Home Stereo Question

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jazzbo, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    So, I currently do not have a stereo at home. My girlfriend and I live together, in a one-bedroom apt. in San Francisco, and we need a stereo. We've been using the computer's CD player, which is not fun.

    I could use some advice.

    Here's what I want. Small. Very small. I'm no longer 18, and don't need serious bump or "kick-ass" bass that blows the pictures off the wall. What I want is simply this:

    • Quality audio. Not necessarily loud, but clear, precise and solid.
    • Durability. It must last for 7 or more years.
    • Obvioulsy, as a musician, I want to be able to hear the bass clearly, or adjust it so I can.
    • Connectivity. I would like to be able to add a peripheral or two in the future. Maybe a 300-CD changer, but definitely a hand-held MD, and definitely some type of multi-disc changer.
    • $400 maximum.
    • Small. Must fit on a book shelf. The smaller, the better. Unobtrusive, non-glaring. Tiny. Something where it is heard, but not seen.

    So, I saw this:

    Denon D M31S - micro system - radio/CD

    My only negative is that there is no balance control, (I use the Aebersold CDs often). And that's a BIG negative.

    Can anybody suggest something similar in sound quality, size, connectivity and price, but with a balance control?

    Thank you VERY MUCH all!
  2. My family has one of the best bookshelf sound systems I've ever heard in my life. It's a Yamaha CRX-E150. We got it at Best Buy for about 300 IIRC. It has all of the features you listed, and it's an audiophile's dream. My father, who has not had a stock car stereo since 1989, left this stereo the way it was. At first I thought he was crazy, then I listened to Norah Jones (yeah yeah, so sue me) on it. I've never felt a thump like that come from the speakers.
  3. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    We've got a TEAC and I've just bought a Sony for my daughter.

    My advice is to do what I do, take a CD that you like a lot (current one is 'By the way') and make the sales weasel play the same track in all of the systems within and just over budget. By the one that sounds good.
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Would there be something wrong with just using your computer for the aebersold stuff? I could imagine a computer being more useful for that type of stuff(easier to bounce around a track with a mouse, and there are pitch correction software out there if that's your thing)

    just a thought :meh:
  5. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    My family got a really sweet Phillips one a few years back for our lake cabin. It has aluminum cones. Very small, 3 disc, tape player, and cool blue lighting. Looks very executive. It sounds amazing. We paid about $150 for it IIRC, and it's worth every penny. My stereo system (Sony 5 Disc changer and a Technics SA-EX140 Reciever, Sony 3 ways) sounds good, but this little thing sounds way better. But, I've found out that these "Mini-Systems" tend to die after about 4-5 years of moderate use. It's happened to me, and all of my friends that have them. I just said f**k it, and spent about $300 on a good stereo.
  6. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'm partial to sony home equipment, IMO the best bang for the buck in electronics.
  7. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Go to like... Wal Mart.... and get some stuff there. tis good stuff.
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Thank you all for the responses; however, I must say that I was looking for specific model numbers, as these systems are, for some reason, quite difficult to find.

    Freaky, thank you for the suggestion, but the particular model you mention is no longer in production.

    CS, great advice, and it's something I've already been doing anyway. "Money Jungle" is my CD of choice, and I take it shopping.

    Can anyone comment on the system that I posted a link to?

    Thank you again.
  9. Try Pioneer stereos, me and my sister have had one each for a few years and ours both work great. They're small, have great sound and have always been in top shape, have balance control, two small speakers and a bass "box". As far as I can find out both are from a now discontinued series, the XC. Mine's XC-L7 and her's is XC-L11. Not alot of help there, but maybe they have a successor series now? I'd say it's worth asking some store clerk about it.

    Good luck. :)
  10. Jazzbo, there's nothing I can recommend that meets all your requirements, but you can look here http://www.jandr.com and see if there's something you like, which you can then get a model# on, and perhaps buy in your neck of the woods.

    Good luck.

    Mike :)
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I thnk the problem you have set youself is incompatible objectives - it's like bass amps!! ;)

    I too live in a fairly small flat - but I have a huge Hi Fi system!! ;)

    I found that all those micro systems sounded like crap to my ears - no decent bass response or if you boosted the bass it was "coloured", boxy or slightly distorted.

    I have big speakers with hundred watts per channel available to me - but usually I just turn down. I've never tuned up the volume beyond about a quarter of the way round the dial!!
  12. Absolutely agreed I've yet to hear a micro system that can really cut it. As Bruce says you either get absolutely no bass or some cardboard rendition. Most often though I find the midrange unrealistic and lacking in weight, very noticeable with female vocals. I would always advocate building a system of seperates. You can start off inexpensively and when funds allow you can upgrade the constituent parts individually as funds allow without having to junk everything you already have. It's the way I started and I have ended up with a fine system. I have big speakers too Bruce ;) but I only have 15 watts a channel to play with and I rarely get past halfway on the volume.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - if you're after "Quality Audio", then Hi Fi "Separates" are the only way to go!
  14. Maybe this will spawn a "Show your HiFi" thread !
  15. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I was very happy with the quality of the audio from the unit I mentioned, my only problem was the lack of tone controls.

    Also, I wouldn't say "all those micro systems". Don't forget that a company named Bang & Olafsun is still out there.
  16. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Too bulky. Sorry, but I just don't want something that big. The music should sound good, but I'm not looking for the ultimate standard here. Just something good. Like I said, I was very happy with the audio quality of the Denon I tried.
  17. At the end of the day it's all down to what you need and what you are happy with. I understand your space issue but some of the more "bijou separates are quite modestly proportioned. My opinion of B&O is nice looking but no great sound for the money. I haven't heard the latest speaker from them ($18000 !!). That at least is getting some good reviews.

    Just don't get me started on tone controls

  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree entirely - I've heard some costly systems from B & O that sounded awful - they are really just expensive furniture items, for people who are more concerned about how it will look in their home!! ;)

    I also wouldn't buy an amp with any tone controls!!

    As you say - you can buy Hi-Fi separates cheaply and get great sound for a fraction of the cost - but it will look 'messy' .... :meh:

    You just have to determine your priorities!! ;)
  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I agree. As a bass player I would never buy a bass and amp package and Hi-Fi is no different to me. My Hi-Fi has come together one piece at a time and is constantly evolving.

    Next step - 5.1 surround!