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Cheap hi-end system - version 2
by Andrea Ciuffoli - started in the May 2008 - end in the July 2008


This born to create a cheap and good complete system with hi-end sonic performances superior to many commercial medium and high price systems.
The  first Cheap hi-end system was not enough good for my commitment so I have created this new system and now the final result is impressive also for me.

Some characteristics:


(click to enlarge)
description price in euro
LM3875 Dual Mono Kit by with components close to the Gaincard amplifier produced by with a price about $,1500 and review  on this magazine 159
In all my projects I am using a DACT stepper attenuator instead of the normal ALPS or NOBLE solution, but in this case, with a limited budget i have used a blue Alps 50k+50k.
got from
Audiokit webshop
4 x Loudspeakers connectors BPF 105
got from Audiokit webshop
7 x RJP420 r 421 Chassis Female RCA
got from Audiokit webshop
Hi-Fi 2000 2 x chassie GX 383  with internal size 330 x 230 x 80 + 1 x GX 147 for the usb-spdif conv.
got from Audiokit webshop (2 item)
4 x Tasker SP60 for the custom analog cable 16
4 x Tasker SP59 for the custom digital cable 16
Solid Anodized Aluminium Knobs DCR AM 40 Black Dxh 40x22
got from Audiokit webshop
8 x Rubber Foot mm 38 diameter 18 mm height mm 6 holed
ot from Audiokit webshop
DAC End with a sinlge AD1865, a true hi-end DAC with characteristics similar to the reference AudioNote products.
This is a very good digital source ready for future upgrade to vacuum tube amplifier.


USB to Spdif converter in Kit/2 only 49$
got from
Power supply 15A switches (3 items)
got from RS Components
RS Stock No. 665-679
Manufacturer APEM
Manufacturers Part No. 641NH/2


SilverMIca Zero-One by Voodoo Cable custom 2 x 25-35cm 70
Shipping costs of these parts 100


The total are:


I have found problems with any CDROM and DVD items, with some CDs there are blocks of the controller or high noise coming from transport.

The unique CD player for Hi-end DIY is the CDPRO2M  from:

An valid alternative could be any low cost CD Player or DVD Player with spdif output.


see DAC End webpage

The amplifier will follows the sound of this true hi-end DAC given a top level result.

Probably it is possible reduce the cost of this DAC and get similar sound characteristics using normal Lundahl transformers.


This Gainclone kit give a very good power able to drive many loudspeakers without problems and the sound is very neutral.

It use an ultra fast power supply like the original project.

Photo and measurements


I have used in all the measurements the Clio system by Audiomatica with the Transit by M-Audio to use the USB port of my portable pc (instead of the PCI audio board) and with the Audiophile USB by M-Audio to increase resolution and to use my laptop.

Here some test on 8 ohm load at 6w and 29w.


This USB to Spdif converter has been created using the Kit/2 only 49$ got from and a 5v rele' to add an automatic switch of digital sources.