Collecting Within One Brand

As a reader of Audiogon for years I've taken note of many people collecting across brands. While I'm always tempted to buy a different preamp or Cd player (and have indeed done so), adding to my speaker collection is done strictly within a single brand. I wonder how common this is.

How many people try and collect the best from one manufacturer? For me - its like collecting all of Van Morrison's releases or making certain I have every Eva Cassidy single and album which has been placed for sale. I'm more curious about how the artist or manufacturer who has captured my ear has progressed throughout the years than I am at comparing them to a band or brand I don't have the same strength of feeling for.

So far - this compulsion has just been limited to speakers - and of course to music. Anyone else addicted to a single line of speakers? Mine is KEF - especially the reference series units of the 1980's. Anybody else out there?

Warm regards,

Hi Martlet

Good to see a fellow KEF fanatic. Your post made me realize I have/had quite a bit of KEF speakers. KEF 104/2, 103/3, Q90, Q15.2 and the new Q300s. It was not my intention to collect KEF speakers old and new but I guess subconsciously I am. I do enjoy the KEF speakers. I'm Krazy for KEF.

I think the other brand that I collected for a bit was McCormack gear from the 90s. At one time I was trying to build an entire McCormack system. I came close. I had a McCormack DNA-1 Dlx & DNA .5 Dlx, TLC-1 Dlx, DAC-1 and Wonderlink cables. I was hoping to score a nice SST-1 to round it out but couldn't find one at the price point I liked. I have since moved on and am now trying to not focus on the gear but the music. I do have favorite amps that I keep around and rotate them in and out of my systems.
Early on I had two collector roads to possible go on, one Marantz, the other McInt. Took the Marantz road, but once it became a Phillips company I stopped buying the brand.
Thanks for the replies. Collecting McInt is a passion for so many - it should have been the first brand to come to mind. I think unless I am careful I could find myself in that company too.

With regard to the KEF attraction I have to say I get a special kick out of occasionally parting with a pair (and oh how that hurts every time I do it). I purchased a pair of 103.2 ref ser and as they were on the West coast arranged for a friend to try them out before shipping to me in the east. I'll never forget the call from my friend and two relatives (over to help "test" the speakers) and how they decided on the spot that the speakers would never reach me. Due to their overwhelming approval I agreed, though it took six years to catch up with another pair (this time locally).

Likewise I was separated from a prized pair of 101.1 ref ser when I promised to provide a complete vintage system to some friends - certain that I would find a reasonably priced pair for them in a three month time frame - a mistake I won't make again anytime soon!

I recall having the hardest time getting my ear use to KEF speakers (104/2). The sound quality was so "implicit." It was almost like training my hearing to a new sound. Once there, it has been hard to either turn back or to a different direction.
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Thanks for the reply on Eva. I join with you in celebrating different musical tastes. For the purpose of qualifing my inclusion of her name to this forum may I respectfully point out one of the many mentions her recordings get in audiophile circles...

Additionally - it should be noted that Nightline (Ted K.'s era) aired a profile on her three times, a rare number of repeats for any news based program.

Of course even with substantial sales of her music, it is understandable that some will prefer other musicians and/or styles. Thanks once again for the comment.
For me it was Meadowlark Audio speakers. I never got around to the top end products from the company as we moved an my room got smaller instead of larger. At one point I had three pairs of the entry level Kestrels.
Martlet..... THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for linking us to the ABC story about Eva Cassidy. It is a wonderful piece of TV journalism about a truly fantastic singer. My eyes are moist with tears and my heart is full of joy after watching it. I've been a big fan of Eva's for quite some time now, and her "Live at Blues Alley" disc is one that I play over and over again, more amazed with each listening session. She was quite a talent, taken from us at far too young an age. Rest in peace Eva, and thanks for the tunes. Bravo.
I should sell off a bunch of these but I have the following Fried loudspeakers:
1) A/6
2) Beta
3) Valhalla (C satellites with O subwoofers) - Bud's own pair
4) Valhalla - home made
5) Subwoofer

I can likely bundle 1, 2, and 5 as some sort of HT package.

Likewise, for Jadis integrated amplifiers:
1) Orchestra Reference
2) DA30
3) DA60

Should sell 1 and 2
Adam18 - Glad to know you liked the ABC piece. In more than one way I can truthfully say Eva's music has pushed by pursuit of better audio solutions.

The pure sound of her voice was something I wanted to get closer to. I wondered if there was something about her technique that I would learn as I upgraded speakers. In this pursuit, her voice did become fuller and truer to life.

Ultimately the better equipment does disclose something about her talent. The greater amplification and better speakers magnify the smallest flaw in her performance. Someone I thought was a perfect vocalist turned into someone I respected even more. I learned that she was human and whatever flaws I found were just of the moment, something every singer should be afforded.

There are a number of ways for audiophiles to hear the highest quality recordings from Eva. The are several selections on a single SACD, a full album (Songbird) on XRCD and vinyl (the US version pressed by by Steve Hoffman on HQ 180 vinyl). Finally her original releases which have long been praised for their audio quality (as noted by "Live At Blues Alley").

The link in my last post shows a picture of her latest album atop some of the newest audiophile equipment. "Simply Eva" is all acoustic - just Eva and her guitar. It offers (imho) the best version of her original arrangement of "Over The Rainbow." It has been reviewed well and achieved "Gold Record" status in the UK.
To clarify my language..."flaws of the moment" was intended to mean things like turning away from the mic a moment early. Cassidy to my ears is never off key or suffers any other major flaw. There must be a better wording to describe a slight recording imperfection done in a live recording which only the keenest of listening will disclose - unfortunately I can't think of it.
I'm a Mirage addict. I bought my first pair, M5si's, in Oct. 1996. Over time I've turned that pair into a 7.1 surround system including a 400w 2x8 subwoofer. In the living room I have a stereo pair of OMD-15 floorstanders augmented by an MM8 sub (a 9" cube) and I'm tempted to get a second one before they're gone. I also have a couple more Mirage subs that I don't use anymore (LF-150 and LF-100) that I plan to consign.

I've been wearing (figuratively) a black armband ever since Klipsch bought Mirage and dismantled its high end lines, leaving only their "lifestyle" product line, which is nevertheless very good. I'd love to get a pair of OMD-28s before they're all gone.

If I had the money and started over with another brand, it would probably be two brands--Magnepan plus JL for the subwoofers. Or maybe GoldenEar, but I'd have to audition the Triton Two's more thoroughly to decide.