There are always competing demands when you set out to build a system on a budget, but why can't it look as good as it sounds? Here's a system that balances superb sonics with distinct looks. It's also a system that can only come about through a proper auditioning process - you can read the story here.
Speakers: Monitor Audio Bronze 2 -$599/pr.
A supremely capable speaker for not much money. It can be a touch forward when partnered poorly, but give it a great source and it will shine.
Amplification: Rotel A10 - $649
An amplifier that does little wrong at the price point, replete with an excellent phono-stage.
Turntable: Project The Classic - $1,599
It's not often that you see half the budget go into the source component, but in this case it shows just what a difference the source makes. Giving a signal this good to the A10 and Bronze 2s show just how capable they can be!
Cartridge: Ortofon 2M Blue - $299
Speaker cable: Chord C-Screen 6m @ $12/m $72
All up, this system should be $3,218. But you can pick it up for $2,800, delivered (capital city metro areas) or $2,700 if you collect it in store!
It's a superb package that not only plays records with aplomb, but looks the part too. A superb introduction to high fidelity vinyl playback.