|[ Get into the Audio Nirvana ]|
The main goal of every audiophile is to get the maximum fidelity in the musical reproduction from his/her audio equipment. This may sound simple but in fact it is very dificult because there isn't a hi-fi equipment able to equal the sound we could listen in a live concert. The moment when musical reproduction, usign a hi-fi equipment, almost reaches this degree of fidelity and hit our feelings with all it's richness is what I call audio nirvana.
My love for audio started a long time ago. But it was impulsed more or less at the second half of the 80s, when I bougth a Scott CD player (it is still working) that I connected to my father's old BSR turntable/amplifier. The change from the old turntable to the new CD was incredible. No more clicks or scracthes. One year after I could afford some new equipment: NAD 3240PE integrated amplifier, NAD 5120 turntable and Vieta Allegro Prestige loudspeakers. Now I know that I bougth quality products but then my knowledge about hi-fi was zero. My obssesion for hi-fi was so great that I would bougth anything.
I enjoyed this equipment for about three years. After this period of time I got enough money to buy a NAD 2700 THX power amplifier. I used the 3240PE as a preamplifier. Some months later I changed the 3240PE for a NAD 1000S preamp and at the end of 1995 I changed the Scott CD with the faboulous Marantz CD 63 SE.
From 1995 until the end of 1998 my hi-fi equipment was as follows:
The sound quality of this equipment was really good. I was really satisfied. But audiophiles are always looking for something better. So at the end of 1988 I could afford an upgrade to this equipment. Now at the beginning of 1999 my system configuration is as follows:
During all the time that I had this system I was very close to the audio nirvana. And I say very close because as I said before the only way to be in the real audio nirvana is in a live concert. While living with this configuration I was almost convinced that to improve my system I would had to spent a very important amount of money just to won a little bit more. My path to this point had been progressive and I was very comfortable with that situation and the system. But, on the other hand, somewhere in my head there was also that doubt that every audiophile knows thta makes us wonder about start changing again. And that's what happened!
In octuber 2002 I had the chance to upgrade my main system again at a small scale. As you can see I'm talking about my mai system because, all along these years since mid 90s, I have been collection classic hifi equipment. My collection, that you can see at the vintage audio equipment section, has been growing in equipment and quality (and it will!) and thta why I beleive that maybe it is better that my main system. Back to October 2002...then I bought a new pair of speakers and a new turnatble to replace the existing Epos Es14 and Thorens TD 166. The new adquisitions were:
I bought the speakers directly to Thorens Ibérica, in a period when they were selling all their stocks before closing doors. The turnatble came from my classic collection. I built a new plynth and bought a new SME 312 alos form Thorens Ibérica. The whole process of building the new turntable is explained at Vinyl world section on this page, to be precise at Thorens TD 124 MK I subsection.
In summer of 2003 I added a new component to my main system. I bought in Andorra (a small country in the Pyrenees) a Pioneer PD-S06 CD player, one of the best CD player ever made by Pioneer (Burr-Brown, copper everywhere, Stable Patter Mechanism, etc). It was a great offer and I couldn't resist, I must confess!
As you can see my path to the audio nirvana hasn't stopped since late 80s. In my modest opinion, I belive that I hasn't been so bad and now I know more thing about hifi world. So, with this experience I would like to give you some advice about how the audio nirvana or how to buy your hifi system.
The best advice I could give to you is.. take it easy. I know that it is very difficult to be patience when we talk about buying a new hi-fi system, but, believe my, it is the best and safest way. It is better to begin with a modest system, spending just a small amount of money and from that point begin to improve step by step your hi-fi system.
When buying hi-fi equipment, use your head, not your heart. Get as many information as you can, listen to different combinations, compare and take the final decission only using your own criteria. Other opinions are welcome, but remember that the last word is yours. You will be enjoying or suffering your hi-fi system for many years, so this is a very personal choice that must be done by the final user.
It could be a good idea to buy second hand products, if you know where they come from. This is a less expensive way to get into the audio nirvana or to upgrade an existing system. Another good idea is to consider out-of-catalogue products. In fact, many of my equipment comes form out-of-catalogue sells. This equipment should be always new and offered at lower cost due to new additions of products to manufacturers' catalogue. An amazing place where to buy second hand equipment is Ebay. Visit regularly these sites in the american or british version (even german and french) and you will find interesting offers.
Until mid 2005 Audio Nirvana offered a list of entry level hifi components to built-up a beginners' hifi system (CD+Amplifier+Speakers). The last list was made in january 2003 and was based on the recommendations of the "Buying Guide" section the of british hifi magazine What HiFi. But due that this list is no longer available in the internet and also because the hifi market is changing constantly, we have decided to eliminate it. Now, you can follow the advice that we have given to you before in the above lines and also you can visit the Audio Nirvana Forum to find the information you need to build your hifi system.