Best "Budget" / "bang for my buck" 2-channel amp and speakers can I get new?

Ladies and Gentlemen:


BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT:  What the best "bang for my buck" 2-channel amp and speakers can I get new?


BACKGROUND:  I mostly listen to music from the late 1990s through the 2000s.  This includes Electronic Dance Music, alternative rock, pop, and some rap/hip hop.  I also listen to more modern alternative rock and some 1980s rock.


My preferred format is vinyl records.  I have an Ortofon Bronze cartridge, and I just ordered Lounge Audio's dual-mono silver pure analog phonograph preamp.  (At $500, I heard it was a lot of bang for the buck.)


Eventually, I'd like to order a separate unit that allows me to plug in a USB drive and listen to .flac files. I've also heard good things about digital streaming services, so I'll probably get one of these in the future.  Again, I'd like these units to be separate from the amp I'm buying.


I have a Sansui QRX-7001 paired with SP-7500X speakers.  Eventually, I'll send this in to QRX Restore for a full restoration. In the interim, I picked up a few amps/receivers at thrift stores.  But, they all have problems.  I purchased a Technics SA-GX500.  I cleaned it up and rocked it for a few weeks until it died.  Then today, I spent hours cleaning up a Kenwood KA-127, only to find a leaking capacitor as I was putting it back together.  Unfortunately, I have no soldering skills.




- NEW:  I'm tired of cleaning used equipment, and I'm tired of it failing on me, so I'd like to buy something new.

- Compatibility:  It would be nice to swap speakers back and forth between the new system and the Sansui QRX-7001.  But, it isn't critical.

- EQUALIZER:  I'd like the amp to have the capability of hooking up an external equalizer or for it to have an excellent built-in eq.  I like the old-school sliding adjustments.  I don't want to navigate through LCD menus to make adjustments.


- Technology:  I'm NOT looking for a unit with a built in DAC, bluetooth, wireless, etc.  


- Bass: Hearing the full range of frequencies is a necessity for me.  I'd prefer the amp and speakers be able to provide this without the addition of a sub.  Just give me adequate power and big woofers.


- Performance at lower volumes:  I heard 100 watt-per channel systems underperform unless you crank the volume all the way up.  I'm not going to listen to this system at very high volumes, so I need the system to perform (including giving me bass) at low volumes.


- Outputs:  A line out output is preferred.  I'd like to be able to use this to hook up something like an external sub in the event I need to.


- Inputs:  Lots of RCA inputs are preferred.  A built in phono-preamp is not needed, since I'm using an external unit.  I'd prefer the unit did not have digital inputs.


- A tuner to listen to the radio is not required.


- Cost:  I'm looking for the most bang for my buck.  I don't have a budget yet.  (That's why I'm posting here.)  Past what price point will I experience diminishing returns?  Again, I like Lounge Audio's preamp and Ortofon's Bronze phonograph cartridge because of the bang for my buck.


What do you recommend?  I like home-built products.  That's one of the things that attracted me to Lounge Audio.  Their preamps are made by a husband-and-wife-team who do their own R&D and hand-build the products.  But, I'm not opposed to buying from name-brand companies either.


Your thoughts are appreciated!





Monitor Audio Silver 500 7G. Read any review and just about the first thing they'll say is they sound like they cost 2X as much as they do - $3400. You get real technology here, not off-the-shelf components. Add a Rogue Sphinx, Schiit Ragnarok are great values, but for $500 less you can get a Marantz PM7000N that will easily match their performance and not doing you another $100-200 for a remote. Or step up to a Marantz Model 40N. I know you said you didn't want streaming and DACs, etc, but this will let you dip a toe into digital without compromising basic functionality or budget. Shpright and you could bring home the package for around $5000. You could also go with Magnepan 1.7i if you have the room and the SAF. Set up properly the Maggie 1.7s will hold their own against any 10-20k speaker in a box. If the Klipsch Heresy IV really appeal, the you might go with a Luxman SQ-N150 and leverage the Heresy 10+dB efficiency advantage to get the same dynamic range as a conventional speaker driven by 100-200 Watts. And you'll be the only one on your block - Hell, your county, maybe state - with a Luxman Tube amp.

Emotiva XPA Gen3 - 2 channel (or more if you like). Check pro reviews ( i did). Easily best bang for the buck in the industry. 

And, wins year after year after year in several categories in the pro press, anything Magnepan - whatever your budget allows. 

+1 for Philharmonic Audio BMR Tower. Great speakers, I like them better then my Persona 3f’s that were 4x the price. Much better bass and sweeter highs. $2700

Don't own one, but test drove the Hegel H190 integrated amplifier, about $4,300.....also has built in streaming capabilites should you ever decide to add that to your mix. I didn't end up buying the Hegel in the end as I went with separates from Denafrips (Pontus II DAC, Hades Pre-Amp, Thallo Amp....$5000 for the stack).......but if I went the integrated amp route, the Hegel would definitely been my choice.

A Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III and a pair of Harbeth C7ES XD with 2 REL T9x subs can sound as good as anything.  

Think smooth, atmospheric, natural and a huge sound stage.