A new challenge! What's the best system you can build for under $500?

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by BadassBob, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    As an ode to the $1000 system thread, let us see what we can do at the $500 and below price point. No used gear, this is for all new gear. DIY is allowed, but there is a catch, it must be in a retail kit form and contain all parts necessary to build a finished ready-to-use component. There is a lot out there, and nice results can be had on an almost beer budget. Mind you, all $500 doesn't have to be used towards the system, that is just the limit. I think we can make some pretty respectable systems for $500 or less. Carry on :D :smoke:
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  2. cubdog

    cubdog banging through drywall Subscriber

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    Can you clarify. You say $500 and below no DIY or used. Then you say, all $1000 doesn't have to be used, that is just the limit. :scratch2:

    cubdog
     
  3. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    Fixed, I still had that other thread on my mind :D. I also added provisions for DIY gear. The amount used means one doesn't have to use the whole $500.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  4. MacNoob

    MacNoob dazed and confused

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    Any limits on sources etc?

    All from Amazon:

    Sherwood RX-4109 $125
    Pioneer SP-BS-22 $100
    Audio Technica AP-LP120 $250 (incl AT-95E cart)

    Total $475

    You could use the $25 for some interconnects and speaker wire and come in right at $500.

    Or, for another $35 (total $510) you can add a Behringer UCA-222 DAC and stream from your computer (which might have an optical drive in it, so you can also get CD/DVD/maybe BlueRay sound).

    Or you could buy a pair of Vifa tweeters and a couple 3.9uf caps and upgrade the BS22s a little.
     
  5. ictwoody

    ictwoody I like vintage gear — my preamp is from 2007. Subscriber

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    I'll play.

    YJ TPA3116 integrated. 2.1. — $50 on EBay
    Pioneer SP-BS22- LR's — $97 on Amazon
    Pioneer SW-8MK2 — $147 on Amazon
    Dragonfly USB DAC — $119 on Amazon
    Cables from Blue Jeans Cables — $87

    Everyone here has a computer as a source for the DAC.

    $500. Boom.

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  6. cubdog

    cubdog banging through drywall Subscriber

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    This challenge may be more interesting than the $1000 challenge. There is so much really fine affordable gear and speakers available the combinations below $1000 are almost endless. It get's a little trickier although still very doable at the $500 mark. This should prove to be very interesting.

    I do wish there was a way to include lightly used gear. Maybe a 5 years old limit max. I understand why it's not feasible in the context of this challenge but it would open the door for such items like $300 DACs that you can buy gently used for half price. A good DAC combined with a PC and a pair of speakers can be a killer combination.

    Carry on this should be fun.

    cubdog
     
  7. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    PSB Alpha B1 - $299.99 (Audio Advisor)
    SMSL TPA3116 - $79.99 (eBay)
    Hifimediy Sabre USB Async DAC - $59.99 (Hifimediy)
    Monoprice 6ft 3.5mm to RCA cable - $2.97 (Monoprice)
    Monoprice CL2 12/2 wire 50ft - $16.91 (Monoprice)
    Monoprice banana plugs - $8.30 (Monoprice)

    $468.15
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
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  8. moejr

    moejr Super Member

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    2,163
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    Londonderry NH
    Yamaha A-S300 Integrated Amp- $265.00 (Amazon)
    Dayton Audio B652-AIR Speakers- $60.00 (Parts Express)
    Teac CD-P650B CD Player- $130.00 (Amazon)
    Monoprice 1.5 ft Interconnect- $5.00 (Monoprice)
    50 Ft Monoprice 14 AWG Speaker Wire- $13.00 (Monoprice)

    $473.00
     
  9. souladdikt

    souladdikt Active Member

    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Champaign, Illinois
    For getting into vinyl:

    U-turn turntable: $179 - direct from U-Turn
    Schiit Mani phono pre: $129 - direct from Schiit
    SMSL SA-60 TPA3116 amp: $80 - amazon.com
    Dayton Audio B562-AIR speakers: $60 - Parts Express

    Total: $448 -- Put the remaining $52 toward interconnects, speaker wire, a record brush, and a new LP or a few used ones.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
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  10. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Addicted Member

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    Dallas, Texas
    Topping TP60 amp, Onkyo C-7030 CD player, and Pioneer BS22 speakers for approximately $460.
     
  11. Tharbamar

    Tharbamar Active Member

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    This is more fun than 1k system.

    From Amazon,
    Pioneer SP-BS22-LR $96.99
    TEAC CD-P650B CD Player with USB and iPod Digital Interface $129.99
    Pioneer SW-8MK2 A.Jones 100W Powered Subwoofer $96.99
    Mediabridge ULTRA Subwoofer Cable (8 Feet) Dual Shielded with Gold Plated Connectors $9.99

    TEAC AG-790 AM/FM Stereo Receiver w/Remote 100 WPC$119.99 (Parts Express)

    AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 Speaker Cable $1.68 x 7.5' pair= $25.20 (Audio Advisor)

    KnuKonceptz eKs-BP BFA Gold Plated Banana Plugs New Old Stock $5 4 Pack x 2 = $10 ( eBay)
    KnuKonceptz Krystal OFC Twisted Pair Triple Shielded 2 Channel RCA Cable 1M $10.49 (eBay)

    $499.64
    Everything is base on 11/29/14 price.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  12. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    Infinity Primus P163 - $171.98 (Crutchfield)
    Maverick Audio Tube Magic D1 - $149.99 (Maverick Audio)
    Dayton APA100 power amp - $99.80 (Parts Express)
    Monoprice 3ft interconnects - $2.98 (Monoprice)
    Monoprice CL2 12/2 wire 50ft - $16.91 (Monoprice)
    Monoprice banana plugs - $8.30 (Monoprice)

    $449.96, the other $50 could go towards a nice tube or two for the DAC :yes:
     
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  13. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    Fostex FE103En P1000E DIY speaker kit - $138.59 (Madisound)
    Miniwatt N3 SE EL84 amp - $189.00 (eBay)
    Schiit Modi - $99.99 (Schiit)
    20AWG 50ft thermostat wire - $10 (Home Depot)
    Pagea 1M USB 2.0 cable - $29.99 (Amazon)
    Audioquest Evergreen 0.6M interconnect - $31.75 (Amazon)

    $499.32, a nice introduction to SET :yes:
     
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  14. soundboy

    soundboy Super Member

    Messages:
    2,217
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, California
    NHT SuperOne 2.1 (currently on sale directly from NHT at $250.00/pair)
    Sony STR-DH 130 stereo receiver (90 watts/channel, on sale directly from Sony for $100.00)
    TEAC CD-P650 CD player ($130.00 at amazon.com)

    $480.00 total
     
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  15. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This has the makings of a good sticky. :)
     
  16. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    Monitor Audio BX-1 - $278.00 (Audio Advisor)
    SMSL TPA3116 - $79.99 (eBay)
    SMSL Sanskrit USB DAC - $100 (eBay)
    Monoprice 1.5ft interconnect - $2.35 (Monoprice)
    Monoprice 10pk Banana Plugs - $8.30 (Monoprice)
    Monoprice 50ft 12/2 in-wall speaker wire - $16.91

    $485.55, could be a fun one :D
     
  17. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    16,691
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    An interesting option for small rooms: Vanatoo Transparent Ones; powered, DSP-corrected mini speakers, $499. Just add a USB cable from your PC.

    http://noaudiophile.com/Vanatoo_Transparent_One/

     
  18. souladdikt

    souladdikt Active Member

    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Champaign, Illinois
    This would make a nice little home office setup. Hmmm...
     
  19. dbarila

    dbarila Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    U-Turn Orbit $179
    Onkyo TX-8020 $159.99
    Pioneer SP-BS22 $96.99

    $436.97 could use the extra to add some upgrades to the Orbit.
     
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  20. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yamaha MCR-N560. Apparently available for less then $500 if you hunt around online. Great sound. CD player built in. Built in 24/192 DAC. Oh, and a tuner too.


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