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"Top audiophile experience" around 1000 bucks all included is it possible?

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by richard51, Nov 11, 2017.
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  1. richard51
    Hi ! to all,

    The central question of this forum i hope will interest you: Is it possible to buy audio extasy around 1000 bucks all included ? ... Me i already had one of the best possible under 1000 bucks, and i think it is possible but i wanted to listen to others impressions and experiences, and i am interested in the distance between the first profund AWE moment point in an audio life and the zone of diminishing returns, and after that which pieces of gear had helped you and which methods,if there is some, helped you to reach this goal....

    To begin with,i will say the most important remark i could made from my own experience and simple experiments :

    Almost all people here and there are not conscious that an audio product is not ready, and is not at his optimal functionning regime right out of the box, but need to be installed and prepared, in an audio environment first (synergy with other gears,room treatment,cups treatment for headphones is often necessary, cable and interconnect treatment,etc), secondly in an electro-magnetic atmosphere, where the products and the electrical grid of the house need to be cleaned by some filtering methods, and last but not least in a physical location where the products need to be treated to be better damped and for better absorbtion and dissipation of vibrations to prevent and control at some level the generalized mechanically and electro-magnetically induced negative resonance that is a pervasive noise in all links and between them .

    My thread is a meeting thread were all of you are invited to share your own experience and quest, and opinions....When i stumble here on headfi 7 years ago, my dream was to construct a real audio system gear, but it is not all audiophile that are rich, some are without big money to spend, then the question is really important : Is it possible to live this audiophile experience, a relatively top audiophile one, with no frustration about the skyroketting price of the new totl produts in this business... I think so, but my goal is not to impose to all of you my own solutions to this problem,but to listen to all and learn from all of you your own solutions and idea, and key products to reach this goal...Sharing is the goal of this thread...

    I think that many newcomers had this question in the head,and because they are newcomers here they thinks that takes big money to buy this audiophile experience, i was like that 7 years ago,now i think not, my goal is sharing with all of you your own solutions to this problems, your satisfation or your frustration with it....

    In the same time it is necessary to fight against the generalized compulsion to buy,and upgrading,without thinking first....Then this place is about thinking first... What are the conditions necessary to implement an audiophile experience under 1000 bucks ? i will listen with interest to all of you, and the experienced one, with all the newcomers....:L3000:

    A caution note: the term top audiophile experience is a relative one, when i use it, i use it thinking about the subjective feeling of someone who at the end is very pleased with what he owns without no more frustration and the irritating urge to upgrade...I dont use it in the general and objective form of what is possible without any limitation of money, what is the absolute best there is, at any cost; but i ask only about what is necessary to create the satisfaction feeling with no more frustration with the arbitrary and low cost limit of 1000 bucks....I think i am very happy now within this limit.... There is better system of course, and i dont pretend that my system for example equal any costly one, but music is music at the end when you finally have the feeling that you have it, and after all the only law here is "diminushing returns "....:ksc75smile:

    It is very easy without limit of money to live this top audiophile experience, it need more thinking to relatively experience it with a drastic limit like 1000 bucks...Then it is interesting to share about that....This symbolic cut-off of 1000 is there because the zone of diminishing returns relatively to our own audiophile personal history is what is interesting to investigate for all ordinary people...

    The 1000 bucks in the title of the thread only reflect the convergence of these 2 most important points of our audio history : the point of no return after the first awe , and the zone of diminushing returns...

    All this thread must be a reflexion about this zone of diminishing returns, and the means to reach the first awe moment , different for each one of us for sure....The point of no return, the point after you truly know for the first time, and can say to yourself: this is my first audiophile true experience....After this point there is generally the law of diminushing return that make upgrade costly and without the excitation linked to this no return point ,like a first enduring love...

    At the end,with the law of diminushing return, after this first AWE moment, it will be very costly to live a second time this experience, if possible at all...Sometimes because of money it will be out of reach.... Then my other reason to make this thread is there : how to improve our gear without investing big money...

    Finally the best motto for this thread would be : perhaps audiophile for the poor, but audiophile nevertheless

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  2. nvfan
    If you factor in used gear, absolutely, you can get a screaming system for 1k. I'm generally against used headphones as it's something that's hygiene related, but amp/dac/speakers can definitely be gotten used. I put up used prices that you might find on ebay, I know if you are willing to buy locally on say craigslist you might get even better deals.

    Let's see here's a shot at a 1k system:

    Sennheiser HD6XX - $200
    Schiit Jotunheim (used) - $350ish
    Onkyo A-9050 amp (used) - ~$185
    Ascend CBM-170SE speakers (used) -$175
    speaker wire/banana plugs - $30-40

    total ~ $950
    D2Girls, Currawong and richard51 like this.
  3. richard51
    Very interesting thanks... I think that yes buying used is mandatory indeed.... Buying totl of the past, highly reviewed vintage product, is i think way better, for amplifier for example.... The top of the line in 1975-78 is perhaps always top gear today? At minimum in one or another aspects compared to contemporary costlier offering....For the headphone replacing pads seems possible and remove the hygiene barrier for me....:smile_phones:

    I paid 100 for my sansui amplifier, that drive anything more than just good, speakers or headphones, and crush all the other contemporary amplifier i try before it and his headphone out without noise is audiophile offering i have tested with 5 different headphones , all with success ....Replacing it will be very difficult at a reasonneable price....For example vintage product had sometimes advantages and functions no more offered or never offered at all on more recent gear, for example My Sansui has a pre-amp function of high quality completely separable from the power amp section.... and many more other very useful function...

    Then i think the First rule is: buying used and preferably vintage positively reviewed products for many years
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  4. richard51
    What i just said for amplifier is also valid for speakers, i pay 50 dollars for a Mission Cyrus 781 speakers that i must repair but that play more quality even in bad shape than all my previous 4 or 5 bookshelves speakers...That was the top model of mission cyrus in 1990, they can be used for bookshelves speakers , bigger than normal bookshelves though.... I can assure you that would be difficult to beat at this price.... Then used gear yes, but vintage is way more advantageous....It is very important to discuss that because newcomers can hope to buy at low cost something near audiophile experience....is there other advice from anyone than buying used and vintage ?
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  5. nvfan
    Speakers started switching from foam surrounds to rubber surrounds around the late 80s/early 90s. So I would say, really old speakers can sound good if spruced up, but may require more maintenance because of degrading drivers...also with the crossovers the capacitor caps can start dying after a while, depending on the type of caps used, but in general electrolytic caps last about 20 years, so if you buy really old speakers you are definitely looking at a project. I'm not the handiest person so generally the used gear I buy is from within the last 10-15 years, and then I often resale within 5 years of ownership and rinse, repeat my upgrade cycle.

    I would say internet direct brands tend to provide a good value in terms of BOM of the materials, so I tend to favor those over retail brands for speakers.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2017
    richard51 likes this.
  6. richard51
    Very sound advice indeed... I understand you perfectly....:L3000:

    All the question is the quality/price ratio....I paid 50 dollars for speakers, that even broken, sound already way better than my other last 5 , if the repair cost is not too high , the investment is more than justifiable for me....

    But your remark is very important, the beginners must read and study, reviews, facts of the vintage products to attain the goal....It is not buy and listen... It takes me 7 years to constitute my very satisfying system...hundred and hundred of hours to inform myself...The reward is music and no more frustration because i cannot buy 1000 thousand dollars speakers or headphones...
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  7. Currawong Contributor
    I'd probably go with a Mojo + Emotiva or similar active monitors again. Aside from the lack of deep bass, that has been the best bang-for-the-buck for me.
    richard51 likes this.
  8. richard51
    What is the price of Mojo amplifier +emotiva speakers? And is this will give a true audiophile listening? Or only a place to wait for upgrade? My actual system is not for me a place to wait for an upgrade.... i know that there is better than my system but i know that a true upgrade will cost many thousands dollars...:ksc75smile: And when you have the feeling of a natural musical instrument timbre with your system, when you enjoy music finally,you dont think to upgrade at all cost, then my point is what to do to have an audiophile system at the lowest cost ? It takes me 7 years of trying and reading information here and at many other forums to make that true...

    What do you personally think of this Mojo+emotiva speakers compared to all what you have listen already , is this a true audiophile listening ? There is an optimal point for satisfaction....I look for that point....then in your experience when did you touch this point and with what piece of gear? thanks for your time Currawong
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  9. SilverEars
    Massdrop x Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)
    Schiit Modi Multibit

    That was a good HD6XX setup.

    For active speakers, Mojo is a good source.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  10. ubs28
    Campire Andromeda. You can use it with your iPhone.

    And it scales also. From the Chord Mojo + Poly + Reference 8 cable it sounds better than the Z1R ($2200) + Sony Walkman ($3500).
    knopi likes this.
  11. FastAndClean
    dragonfly red and ER4s, you will have money for a lot of beer after that
    Mr. Thompson likes this.
  12. richard51
    Very interesting to name your under 1000 bucks pieces, but it is more important to explain why that cure in some way your upgraditis and what have you more now than with the previous pieces you have bought ....Please explain why ? Why have you the feeling of an audiophile experience now? Do you think it is possible to attain it with what you have now that is under 1000 ? What do you do to improve your actual gear to this audiophile level?

    Personally i dont think under 1000 bucks all pieces of kit are right from the start at their optimal level without making some change and mods..... Possibly no pieces of kit is at his optimal level right of the box; on another forum there is a thread about a guy that bought very ,very costly products and he puts them without any other action on the floor to listen to them and compare it with no damping,no room treatment etc ....I think that he will never know how good is gear sound really like that...:ksc75smile:

    In a word i want to listen about your solutions and some of your partaking experiences for the newcomers and not imposing mine....
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  13. Deftone
    Sennheiser HD600/650
    Schiit Vali 2
    Schiit Modi

    There’s a reason why the HD600 series are legendary.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  14. richard51
    I would like to know the difference between this and the system in your signature.... Would you say that this system ( sennheiser can+vali+modi)is truly an audiophile experience different but near the level of the system in your signature ?:ksc75smile: The price of the system in your signature is way more than 1000, do you think that it is possible to have a system under 1000 bucks that compete with the system in your signature?

    Here we dont search for cheap solutions or suggestion only , but for truly audiophile experience around 1000 bucks including all gear pieces....
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  15. Deftone
    Yes I do believe it sounds as good in it’s own way, that what I listed was my actual system. The reason for the different gear in my signature is not because I wanted upgrade.

    The short story is it was the best I heard with HD650 but I worked long hours and spending more time away from home so less time with the desktop set up, I sold everything off and then spent a while searching for a portable solution to match the desktop. I found out it costs alot more money to get an IEM that competes at the same level as headphone performance. It took IE800S to make me more satisfied to being strictly portable. My new rig is better than before but it took a hell of a lot more money to make it happen.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
    WoodyLuvr, stacksmasher and richard51 like this.
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