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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

Music Hall MMF 9.1 ~ $2190

Turntable

There is one last set before you break into the mega expensive turntables, and that is the MMF 9.1.  It is a popular for a reason, high quality, great sound and value, and well recognized as a leading turntable.

Phono Amps – PS Audio GCPH Phono Amp, Lehmann Black Cube Twin, Ear MC 4, Pro-Ject Tube Box SE 2

Cartridges – Lenhmann Black Cube SE, Sumiko Blackbird, Soundsmith The Voice, Koetsu Black Goldline

Music-Hall-MMF-9.1-Turntabl
Specifications

  • Music Hall’s unique triple-plinth construction
  • One piece carbon fiber tone arm with flexible internal wire drawn from high purity copper
  • Completely isolated/decoupled electronic speed controlled (33 and 45rpm) 50Hz motor
  • Inverted ceramic main bearing for quiet operation
  • Non-resonant 1” thick acrylic platter
  • High quality gold plated RCA connectors with detachable phono cable

Rega P3-24~ $1295

Turntable

One could probably make the argument that this the benchmark setting turntable under $2000.  You’ll see it connected to system of much higher in price, you’ll hear recommendations for pairing phono-amps and cartridges costing almost as much as the table itself.  This is a fantastic sounding table that can be the end of a upgrade path for most audiophiles.  Plus there are many tweaks and upgrades available for this table.  New wiring, bearings, platters and more.  This really is a fantastic table that is recognized as such across all HiFi media.

Accessories

Phono Amps – Moon LP3 – Soundsmith MCP2, Creek OBH 15, Pro-Ject Tube Box 2 or SE 2

Cartridges – Sumiko Evo III special, Sumiko Blackbird, Rega Exact 2

rega-p3-24-turntable
Specifications

  • No unnecessary frills.
  • High performance.
  • Outstanding musical sound performance for cost price.
  • Rugged reliability
  • High quality components
  • A long life time

Pro-Ject Debut III ~ $399+

Turntable

The Pro-Ject Debut III is the best place to start if you are just getting into vinyl and don’t have buckets to spend.  This is a well made table that pays attention to giving you great sound and value.  Pair it will a $100-$200 cartridge and a Bellari VP130 or Pro-Ject Phono Box USB and you are good to go.  Than go out and help get those vinyl sales numbers up!

Accessories

Phono Amps – Bellari VP130, Pro-Ject Phono Box USB.Thorens MM 001, Rega Fono,

Cartridges – Shure M97xE, Stanton 681 Mk III,  Audio-Technica AT440ML, Denon DL 110

Pro-Ject-Debut-III-turntabl
Specifications

  • Tonearm bearing comprises inverted hardened stainless-steel points and sapphire thrust-pads
  • Headshell and armtube formed from a single aluminium workpiece, rotation allows adjustment of needle azimuth despite fixed headshell
  • Steel platter with felt mat
  • Low-tolerance chrome-plated stainless-steel axle runs on a polished ball bearing in a brass bearing housing
  • Motor decoupled to reduce vibration

Technics SL-1200mk2 ~ $700+

Turntable

Some may balk at the sight of the SL-1200mk2′s on this list, but these have rocked more parties than all audiophile conventions but together.  If you are look for a turntable that will stand up to abuse, sound reasonably good, and let you play around, the SL-1200mk2 are the place to start.  Sure there are cheaper DJ turntables, but lets face it, who wants to jump to the distorted hip-hop beat? No one.  Plus this is the top viewed turnable on AudioReview.com for the past year.  That says something, though I’m not sure what.

Technics-SL-1200mk2
Specifications

  • Fully Analog
  • Vibration-Resistant Construction
  • Low-Speed Motor with High Torque
  • Quartz-Locked Pitch Adjustment
  • Direct-Drive System
  • Sliding Pitch Control
  • Adjustable Tone Arm Weight
  • Anti-Skate Control
  • Pop-Up Target Light

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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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