Your two-channel analog system will consist of three major components:
1. Record Player
It’s only natural to believe the easiest way to achieve great sound is through great speakers, when in fact the source – your record player – is the most important element of your system. Following the path of the source through the amplifier to the speakers is a foolproof way to generate a three-dimensional sound stage at a reasonable cost.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING YOUR FIRST TURNTABLE
Most record players priced under $150 underperform and will likely ruin your record collection due to various cost-cutting measures. That’s why we suggest you spend half your $500 budget on a well-built turntable.
A solid turntable spins the record with accuracy, has substantial weight to eliminate vibration, includes a well-constructed cartridge (needle) that’s able to pick up as much detail from the record as possible, is easy to use and looks great. Enter the Music Hall USB-1 Turntable, which retails for $249.99.
THE LOW-COST AUDIOPHILE SECRET
Your receiver’s job is to amplify the information coming from the record player (the music!) and then send that detail to your speakers. You’ll want a device that is easy to setup & operate, has the power to perform and comes with an array of functions. Look no further than the Sherwood RX-4109 coming in at just over $100.00.
This well-built stereo receiver includes a remote, 5 audio inputs, a phono preamp, an AM/FM tuner and A/B switching for two pairs of speakers. And at just over 100 watts per channel, this little number will give you plenty of power to fill up even the largest living room. Trust us; you’ll need to spend 4 times the money in order to break this level of performance.
LET YOUR MUSIC SING!
Your speakers should be accurate at all levels of the sound stage (treble, midrange & bass), have the ability to perform well at various volumes and should be equally attractive. We suggest you pick up a pair of Pioneer’s SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers. Not only do these diminutive speakers look pretty, they also get plenty loud and are a bargain at $129.99!
Now that you have all your components, all that’s left is some affordable speaker wire and your favorite record. See, that wasn’t so hard!