The High End Cheapskate system....


Mar 14, 2017
The Frugal Audiophile suits me to a tee. My rig consists of:

Carver Statement 400 Monoblocks(DIY versions of the Raven 350 )

Pass Labs X0.2 Linestage Preamp

Pass Labs Xono Phono Stage

TriangleArt Prototype turntable with Walker Precision Speed Controller

ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2

PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII

Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL speakers, fully restored and signed by Matt Polk

All in, the system, after buying and flipping other gear not listed here, I have 10k total out of pocket spent for this setup, with a retail cost of more than 65k...

I am quite happy with where my sound is now, though at this point I must admit and be honest with myself that the speakers are the weak link in this chain...
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WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
Manila, Philippines
Wheeler Dealer! You're the audio equivalent of the guy with the red paper clip! Good on you man!


May 23, 2010
Money isn’t the only way to audio nirvana...for me just putting in the hard work. But I would agree that to push a good amount of air, speakers are important.
Dual mono preamp and mono blocks are important as they have better separation and more power. Very good designs can be purchased used at a discount.
Lot’s of new ideas such as grounding can mitigate the need for expensive cabling and digital can be economically prudent in the face of the Cost of a good turntable.
I’m higher than your wheeler dealer cost but a lot lower than your high figure.Not including my RTR’s
Good listening music matters.


Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2014
@Nooshinjohn, You've done very well to be only $10k out of pocket. You've got a very nice tt there, and very nice mc cart! I was jonesin' for a pair of 1.2TL's back in the early 90's when I was buying my first full size system, along with the big Infinity IRS speakers. Alas I didn't have the funds (or space) for them at the time as the exchange rate was very poor. So I settled on a pair of Infinity Reference 60's which I kept for 18 years and brought me a lot of enjoyment. But as you noted, even the mighty 1.2TL's are starting to show their age when compared with modern speaker technology.

Would love to see some pics of your system btw! :cool:
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Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2020
I put together a small system for my office from an existing headphone system and some old speakers.
I built the Pass ACA amp from a kit, Using my headphone amp as a preamp, A multibit Schiit modi 3, NHT super one monitors, some belden cables for a total of about $650 , I have A great sounding system with a soundstage that simply defies its cost. Wasn’t expecting it to sound so good .. I use My MBA for source, Amazon HD unlimited.. it’s all about the music ..

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