$100 Challenge: Build this system

The Challenge:
A friend wants to put together a system and doesn't want to spend more than $100. In short, how would you do it in order to get the best sound for this budget?

The Details:

She wants to be able to listen to music in multiple rooms throughout her apartment. Loud enough OR portable enough.

Capabilities should be CD and radio.

She does not have any sort of speakers whatsoever.

She has a laptop, an Ipod, and a small collection of CDs. That is it. (My first thought was that she should incorporate the computer into it in order to fall under budget, but this could also be accomplished with the Ipod.)

I think that is it. I have a few options in mind, but I'll keep them to myself at this point. I want to hear how you all would go about it.


I built a system for my 14 year old daughter around a Henry Kloss Model 88 radio (no cd player built in). Cost was 99 dollars for a b-stock unit obtained on-line from Cambridge Sound Works, although I think you'd have to e-bay one now since I hear it's out of production. Sound is very, very good for a table radio (she proudly calls it her "stereo"), and definitely better than the bose table radio at much less cost. Way better than the small Tivoli table radio as well (I own the bose and Tivoli also). The Kloss is plenty loud for an apartment, and it's extremely unobtrusive. Works just great on a bookshelf. She uses a little portable cd player sometimes, hooked up to the AUX input, and other times she connects her I-pod. Or she uses the headphone output for nighttime listening. It has a nice little remote control, which is great these days for when she's practicing her violin with Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin and she wants to change tracks easily from her chair.

Your friend could rip the cd's to the I-pod and store the cd's, thus obviating the need for a cd player. There's a newer Kloss radio with cd built in, but that's over budget.
She wants to be able to listen in multiple rooms. She would like speakers in each room. Did I get that right?

For $100.

And you say you want the best sound for the budget... with respect, for that money, in multiple rooms, if you get sound at all you're doing well. How many rooms is multiple? Will she accept mono?
Isn't she already doing that for free? Do I win the challenge?
Better earbuds for the iPod.
I bought my daughter a Cambridge Soundworks powered speaker set up on ebay for less than $50. Her ipod sounds great to her through it. She liked it so much I bought another set, this one had four satelites along with the sub, for her sister at college. You could get two of them for multiple rooms wothin budget. This will work fine if your intention is to satisfy her.
I have one word for you:

Go to the pawn shop. Buy a Dewalt job site radio/cd player.(50)Go to radio shack and get a y rca to 1/8 cord.Send me the left over 40 bucks.
Man that's a tight budget,Some of us audiofools hapilly spend more per meter of interconnect cords.
Oh well.
Seriously, what I would consider for her is better 'buds or 'phones.
SONIC IMPACT 5066 PORTABLE 30W T-AMP $29.95 Part Number 300-952 (power supply needed)

$59.95 Part Number 302-019

And she's finished

all at www.partsexpress.com, and maybe next year can get some Cain & Cain Abby's :)
I bought a TEAC - SR-L200I CLOCK RADIO w - iPOD DOCK for my kitchen, $99 Canadian @ Costco last weekend. Not high fidelity but quite good for the money.
Rather than waste $100, marriage seems to be her answer.
Thanks for the responses. I thought you'd have some fun with it.

Some responses:

1. No, she does not want multiple speakers in multiple rooms. That would be ridiculous. She just wants it to be loud enough to listen throughout her apartment. Computer won't do that.

2. She doesn't want to wear headphones around her apartment all the time. Just wants background music, I think. Good try, though.

3. The Kloss table radio option is awesome. That is something I wouldn't have considered. The Teac is also interesting. I'll pass those along.

4. Boombox *is* the obvious answer, but it seems to be a cop-out to me. I like the challenge of beating that for $100, especially when they don't sound at all good under $150, imo.

5. The partsexpress option is something to think about, thanks.

Yes, it is an insane budget, but I am not convinced it can't be done well. Just need to get a little lucky, I think.

I am leaning towards the challenge of trying to locate a working vintage receiver and a pair of speakers while garage sale-ing for LPs this summer. That and a Radio Shack connector and we're done. That has to kill a boombox, doesn't it?

I think the Kloss radio is a great option as well. Do they have something like that she could plug her iPod into?
I found a three-piece Teac mini/office system that was on closeout at Fry's for $69, threw away the speakers that came with it, bought a pair of Polk R15's on craigslist for $30 and gave the setup to my daughter for use in her apartment. It actually sounds amazingly good.

The Teac system had originally cost $299 and was worth probably half that but it's got decent sound, an auxiliary input for her iPod, a built in DVD/CD player, AM/FM and lots of cool blue LED's. The Polk speakers are pretty nice for the price, too, I've seen them on sale new at Fry's for $49.
drive around your neighborhood a day or two before garbage pick-up day and see what audio goodies some one is disposing of or a thrift shop...put the $100 towards upgrades or your favorite charity...
Garage sale is the way to go. Over the past 2 years I've picked up: 60s Pioneer receiver - $3; 60s Fisher receiver - $5; Harmon KArdon 330c - $40; Thorens TD160 turntable w/ cartridge - $10; Polk speakers - $35; AR4a speakers w/ sony receiver - $35; Dual 1019 turntable - $2; the list goes on. All were in very good cosmetic shape and worked just fine.
If you are not in a hurry and have the patience for garage/estate sales you can get some incredible bargains.
Good luck!
Aiwa XR-EC12 was their finest mini and $80 on Ebay on closeout a while back. Got it for my girlfriend and she's pretty happy with it.
After the $300 Denon UD-M31, the Aiwa is my favorite mini.