The Amazing 60 dollar 3rd World Full-size Hi/Fi
May 19, 2012 at 10:13 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

Redcarmoose

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I decided to keep my stereo in storage back in the US. Kicking around in Indonesia for the last two years has been interesting. Being an audiophile and seeing another countries way of doing Hi/Fi has been fun.
 
http://www.datindonesia.com/products.php?action=product&ID=14
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
I don't think price or even component quality matter that much in getting to a good mid-fi sound. I have always had the belief in regards to design and synergy being of more importance. So after listening to a bunch of speakers and amps I purchased some stuff. There are some really good quality stereo components for sale if you want to spend the money. You can even spend over $1500.00 on strange outdoor public address systems which really don't sound that great. Then again if you wanted a mid-fi level system costing $500 in the US, you may end up spending $2000.00 in the end due to import taxes and the fact that they can charge that much and get it because the stuff is rare here. 
 
 
So what did I buy and why?
Class D amplifier kits and parts have started to surface on E-bay at amazingly low prices. The wonderful plug and play design allows you to get a case and power supply and connect a couple of wires to get a high power amp. These amp parts can be shipped all over due to the low weight and small size. I was very close to putting together a Class-D amp ordered from parts from E-bay and just buying speakers here. Then I found these really cool dat amps made in Indonesia. So for the price of shipping I could get an amp. I purchased two of them. They were $20.00 each usd.
 
Amazingly there are no specs on the Internet or accompanying  paperwork. I have no testing equipment as well. All I can say is they sound great and can only be turned up 25%. These Class D amps get really loud. 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
The whole system will also run off a 12V car battery.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The first speakers I tried were really just car speakers and the sound was OK. I have had so many different stereos over the years and have been happier with systems sounding less boxy and more mid-centric. I really didn't want any boxy sound and would in the end sacrifice bass presence for a clear mid-range. It turns out that after demoing a ton of cheap speakers, some did some music well, others did other stuff well but then had a noticeable sound signature qwerk that I could not deal with. I then found the dat elegance series speakers which seemed to go well with the amplifier made by the same company. A 10inch woofer, a ceramic tweeter and a horn tweeter seemed to get me the bass sound with-out the boxy sound of the 1970s, all for $40.00 usd for two! I purchased one set of two. I have plans in the future to rewire them and may look into making them bi-amp-able. I actually like these speakers so much I will most-likely look into changing out some of the drivers and maybe even the cross-over system at a future date. I have also looked into rigging up the system with both amps running in mono mode to double the amp power. Even though I'm not into playing the system all that loud, a duel mono amp set-up could get me a tighter response at lower volume levels.
 

 
 
 
In ending I just wanted to note the difficulty in finding any information or purchasing places for these products. There may be a larger selection of dat equipment for sale in big Indonesian cities? The information and purchasing ability is very limited on line. My primary goal for posting this article and photo-set was based on the fact that I though it was interesting to be able to put together a good sounding and powerful brand new home Hi/Fi on a $60.00 level and be able to enjoy the sound day in and day out. The system sounds much better playing DVDs or CDs with the use of a $40.00 DVD player as the SD card or USB stick drive mp3 decoder on-board the amps is limited in sound quality.
 
May 20, 2012 at 6:18 AM Post #2 of 11

Redcarmoose

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Update
 
 
The speakers are burning in nicely. Amp at 23% at the volume knob and VU meter showing at up to 75% out-put before going into red. Loving the listening room with no walls, no reflections and stone floors. Speakers twelve feet six inches apart and a twelve foot six inch distance to the sweet-spot.
 
 
       This system has smoothed out way better than I thought.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Software used
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Le Duc
Celebration
 
May 20, 2012 at 6:34 AM Post #3 of 11

Tilpo

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Budget-fi at it's best.

But wouldn't it be better to move the speakers a bit closer? If they are to far away the angles will be too small and they will lose the stereo image.
 
May 20, 2012 at 8:23 AM Post #4 of 11

Redcarmoose

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Budget-fi at it's best.
But wouldn't it be better to move the speakers a bit closer? If they are to far away the angles will be too small and they will lose the stereo image.

You would think that right off. I started with them at about eight feet apart. Not to brag but this system sounds way better than I could have asked for. The sound-stage was OK at 12 and a half feet apart. In my years in audio I really have seen so many speaker positions. I usually like a toe in with my systems but today I was just trying to get the best image and with the world techno I was playing I could hear a detailed bass image in the middle and the drums were still on the outside. I will set it up there again tomorrow and play around with the positioning some more. Turns out I love hearing speakers outside with no wall reflections. I wish I would have started this technique years ago with all the different speakers I have owned. Hind-sight is always 20/20.
 
 
The 18mm wide-angle camera lens made them look farther apart than they are in life. 18mm is wider than the normal human field-of-view, hence looking too far apart. The speakers are really just 6.25 feet away from the amp on both sides.
 
May 20, 2012 at 10:06 AM Post #5 of 11

Eee Pee

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That is excellent, man!  Very cool, and amazingly inexpensive.  I can't even imagine a stereo without wall reflections, or at least tamed reflections with room treatment.  Outdoors, smart!
 
May 20, 2012 at 11:40 AM Post #6 of 11

twizzleraddict

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Looks like an interesting "journey". Into the deep we go!
popcorn.gif

 
May 20, 2012 at 11:47 AM Post #7 of 11

Redcarmoose

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That is excellent, man!  Very cool, and amazingly inexpensive.  I can't even imagine a stereo without wall reflections, or at least tamed reflections with room treatment.  Outdoors, smart!

Thank-you Eee Pee. Being outdoors here is great but there is always the threat of sudden rain. I'm ready to take the equipment and run indoors in the event. In the US my normal stereo rig is made up of two really nice Energy speakers from 1990 that I bi-amp. It really makes me wonder what they would sound like here. I think being outdoors you need a level of amp power and speaker size just so they don't get lost sounding like two little radios in the distance. I was totally amazed at the clear sound-stage. A set-up this low-cost is also something you could take outside as we all have seen the mega-buck systems which would never be put outside for fear of sun or rain damage.
 
May 20, 2012 at 7:19 PM Post #9 of 11

Redcarmoose

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Genius, I wish I even have a backyard!

Still if someone could find one of these little dat amps, they could run it off a car battery type of deep cycle battery. A person could just go out into any field bringing something like a rechargable gel-cell deep-cycle motorhome battery. Car batteries don't like to be fully decharged, but a deep cycle battery is made for it. Fully sealed gel-cells end up being pretty expensive but last a superlong time. In theory a regular car battery could only be taken down to 20% of charge a couple of times before it is totally worn out from the experience.
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 9:20 PM Post #10 of 11

Solduios

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Still if someone could find one of these little dat amps, they could run it off a car battery type of deep cycle battery. A person could just go out into any field bringing something like a rechargable gel-cell deep-cycle motorhome battery. Car batteries don't like to be fully decharged, but a deep cycle battery is made for it. Fully sealed gel-cells end up being pretty expensive but last a superlong time. In theory a regular car battery could only be taken down to 20% of charge a couple of times before it is totally worn out from the experience.
 

 
Why not just make a AC-to DC rectifier and plug it into, that way... you can also build a power filter to filter out dirty power and get close to flat line as a battery? One could get a breadboard and components for cheap and mount the board near the amp if you made a box for it.
 
Edit: Looking at the amp box I would not be surprised if you can mount the board right inside the metal amp box .. punch a hole in the back for a female plug and boom done.
 
If you know how many amps it takes to run the amp let me know it can effect the price.
 
This would be the easiest design but modify it to use ground on third prong instead of chassis ground for safety. This is w/o power filter would be smaller and cheaper.

 
Aug 6, 2012 at 12:13 PM Post #11 of 11

Redcarmoose

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Genius, I wish I even have a backyard!

 
 
Quote:
 
Why not just make a AC-to DC rectifier and plug it into, that way... you can also build a power filter to filter out dirty power and get close to flat line as a battery? One could get a breadboard and components for cheap and mount the board near the amp if you made a box for it.
 
Edit: Looking at the amp box I would not be surprised if you can mount the board right inside the metal amp box .. punch a hole in the back for a female plug and boom done.
 
If you know how many amps it takes to run the amp let me know it can effect the price.
 
This would be the easiest design but modify it to use ground on third prong instead of chassis ground for safety. This is w/o power filter would be smaller and cheaper.

 
 
Quote:
Still if someone could find one of these little dat amps, they could run it off a car battery type of deep cycle battery. A person could just go out into any field bringing something like a rechargable gel-cell deep-cycle motorhome battery. Car batteries don't like to be fully decharged, but a deep cycle battery is made for it. Fully sealed gel-cells end up being pretty expensive but last a superlong time. In theory a regular car battery could only be taken down to 20% of charge a couple of times before it is totally worn out from the experience.

 
I was just reiterating on how to make a home stereo of this type portable. This one runs on 12V and 220. Fireev1 is saying he does not have a back yard. What I was referring to was making this rig, or any home rig totally portable, so you could go out into the woods or a field and play music with no wall reflections. I guess you could do it with even a regular stereo if your batteries and 12V to 110V converter ( in the US) put out enough juice?  This amp costed $20 so I don't think I would do any mods. It runs off 12V and 220 right now. I also don't think it would change that much with cleaned up power. Also is not 12V out of a deep cycle straight into an amp like this starting out way cleaner than house current can ever get?
 

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