Cheap Hardware Buys. What's Yours?

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LuvMyQuad

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So a few weeks ago it came to pass that the vintage 70's Pioneer stereo receiver I have been using for many years to play radio in my garage (usually sports talk radio) died a quiet death and would no longer power on. I think it cost me $20 used, about 15 years ago. Considering it lived the last 15 years in my unheated garage, I'd say I got my moneys worth.

I started searching eBay for a cheap replacement. I wanted something i could pick up locally and avoid shipping costs. In my searching, I came across this :

Insignia NS-R5101AHD AV Digital Home Theater Receiver With Remote-bundle | eBay

I had to bite. I know its Insignia (the Best Buy house brand), but it was $40, and close enough to pick up. With remote, and reportedly working fine.

Compatibility with Dolby True HD, and DTS HD Master Audio, codecs, HDMI inputs, Some version of Audyssey room correction, Some inflated spec that says 90WPC power amps :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

Oddities. No 5.1 MCH analog input, even though there is a "direct" mode. No USB inputs.

But were talkin $40 here. To play AMFM in the garage. I dont know if i can condemn it to that.

I believe I can plug a KODI enabled Fire 4K into it and get wireless access to my NAS. We'll see,

If this thing actualy works when i get it it will certainly be the cheapest, high value electronics purchase I have ever made.

Anyone familiar with it?

Anyone have an audio buy of the century to tell about.
 
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timothyemerson

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This is my cheapie: https://www.dicksmith.co.nz/dn/buy/laser-blu-ray-player-multi-region-hdmi-digital-71-with-lan-for-bdlive-laserco/

Cons:
1. It's cheaply constructed but I don't get all bent out of shape about things like this.
2. The remote control has tiny buttons that are a pain to use.
3. The first one I got was a dud that made a racket but they replaced it for free (I've since taken the dud apart and think I fixed what the noise was).
4. There's a blindingly huge green and red LED on the front of the machine to tell you if it's on or off which I've covered with some black electrical tape. I've got a similar black plastic cover over the blue circle on the Marantz SR7013. Stupid lights. I'm tryna watch a movie!
5. On 2 Region B BD's, the volume level is way down and it limits the upper volume limit that the Marantz SR7013 can produce to either +3dB or +5dB which would normally be blisteringly loud but isn't for these 2 BDs. When I play them on the Sony X800, this volume-limiting isn't there. Weird.

Pros:
6. It's my Region A BD player and has played every Region A disc I've got with no dramas.
7. No discernable audio difference with the Sony X800 whether I'm playing movies or music.
8. Not sure what the reason is, but the level of image detail appears to be higher on this machine compared to the Sony X800. It can make the image look like a snowstorm's in progress but I use a different picture setting on the Sony X90F to tone things down.
9. It's cheap.
 

Miker1102

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Mine is a cheap bd 6200 player by Sony it plays DSD multichannel. Thing cost 40 dollars used. I have an OPP0 and honestly over HDMI the Sony sounds better. I should of bought the OPPO 95.

Oh I also use Polk t50s that I really wish Amir from audio science would have reviewed. I have tried tons of towers for my room and these sound excellent ..very neutral and great reproduction. They cost 100 bucks a piece. I have a set of Mirage m7si that sound better but are to big for my fronts.
 

par4ken

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The Gemini SP-1 Circle Surround Processor is the best deal of any decoder. It's meant for pro DJ use but works great for the home. It's a quad decoder, no needless center output but it does have a sub output. You can find them on eBay for as low as $50, even at $100 they are still a bargain. You might need XLR to RCA adaptors for the inputs and outputs but that's not a big problem.
 

Audiowannabee

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Well awhile back i bought a Sony dvd/sacd player cheap dcpnv80v 5 disc player for $45 no remote off the bay used w shipping included.

Arrived in very rough shape filled w dust...amazingly it worked so i cleaned it up best i could. Save some lazertime on oppo spin sacds
 

Miker1102

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Too big? No such thing. I have a set of Mirage M3si speakers in a 13 by 14 bedroom and the M7si are considerably smaller.
The mirage sound better in an open space to me and seem more boxy in my dedicated room. My wife and I are going to buy a separate amp for those. She likes this hobby and we are attempting to fix some vintage speakers together.
 

Miker1102

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The Gemini SP-1 Circle Surround Processor is the best deal of any decoder. It's meant for pro DJ use but works great for the home. It's a quad decoder, no needless center output but it does have a sub output. You can find them on eBay for as low as $50, even at $100 they are still a bargain. You might need XLR to RCA adaptors for the inputs and outputs but that's not a big problem.
That's interesting. I have a couple of 70s quad records but I am not sure I know how to hear them properly. Do I disable the center and run the other channels on monorail so the stereo image is just the 4 towers?
 

madscot

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I just got a Sony UBP-X500 4k blu ray player on ebay for £16, it had next to no info other than “spares or repairs” I took a chance on it for my bedroom, I stripped it down, blasted all the parts with a can of compressed air, did a factory reset and updated firmware and it came to life, before all that it wouldn’t recognise any disc, i’m happy as Larry with my purchase. I will sell my old Sony BDP-S790 for more than I paid for this so will have a better player and money in my pocket 😀
 

Audiowannabee

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That's interesting. I have a couple of 70s quad records but I am not sure I know how to hear them properly. Do I disable the center and run the other channels on monorail so the stereo image is just the 4 towers?

Maybe shoot for getting one of those surround masters
 

par4ken

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That's interesting. I have a couple of 70s quad records but I am not sure I know how to hear them properly. Do I disable the center and run the other channels on monorail so the stereo image is just the 4 towers?
You don't need the centre speaker for vintage quad but if your decoder has it you can still use it. I'm one of those who believes that it's not necessary. I don't even use it for 5.1 releases, I prefer a phantom centre. Four towers are perfect for quad especially if they are all the same. Quad is an expansion of stereo, start there set up the speakers for best stereo sound across the front and then add the back speakers. You should use a vintage decoder (proper decoder for the quad record type chosen) or Involve Surround Master to decode quad properly.
.
If you are using a discrete source such as blu-ray or DVD player, they can be set to downmix the centre channel. Many quad releases have an empty (blank) centre channel and so will play normally without the need to downmix..
 

LuvMyQuad

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An update on the OP.

I had to bite. I know its Insignia (the Best Buy house brand), but it was $40, and close enough to pick up. With remote, and reportedly working fine.

Compatibility with Dolby True HD, and DTS HD Master Audio, codecs, HDMI inputs, Some version of Audyssey room correction, Some inflated spec that says 90WPC power amps :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
Yes... it all works perfectly. It does do the codecs fine. The room correction module is not Audyssy, its propriatary. Supposedly, these are made by Onkyo.

I take back my scepticism regarding the power output. It may well put out 90wpc . its actually rated for $100 wpc. The AVR is relatively heavy and has a large form factor and a large power transformer. The largest design effort may have been put into the power amp section on this.

Oddities. No 5.1 MCH analog input, even though there is a "direct" mode. No USB inputs.
But were talkin $40 here. To play AMFM in the garage. I dont know if i can condemn it to that.
I believe I can plug a KODI enabled Fire 4K into it and get wireless access to my NAS. We'll see,
If this thing actualy works when i get it it will certainly be the cheapest, high value electronics purchase I have ever made.
Anyone familiar with it?
A fire stick works perfectly to stream 5.1 audio and video to it. It does have on screen display, but not over HDMI. Only over component/composit.

Its built better than i expected.
 

Putterman

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Feb 28, 2019
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Schenectady, NY
My bargain was a Sony UBX-800 universal player for $15 at a Salvation Army. It doesn't do Dolby Vision, whatever that is:eek:, but it does serve my needs. Besides not being the latest and greatest, I do miss that it doesn't have a display which may have been the reason that it was donated. Someone thinking it didn't work.
 

Audiowannabee

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My bargain was a Sony UBX-800 universal player for $15 at a Salvation Army. It doesn't do Dolby Vision, whatever that is:eek:, but it does serve my needs. Besides not being the latest and greatest, I do miss that it doesn't have a display which may have been the reason that it was donated. Someone thinking it didn't work.
Well that was definitely a "score" Congrats!
 
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