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Entering the market... help!

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So I've sunk enough cash into my rig (I think), and I'm looking for a modest playback system.  What kind of recommendations can yall give me to get something off the ground?  Right now I'm running basic consumer stuff (Kenwood reciever/amp, Pioneer CD-player, Infinity speakers).  Spare me the criticism of my current setup, and help me get a new one that will serve me until I can sink some serious bucks into a "real" setup.  I'm looking for a reasonably-priced, 2 channel system, and I'm willing to build it from the ground up, seeing as I won't be able to salvage any of my current gear (well, maybe the CD player for the time being).  I've been looking at Paradigm speakers, as they seem to be in my price range.  What should I be looking for in a preamp and an amp?  What about a DAC?  Cabling?

Naturally, I'm going to go down to the local hifi and demo all the stuff before I make any decisions, so I can taylor it to what I want to hear.  Basically what I'm looking for are suggestions on where to start!


Demo as much as you can but only buy used. Check out for EVERYTHING stereo related, that should get you pointed in the right direction ;)

audiogon is great and read reviews at

Not sure of your price point but when I a/b'd the paradigms to the B&W's the B&W's sound much fuller.

You also may want to look into an integrated amp... I like my NAD 370 a lot.


OK, well how about some refrence points to start with.  What would be the speaker's to go demo in the 3-500 dollar range?  How about 500-1000?  After that, if you were spending that much, you would probably know what to go look at in the first place!


Also, just curious about this, what speaker manufacturers are known for speakers that do not add a whole lot of color?  I am interested in hearing my tapes how they really sound, like through headphones!



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