by btenny » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:01 pm

Go get a Bose mini or the more recent version. They are great. We use ours all over, in the family room, in the car ,on the boat, etc.. we use it instead of the big power stereo as it is easier.

JBTX
Posts: 3218
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by JBTX » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:38 pm

If you want a very modest system this one isn’t bad. Both my kids have one in their room. Not super high fidelity but good Enough. Plays CDs and can blue tooth your smart phone and has AM/FM. It isn’t terribly expandable or adaptable. It is what it is and it does what it does.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-50w-b ... Bqo8oukXXw

User avatar
aburntoutcase
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:06 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by aburntoutcase » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:46 pm

Audiophiles will scoff but I got a Yamaha YAS-106 sound bar for $200 a year ago for my apartment living room (the living room is very large by apartment standards) have it hooked to my cable TV set top box for TV audio and play music via Bluetooth streaming and I think the sound is more than acceptable. The only thing I would do differently is get the next higher model that had 2 HDMI inputs (I keep having to swap out my cable TV input when I want to stream over my Chromecast).

User avatar
midareff
Posts: 5563
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by midareff » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:50 pm

Before U go out and spend money why don't you hook up what U have? Many older components are as good or better than the stuff being sold today.

FrugalPerson
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:25 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by FrugalPerson » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:28 pm

In terms of audio quality it is easy to get sufficient fidelity for a low price using standard brands. My system has Polk floorstanding speakers and a Harman Kardon stereo receiver.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 3141
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by lthenderson » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:22 pm

friar1610 wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:55 pm
For many years we had a component stereo system and had background music on much of the time. Foe some reason (probably because some of the components were aging) we didn't set it up when we last moved. We've gotten out of the habit of having music in the house and it recently occurred to me that we need to remedy that. What we need is a modest system for a 2200 sq. ft. townhouse condo where virtually all of the living is done on the first floor. We would want to be able to listen to stereo FM stations (classical, jazz) as well as our own CD collection. Also have some old vinyl but could probably make do with our existing turntable. Have never downloaded music from I-Tunes but am not against getting with the 21st century. A few questions:

- what specific components should Inbe looking for?
- ballpark price for a decent but not extravagant system?
- where to look for a system (big box, stereo store, etc)?
- good web sites to research the above?

Any other advice welcome. Thank you.
We were just like you. When I moved into our current house, I ripped all our music into digital files onto my computer with thoughts that I would play them house wide when I came up with a system in the future. That system came in the form of the Alexa from Amazon. I uploaded my music onto their cloud and can now play every song I own or any playlist I create of those songs by voice command. It can also play just about any music station on the radio as well though we mostly tell it to play a certain genre and avoid all the advertisements that go with traditional radio stations. The best part is it is infinitely expandable by just adding another speaker in any room you want, no wires, no connections, no fuss. Again, it works by voice commands so there is no hunting for the right song, no adjusting the volume, etc.

anonenigma
Posts: 514
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:58 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by anonenigma » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:58 pm

Love my two-channel overachiever system:

Dynaco Stereo 70 tube amp. NAD entry-level CD player. Silverline Sonatina speakers. Gets the mid-range right.

User avatar
friar1610
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by friar1610 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:19 pm

Wow! Thanks so much for all the information/suggestions/recommendations. It's gonna take me a bit of time to digest them all. But the input is greatly appreciated.
Friar1610

WhiteMaxima
Posts: 1107
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by WhiteMaxima » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:43 pm

Tidal

User avatar
Doom&Gloom
Posts: 1947
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:47 pm

jrbdmb wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:33 am
aristotelian wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:42 am
Why not just keep your old system and plug an old phone or tablet into the AUX jack for your digital stuff?
This. Unfortunately their products have been discontinued, but I have a Squeezebox Touch that streams music wirelessly to my legacy stereo system - I'm sure here are other products there to do this now. And just plugging an iPod into an existing AUX jack is the easiest "upgrade" of all.

Before making specific suggestions though, I think it would be good for the OP to tell us what they value in a music system. Audio quality above all else? Portability? Convenience? In my case, sitting on my back deck with a small bluetooth speaker is OK, but for my main system I want "real" speakers and a subwoofer. Meanwhile an AM/FM radio is just fine for the wife.
Ain't it the truth about Squeezebox? I don't have a Touch, but I have three other SB devices. Hardly a day goes by when at least one doesn't get a workout.

OP's question would be much more easily answered if, in addition to those questions, he placed a definite budget limit. Asking for recommendations for the cost and design of a "decent" system is far too nebulous when it comes to audio.

BigOldBear
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:52 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by BigOldBear » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:51 pm

If I were getting started from scratch, I would take a serious look at Klipsh Stream (http://www.klipsch.com/stream). I have not tried, but expect the sound quality is excellent like all the Kipsch products I have owned over the years. And it is scalable to as many rooms as you like and connects to any audio source, and is partnered with many online streaming partners like Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Sirius/XM, Amazon Music, and iHeart Radio. I think you can get started with a single “The Klipsh Heritage Wireless Three tabletop stereo system” for $499 and scale up from there. The more I look at it, I may check out myself to bring good quality music to our kitchen and living room...

WhyNotUs
Posts: 1274
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:38 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by WhyNotUs » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:17 pm

Speakers are an easy call for me
Elac can't be beat in the lower end for a set of speakers that will last a long time. $280
https://www.amazon.com/Debut-Bookshelf- ... B014GSEQ06

Since you did not mention home theater capabilities but did mention 21st century connectivity, I would get a stereo receiver that has bluetooth connectivity. That would have led me to a Yamaha S202BL for only $150 but it does not have a phono jack for your turntable. So you will have to spend more $300 to get a decent receiver with Bluetooth and phono.
https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-R-N303BL- ... 2C9%7C3%7C

If you are out of funds, the two items above are higher priority, you could get a sony cd player at Target or if you still have money left a six cd player from ONkyo for $130
https://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-DXC390-Dis ... 2HD79V677D
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

User avatar
friar1610
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by friar1610 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:09 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:58 pm
What technology do you currently use, especially audio-visual?
I have a hi-def TV, a DVD player, FIOS. No special audio enhancements to the TV speakers. My system that I never hooked up is a tuner, a CD player (that probably doesn't work any more), speakers.

As you can see, I am not a sophisticate in this area.
Friar1610

User avatar
friar1610
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by friar1610 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:10 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:11 pm
Definitely rip all your CD’s to digital. All that I own are in Itunes.
Yeah, any that I really like have been downloaded to my computer and put in iTunes.
Friar1610

User avatar
5th_Dimension
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:05 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by 5th_Dimension » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:33 pm

I have over 130 GB of music on my system, and just bought an Apple HomePod and a subscription to Apple Music. What is great about a subscription service is that I no longer have to decide if an artist is purchase worthy. I just listened to a whole bunch of Ariana Grande (don't judge me). She is so far outside of my wheelhouse it isn't funny, but I found I liked it. I can listen to classical, country, pop, hair metal (see the note about not judging me), and other than confusing Siri about what she should recommend for me, It's been great.

There are cheaper systems than the HomePod but I am all in with Apple so it made sense for me.
"My idea of rich is ordering the most expensive thing at Denny's"

tmcc
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:38 pm

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by tmcc » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:43 pm

a decent 7.1 midrange receiver can be had for $500-$1000. decent 7.1 floor or bookshelf speakers will cost about $1000

that will adequately shake a single family home theater. home theater is one of those things where the sky is the limit on price

i have a yamaha aventage rx-1040 receiver and klipsch thx floor speakers in 7.1. with some good FLAC audio, it sounds amazing. its not as good as very high end headphones with a nice DAC but nothing to complain about :mrgreen:

BBQ Nut
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:19 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by BBQ Nut » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:21 pm

Good enough is where it's at.

ssquared87
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:54 am

Re: Modest stereo system

Post by ssquared87 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:28 pm

Sonos is overpriced and sound quality is overhyped. It’s easy to find a stereo receiver (think Yamaha) and a decent set of stereo speakers that will outperform the Sonos at the same price level.

That said, audio quality is not the only consideration. Sonia is easy to use does sound pretty good, and it’s easy to setup in multiple locations.

I’d highly recommend Sonos for convenience and for ambient music. But If you’re the kind of person that likes sits down and listens to an album from start to end, then prioritizing sound quality over ease of setup and use would be better. Consider a Yamaha A-s301 or 501 or higher. Speakers are more subjective so I’d be hesitant to put a specific recommendation without knowing the type of music you like and sound preferences

Post Reply