I am trying to buy a stereo system of the old type - good speakers, amplifier and CD player. My budget is up to about $3500 but I'd be happy to pay less than that.
I am mainly interested in listening to classical music (orchestral, piano sonatas, opera) though I listen to rock and some folk music as well.
I've looked at a few systems in specialist audio stores and frankly thought the sound quality was unattractive with thick, very unnatural bass sounds that seemed to dominate. Even orchestral music had a rock album 'thump, thump, thump' quality to it and a dullness which you didn't seem to be able to correct by altering the balance. I've heard that the dislike of strong bass sounds is connected to age - it gets harder to hear treble sounds as you age.
I was also underwhelmed by the 'test' recordings retailers supply - obviously intended to make you go 'wow' with the wild sound flourishes - so of course I now take my own CDs.
I haven't bought a decent stereo system for 20 years so - as salespeople are quick to intuit - I am not knowledgeable. I'd be interested in ideas from readers - not retailers.
Is my budget too low - surely not in an era of cheap Chinese imports? Who are good retailers in Melbourne? Are any of the music magazines or online sources of information reliable or do they simply promote commercial interests? What about all this stuff on cables - is it baloney?