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Audio How To: What To Buy? – How To Set It Up?

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Check Out the Best Budget HiFi Guide for Products in the $200-$1200 Price Range

Electrocompaniet PI-2 ~ $3250

Integrated Amp

Electrocompaniet’s 100W integrated amplifier is a fantastic piece to build a system around. It offers fully balanced inputs, plenty of power across all frequencies and very neutral and detailed presentation. Four inputs (2 RCA 2 Balanced) and an easy to use interface. It goes ear busting loud and stays exceptionally clean.

Other Recommend Electrocompaniet Amplifiers – PI-1ECI MKII

Electrocompaniet-PI-2
Specifications

  • Noise floor 20 – 20 kHz < – 100 dB
  • Frequency response – 3 dB 1 – 200 kHz
  • Channel separation > 120 dB
  • THD + N 20 – 20 kHz < 0.006%
  • Maximum peak current > 50A
  • Damping factor 8 ohm load >250
  • Rated output power THD = 0.2% into 8 ohm 2 x 100 W

Read more reviews of the PI-2 here


Melody MK88 ~ $1395

Integrated Amp

Melody MK88 tube is on sale now till Jan 6th. Once it debuts at CES it will go up to $1995. If you like live show style of sound, with all it’s pluses and minuses, this might be a deal not to pass up. Life like top end with fantastic dynamics. Micro dynamics are fantastic, and the bass it very clean and details w/o being punchy. This is 36Ws and 65lbs of music magic. Paired with quality mid level speakers ($2-$5k) the mid range detail and realistic high end is probably unbeatable at this introductory price. Paired with a quality power cord this amp won’t hold back.

Other Recommend Integrated Amplifiers –

Melody-MK88
Specifications

  • Vacuum Tube: KT88 X 4, 6SJ7 X 4, 6AK5 X 2
  • Power Output: 32W+32W Class A
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 30KHz
  • Input Impedance: 100kΩ
  • Output Impedance: 4Ω, 8Ω
  • S/N: ≥ 88dB THD:1%

Read reviews on the AG-790A here


PrimaLuna ProLogue One ~ $1279

Integrated Amp

It is hard to imagine another amplifier so well loved across the audiophile media community. This 35w integrated tube amplifier has won praise from just about everyone. The sound is clean, solid, and slightly laid back. The advanced designed auto-biasing makes tube rolling easy. The controls feel solid and circuit design does away with the standard tube amplifier issues. It is almost stupid proof in the design. A great place to dive into the tube amplifier world for a very reasonable price.

Purchase online from site. Here is the link.

primaluna-prologue-one
Specifications

  • Output: 35 watts x 2
  • Freq. Response: 20Hz-30kHz +/- .5dB
  • THD: Less than 1% at full power
  • S/N Ratio: 89dB
  • Input Sensitivity: 300mV
  • Power Consumption: 300 watts


JoLida FX10 ~ $450

Integrated Amp

Such sweet sound from a cost conscience product that integrated your iPod, as well as the normal array of input options.  At 12W per channel make sure to pair it with some fairly efficient speakers for greater volume.  A great pairing would be the Electrocompaniet PSB-1 speakers.

jolida-fx10-tubeamp
Specifications

  • Maximum power Output: 12 W per channel at 8 ohms, 1KHz
  • Rated Output Power: 10 W per channel at 8 ohms, 26Hz to 50KHz
  • Frequency Response: (at 1 watt into 8 ohms) 17Hz to 37KHz + 1dB; 0dB at 1KHz
  • Distortion THD + N: Less than 1% at 10 W output, 39Hz to 10KHz, 8 ohms
  • Circuit Type: Ultra Linear, Class AB1

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  • derek says:

    Monitor Audio speakers have always been a favorite choice for me. Smooth roll-off the highs, very tight sounding bass response without being overpowering, and mids that make your favorite vocalist sound even sweeter.

    Nice job of picking components that won’t break the bank.

  • adam says:

    Derek -

    Really – you found Monitor Audio speakers rolled off at the high end – not what I normally hear about them. What amplifier or rest of the system, source for instance, did you pair them with, or heard them paired with? Not saying they are harsh, but the RS6 I’ve heard had a slightly thin airy high end. Good if you were looking to hear the room in a recording, but definitely didn’t help with a black whole for a stage.

  • DBoy says:

    There is lot of PMP that sound better than iPod
    for less than 800

  • Jack says:

    For those of you who have trouble justifying big speakers to your significant other (like me), try the Silverline Minuets. They are small enough that they can sit on a desk and they absolutely rock. They go low enough that they don’t demand a sub but I recommend one.

  • Rubén says:

    Hi all,
    Iam newbie in this forum.
    Is the new Magnepan similar in soun dto the olds models?

    Best Regards
    Rubén

  • Rubén says:

    I currenlty have Apogee and for my they are not surpassed even today in the planar range.

  • Rubén says:

    I miss said that full planars like Apogee is very demanding on room space and position

  • Rubén says:

    But when they are paired with a good power amp is IMHO one of the more realistics speakers

  • Rubén says:

    A few years ago change the olds ribbons with new ones (manufactured in Australia) and sound even betters than the originals.
    More extended, transparency, air

  • Rubén says:

    For full potential the Divas must be actively biamped

  • Lorenqo says:

    planar speakers all sound wimpy and apogees require a amp you could use for arc welding to drive them properly. maybe there ar PMP that sound better than Ipod but they’re not tha good either. the Hifiman is a real audio product and with it’s versatility is a bargain reelly

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