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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. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

    Messages:
    1,327
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
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  2. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Lunatic Member

    As you know different motorcycles afford very different experiences and the same goes for back loaded horns. Full range single driver speakers have a cult like following and many people prioritize above everything else the things they do so well which are coherency, imaging, and incredible detail. They excel with small group jazz but may struggle with complex large scale orchestral pieces. They might come off thin sounding to some but their holographic resolution at low levels can be mesmerizing. There are no crossovers with BL horn and nothing to get in the way of the pure signal. If you have basic DIY skills you can build these Frugal Horn Mk3 ( uses same Fostex driver as BK-12 ) for around $150. The plans are free at the Frugal Horn website.

    P3040010.JPG
     
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  3. bubba42

    bubba42 Active Member

    Messages:
    337
    Thanks PG, I know the answer is not simple or clear. For rock (mainly modern alternative) I am assuming the Klipsch are better suited than the Fostex BK-12 speakers. Is that a reasonable assumption?
     
  4. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Lunatic Member

    My horns do a great job with Dire Straits "Money For Nothing" augmented by a small sub. I've never heard your Klipsch speakers but I have owned other well regarded speakers from Zu and Aerial Acoustics but preferred the horns to any of them. Here is the same Fostex driver used in my Frugals and the BK-12 in this video. They're the Horn Shop Horns and retail for around 1K.

     
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  5. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,040
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    Yep guys when I looked at the kit it was talking about glue & clamps only.
    Though I could definitely tolerate pegs. Very compelling stuff overall....

    If you have basic DIY skills
    Constructing them is no problem. It's getting the finish the way I like that's the real task, for me anyway.
     
  6. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,040
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    Like these.... I really like them in principle but the plywood edges have to be treated.
    Ideally with veneer, which is a skill I've yet to develop. But life is for learning..

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Lunatic Member

    An easier way to deal with plywood edges is covering them with screen door molding. Requires a $10 miter box to cut the molding angles. They stain like the rest of the enclosure or painted black they add a nice contrast.
     
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  8. stevo137

    stevo137 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,709
    Polk Audio T 50 Speakers~$150
    These are two way with two additional passive woofers.

    IMG_4954.PNG

    Optional: Elac B4 Debut~$179

    IMG_4956.PNG


    Yamaha R-S202 Receiver~$149

    IMG_4951.PNG


    Teac CD-P650~$130

    Total: $429

    Misc speaker wire, RCA cables etc with remainder.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
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  9. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio Super Member

    Messages:
    2,892
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    I would choose a new vinyl desktop style system , but also add a 1/8"-1/4" (or rca is a option also) y cable for youtube.audio from my i phone, total $499.82, new Douk passive pre amp 32.99 ebay, new powered speakers with a few slight eq rolloff adjustments,jbl lsr 305s,.129 ea...musicians friend...... A new Bozak $15 phono pre i have used in the past that sounds decent. A new u turn table 179. direct that i would only choose because of the budget , it has all the right things for good vinyl playback, and a decent A/T cart i have used before.......Cables are balanced xlr outputs on the Douk, and inputs on the speakers lets me use the xlr pr 7.95 for the connection , and the 1/8" y 5.89 can go to the other inputs on the jbls. or a rca cable traded to run to the passive pre additional inputs/outputs for the i phone.
     

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  10. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,040
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    Sorry, didn't see this until now. I have two miter saws and tons of mouldings but am somewhat leery of the aural & aesthetic effects of a raised perimeter baffle. So I'll keep thinking about this.
     
  11. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Lunatic Member

    Screen door molding is 1/4" thick and it's easy to sand even lower. No aural effects and all my diy speakers are trimmed with it.
     
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  12. john111/LZ

    john111/LZ Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    13,073
    Kanto Yumi active,Technics portable CD....Simple and satisfying combo[Kantos on offer on amaz right now]
    Not my own choice but pal has this set-up and its very nice....and cheap!
     
  13. beastwoo

    beastwoo New Member

    Messages:
    21
    I've enjoyed reading this, so I'll join in. I wanted a digital source that reflected the trend of streaming music. I started with an iPod Touch, but decided that was neither very modern anymore nor cost-effective. I turned to the Chromecast Audio which has a built-in DAC, but to add flexibility for other sources, like a laptop, I selected a well-reviewed external DAC. I really like my floor standing Wharfedales, so I chose a bookshelf option for this system. This left very little budget for the amplifier, but the TPA3116-based amplifiers are well-regarded elsewhere on AK.

    Chromecast Audio, Google Store, $35

    Schiit Modi 2 Uber DAC, Schiit, $149

    Nobsound TPA3116 dual chip amplifier, ebay, $32

    Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers, Amazon, $249

    FosPower mini toslink cable, Amazon, $7

    Monoprice RCA cable, Amazon, $5.50

    Siker 19V 4.7A AC power adapter for the amplifier, Amazon, $14

    Speaker wire, Amazon, $8.50

    Total: $500
     
  14. Splatter Pak

    Splatter Pak High-End Scrounger

    Messages:
    3,916
    Location:
    Independence, MO
    I'm listening to a really great internet radio station: NRK Radio. To access it, this is what I use:

    Transource computer, used $45
    Ubuntu OS ..................... FREE
    Aiwa C30 preamp, part of an Aiwa micro stack at a flea market, $20 for all
    Proton 300/301 (300 in powered speaker mode), used $10

    There you have it - excellent sound for $75, and not even counting the rest of the Aiwa components.
     
  15. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

    Messages:
    2,643
    Good for you Pak. These Proton units are so underrated — a "mere radio". Very good bi-amped active speakers with a fine Tuner thrown in. People overlook that, with a decent source-selector, they can be a very good complete system, handling several sources, including Phono if you add TT and phono-pre.
     
  16. Splatter Pak

    Splatter Pak High-End Scrounger

    Messages:
    3,916
    Location:
    Independence, MO
    Their biggest drawback is too few inputs, but an auxiliary preamp would cure that.
     

     

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  17. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

    Messages:
    2,643
    You can get a separate Source Selector online for under $20. Just plug it into the Tape Input and voila — 4-to-6 extra line inputs.

    Oh I forgot — you already have the Aiwa mini preamp. Extra line inputs + Phono. BTW, if you also have the matching power amp, it's the best component in that stack, and very handy. I have 2 of them, always finding uses.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  18. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Lunatic Member

    Always good to see another TPA3116 convert :thumbsup:
     
  19. Splatter Pak

    Splatter Pak High-End Scrounger

    Messages:
    3,916
    Location:
    Independence, MO
    I did have the matching power amp, and I liked it so much that after I noticed it could be bridged to mono, I searched for another. They are sold, as I've gone on to bigger and better amps. Thanks for the tip on a Source Selector, as my Aiwa pre is having some noise issues, so I may go that way.
     
  20. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

    Messages:
    2,643
    It can be bridged?! I have two of them now, Splatter. I tried to bridge it but had no instructions, and failed. How is it done? Do you have a schematic or anything else that can guide me? I'm sure my failure was my error, and probably a small thing I overlooked — it shouldn't be difficult. Can you provide any guidance (what should I call you Splatter or Pak?)? Very much appreciated!
     

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