We’ve Built A Intoxicating Budget Audiophile Setup Using One Of The Best New Bookshelf Speakers!

I just finished reviewing the new Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M II speaker, and I was very impressed by its transparency and dynamics. The soundstage and imaging are also top-notch. You get a lot for a very affordable $749, which inspired me to build a musical budget audiophile around this awesome bookshelf.

The only knock against the Reference Premiere RP-600M II was a tendency towards brightness with the wrong gear, so I wanted to pick an affordable integrated that trended warm. That led me to one of my favorite amps for around $1000, the Marantz PM7000N, which retails for $1199. It’s an amp with good dynamics and clarity, but most importantly, in this case, a smooth treble. Not only that, this amp has a capable built-in streamer that supports AirPlay 2, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth streaming.

That said, the cleanness of the 7000N’s amp section allows the RP-600M II to open up and shine without overdoing the presence region (upper midrange). The resulting sound is exquisite, especially for a combined price tag of less than $2000. In addition, you get an extra wide soundstage with fantastic depth and height, plus holographic imaging that is extraordinarily focused.

Additionally, this combination provides eye-opening bass dynamics, which allows this system to play any genre of music (think hip-hop, rock) with authority. At the same time, it has enough refinement to provide a thrilling jazz performance.

Finally, for my vinyl enthusiasts, I’m adding an affordable yet capable turntable from Pro-Ject to spin your records. Pro-Ject knows how to make an easy-to-use turntable that plays music with clarity and weight, and the $449 T1 Phono SB Turntable proves it. It has a rich sound full of life, and it’s ready to go right out of the box. It’s a perfect complement to this system.


The System:

Total: $2397

Optional:


The Speakers: Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M II Bookshelf Speaker Pair ($749)

Features/Specs

  • 1″ horn-loaded LTS (Linear Travel Suspension) titanium diaphragm tweeter
  • 6-1/2″ Cerametallic™ cone woofer
  • frequency response: 44-25,000 Hz (± 3dB)
  • power handling: up to 100 watts RMS/400 watts peak
  • sensitivity: 94 dB
  • impedance: 8 ohms
  • bass-reflex design with rear-firing Tractrix port

The Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M II improves upon the original in several key areas, including greater transparency, enhanced detail, and deeper, more articulate bass. In addition, the fit and finish are excellent. These speakers bring music alive like no other speaker I’ve heard at the price point. If you loved the first 600M, you owe it to yourself to listen to the sequel. They take a winning formula to the next level.


The Amp: Marantz PM7000N Integrated Stereo Hi-Fi Amplifier w/Built-In Streamer ($1199)

Features/Specs

  • 60 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms & 80 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms
  • 4-ohm speaker capability
  • 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter (supports high-res PCM-based files up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD files up to 5.6MHz)
  • high-current toroidal power transformer for demanding loads
  • Built-in Bluetooth for quick streaming
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for listening to music from a network, includes support for TIDAL, Pandora, SiriusXM, and Spotify
  • Free HEOS app offers easy Wi-Fi control and multi-room audio
  • Apple AirPlay 2 lets you stream directly from an iPhone or iPad
  • Ethernet port for connection to a wired network
  • Two optical digital and one coaxial digital audio inputs
  • Type-A USB port on rear panel for connecting a disk drive
  • Four stereo RCA audio inputs (including a MM phono input)
  • Stereo RCA audio out for recording
  • 1/4″ headphone output on front panel
  • Mono RCA subwoofer output

Certain amps just sound “right” as soon as you switch them on. The Marantz PM7000N Integrated Stereo Streaming Amplifier has a clean, weighty performance that takes command of speakers and bends them to its will. It produces deep bass, a beautiful open midrange, plus a sweet treble that isn’t overdone. In addition, the Marantz has an app-based multi-room streamer built-in so that you can play music from a bunch of music services plus your local Network Drive right out of the box.


The Turntable: Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable ($449)

Features/Specs

  • Speed: 33,45 (electronic speed change) Belt drive
  • Platter: Heavy 8mm, blasted-glass platter with felt mat
  • Main bearing: Stainless steel/brass
  • Signal to noise: 65dB
  • Tonearm: 8.6” aluminium
  • Effective arm length: 218.5 mm
  • Counterweight for mass: 5 – 10g (pre-mounted)
  • Outputs: RCA Phono/Line (switchable)
  • Included accessories: dustcover, feltmat, cable attached to record player

I love this easy-to-use, excellent-sounding budget turntable. The $449 Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable is designed to be plug and play and will have you up and running in minutes. Just pop the belt on, and you’re ready to listen. It also looks great with its piano black plinth and glass platter.

The Verdict:

For less than $2500, these three components will give you a system with an excellent dynamic drive, remarkable soundstage, focused imaging, and much more. This is a system that will give you years of engaging audio no matter what type of music you listen to. It’s unusual to get such a well-rounded system for so little cash. In order to get the best out of this system, it’s also important to have a good pair of speaker stands as well as good speaker cables. If you don’t have them, then check out my recommendations above.


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