Yes. The gear available these days is incredible.
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My dad was like that. Steelhead are wily, wild, hard to catch. One day dad hooks a big one. We come running, mom comes running, but mom is slow the fish is landed. Dad hasn't unhooked it yet so no problem, puts it back in so mom can admire the great fisherman. Of course the fish gets away.
For all the time and effort that goes into landing a sweet piece of gear you'd think the last thing anyone would do is let it get away. But no. See it all the time.
What blows me away is we have reached a point where people are so nuts they would actually want to admit it. "Yeah, had this great amp. Took a big hit financially but it was worth it to get this piece of crap I have now." Incoming in three, two, one....
Everything I have now beats out what I've had before. The only possible exception would be that my Koetsu Black Gold Line did have lovelier tone than my current Lyra Delos. The thing is, the Koetsu was unable to track some of my records, especially the inner grooves. The Lyra, by contrast, dances through everything, including my grottiest 1960's 45's. And the Lyra's tone certainly ain't nothing to sneeze at. Finally, I must report that the phono section of my Mytek Brooklyn Bridge has relegated my Moon step-up device to the closet.
Not even close, even though some of the devices I still have perform well enough
Soon to part with an MSB Select-2, parted with a Simon Yorke S4 TT / Clearaudio Praedikat - Insider / Goldmund Mimesis 7 pre / Genesis Technologies speakers / Symphonic Line RG 3 ref pre / Audio Physik Medea speakers / Audio Exklusiv 3A active, electrostats...
My current is the best SYSTEM I’ve ever had. I’ve had components that may-or-may-not be better, but never in an equally matched and balanced SYSTEM. Brown (BEL) 1001 Mk-V monos (on loan), Audio Artistry Dvorak speakers, ARC VT-100 III amp, etc.
You can have the BEST amp or whatever but if the preamp driving it isn't the same quality, you won't get the amp's full measure.
The system is the thing.
When I was beginning building my system, I believe I had/auditioned a few amps that I probably couldn't appreciate because my system wasn't good enough. At the time, my speakers were a bad choice the room, I had lousy power, was using random cabling. My listening skills were also pretty meager relative to today.
In fact, just picked up an Octave v110 to see if my original v40se audition was accurate and to gave it another try. I'm fairly confident my current speakers and power setup will allow for a more definitive assessment now. Maybe some powerful push/pull tubes will impart a nice flavor for me?
yes, I was thinking last night that my current system is the best I have ever heard. I've never had the chance to go to a show to hear any dream systems, but I've heard plenty of 300K showroom set ups. The reason its right for ME is the incredible system tuning awareness and components we have access to now. Plus there are so many high quality components, each with a different house sound. We get to tailor all these great components and mix them till we get our own version of what's right. My lament is that its so difficult to demo gear locally or to hear it within our own system and room. Imagine if the industry could figure that out and we could try more gear. I'm sure the "now that I've heard this I can't go back" wish list would lead to a huge increase in sales overall. I'm seeing more manufactures go to in home trial and liberal return policies and that is exciting. I don't know how that mixes with our local dealers, but I'd like easier access to more gear, and I think that is a broadly shared desire.
I had BAT VK 5i Preamp and VK 150 mono blocks, the source was Wadia 20/21 CD system. They are over 20 years old. I traded in for all PS Audio gears including DirectStream DAC with Bridge II, BHK Preamp, and M1200 mono blocks. My source is now an Oppo UDP 205 as a transport feed into DAC. I also changed my power conditioner to PS Power Plant 15 when it was on sale.
The result? I could not be happier. The Oppo/DAC really is better than my old Wadia, and I really like the M1200 amps. The entire set up was more than 50% cheaper than my old gears.
The gear I have is absolutely the best I've had. I have a SIM audio w8 amp and a P8 preamp, and esoteric P10 transport, wyred for sound 10th anniversary dac, monitor audio Platinum 200 G2. All the wiring is harmonic technology magic generation 3 speaker wire and interconnects. The power cords are all harmonic technology pro 11.
Yes although I’m on the low end of scale relative to most of the people here I have the best components ever. MA 5200 which works well. PCD with acrylic platter, power box and ortofon blue. Denon 3910 disc player which I kept over an oppo 103. Tannoy 6.2 precision LEs for brighter sound. B&W CDM7SEs for beautiful midrange. Sonus Faber Auditor Ms for all around goodness. REL strata III which is flawless. Have some vintage amps that I switch in sometimes including a Pioneer SA 9500II. And some old paradigm studio 20s that really do justice to AC/DC Etc. So I am comfortably numb. Oh and I completely treated my 12x18x 8.5 dedicated room which made a world of difference. Should probably upgrade my turntable (thinking of RP6) and maybe sell some or all of my speakers to get a killer pair but I am finding good synergy with the front end and the Mc right now. Interested in any thoughts and critiques.
I still have my 1980 SAE Two A14 integrated amp and 1981 Sherwood receiver. I’ve listened to MANY amps over the years and have never been left wanting.
The SAE was designed in USA, built in Japan. Smoothest, most liquid sounding SS amp I’ve come across in 41 years. A sleeper. Dual mono construction. Fabulous preamp, MC and MM separate inputs. I was wise enough to hold onto it.
Much as I love my Dynaudio Evokes (they've brought me much closer than the Excites did) I will always miss my Dynaudio Audience 82's. The Evoke 50's are pretty special for sure but the Audience 82's were just pure magical. Though in all fairness to the Evoke 50's I am now in a different house and a completely different room and I've now put another 20 years of hard miles on my ears (including 2 more Iron Maiden concerts) since my time with Audience. So it's not truly a fair comparison...But I miss them nonetheless...
Classe’ DR5 > Audioquest Lapis > Krell LSA250 > Symo cables > Apogee Duetta Signatures (then Stages). Nowadays, all that is sold off. I’ve downsized into a combo HT/2 channel system consisting of a Dual 701 turntable / DVD-CD / Media Server-Streamer > NAD M17V2i > M28 > Apogee Minor with Velodyne subs. I also have a set of B&W N805 on B&W stands and the matching HTM center channel speaker and they are outstanding although they might be getting sold someday soon. The B&Ws were class A products that are excelllent, maybe better than the Apogee Centaur Minors in my room (the most important component?). This ''man cave' room is also pretty small and that has a huge effect on the system, of course. BTW, the NAD M17V2i with Dirac live has made the single biggest difference in the system in years. It actually sounds remarkably better since I EQ'd the room with it - I’m REALLY happy I bought it and the M28, which is a clean, musical powerhouse of an amp.
I’m sure my gear is one of the most inexpensive setups on this thread, but I’m enjoying it, and the mods helped:
Klipsch Belle Speakers
Mcintosh MX110z pre
Whammerdyne Integrated DGA1 SET amp
Denon 62dp-l turntable
Jena Labs SUT.
Jena labs cables/IC’s
High end NOS tubes for the amps
Replaced stock power cords/phono cords on TT
Indeed it is!
For my loudspeaker system I've got:
MSB S-200 power amp
MSB 'Analog DAC' preamp/DAC
MSB Universal Transport
Harbeth Super SL5 speakers
Rega P3 turntable (which I'm researching a replacement for right now)
For headphones, it's:
Focal Utopia with upgraded Danacables cable
RME ADI-2 DAC
Quicksilver Audio tube headphone amp....
Fun thread for a change. I would say ’yes’.
Some things I don’t see worth changing for now. Then again, I’ve made a lot of changes the past couple of years and, so far, I haven’t made any missteps. *knock wood*
Amps are the only thing in the system that I’m absolutely positively certain will never be replaced. Custom 2 x 6BL7 + 4 x KT77 monoblocks (with $7K worth of Dueland caps!) built by master builder Charlie Cocci, old pal of Gary Dodd and Danny Ritchie. Charlie has built hundreds of amps of many designs and heard many amps from other designers...he called these the best sounding amps he’s ever heard. I believe him. They’re certainly the best I’ve ever heard.
I agree, fun thread. Good to see these still pop up once in a while.
And yes, happy listening to all! Play some music on this 3-day President’s Day weekend! :)