I just started collecting old and new records. Record
Store Day sparked me, and I love my new hobby! I teach
history, and have a Crossley portable turntable hooked
up in my classroom. I play classic rock in the mornings,
the kids really enjoy it.
have about $700 to spend on a system for my home and
know very little about stereo equipment. Could you
recommend speakers, an amplifier and a turntable? I have
a room downstairs where it will go, and my PC and TV are
there. I would need CD and radio also.
Pflugh, Saxonburg, Pa.
You can put together a very nice-sounding system for
are the most important part of your system, so we will
start there. For $252 per pair, Pioneer’s SP-FS52-LR
tower speakers can’t be beat in terms of sound quality
at the price. Designed by audiophile speaker designer
Andrew Jones, they are detailed and sweet-sounding by
any measure and are very satisfying music reproducers.
Their tower design yields additional benefits. You will
not need to buy speaker stands, which is a convenience
and a cost savings. Because they are towers they produce
decent bass without a subwoofer, and towers tend to be
very efficient so you don’t need a big amplifier to
make them sound their best. www.pioneerelectronics.com
Onkyo’s TX-8020 receiver to drive the speakers. For
only $159 it offers 50 clean watts per channel and a
phono input. In terms of capability and price, it is a
perfect match to the Pioneer speakers. It has a radio
tuner built-in and connections for several other
components. I recommend you connect your TV
cable/satellite box, DVD player and any video game
system you have to the receiver so you can enjoy much
better television sound. www.onkyousa.com
Audio-Technica’s AT-LP120-USB turntable to play your
records. It sells for $249. Turn the output switch to
"Phono" and use the phono input on the Onkyo
receiver when you connect it. This will provide better
sound than the phono preamp in the turntable.
16 gauge speaker wire to connect it all. You can get 100
feet for under $10 on Amazon. You probably have a DVD or
Blu-ray player connected to your TV. You can use this to
play CDs. If you do not have a DVD player, a simple $30
unit will do the job and get you started. Just make sure
it has analog audio outputs. Many disc players do not
have them now.
Pioneer speakers, Onkyo receiver, and Audio-Technica
turntable all rank as some of the best values in audio
world. Most inexpensive equipment, and even a lot of
mid-priced equipment rates pretty poorly these days and
you have to be quite selective when choosing components
for a system. These three products offer great
performance and value, and go well together, too.
who are willing to spend a bit more can upgrade the
speakers to Wharfedale’s Diamond 10.2 bookshelf
speakers for another $200, or Pro-ject’s Debut Carbon
turntable for another $149. Alone, either component
upgrade will make a noticeable improvement. Together,
they will take you into the realm where audiophile sound
reproduction begins. The Diamond 10.2 speakers are a
bookshelf design, but have excellent bass. Be sure to
put them on stands. Sanus makes nice stands for under
$50 per pair. See them at www.wharfedaleusa.com,
www.sumikoaudio.net and www.sanus.com.