Whether you build your own speakers or buy ready made, you will need to get a number key components to finish off your Hi-Fi system. If you not sure if you even need a Hi-Fi system them I suggest you read my earlier blog post - Why Hi-Fi.
The purpose of this article is to give you some ideas to help you setup an awesome system that suits your budget and needs.
I’ll admit the process of building a Hi-Fi system can be overwhelming. What amp do I need? Will I get better sound from a turntable? Are special speaker cables going to make my speakers sound better?
To answer these questions, I recommend start by asking yourself two questions. What is your budget, and will you be listening to streaming apps (i.e. Spotify) or vinyl and streaming apps?
Based on how you answered those questions you will relate to the one of the four fictional characters.
Jane loves to listen to music while she relaxes, has friends over for dinner parties but doesn’t listen to music critically. She also built the Copenhagen speakers.
Her favorite music is on Spotify and has no desire for vinyl. Her budget is $250.
Jane bought the SMSL AD18 amp and simple speaker wire from Jcar. With this system Jane plays music from Spotify via Bluetooth – phone pairs to the amp via Bluetooth.
She also has the possibility to connect her TV to the amplifier via an optical cable for movies and TV shows.
This is a great budget system that won’t break the bank. Think of warm laid-back sounds that is not highly revealing of the minor details of music.
All for less than $250, Jane setup a great budget system.
Billie loves his music both in the form of vinyl and digital, but like Jane, he has a tight budget. He likes to get lost in the music and hear its intricacies - He can sit down for hours and listen to music.
Billie bought the NAD 3020 V2 amplifier and the Project-E turntable. Billie likes Jane’s cables, so he bought the same.
Billie plays music via music streaming apps such as Spotify and Tidal via Bluetooth from his phone paired with the amp. By using the remote control, Billie can switch to the turntable easily, he thinks he’s pretty cool.
All for less than $1,400, Billie put together a great system that sounds awesome while being user friendly. The system looks great too, the slick turntable, his bespoke speakers and the utilitarian styled amp depict a man of style.
Holly values an audio system that reveals the finer details, hidden melodies and is truthful to the original recording. Holly is a true Hi-Fi enthusiast. Holly built her own speakers with us.
Holly is happy to invest in a great system as she knows she will have it for life – her philosophy is buy it all now while she’s alive to enjoy it.
Holly bought the Audiolab 6000a amplifier and placed her speakers on stands. She chose stands as she wanted to improve the stereo imaging and detail the speakers provide.
She also bought thick speaker wire so power can easily flow to the speakers.
She connects her phone to the 6000a via Bluetooth and streams music from Tidal as she appreciates the sound that Tidal provides.
Holly doesn’t have a turntable at the moment but will eventually buy the Project Carbon Debut turntable in candy red.
For less than $1,550, Holly set up an awesome Hi-Fi system. The system is detailed, full of character and draws you into the music for hours on end.
Steve is a proud audiophile. He loves his music and believes only the finest sounding music should enter his ears – He doesn’t know who Nicki Minaj is.
His philosophy is he wants the music to sound the way it was recorded. Steve knows that this can only be achieved by using great speakers, paired with an outstanding amplifier and a top shelf Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC) and a premium turntable.
This comes at a handsome price, but like Holly, Steve will have his system for life.
Steve bought the legendary Musical Fidelity M6si amplifier, the Bluesound Node 2i DAC + streamer and the Rega P3 turntable.
He also bought sturdy speaker stands and extra thick speaker cables x 2.
Steve connects his phone to the Bluesound Node 2i via Chromecast and plays music on Tidal. He also spins vinyl and enjoys listening to the difference’s vinyl provides – but he knows vinyl isn’t better but merely offers another flavor to his favorite songs.
Steve’s system is top notch, and you can’t get much better than this. Steve explains it like this - Imagine playing Dire Straits. You don’t hear speakers or an amp, instead you hear Mark Knopfler singing in front of you.
Steve’s mates often come over to listen to music and enjoy the high-quality sound. They think his system has a lot of steez – in fact that’s why he’s called Steezy Steve.
Steve’s system is far from cheap but remember this a seriously high-quality system; it will also compete with systems costing much more when you factor in the speakers that he built.
So whether you're looking to setup a budget or high-performance Hi-Fi system, matching the equipment with speakers is a fun and rewarding experience.
If you would like advice on speaker choice and amp selection, feel free to get in touch via email or comment below.