Entry level vinyl system for a friend


A good friend of mine, who is tired of me whining on about the virtues of hi-fi as opposed to buying a box from John Lewis has challenged me to build him a vinyl based system for circa £600. Sure some of you know this scenario well, I could royally screw up, or come out a hero (most probably the former). He wants to play vinyl and stream, so big ask on this budget, so I have advised him to go S/H. He’s not scared of vintage gear, but wants the best sound achievable.

It’s a shame that Marantz set-up is no longer available.

Having looked at the forums/facebook/ebay here is what I am thinking;

Amplifier (ideally with built-in phono (£2-300)
Sony ES
Rega Brio
Pro-ject Box range
Marantz 6004 etc.
Vintage (Luxman on here a while back)

Turntable (£2-300)
Rega entry level
Technics 1210 or equivalent (not sure on this budget)

Speakers (£2-300)
Dali Zenon
Q Concept
Vintage Spendor BC1/Rogers etc.

If anyone has gear lying around, especially speakers let me know. I’d like for him to end up with something a more left field than the usual Richer Sounds fodder, but let’s see.

Any help appreciated, or just play ‘Fantasy bargain system’ for kicks. I should add he’s in Bristol, so that may help/hinder.

@stu is selling a Sony ES amp, amongst other stuff. Think he might be moving on his Systemdek too?

Sony ta fa30es, radford, valves, quad systendek

I thought the amp was sold, that was going to be my first suggestion.
Think he’ll throw in the horns? :heart_eyes:


Tell your friend the enjoyment is in the searching. The journey not the destination.

if you can get a cheaper amp - rotel 930AX or similar - you could up your speaker budget which would help. 100 on an amp, 250 would get you a rega planar with bias cart or similar leaving over 600 for speakers which could get those Impulse H6s that do the rounds (which are down to 400 now, so mayb a 150 phono stage/better cart…?)

Wow, some man maths in here… 600 becomes 1000…But speakers are the thing. Cheap speakers will let it down badly.

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Ah, missed that Cosmo had baggsied it, soz.

If he has space then I could save you some cash with a Yamaha DSP-A2070 amp. A spare full power channel and less money than a 2 channel.

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These are the speakers I would go for, if it were my dosh

For the TT, I’d be going for an entry rega, if just for ease of use/setup.

Cheap, easy to use, great sounding TT = Technics SL-7, to my mind.

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Be honest with your friend, tell him £600 is not enough.
What will he like least? A) coughing up another £500 or B) One or several of the ‘best price’ second hand, bits of kit turns out to be a lemon?

Pay cheap, pay twice.

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I’ll have you know that my H6s have not done the rounds :angry: No other forum members have had the pleasure of owning them :horse: They are available though :smile:


My first was a Quad/Rogers that came in at around a grand, lower than that seems a struggle, have to agree.

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Best bet will be to find something local, saving £15-£30 a pop on postage adds up with a £600 budget :+1:


A few Creek 4040s on the bay for £120 quid whih could be a good option. The issue might be the TT, when drek like Pioneer PL12Ds are on there for £150 quid it may take a bit of work to find something worth having.

Sorting out a system for a friend will be a world of pain. Tell him to fuck off and get his own hobby. I hear watches are lovely.


These, a nob sound and a squeezebox

He can get a deck and better amp at a later date

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