Recommended CD-based hi-fi system for £1000

Dynamic Headroom

Do you want to buy a complete hi-fi system with a CD player and have around £1000 to spend?  Well, look no further!  I have rounded up some very good quality products that form a great system and are available at a great price right now.

Below you will find a system made of speakers, amplifier and CD player.  There are some options to choose from which you can tweak to suit your budget and requirements.

Speakers – Kef Q500 – £350

At the time of writing, you can buy the Kef Q series of speakers brand new at around half price right now.  I suspect that Kef are about to update the range or replace the Q series altogether.  This is a great opportunity to pick up a good quality product, new, at second hand prices.  Fantastic!

Kef Q500 floorstanding speakers

I have chosen the small floorstander, the Q500 to go with this system.  You have flexibility here. If you have a large room then maybe spend a bit more to get the larger Q700.  However, if you have a small room you could drop down to the stand mounting Q300.  All three models will complement the rest of the system like a hand in a glove.  Don’t forget to budget for speaker stands if you go for the Q300.

The Q range provide excellent value for money because the build quality is very good and you get Kef’s Uni-Q driver.  This is an excellent driver that combines a tweeter and mid-bass unit into one.  It provides excellent dispersion of sound creating a large soundstage effect.  The Q500 in particular look more expensive than they really are, so at half price are a bargain.

Amplifier – Arcam FMJ A19 or Roksan Kandy K2 / K2-BT – £400

I give a choice of three amplifiers here that you should look for on the second hand market.  Pay no more than £400 for a second hand model for either one.  The new Arcams are discounted from £650 to £500 right now, so this should push down the second hand prices.  Roksan have replaced the Kandy K2 range with the K3 so again the prices should be good.

Arcam FMJ A19

The Arcam FMJ A19 has won loads of awards over the years and comes with a moving magnet phono stage should you decided to add a turntable in the future.  Arcam is a good British brand and you can expect the amplifier to give you many years of service, providing the item you get is in good condition.  There is a great synergy between Kef and Arcam so you can buy with confidence.

Roksan Kandy K2 integrated amplifier

The Roksan Kandy K2 comes in two flavours: standard and “BT”.  The “BT” flavour takes the standard model and adds a Bluetooth input so look out for this if you want Bluetooth.  The Roksan also has a phono stage so gives your system the option to expand in the future.  The powerful sound of the Roksan will be a good combination with the open presentation of the Kefs.

CD Player – Marantz CD5005 – £170 or Marantz CD6006 – £250

I prefer not to buy second hand CD players if I can because moving parts mean that there is more to break.  Therefore I give two choices both at their new prices.  Marantz have a proud history of producing good CD players and they pretty much rule the budget market.

Marantz CD6006 cd player

So why have I chosen two from Marantz?  Simple, it comes down to cables.  If you already have speaker cable and a stereo interconnect then you probably don’t need to budget for cables and can afford the CD6006.  However, if you need to buy cables then get the CD5005 and spend what is leftover on cables (£80).  The CD6006 does sound better than the CD5005 and is only £80 more, so if you can stretch your budget you should!



One Reply to “Recommended CD-based hi-fi system for £1000”

  1. How would your recommendations for amp/speakers change if the source was to be either digital music files stored on a laptop/harddrive/usb or spotify? (NB. assuming the same total budget.)

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