Need help selecting a system with Tidal streaming (Maybe MQA) and speakers for around $1k.


Need some help getting this temp system purchased. In about 2 weeks will be moving to a small home in SoCal, then in 6 months back to Pacific NW apartment most likely for 5 months. My room sizes will be small to medium, 10x12-14ft. This will be my system for these two moves then possibly relegated to a bedroom/listed on this site once I get to a permanent location.

My main goal is to limit my expenditure (as I will need to upgrade my old system once I have a permanent place) and spend around $1k for this system. I’m new to digital but streaming seems the way to go so I don’t have to drag around CDs or LPs and I don’t have any high rate digital files, nor do I plan on purchasing many during my traversing the West Coast. I plan on streaming Tidal and was hoping MQA if that fits in the budget and the system is able to perform well enough to discern the MQA difference. I know I could use a computer as a source for this but don’t currently own one and there goes the budget if I purchase a new laptop.

I understand the $1k can be quite limiting and could stretch it a bit but would really like to stay in that ballpark. I started looking at powered speakers, Vanatoo One, Paradigm Shift A2, Audioengine A2+, A5+, HD6 and passives like HDP6, Elac B6, QAcousics 3020, Kef Q150, Monitor Audio Bronze 2, Warfedale Diamond 220 and Focal Aria 905 all because of size, price and recommendation. I haven’t listened to any of these except the Elacs. Not having the time now to listen to some/all these I am asking for some experienced, sage advice on the speakers and whole system direction. I am aware that stand mounted/bookshelf speakers will be a sacrifice in the deep bass( not a bass head anyway) but would like to have some accuracy and a good wide soundstage if possible.

That brings me to the source and I understand it’s based on if I go the powered vs passive speaker route. I’m not sure if it’s possible to go the passive speaker route and still get Tidal streaming and integrated amp for the budget stated. This is where I get stuck, so please respond with your ideas even if it’s to say it can’t be done for the budget I have.

BTW, I listen to mostly rock, jazz, blues, and classical in that order if that helps. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thanks greatly for your input. Please let me know if this is in the wrong category, since it was about speakers and source wasn’t sure where to post.

Re: Speakers. I had my heart set on the Q150s and they’ve been everything I could have asked for. Plus, they’re small, look cool, a winner in every sense. 

Before that, I auditioned the B6s for two weeks. Fine speakers, not quite up to the KEFs, but at half the price, why should they be? I still have them. (Long story.) Brand new and yours for $200 plus shipping from NYC. 
elac f6 + bluesound node + signal cable Analog One interconnects +  SignalCable Classic Speaker Cables + vincent audio sv500

ok, so that would be 2k.  
If you can swing it I would just go straight to the Blue sound node (updating my prior post here). Although, do check to see how many titles are available in MQA in the genre you listen to.

I am not moving to MQA quite yet because I don’t know if any of the stuff I like will be in MQA, ever. But I feel like MQA is not going away and if you are starting from scratch it would be smart to give yourself that option.

If you have to save money, IMHO invest in speakers and MQA streaming and go with a vintage serviced receiver for a couple hundred in the interim.

Right now, I use chromecast to stream tidal hifi into my yamaha as2100 amp and totem forest speakers. For a while, I used the analog out of the CC and it was fine I guess (I didn’t know any better at the time). Recently I bought a schiit modi multibit and ifi purifier and it was better, even to me, the ultimate skeptic.

If I had to do it all over I would have gone with the bluesound from the get go and then I would have MQA right now for basically the same price as my chromecast/dac setup.

I will be selling the schitt/ifi setup soon here and upgrading to a lumin d1 which will solve all my problems in one go. But they are a lot more.

If you find you want to stream other things in the future that are not in the bluesound app, just buy a chromecast for that if you really need to, they are cheap as chips.

I have not heard the Elac F6, but I read many great things.

I have heard the Cambridge audio aero 2 bookshelves and they were phenomenal for their price. Not harsh at all and bass to 40hz. Would be hard to be disappointed with those I would say...if you need bookshelves. Tad large though and more on the forgiving side rather than the detailed side.

My musical tastes lean towards electronic, jazz and folk (i.e. four tet, caribou, rural alberta advantage, boards of canada, go go penguin, the bad plus, neutral milk hotel, bon iver, rival consoles, nils frahm), to put my ears in perspective here. Although, this, of course, does not matter as you should obviously listen with your own :).

@willemj Good suggestion but prefer not to stuck with Sonos ecosystem.

@paul6001 I'm gonna try and listen to the Q150s before I'd pull the trigger on Elacs, plus shipping coast to coast might put me right back up to the $279 cost. Thanks really appreciate the offer though.

@gravis82 Yep it quickly adds up, trouble is that's 2x what I was looking to spend. Keeping my eye out on Agon as I don't mind buying used if it's  a good buy in good condition.
@gravis82. Thanks for the update. Yeah that's where I actually started with the Bluesound vault because I have quite a few Redbook CDs . Then I realized my time available to feed and convert them to flac could be better spent listening to the same titles in higher res. Might circle back to see what total cost would be for power node vs receiver and node or some variant of that. Not familiar with the m-lore or Aero 2 but will research them both. Thanks again.