3 Audiophile Systems for 3 Budgets
Yes, you can have an audio system that plays nicely with two-channel and surround sound—we asked 3 pros to mock up some proposals.
April 01, 2013 by Robert Archer

Affordable, Modern and Versatile

Audio Video Experience is a full-service electronics sales and installation company on the scenic New Hampshire seacoast. President Andy Himmer is a music enthusiast at heart and that passion helps him empathize with his audio-loving customers’ plight of trying to balance cost, performance and a variety of technologies. To achieve this balance, Himmer says his goal is to offer something that is easy to use and sounds good without exceeding any sort of budget considerations. In his showroom, consumers can get a taste of a variety of products and systems that cover a range of prices and applications.

Himmer says that he often gravitates to manufacturers like Peachtree, Sonos, Music Hall, Wharfedale and Revel because their products deliver performance without sacrificing user friendliness or versatility at the price levels. “Traditionally, I don’t hear anyone saying they enjoy digital music. This solution works with digital and analog technologies and it isn’t a surround-sound system … its intention is to play music and it plays music while giving it some of that traditional analog warmth back,” he points out. “As far as the output of the Peachtree amp, it’s 65 watts at 8 ohms so it’s got enough power to drive a nice pair of bookshelf or even floorstanding speakers. We’ve had nice demonstrations with this amp matched with the Revel M12s. We do also demonstrate it with some Peachtree speakers and Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers … you can’t beat those speakers at that price [$350/pair].”

Himmer adds that this combination of gear provides everything a music fan would want from a system now and later as their expectations evolve. “Most people today use streaming services or PC connections to their entertainment systems. This is just a nice solution that can be completed with a Macbook or PC,” he explains. “It also addresses the scenario in which people who own older receivers come in and say they miss vinyl, so this system is a way to reintroduce vinyl into their lives. In addition, they can listen to their digital library.

“This also provides the convenience of Sonos and fulfills their appetite for a variety of music. It really touches a number of consumer concerns: it’s affordable, it sounds great and it’s small enough that people without a lot of room don’t have to worry.”

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Robert Archer - Senior Editor, CE Pro
Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.


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