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HarbethRob

What is the best audio purchase you have ever made?

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I want to ask SN members what is the best audio device you have ever bought? The one that has made the biggest difference to the sound of your system or the one that has brought you the most delight? Is it that incredible unheard of amplifier, or speakers that have transformed your system, or a DAC that suddenly destroyed the terrible digititis and made you think that CDs were as good as vinyl, or that one element in your system that suddenly jelled with the other stuff you had to create that special synergy.

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PS audio directstream junior fed by roon via ethernet. Especially with the latest update.

Only thing that will pry it away would be the bigger brother with bridge

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Nice todagt.

 

In my case, it was oddly rediscovering equipment that I had put away in my cupboard for some time - a lavry Dac which plays very nicely with an Anthony Holton amplifier.

 

I would certainly mention the Holton amplifier which has introduced me to a new level of amplifier and reminded me that creating audio equipment is both science and art. It is all about tone.

 

rob

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In 1986 I bought a Townshend Elite Rock II, it had a Moth RB250 and Denon DL110 fitted.

I still have the Rock and RB250, the RB250 has had a rewire and a few mods by j7 of Audio Origami and Origin Live, DL110 long gone.

 

I have to say that is the best buy of my HiFi life.

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miniDSP 2 x 8 DAC

Holton Precision Audio (multiple amplifier array)

 

A fantastic combination that just improves with familiarity.

 

 

Just add Digital/Analogue and speakers, it's done.

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Bluenote (Goldnote) Reale II speakers. They also turned out to be the silliest sale I ever made.

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Kuzma Stabi S with power supply. Matched to an Audio Origami PU7 and my old Dynavector 17D3 it is a match made in Heaven - sounding fabulous with all types of music. The only way I'll sell my S is to go to the Ref.  The old adage that looks can be deceiving has never been truer, this TT (with power supply) is incredible and would easily accommodate any tonearm.

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22 years ago it was my Audio Research Classic 60 power amp. The first component I ever put in my system where suddenly all the tonality of the instruments fell into place and a cello materialised in my room. When I tried the same experiment with the stock tubes and not the matched Sovtek valves I was disappointed so the tubes were about as important as the amp. It sounded good but not magical (so I quickly replaced them when I bought the amp.) Last year I had a similar experience when I replaced my beloved Classic 60 with an Audio Research Reference 150SE which did everything the Classic 60 did, only better - far more neutral, far more depth, far quieter, and authority and linearity to full symphonic levels unlike ever before - this time the stock matched Tungsol KT150s are sensational.

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DNM Series 3 Twin power supply preamplifier.

Best accessory by far was a Nitty Gritty 1.5FI RCM.

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Meridian Sooloos.  

Now days things like Roon make it normal but 10 years ago it was amazing and totally changed how I listen.  The other family members also loved it.  It’s still in use now and don’t see any need to upgrade at present.

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forsell dac,

most analogue dac ever loved it to bits

downsized to a 1 piece player

which is great but miss the forsell

it was one of those things that was an honour to have owned,

 

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component synergy is a strange thing. The last time I tried my Lavry DAC was with some amp and speakers that I have long sold and it just sounded rather dull and i stuck it away in a cupboard. Since then I acquired some Harbeth speakers and a Holton amp. On a whim I tried the Lavry with the Holton amplifier and the Harbeths and it was one of those moments of audio wonder. Even my wife who normally is not terribly interested actually sat down to listen! Rich detailed tonality. Great big sound stage. So it appears that it is not just individual components but really is the whole combination that works the magic.

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Best buy has undoubtedly been my vintage Mission 770 speakers - stunning sound quality and perfect for my musical tastes, plus jaw-droppingly cheap ($350.00). I'm sure there might be better speakers out there, but not for anywhere near that price.

 

Biggest improvement to my system has been my Accuphase C280 preamp. Huge sound-stage, immense detail and amazing retrieval of microdynamics, and such a sweet and natural sound. At the other end of the financial spectrum to the Missions, this Accuphase retailed for approx 680,000 Yen at the time, which in today's money equates to not much change out of AUS$20k. Fortunately I didn't pay that, but it gives some context to the quality. Once you've experienced sound like that, it's really hard to accept less.

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A pair of these

 

I was 15 I had no money of course but I convinced my dear old mum I had to have them these started me on the path of decent sound I knew was out there so I consider this to be my best audio purchase.

 

Should also say my Audio GD Ref 7.1 is up there too no matter how many DAC's I try it keeps getting put back in the system I have never regretted buying it.  

 

 

 

 blogger-image--522413532.jpg.770b1647ace0495b9b7d06b9fd7d31de.jpg

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Technics SL1400 MKII plus Pioneer Rondo 3000 MA amp - the combo cost me $50 at a garage sale and was my first (risk free) foray into vinyl and component stereo. 

 

 

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Senn HD600 headphone with BHC OTL amp for me. It got me into this hobby and continuous searching for audio nirvana.... 

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3 hours ago, BATMAQN said:

A pair of these

 

I was 15 I had no money of course but I convinced my dear old mum I had to have them these started me on the path of decent sound I knew was out there so I consider this to be my best audio purchase.

 

Should also say my Audio GD Ref 7.1 is up there too no matter how many DAC's I try it keeps getting put back in the system I have never regretted buying it.  

 

 

 

 blogger-image--522413532.jpg.770b1647ace0495b9b7d06b9fd7d31de.jpg

 

Man..............I had a pair of those..................great sound, played LOUD!

Unfortunately I blew mine up on a mixing console........sad day.

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A really good question. There have been many things over the years that were ah- ha moments in terms of musical pleasure. First decent turntable, Technics SL120/SME3009/Shure V15 in about 1975, Naka N600 cassette deck was a lot of fun, perhaps Chartwell LS3/5A’s that replaced some monstrous diy transmission line speakers 40yrs ago, all Linn/Naim system form the early 80’s, Sony XA7ES CD player was excellent in the late 90’s, enjoyed that immensely. However the two things that I do really enjoy now are something a bought a fair while ago and something that was a recent purchase. My ME25/ME850 amps have been great over many years now, they replaced a reasonably high end Naim setup and I felt that ME blew the Naim amps away, have been very enjoyable for many years. The other more recent purchase which I think is extraordinary value is my Magnepan MG3.7iR speakers, which I have had for six months or so now. Listening to them is a pleasure! Wonderful 8maging and detail. Lastly, an honourable mention to my second LP12, on which I have just spent a small shed load upgrading and enjoying that too. So, all good. At the end of the day though, enjoy the music, not the equipment !!

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Ittaku you have mentioned my dream amplifier, the ASR 150 SE... 

 

Also, how did ME do it? That legend lives on and with good reason. My friend has them and I am always amazed by their balance of inner solidity warmth, dynamic, naturalness etc Anthony Holton's amps have the same incredible dyanamic quality. 

 

Another big moment for me was again quite recent when I bought a really good turntable/cartridge - Clearaudio. I had been making do for years with an old denon but the Clearaudio was an epiphany. I have bought about 500 LPs since then because I dont want to miss out on that sound.

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In terms of sound quality (for the time), usefulness and general fun factor, probably this:

 

sony_tc377.jpg?1492113820

Sony TC 377 three speed (7.5 - 3.75 - 1.875 inches per second) R2R tape recorder.

I also had two microphones - a Sennheiser and a Shure (I think).  I lusted after a Studer (Revox) or an Otari at the time, but couldnt afford either.

 

Great for primitive versions of playlists  - so precious vinyl setup was not needed and potentially ruined at parties.  Great for an equally primitive version of "ripping" music - mostly from vinyl.  And I recorded quite a few jam sessions with it too.  Long gone now, of course, as sadly are the tapes.

 

Clear and close second was my ME 550 II Hi Cap/ME 15 pre/pro combo which I had for many years.

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Sony 7065, Pioneer CT 9191, KLH 355 and a Phillips 212 and 375.00 a month rent split 3 ways on a 1/2 acre so I could let it rip. How could I have failed to mention the best part. After carefully loading everything into the car, double parked and running, I closed the passenger door and locked the keys in the car with it running. Let me say it....what a dumb a--. Fortunately in those days you could get into a car with a coat hanger as easily as with a key.

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My Infinity Kappa 9 Speakers ..
Picked them up a few years ago off a Guy that I had bought a Perreaux PMF 3150 Power Amp Off..about 10 years prior.
Still have the Perreaux, and the Kappa 9's are bi - amped  with accuphase gear and sound Fantastic!

 

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Great topic. I think for me it would have to be the very early gear - ,u Walkman, the Sony twin tape deck/radio I used to use in my bedroom as a teenager to listen to music and make tapes from the radio The stuff I bought second hand when I moved out aged 21, like my AR91 speakers and NAD gear that we had countless late nights and parties listening to. 

 

More recently, it's the room treatments. The "floating clouds" and the rug (along with some other treatments) transformed the sound, as well as being architecturally interesting in an otherwise pretty bland room. All that said, I do like the horns too. 

 

 

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