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A complete hi-fi system for €1000?

  • The tyranny of choice + connectivity complexity – two hurdles to be vaulted by the audiophile newcomer looking to compile his or her first hi-fi system. Then there’s the expense. You get what you pay for but, with a nod to Morrissey’s better days, some gear is better than others.

    What might we do with €1000? How might we optimise our spend? Reeling off a list of possibilities hinders as much as it helps. What we need is a starting point from which to ask “What if?”.

    Rather than glibly suggest a pair of KEF LSX that would otherwise blow our budget in one shot to leave zero room for a turntable and phono stage, I opted for separates to make room for upgrades down the line. Some people like to tinker.

    A turntable is included here because the brief is “a complete system”, self-imposed in the full knowledge that one new release vinyl record sells for the same amount as one month’s lossless streaming via Tidal or Qobuz.

    The €940 system introduced in the video below serves as a jumping-off point to thumb its nose at the tyranny of choice if not completely nailing the connection simplicity brief. Cables? Click to Blue Jeans to spend the remaining €60.

    Reckon you could compile a €1000 system that plays vinyl and streams digital audio? Let us know in the YouTube comments, remembering manufacturer links, pricing for each component and the spirit of friendly discussion.

    And please, no second hand or vintage suggestions. You might have scored a recapped Naim Nait 1 with 12 months warranty for $200 (congratulations) but that doesn’t mean everyone else can. In the second-hand market, product availability varies wildly from country to country. As does price and warranty coverage.

    Camera: John Darko | Editor: John Darko | 2nd editor: Jana Dagdagan

    Further information: Pioneer PLX-500 (€300) | Ortofon 2M Red (€100) | Allo Boss Player (€120) | Adam Audio T5V (€340/pair) | Schiit Sys (€80)


    My beginner coffee setup:

    Rancilio SILVIA espresso machine and Graef CM 800 coffee grinder.

    Coffee beans from Solde Kaffebar, Malmø.

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John is the editor of Darko.Audio, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is an occasional contributor to 6moons but has previously written pieces for TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Twitter

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