Budget audiophile gear recommendations

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Bradystraps
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Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by Bradystraps » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:35 am

Hey guys,
Just picked up the Onkyo A-9110 Integrated Amplifier ($259.00 Amazon) and paired it with a new set of Audioengine HDP5 speakers ($299.00 on Drop) and the sound is nothing short of superb! Playing Masters from TIDAL through my Musical Fidelity V90-DAC makes for some extremely enjoyable listening. :grin:

If you are looking for an amp with built-in DAC, Onkyo also offer the A-9150 for an additional $100 or so.

For any of you looking for a great budget set-up, you would be quite impressed with this amp and speaker set!


https://www.themasterswitch.com/onkyo-a-9110-review

https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articl ... udspeaker/


Best,
Todd
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matt.wu
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by matt.wu » Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:42 am

Nice! I know nothing about sound systems, but was thinking about getting something in place soon. This will be a good starting point.
:htfu:

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toxicavenger
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by toxicavenger » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:26 am

i have been thinking about one of these
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Selym
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by Selym » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:46 am

The Audioengines are great, aren't they? My brother-in-law works in the industry, so we often end up with his hand-me-downs. We currently have a pair of KEF X300A on our desktop. They sound great. The only downside is they go into a low-power mode when they don't detect a signal, emitting a loud pop. It's pretty annoying

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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by Joeprez » Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:37 pm

I've had Audioengine speakers and they are really good. Congrats on the setup!


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Bradystraps
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by Bradystraps » Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:21 pm

toxicavenger wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:26 am
i have been thinking about one of these
It seems with many of these budget tube amps, you will need to upgrade the tubes from the OOTB ones. That’s a deal breaker for me which is why I’m staying SS.
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Bradystraps
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by Bradystraps » Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:22 pm

matt.wu wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:42 am
Nice! I know nothing about sound systems, but was thinking about getting something in place soon. This will be a good starting point.
Add a turntable too so you can get your vintage vinyl vibe going. That’s a fun hobby too!
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dukerules
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by dukerules » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:28 pm

Anyone have a suggestion on a budget amp with Wi-Fi/BT connectivity?

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toxicavenger
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by toxicavenger » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:35 pm

dukerules wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:28 pm
Anyone have a suggestion on a budget amp with Wi-Fi/BT connectivity?
I think the one I posted above has all of those features :shrug:

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59yukon01
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by 59yukon01 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:37 pm

I've had this THX certified Onkyo probably about 20 years now. They are built well and you can't go wrong with the brand imo.Image

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dukerules
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by dukerules » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:56 pm

OK, this thread just cost me about $600. But I'm excited.

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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by gonzomantis » Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:47 pm

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Raspberry Pi!

My budget listening system is based on a Raspberry Pi, and some deals I got on Craigslist.

Raspberry Pi, and Pi DAC+ from IQAudio.co.uk, with case was about $80
NAD C370 integrated amp (Craigslist) for $75. Yup, it was a steal.
DIY Tritrix speakers that a dude overbuilt with 1" CNC cut MDF. These are MTM transmission line speakers, and sound fantastic. Got them for $75 bucks too.
Sony C601ES CD changer (Craigslist) $25, for when I want to listen to CDs.

Grand total, $255.

I run OSMC, on the Pi, and stream of my NAS drive. The drive is loaded with most of my CD collection, in lossless format. I then use Kodi on my iPad to control it. This gives me the bulk of the functionality of Sonos, at a lower cost, and better sound.

If you have an A/V receiver with HDMI, you can plug the Pi in directly, and skip the cost of the DAC. I did that on our living room system.

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toxicavenger
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by toxicavenger » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:28 pm

gonzomantis wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:47 pm
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Raspberry Pi!

My budget listening system is based on a Raspberry Pi, and some deals I got on Craigslist.

Raspberry Pi, and Pi DAC+ from IQAudio.co.uk, with case was about $80
NAD C370 integrated amp (Craigslist) for $75. Yup, it was a steal.
DIY Tritrix speakers that a dude overbuilt with 1" CNC cut MDF. These are MTM transmission line speakers, and sound fantastic. Got them for $75 bucks too.
Sony C601ES CD changer (Craigslist) $25, for when I want to listen to CDs.

Grand total, $255.

I run OSMC, on the Pi, and stream of my NAS drive. The drive is loaded with most of my CD collection, in lossless format. I then use Kodi on my iPad to control it. This gives me the bulk of the functionality of Sonos, at a lower cost, and better sound.

If you have an A/V receiver with HDMI, you can plug the Pi in directly, and skip the cost of the DAC. I did that on our living room system.
Hahaha nice. I use a Pi for my work computer. I want to use one for a Bluetooth amp in the Bug

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Bradystraps
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by Bradystraps » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:18 am

dukerules wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:56 pm
OK, this thread just cost me about $600. But I'm excited.
Nice! What did you order?
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by unsub073 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:59 am

matt.wu wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:42 am
Nice! I know nothing about sound systems, but was thinking about getting something in place soon. This will be a good starting point.
I used to have a decent one many years ago, and sold it all when we moved into a condo (limited on space). We moved into a house and I went with a soundbar set up in my office/tv room for me, and that hasn't worked the way I wanted it to. I am now in the process of figuring out what I want next.

This site is information overkill, but it's at least decent to get some idea's from.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/index.php

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dukerules
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by dukerules » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:23 pm

Bradystraps wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:18 am
dukerules wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:56 pm
OK, this thread just cost me about $600. But I'm excited.
Nice! What did you order?
Same setup as you. An A-9110 and a pair of the HDP6s (the Drop deal was incredible on those). Bought a BT receiver as well, and am going to see how streaming high bitrate music over BT works out. Will probably need to get a DAC later.

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Bradystraps
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by Bradystraps » Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:47 am

dukerules wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:23 pm
Bradystraps wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:18 am
dukerules wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:56 pm
OK, this thread just cost me about $600. But I'm excited.
Nice! What did you order?
Same setup as you. An A-9110 and a pair of the HDP6s (the Drop deal was incredible on those). Bought a BT receiver as well, and am going to see how streaming high bitrate music over BT works out. Will probably need to get a DAC later.
Great! 👍🏼
A BT mini amp is great for an office setup but I think you will be best with a pure DAC for home setup. There are some good deals on Drop.

Let us know how things sound once you’ve listened for a while.
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Bradystraps
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by Bradystraps » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:36 pm

Here are some recommended albums to listen to:

Donald Fagen - The Nightfly
Dire Straits - Love Over Gold ( or anything by them)
Beck - Sea Change (All his stuff is masterfully produced)
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (vinyl is best)
Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams
Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
Pink Floyd - DSOTM and Wish You Were Here
REM - Automatic For The People
Roxy Music - Avalon
Steely Dan - Aja (all their albums are well produced)
The Doors - Morrison Hotel
The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding
Tom Petty - Wildflowers
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dukerules
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by dukerules » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:54 pm

OK, decided after doing some more research to go with Elac B6.2s instead of the HDP6s. Also bought a Modi 3 DAC. Will start by streaming from my MacBook, and also bought a couple of cables to see how my iPhone 7 works as a streamer. Excited to try the new Amazon Music HD service that was just released--if it works out, high quality music for slightly more than I'm paying for Spotify Premium right now is a no-brainier.

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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by BlueSky » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:22 am

dukerules wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:54 pm
OK, decided after doing some more research to go with Elac B6.2s instead of the HDP6s. Also bought a Modi 3 DAC. Will start by streaming from my MacBook, and also bought a couple of cables to see how my iPhone 7 works as a streamer. Excited to try the new Amazon Music HD service that was just released--if it works out, high quality music for slightly more than I'm paying for Spotify Premium right now is a no-brainier.
I posted about the Amazon service in another thread and forgot to sign up for a free 90 day trial. I think it's 7.99/90 days now for Prime members. Haven't had time to follow up and there seems to be variances in what people are actually getting regarding the lossless stream.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/286-late ... today.html

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Bradystraps
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by Bradystraps » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:39 pm

I just signed up for the Amazon HD and plan on comparing to Tidal this week. I will post my findings.
The service is $14.99/mo vs. $19.99 for Tidal.
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Bradystraps
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by Bradystraps » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:38 pm

dukerules wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:54 pm
OK, decided after doing some more research to go with Elac B6.2s instead of the HDP6s. Also bought a Modi 3 DAC. Will start by streaming from my MacBook, and also bought a couple of cables to see how my iPhone 7 works as a streamer. Excited to try the new Amazon Music HD service that was just released--if it works out, high quality music for slightly more than I'm paying for Spotify Premium right now is a no-brainier.
Those were actually my first choice too! But when the Drop deal hit, I just pressed “Buy”. 😂
Let me know how the Elac’s sound.
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unsub073
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by unsub073 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:07 am

dukerules wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:54 pm
OK, decided after doing some more research to go with Elac B6.2s instead of the HDP6s. Also bought a Modi 3 DAC. Will start by streaming from my MacBook, and also bought a couple of cables to see how my iPhone 7 works as a streamer. Excited to try the new Amazon Music HD service that was just released--if it works out, high quality music for slightly more than I'm paying for Spotify Premium right now is a no-brainier.

Thoughts on the Elac's yet? How big of room did you put them in?

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dukerules
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by dukerules » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:33 am

Ugh I’ve been super busy. Just unboxed them today. Will set everything up this weekend. They are going in a medium-sized living room with an open floor plan.

Any feedback from anyone on Amazon Music HD?

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dukerules
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Re: Budget audiophile gear recommendations

Post by dukerules » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:48 am

Ok. The Elacs sound wonderful. I don’t have much to compare them to, but they are warm and yet clear. Love the Modi 3, too. I can stream hi res Amazon music from my iPhone with a $40 cable, and bypass the need for a dedicated streamer or a laptop. Amazon HD seems great thus far as well.

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