minimum spend for high end sound


Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
I know this could go badly wrong, but lets try.

Back in the 90s UK magazine HFN/RR used to have a £4000 'high end' system of recommend components (digital only). The definition of high end used in this case was having 'no obvious flaws', which is about as subjective as one can get, but thought it might be interesting to see how little a DIY'er could build something that meets this intention. Given that a tranparent digital source such as ODAC is around $100 and a Pass B1 can be built on vero for not much if you have a decent parts bin in the man cave it all comes down to how little you can spend on power amp and speakers to get the desired result.

i wouldn't consider bought units/second hand to be cheating in this, esp if these units are tweakable to a higher level.

So let's see how long this can run until the flames appear trying to agree on what a flaw is! And yes I realise that at some price point high end usually has flaws that you wouldn't accept in a £100 receiver :)
Not sure I could have done it much cheaper than I did.

2 Tannoy 3149 £175
MC2 Audio MC650 £300
MC2 Audio MC450 £350
MC2 Audio T500 £125
2 Volt RV3143 £600
2 BSS FDS 360 at £110ea
50 opa2134 to replace TL072 and LF353 I found in the BSS' £48

All s/h except the Volts and the 2134s. Got lucky on ebay. ;-)

If I had to replace them with purchased speakers/amps I would want something like ATC SCM100asl pro or PMC MB2S-A.

That said I am in the planning stages of a replacement which should be substantially smaller while delivering similar or even slightly better performance.
Still not decided on the mid/high drivers. Coaxial or cone and waveguided dome?
Crossover: Remain analogue or digital? Tending towards digital at the mo' but which?
I will never change the amps though and I don't think they are tweakable.


2007-03-02 8:04 pm
in the beginning it was easy . You spent $10k and could count yourself an elite member of High End Club . Today , I'm not so sure , it can be $500 or $50,000. It depends more on the user of stuff than the stuff itself . What are your goals ? Do you want to have system which makes ZZ Top and alikes come alive or a string quartet or orchestra in the hall?
Forget Garrard 401 , fashions come and go . Today you wear tights , tomorrow balloons . Those who follow fashions will never have High End System.


Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm

Most of what you have listed there for speakers would be disqualified due to lack of full range response. An obvious flaw! minimonitors on their own cannot be high end.


2003-02-17 7:38 pm
SVS Technology puts a dent in your budget - more than the rest of a "transparent" headphone system

but it does give a pretty convincing "those speakers in that room" soundstage/imaging with the personalized hrtf taken in a high end multispeaker, good room setup

still lowest bass isn't the same without the body sensation - either a very weird multiple subs system eqed for the room with the SVS and open headphones or the fakey "butt kicker" with the SVS Realizer may get farther, at lower cost than most other current approaches for just 1 or 2 listeners at a time

way cheaper than a single "decent" loudspeaker
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Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
jcx;4676504 way cheaper than a single "decent" loudspeaker[/QUOTE said:
So you reckon a pair of 'decent' speakers, even DIY will cost $6000? I think Charles might disagree! But checking ebay used ATC SCM-100 are around that (and I have heard and would give house space to them) and I think the gedlee kits when he did them were that OOM.

Maybe getting under $6000 is where the skill comes in with DIY!