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How much does it cost to build a good hi-fi system?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by shark_jump, Feb 6, 2010.
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  1. 9pintube
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shike /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    If you're going by cheapest I believe you can do a good job for:

    $300 speakers
    $300 integrated
    $300 DAC
    $200 headphone amp
    $300 headphones
    $100 transport
    $50 cables

    $1.65K new if you scout the deals out (can be MUCH cheaper used if you know what you're doing). There is no max. There's speakers I want that run $12K, and even used cost $10K. A setup using those with want I want to do would easily run into the $20K level.

    You also have to consider the balance of the system too.

    Do I feel I need a $20K stereo setup? No. I feel there's ways of getting extremely close with the use of mild compromising in areas.




    I think these are excellent examples of putting together a very satisfying system!!! Great advice, Shike!!!! Like you said maybe a grand!! Then just enjoy your music!!!
     
  2. 3602
    The Transmission Audio thing, with 11 pieces, costs two frickkin' million USD. Stealth Sakra costs around 40 big. Go figure.
     
  3. Shark_Jump
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shike /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    If you're going by cheapest I believe you can do a good job for:

    $300 speakers
    $300 integrated
    $300 DAC
    $200 headphone amp
    $300 headphones
    $100 transport
    $50 cables

    $1.65K new if you scout the deals out (can be MUCH cheaper used if you know what you're doing). There is no max. There's speakers I want that run $12K, and even used cost $10K. A setup using those with want I want to do would easily run into the $20K level.

    You also have to consider the balance of the system too.

    Do I feel I need a $20K stereo setup? No. I feel there's ways of getting extremely close with the use of mild compromising in areas.




    I agree about getting the balance right.

    But I am interested to know how you could get a decent amp and speakers for $600 bucks. Any examples come to mind?
     
  4. Shike
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shark_Jump /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I agree about getting the balance right.

    But I am interested to know how you could get a decent amp and speakers for $600 bucks. Any examples come to mind?




    You definitely have to watch for sales. I got a pair of Focal Chorus 705 S for $250 shipped new one time. You can also find a Cambridge 340A for under $300 new if you know where to look . . .
     
  5. n3rdling
    You could probably get used Magnepan MMGs and an affordable, powerful vintage amp for around 600.
     
  6. Shike
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by n3rdling /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    You could probably get used Magnepan MMGs and an affordable, powerful vintage amp for around 600.



    That's true too . . . I got a pair of SMGa for $250 shipped without wire peeling myself (the main speakers I'm using today with excellent results).
     
  7. Armaegis
    For a while I was considering just ordering a big package of stuff from Nuforce. I like the aesthetics, decent pricing, and the reviews for all their stuff are pretty good. You could get that new HDP which is your dac and headphone amp, feed into an Icon w/upgraded power and feed into speakers and sub. I think that'll run you $1.3k. Spend a few hundred on headphones, some decent interconnects and power bars and miscellany, add in shipping, that should come in under $2k which I think is a perfectly good spot to be.
     
  8. googleborg
    why on earth would you want a headphone amp on top of an integrated? If yer 'cans sound good from an integrated you're certainly not going to get your moneys worth from a headphone amp - absolutely better to spend more somewhere else, like better speakers or a better integrated. perhaps even a touch of room treatment [​IMG]
     
  9. Drag0n
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shike /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    For the DAC and preamp, why wouldn't one just get one of the higher end Benchmark units? They measure extremely well and by combining them will reduce the cost substantially [​IMG]

    Speakers -- I'd say Magnepan, Martin Logan, or Quads give better bang for the buck.

    Sub -- I'd go with a higher end Velodyne unit if going retail (or e-tail).
    Also, with the Gallo speaker....the woofer can be powered directly as a sub so you dont even need extra space for a subwoofer.

    Cables -- Depends if you believe in voodoo >_>'




    Benchmark dac isnt any better, and may even sound more cold and clinical.
    What makes a Benchmark any better? Because its more mainstream? And also.....Meier supports Head-Fi [​IMG]

    MartinLogans are hard to place. My friend has them, and i wouldnt buy them now. Hes been in 3 homes, and in each one, his SL3's arent sounding good, and he has great equipment.

    I love Maggies, but the Bryston 3bst might not be big enough for some models, although the Vincent may do it. The Gallo is an awesome speaker. Dont discount it just because you havent heard it. Ive heard all of the aformentioned speakers.

    Velodyne isnt better than REL, and may not be any better than SVS, id have to directly compare.

    The equipment i listed is some of the best before having to spend alot of money. I dont think ive heard any speaker better than the Gallo Nucleus Reference 3 for under $5000. I would only purchase otherwise if hes wanting bookshelf speakers with a sub.
     
  10. sbtruitt
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Drag0n /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    MartinLogans are hard to place. My friend has them, and i wouldnt buy them now. Hes been in 3 homes, and in each one, his SL3's arent sounding good, and he has great equipment.



    Yeah, I had a pair - you have to have them setup just right, and then listen to them in their sweet spot - if you do, they are magical, if not, they are just average. The bigger (and more expensive) they are - the bigger that sweet spot.
     
  11. Necrolic
    I disagree with the pricepoint.

    Auditioning B&W 804 and 803s for my new system, same amp and CD player (MOON CD3.3 and MOON i3.3 Integrated, as well as the CD-1 and i-1 for comparisons sake), and same cables, the difference was VERY noticeable, much more than placebo could account for.

    The auditions took place in the acoustically treated audition room of my audio shop. Extensive A/B tests were done between amps, CD players, and speakers. Largest difference was most definitely the speakers, but the amps and CDPs made a big difference as well.

    There may have been some diminishing returns between the step up between the above mentioned items and the step up between the lower end of those two and the next model below those, but the difference in SQ is DEFINITELY worth the difference for those that I auditioned.
     
  12. smrtby123
    One Billion Dollars!!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Drag0n
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sbtruitt /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Yeah, I had a pair - you have to have them setup just right, and then listen to them in their sweet spot - if you do, they are magical, if not, they are just average. The bigger (and more expensive) they are - the bigger that sweet spot.



    Oh yeah, in the right room set up properly, sure theyre a great speaker.
    Very detailed, and the detail has nice harmonic overtones. Would need a sub for bassheads,otherwise fine.
    For what you spend, theyre very resolving and throw a big stage if youre in the sweet spot, but i feel the Gallo's are the best buy for the money. You have to spend 3 or 4 times the cost to get better. You may find another flavour you like, or just as good, but i dont think better really.

    To me, IMHO....They blew away the $4000 B&W tower speakers....they may have been 803's or something, but there wasnt a comparison to me. Same equipment, same room in the same store, and the Gallos were fuller, imaged better, and didnt have thin vocals like the B&W,...just better overall to me.

    Theil has some good offerings.....but theyre so expensive for what you get,in comparison to other brands, although theyre an excellent speaker.
     
  14. Uncle Erik Contributor
    My cheapest system would start with a universal disc player by one of the major consumer brands, like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, etc. because they usually hold up well. I've seen ones going for $50 or so.

    Then I'd add whatever receiver I could scour for $20-$50 at a garage sale, thrift store, junk shop, Craigslist, swapmeet, etc.

    For speakers, I'd knock off a pair of Voigt Pipes with Fostex drivers. Maybe $100, if done in MDF with a basic black paint finish.

    So, about $150-$200 (plus about 10-20 hours of labor) should get you to the point of diminishing returns. Yeah, the expensive audiophile name-brand kit is nice. But you'd surprised at how good and coherent a pair of Voigt Pipew can be.
     
  15. stewtheking
    My (speaker) rig, is built along similar principles to Uncle Eric's idea. I scoured eBay, and picked up a vintage NAD CD player and integrated, which is all I need to feed and drive my k1000's (admittedly, hardly budget) and my speakers. Old B&W floorstanders, picked up for under £100. The whole lot (including cables, but excluding the K1000's) pops in at under about £300, and is miles better than anything I've heard for less. Certainly very much good enough to start hitting diminishing returns.

    Vintage hi-fi seperates is the way to go IMO, partly because they offer enormously good value for money, and partly because replacing them to try new components is very easy, and practically free, as they have already done all the depreciation they are going to do, so you can sell them for what you paid.
     
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