I'll start my current speaker's though not the best, the best I have ever owned Avalon Acoustic Eclipse.
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Long ago I owned a Brazilian Rosewood Sota Star Saphire Turntable with a Sumiko Studio Arm and a Madrigal Carnagie One Cartridge. That was the absolute best component that I ever owned. It was the most musical. I have nice equipment now, but when I owned the Sota I had the time to enjoy it. Maybe that is why it stands out in my mind
my vpi hp-17f record cleaner is the only "component" i've had in my system for more that 10 years. since i've no plans to replace it, i guess it may be the best. my second choice is my pair of avalon eidolon speakers. not only do they reproduce music wonderfully but they are drop-dead gorgeous in their skins of myrtle burl.
TacT 2.0 Room Correction System. It wasn't the Marantz SA-1
(although that is a close 2nd). It wasn't the PS-300 (admittedly a significant improvement) or even the Magnepan 3.6R speakers which I love to listen to. The TacT made the rest of my system play music that sounds like live music. What more could you ask for?
Infinity RS-1's with proper frontend. I just bought another pair this weekend. I had these several years ago and sold them off. MISTAKE! Although 15+ years old now, this will compare to most $25,000-$35,000 speakers of today if you set 'em up with the right stuff. Although I have a complete 2 channel system in another room, I'm going to attempt to make these RS1's my mains on HT, with an eye towards the best two-channel reproduction as well.
Listening to these today just feels like coming home!
I write this with out any reservation to this day I have listened to a few speakers, as we all have, I'm sure. However, the SILVERLINE SONATA'S MKll are just INCREDIBLE,
the IMAGING and the RANGE of these speakers are just AMAZING.
From the Bottom all the way through to the top, these speakers will surprise you for the price. I have not heard another speaker in the same price range and up to $15000.00 that comes close. If you know of one, please let me know, I would live to hear it. Like after a great meal, there is always room for dessert!
Hi Kelly; No bets here. I'll just add that the McCormack goes to SMC for full upgrade in March, the 360S DAC is fully upgradable, and the 37 Transport, besides sounding great, has permanent disc/track programming-- a feature I'd hate to be without. In fact, I'm even considering a 2nd ML 37 while they're still available:>) Cheers. Craig.
My speakers are Coincident Digital Master w/Troubass subwoofers. A model no longer manufactured by the company. Analogous to Wilson Watt/Puppies or Verity speakers. Sort of pyramidal satellites, which use the subs as stands. Done up all in black, they remind me of Darth Vader. Tall, elegant, powerful. The shape was a bear to produce. Now they make old fashioned rectangular boxes. Smooth, liquid, deep, and detailed. A product that falls on the VERY short list of products that will stand the test of time. One day I will upgrade them with world class internals(instead of just very good). But, it will be a LONG time before they come out of my system.
My Electrovoice Sentry II studio monitors. Sadly rotated out of service because they were Too Big. Other speakers reproduce her voice very impressively, but you gotta understand, the singer is really inside these speakers--singing through the grille fabric--that's really her behind that curtain! Agh, words fail me.
Tivo, (TV personal recorder). I own about $30,000.00 worth of audio equipment. For $500 (300 for unit, 200 for lifetime service)Tivo is definitely the best bang for the buck. Any quests that spend anytime using my Tivo are hooked and go buy one. Tivo is my favorite piece, keep in mind I have pre-amps that cost $5000, but enjoy how much time Tivo saves me. You will never say the words "Darn, nothing good on TV today" Once you can pause live tv, or better yet, rewind live tv, you will never want to go without that ability. I've watched tv for 1 yr now with Tivo and have never had to watched a commercial yet !!! I can watch a football game in about 1.5 hrs. This is truly an amazing product who time has come. If you have never heard of personal recorders, check into it, you'll be glad you did.
Here are the best components I ever owned. And in fact, I still own them. One of them being my Nakamichi BX-300 Cassette Deck (which is 14 years old now, and STILL in immaculate condition too. It was one of the last "affordable three motor, direct-drive decks" EVER made.... only the Nakamichi CR-4A (the LAST affordable three motor, direct-drive deck) followed after my BX-300 was discontinued. And might I add that it is still one of the decks that can go from 20Hz. to 20,000Hz. in frequency response. A figure that most newer decks STILL can't match today (and most other decks from its era either for that matter), aside from the TOL Sony ES deck. How many other decks besides other Naks and the mentioned Sony ES deck can do that?? Not many.....). Then it is my Magnum Dynalab FT-101 Tuner. I cannot say enough about my tuner. This thing pulls in stations I never knew existed, and definitely stations that any of my previous receivers or tuners could NOT pull in before. And in addition to its station pulling power, it sound great on top of that. Easily one of the best audio acquisitions I have made in the last few years. My Sennheiser HD-580 Headphones come in after that. When you cannot listen to speakers, these cans are the next best thing. Though, I would be curious as to how good the newer Sennheiser HD-600's sound. Those are the best components that I have owned and still own right now.
Oh, by the way..... my Adcom GFP-750 Preamplifier deserves honorable mention. To do better than the Adcom GFP-750 right now, then I have to look at investing in a Mark Levinson No. 380 or a No. 380S. And to do that, we're talking about a lot of moolah here. No thanks. My Adcom will do JUST fine.
That seems to be it right about now, Tireguy. :-)