Help? Stereo for art studio, under $1k

I'm converting an old workshop into my new painting studio and can use some advise or direction on a simple stereo system. The studio is 27' x 33' with a 9' ceiling. The floor is cement, furnishings will be minimal, I believe the walls will be insulated w/ sheetrock. Some windows w/ no blinds.

The challenge is my budget: definitely under $1,000. I'd like an integrated amp or receiver, two speakers, and a way to listen to my digital music collection. Right now I've got music on my iPhone, iPad, iMac. At home I listen to vinyl and cd's but here I need to press start and then not touch the system as my hands have paint on them and I can't change cd's. No internet there yet.

I mostly listen to current music - Monsters & Men, Black Keys, Rhiannon Giddens, Arcade Fire, etc. Very little classical. Volume will be a little high. This is a separate building on 14 acres.

Advise is really welcome: which amp or receiver do you recommend? Which speakers? Thoughts on music player or server?
Rose ...

Let me save you a lot of money. Here's the bang for the bucks:

1. A used Sherwood 7100 or 7100-A receiver. The 7100 is more tube like. The 7100-A more solid state.

2. A used Kyocera cd player.

3. A pair of Audioengine P4 speakers.

This will make for a great sounding studio or garage system.
You can get a new Pioneer A-20 integrated amplifier for $270. It is the least expensive integrated I can recommend.

Look into a i phone/iPad dock, i believe these are available that will take the digital signal phone/pad and convert to analog.

What are your restrictions regarding speaker placement? There are many speakers that would mate with the Pioneer amp.
My workshop system may help:
Sansui 1500 speakers ($60)
Alesis RA100 amp 75wpc $80
MTX 3000 analogue DJ mixer $20
I use RCA-TRS(1/4") wires between mixer and amp $11 generic ones available at nearest Guitar Center
All purchased on flea market and thrift stores.
The main and the best sounding component in my system I believe is the little Alesis amp that impressed me far more than most of current high-end amps below $1000 I also believe that it can also be modified to handle lower than 4Ohms loads continuously. Other than that, it's dual-mono design with discrete low-noise circuitry and low negative feedback.  It's perfect for studio-mastering applications with transparent and open sound with speed and control. I get pretty large volumes as my work-shop is part of large art-studio area.

Audioengine A5+ powered speakers for $399 are all you need to listen to you Apple sources. Hit play and start painting.
Yes, active pro monitors like the Audioengine or similar would be a very practical way to go.
Having owned large clubs, I would suggest something with a mono switch.  Unless you plan to paint only in 1 specific spot nothing will ever sound right, especially with all of the room reflections.  Bass is going to be boomy and highs will probably sound bright at higher levels.  Also, your canvas is going to act like a sound shield right in front of you.
I'd start with something like the Sherwood mentioned above (it should have a mono switch).  For speakers, consider 4, not 2 if you are going to go mono.  Sound will be much more even.  Most older receivers will happily drive 2 pair of speakers.  I'd lean towards smaller monitors since bass should be a problem.  
Finally, store your canvasses in the corners to act as bass traps?
Rose, I have something for you there is no way you're going to beat (price and quality aka value wise). You can contact me off board at if interested. I have a Carver MXR 130 receiver and JBL S412P speakers. In the case of the speakers, I have one used and one BRAND NEW (as in unopened manufacturers carton) pair. The Carver with the used pair, $700. The Carver with the new pair, $1000. The Carver with both pairs (it can drive 4 channels) $1300. - Hal
Thanks for all the help! As the studio is under reconstruction speaker placement can be anywhere. And floor-standing speakers would be fine.

I'm thinking of placing the speakers about 13' from my easel and 14' apart because that will be the cleanest area. elevick - you're right, there will be a large canvas between me and the speakers and I assume the sound waves will bounce off the (usually empty) sheetrocked wall about 19' behind me. The windows on that wall will start at about 78" from the floor. I'm researching mono switches right now (I never knew what they were for.)

I forgot to mention that I will be listening to NPR on Saturdays. I've got a Parasound T3 tuner stashed away OR I would need a receiver w/ FM (the Audioengine set-up won't work for me.)
When speakers are so wide apart (14'), you will not get the true "imaging" or "mixing" of the music. If listening to stereo while at your easel, speakers need to be closer together to hear the complete musical soundstage.
   Just a bit of advice, maybe 8 to 10 feet apart. And if adding a rear set of speakers, you'll fill the room with music.

And once you're all set up, you can put foam panels or canvas on the walls to absorb some of the sound waves bouncing around.
There is an NAD 320BEE for sale here on AG.  I would consider that for a start. 

The Pioneer Andrew Jones Towers retail new for $129 each. Forgot model number.

I also enjoy NPR on Sunday mornings.

Thanks for the info mesch - the NAD is appealing. I was looking at the lower end Yamaha last night because it has a DAC (AS-301 & 501), which would save me the cost of a separate unit. I'm also considering the Sherwood linked by oregonpapa above. At home in recent years I've had an Onkyo (good, but burnt out right after the warranty ended) and an Outlaw RR2150 (which I like.) 

And you've listened to those speakers? That's a good price. I migrated over to the Fluance website and a pair there is $500 with glowing reviews. For this space I think tower speakers makes sense. 

lowrider_57 - thanks! I'll keep that in mind. I need my walls clear for hanging paintings and for large drawings but there are always a lot of large canvases to be moved around if I need to.
I would think the Yamaha 301 would work fine for your application. I have not heard the Pioneer floor standers (FS52) however own a pair of the bookshelf models (BS22) and find them great/$$$. I understand that the FS52s will go deeper and play louder. 

Unfortunately many have missed the basic requirement.  The OP wants to play his digital files, and none of the old used pieces suggested can do that.  Plus, the high risk of break down of these old pieces makes them a bad risk.

Have you looked into a docking station for your iphone/ipad. I believe one could be found that would transmit SPDIF to the Yamaha DAC. I am not real familiar with what is available as I use a MACbook Pro for my 2nd system. 

I just found this thread so the response might be a bit late to help.

I have four systems in my home and in my budget system I have the Pioneer FS52s and the Yamaha AS301 and sitting on top of the FS52s (temporarily) are the new Elac B6s. I also have a second set of FS52 in the master bedroom and a set of BS22s in the garage.

The FS52 or Elac B6s and the Yamaha AS301 work quite well together.

The FS52 color balance a bit more to the warm side, but soundstages very well for a very cheap speaker, but gets congested at higher volume on all of my amps. It’s great used at lower levels.

The Elac B6 is what everyone is saying about it. it’s no more efficient than the Pioneer, but plays clean and loud with very good bass for a tiny bookshelf (stand mount). These don’t work at all well right up against a wall (rear port) forget it as a bookshelf. Mine are 70" out from the wall.

They are very neutral, detailed and a little less warm than the Pioneers, but big thing is that they don’t go to pieces at high volume like the Pioneers do. Also great soundstage, depth, width that easily goes beyond the outer edges of the speakers on the right material.

Although a little late, I hope this helps.

"I forgot to mention that I will be listening to NPR on Saturdays. I've got a Parasound T3 tuner stashed away OR I would need a receiver w/ FM (the Audioengine set-up won't work for me.)"

Try steaming Santa Monica College's 89.9 KCRW.  IMO, the best, by far, of the public broadcasting stations. 

It’s impossible to make a suggestion without knowing what kind of art is being created. With a budget under a grand I can only assume it’s not particularly commercial. That said, if the studio is going to also be a hip party space, get an inexpensive used powered mixer and P.A. speakers (or an unpowered mixer and powered speakers from some band that simply can’t get along or need to quit and get real jobs), put the speakers up in the corners and run an old iPhone with and get yer Warhol on.
Musical Paradise 301 tube integrated: $340
Used Tekton Lore/M-Lore: about $500/450
Used Sony SACD/DVD/CD S9000ES $295

Or, what Wolf said.
On son above Musical Paradise and Tekton see Tim Smith review:

When you find another $480 consider adding a Musical Paradise MP-D1 DAC. With the above very satisfying system for around $1,500.

I would look into a Pure I-20 dock for your Iphone. If you get a decent DAC, you will be amazed at the sound you can get. But the DAC inside the Pure is good as well. Go with Tidal or Spotify as a music source, but you can still listen to the music on your phone too.