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
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.

stew
 
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
 

OzMikeH

Member
2007-03-18 9:22 am
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.
 
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.
 
This is not a bad sounding system. I have listened to one myself. For the money, it is of reasonable quality and should give you years of use. Besides, it doesn't start to distort until way above what our precious full rangers could handle so you are a go. I have considered that for my shop as well but went with an SI Tamp modded out with a decent CD source and an old modded and decked out turntable. Very good quality for higher efficiency speakers of 90 DB plus (which the 127s are).

Tom
 
Harderror said:
This is not a bad sounding system. I have listened to one myself. For the money, it is of reasonable quality and should give you years of use. Besides, it doesn't start to distort until way above what our precious full rangers could handle so you are a go. I have considered that for my shop as well but went with an SI Tamp modded out with a decent CD source and an old modded and decked out turntable. Very good quality for higher efficiency speakers of 90 DB plus (which the 127s are).

Tom

I build with the 127's as well. Current build is the Harvey under discussion elsewhere.

I have considered mightily the SI amp (original). But it strains credulity that a mass produced tripath chip is not used in more-- shall we say--- knockoffs? This Sony is not built on the tripath. My Sony dvd player plays anything so I have good confidence in their product.


Harvey is still on the operating table. I'm having more problems getting the grille right and will have a good listen pretty soon.
 

ronc

Member
2003-03-08 2:22 pm
Flat-earthers (often Linnies, who follow the logic Nanook layed out) think the source


I belonged to the flat earth society in college. The hardest thing was desiging a digestive system where the individual would not "fall apart".

AHHH! the days of Fireside theater,Moody blues and the bong have given way to critical falt analysis, stastical evaluation of production, physics application of production falts ect. ect have won out.

ron
 
Harderror said:
Besides, it doesn't start to distort until way above what our precious full rangers could handle

I don't know. at the event WE last they had my Fonkens playing PRETTY LOUD (25W Class A Monarchy). At one poin to went up to touch the voice coil area to make sure they weren't melting down.

dave
 
I'm a "flat-earther"?...

never been accused of that. No Linn products, no Naim products..no Creek or Epos, or LS3/5 s....

in fact, some might consider my primary system as the antithesis of what is considered "flatearth":

Oracle Alex Mkll/SME309 mag/Grado Sig 8 MCZ, Elite PD54, greystation, McCormack DNA 0.5 deLuxe/Microline Drive... Castle Durham 900 speakers....

someplace else I suggested that we all adopt the LJK Setright philosophy regarding systems....Start with a quality level, and match most pieces to that. Then upgrade whatever you feel is most important. To me it makes sense to try to minimize the upstream effects of equipment , rather than trying to fix something with a colouration (eg:character type speakers, etc) to balance the sound of a system. I only propose a source first approach because if degraded, nothing that is done afterwards can "resurrect" the signal back to what it was. As I've stated before, a preamp can only switch and amplify (slightly) or not (if a passive), and an amp can only amplify the signal it gets from the preamp, and the loudspeakers can only attempt to reproduce what it is fed from the amp.

Years ago I think it was Frank Doris of TAS who warned against using interconnects and specifically "voiced" equipment to attempt to fix problems upstream in the audio chain, because the outcomes can be so random and often do not justify the expense.

stew