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Frugal-Fi: tell us about your awesome gear at frugal prices

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by fianbarr, Jun 2, 2018.
  1. fianbarr
    I noticed there's no place for people who like their hi-fi on the cheap.

    I know at the frugal end of the diminishing returns curve you can't get the ultimate in audiophile, but there's great quality to be had at this end too.

    For myself the best purchases were:

    * Sennheiser momentum 1 (half price stock clearance as they were introducing v2)
    * Wharfedale Diamond 220 (60% off again stock clearance)
    * Audio Technica AT95e cartridge (£25 very well spend)

    And I have the HD6XX on order.

    What about you?
    megabigeye and Arthur Li like this.
  2. xenithon
    Rock Zircon, at around £15, have bested many IEMs at multiples of the cost.

    fianbarr likes this.
  3. Tweeters
    Philips SHL3300 for $11.99. Take the pads off and remove the grill underneath, then replace the pads themselves (I used HM5's) and they sound fantastic for the price. Also bought KZ ZS6's from Gearbest for $19.99 a while back and they're fantastic if you like a bright sound
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  4. Thomas De Brito
    I bought a pair of master&dynamic mh40 for 100 euros second hand, not a big fan of the sound quality, but the built quality is pretty neat
  5. LaughMoreDaily
    It looks like the SHL3300 are $40 where I live, you got a good deal. :)
  6. Cruelhand Luke

    lots of budget minded suggestions here...you haven't been looking hard enough. There are a lot of budget cans that get discussed exhaustively, nearly as much as any sennheiser or beyer.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  7. fianbarr
    The idea was not just cans but any gear. Also mainly as I like reading about the latest and greatest made out of 100% unobtainium, but just a place to sing praise to the things I can actually buy/listen to.
  8. SHAMuuu

    $12 U.S.

    I had hm5 sheeps from another headphone though. I'm sure pleather will be ok

    Most comfy can I have. I didn't want to take them off for a week.

    I did a few dampening tricks with dynamat.

    Other frugal cans I felt punched well include a pro dj 100 - 50 bones, re400, 50 bones, ex1, 70 bones. IEMS need comply though IMO.

    I say this sincerely as far as headphones go, i can live with the mdr-580. They have mdr-cd480, 380 which seem to have same design.

  9. Cruelhand Luke
    the way you phrased your premise is kind of annoying. There are a LOT of discussions about hifi on a budget around here and a lot of people put a lot of time and energy into helping others find those great deals.
    But I'll set that aside
    first thing: the Schiit Magni 3. Absolutely stellar for $100. EVERYTHING I run through it sounds better. everything. If you don't think amps do any good, or you think you don't need one, bet yourself a hundred bucks and buy this amp.
    second: Philips SHP 9500s + Hybrid pads. Less than $100 for the cans plus pads and worth every penny. Do some simple mods and you have headphones that perform way above their price point. WAY above.
    third: Superlux HD681 (the originals) catch them on a Gearbest coupon for under $20, put some Hybrids on them and you are all set.
  10. fianbarr
    Okay maybe I was trying to be a bit overly dramatic. Sorry for that. I just noticed that I got some likes on a remark I made about being frugal, as well as my only pm I ever received being a frugal cartridge recommendation I thought hey this frugal thing might be a good idea for my first topic here, to raise my profile a bit.
  11. Cruelhand Luke
    Lol...I didn't mean to sound harsh ...annoying is a strong word. The phrasing implied there aren't a lot of people on here every day talking about this very subject....but I do like the spirit of it, that's why I contributed also. Sorry if I came off a bit too brusque. :wink:
    fianbarr likes this.
  12. Arthur Li
    Wise purchase. Momentum 1 sounds much better than the v2.
    fianbarr likes this.
  13. fianbarr
    Only audiophile purchase I have buyers remorse over is my turntable (a Rega RP1 with performance pack), that I bought full retail price. The AT cartridge salvaged it a bit, but I still pointlessly paid for the performance upgrade.
  14. megabigeye
    Great thread! I love frugal-fi!

    I think I enjoyed my system most when it was more frugal-fi.
    The Dayton DTA-100a was a great little amp, the main drawback was uneven upper-mids that could make Miles Davis' trumpet sound glaring. I'd be interested to hear the newer DTA-120.
    I still use my JohnBlue JB3. Great speakers. Too bad they're not available in the US anymore.
    I used to use the TCC TC-750, which was really great for the price. When I finally "upgraded" to the Parasound ZPhono USB, I was at least a little disappointed that the differences weren't greater.
    Mogami 2549 and Neutrik connectors make for very transparent cables, in my opinion.
    The HiFiBerry DAC+ PRO sounds amazing, even though I'm unable to use it with Wi-Fi. The Allo Kali/Piano combo also sounds stellar, but that's a little more expensive (and more expensive still factoring in shipping).
    And I use a Sony BDP-S370 as a CD transport. Plugged into pretty much any cheap-o DAC I think sounds better than my Rega RP-1 plugged into the Parasound ZPhono. I'd imagine pretty much any cheap Blu-Ray player with S/PDIF would sound similar. I do find it more than a little ironic that the RP-1 was for a while one of my more expensive pieces of equipment, but has always been a bottleneck.
    Finally, I recently picked up the RHA T20i for $79.99 at Micro Center, but I may end up returning them since they're not covered by warranty.

    With the exception of the speakers, I think everything I just listed was under $100. Not bad, I say!
  15. fianbarr
    Thanks @megabigeye I used to run a BeagleBone Black (instead of a Pi) as an MPD server. However as I couldn't find any Spotify players that supported gapless playback (a must for me as I love live albums and the occasional prog rock album). So I replaced the BBB with my old (taken back out of retirement) 2009 mac mini that now runs Debian, MPD and the official Spotify Linux client (in xvfb). It's connected to a Peachtree Dac-ITx.

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