The best that $2000 will buy. Trust me, I own it. Best for jazz, classical and any kind of vocals. For use in a small room (less than 12 x 14). Brings a lots of detail with excellent transparency. Excellent deep, crisp and fast bass. Not meant to be played extremely loud. Why buy Planet 2000, when the original sounds so good and is so cheap used. The MMG uses the same technology as the 1.6 QR but by adding the REL sub you get true sub bass that the 1.6 QR is missing. For those of you that have not heard the TDS AT, it is the "non tweakers" tweak. This is not some subjective mumbo jumbo, it is real thing. You will experience tremendous detail. Finally, buy quality cable and keep the length as short as you can. It can make a difference, but never spend more on cable then you spend on CDs in an average three month period. It ain't worth it, go buy some more music.
I have owned the original Rega Planet and now the Planet 2000. Both players are very smooth. Planet 2000 has more detail. Maggies can be a little harsh with the highs. The Planet helps in this area. I currently have Martin Logan Scenarios and the difference is pretty clear. I haven't owned any of the other units you mentioned, though each is well respected. A lot of good has been said about the AR Complete Amp; but the CD player is a bit of an unknown. It will probably come down to how much you want to spend and aesthetics.
I'm in the process of building this same system! I was so surprised to see this thread! I do have a couple of questions...
Did you try the AR COMPLETE CD? How does it compare with the Rega? I heard the Rega's sound is "laid back", does this match with with the Maggie's? What about the AH!, NAD and Cambridge units? Anyone with some experience with these matches?
I'm considering building a second system using all used components including Cary mono's (maybe Rocket 88's), Alon mk11's, Cary pre (unsure which - feel free to advise), Nordost Red Dawn interconnects, an as yet undecided cd player (preferably tube), and as yet unnamed speaker cables. Can y'all give me some feedback on this? I'm relatively new to audiophilia, and could use advise and feedback. I'm estimating a total cost of 5k, which is my absolute limit, although I'd love to find a way to spend less.
I understand your Dynaudio situation. I know a person with Dynaudio 1.3 Mk III, he uses over 200 watts to power and has a REL Storm subwoofer to get the sound he is looking for.
Given your small room, I would suggest the Infinity INTERMEZZO 2.6 Speaker 2-way 6.5" woofer bookshelf speaker (<$2000). Dont let the 6.5" woofer fool you. See review in Absolute Sound magazine. It is small and very efficient (90db) speaker that includes a 250 watt powered woofer with RABOS filter to smooth out small room bass modes. Swap out your heavy duty Musical Fidelity separates for the small 80 watt A3.2 integrated amp (<$1500). With the Infinity speakers, you will not need the power in your room. If you still need more bass pickup the REL Strata III (<$1300). I guarantee you will achieve clean loud sound in your room at a reasonable price.
Also see my other posting "Best of Absolute Sound and Stereophile Under $5k"
EXCELLENT SYSTEM at an EXCELLENT price !!!! I admire what you have accomplished with the amount of funds that you had. You kept your objective in mind, along with musical tastes and room dimensions. I on the other hand have gotten way out of control with my system. Maybe you can suggest some system matching for me. I have a 15 X 11 room (actually 13 X 11 listening area, as the last two feet are angled with french doors). I listen to 85% classic to current rock, the other 15% between blues, jazz, etc. I started out with an A3c3 pre/power combo from Musical Fidelity. I then made a mistake by purchasing a pair of Dynaudio Contour 3.3 speakers cause I was able to get a very good deal on a brand new pair. Don't get me wrong.. I love the Dynaudio speakers, but they require a lot of power and don't allow biamping which wouldn't allow me to add another A3cr power amp. This forced me to trade in my A3cr MF gear and upgrade to their A308cr series of pre/power and cd. In a nutshell, I think I have a very good system, but probably to big for my room, and much more costly than I originally intended. I am thinking of selling off all of my gear and starting from scratch. I liked the MF A3cr combo, and may start from that point again. However, you appear to be the master at this ! What do you think of Musical Fidelity, and where would you start??? Thanks a million.
p.s. any other comments from other audiogon'rs is also appreciated.
I would add to your speaker cable a solid copper cables from a hardware store - the thickest one you can find for home electicity. It would add clarity and core to the sound. Combine them together - the monster and the solid copper.
Great system at a great price. Was it difficult to integrate the Maggies into the sound system with the small size of the room? I understand that maggies need room to breathe. That's why I never considered them for my room. My room is even smaller 10' by 11'.
Really good choices ! I would consider exactly the same major components if I were building a new budget system.
I would wonder, though, if it weren't a bit risky buying an original Planet now that the model is getting a bit older. Players and lasers do wear out. Perhaps a new Shanling CD-S100 might be a good alternative.
Sc53 I am glad that you enjoyed reviewing my system. The challenge is always to design a system to meet musical objectives at a competitive price. Its very easy to design a $15,000 system. It takes little creativity or imagination. I have designed many systems for friends and associates to meet their musical and cost objectives. It always comes down to optimizing overall performance and eliminate weak links in the system. This system really does sound great in the context of my particular musical objectives.
Audiovoice, I love this system! I am always thinking of how I could have spent less money and ended up with equivalent or even better sound. I think you have confronted that challenge and solved it beautifully! I wish i could hear these components all working together, but as it is I've only heard them separately, plugged into different things. Your advice about cable-spending is also sound, and I hope to follow it in the future, although at the rate I buy new music (both LP and CD), my 3-month expenditure would buy a set of Valhallas.