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. RDecartridge

    RDecartridge "I hear, therefore I am" Subscriber

    Update:
    Delivered from partsexpress today was the
    • DTA3116 also from Parts Express (thanks Poultrygeist) $40
    • a highly rated little FiiO D03K Coaxial/Optical DAC (instead of the dragonfly) $20
    and connected to
    • Overnight Sensations $105
    • Evergreens $25 (soon to be replaced withToslink / 3.5" cable)
    • Kindle Fire ~$75
    • Elite CD changer $25
    Total $290, no kidding
    The music is unbelievably sweet, truly amazing.
    Thanks to all.
     
  2. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    good choices!
     
  3. Msas

    Msas AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Excellent congrats! The good thing about the Fiio is that it's cheap enough to replace whenever needed, I had one of those and it started buzzing on me, did its job very well before then though
     
  4. johnda

    johnda AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,790
    Location:
    Southold, NY
    A real sleeper receiver is the Yamaha RS-201. I use it in my credenza system and it does a great job while costing around $150. I need speakers that can fit a 12" high space and the Dayton B625 Airs are in my credenza. I think they are running $70 a pair now. Since I have an iPad, the Audiomachine B1 Bluetooth adaptor is great for adding internet reception for about $150. The Polk TSi 100 speakers are selling for $150 a pair, while they last, and also are small enough to fit. I wonder how they would compare to the Daytons.
     
  5. a10warthog

    a10warthog Member

    Messages:
    96
    Onkyo TX-8020 receiver 139.99
    Micca MB42X speakers 89.99
    Polk PSW-10 subwoofer 103.99
    Teac CD-P650 cd player 134.00
    Electric City Bluetooth 4.0 Receiver 22.79
    Total= $490.76 on Amazon
     
    Rygen likes this.
  6. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    Overnight Sensations MTM kit - $200
    TPA3255 ( high power ) - $64 on eBay shipped
    DC50V power supply - $75 on eBay
    Topping D30 DAC - $99 on massdrop
    Chrome Cast Audio - $35 at BB
     
  7. Archguy

    Archguy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    What's your mood, SS or tube amp? Why choose when you can have both for $300?

    This wicked cool SMSL

    [​IMG]

    AND this knockout Douk Audio tube amp (which I own and love, in wintertime--I'm going to use it to heat my house)

    [​IMG]

    And to keep the traditional thing going, Polk Audio RTi A1 bookies which I got open-box for $199.95
    and which absolutely amaze me. That's exactly $500 so you'll have to use Bluetooth or Chromecast :smoke:

    [​IMG]

    If you need to make up the fudging I just did, buy this Monoprice tube amp (I bought three!) which is now about $110.
    It comes with Bluetooth built-in (and works incredibly well) so you just need your phone. You do have a phone, right?



    Oh wait. The SMSL has Bluetooth built-in, too. So treat yourself to an imported beer or two. Actually, I like that SMSL for the way it looks, but the Lepai mentioned upthread for only $24 sort of blows everything else out of the water, financially speaking. I'm as amazed by them as I am by anything else. The Lepai LP-2020TI has replaced the 2020+ and I can vouch for it, owning three of those too, with another one on the way (setting up a friend's super-cheap system with Micca MB42X bookies. The Miccas keep getting cheaper. I paid $108 and they're now $79.99 with shipping included).

    Speakers are the one component I don't think you can cheap out on too much, beyond that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
    cubdog likes this.
  8. cubdog

    cubdog banging through drywall Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,521
    Location:
    Oregon IL.
    The price of quality audio is ridiculously low as long as one keeps their expectation reasonable.
     
    grillebilly likes this.
  9. timsclips

    timsclips AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    Trying to build a good all around system.

    Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2" Bookshelf Speaker Pair with AMT Tweeter 68 dollars
    Sherwood RX4208 receiver 122 dollars
    Fluance High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player with Premium Cartridge 200 dollars

    prices from Amazon today
    leaves a little over 100 dollars for cables, a cheap dvd for playing cds or other items or upgrading speakers
    The Sherwood has a phono input

     
  10. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Active Member

    Messages:
    326
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Philharmonic AA Monitors - $235
    Emotiva A100 - $229
    Chromecast Audio - $30
     
    cubdog likes this.
  11. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    When building a budget system it's best to put most of your money towards the speakers. Here is the Fostex BK-12 folded horn kit from Madisound which sells for $349.

    I would drive these back loaded horns with a Breeze TPA 3116 @ $25 ( + $10 for a 12V lap top power supply, that is if you don't have one already ) from eBay.

    A great source for little money would be the Chrome Cast Audio ( $35 @ BB ) streaming into a Fiio D3 DAC ( $25 @ Amazon ) via a mini optical to standard optical cable ( $5 eBay ).

    [​IMG]
     
    john111/LZ and bubba42 like this.
  12. bubba42

    bubba42 Active Member

    Messages:
    196
    How would you compare these full-range speakers with other speaker kits, like the Overnight Sensation MT or MTM versions? Or other kits closer to the $350 here? I am not sure what any of these would sound like, especially for bass.
     
  13. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    They are very different animals from my Overnight Sensations . The Fostex horns are point source freaks and produce better imaging and detail than any of the kits you listed. They lack the bass of those others but with the addition of a small sub they can go to another level. Commercial versions of the Fostex Fe126En BL horns usually go for around a grand.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
    john111/LZ likes this.
  14. john111/LZ

    john111/LZ Super Member

    Messages:
    1,482
    Bought one of these amps a while ago-arrived....installed.....tone controls not working......contacted seller....said keep the amp and heres a refund!spent the money on a valve.....amp working and sounds hefty but not as pleasant as another amp with yamaha chip,which ive yet to hear bettered for the pennies it cost.
    Really good sound is cheaply available,especially small Class D[IM LUCKY ENOUGH TO OWN VERY SENSITIVE SPEAKERS WHICH ARE ESSENTIAL WITH THESE LOW POWERED LITTLE AMPS]
     
  15. john111/LZ

    john111/LZ Super Member

    Messages:
    1,482
    spot on Poultry,im a Tannoy dual concentric man myself but ive heard Fostex speakers sounding brilliant but as you say a sub gives a quantam leap!
     
    Archguy likes this.
  16. cubdog

    cubdog banging through drywall Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,521
    Location:
    Oregon IL.
    For under $500 one can assemble a 2 channel system that will sound better than what is in the homes of more than 95% of the population. Maybe closer to 99%. I don't know if that's cool or frightening.

    Edited to make sense. Must have been drinking. :]
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
    Archguy likes this.
  17. Rockyhill

    Rockyhill 148 State Street Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,995
    Location:
    Maine
    So we're back to where we were 40-45 years ago price to value-wise!
     
  18. Archguy

    Archguy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    VERY tempting. Though I need more floor-standing towers like a hole in the head, I can't help myself. What are the fasteners along the perimeters? They look almost like wood knots but their locations are too consistent.

    As mentioned above, I'd love it even more if I could have a Tannoy dual-concentric, but then I'm a single-driver virgin still.

    Well, not in constant dollars. In steady money these are most definitely the 'good old days' right now.
     
    john111/LZ likes this.
  19. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    I found that picture on the net and those look like screws. I'd never used screws only wood glue.
     
  20. bubba42

    bubba42 Active Member

    Messages:
    196
    I too need more speakers like holes in the head, but I really want to hear these. My only option to hear might be to build them. (This brings me back to motorcycles, I've owned a ton, as many as 5 at a time because I wanted to drive a certain kind and the only way to do it is to buy one).

    I have Klipsch RC3-II towers, which I like and are very high efficiency. Is it even worth building these?

    The pictured speakers look like someone did a nice job of gluing and screwing the cabinets, then put in wood plugs to cover the sunk screws. That is a nice finishing method use in some furniture.



     

Share This Page