Cheap S/H Office System

Hi all,

Too much experience here to not harness it! I want to set up a cheap office system with second hand gear bought from likely eBay.

1.) Thinking amp, cd player and speakers that will go on wall for near field listening. Basically on desk while I work at a computer.
2.) Budget total say £500
3.) Shoebox ideal for space but unlikely for budget
4.) Units will probably be stacked
5.) Don’t need HiFi sound just good groove and some foot tapping ability. Long listening vs critical.
6.) Could use a dac instead of cd player and use Macbook as souce… Was thinking use the CDs I already have.
7.) Actually I have a Melco N10 on tne network I could stream from if there is a cheap solution here. I guess I can’t use from Macbook and then output to dac?
8.) Naim probably out of the question :grin:

Thanks in advance for any help given!


why not just speakers? 500 is not a lot to work with

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I could do, I assume you mean use the Macbook as the rest?

I have bought some cheap stuff in the past like an old Arcam Alpha 8 CD for about £100 and an Alpha 8 amp (cosmetic damage) for about the same, maybe less. Not looked recently though.

If it were me I’d probably just get a Mu-so Qb. Sounds great, just needs a power cord and doesn’t take up much space.


I have one of these TEAC Reference A-H500i amplifiers in my projector room.

Nice sound and looks, with a good quality headphone output.

Matching CD player is even cheaper.


Yes, and just use second hand hifi grade computer speakers

@PSAN I have a QB2 and have tried it. My desk means its quite directional in one ear and a day of that is a bit wearing!

@Fatcat awesome suggestion! Looks great and I did not know it existed. Headphone listening will happen as well so even better! Will check out the bay!

Have you looked t some of the Denon units , they would meet your requirements

This unit has optical in, £479 without speakers . I would perhaps look at some Q Acoustics and some basic speaker cable

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Unitiqute - tried mine a coupe of years ago ton make sure it was working ok before giving to my nephew with my 1985 mission 70 mk II speakers and was really surprised by how much fun it was


Rega IO and whatever source wanted.
Old Rega R1, Royds or Wharfedale Diamonds (UK ones).


Agree with this, good quality budget speakers! Have owned both.

@Steve you could prob get a second hand Unitiqute with the leftover cash

That said, my dad has my old R1’s running from a 30 year old Yamaha AV amp connected to his iMac and it sounds great.

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Apologies Richard for previous photo (advert) :raised_hand:


We’ve had a Denon micro system with Q Acoustic speakers in the kitchen for many years. The speakers are on their dedicated wall mounts.

It does the job!

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Thats what I wanted to say! I want it to be fun!! Background fun!!

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I do like the early 90’s JPW Sonata bookshelves hook up to a creek 4040/Arcam Alpha amplifier. They seem to have a warm mid-range and a dynamic sound. A very musical entry level setup.

Makes sense, that would annoy me too. I have mine behind me in my home office.

I have two Sonos One SL wireless speakers set up as a stereo pair in my kitchen. Sound pretty good for the price and I believe you can use your Melco to stream to them. Or use the Sonos app which can do Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon, Apple, Spotify… etc.

Klipsch ‘fives’ seems to be the ‘modern world’ budget active speaker that would ‘do the tasks required’… (as would be recommended by a hifi store working friend…)

I’d be keen for whatever bargain (second hand) mini system I could put together…

Probably using a Cambridge ‘the one’ (/Denon/Teac(hi end)/Marantz etc) mini system with a small build.
Other options would be things like the aforementioned (Rega) Brio, but on the second hand market could be anything such as a Quad 303 power amp etc…

My go to mini system over the last couple of years has varied a lot…
I have played with the Cambridge ‘One’, I have bought the Denon micros for friends etc…
I really like the generation one Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin.
(second hand would fit budget, but I am told the gen ones have a overheat issue (if they’d been driven hard) and can be in need of repair, where as the gen 2 seem to have moved to more of a ‘bi-amp’ (true) situation that seemed to avoid the issues of the first gen units (that I have never experienced myself).

I have, over the years, bought a couple of gen one B&W Zeppelins’.
Fantastic ‘speaker’ that sounds like hifi seperates. (the first gen was nearly 1/3rd more cost that the replacement second gen that reviews said, around the time of release, ‘was better’.)

The included DAC is ‘usable’ (better than what is in the PC), they take 3.5mm input (may need 2xphono/RCA to 3.5mm plug lead), have a fibre optic input (doubles as analogue input), and also have an ancient apple plug, that a $10 adaptor can make a ‘bluetooth receiver’ makin the Zeppelin a very versatile hifi, for peanuts, that sounds really good.

Biggest weakness is ‘size’ (awkward) and inability to seperate the left and right speakers- that being said- these were built knowing their ultimate dimensions and their dispersion is excellent- I seldom have done much more than move a few centimetres from rear walls (in some setups), generally I simply put a large house subwoofer in line to ‘boost the bass’.

I have done PC builds with a Zepp under the monitor, or ‘behind the laptop screen’ etc… and as a ‘nice hifi’ they work, as a ‘nice mini’ they work… asa jack of all trades they work AND they actually have masterful sound quality.

Looks? … ‘eye of the beholder’!

In our office there is a 5i and project Bluetooth box and edwardaudio es1 floor standing speakers , it gets a groove on very well and sounds brill .
All up cost £550.00