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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:02 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Homestead, PA, US
I can't think of any field with so vast an amount of choices as audio. If you had $2000 to spend what new or used equip.that's realistic to find would you be hoping to find with the goal of "natural" realism & maximum sound quality for that amount of money. Extra stars for systems that you have actually put together for that amount or less that had great synergy.Here are some of mine. Most of these were found in thrift stores long ago, out of myself being too $$ strapped to spend much,and I think this made it all the more rewarding.Thinking you couldn't afford to put together a fine stereo and then thanks to bargains being able to do so. I wish I still had most of the stuff I found, but vintage equipment is sometimes on its last leg. I will give 1 to 5 stars (*****) depending on how synergistic a Combo this system was for sound. I will include the price I remembered paying for each piece of equip. I have a phonographic memory !

Optimus cd3400 CD player ..$59 new at Radio Shack. This was the player that Joe Grado told Sam Tellig about & was a minor sensation for a while. **** Sequerra marketed a beefed up power section/station for it.

Heathkit stereo tube integrated amp $60

Optimus LX4 PRO Bookshelf Speakers.. $80 pair new on sale at Radio Shack with kevlar woofer/mid and lineaum tweeter (ribbon type).

TOTAL COST: A whisker under $250.
It gave me really open and clean sound.The treble control on the Heath brought up the slightly shy Lineaum tweeters response.Wonderfully sweet treble and mids thanks to the combo of tubes, kevlar and ribbon tweeter.Once during a night in December I absolutely couldn't believe and was stunned how open and sonically sweet it was possible to reproduce Bing's White Christmas.From the ticks you could tell it was not from tape; probably from shellac; it was a various artist compilation disc.It was one of those magical moments where everything had been playing for hours and was so warmed up that even the speakers noticeably accentuated area sounded perfectly even and natural. Synergy: 3 1/2 stars

System 2: Dynaco Tube stereo power amp...$15 at Thrift Store.

Tandberg tcd310 cassette deck...$19.95 at same Thrift.

dbx 3x2 bookshelf speakers...$19.95 at same Thrift.

TOTAL COST: $59 with tax.
This gave me a surprisingly detailed and fast sound with excellent imaging and what sounded like a ruler flat frequency response down to the upper midbass,which is far down as the speakers would go.These components literally sounded like they were made for each other.The speakers with solid state sounded very thin and bright, but with tubes actually sounded appropriately warm & thicker and had at least the beginnings of a bass foundation, (they were originally sold as part of a 3 piece system with a subwoofer). These speakers were particularly focused and fast with a big image in the middle that slacked off in size at the sides predictably.I remember being really impressed with vocals and how effortlessly it reproduced subtle drum trills.Especially after they sounded without merit with solid state.I did do a few mods like stuffing straws in its port and gluing braces inside the cabinet.The tweeter was extended but a bit white and bleached sounding, later replaced with Vifa tweeters.The midrange was the star.Really impressive.When removing the mid/woofer to brace I noticed a third wire going from the crossover to driver instead of the usual 2 wires.Always wondered what that was about.Any ideas ??
The real star was the Dynaco tube amp of course. Just gorgeous tonality, and bass that was anything like muddy or slow. Later found out the amp was modded.Circa mid 1990's I actually ended up with about class B sound (ala very limited bass) for under $60 outlay.Most systems in Stereophile class B at that time would have cost at least $2,500. Very rewarding to be able to achieve something I thought I couldn't come close to affording. The Tandberg cassette deck gave pure analog sound with near CD clarity without the artificiality of many players at the time minus quite their dynamics. Synergy: 5 stars.

I realize finds like those at them prices do not happen often.What kind of stuff would you realistically hope to find to put together the ultimate $2,000 or less system? Also if you ever put together a system like the above elaborate and describe.

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