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Old 12th January 2008, 03:39 AM   #1
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Default All Frugal

I'm posing this question in the single driver forum because the values tend to be different with what constitutes frugality.

Is there any of the imported or other of the usual chrome covered
mini systems that use the tripath amp for instance that no one may be aware of?

Can a $40 combo system (cd, radio etc.) run a pair of BIBs and the like for absolute frugality (cheap system)? If so which ones? This would be the stuff found in the department stores or Best Buy. Specifically not hundred dollar receivers from the likes of Sherwood etc.

I've wanted to spring for one of these desktop rigs for my shop area and be able to demonstrate good sound solely based on the design principles of the forum here for our single driver hobby.

The only kind of frugality I've seen come close is that one of the members had some speaks he made single driver hooked up to a boom box. Might have been Zaph, I forget
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Old 12th January 2008, 08:06 AM   #2
hm is offline hm  Europe
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Hello,

my experience shows me:
90 % of the sound makes the speaker,
it form, crossover parts and the room.

I heard a lot of amps, and found for speaker
with 95 dB 1W 1m, the cheap small digital amps
were a surprise for the money, for me better
than tube amp(s) and that only because the amp noise
is lower.

fact is the data of cheap amps are not different from
expensive amps, the speaker makes it,
and normally 90% you need only 0,2-2 W impuls at home.
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Old 12th January 2008, 06:05 PM   #3
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Default thin wires to thin leads

Most of the cheapo radio/disc players have thin wires to their
small , jive speakers. Initially I wouldn't want to take one of these apart but wonder how the speaker lead in wires could be connected.

They usually have plugs on the end and possibly braiding inside the wire which makes soldering on the ends nothing but burn baby burn.

The more expensive minis have more traditional connections like snap plugs found on speaker cups.

I want to be able to take a Llloyds or Cosmo or one of those foolish brands and do my hookups.


I still wonder that since the tripath was built into a cheezy portable setup sold at Target, which other brands might have it as well? To whom does tripath supply materials? Surely someone has wondered about this.
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Old 12th January 2008, 09:54 PM   #4
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default source first...

anyone who believes what is in front of a pair of speakers is only 10% of the sound ought to be posting somewhere else.

source-amp-speakers . easy to demonstrate.

Teac did have some Tripath amps in some of their reference series micro components. Not sure what is currently available out there.


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Old 12th January 2008, 10:53 PM   #5
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There seems to be some disagreement here.
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Old 12th January 2008, 11:51 PM   #6
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default yup....definitely disagreement.

Consider this, a small experiment.:

Take the best source you have, coupled with a similar or slightly "lower quality" amp, and similarly "lower quality" speakers. Listen.

Take the "lowest quality" source, the next lowest quality amp, and the best quality speakers. Listen.

You make up your own mind.

But here's a thought. An amp can only try to reproduce what it gets for a signal, a speaker tries to reproduce what it gets from the amp. If the original source is of lower quality, then the amp can do nothing to make it better, just as loudspeakers cannot improve the amplified signal.

However, I will say that speakers do represent a significant change in sound, but not necessarily an improvement. Whether that change is a positive one (meaning you find a system easier or "better to listen to) or a negative one (as in screeching highs, etc) is completely up you.

And recall, no where did I suggest price as the quality factor. There are "price class" beaters out there (I use a Sony Playstation as a cd player and really like it) that perform better than they have any right to, and some that sound mediocre compared to the $$$ spent.

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Old 13th January 2008, 01:05 AM   #7
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Haven't heard from Moreart yet but this sort of makes my point.

I'm looking a price/class buster.

Looks like I'll have to pay my money and take my chances if no recommendations come in.
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Old 13th January 2008, 06:48 PM   #8
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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Flat-earthers (often Linnies, who follow the logic Nanook layed out) think the source is most important, plenty of folks think the speakers are the most important, and a few (like my favorite audio writer Art Dudley who is a recovering flat-earther) think amplification is the most important. If you browse the forums here, you'll find a bunch of in the amp forums who have great amps and speakers the guys in the speaker forum would find marginal, and vice versa. Heck, ask the guys in the Audio Asylum tweak forum. A few of them think the power outlet is the most important. (They like Oyaide.)

I try and treat everything like it is important. First I built speakers (two ways), then a great amp, then great speakers. In the meantime I built some cables (not so popular in these parts), a power distribution box and found some platforms (even less popular). Now, I'm working on CD player and turntable (not that my Philips SACD player is that bad). Every time I've replaced a piece of stock, consumer grade equipment, I've heard a big improvement.

I admire your idea greatly. I bet there is something out there, but I'm not sure who would know. You could try the guys in the solid state forum. You might find a service tech who has opened up a few various cheap units of the sort you are considering. Keep in mind that units like this often don't last long. Much of any repair could cost more than the unit. Also, it's tough to find something without a bunch of crazy features. I wonder how many have some weird EQ at any setting and are impossible to make flat.

Though not quite what you are looking for, I think the best bang-for-the-buck source and amplification will be used gear. Several old receivers and integrateds come to mind, though others would know better. Get a Playstation like Nanook, or for under $20, you can find one of the earlier CD players with the TDA1541 DAC. They sound alright on their own (dark and unrevealing, but musical), but the non-oversampling mod is easy and free.

if you find some great little system, be sure to let us know.

pj
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Old 13th January 2008, 09:57 PM   #9
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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I know 99.9% of people on here already have a computer. Find a second hand higher quality sound card for it. Rip your CDs with exactaudiocopy.

A sonic impact T-amp with some senisble mods, find an old 12V power supply for a two-way radio to run it.

Search about for some high efficiency wizzered car stereo speakers. T-amps run pretty well into 4 ohms. Find some big open baffles, a couple of panels from a large shipping crate would work well. Stick some foam behind the whizzer, phase plugs (old capacitors work well and look very dodgy) and strengthen the basket-magnet interface with several coats of liquid nails. Use 3m of old telephone cable for your speaker cables.

Can all be had for $150. Bass may lack a little bit but midrange and high end detail will freak them out. Even better than a cheap bookshelf system, it will look like it was all found in the rubbish.
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Old 13th January 2008, 10:45 PM   #10
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Yah, there's a magazine down at the library oriented totally to
dodgy reuse of stuff.

No car speaks for me: I have a pair of Fostex 127e that have been in various builds over the years. Currently completing a Harvey.

For what you get in materials with an SI amp, they should be about $7.95



I used to be into good soundcards and there is supposed to be good ones from MAudio and one that's sold in Guitar World guitar shops called the Elan or something. But's talking a hundred balloons again.
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