This thread's intention is to gather in one repository, any member who wants to contribute their knowledge, time and experience in creating addictively listenable, superbly ratio'd price : performance setups. Are you new here, just looking around, and don't know what to buy? Don't have an account, but still sifting through pages of threads on individual pieces of gear? Are you from Reddit or Discord and searching for the experience that the SBAF community has, condensed in one place? Well, this thread is for you. The collective here is dedicating this page to you as a guide, driven by our wide-ranging experience and individual personal tastes, to help you find a budget setup that will actually rock. The rules are: Synergy. is. important. Only pieces of gear that have a high cost : performance ratio, or a paragraph on why a more expensive piece is better in a certain case Aimed at maximum availability, even promoting the Piety (and I am guilty of this in my pf post leading up to this thread!) is discouraged because it is, as of right now, OOP. Esoteric gear is fine, so long as it's gettable Allow for personal taste to guide your decision-making, but please explain why gear fits together synergistically, bias is fine so long as it serves a purpose (for instance, off the top of my head, @rhythmdevils, please tell us why your modded orthos are a great deal if you'd like, @purr1n please provide perspective on why sub-$500 Grados kick so much ass, @Merrick this is right up your alley, having owned gear in the multiple kilobuck range still but love a Fulla 2, tell us why it's amazing, @loadexfa—being bourgie isn't bad if you can get a great deal on it! and so on) Total pricing should be under $2K, but if we can get even more realistically "budget" in the around-or-under $1K setups that fucking kick, I'll donate again to SBAF. I love this place, it's full of people who have hands-on familiarity with excellent gear in all price ranges, kindness to share their impressions and understanding, as well as the wisdom to turn that knowledge into insight for the budget space, and I think lurkers and new members alike would agree, Edit: Must be as little nervosa-inducement as possible. Have a great vintage suggestion that you love that is cheap and easy to get and usually doesn't need repairs/recapping? Great, list it (not even sure what this would be, but if it's out there, I'm not against it). Have plans for a wild hunt for some vintage gear that is 9/10 a dead-end except in very, very limited cases that also require knowledge of soldering? Please take your suggestions to another thread. Think of it this way, is it both easy to obtain and maintain? If yes, post. If no, don't. Please contribute to this open forum if you have anything to add in the budget category. If I missed anything, please let me know and I'll edit. This is meant to be a love letter to all our lurkers, who make up a not insubstantial portion of this site, who might otherwise be persuaded to buy SINAD gear based on SINAD, who may not know about Jupiter Audio Research and what he can do for Sennheisers, who are looking for straight up, the best budget, bang for your buck setup you can get.