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HarbethRob

What is the best audio purchase you have ever made?

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Hi All,

 

Great Forum and Thread,

 

A few years ago, I had sound from a computer's on board sound card, into the speakers on a monitor. I then bought a pair of powered speakers and connected them to the computer's on board sound card. The difference was not just night and day, but another Universe.

 

A couple of months ago I bought a low end Integrated Amplifier, CD Player and Turntable. I use the Preamp output from the Integrated Amp to connect to the powered Speakers which would also contain an Integrated Amp. On sum Tracks I can hear a sound stage of 4-5 Instruments. Where as before I only heard a mush of a melody. Also in general the sound is simply cleaner. An example would be vocals are able to be understood. 

 

But, to answer the question the thread is based on. The external speakers that were about $1200 a pair in comparison to the monitor speakers. This was an astounding difference, in all aspects of sound representation.

 

 

 

 

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Opps,

 

I did not read the posts directly before mine above. Therefore did not realist this thread was a beer related comment.

 

So my most silly beer infected thing was........ I do not remember due to to much beer. Yes I agree never buy anything or have S## with any one from a beer goggles related decision. Or maybe I should???

 

 

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51 minutes ago, ampup said:

Opps,

 

I did not read the posts directly before mine above. Therefore did not realist this thread was a beer related comment.

 

So my most silly beer infected thing was........ I do not remember due to to much beer. Yes I agree never buy anything or have S## with any one from a beer goggles related decision. Or maybe I should???

 

 

NO.

  Despite what the last few posts have said this thread was never about getting pissed and buying stuff. That is just a recent hijack.

Edited by rantan

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I'm actually quite enjoying the beery direction the thread is heading along.

Never bought any hifi gear after drinking but I did buy a bike (and in after the fact I was  very happy I did it)

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My music! Without it, everything else is but a paperweight. 

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Without doubt, my first stereo. A Pioneer Rondo 3000 system. It changed my life. 

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1 hour ago, unclemack said:

Without doubt, my first stereo. A Pioneer Rondo 3000 system. It changed my life. 

 

 

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Back in the 90's I bought a pair of Lowther PM6A's that were in shabby condition - cost me $700. The walnut vinyl wrap was peeling off the Acousta 115 cabinets and the driver surrounds we almost non existent - they were so wrotten. I had new surrounds put on the drivers and I painted the cabinets pink. Then I had to get myself a valve amp as Lowthers dont like SS. I ended up getting a good deal on a Audio Note OTO SE (parallel single ended 6BQ5 - 9 watts). It was a glorious sound and I stuck with that combo for 25 years.

 

So the Lowther's were my best buy as they introduced me to high efficiency drivers and valve amps.

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Back in the late 80's in Adelaide, I came to know the Bayly brothers, who owned an audio business The Soundcraftsman. Largely because I passed their shop on my way to and from work on my push bike, I called in every few days. We ended up great friends, socialising extensively. Over many years they supplied me with a gamut of high quality audio components at SILLY "mate's rates". The silliest of all was their shop Goldmund Studietto turntable, with Souther SL3 tonearm and Koetsu black cartridge. It was a dream come true for a little punk such as myself. I still delight in using the same rig today - albeit heavily rebuilt and modified - currently toting a Dynavector. Happy days.🙂

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16 hours ago, Bisguittin said:

Back in the late 80's in Adelaide, I came to know the Bayly brothers, who owned an audio business The Soundcraftsman. Largely because I passed their shop on my way to and from work on my push bike, I called in every few days. We ended up great friends, socialising extensively. Over many years they supplied me with a gamut of high quality audio components at SILLY "mate's rates". The silliest of all was their shop Goldmund Studietto turntable, with Souther SL3 tonearm and Koetsu black cartridge. It was a dream come true for a little punk such as myself. I still delight in using the same rig today - albeit heavily rebuilt and modified - currently toting a Dynavector. Happy days.🙂

I remember them well. I bought my Rega Planar 2 from them. I didn't become friends with them or get mates rates however. 😁

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I picked up a pair of AKG 701 for work use. They are large enough that people immediately leave me alone, priceless result. 

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Lii Audio FAST-10 + W-15 drivers,  Aurum Cantus G3Si ribbon tweeters in my DIY OB's  ;)

Edited by MattyW

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The most impressive for me JVC Zero Series Speakers, i used old time ago zero 9 and zero 2

Nice experience For me .

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For me the best single component I ever bought was my Marantz CD63SE which joined my fleet in 1995 or so. It was (and in many ways still is) a revelation in terms of how much more music I could actually hear from my discs. An astonishingly well engineered machine and a real keeper - I still hook it up today and listen to it from time to time, and it does not lose as much as you'd think against my Naim CD5i mkII daily driver. I've thought about modding it but have always shied away as it just sounds so good as is - it will do a recap soon though as it's getting to that age, and I suspect it will get even better when I do.

 

The most important purchase however, was more recent....a total eye opener and something which is making me re-evaluate and listen again to all my music from scratch...I am hearing things the way they should be heard and as the producer intended - I am convincing myself of that anyway ! It's a Stax electrostatic headphone setup (sorry "earspeakers")...the SRX-353X energiser and SR-L500 combo. The speed and transparency of these things have to be heard to be believed. A new era for me - my Q Acoustics floorstanders are turning into furniture !

 

 

 

DSC02044.jpg

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A pair of B&W 603 S3 I bought last year

Edited by Eugene.cho

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My most memorable purchase, though possibly not my best, was my very first cassette deck, and AKAI GXC-46D. I think the year was 1976 (or thereabouts). 

 

https://www.cassettedeck.org/akai/gxc-46d

 

What made it memorable:

  • I was still in high school and loved music and making recordings
  • I had only half the money required to pay for the deck, but paid the deposit anyway not knowing how I’d find the balance (I did find the balance by borrowing from my parents, and they were not happy! That I remember also very clearly. Big lesson, never done that again.)
  • I didn’t have much other gear: a turntable with some kind of pre-amp and a pretty ordinary pair of headphones. No amp. No speakers. 
  • For over a year I listened with headphones or crummy little speakers recovered from I’m not sure what plugged into the the headphone socket. 

But, I loved the deck and gradually built up my first system around it, including a second hand pair of Melbourne Audio Club project kit speakers designed by Colin Whatmough. (Later I replaced with Colin’s P-30s)

 

It was the piece of equipment that got me started on the path towards audiophiledome. Remembered fondly. 

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For me it wasn't an actual piece of gear but seeing a thread on diyaudio about caps, specifically Russian mil. spec. K73-16. 

 

I had bought a Bada PH12 h/amp and changed the first 2 caps in the signal path - this completely blew me away (and I'm of dour lowland Scots heritage) These 2 caps completely opened up the sound in every way. Since then I have used these caps in amps/preamps and now am about to use them in my Heybrook Sextet speakers. Just before I bought my first purchase of these caps I had been persuaded by a Dutch friend to buy very expensive silver foil coupling caps. These caps are very good but simply don't compete overall with these ludicrously cheap Russian caps.

 

I know many will not contemplate interfering in any way with their equipment but judicious use of the K73-16 caps and Vishay Z foil resistors  in the signal path which is a shame as they would be a revelation.

 

 

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K73-16 are meant to be very neutral and detailed 

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Sharp GF-8989z boombox.

tiki-download_file.php?fileId=3094&displ

 

This little boombox was an eye opener on how clear and detailed audio should be and was the reason that got me into quest for clean, detail and dynamic audio from speakers.

 

However, as of late, I can say the best purchase for me is the anti-vibration pads from bunnings to decouple my speakers. https://www.bunnings.com.au/whites-50-x-50-x-12mm-anti-vibration-squares-8-pack_p3961977

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Best in terms of most influential would be a little Denon CD micro system with Monitor Audio speakers that I picked up off Gumtree 10 years ago. Like all my previous sound systems I bought it cheap and purely for convenience, but it quickly dawned on me that I was hearing more range and detail in the music and consequently enjoying listening a great deal more.

 

In the past I had always been an avowed luddite with a punk rock sensibility - if you could hear the tune well enough to whistle along then that was good enough for me. Now I became intrigued with the idea of sound recording and reproduction being a hidden third dimension of appreciating music. 

 

Best in terms of biggest leap up in quality is probably my Accuphase E204 amp (which is also probably my best buy in terms of snagging a bargain - I won't tell you how much it cost). Such a great sound and a solidly made and reliable piece of kit, I love it. My Kef 104AB speakers were also a bit of a revelation, particularly in terms of how well they reproduce jazz & classical. 

 

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I'd say linear power supplies plugged into Tortech Transformers to quieten anything digital before it gets into a Dac, other than that my Ayre Preamp it is truly a piece of art work 

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For me it's room treatments,

 

Purchased a primacoustics room kit and Vicousics DC2 diffusers the only equipment in my room I haven't traded

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In terms of value a 2nd hand ME 25 and a new 550 MKII hi cap purchased 20 years ago now and one upgrade later are still going strong. They are rocks that still compete with a lot of amps out there.

In terms of significant change to my listening habits an Auralic Aries streamer introduced the pleasure and convenience of streaming and with the usual upgraded USB cables and decrapifiers  there was no hit to SQ, in fact subtle improvements compared to a good upper mid range CDP.

Must mention a 2nd hand IPad makes a wonderful user interface.

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Isotek Sigmas was by far my biggest eye-opener. Am generally sceptical of accessories and non-audio boxes - but it transformed the sound of my reference headphone system (valves) - which went from ultra-precise to musical and 3 dimensional. There is some sorcery in that box.....

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