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vibez's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 10 2007 - 3:59am
Entry into the audiophile world..

Hello everyone

My first post here. Very recently I have become obsessed about audiophilia and exceptionally realistic sound quality from various sources (car system, portable audio player, etc). Now I am looking to buy my first ever audiophile equipment for my lounge (home), and budgets are limited. Can you guide me to the cheapest way of entry into audiophilia? I am not mentioning any price range because I have no clue about the cost of the cheapest equipment I can get new that counts as Audiophile grade!


Buddha's picture
Last seen: 6 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Entry into the audiophile world..

Hi, and welcome, Vibez!

Tell us more about your room and musical tastes, as well as whether or not you want to play records, music via your computer, CD's, etc...

Get ready for a flood of great suggestions...

dcstep's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Entry into the audiophile world..


For around $1200 you could get an Oppo universal DVD/CD/SACD player, a Woo Audio WA6 single-ended, class A headphone amp and a pair of AKG K701 headphones. Later your could add vinyl, then speakers with integrated amp, mod the Oppo, etc.

Roll around in if you seriously consider the headphone route. I'm a speaker kind of guy myself, but I've got a headphone rig, as described, for when I can't listen to the main rig. The described rig is true Class-A, depending on your source.


smejias's picture
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Entry into the audiophile world..

Wow, Vibez, this is exciting. It's awesome to hear that you're getting into the audiophile thing. Welcome, and thanks for joining the forum.

Here's an excellent essay by John Atkinson on what "counts as Audiophile grade."

JA writes:

Components primarily designed to meet the needs of audiophiles and music-lovers are worthy of the appellation "high-end," no matter what they cost.

I think that's a really important thing to keep in mind as you listen and build a system.

You might also want to take a look at our Budget Component reviews. There's a lot of great and affordable stuff out there.

Have fun!

Oh: Also, awhile back, I asked our summer intern, Ariel Bitran, to come up with a cool $1000 system. He came up with five good ideas.

Poor Audiophile
Poor Audiophile's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: Feb 14 2006 - 7:35pm
Re: Entry into the audiophile world..

Welcome vibez!!
You're sure to get a lot of great ideas here & do read the JA article Stephen recommends! It's one of my favorites!! Larry

absolutepitch's picture
Last seen: 1 day 19 hours ago
Joined: Jul 9 2006 - 8:58pm
Re: Entry into the audiophile world..

Welcome. I could not have said it better than Stephen or John (JA) in Stephen's post.

For me, I'm looking for equipment that sounds as real as possible. Then I go listening and find what I hear comes close to that and be affordable to me. Eventually, I find that I need to upgrade from what I could afford before to what I can afford now to get closer to the real thing. I have stopped buying because I have what sounds satisfyingly real, and is a system that I can listen to all day without getting tired of it. (Before, there was always something not quite satisfying that caused me to stop listening after some time and go back to it later.)

Yes there are other systems better than mine, but it's good enough for now for me. I also know that when I upgrade, it will be better. But do I need to spend that money now or later?

BrianP's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 9 2007 - 5:13pm
Re: Entry into the audiophile world..

It should be possible to put together a VERY musical basic system (CD player/integrated amp/speakers) for under a grand. Look for brands known to offer exceptional quality-to-price ratio. Good deals can often be found on used/discontinued/demo gear. Audio Advisor often has great deals on discontinued models. Find a local independent hi-fi dealer (avoid big box stores) who will work with you to assemble a system you can live with, within your budget, and will stand behind their sales with service and tech support. And continue to patronize that dealer when it comes time to upgrade

vibez's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 10 2007 - 3:59am
Re: Entry into the audiophile world..

Thanks everyone
I understand listening to the system myself would yield the best bang for my buck, but the issue is that I do not have the components available for listening here in my area, thus my foray into this forum. Secondly, I am not looking for a portable system (already have a moderate one), I am looking for a home system to put in my lounge or bedroom that I can really enjoy every day. I listen to all kinds of genres, in multiple languages actually and I like realism and detail of course.
To begin with I am looking for a sub $1000 system (maybe can stretch that up to 1500 if the difference is significant). I currently have a logitech THX certified home theater system (cost me $500) that I use and to put it nicely, its bad.
I basically want to have a huge upgrade in SQ from the system I am looking to buy compared to the logitech I am sure you guys can guide me in the right direction.

Thanks for the inputs everyone, looking forward to more from you people

Take care

KBK's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 30 2007 - 12:30pm
Re: Entry into the audiophile world..

Toriodal transformer EL-34 tube integrated!! $549.00

Rega Planet 2000 CD player:

Dyanudio Audience 42 speakers!

I know I'm a cable guy, and I'm supposed to recommend you spend lots of money on cables, but right now, I'd just concentrate of getting some superlative gear and let the rest catch up later. It's all milk crates and lamp cord for you, right now.

But seriously, you can get the speaker stands for about $50, and some cheaper used cables ($50-100, max) to get you up and running.

fooo's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 26 2007 - 1:21pm
Re: Entry into the audiophile world..

This is also my first post here.

I think that most replies here are looking in a slightly wrong direction.


The aim of your system is to provide a full range sound, the most thruthful and musical system achievable within your budget.

If this is the case - you have to look at high-end equipent, not mid-fi, value-for-money Dali, Rotel, NAD, bookshelf units, integrated amplifiers, etc.

So my advice: look for used, high-end classics which are not necessarily the most well-known.

I purchased a pair of Snell a3i speakers for around 1400$ and hooked them up to a set of Tandberg 3002 + 3003 amplifiers (2x150w @ 8 ohm) ($ 300) and a Technics SL-PS900 cd-player ($ 100), and it provides full, rich, earthshaking (if need be) or the most delicate and musical performance I have heard for the price.

And this equipment can be bought for a lot less in the US compared to where I bought it (Norway). I think you could get something of AT LEAST the same quality for 1000$ there.

So for a total of 1000$, start investigating, read old reviews, and look for the forgotten classics.

First: find the best speakers you can, with the sort of sound you are looking for, for the type of music you like, and then start adding equipment from there, according to taste and available cash.

Audition lots of equipment! Bring it home and listen.

It is a lot of fun, so enjoy the voyage, and when you get ashore (which you of course never will )

enjoy the music.


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