What cheapo system gives you great pleasure?

Just curious what inexpensive, or even cheapo, system have you put together that gives you great listening pleasure?

At least WAY beyond what you would expect, for the modest investment and components.

My current favorite is:
Advent 300 receiver (used as a preamp)
Adcom GFA-535II amp
Boston Acoustic A150 speakers
No-namo CD player
(maybe $250 invested)


  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 6,841
    Polk RTA-12B's - $225
    Yamaha RX-A1020 - $650
    MIT EXp-2's - $50
    USB Stick - $20
    FLAC Files - Varies

    Less invested than some people have in one pair of MIT speaker wires. If I heard some of the rigs on this board I wouldn't be as happy, probably, but as it stands I like it. Still need an amp.
  • nbrowsernbrowser Posts: 6,270
    HK 3375 $180 (14 years ago)
    Pioneer BS22s $140
    "Quality" 14 gauge
    Mac Mini as Source (slightly upgraded 2012 model, 2.5Ghz 16Gb DDR3) $600
    AQ Tower cable from Mac to HK $28
    Klipsch KSW10 $199
  • cnhcnh Posts: 13,310
    edited August 2015
    A tough one since I have a load of vintage gear around. The current system in my sig is pretty good!

    One of my favorite "cheapos" is an HK 430, Dynaco A25s, and a '90s Sony CDP. Total cost? Don't remember but well under $200 (maybe 120+?), the Sony was $8? Those old twin power HKs are very sweet sounding even if they're only 25 watts x 2. I also sometimes throw a little vinyl on that with an old Realistic mid-level table and its original Shure cart that cost me next to nothing. I call this my effortless system because it's like melting butter-not the greatest resolution or detail, but it takes you to a peaceful place.

    Also like those B.A. A series speakers (have a some A200s on a NAD and NAK. pre, but I wouldn't call that system cheap even though it did not set me back that much).
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 8,952
    'Cheapo' is a relative term, but for something currently in use it would be the work system; iPod Classic, Wadia 171 iTransport dock, Benchmark DAC1, and Sennheiser 650 headphones.
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 2,922
    Mine: about 7k more gear and I will be good.
  • Mikey081057Mikey081057 Posts: 4,595
    Marantz 2252B, Polk monitor 5b's old hp laptop Audioquest dragonfly usb dac.
  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 6,308
    Hitmaster connected to ipod around the campfire. Doesn't get any better...

  • Such a loaded question. I would have to say this.e0orldpzf6vr.jpg

    A solid 50% of setups I have heard were ear piercing. So this easily beats it. The next 49.99% I heard I could not afford.

  • aprazer402aprazer402 Posts: 703
    Pioneer SX-780 receiver
    Pioneer PD-M40. CD-1987
    Technics SL-5200 turntable
    Onkyo Integra SL-2500 cassette deck
    Polk Audio Monitor 7 with Peerless tweeters
    Total cost used was right around $200.00.
  • aprazer402aprazer402 Posts: 703
    Harmon Kardon 490i receiver
    Pioneer PL-550 turntable
    Sansui D770R cassette deck
    Magnavox FD-2040 CD player 1984 (built like a tank, this thing will not give up.)
    Polk Audio Monitor 5jr+ series ll

  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,359
    These are 2 of my favorite cheapo systems I had a while back in the garage:


  • aprazer402aprazer402 Posts: 703
    Technics SA-500 receiver
    Technics SL-Q2 turntable
    JVC KD-V6 cassette deck
    Pioneer PD-M610 CD - 1989
    Polk Audio SDA-CRS+
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 2,922
    aprazer402 wrote: »
    Technics SA-500 receiver
    Technics SL-Q2 turntable
    JVC KD-V6 cassette deck
    Pioneer PD-M610 CD - 1989
    Polk Audio SDA-CRS+
    Your garage is nicer than my living room!
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 2,922
    Mine has bats and lizards
  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 12,553
    2 TL3's hooked up to my pc connected to a 36wpc Cambridge Soundworks sub/amp.
  • Polk rti4's stand-mounted sound unbelievably good. I brought home a pair of B&W 685's thinking they would be an improvement. They weren't. I listened to them for two days and took them back. The highs sounded harsh compared to the rti4's. Maybe it's just whatever you're used to.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,341
    HCT HMS-100 (Dared MP-5 clone) 15 wpc, tube hybrid integrated amp
    Keces Dac-131 USB dac
    Polk Audio 5B's (x-over mods and RDO tweets)
    MIT Terminator 2 I/C's; homemade Canare 4S10 speaker cables
    Media Monkey computer audio player
    FLAC files ripped bit perfect with Db Power amp.

    Sounds way better than it should, always amazes me the fidelity from such a modest system.

  • gudnoyezgudnoyez Posts: 5,469

    Portable the Polk bluetooth speakers were purchased at 50% off so we're the headphones friends and family the Urchin and the Swimmer sound very nice the JD Labs headphone amp along with the Buckles all of these bring me much pleasure and wasn't a lot of coin. I also have a pair of 301s hooked up to a Technics integrated and a Technics CD player .
  • polkfarmboypolkfarmboy Posts: 5,713
    I would have to say my yaqin mc10l, polk rti8 with a marantz dv4003 for spinning cds. It was warm bassy andtamed down thetweeters. People that listened too it were in love and it wasall for $950.
  • My stereo in the den, blows every one away that comes in the house. It just served as background but it is so clear and dynamic that it gets a lot of comments. Under a grand in that system including the tt. The Onkyo integrated and fluance bookies make a great pair.
  • I have maybe $300 invested in the garage setup:

    Sansui AU-555a integrated
    Polk Monitor 40s with Peerless tweets
    Some old Sony 5-disc progressive scan DVD player

    Surprised the neighbors haven't called the cops on me yet. That little Sansui punches way above its weight.
  • voltzvoltz Posts: 4,372
    My Mc100b with Monitor 10's and A Marantz 5004 CD player makes some sweet music!
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,902
    Dayens Ampino
    Pioneer BS22
    iFi iDSD Nano
    Computer w/ Jriver

    Big league sound for budget prices.
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 6,841
    jimithng23 wrote: »
    Polk Monitor 40s with Peerless tweets

    Say what?
  • Nightfall wrote: »
    jimithng23 wrote: »
    Polk Monitor 40s with Peerless tweets

    Say what?


    Monitor 10s.

  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 6,308
    You guys idea of cheapo and mine differ by a bunco lol...
  • deronb1deronb1 Posts: 3,592
    My main rig now! Rimshot!
  • boston1450boston1450 Posts: 5,838
    edited August 2015
    The cheapest system i have & listening to right now is this
    Sansui Model 8 = 25.00
    Redid cabinet since
    Advent 1 speakers = 27.00
    after i put new surrounds in & new binding post 7l3k8i7ajrzl.jpg
    Soon to be (project in progress) ADS Model 500 in one room & B7's in weight room hooked to the Sansui
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 13,891
    cheapo to me = dump find.
    I'll give some thought to the best sounding dump find collection of hardware here & get back to you all anon.

  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,902
    edited August 2015
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    cheapo to me = dump find.
    I'll give some thought to the best sounding dump find collection of hardware here & get back to you all anon.

    That's kind of the problem with these types of questions. A cheapo system to me isn't one you got on the cheap (or free at a dump), its one with inexpensive components that come together for some sweet goodness. Regardless, its still fun to see everyone's responses.
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