Recommend me some good, inexpensive home stereo equipment


Senior Member
Hey all, I know there are some audiophiles here so I thought I'd try to pick your brains a little.  My wife has recently gotten into vinyl again, and we bought an inexpensive "all in one" type turntable to play what she has aquired over the last few months.. The problem, this player to my ears.. is HORRIBLE.  Speakers are trash, and it sounds like it's playing through a wet towel.  She just liked it because it looked "old".  So, I mentioned something to her about possible building/buying a better home stereo system... but, I have zero knowledge when it comes to these things.  I was too young when the whole "build the ultimate component home stereo" thing was popular. LOL 

I figure that I'm probalby looking at buying separate components (turntable, receiver, power section, etc..), so what should I be looking for with regard to brands, models, etc..  I'm thinking of buying good used higher end stuff that you can get reasonably, but if there are new options that don't break the bank I'd certainly entertain that too.  Would be adding some type of CD player to it as well, so it would need to be compatible with that.

So, lay it on me!  What do you guys recommend?
What’s your maximum price point for a complete system which would include vinyl, cd, mp3, USB port, speakers, receiver tuner ...
rick2 said:
What’s your maximum price point for a complete system which would include vinyl, cd, mp3, USB port, speakers, receiver tuner ...

Honestly, I'm not really sure but I wouldn't want to get more than $300-$500 total tied up in it.  I wouldn't need mp3 or USB ports.  Mainly looking at turntable, some type of CD player, receiver, power section if the receiver wasn't powered and speakers.  I'm not trying to build something that would be an audiophile's wet dream, but I'm thinking anything would be better than what we currently have. LOL 
Hmmm.  For 300/500 I would go to estate sales looking to buy an old - like really old - console stereo.  I'd look around for a tube one, not because tubes are wonderful, but because when they made the tube ones they put the time and energy into everything else to make them sound good.  They started cheaping out when they began doing solid state versions.  Then, I'd replace the stylus in the (likely Garrard) turntable, fix anything else that was wrong, and enjoy the thing.

The next step up is an order of magnitude more expensive.  Something like a Rega Planar 3 turntable with an Ortophone cartridge, Cambridge Audio receiver, and a pair of Mayfly MF-201a loudspeakers.  That would be a killer system, but now were talking over five grand. 

Yea, go for the old console stereo.  It will sound great, look old, and you'll enjoy the hell out of it.  But make sure you get a tube one.
At that price point we’re looking at one of those bookshelf systems.  Sony or Yamaha make systems in that category that are just fine. Just make sure whatever you get has an aux for your turntable.  Though one of those systems with a pair of Mayflys sounds awesome!