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Entry level help

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Hello, I’m a newbie to the site. I have been reading and researching for a good amount of hours the last two days and I still don’t know where to go for creating my first decent stereo system. I have been trapped in a world of amazing music but crummy cd players through a cheap Yamaha receiver as well as the sad mp3s. I hope you guys can help me get my toe in the water and guide me along.


What are some other good forums that can aid me in the entry level (about $1000)


For starters, my friend and I are going to build a pc around the requirements of the soundcard, drivers, etc. Also, I have some old (circa 1980) zenith allegro 4000 speakers passed down to me. So those establish base line for me.


Before I start listing what I am thinking of going for I will preface with this question: Is final audio quality a weakest link type of system? Such as, If I got $2200 of equipment but were only running through the allegro 4000(which I do not know the specs of at this moment) would my system be only as good as the speakers therefore way overshooting and unnecessarily spending more money for higher end equipment? With a budget of $1000 should I still be shooting for 24/96?


Budget: Not to exceed $1000 (a college started). This will not include most of the pc system, really everything but the computer itself. Maybe I’ll be able to ebay some good deals.


It seems the best route would probably be an external sound card with its own DAC and go to an amplifer or combined preamp/amp. maybe an m-audio external soundcard? As far as an amp and possibly a pre amp, I do not know where to start.


Also I should probably get a good rom drive. A couple of good brands have been mentioned somewhere like Plexor and Yamaha.


Another posiblity that someone could give some advice on is if I should just get a good cd player with its own dac, a amp and leave it at that. Just move any existing MP3 and other formats onto cd, smoke a jay and just enjoy the bounty that I am already blessed with. There is really a lot of info out there, I just need direction and you guys are experienced. Thanks all --Rob




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