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Xozz's picture
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: Feb 2 2011 - 1:06pm
~$800 bucks for entire setup?

Basically, I'm beginning to start and plan out a system for no more than 800ish which I'm planning on buying by the end of the summer. Thing is, I'm not really sure how to go about this. Since my source is going to be a laptop would I be correct in guessing that I would need to buy a dac, integrated amp, and the actual speakers? ...and if I'm right about that, is there even the faintest possibility of getting an entire rig together for that price? Thanks for the help...I really have no idea what I'm doing.

P.S. If any of you kind souls have actual gear suggestions, that would be greatly appreciated

Drtrey3's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: Aug 17 2008 - 2:52pm

Have you considered going used? I think you could get a nice plug in dac like the HRT Music Streamer II High Resolution USB D/A Converter for $150 at Amazon or other places. Then you could get a used integrated for $300 or less. That would leave you $300 to $400 for some cool little speakers. There you have SO many choices! Check through the stereophile archives, Robert Reina and Sam Tellig and Stephen Meijas all review budget gear.

But please keep us informed and let us know what you decide. If you are lucky, Jackfish will give you some suggestions. I consider him the suggestion king!


Xozz's picture
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: Feb 2 2011 - 1:06pm
Hadn't thought about that

Ah, I definitely would. It just didn't occur to me that audio is probably one of the few areas where buying used is actually a good deal. Thanks for the suggestion! Now to start looking around and drooling over the possibilities...

jackfish's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Audio gd Sparrow Basic DAC

Audio gd Sparrow Basic DAC for $170 from Pacific Valve.

Yamaha A-S500 Integrated Amplifier for $400.

PSB Image B25s in closeout for $320/pair at DMC Electronics.

Leo Fassbinder
Leo Fassbinder's picture
Last seen: 6 years 2 months ago
Joined: Feb 11 2011 - 9:05pm
Definitely go used.

Craigslist is your friend, seriously. My whole garage system is from Craigslist: a Denon SACD/DVD-A/CD player ($200), Sony home theater receiver (100 WPC - $100), and Polk Audio speakers ($150), well within your budget. My DAC is a new Cambridge Audio ($400), but you should be able to find some cheaper used ones now that they have been around awhile.

At one point I had an Archos media player that had an optical output and the home theater receiver's built-in DAC handled the decoding with no problems (which means I didn't need an external DAC at all). The Archos would skip and pop on 320kps MP3 files, though, and that drove me crazy.

There are good deals on Craigslist if you know what you want and you are patient.