The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that a commercially available cabinet x-ray system is capable of phase-contrast radiography (PC-R) and to evaluate the effect of different system parameters on the degree of edge enhancement. An acrylic plastic edge phantom was imaged at different tube potentials (25-60 kV) and in different geometries (variable object-to-detector distances, R(2), at a constant source-to-detector distance, R(1) + R(2)). In addition, the effect of noise on the perceived edge enhancement was studied as a function of exposure time. Our results show that a modest degree of phase contrast can be achieved in an unmodified cabinet x-ray system. In addition, the particular system evaluated allowed low-noise PC-R images to be obtained with short (6 s or less) exposures. These results suggest that with appropriate geometric choices PC-R is already available to a wide range of research scientists for use in both small-animal and human-specimen experiments.