What was your most inexpensive or most cost effective HiFi discovery

Jasonovich

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I like to tinker with things, tweak this or customise that, sometimes the results are astonishing and other times not so but the common pattern here, these projects of mine are done at small costs.

Just to give an instance, one of the spring clip speaker terminals on my Presonus 3.5 active speakers broke; the original coil was launch into the atmosphere and never to be seen. It was still Ok using the same cables as long as it remained stationary but it still bothered me, I initially tried to contact Presonus for the spare parts but this wasn't an item that was stocked.
So I thought in for a penny in for a pound, I decided to galvanise the spring clip speaker terminals from the Presonus and replace them with proper binding post, some soldering, some acrylic glue, easy-peasy! As you can see from the photos, these quality 4mm compatible banana plugs have been installed on both active and passive speakers.

This modification now allows the use of thicker cables or 4mm banana plugs. Also, I attached to the base with glue, speaker spikes and all this was achieved at little costs. I'm getter a fuller sound from using better quality cables, the original spring clips only allowed small bell type wiring.

One of the other things I like doing is making my own cables and experimenting with different types of AWG wiring, hoping that, this would bring the desired outcome. The silver metallic coloured cable from the photo is one I made from scratch, I brought the insulating sheathing and pure silver strands separately from AliExpress. I think it cost me around £48 for 3 meters of silver wiring including the pin-shaped banana plugs.

I replaced the old Chord X speaker cables from my Dali Zensor 1 speakers with these pure silver ones and almost immediately the sound had so much more clarity and I was enjoying these more than the original Chord cables. The only trade off was, the silver extenuated the brightness, it wasn't harsh but it was in your face. I think these cables would have been perfect for polite sounding speakers and you want to give a little edginess to the sound.

I was seriously thinking about going back to the Chord cables for a more balanced sound, but I'm a real sucker for transparency, warts and all, so I didn't want to sacrifice that, until the little devil in my head kicked me in the groin.

Oooooh,

.....try those cheap orange cabling you got for my nephew. He swears blind that these are most perfect sounding cables, he's ever listened to, Yeah what does he know about Hi-Fi...but what have I got to lose?

I had about four meters of it left from the original reel. I gave those oranges cables the Jason treatment, applied some glossy swingers hotpants on each end of the cable. heat sink the ends and presto, perfect. I'm still waiting for the gold plated banana plugs to arrive from eBay, the bare copper will do for now.

Yes, so how does it sound?

These are the dogs testicles, these are fr........gin amazing and only £4 something a meter!!!
My nephew was absolutely spot on. The music became more energised, I was loving it. How can something so cheap can better the Chord, or cables made from pure silver?
BTW, if anyone wants my silver cables, I'll send them to you free of charge :)

So please, if you want to share your most inexpensive or most cost effective HiFi discovery, let's hear them.

Also, the seller on eBay who sold me these cheap is no longer selling but in case you're interest I've provided the SCP cables link below, you can purchase these directly from the vendor.
Note description of SCP orange cable from photo :)


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Additional Information

My Nikamichi banana plugs arrived today, fixed up the SCP speakers cables and yeah these look Pukka!

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treesey

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What was your most inexpensive or most cost effective HiFi discovery?​


That old hi-fi is often of a better sound (and build) quality than new stuff. Whilst comparing various bits of kit a while back, I dragged my 1980 Crimson Elektrik power amp out of a cupboard, included it in the various 'sound-offs', and it sounds brilliant. Source is a (1987?) Sony CDP-555ESD, and I use the variable output post-DAC direct to the power amp. I listen to this combo every day. Every day a smile when the vocal reproduction makes me glance over to the soundstage to look for the singer :D
 
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Not a lot of money In the grand scheme of things, but for just over £100 I bought an Audio Technica VM95SH stylus and fitted it to my Clearaudio cart. A brilliant little upgrade that punched well above its weight. Really amazed at the improvement. 👍
 

Jasonovich

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Airport express as a streamer, they will still work as roon endpoints.

Roth RA-1 speakers, £69-£89 depending where you bought them, the clue is in the RA, pair them with a Denon CEOL or better a Marantz 611 and yeah you're going to be happy
I had those little Roths for my surround speakers before I replaced them with the Monitor Audio Bronze Radius.
So cute and great sound, perfect book shelf speakers if you're using them in a 2.1 setup. 😊
 

Arron

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Cheapest and absolute best was learning how to set up speakers properly.
  1. Open in a new tab:
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N02Y7vaVDNo
  2. Right-click and set it to loop then play it
  3. Sit in your sweet spot
  4. Start with the centre
  5. Close you eyes and point to where his voice comes from (cannot emphasise close your eyes enough)
  6. Change the distance, phase and toe-in of your speakers until it sounds like you have a centre speaker
  7. Repeat outwards for centre-left/centre right
  8. Keep going until his voice really does come from where he says for every direction
Takes a lot of time but it's free and makes your system 10x better.
 

Stuart83

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Pioneer a400 off my dad for £ 1.40 🤣 as a 14 yr old and a pair of mission 760i's I saved my £ 1.40 p for agessssss to acquire, I loved my hifi as a kid but believe it or not at 40yrs old still use the exact same a400 on occasion and still love it, very good buy for £ 1.40 🙂 it started me off on my hifi trail
 

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Gray

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Pioneer a400 off my dad for £ 1.40 🤣 as a 14 yr old and a pair of mission 760i's I saved my £ 1.40 p for agessssss to acquire, I loved my hifi as a kid but believe it or not at 40yrs old still use the exact same a400 on occasion and still love it, very good buy for £ 1.40 🙂 it started me off on my hifi trail
I love that he added the odd 40p.
He's lucky he wasn't required to repair it under guarantee 👍
 

Stuart83

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Without doubt, after 3 years of ownership, shoving the foam bungs into the ports of my QA3030i speakers.

The 'car engine' drone and upper bass bloom has gone away. Room acoustics is fascinating.
Must try lol just got the 3050is and they do drone, I'm struggling to love them 😭 I'm thinking of moving the missions back in, I threw the foam bungs in the box but since realised the missions have theirs still intact dohhhhh
 

matthewpianist

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At this moment in time, after a weekend of highly engrossing and enjoyable listening, I'd nominate the Cambridge Audio AXA25.

It's a stripped down entry-level amplifier - no DAC, phono stage, headphone output... Just a straight-forward analogue integrated.

I've enjoyed Cambridge amps in the past - A4, 640A V2.0, 740A - but in recent years I've been turned away by more revered brands, especially from the AX range. That was a mistake, because the AXA25 is a brilliant amplifier and works extremely well with the JBL. In fact, some favourite recordings/albums I've found difficult to enjoy on some of the more expensive kit ('Weather Systems' by Anathema, for example) have proved very involving again.

It's nicely put together too, and feels nicer than the budget Marantz and Rotel offerings. For £250 you really can't go wrong. When funds allow I intend to pick up the matching AXC25 CD player.

Just goes to show!
 

Juzzie Wuzzie

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In c.2007 the purchase of an Acoustic Energy Internet Radio at c.£170 or so. Introduced me to internet radio. Most importantly, to Radio Paradise and (pre-covid) the ability to listen to sports-talk radio from back home in New Zealand. Don't think I'll ever own anything that brought so much listening pleasure for so little.
 
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Jasonovich

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No doubt another of those products wrongly dismissed purely for costing too little 🤪
This little gem kind of reminds of the British heyday of HiFi, everything so minimalistic, no fancy tone adjustments, just simple designs with quality components.
The Fosi V3 is technically a power amp with a volume control.

I was going to move my mini Fostex subwoofer from the diner to help out the Dali's low end because the LFE is able to adjust the amps volume but not so, the Fosi preamp 3.5 jack output isn't volume controlled. That's my only criticism.
Hopefully the next version of the Fosi will have a fully functional preamp output with volume control from the amp.

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