By Don Lindich
Week 15, 2023
Q. I would like to put together a stereo system with a turntable and wireless speakers for under $2,000. My room is 15×30 feet and I want it to look neat and sound great, but without all the wires and complexity. What do you recommend?
-J.D., Pittsburgh, PA
A. There is a great deal running on Klipsch The Fives powered wireless bookshelf speakers. Normally $969/pair, the black finish is on sale for $549/pair. The speakers have received rave reviews and will form a good starting point for your system. (They have an HDMI input for TV use and make a great soundbar alternative, too.) I love the warm, classic look of Klipsch vintage wood finishes, but at almost 50% off you can happily sign me up for basic black. They sound their best on speaker stands. You can find suitable stands for under $100/pair. klipsch.com
The Fives have great sound but are on the small side, which limits bass output. This will be noticeable in your large room and you need a bit more oomph on the low end to get satisfyingly full-range sound. Fortunately the speakers have a subwoofer output so adding a sub is easy, though you will have a wire running to it from one of the speakers. The SVS SB-1000 Pro subwoofer will make a great complement to The Fives, and the sealed design provides tight and controlled bass that is ideal for music reproduction. The SB-1000 Pro is $599 at svsound.com.
I can’t think of a better turntable for your system than the Cambridge Audio Alva ST, which has built-in AptX Bluetooth for the highest quality Bluetooth connection possible. It is regularly $999 but is currently $599 at cambridgeaudio.com.
Put it all together, and you have a great stereo built with components from leading brands for well under your $2,000 budget. I am glad you sent your question because the speakers and turntable represent an exceptional value. This is especially true of the Cambridge Audio Alva ST turntable, which I have tested extensively. It is beautifully finished with rock-solid construction, sounds great, and has a high quality phono preamp and Bluetooth built-in. It is also easy to upgrade simply by changing the stylus. The Alva ST makes most turntables under $1,000 feel like a toy, and there is nothing remotely close to its quality and performance for $599. Anyone looking for a new turntable should snap one up before they are all gone. You will be glad you did!
DP Review update: Photography lovers everywhere can breathe at least a half-sigh of relief, as I have some good news regarding Digital Photography Review. On April 7th DP Review General Manager Scott Everett posted this update on dpreview.com:
“We’ve received a lot of questions about what’s next for the site. We hear your concerns about losing the content that has been carefully curated over the years, and want to assure you that the content will remain available as an archive. We’ve also heard that you need more time to access the site, so we’re going to keep publishing some more stories while we work on archiving. Thank you to this community and the support you’ve shown us over the years.”
The news that the site will not be completely deleted and millions of pages content will not be lost forever is good news, indeed. It is still a long shot that someone will buy dpreview.com so it can keep publishing new material, but if there was ever a time that an internet white knight is needed to come to the rescue, it is now.