Budget-fi members, post your rigs...
Jan 31, 2006 at 3:55 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 68


Headphoneus Supremus
Jul 23, 2003
I pulled out the following combo today (for at-home transportable usage):

* Sony D-33 vintage PCDP ($21 used) Line Out
* Cardas Mini-Mini ($14)
* Headsave Go-Vibe v2 modded for 18v operation ($69)
* AKG K501 ($100 used)

Total cost for this setup: Just over $200! I'm amazed at how good it sounds... maybe not audiophile quality, but this is great sound for the money! You wouldn't think the Go-Vibe does a good job driving K501s, but it does. Not as well as a Headroom Max of course, but very listenable

Who else has low-budget but good sounding rigs... especially interested in comparisons from people who have both pricey full-sized rigs and inexpensive rigs who have found that the inexpensive stuff still sounds pretty good.
Jan 31, 2006 at 6:02 AM Post #4 of 68
Well my main rig doesn't qualify (
) ... But here is my office rig:

Source: Tjoeb 99 (purchased used for $50) / AV710 ($20)
Amp: DIY PIMETA (~$100)
Headphones: HD 580 (~$150)
Interconnects: Whatever I had lying around.

So ~$300 for a two-source system that sounds shockingly good. I don't like the Tjoeb as well as the Arcam (and the analog out on the AV710 doesn't come close!) but overall I'd say this system gives me 90-95% of the sound quality at around a tenth of the price. Of course the total cost of ownership is going to go up a good amount if I ever have to replace those Amperex tubes that the Tjoeb came with!

Anyway, I'm working on a pair of DIY monitors too... so in a few months it may even challeng my speaker rig!
Jan 31, 2006 at 6:04 AM Post #5 of 68
yeah . . since I won't have a proper home setup til my k701s come in, I've been using this:

ipod 5g

I'm a very very sad little pretzel.
Jan 31, 2006 at 6:15 AM Post #7 of 68
Magnavox vintage PCDP $18 => Rat Shack TRS $16 => Mint $40 => Sportapro (Kramer-mod) $7

All used on the FS forum and Ebay.

My niece brought over her $300 IPOD and stock buds... I POUNDED THE LIVING SNOT outta her rig with my cheap crap. Shes hardly an audiophile, and even she could clearly ear the difference.

Jan 31, 2006 at 6:15 AM Post #9 of 68
Okay, I guess my office rig would qualify as a budget one:

Dell Optiplex -- FREE, sinces it's in the office.
Alessandro MS-1 with modded headband and cable: $100 when new, $10 for the cans I took the headband from and $2 dollars on the shoelaces and onther stuff I used to change and cover the cable.
Cat 5 Interconnect: Free cable and $20 dollars for two 3.5mm connectors.

So, its $132 for the office rig.

For the portable, I settled for my MDR-EX51 ($30) and either my D-EJ101 ($65 iirc). So, $95 for portable sound. Of course, this is just for the gear I have in use now.
Jan 31, 2006 at 6:19 AM Post #10 of 68

Originally Posted by blip
Source: Tjoeb 99 (purchased used for $50)

Wow, you got a heck of a deal there... don't those normally go for ~$300 on Audiogon?
Jan 31, 2006 at 6:38 AM Post #11 of 68

Originally Posted by fewtch
Wow, you got a heck of a deal there... don't those normally go for ~$300 on Audiogon?

That's what I said! The guy was moving across country and needed to get rid of his old gear quickly. It had some intermittent noise, so he was willing to discount it even further. Long story short, I put in a new opamp (it is tubed, but use an opamp for I-V) and it has sounded great ever since.

The fact that it had Amperexs in it (not the stock tubes... philips IIRC) was a pleasant suprise that I didn't discover until I cracked it open!
Jan 31, 2006 at 7:04 AM Post #13 of 68

Originally Posted by gshan
Sony D-465 ($20) + KSC-35 ($10) - work rig

fewtch, did you ever land yourself the 465? One went for $13 on ebay yesterday

Naah... I'm done with buying vintage PCDPs, perfectly happy with the D-33 and Kenwood DPC-61 and will be looking toward a full size CDP soon. Unless I decide to go with a transport/DAC option and get a PCDP with optical out, I'm happy with what I have.
Jan 31, 2006 at 7:13 AM Post #15 of 68

Originally Posted by XxATOLxX
That headphone cost more than my whole setup!

Ehh? You sure? If so, you got a great deal on your rig, cuz the W10VTG goes for $140 - $180 depending on condition! Actually, I got ripped off on mine when I paid $200...

It's the iPod that's the expensive item in that pict.



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