What's the least amount you've spent for a complete system?

As a counterpoint to some of the esoteric, beautiful and very expensive systems in some of the other threads. I wondered what is the smallest amount, that anyone has spent to put together a system that they could defend as HiFi?

I understand everyone’s take will be different in what constitutes HiFi. So feel free to defend your suggestions :thinking:

I’ll start as I picked up a brand new pair of end of stock Monitor audio Bronze 1’s for £99 at the weekend, and on my second hand Denon RCD-N7 and used Atacama stands with Rega speaker cable I had going spare, total cost £254.

Mrs Sleeper is not one for the main system in the front room, but she’s ok having something not too intrusive. This fits the bill and in absolute honesty I really surprised what this little system is capable of! A friend who was visiting this morning who owns a £35k system asked me where the subwoofer was and was shocked when I said there wasn’t one. He was very complimentary about the sound for something so cheap!

Can anyone beat sub £300 quid ? :grin:


buying new or used? :wink:

Primare DVDi10, retail price 2500€ (back in the day), bought for 1100€ new, because was in the transition from dvd to BluRAY. added a pair of MA silver RX2. 500€.
I guess is a good system for a relatively low price?

Total: 1600€

1 Like

I sold my full Linn setup when I emigrated and my first new system was a micros sized Onkyo receiver and matching CD player with Mission 73s. Brand new, it came to about GBP 250. This was in 2003.

It sat on my desk and kept me happy for the next 12 years. It was rubbish though and my music consumption fell off a cliff and what I bought was questionable. I then replaced it with a UQ2 and Qacoustics and suddenly discovered music again.

Lesson: There are bargains. But no miracles. You get roughly what you pay for.



1300 € for harbeth P3SR SE
300 € for skylan stand
100 € soundcare superspikes
1200 € for Roksan Xerxes
200 € for Linn Adikt
400 € for Nait 2

total 3500 €

1 Like

You do also get the law of diminishing returns !

1 Like


That’s why, in my mind, the Nova will be my end game: style, low box count and 85% of the Sound ( compared with reference 500series )



Probably under £100 back in 74, when I bought a Metrosound amp and a Goldring turntable new, also got a pair second hand pair of speakers, ex studio monitors.

1 Like

Wow, bargain I think we may have a winner !

£60 in 1969/70

Garard SP25ii in DIY plinth (incl perspex lid), Shure M3D-M MM cartridge, Sinclair project 60 modular amp built into the TT plinth, DIY reflex speakers using Eagle FR8 8” full range drivers.

It sounded better to me than entry level hifi systems costing £100+ in hifi shops. It was reviewed by a hifi mag in a series about readers’ systems, and they were complimentary with it on rock music - but not so complimentary on classical(!). Building better speakers at about £30 extra over the following two years lifted it significantly (Eagle drivers kept as mid, KEF B139 bass and T15 tweeters).

In equivalent value terms today, that would be about £500 for the original system, and £700 the system as after speaker upgrade. (Exact value difficult to assess as it depends on what index is used to calculate).

1 Like

Think it’s was around $70 in the early to mid 70s for a white plastic TT/amp and speakers. The speakers used to bounce all over the old timber floors on a Saturday night especially to DSOM. Must have sounded like crap, but in those days it was all we had. Can’t remember spending too much time on speaker placement or cables.

Depends what you call complete, if turntable amp and speakers count its £300 in 1981, the speakers were mission 700s for £130, the turntable an £80 Micro Seiki DD24s and the amp a Sansui AU217. Tuner and cassette deck were added later for ~£100 each. The turntable got replaced after about 6 years but the amp and speakers did me for 25.

Ah, the good old ‘Plessey plough’! Tracking weight of at least 3-5 grammes if I remember correctly, used to self clean the albums by removing a shaving of vinyl, hence the need to replace LPs on a regular basis!

IIRC I used a tracking force of 2g, certainly not more. I seem to recall there were two versions, one with a heavier tracking force used on autochanger TTs, and the other with lighter tracking, though I don’t think it was elliptical.

Does a Bush music centre count as a system, it had separate speakers. :slight_smile:
Earliest was the cheapest, Sansui A101, Pioneer PL 112D, Wharfedale bookshelf speakers (I cant remember the type number).

1972 system to take to Uni. Cost in the region of £80-90, funded by a small endowment.

Garrard SP25 Mk. 3, unnamed mm cartridge possibly Goldring, Teleton SAQ-206 amplifier, Keletron speakers.

Did me for 11-12 years before I discovered Hifi and bought a Sondek. After that it was downhill all the way to an empty bank account :grin:

1 Like

No. And it was decreed, thou shalt not utter the words of the beast Bush, Alba, or his minions which are legion of the Argos catalogue electronics section.

Looks like a commandment that’s out of our hands I’m afraid.


Sorry, I’ll get me coat.

That didn’t include the weight of the two bob bit balanced on top of the cartridge, needed if the pressing was anything but perfect! No adjustable anti-skating device on the SP25s either. Before the advent of the PL12D I think most preferred Goldring to Garrard.

I bought a strathearn st4 turntable in about 1975/6 for £28 (complete with ortofon vm15 cartridge …that was £20 on its own) when they were practically giving them away at comet

If anyone didn’t know the strathearn history…it’s worth a Google… another delorean type success story!!!