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rmstep@mtu.edu's Budget Audiophile PICTURE (Link at bottom) System
Last Update: August 18, 2005 at 07:03:25 IP Address:
Amplifier: NAD 3150 - A classic, I love NAD sound. It puts out 50watts per channel... NAD watts. My amp was manufactured in 1982. From what I've read it's not as musical as the 3020 but i needed the power to drive my speakers.

Price : $168.00

Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): None
Speakers: BR-1 These speakers are available from partsexpress.com I reasearched and found they are best sounding spekaers anywhere in the price range (139.80) and free shipping. If you plan on buying these speakers, you need at least 50 wpc to drive them properly. Also you have to assemble the speakers, and soldering skills are involved. Free shipping was included with the price, a sweet deal considering they weigh around 40lbs.

I love the speakers, great bass response for a 6.5' driver. The tweater is extremely natrual. Midrange suffers slightly, but for this price I can't complain.

Speaker Sensitivity is really low... and is about 83.5dB, but my NAD amp drives them easly.

Price : $139.80

CD Player/DAC: Toshiba 3950. This DVD player sounds way better than it has a right to. Planning to mod this player soon (vinnie and swenson)

Price : 68.48

Turntable/Phono Stage: The NAD 3150, from what I have read has a great phono stage. I can't justify buying a turntable just yet though. (no vinyl collection either)
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: Interconnect : Monster Interlink 200 Audio RCA Interconnect (1m) I'm thinking of upgrading this soon. Probably do a DIY job.

Price : $15.00

Speaker Cable : DIY Cat5 I used about 100ft of cat5. (cables are about 1.5m each) This technically didn't cost me anything, but i'll estimate price. I put bannana's on the end of the cat5, from dayton audio, they can be had on Partsexpress.com (bannanas were 6.95$ for 4)

Price : $13.00 (bannanas) + $10.00 (cat5 cable)

Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): I have a TNT Audio Flexy Table
Cost me about $40 in parts

TNT Audio Stubby Speaker stands.
Cost me about $10 in parts, I had the wood laying around

Pictures of my setup can be had at

A Cheap surge supressor 'protects' my system

Tweaks: DIY cables. DIY speaker stands. DIY Table.
Room Size (LxWxH): 15 x 12 x 8.5
Room Comments/Treatments: I live in a dorm room, I can't customize a hi-fi room yet.
Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): All types. Some of the CD's that get a lot of play through my system include. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon, Anything from The Police, Radiohead espeically Kid A, Massive Attack, Aurthor Lyman's Group, Norah Jones, Beck, Postal Service, some rock, some rap, and some hiphop.
System Goals/Comments: My goal was to make a Hi-Fi (or Mid-Fi if you are being an ass:) ) system under 500$. I am EXTREMELY pleased with the preformace. Everyone I know is readily impressed with the money I've invested vs the quality I get out of it. My non-hi-fi friends who appreciate the sound are BLOWN away by hearing how music is suppose to be reproduced, of course they've never heard anything better than their sony/bose/pioneer equiptment.
System Strengths: THE PRICE!

Total Price comes out to : $464.28

When I finally built the table and the speaker stands I was blown away how such little money invested can pay off so much.

The bass response out of my speakers is very good, with the 6.5' driver having a FS of 43hz. But i'd like to get a subwoofer for parties and some hard hitting bass.

I am very happy with this system, and I hope once I graduate, I can migrate this system to be my bedroom system. I'll probably get some magnepans, or go high efficency (tube gear!).

System Weaknesses: It lacks a defined midrange (the fault of the speaker). The biggest thing that I want to upgrade is my monster interconnect.

The room has cinder block walls, the acoustics in my room are horrible.

In general a 'cheap' mid-fi system, but the components are balanced and work very well together.

Video/HT System: None
URL Link: http://www.ryderstep.com/wp-content/hififront.jpg

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