Music is still best appreciated as it was recorded- which is almost always in stereo. With that in mind, we’re going to recommend some great KILLER TWO CHANNEL combos. But first, lets address the source world.
Sources: Discs= Red Book & SACD Players:
Emotiva ERC-3 $500
Emotiva’s ERC-3 redefines CD performance at $500. Not only do you get a physically sturdy machine (22 lbs!), you get single ended and XLR analog outputs!
You also get digital outputs if you just want to use it for a transport (Coax, Optical & XLR!). The sound is more robust in the bass region than what we’ve heard in this range. The image is rock solid. At $5 bills, unbeatable!
Marantz SA-8005 $1200, Red Book and SACDs: Buy this one. SACDs are worth it!
Marantz SA-11S3 $4000, State of the art Red Book and SACDs: There’s nuthin’ better!
Use your computer to store files in the best format possible
Sonos is a cost effective, 16b, very nice way to send the music to your hi-fi system
Bryston’s BDP-2 Music Player $3000, is hi-res, state of the art!
We recommend turntables/cartridges from Rega:
Rega P3 with Elys 2 cart $1145
Rega RP-6 with Exact 2 cart $2000
Rega RP-8 with Apheta cart $4000
Combo Price $14,385:
Speakers: Bryston Model T, $8685pr
Bryston’s Model Ts have taken our industry by storm! There is no better, affordable, assault on the goal of playing music in your room, at real world, dynamic impact SPLs! Bryston not only can achieve “the band is in the room” muscle- it’s timbre is strikingly “Steinway True.” A remarkable combination of beauty and the beast!
Integrated Amp: Hegel H-360, $5700, 250×2
Hegel’s new H-360 produces 430×2 into 4 ohms, Bryston T’s impedance. In H-360 we have an integrated amp with superb on board DAC, capable of getting the Ts further than almost any of our customers would need to go! The noise floor is silent. Control due to enormous damping factor is unparalleled short of double the price!
Combo Price $9740:
Speakers: Bryston Middle T, $6240pr
Bryston’s Middle T is basically a Model T, sans one of each driver. Middle T has more than enough “push” for the vast majority of us. Also, it’s a much smaller “figure” in your room. The T has more of everything, but the Middle T fits more rooms and wallets.
Integrated Amp: Hegel H-160, $3500, 150×2
As stated in H-360 above, Hegel’s damping factor has no equal. The ability to deliver bass and start/stop your drivers on a dime, is nothing short of impressive for the money. H-160 produces 250×2 into Bryston’s 4 ohm load, has a fine on board DAC, as well as Airplay and DLNA.
Combo Price $5230:
Speakers: Bryston A-2, $3230pr
Bryston’s A Series speakers work around 6.5” woofs instead of 8s. With that in mind, A-2 isn’t as intense as Middle T. Buttt, A-2 is 65 pounds of warrior and can really bring it. Using two mids and two tweets, the size of the image is huge and bass performance dominates its weight class.
Integrated Amp: Hegel H-80, $2000, 80×2
Hegel’s entry level integrated with built in DAC sounds very much like its bigger brothers, only giving up points in top volume output. There could be a very good case for you to buy H-80 and then shoot the moon with speakers! Hegel’s control removes a veil you’ll hear from virtually every mid priced amp out there.
Combo Price $9500:
Speakers: Magnepan MG-3.7i $6000pr
Maggies project a size of image larger than anything else on the market. The delicacy and ability to hear fine nuance is second to NO other speaker. Representing a legendary value, Maggies are worth arm wrestling your wife for floor space!
Integrated Amp: Hegel H-160, $3500, 150×2
Hegel’s speed, control and barbells seem custom contoured for Maggies. At 250×2 into the Maggie 4 ohm load, H-160 is a bargain to drive the Maggies beautifully!
Combo Price $5800:
Speakers: Magnepan MG-1.7i, $2200pr
The 1.7i delivers a huge, realistic sound stage- competitive with MG 3.7i above. It doesn’t have quite the size, detail and muscle, but for about a third the price, the value is ridiculous!
Preamp: Emotiva XSP-1, $1200
Power Amps: Emotiva XPA-1 Monoblocks, $1200 each, 600×1
Emotiva XPA-1 Monoblock amps brush shoulders with the best amps available at any price in our business. At 600w and 24 output transistors per block, you’re getting loads of high quality, low impedance horse power. Weighing in at 73 lbs. each, make no mistake, XPA-1 is a most serious power amp treating the Maggies as they deserve to be treated!
The XSP-1 stereo preamp is discrete (not op amp) and supports BALANCED operation. It has built in phono (MM & MC). Its sound is remarkably clean, detailed and solid.
Combo Price $6600:
Speakers: GoldenEar Triton One, $5000pr
Triton One provides a manageable footprint with powerful sound. The ribbon tweeter produces a detailed “soft” sound that is quite mellow. The bass is rich with three powered subs you can easily tune to your taste. T-1 gives you a solid center image from any seat.
Integrated Amp: NAD C388 $1600, 250×2
NAD’s new C388 has class leading smooth sound and the ability to jump to 600w peaks!
Combo Price $3500:
Speakers: GoldenEar Triton 5’s $2000pr.
GoldenEar’s Triton 5 has been getting raves industry wide. Using two 6” Mid/woofs in D’Apolitto alignment with a ribbon tweeter in between, GoldenEar accomplishes remarkable imaging without being bright. They walk the fine line of great detail with smooth sound as well as anyone in the biz! Further, there are Infrasonic Radiators that assure deep, controlled bass. When people hear Triton 5, they ask where the subwoofer is. The imaging is remarkable. There is no speaker that lets you place your right and lefts so far apart- and yet can still cast a strong center. This makes it very flexible for normal living room placement. T-5s are a great value at only $2k per pair!
Integrated Amp: Rogue Sphinx v2 $1500 (100×2)
Rogue is a very well made line of American tube gear. Sphinx Version 2 is a new, upgraded version of this iconic integrated amp. Using a pair of 12AU7 tubes in the preamp and a muscular100x2 power amp, Sphinx v2 dusts off all the mid price integrateds coming out of the Orient.
Sphinx v2 has a very nice MM phono section and three additional high level inputs. It also features a variable and fixed line out, so you can add a sub or bigger amp if you are so inclined.
Sphinx v2 sets new standards for what an integrated at just over a grand can do. We are thrilled to be able to offer this guy, which sounds a whole lot more like what you get for $2k, than what you can get for a dime less than $1400!
Combo Price $2200:
Speakers: GoldenEar Triton Seven, $1400pr
T-7 uses the same mids & tweet as T-1 above. The sound, sans the thunderous bass, is competitive with its bigger brother. But, when you hear T-7, you’re apt to think it too has an on board sub. Super value!
Integrated Amp: NAD C368 $900, 80×2
New NAD with smooth flavor, DAC + MM. Great peak punch!
Kimber 4PR: $4 per foot
This affordable cable is a nice step above any, fat, parallel run wire. Ray taught us in 1979 that braiding was an upgrade. 4PR remains the best buy many moons later!
Kimber 4TC: $12.50 per foot
Kimber 8TC: $23 per foot
Sounds richer than 4TC with double the conductors
Monocle XL: $1534 for two six foot lengths with WBT Bananas
I wouldn’t tell you to buy this if it wasn’t better. I’m not into snake oil! Monocle XL is stunningly gorgeous, with effortless dynamics, great detail and can throw barbells around your room! It belongs in the best of systems.
Kimber Hero: One meter, $220 for XLR or $330 for WBT locking RCAs
Hero has been an industry standard at its price class for 30 years. Muscular, dynamic.
Black Velvet: One meter, $200
Black Velvet is smooth as silk! Available with locking RCAs or XLRs- smokin’ value! It is the sweet spot for most of our customers. Buy a single for coax digital or subwoofer!
Mogami LINK II: One meter $45, Two meter $50
An age old bargain. No fancy packaging or hype. Fully shielded. Affordable!
Buy a single for coax digital or subwoofer!