Helping a friend put together a sub-$1000 system

She's looking for a 2-channel setup with CD as the only source. Speakers will be monitors for a Manhattan apartment.

She listens primarily to more subdued rock and acoustic stuff, with a good amount of jazz and classical music.

She's OK with buying used. I suggested she listen to a NAD C320BEE with Vandersteen speakers as per the recommendations in this thread:

$1000 is the limit. Any suggestions?
I have been using a NAD C320BEE with a Music Hall MMF CD 25 for almost two years and the two components absolutely sing together. See my latest comments on my 2 channel HT system. I like the how the NAD sounds with sealed box/acoustic suspension speakers and so, I would opt for the NHT SB2's (I use a pair in a bedroom system with a vintage Marantz receiver). Because the NHT's are sealed box, they can be placed close to the wall and go on bookshelves. If you are buying new, the price will come in at $1200 or so ... so used would be definitely be under a grand. For IC's & speaker cables, you can go with Radio Shack Mega Cables; Signal Cable; or Better Cables (whose Silver Serpent IC sounded best to me).

Regards, Rich
Have her go down to J&R Music World and check out the Teac/NHT system. It's the rack system right in front of you when you get to the top of the stairs. Or Even the $600 top of the line Denon mini system which J&R sells. This has the separate CD player and bigger Mission speakers.
I would get the Teac Reference 500 integrated which is only $300 at J&R and go with some speakers slightly rolled off on top like KRK or Epos. The Teac gives truly high end sound but is a little rough on top.
Other suggestions:
Ascend CBM-170 for $328 and Arcam delta integrated.
B&W 303 or 601's with NAD integrated.
I wouldn't recommend that a non-audiophile buy anything with a tube in it. Nothing against tubes, but they're for dedicated hobbyists. Also, I know it's heresy around here, but don't rule out stereo receivers. An entry-level Denon receiver runs $250, and can hold its own with NAD when drivng the kinds of speakers your friend is likely to choose. Also, she gets a tuner for free, which is a good thing to have in Manhattan, where there are actually still some great radio stations.

I also wouldn't spend more than $150 for a CD player in a system like this. Stick to the major name brands, and you'll be on safe ground. (Not the ultimate, but safe, which is good enough in a $1000 system.)

That leaves $600 for speakers, possibly including stands. Speakers are very personal, so rather than come up with a short list for your friend, I recommend that you take her around to the various shops in NYC that will have her (there are some who won't), and have her listen to what's there. It's more important that she finds something she's sure she likes than that it meet with the approval of the audiophile community.
Hey everyone, thanks a lot for the advice. I thought I'd drop a line and let everyone know how her decision turned out.

True to her past form, my friend has decided to eschew everyone else's advice and spend more money than originally planned. It seems like she'll take to this hobby just fine.

She finally settled on a matched set of Cambridge Audio A640 int. amp and CD player hooked up to Epos speakers. I'm sure that the system will sound great once up and running.

Thanks again,
For an amp try one of the new Digital amps. People are raving about the JVC's and Panisonics. The JVC can be bought for as little as $180 I think.

Get a Philips 963 if you can.

Here is a system I put on paper awhile back.

JVC Digi AMp $180 J&R's
Ascend CBM-170 $328\Pr.
Pioneer 563A Universal DVDP $170
StereoVox Digital IC $80
Power Cord (Aftermarket& adaptor) $20
Sub Rocket ELT SW-10 $195

There are variables you can change.Need more power get seperates. There is a new sharp Digi amp rated at 150w for $180. I do not know how good it is ,but by all indications it might work well enough to replace some other $500+ amps given the performance some people are witnessing using the recievers. Who knows.

Just a suggestion!