New to audiophile and need HELP.

I’m new to this audiophile “hobby” , relatively “poor” , and need some advice and direction. 

I am willing to spend around $2k US now and then maybe another 1 k or so over time but then that’s it. I just simply can’t afford to go chasing a perfect system from now on. 

I realize that I’m going to be looking at equipment that is WAY below what most of you are running but I can see that this forum is extremely knowledgeable and helpful and so I would greatly appreciate some guidance. 

Right now , I have two Sonos play 5’s (gen 1) and two Sonos play 5’s (gen 2) as well as Sonos SUB. I really thought that these were good until I bought a Naim Mu-so and now I’m having real difficulty listening to the Sonos equipment. 

I’ve just recently ordered a signature Sound Anchor stand for my Mu-so which should be to me in about two weeks and my intention is to keep the Mu-so in my bedroom and then supplement/replace my Sonos with better equipment in my living room. 

Over the last few months I’ve been researching Bluesound , Audio Pro Addon, Devialet Phantom, Kef LS50 Wireless, Buchardt, more Mu-so’s Etc. And I really think that I’ve just managed to confuse myself. I really feel that if the Mu-so could function in stereo with another unit and you could add a sub then it would be about perfect for me.

However, I haven’t listened to and really don’t have access to listen to any other audiophile equipment either. 

I’m really salivating over a Naim Uniti Atom but it’s a lot of money to spend (for me) and I would still need to add speakers and probably a sub. Would streaming to my Mu-so (s) from an Atom give me an appreciable sound quality upgrade? 
If not, then I would have to save up for the speakers and sub as well. I can get more Mu-so’s For about $850.

Streaming is a must for me and I don’t really want to add a turntable or anything like that. 

My listening is very eclectic as one minute I will be enjoying classical and the next I might be 
Thrashing to punk or metal - thus the need for a sub. 

I’m sorry for the rambling post but any and all help would be greatly appreciated!! 


I was in a similar situation as you not so long ago and started my first 'proper' system with a pair of KEF LS50 wireless speakers as they saved me the trouble/expense of a separate amp. However, after going through 4 replacements over a year for one issue after the other I finally had enough and returned them to the dealer. I previously also owned two Paradigm active products that failed and after the same experience with the KEF LS50 Wireless I decided no more actives for me.

I bought a pair of Dynaudio Emit 20 speakers and have paired them with a PS Audio Sprout 100 amplifier (which is quite good for it's size and price). I must add I use this in a near field setting but I imagine they would be fine in a small room as well. The combination is easily comparable to the KEF LS 50 Wireless - the highs may not be as clean/clear but they do play louder and have more slam/a fuller sound. I did feel the need for a sub with the KEF LS50 W (which also did tend to sound a bit bright in my opinion).

I do have a Naim Atom which I use with a pair of Atom GT1 bookshelf speakers and they sound pretty good. I got both the Atom and the speakers used for about $2000 so you could perhaps find a deal if you're patient/lucky! Wish you the best in finding your system, the quest is half the fun!  
So I too enjoy almost 100% of my music through tidal, band camp, other sources online and I enjoy CD's (no records for me yet). I also do not have alot of money ( though I enjoy music enough that I saved long enough to get what I want), I will say that I heard a pair of Elac uni-fi bookshelf speakers hooked to a rotel A-12 and was quite surprised at how well it sounded. (Not sure if it has sub pre out) You could get both new and a sub in your price range if it has sub pre out). I'm on my phone and can't see the rear pannel from the picture well enough to tell you if it does.
@bacchus1234 Do not take the red pill!. Buy speakers like ATC SCM 19v2 used, Legacy Studio HD (if you are set on price)/Calibre may be better may be $2k to 3k used. Buy a decent amplifier like Parasound used for 1k. The ATC for sure will beat the LS50 find them used and you are set. They can play all kinds of music, if you can integrate with your sub that is great. Get Dirac live and make sure your speakers are placed well in your room. 
I’m not a pro, but I had a similar dilemma.
The biggest impact to the sound of your system would be a choice of speakers. With your limited budget I’d go all in for a good pair of floor standing loudspeakers. Don't do shelf+sub for music. Your regular cheap surround sub won't get you a bass tight enough for music.

My choice is Audio Physic Classic 30. Crips highs, very tight and deep bass. Unfortunately, they are outside of your budget, but maybe a pair of used ones or floor samples can be within your reach. They are being decommissioned, so it might be a good time to buy.

As far as amps and stuff, I might shock some here, but I think a cheap old receiver can do a pretty good job as long as it can drive your speakers and have enough power for your needs. You can probably find a used one on craigslist for $50.

If you want all recent bells and whistles like ability to switch between 4k UHD sources, Dolby Atmos, etc. you can find something like Denon AVR-X2300W for ~$300. It has no problem driving 4ohm Classic 30.

You can later upgrade to amps/pre-amps for more power, but the sound difference will be subtle comparing to the speakers upgrade.
1) Buy "used." It's great buying quality gear for 30 - 40 cents on the dollar!

2) First, decide on the speakers that you can't live without. Once you know what your remaining budget and power requirements are, selecting an integrated amp should be easier.

3) I'd recommend getting an integrated amp that has a built-in DAC. A good DAC makes a huge difference in any audio system. For example, there's Hegel H70 listed on Audiogon right now for $799, with lots of good reviews and positive comments about Hegel gear in these forums.

Best of luck in your search; have fun and expect to learn a lot!