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#72639 - 12/17/04 09:38 PM Help build a Bookshelf System for my bro?
Merkaba Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 83
Loc: NL, Canada
My brother is planning to buy a bookshelf system for under $500 Cnd, but he's having some trouble deciding what to get. He likes the idea of the MiniSystem, however, doesn't like how you seem to end up paying for various unwanted features such as tape deck, multi disc cd changer, and tuner (not to mention the sub-optimal sound).

So, I've been trying to get him to think about simply buying a nice set of bookshelf speakers and a fairly cheap amp, thus cutting the unwanted items and adding the inevitable upgrade option. He'd likely have to use his current CD player, but I think it'd be fine for now.

It's my job to find this system for him (if it exists), so here I am asking for some help. So far I've narrowed the speaker selection to Athena's AS-B1 ($199.99 from FutherShop), or Axiom's M1ti ($255.95 from Canadian Hi-Fi). I'm leaning toward the AS-B1's because of their ability to go lower (he likes bass), and cheaper price tag (only $230 after tax, bought locally). However, I remember reading somewhere that Athena's are a little power hungry, which may be a problem for an amp in his price range.

As for what the amp should be, I have no idea. Finding a nice, used integrated is probably the best thing...anyone know of a good place (other than ebay) to buy used stereo items? I'm pretty sure there is one, I just can't remember/find the link.

I'm open to your suggestions here. Also, if you know of a MiniSystem that does sound good, let me know.

Thanks in advance.


On another note, my FO M60s are due to ship on Wednesday....can't wait!
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Axiom M60ti Hsu VTF-2 Mk2 NAD C320BEE NAD C542 Systemdek IIX Cables by Unity Audio

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#72640 - 12/17/04 10:08 PM Re: Help build a Bookshelf System for my bro?
DJ_Stunna Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/09/03
Posts: 604
Loc: Baltimore. MD. USA (but born a...
Look into the Paradigm Atom. At under $200 usd a pair, they are a steal. For the amp, any budget 2 channel receiver should work well with them since they are not too power hungry.

SoundStage! review.
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#72641 - 12/17/04 10:46 PM Re: Help build a Bookshelf System for my bro?
bridgman Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5376
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Canuck Audio Mart is a good place for used audio up here in the Great White North :

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/

You could get some used M40s for $475 CDN and still have $25 left over for electronics

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/2060-axiom_m3tise_sold_now_m40ti_475_for_quick_sale

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#72642 - 12/17/04 10:47 PM Re: Help build a Bookshelf System for my bro?
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
I would see about expanding his $500 to a little over $600 and get M2 from outlet at $306 and a cheaper receiver from your choice Best buy or Future shop. Both have decent ones in the $250 range(JVC, Panasonic) and he could get a cheap DVD/CD player used or new. I have seen some in the $60 range new at Future shop, although I have no idea how good it is. I looked at minisystems and they seemd to be a waste of money when you could go this route and do so much more later.
I have a riend that bought the JVC and it sounds/powers his speakers really well. He now has the ability to use it for HT or with his computer. Just my 2c.
_________________________
Jason
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#72643 - 12/17/04 11:09 PM Re: Help build a Bookshelf System for my bro?
bridgman Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5376
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
There seem to be some good deals on stereo receivers. My first thought would be FO M3s and a used receiver :

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/482-yamaha_natural_sound_cr620

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#72644 - 12/17/04 11:12 PM Re: Help build a Bookshelf System for my bro?
bridgman Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5376
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
I wish PETA ("my" PETA, ie the one in DJ Stunna's sig) didn't include "ours to experiment on...". I'm OK with the eating (50 pounds of fresh venison in the freezer) and the wearing and the entertaining (I have 2 terriers, how could I not be entertained) but have concerns about some of the experimenting on...

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#72645 - 12/18/04 06:41 AM Re: Help build a Bookshelf System for my bro?
Ned Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Indianapolis, IN

Merk,
Good for you helping the Brother out with his sound system. Something he will probably enjoy for a long time to come. My Brother is just now starting to get my "hand me down" stereo equipment.

b-man..better to experiment on the animals than to experiment on our children...
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Axiom Denon Paradigm SVS

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#72646 - 12/18/04 07:30 PM Re: Help build a Bookshelf System for my bro?
Merkaba Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 83
Loc: NL, Canada
I wish I could give him my old stereo equipment, but since I'm very new to this hobby, no such equipment exists.

Upon asking him to increase his budget, he started talking about decreasing it, so I left it at that haha.

I'd love for him to get m2/m3, as I'd like to know what they're like myself. I'm hoping he'll like the sound of my m60s enough to think about the m2/m3 (and maybe increasing the budget). Right now I'll worry about the amp though, since there are a few speaker choices.

Thanks for the replies.
_________________________
Axiom M60ti Hsu VTF-2 Mk2 NAD C320BEE NAD C542 Systemdek IIX Cables by Unity Audio

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#72647 - 12/18/04 09:08 PM Re: Help build a Bookshelf System for my bro?
bridgman Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5376
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Do look hard at used receiver / amps, though -- there are some real bargains out there, more so than with speakers.

In the $500 price range I would much prefer good speakers with a so-so amp than the other way round.

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#72648 - 12/18/04 09:37 PM Re: Help build a Bookshelf System for my bro?
JohnK Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10383
Jonathan, your comment that "he likes bass" indicates that it'd be very tough to come up with something really satisfactory within the $500 Cdn limit that he set. The M1s are very nice above about 100Hz in a small to medium room(see bigjohn's report in "Little A This..."in Questions)but used alone they almost certainly wouldn't satisfy him in the bass. Even bigger speakers like the AS-B1s might not do it alone. I'd suggest considering the M1s plus an inexpensive sub in the $150Cdn area, such as the highly-praised in that price range Dayton sub. Combine that with an HT receiver to allow possible future expansion and provide bass management that a two channel amp wouldn't do. For example, this Denon 484 refurb. With shipping, etc, this does run a little over his limit, but certainly he would get far more enjoyment than with a minisystem.
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