Everyone has different performance expectations, required features, placement issues and other needs for a music or home theater system, so there is no perfect universal system. Even more important, the combination of components is very critical to getting a good result. One can easily select a good CD player, receiver, and pair of speakers, each in isolation, and have them perform poorly together. Even the choice in cables makes a difference. The system approach is the key. Here are a few rough starting points- a few favorites that we think really stand out. Please stop by and we can fill in the blanks or fine-tune something just right for you! Please note, prices do not include cables or custom installation where necessary.
Please read our note about audio systems vs. audio/video systems.
A word about audio systems vs. audio/video systems:
Most people come in the store today assuming they should get a surround sound system. The truth is, unless you watch at least a couple of movies or concert videos a week, you may be better off with a good stereo two-channel system.
Surround sound is primarily a benefit for information that has been recorded in a surround format- primarily movies and some TV broadcasts, but not the vast majority of music on CDs, records, etc. You’ll also get a higher quality sound from a two channel system than a five channel system for the same amount of money. This should be obvious, if you consider that you can spend x amount of dollars and allocate it over either two amplifier channels and two speakers, or five amplifier channels, five speakers, and additional processing.
In fact, many people find that they are happier with the sound of their movies played back through a superior two channel system than a lesser multi-channel system. Plus they get better performance for their music listening. And a two channel video system can also be less intrusive in a living room. We think this is something that you should consider and are happy to show you some options, both in stereo and multi-channel audio/video systems.
Please Click on the Tabs and Check Box Below for More Information About Each System
NAD PowerNode streaming DAC / integrated amplifier
Sonus faber Lumina II bookshelf speakers
Total price: approx $2200
The PowerNode is a just-add-speakers solution in a sleek, compact chassis. Boasting a stout 80-watt integrated amplifier, the PowerNode is capable of streaming music from hi-res services like Qobuz or Tidal while supporting wifi, Bluetooth, and Apple Airplay2 connectivity. The Lumina II by Sonus faber sports a luxurious Italian design while providing best-of-class sound quality. This system is perfect for a den, office, or smaller living space.
Rega Planar 2 turntable and cartridge
Rega io integrated amp
Rega Kyte bookshelf speakers
Total price: about $2400
Rega Research began as the company that released the ground-breaking Rega Planet turntable in 1973, and they have never stopped pushing the boundaries in music playback. Here’s a fantastic entry into a complete high fidelity analog playback system from Rega, a manufacturer that still designs and builds everything in their facility in Essex, England. With a small footprint and timeless design, this stunning vinyl system will fit into any home. Add the Bluesound Node for excellent digital playback. A store favorite.
NAD C368 BluOS integrated amp
Magnepan MG.7i speakers
Total price: about $3800
Our NAD and Magnepan system pairing pushes performance to a surprising level. Few speakers can deliver a sense of life-like scale and realism like the Maggies, and pull it off anywhere near the price of the MG.7i. The Magnepans do require a fair amount of power to live up to their potential, and that’s where NAD comes in. The C368 integrated delivers 80 watts per channel and has a smooth transparent sound that’s a perfect match for these speakers. Our system uses one of the two available MDC module slots on the C368 to accommodate one of the world’s most advanced Hi-Res Audio multi-room wireless systems available, the BluOS music management system developed by Bluesound. BluOS connects to your network and is controlled via smartphone, tablet, or desktop to manage your music collection and connect you to a number of high-quality streaming music services such as Tidal and Qobuz. Got vinyl? The C368 also includes a MM phono stage which allows you to plug in your favorite turntable and start listening to your LPs right out of the box.
Rega Planar 3 turntable
Rega Elex-R integrated amp
Sonus faber Lumina III speakers
Total price: about $5,500
Although we can design systems at even lower price points, this is where you start to get a real idea of what’s possible with an Audio Concepts system. Focused on vinyl playback—something all of us here enjoy—this budget-friendly system is engaging, detailed, and most of all, fun. With a minimal box count and full-range loudspeakers that don’t take up a lot of space, this system can fit into virtually any listening space with ease, while still providing a level of performance most people would be blown away by. And the gorgeous Italian-made Sonus faber speakers look great in any room. Add a Bluesound Node for easy digital streaming.
Simaudio MOON Ace integrated amp / streaming DAC
Simaudio MOON Voice 22 speakers
Total price: about $6,800
A bookshelf system that is greater than the sum of its parts… Simaudio’s new Voice 22 speakers pair fantastically with their all-in-one Moon ACE, an integrated amplifier with a built in hi-res streaming DAC and phono stage for turntable playback. This combination is perfect as a standalone stereo system for an office space or smaller living area, or can be incorporated with a TV for a complete entertainment system. Renowned for their performance and enduring build quality, all MOON products are made in Canada and come with an astounding 10-year warranty.
Linn Majik DSM Integrated Amp / Digital Streaming player
Linn Majik 140 speakers
Total price: about $8,000
Few manufacturers can offer the whole experience out of the box with regards to connectivity, simplicity and performance like Linn’s entry level Majik system. With the Majik DSM you have it all- high resolution digital streaming, phono input, additional digital and analog inputs including HDMI connectivity, and preamp and power amp all in a very sleek chassis design. When paired with Linn’s Majik 140 floor standing loudspeaker you experience one of the most tonally accurate, natural sounding systems for under $10k. If you need something more compact, check out the Majik 109 bookshelf speakers. And for vinyl playback, just add the iconic Linn Majik LP12.
Rega Planar 6 turntable
Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III integrated amplifier
ProAc Response D2R speakers
Total price: about $10,500
Nothing quite matches the appeal of listening to LPs with a vacuum tube amplifier, and here we have a fantastic entry into a tube-based analog playback system. The Cronus Magnum III includes a solid phono stage that’s suitable for a top notch turntable like the Rega Planar 6 featured here, and with 100 watts per channel is robust enough to handle any speakers you’d like to pair with it. We love ProAc’s exceptional Response D2R bookshelf speakers, now sporting ribbon tweeters, though you could also step up to the ProAc D20R floor standers for a larger space.
MOON 390 preamp /streaming network DAC
MOON 330A power amp
ProAc D30R floorstanding speakers
Total price: about $19,500
MOON by Simaudio have been manufacturing high-end products in Montreal for almost 40 years. With a clean, attractive aesthetic and a wide range of performance options, MOON components are a great solution for many people. Combine the MOON electronics with speakers from one of our all-time favorite manufacturers and you have a guaranteed winning combination. The MOON 390 preamp has a range of inputs including a network connection, so streaming your favorite music files from a local library or Tidal or Qobuz is a snap. And the 330A is a compact, powerful amplifier that is a nice match with most any speaker system. We really like the ProAc speakers in this setup, a brand popular in our store for decades now and still designed and made by the family-owned business in England. The lush midrange and detailed treble and bass of ProAc loudspeakers are sure to leave you wanting to relax with your stereo system daily. Simply add a Linn Majik LP12 turntable to the mix for world-class analog and digital playback in one elegant system.
Linn Selekt DSM integrated amplifier / DAC
Wilson Audio SabrinaX speakers
Total price: about $25,000
Are you looking for a good serving of the highest fidelity possible in home audio playback, without a ton of components or wires in your home? If so, this system is one for you to hear! Linn’s Selekt DSM has multiple digital and analog inputs, wired and wireless network audio streaming, Bluetooth, Airplay, HDMI audio return channel, and more. The SabrinaX, representing a serious upgrade to the original Sabrina model, is a revelatory achievement in loudspeaker design. Featuring elements from the mega dollar Wilson models, the SabrinaX speakers perform way above their price point and size, giving you a tangible realism that can’t be matched in most systems regardless of price. This system provides incredible performance, while still remaining a minimal, clutter-free solution for your home. But don’t take our word for it- come by and hear this system today!
Linn Klimax DSM network streaming DAC
Audio Research REF 6SE preamplifier
Audio Research REF 160 power amplifier
Wilson Audio Sasha DAW speakers
Total price: about $121,000
This is our version of a Porsche 911 sports car. Timeless in both design and performance, this system can do it all: from massive orchestral movements to the smallest intricacies in a solo performance, and everything in between. Just like the 911, there are “track ready” versions of this system that will extract a bit more from the program material, but at a much higher price and larger physical footprint. These products have proven themselves, time and time again, to be major value players in the shop, giving the end user a massive percentage of the experience of cost-no-object stereo systems, but at a more realistic budget. This system will absolutely enable the end user to close their eyes and believe they are in the studio where the recording was made, engaging with the artist personally.
dCS Vivaldi reference digital to analog converter
dCS Vivaldi Upsampler reference network streamer and upsampler
D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Momentum HD preamplifier
D’Agostino Master Audio Systems M400 MxV mono power amplifiers
Wilson Audio Alexx V speakers
Total price: about $325,000
What do you get when you pair one of the top models from the world’s most highly respected speaker designer with components built by the leading manufacturer of high-end audio electronics? A truly amazing experience that delivers more pleasure and enjoyment than someone could ever dream possible from an audio system. You’ll be transported to the live event, while remaining comfortably seated in your own living room. No more struggling to hear even the most subtle of details- each piece of music is presented to you as if you were there when it was recorded. You are free to fully connect to the music you love, intellectually and emotionally, giving you more enriching musical experiences than you’ve ever had at home. But candidly, a few words can’t begin to convey the magic and significance of this system or the individual components that create it. Please contact us to set an appointment so we can let you understand and experience it for yourself.
Like the manufacturers that create these world-class components, all of us at AudioConcepts have been fine-tuning our craft over decades: creating individually specialized, purpose-driven systems made of components that perform optimally together, paired with unrivaled customer support that continues long after the initial installation is complete. We use the system above as a sonic reference for every one that we create- and strive to get you as close to it as possible when we build yours for you, based on your room, placement considerations, and budget. So whether you’re purchasing your very first hifi, or putting together your dream system, you’ll get a piece of this world-class stereo.
NAD T758 V3i AV receiver
Sonus faber Lumina III front speakers
Sonus faber Lumina C1 center channel speaker
Sonus faber in ceiling speakers for rear / height channels
JL Audio D110 subwoofer
Total price: about $7,000
This NAD / Sonus faber system makes up a very affordable home theater that features full range floor standing speakers with perfectly matched center and rear speakers. Compared to other similarly priced combinations in the market, this one will sound far more natural and realistic and do an equally good job at reproducing music. The new NAD receiver has all the latest HDMI features allowing you to take full advantage of the performance that 4K / UHD Blu-Ray discs can deliver, and includes NAD’s MDC modular design concept which lets you change out audio and video modules as technology changes, reducing the risk of obsolescence. This is where we’d start for an enjoyable AV system in a small to medium-sized room, and we can tweak it to suite your space and your needs.
Add a beautiful Sony Smart TV for the full 4K HDR experience.
NAD T778 AV receiver
Sonus faber Sonetto V front speakers
Sonus faber Sonetto center channel speaker
Sonus faber in-ceiling speakers for rear / height channels
JL E-110 powered subwoofer
Total price: about $13,000
Here’s a worthwhile upgrade from our starting system, still featuring Sonus faber speakers and NAD AV receiver, that delivers an incredible home theater experience. Sonus faber speakers have long been known for their fantastic sound and their gorgeous aesthetic. The Sonetto series offer a wide range of floorstanding, bookshelf, center, and in-ceiling models and we can dial in the right combination for your space. They’re fantastic for enjoying music, concert videos, or your favorite film, and are all made in Italy. NAD’s latest AV receiver completes the package, providing the right kind of power and all the newest technologies including 4K HDR video and Dolby Atmos audio. Another plus: NAD’s MDC modular design construction puts all audio and video circuitry on individual replaceable modules, making it easier to keep your product current with future technology and format changes.
NAD T778 7 channel Dolby Atmos AV Receiver
GoldenEar Triton One.R front speakers
GoldenEar SuperCenter Reference center channel speaker
GoldenEar on-wall or in-wall surround speakers
GoldenEar in-ceiling height speakers
GoldenEar SuperSub XXL subwoofer
Total price: about $20,000
For a more serious movie-watching system that can deliver all the dynamics and scale of today’s films we turn to a complete GoldenEar solution. The NAD T778 AV Receiver offers a fantastic combination of high resolution streaming audio via the network-connected BluOS module, 4K video switching, serious amplification, and support for the most current video and audio formats at a very reasonable price. The GoldenEar Triton One.R speakers and matching top of the line center channel are exceptionally engaging for theater applications, and with a full Atmos speaker setup you can have a home cinema with better sound than most theaters. For bigger rooms, consider GoldenEar’s Triton Reference speakers and a pair of subwoofers.
Add the latest Sony OLED display or projector to complete the experience.
McIntosh MX100 A/V preamp and processor
McIntosh MC8207 seven channel power amp
Sonus faber Olympica Nova II main speakers
Sonus faber Olympica Nova center channel speaker
Sonus faber Palladio in-wall rear speakers
Sonus faber Palladio in-ceiling height speakers
JL Audio E-Sub E112 powered subwoofer
Total price: about $36,000
McIntosh and Sonus faber are a great combination for those looking for high performance sound and gorgeous industrial design. McIntosh has made memories in many homes for over 70 years now, and their MX series A/V pre-processors and multichannel amplifiers are built to the same performance standards as their legendary stereo components. The MX100 is the newest and most affordable AV preamp in their lineup; it’s a streamlined version of higher end designs, maintaining McIntosh’s standard in build quality and sound while simplifying (and optimizing) connectivity to match the needs of most AV systems. The Olympica Nova series represents a high value proposition from this famous Italian speaker manufacturer, using many of the technologies and applications found in their more expensive models, and of course continues their gorgeous aesthetic, with the beautiful cabinets available in a range of wood and solid gloss finishes. This is a fantastic AV system that gets you into gorgeous components from two of the finest audio manufacturers on the planet, and it’s one that we can easily scale to match your room size and particular requirements.
McIntosh MX123 A/V preamp and processor
McIntosh MC257 seven channel power amplifier
Wilson Audio Sasha DAW front speakers
Wilson Audio WATCH center channel speaker
Wilson Audio Alida wall mount rear speakers
Sonus faber in-ceiling height speakers
JL Audio Fathom f112 subwoofer
Total price: about $88,000
“For over a decade more award winning film scores have been mixed, composed, or recorded with Wilson Audio than any other loudspeaker.” – Wilson Audio
Some of the best sounding movies ever are on the long list of those produced on Wilson Audio speakers, and captured using Sony video components. Sony is the only video manufacturer to have full control of 4k video content from camera lens to the living room. With this system you can be absolutely sure that you are seeing and hearing every detail, every emotion, and every moment with the intensity and drama that the director intended. Your favorite music will also make you sit up and be amazed. McIntosh’s MX123 is ready now for tomorrow’s 8K video sources and includes all the latest audio codes including Dolby Atmos processing, and the matching Mac power amp gets the most out of this Wilson Audio speaker setup. Truly a masterpiece system for the film AND music lover.
Add a remarkable Sony 4K projector or 4K / 8K flat panel display to complete this amazing system.
Most people enjoying music via headphones are listening with a portable setup, and this is often mistaken to be exclusively low-quality and lacking in engagement. With so many cheap consumer models on the market, this is not surprising! Over the last decade, the quality available for on-the-go listening has gone through the roof, allowing you to achieve surprisingly good results without carrying around loads of gear. With the Bluetooth-ready Sennheiser Momentum and Focal Bathys headphones you can enjoy your music without any wires whatsoever, and both models are closed-back designs so only you hear the tunes. To step up the quality even further, we have the Chord Mojo 2 digital converter, which brings greater detail, clarity, and authority to all the music you love. It’s easy to connect the Mojo to your iPhone or other portable device. Plug in a pair of Sennheiser HD820 closed-back headphones and you’ll enjoy one of the top headphone setups available today—along with the ability to bring it with you wherever you go. Whether you’re enjoying a latte in your favorite coffee shop or traveling the world for business or pleasure, you never have to be apart from your love of music. We have lots of options and would encourage you to visit and discover your optimal solution.
Even if you have your own music system in a dedicated space, sometimes a pair of headphones is simply the right solution. Whether it’s late at night and you don’t want to wake the house, or you’re looking to hear a section of music in more intimate detail, or maybe you need to listen to that one album that no one else enjoys… there will always a good time to pull out a pair of great headphones. And because of the growth in headphone use over the last ten years, the quality level of personal listening has never been better. You no longer have to sacrifice quality in order to listen quietly. Companies like Focal, Audeze, and Sennheiser bring decades of experience to the table, and new designs from Meze and Warwick Acoustics are also great options to consider. Put on a pair of these headphones and close your eyes—be prepared to get lost in the music and hear every detail with stunning precision and reality. Take it further and pair them with an optimal heaphone amplifier from Moon by SimAudio, the compact Naim Uniti Atom HE, or the fabulous dCS Bartok DAC / headphone amp, and you’re in for a real treat. At AudioConcepts, you get the ability to experience these headphones first-hand while having a dialogue with our knowledgeable staff—all before making a buying decision.