Audiophile Boom Box?

I just returned from a few days at the beach.

Although I brought my iPod, I just couldnt bring myself to shove those Sure headphones in my ears, a practice I realized I now associate with stressful life in the big city, and I preferred to listen to the ocean.

Listening to the lousy TV in my room, however, I craved a bit of music on my holiday and had an audiophile flashback to the biamped a/d/s system of the 70's which came neatly packed in a briefcase with a Nakamichi tape deck which could be powered either by 12v or AC.

This made me think - is there any way to build an audiophile "boombox"?

I have a pair of Genelec powered monitors which are a bit lean sounding but otherwise quite punchy and detailed. If I could figure out a way to get true line out, or even better, true digital out of an iPod, perhaps that would be worth shipping ahead via UPS to my next destination?

Then I thought - eureka (?) - how about the quirky cult following for the new battery powered, tweaky digital amps?

Maybe a smallish pair of not too heavy monitors? With Sonic Impact, Red Wine or whatever digital amp? And true line out or digital out from an iPod?

This thread might dovetail with another current thread on extracting audio from an iPod without using the headphone jack.

But let's hear your ideas for traveling with high end audio on your next vacation!
Here is a link to an Audiophile Boom box made by a very reputable outfit!


Levinsun's Audiophile Boom Box!

I have a couple of units that might work for you.

First, I have a Sharp SD-EX111 which is a CD player, tuner, pre-amp and 40 watt/channel digital amp all in a fairly compact box. It has a digital input, so you could connect another digital component to it. The Sharp is a pretty good sounding unit and there is a multi-thousand post thread about it on Audiocircle.

I also have a Red Wine Reali-T which is a nos-DAC, digital amp with volume control and selector switch, all in one tiny box. It sounds friggin' unbelievable for such a modest looking and inexpensive box. It also functions as a DAC w/ volume control, so you could use it with your powered speakers. The internal DAC in mine is a Scott Nixon DacKit. Unfortunately Vinnie is not building them anymore. Also, they only have 8 watts/channel, so speaker choice would be crucial.

Another option could be a Quad 99 CD-P which is a CD player with variable volume control. It has multiple digital inputs, so you could connect another digital component. This player sounds pretty good, plus it has a 24bit/192khz upsampling DAC. The Quad is pretty compact, so if you had powered monitors, it could be a great setup.

Lastly, a Birdland Odeon Lite DAC is very small and has a pretty good variable volume control. Use a digital source of your choice and a pair of powered speakers and you're set.

Lots of good options.


Hey Kurt, I ordered 2 of those boom box's I also grabbed up a tube mp3 player:)
I have a Cambridge Soundworks Model 12 which has been alot of fun. The carrying case is the sub woofer. Check it out at

Mapleshadey offers a 3 piece spkr pkg, but you have to take everything written with a grain of salt. There are some threads that discuss their business practices. Not bashing
them but do take it all in context.

How about A Tivoli on DC?
I'm using a Sonic Impact digital amp ($29) + a set of Infinity bookshelf speakers and it sounds pretty darn good. There is no digital out on MP3 players, so you have to use their DACs to get the sound from the player to the amp, but it sounds pretty good nonetheless...

For extreme portability, I use my MP3 player and a set of Shure E2C earbuds - sounds *great*.


The SD-EX111 is rated 20 watts/channel into 4 ohms.

It does not have digital IN (stereo RCA analog IN only), but it does have digital OUT (looks like TOS-Link, but I'm not certain).

You're right about the Sharp. My mistake. I once used an external CD player connected to mine, but I must have been using the aux. analog inputs. The digital input is toslink. I'm surprised by the power rating, but I did verify that you are correct. 20W/ch @ 4ohm. Sounds much more powerful, however that's coming from someone whos other amps are 3.5 w/channel and 8w/channel!



I've read the spec's you mentioned, but forget the model #.

There were 2-3, maybe more, models housed in what seems to be the same case as the SD-EX111.

I purchased extras, spares for my parents and our unit, but the ones in use have been completely reliable for the past 20 months.

Tried the inexpensive ($39) SI and found it to sound odd/funky, with both battery and wall wart power.

Each to their own.
Bose wave cd/radio. I know, Bose bad on this site. However, this sounds great ( for a small system ), is portable and well made/durable ( American made - by the way). I've had one for about 10 years, no problems whatsoever.
there are a number of "personal" stereo which use the flat panel technology for the treble and part of the mids and a woofer for the lower mids and bass. brookstone has one for about $300 . i own it aand it's good enough for general listening.

what does something have to be an "audiophile" anything ?

the connotation of "audiophile" is not often positive.

i'll bet that if you go to best buy, circuit city, etc., you can find some decent personal stereos which are suitable for most applications.