(The lowest price system)
A good stereo system starts with a receiver which is the brain of your stereo system. Everything hooks into the receiver:
- CD Player
- Turntable, etc.
Luckily, we carry the Yamaha R-N303 which is a Network Stereo Receiver. It connects to your home network (via WiFi) and though the R-N303 comes with it’s own remote control, you will be astounded by the control you’ll have with your smart phone.
Compatible with a large variety of popular streaming services, including SiriusXM, Spotify, Pandora, TIDAL, Deezer, Napster and others — the R-N303 encourages discovery of new music from all over the world and includes Net Radio which gives you access to over 50,000 radio stations worldwide (for free). All Yamaha MusicCast systems like the R-N303 are Alexa compatible.
Add a pair of Definitive Technology D7 speakers and you’ll be able to listen to your favorite music immediately.
NOTE: We have speaker wire for as little as 80¢ per foot for 16/2 (two strands of 16 gauge audio-quality wire). If your speakers are five feet away from your receiver, that’s two times five feet, times 80¢ which equals $8 to add to the above total.
If you want to play records or CDs on your new system, you’ll need a CD player and/or a Turntable. These two are our best sellers for good reason. For CDs we recommend the BD-S681 which plays both CDs and Blu-Ray DVDs. The laser for the CD portion is very high quality, so high that it will play Super Audio CDs. The Audio-Technica LP120USB turntable is a real work-horse. It’s very reliable and can play all speeds: 45s, 33s, and 78s. In addition to plugging directly into a computer so you can digitize your record collection, it can also play a record backwards.
NOTE: You’ll need interconnect cables to attach the turntable or CD player to your receiver. We recommend Audioquest Evergreen interconnects which are $32 for 2 foot length or $39.95 for 5 foot length. If you get both of these these add-on components with the two-foot interconnects, add $64 to the above total.
A better System…
If you care a lot about the quality of sound you get out of your music, you’ll want to consider the R-N803. The total harmonic distortion of the R-N803 is 0.019% whereas the R-N303 (mentioned above) has a total harmonic distortion of .2%. If you like to listen to more than one CD at a time, the CD-C600 is a Five Disc Changer, yet costs the same as the BD-S681 (mentioned above). Magnepan speakers produce more clarity of sound than any speaker on the market. They are so good and sound so pure that it’s like going on a thrill ride every time you listen to them.
NOTE: We recommend 14/4 speaker wire (four strands of 14 gauge audio-quality wire) for $1.50 per foot. and for interconnects between the receiver and CD player we recommend Tributaries analog cables: 1.7 foot, $40 or 3.3 foot, $44. If you get 10 foot of speaker wire and a pair of 3.3 foot Tributaries interconnects, add $59 to the above total.
An even better system…
You may be old enough to remember the “tube sound”. Back in the day, receivers and amplifiers that were made with tubes sounded much more natural and warmer than today’s solid-state equipment. Rogue Audio makes a brand new version of a tube amp called the Cronus Magnum III and it really makes music sound beautiful. The Yamaha CD-S700 is a high-end CD player which can also play Super Audio CDs. The Magnepan 1.7s have a full sound with plenty of bass and the same clarity of sound Magnepans are famous for. Yamaha makes a pre-amp called the WXC-50DS. With the WXC-50 you can turn your Cronus Magnum into a network receiver that streams SiriusXM, Spotify, Pandora, TIDAL, Deezer, Napster and others plus you’ll receive over 50,000 radio stations worldwide (free) with the built-in Net Radio.
Since the Cronus Magnum is an amplifier and not a receiver, you may consider the Yamaha WXC-50 which is a streaming pre-amplifier that can access Net Radio which gives you over 50,000 radio stations worldwide for free, and most of the popular streaming services. Just add $349.95 + tax. If you’d like even bigger sound from your Cronus Magnum III you may choose the Magnepan 1.7 speakers over the .7s. Just add $805 + tax.
NOTE: We recommend Audioquest Golden Gate interconnects to connect the CD player and the Pre-Amp to the Cronus Magnum. 3.4 foot $69.95 or 5 foot $74.00. We recommend Audioquest 14/2 speaker wire (two strands of 14 gauge audio-quality wire) $1.95 per foot or the above mentioned 14/4 (four strands of 14 gauge audio-quality wire) $1.50 per foot. If you get the two pair of 3.4 foot interconnects and 15 foot of speaker wire add $169.15 to the above total.
The absolute best system…
If money is not an issue, this is the ultimate system for you. The RP9 pre-amp drives the two Apollo Dark monoblocks which power the Magnepan 30.7 speakers. The Aries Magnum phono pre-amp brings sound from your Origin Live turntable. And once more, to give your amp the ability to receive.
NOTE:We recommend Nordost interconnects between the turntable, phono pre-amp, streaming pre-amp, CD player, RP-9 pre-amp and the monoblocks. Between the RP-9 Pre-amp and the Turbo Dark monoblocks we recommend the Nordost Valhalla-2 intercnnects. A pair of two-meter interconnects (roughly six foot) costs $10,289.99. For the remaining interconnects we recommend the Tyr 2 interconnects. A pair of one-meter interconnects are $2,635.99. For the speaker wire, we recommend Nordost Odin-2 flat speaker wire. A pair of three-meter speaker cables (roughly 10 foot) costs $48,299.99. If you get the Valhalla-2 and Tyr-2 interconnects and the Odin-2 speaker wire add $66,497.95 to the above total.
Hold on! What About the Bare Minimum?
If you’re a minimalist, you can purchase either the MusicCast 20 or the MusicCast 50. These are powerful wireless speakers that fill your room with dynamic, natural, crystal-clear sound and, like all MusicCast components, they work with Amazon Alexa. Both models come in either black or off-white. They’re very stylish and need no extra cables. With one (or two) of these speakers with built-in streaming and Net Radio which brings you over 50,000 radio stations from around the world for free, you could be listening to great music within three to five minutes of plugging them in. (Requires internet access.)
But Wait! What about Home Theater?
You’ll find awesome solutions for your music listening pleasure above, but if you’re interested in setting up a Home Theater we have some even better options for that below.
(The lowest price system)
At the very least, for great Home Theater you’ll need five speakers and it’s even better with a subwoofer. Those five speakers and the one subwoofer make up a 5.1 Surround System. The five speakers are:
- Front Left
- Front Right
- Back Left
- Back Right
And the subwoofer gives you the lowest of low sounds, intensifying your listening experience.
Luckily, we carry the ProCinema 600 from Definitive Technology (AKA: The Bose Killer! Way less than a Bose system, yet sounds way better). You’ll get all five speakers and a subwoofer that will work with most any A/V receiver or amplifier we sell. Our best entry level AV receiver is the Yamaha RX-A680 which will drive this system very well.
NOTE:Once again you’ll need speaker wire to run from your receiver to the speakers. The front speakers may be 8′ from the receiver, so 16′ there. The rear speakers on the other hand get placed in the back of the room. So maybe they will be 16′ each, 32′. The center speaker will be close to your TV or projector, so maybe 5′ will do the trick. So 53′ times 80¢ equals $42.40. The subwoofer takes it’s own cord to connect with the receiver. We carry Audioquest subwoofer cables and the Irish Red is $39.95 for a 6’7″ length (3m). So for speaker wires and a subwoofer cable plan on adding $82.35 to the above.
Here’s another recommendation: The RX-A780 is only $100 more, but gives you way better sound and a more robust selection of features. The same is true each time you go up a model in the Aventage series (RX-A…). Here are all the models with their prices:
- RX-A680 $549.95
- RX-A780 $649.95
- RX-A880 $899.95
- RX-A1080 $1199.95
- RX-A2080 $1599.95
- RX-A3080 $1999.95
Now here’s a hack you can do that will make a big difference in your Home Theater listening experience. If you buy a pair of Magnepan .7 speakers for $1395 along with the above mentioned ProCinema 600 ($799.95) you can have a 7.1 instead of 5.1 surround system. If you use the Magnepans for your front speakers, you can then use the original front speakers that come with your ProCinema 600 as side surround speakers. When you combine the two brands you get a fantastic movie watching experience, but you also get super-clear audio for music listening as well. You can get the Magnepan .7s and the receiver and the ProCinema 600 speaker set for $2743.95
A better System…
If you’d like your speakers to get a little louder and feel the intensity a little closer to the heart, you can opt for the RX-A1080. With 110 watts of power to your speakers compared to 95 watts with the RX-A780 mentioned above, you’ll get much more presence of sound. Add to that a pair of Definitive Technology tower speakers like the BP9020s and you’ll be much closer to a true “theater” experience. Finally, the Pro Sub 1000 subwoofer will emit more thunderous lows and increase the heart-pounding suspense in your favorite movies.
An even better system…
The next step up for AV Receivers in the Aventage line is the RX-A2080. With this, your setup changes from a 7.2 surround system to a 9.2 surround system meaning you can hook up to nine speakers and two subwoofers. Your nine speakers are two fronts, two sides, two backs, the center speaker and two “presence” (or Atmos) in-ceiling speakers. For the subwoofer(s) we can move up to the SuperCube 6000.
You may wish to have only one subwoofer rather than two, which would reduce the above price by $999, but you may also consider a smaller subwoofer like the SuperCube 2000 for only $599 each. The SuperCube 2000 has 650 watts of power as opposed to the SuperCube 6000 which has 1500 watts. But 650 watts is nothing to shake a stick at! if you buy two SuperCube 2000s take $800 of the above total. As for the ceiling speakers, you may opt to get the lesser expensive Yamaha NSIC-800 in-ceiling speakers which are $199.95/pair. We don’t recommend the lesser expensive speakers, not because they are not as good, but because Definitive Technology puts the same tweeter in every speaker they make. This assures that human voices will sound exactly the same no matter what speaker they are coming from. But if a slight change in the quality of an actor’s voice does not bother you, take $159 off the above total as well. If you only want one Supercube 2000 subwoofer and the Yamaha NSIC-800 in-ceiling speakers take $1558 off the above total.