Sub $1K Recommended Systems

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JLM

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #60 on: 31 Jul 2014, 10:27 am »
Great idea and systems from so many knowledgeable experiences.
It's interesting nobody has suggested a SUPER SIMPLE system as follows:

Source:
Computer, Applie iphone, smartphone, ipad etc or your favourite digital music source. Even a TV can often take an exernal hardisk with various audio formats. I call this $0 as we all have access to these already.

Active speakers:
I propose Quad 12L actives. These can often be brought brand new for less than $1000 in various international locations, often quite a bit less. But there are a variety of good quality active speakers available out there for below $1000.

That's it!! The sound, as long as you are playing reasonable quality digital files (ie not MP3's!!), will be good. To augment playback quality further you could always add an external DAC of your own choosing (eg Cambridge audio). If you have CD's, just rip them to your computer.

Comments?

Welcome aboard! 

Note that Quad has a modern/updated version called the 9AS that inputs analog and digital sources (has it's own DAC) along with just about every feature you'd want in an active speaker so with your computer they essentially become your entire audio system.  $1300/pair, but information is scarce (and naturally these don't meet the C&C cost guidelines). 

As you may know, most active designs are used in studio work (work being the key word, where they seek a dry sound to find the nits).  So they don't function well at home where we want entertainment and emotional satisfaction.  But a few active solutions do exist that are designed for home use or bridge the gap between work horse and thoroughbred from companies that include Adam, ATC, AVi, Genelec, Paradigm, PMC, Quad, and Serene (but most don't come in under the C&C cost guidelines).

Guy 13

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #61 on: 31 Jul 2014, 10:37 am »
Welcome aboard! 

Note that Quad has a modern/updated version called the 9AS that inputs analog and digital sources (has it's own DAC) along with just about every feature you'd want in an active speaker so with your computer they essentially become your entire audio system.  $1300/pair, but information is scarce (and naturally these don't meet the C&C cost guidelines). 

As you may know, most active designs are used in studio work (work being the key word, where they seek a dry sound to find the nits).  So they don't function well at home where we want entertainment and emotional satisfaction.  But a few active solutions do exist that are designed for home use or bridge the gap between work horse and thoroughbred from companies that include Adam, ATC, AVi, Genelec, Paradigm, PMC, Quad, and Serene (but most don't come in under the C&C cost guidelines).

Hi JLM.
I've Googled : C&C cost guidelines,
but still cannot figure out the meaning of it.
Please help.

Guy 13

Doublej

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #62 on: 31 Jul 2014, 11:29 am »
It's on the C&C circle sticky:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=71233.0

Here are general guidelines:

- headphone system = $200 max (head-amp and cans)
- PC only system      = $400 max (including speakers or cans)
- analog only system = $650 (phono or pre/integrated amp with phono build-in +
  turntable/arm/cartridge
- maximum stereo system price = $1000 (I'll accept 20% overhead given variations in 2nd hand   
  market and currency difference)
- no brand cables in this circle except DIY. We can make some exception for true basement bargains tho.
  Components with humor factor and gadgets are acceptable as well.

Individual components shouldn't exceed  $350 however in cases of full featured components like integrated amps with DAC, phonostage or headphone amp - its value can be as much as $650.
DIY and kits are more then welcome.

mix4fix

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #63 on: 11 Aug 2014, 09:00 pm »
I've been waiting to brag about this one I recently slapped together.

I'm presently running an Oppo DV-971 as transport, an Audio GD 2.1 DAC using it as preamp as well, the power amp section of a NAD 3020B, Magneplanar MMG speakers, interconnects from Tuan (Sonny) and a Monster digital cable, speaker cables are White Lightning Moonshine from Wal-Mart, and there's a free Pioneer turntable sitting there that can be hooked into the NAD with a couple of cables switched.  Total, complete out of pocket cost $835.00, everything except cables and the Oppo purchased used. 

Not only does the SQ rival most of what I've heard anywhere within 4x the cost, but there's $165.00 wiggle room to improve any of the components.  Not the cheapest system listed here, but maybe the best sounding.  (Settle down guys, I said maybe)

Is there a link to the speaker cables or the interconnects??

dukecv

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #64 on: 15 Jan 2015, 08:29 pm »
A small system that brings me great joy is:

1:Integrated- Marantz 1030 maybe $250 used (I got free)
2:Speakers- KEF C30's $50 used
3:DAC- Schiit Modi $70 used
4:Source- Iphone (do I really count this?)
5:Associated cabling for iPhone/dac - $40
6:Powered USB hub- $20

Total cost:$430
I stream music from several sources and it works fantastic for how I threw the system together for my garage.

JLM

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #65 on: 15 Jan 2015, 10:29 pm »
It's on the C&C circle sticky:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=71233.0

Here are general guidelines:

- headphone system = $200 max (head-amp and cans)
- PC only system      = $400 max (including speakers or cans)
- analog only system = $650 (phono or pre/integrated amp with phono build-in +
  turntable/arm/cartridge
- maximum stereo system price = $1000 (I'll accept 20% overhead given variations in 2nd hand   
  market and currency difference)
- no brand cables in this circle except DIY. We can make some exception for true basement bargains tho.
  Components with humor factor and gadgets are acceptable as well.

Individual components shouldn't exceed  $350 however in cases of full featured components like integrated amps with DAC, phonostage or headphone amp - its value can be as much as $650.
DIY and kits are more then welcome.


IMO the PC only system price cap of $400 is too low, would limit the rest of the system something like a $100 DAC, $100 T-amp, and $200 speakers.  Recommend a $700 price cap to match individual component caps.

Letitroll98

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #66 on: 16 Jan 2015, 03:51 am »
The guidelines were set a few years ago before pc based systems became the norm, when a computer based system was a specialized system.  I would entertain treating the pc like any other source component, which it basically is these days.  Your suggestion is well founded, let's kick it around for a bit too see if we have any dissenters or additional suggestions, then we'll fashion a change barring objections.

Johnny2Bad

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #67 on: 8 May 2015, 06:41 pm »
Digital System:

iPod (Classic 120/160) $180
TEAC DS-H01 $150
Musical Paradise MP-301 MK3 $400
Pioneer "Andrew Jones" SP-BS22-LR $130

Total Cost: $860

+ Cabling; Total System Cost $920

Notes:
We're using a couple of discontinued items in this system. The iPod Classic is an eBay item, although any reasonably recent 30-pin interface iPod or iPhone will work with the TEAC DAC. [iPod classic iPod nano (2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation) iPod touch (1st, 2nd, 3rd , and 4th generation) iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G iPad 2, iPad]

The DS-H01 was introduced at $300 but quickly discounted by TEAC to $150 (new), presumably because Apple discontinued the 30-pin connector iPhones about six months after introduction. 192kHz/24-bit Burr Brown PCM1796 chipset. You have to hunt a bit but I was able to find some for sale. I own two and can vouch for the Sound Quality, but you could substitute a Pure I-20 if necessary, not to mention one of the reasonably priced DACs and a suitable computer.

The Amp and Speakers both offer great SQ at affordable prices. Again, there are other good sounding speaker options available without breaking the $1K barrier.

Interconnect (1 required): $30-ish plus tools if required
Canare F-09 or F-10 $4 each, 4 required $16
Canare L4-ES or (preferred) Mogami W2534, as required, about $1 a foot
Solder ($20), Soldering Iron ($30), Wire Stripper or Olfa Knife ($10), a bit of skill or a bit of practice stripping and soldering

Loudspeaker Cable (2 required) $30 (varies, could be much less)
No specific recommendation, lots of DIY info available. Bare wire is the $$$ choice but bananas or spades won't break the bank

I'm familiar with all the components and cables recommended; this is a real-world budget system with true HiFi Sound Quality.

Johnny2Bad

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #68 on: 8 May 2015, 07:20 pm »
Analog System:

Orbit U-Turn Turntable $294
Onkyo TX-8020 $180
Pioneer "Andrew Jones" SP-BS22-LR $130

Total $604

Cabling (as above post) $60 estimate; Total System Cost $664

For this system we are choosing the Orbit Builder, which allows you to spec a few options I feel are advisable. First is the Acrylic Platter upgrade (over MDF) and secondly is the Orbit Cue ... the basic table does not come with a cuing system and the Unipivot tonearm can be a little intimidating when manual cuing. For a cartridge we've chosen the least expensive option (no cartridge at all is not an option) with the Audio-Technica AT-91B. My reasoning here is you would want to, in the future or even immediately, upgrade to an Ortofon Red at $99, which in my opinion is a reasonable option considering what Orbit has on offer at a higher cost.

The Onkyo has a Phono input, adequate power, and sounds decent.

Again, there are other speaker options but the Pioneers are an excellent choice at a very reasonable cost.

For someone on a really tight budget, forgo the Acrylic Platter for a total table price of $219, and consider the TEAC AG-790A @ $150 (currently discontinued but still available from a few vendors). Personally I would still choose the Onkyo for the minimal savings, none the less choosing both would drop the Total System Price to $559 with DIY cabling.

The Canare/Mogami cable outlined in my previous post has suitable low capacitance for a Phono Cable.

The Musical Paradise amp (see previous post) and a phono preamp are also options that brings the Sound Quality up a disproportionate amount, but busts the guideline budget for an analog system [$650], although still reasonable at +$220 (amp) and +$100~200 (phono pre, lots of options at those prices); total system price $983-ish if you opt for the Boozehound Labs JFET Phono/RIAA Preamplifier kit @99, a battery power supply (12 AA cells), and a case dug up from around the house (eg a cigar box). Requires a bit of soldering but not difficult as kits go, and sounds great. Due to the low power requirements, alkaline batteries last a long time in a phono preamp.

charmerci

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #69 on: 9 May 2015, 10:29 pm »
Analog System:

Orbit U-Turn Turntable $294
Onkyo TX-8020 $180
Pioneer "Andrew Jones" SP-BS22-LR $130

Total $604

Cabling (as above post) $60 estimate; Total System Cost $664


For a little more, you're much better off with Dennis Murphy's mods. 

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=128301.0

Johnny2Bad

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #70 on: 13 May 2015, 06:55 am »

For a little more, you're much better off with Dennis Murphy's mods. 

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=128301.0

Maybe ... but with cables we're already $14 over the guideline of $650 for an all-analog system.

Good post, though, as an option or future upgrade.

Hoop

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #71 on: 5 Jun 2015, 04:01 am »
Vintage Yamaha CA410 $300 cost with refurbishment
Used Von Schweikert VR-1s $500
Used Denon 3910 $175
(Ok, so cables put me over the top)

Letitroll98

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #72 on: 6 Jun 2015, 12:35 pm »
That's ok Hoop, we allow a little wiggle room.  Nice system, welcome aboard.

brooklyn

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #73 on: 6 Jun 2015, 02:09 pm »
Quote
Vintage Yamaha CA410 $300 cost with refurbishment
Used Von Schweikert VR-1s $500
Used Denon 3910 $175

I owned a pair of those VR-1’s for a time, they were a
great sounding bookshelf speaker. I had them paired
with an REL Q201e Sub.

Vitrius

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #74 on: 15 Jun 2015, 05:01 pm »
Here's the best system that I've been able to come up with which is reasonably accessible to everyone.

Source(s) ~ $100 
Windows 8 / Android phone or tablet (Samsung Note 4 in my case).
Running USB Audio Player Pro or JRiver

DAC ~ $300
JDSLabs O2/ODAC combo.
I am also very pleased with the Audioengine D3, which is MUCH more portable to match the source and $150 cheaper!

Speakers ~ $175
Affordable Accuracy Monitors (modified BS22)... These seem to have just come down from the website, not sure if still available, but the regular BS22 aren't bad.     

Amplifier ~ $150
Topping TP60 (used on EBAY)
I have tried MANY T-amps with these speakers and this one really makes a difference on the mid-bass

Subwoofer ~ $175
HSU research STF-1 (used on EBAY)

Cables ~ $100
Bog standard RCA cable, DIY speaker cable + USB OTG
Strongly recommend this OTG as it allows simultaneous charging and USB host.
http://www.lavalinkstore.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14&products_id=76


Total = $1000

charmerci

Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #75 on: 16 Jun 2015, 07:10 pm »
Here's the best system that I've been able to come up with which is reasonably accessible to everyone.

DAC ~ $300
JDSLabs O2/ODAC combo.
I am also very pleased with the Audioengine D3, which is MUCH more portable to match the source and $150 cheaper!

Speakers ~ $175
Affordable Accuracy Monitors (modified BS22)... These seem to have just come down from the website, not sure if still available, but the regular BS22 aren't bad.     

Total = $1000


Dennis is no longer doing the AAM.


You could just get the ODAC without the amp and use the difference to get the new ELAC model 5.

Vitrius

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #76 on: 17 Jun 2015, 01:54 pm »
In my case, I use this at my desk at work. I switch to headphones when it'll bother my office mates. Fortunately I'm usually asked to turn it up rather than down.

Those ELACs do look pretty sweet according to the spectra.

allenSF

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X-Statik Kit
« Reply #77 on: 24 Sep 2015, 11:55 pm »
I am considering buying a X-Statik Kit.  I live in Union City, CA, is there anyone nearby has built a speaker with this kit?

SlyFuu

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #78 on: 25 Sep 2015, 12:31 pm »
You might want to x-post in the GR Research section. You'll have a better chance of finding someone who owns a pair there.

aevans

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Re: Sub $1K Recommended Systems
« Reply #79 on: 27 Nov 2015, 04:29 pm »
I'm working on a tool that might help some people just starting out. Its only for desktop audio systems currently, but I plan on adding in living room setups at a later date.

http://noaudiophile.com/System_Search/

Take a look and let me know what you think, or if there is more information that would help out when looking for a system.