|I have been reflecting on my biggest surprises and value-for-money purchases in the last 5 years - the ones that were truly impressive for the money, here are mine, and would like to find out about other maniac's choices! Stick to what you have actually purchased please! My top 5 (so far).|
1. Yamaha AS2000 integrated amplifier.
Totally off the charts. This is an absolutely outstanding amplifier for the money - I cannot think of anything under $ 3,000.00 that is more refined, powerful, and full-featured all at once. Gracious looks and battleship build are a bonus.
2. Shanling MC-30 receiver.
It may look like a toy, but it sure isn't one. Wonderful musicality with a whopping 3 watts of power, sounds much more powerful than that. A steal at the price. Amp, cd, tuner, with the magic of tubes.
3. Yamaha AS1000 SACD player.
Only the second (along with the AS2000 amp) Yamaha component I have owned in my lifetime. Ridiculous price, amazing quality with the smoothest-operating load mechanism south of 5K. Someone told me that Yamaha's marketing mistake is that they should have invented a sister brand (like Pioneers TAD or Teac's Esoteric) for the AS series so that they could charge more. I agree, but in the meantine, the consumer wins.
4. Music Hall MMF-7 turntable.
No REGA or VPI bragging rights, but this is a BEAUTIFUL table worth every penny and more. Decoupled motor, classy acrylic plate, double-deck plinth, decent Pro-Ject tonearm, it just screams ''buy me''. Now updated to 7.1 - I listened to both, could not detect a sonic difference with the same cartrige.
5. Cambridge Audio combo of DacMagic and the new ID100 digital transport (check my review on this one). Roaming hundreds of free digital Web radio stations has become very enjoyable with not-too-shabby sound. Pocket change as far as audiophile budget goes for these 2 items.
Special mention to TT weights and their Classic model. Where else can you get a CNC-machined product from an avionics supplier for 60 bucks?
That's it for now - after mega-buck tube amps, cables, preamps and cd players - these top 5 are it for me, and have given me a break in my pocketbook with no regrets.
Let's hear your choices!