good used stereo pre-amp

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by NickSI, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. NickSI

    NickSI Stunt Coordinator

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    ok im getting more informed about home theater everyday but im still sort of new. im a college student who wants to make my own stereo. i realize that i can get better sound out of component pieces than if i buy a big boombox. my budget is limited to a couple hundred bucks $500 at the absolute max. i know most of you reading this are thinking what the heck can he get thats halfway decent for $500. im totally fine with used. what im looking for is a receiver or a pre-amp either one (i don't listen to much radio though). and a decent set of bookshelfs preferably but i guess floor standing would work too. i have a music source, either my ipod or my laptop. so i don't need a cd player or anything. can anyone point me to a good used stereo website or maybe somebody has something lying around the house that you would be willing to let go of for a price.
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Check the Hardware classified here for the last couple months. I happen to know that there's a really nice Harman/Kardon stereo receiver with pre-out/post-in loop that can be used as a preamp....... [​IMG]
     
  3. NickSI

    NickSI Stunt Coordinator

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    alright well as i said im always learning. and i just learned that i don't want a pre-amp. the real name for what im looking for is an integrated amplifier. but just in case im still wrong im gonna put it in kindergarten terms. im looking for a device that will take input amplify it and output it directly to speakers. no phono out is required heck i dont even need switching i only really need one input. maybe you guys can help me figure this out. i guess i thought i knew more than i did. :b
     
  4. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    PM sent.
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  6. NickSI

    NickSI Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks that looks like exactly what i was looking for! great reviews maybe they will come out with one with more than 15w per channel but no one seemed to complain about it not being loud enough. if i get it ill let you guys know how it is.
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Unfortunately Nick, your budget is a real challenge. Not to worry, though...

    In that case you really don’t need an integrated amp. The only reason you would need one would be if you wanted way to switch between multiple components. So why not ditch the integrated amp and go some high-end computer speakers? Your money would go a lot further, and actually will get you in the “big leagues” of computer speakers.

    I suggest these, the Swans M200
    [​IMG]
    You won’t find a nicer looking or better sounding speaker for the money, computer or otherwise. These are bonifide hi-fi speakers. None of the “hole in the lower midrange” you get with most computer speakers. They were recently selling as cheap as $169, but the price is back up to $189. Not to worry, they’re worth at more than twice that much.

    Here’s a link to New Egg’s reviews. Only 2 out of 29 gave it a less-than-perfect score:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/CustRa...82E16836136102

    This review from Page 3 is my favorite:
    ‘I'll admit it; I'm an audio snob. I'm the guy that spends a ridiculous amount of money on his stereo system... hand built speakers, esoteric cables, equipment you've never heard of and vinyl as primary source :). I'm also the guy that's turned to the dark side - digital audio. I ordered these after realizing that I was spending 90% of my listening time at my desk, instead of the listening room. Hooked to a decent sound card and using a good source, I'm blown away at how great these speakers sound. Midrange, transparency, and imaging are all there in spades. Properly set up with a good source, these speakers will demolish any $1k setups that any of the big box retailers sell. I'm considering a set of these and a networked music player in every spare room in the house. They do not produce sound; just music.”

    Since they only have a 5” woofer, the Swans do lack good bass extension, but it’s not hard to add a sub. I’m using a little 50-watt sealed 8” M&K that I picked up on eBay for under $150, if I remember. Very tight and detailed sub, a nice match for the Swans. If funds are an issue, you could always use a cheaper sub for now, or just wait a while and get a good sub later. You do get birthday and Christmas presents don’t you? [​IMG]

    Small problem, New Egg seems to be out of stock right now. You might call them and see when they’ll have some more. Believe me, they’ll be worth the wait. Alternately, I have seen some eBay retailers selling them from time to time.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    I've stumbled upon Celestion Soundstyle speakers while building a home theater system, and I was pleasantly surprised. Don't let the modern style fool you. They sound very musical, articulate, and detailed. I really enjoyed them in the two channel setup connected to Classe amps for a few days, then I've hooked them up in the family room. I got AVP305 which comes with five speakers. They listed for $600, but you can find them at the famous auction site for less than $200. It's an amazing bargain.
     
  9. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    So you neeed an integrated AND speakers for $500?
    If you just needed the integrated, Outlaw Audio's RR2150 wold be perfect.
    You can hook it straight to your computer too!
    http://outlawaudio.com/products/rr2150.html
     
  10. NickSI

    NickSI Stunt Coordinator

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    ok responding to two posts first to wayne. i had thought of that getting nice computer speakers but as it is right now i have pretty good ones from altec lansing with a sub and everything and it sounds ok. but they are for watching movies and stuff. not very musical. so i can't justify to myself getting another pair of computer speakers cause most computer speakers you can't hookup to a normal amp. i saw that these swans are different as they have the wire feed in the back. so the only thing stopping me is that to my knowlege. swans doesn't have any real dealers. only internet stores. and the cardinal rule of buying speakers no matter what the price, is to listen to them first. and no one i know has these swans. so im very hesitant about that. my second relpy is to chris. well the thing is i have some speakers but im afraid they fall under the category of terrible. they belong to an old panasonic bookshelf system that all together cost~$100 so maybe ill just use those who knows? hahahaha

    what i really want is for somebody to just drop off a big box full of really expensive speakers and amps and wires so that i can put it all together and have a great system for free. yea
    that would be great cause im broke!! haha
     
  11. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    For integrated amps, you might want to look at something like the Cambridge Audio A300. It's a very high-quality, good sounding integrated and will only set you back about $200. I've been using one in my office for a couple of years now...

    That would leave you $300 for speakers which, in today's ultra-competitive small speaker market, should be very doable.
     
  12. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Nick,

    That’s entirely understandable. But did you look at the reviews? I always look at reviews from places like audioreview.com when contemplating any purchase, and I can honestly tell you I’ve never seen any product, especially speakers get a nearly 100% five-star rating. Keep in mind that it’s human nature to take the time and trouble to register a complaint rather than positive comments - that says a lot about the lack of negative comments for the Swans: If there were any to be made, they would be there. The only complaints anyone has to say about them is that the need a subwoofer (big deal, what computer or bookshelf speaker doesn’t?) and their size.

    Universal accolades should make the decision to buy speakers without hearing them go down a lot easier. If not, internet retailers know that speakers are highly subjective to personal taste, which is why they have generous return policies.

    You could also eBay them, and probably get about as much as you paid for them. Not that you’ll want to. [​IMG]

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  13. NickSI

    NickSI Stunt Coordinator

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    wayne theres two things. the first is that im a college student and my desk where my laptop sits is under my desk and has terrible acoustics. and i want to keep the altecs as they are a 2.1 system and as a college student i do throw a few parties. where hip-hop is listened to, and all that matters when listening to that is the sub. so i want to keep it for movies and thumping bass. and about the swans. i plan to buy this little amp which is like $30 and then buy a $200 pair of boston or JBL speakers. so i figure that the 200 i spend on normal speakers will go further than with a computer speaker. and this amp is battery powered so if i wished i could take it outside for bonfires or what ever i want. and i do plan on someday having a HT so these could become the surrounds when that happens. but for now i think the t-amp will be great.
     
  14. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Cool – hope it all works out for you. [​IMG] The portability aspect is certainly an interesting spin! [​IMG]

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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