Can I Get a Good HiFi System for £2000?

For some time we have been saying a lot about how good the Rega System One is as a complete starter HiFi for £999 now, and anyone that has read my recent review of the Audiolab Omnia will know how impressed I am with it as an all-in-one system.

But what if you wanted to go a little bit further with your budget and keep to all separates, just because we all still like to keep everything separate?

 

So, today I have built a system which all in with cables would be just about £2000.

Featuring a Rega Planar 1 turntable, Audiolab 6000A integrated amplifier and 6000CDT CD transport matched with a pair of Fyne Audio F302i speakers and some Chord Company cables, this system is a noticeable step up in terms of performance from anything you could get at £1000ish pounds.

Part of the reason for testing this system is in relation to my brother Stephen's article about how much life there is left in CD and how good a CD player can sound even in a moderate level system.

Now even I have to admit that in the context of the system I have here, the Rega Planar 1 sounds very good indeed playing our Studio Master version of Dire Straits' self-titled album. It's musical, it's good fun and has you tapping your foot along to Sultans of Swing like you would expect any good HiFi to do.

 

But comparing it to the Audiolab 6000CDT running digitally into the 6000A, the level of detail and imaging certainly jumps up a notch using the same track off of Dire Straits' 'Money for Nothing' album on CD, which is pretty much the first CD I remember my parents buying the day they bought their first Pioneer CD player in the 80's. I even remember going to buy it with my Dad and how intrigued I was by the new technology. I'm using that exact same disc 35 years later and it sounds as good as it did that day - in fact noticeably better with the system I'm using here.

Bass feels more solid and comparatively you would need a much better turntable to sound as good as the 6000CDT. Although I will openly admit there are many days that I just prefer the sound of vinyl, I still find myself more often than not reaching for my CD folder.

 

Switching to Phil Collins' 'Serious Hits Live', I'm having a hard time getting round how much fun this system is. For not a huge amount of money, this system would be great for anyone looking to get into separates HiFi for the first time or looking to replace an ageing system without needing to break the bank on budget. 

The 6000A amp is very well specified with 4 analogue inputs, 4 digital inputs and even a phono stage that sounds very good. It sits a price point where there is some very stiff competition from some of the other big brands, but given its cost and spec I really don't think I have anything to criticise about it (many other amps with this kind of spec have risen out of their original price point and find themselves competing with amps at £1000 plus)

 

The Fyne F302is are the upgraded version of the 302s that I liked an awful lot, and I think these are better again. As with all Fyne products, they have a big wide soundstage and, even though they use a traditional drive unit array rather than the Isoflare design they use in all ranges above the 300 series, they still sound great off axis and are very efficient to drive and not fussy on placement either. For a compact floorstander they have good depth and control, and simply represent great value for money.

 

A mark of a good HiFi at any price point is that it has you reaching for another CD or piece of vinyl and thinking "I wonder how this will sound?", and even whilst writing this blog I find myself doing just that. Reaching for Roxettes' album 'Crash Boom Bang', I find the system keeping pace with the more upbeat tracks and displaying nice subtlety on the quieter tracks. 

 

In conclusion, I think this system sounds brilliant for the money: it's not lacking in detail or definition, and it's just really good fun to listen to. Plus, it's so much better than anything you would get for 50% of the money this costs, along with the ability to play CD and vinyl, and even plug your TV in to one of the optical inputs, which would give your TV a very nice audio performance boost.

If you would like to come over and listen to this system then please feel free to email us at humans@expressiveaudio.com or give us a call on 01507499047. Or come and see us in our Lincolnshire showroom - I promise I have the heating on!

Stay warm and stay safe everyone.

John | General Manager

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