How about and ARC SP10II bought in '84. The phono stage is still world class and the line stage is still as good as many available today. Since purchasing it I heard other ARC's, CAT's, CJ's and an MFA Lumi and haven't been tempted. If I ever break my stylus I might try out some of the newer line stages. Some one keeps telling me how great the ARC LS5 is, who knows....
Excellent start Newbee! You just past your 20th anniversary....did you
buy some china for your ARC?
Dunlavy SC4A's Speakers have lasting power for me. Before that Martin Logan Aerius did the same for a few years. Also an ISEM amplifier, rare bird from France 100W class A keeps me from longing for other power. Satisfaction is in the listening without worry about perfection. Just get as close as you can afford and settle back for listening enjoyment.
Simon Yorke TT from 1988. Still up & still runnig, same motor, arm.
I *should* send it to Mr Yorke for servicing/ maintenance (it's free for Yorke TTs) but haven't got down to it...
Snell type B loudspeaker from 1990.
My custom-built David Berning 45 SET-ZOTL amp, 12v battery powered, choke loaded, Sylvania 6SN7's, and Emission Labs Mesh-Plate 45's. It's the only one of its kind, ever made.
I've A/B'd some very highly regarded $10k-$20k monoblocks against this amp, and they didn't even come close.
I've truly never heard anything like this amp.
It is in a world of its own.
It is loosely based on the Berning Siegfried circuit, with some very cool changes that David dreamed up for me, and the Type 45 triodes are "the ticket to paradise" in this amp.
Oh yeah, I've had it for a couple years now, and it still is just as unbelievable as ever.
Basically, it is "my amp", designed and hand-built custom for me to my specs by David Berning personally, and there are no others. The performance is unparalleled, and it's a very special and unique unit. There is no replacement for that.
I'm about 3 months shy of the 3 year ownership on my speakers but I ordered my VR4GenIII's in Oct. 2001, having to wait almost 5 mo. for delivery. I've been tempted a few times to go with something else but I did some minor tweaks & supported the VR's with better ancillary gear, which has convinced me these spkrs can deliver what I throw at them.
I've owned (and still do) products from the same line for more than 3 years but upgraded to a different model, the first from a Meridian 506.24 to a 508.20 (4 yrs) and Ayre V-3 to V-5x to V-1x (3 yrs.). The CDP was easy, as I've always liked the sound of British players but choosing an amp was a bit tougher, beating out the likes of Bryston, Pass, Plinius and YBA in my system & listening to some other systems, which doesn't really count. I was sold on the Ayre "house sound" with the V-3 & kept wanting more of it, so moved up the food chain to the V-1x, which I'll upgrade to e status sometime next year, as the amp sustained some minor cosmetic damage during shipping & I've just been waiting for an opportunity to do something about it.
Before this system I didn't have the upgrade bug that much & held onto gear for 8 or 9 yrs. with the likes of Shahinian, Luxman, Adcom & Cary. The internet has changed so many facets of this hobby, as I've experimented with a lot of different gear over the past 5 yrs. & am comfortable with what I listen to now, although I'm still searching for a preamp.
No. There is always something that I wish my system could do more of, or less of, and if any component can provide it, it would be a coveted item. Not knowing which component would do that to my system, makes it impossible to say any particular component is a keeper-for-life.
I just gladly paid an insane amount for a new Audionote Kageki amp, because it does so many amazing things to bring the music to life, but, I do wish it had a bit more of the comfortable warmth and ease of my 45-tube based amp. What if there is such an amp out there?
The only hardware that can stop me from the upgrade cycle is a GUN to the head.
Honestly, my listening room. I've heard my speakers in a well prepared room and know what they can do(dunlavy athenas) and have no desire to spend what would be needed to significantly better them (wilson maxes are quite nice at $20k used). My amps and pre are top shelf (VTL MB185 and 5.5 pre) and the rest of the components are very good to the point where i'm chasing little details instead of major changes in reproduction. My room issues (lots of glass, wall openings, big shiny marble fireplace between the speakers) are not to be resolved any time soon, if ever and without getting the acoustics right the details of reproduction will never be right either. Contentment is a good thing... frees up cash for guitar collecting!
LOL, the only component i ever get that starts the upgrade cycle cold is a woman!
Then, after things dont work out, im able to indulge again.
They're looking for you in another thread with your name in the title! An appearance there would make many people happy.
Well, I got committment issues. So three years to me is like comparing the history of the U.S. of A. to 3000 years of ancient Egyptian kingdoms. I've only been buying non-Circuit City crap for ten years and doing the Audiogon shuffle for a little over four, so I don't really qualify.
I've had my car for over five years and have no desire to upgrade. Does that count? I might buy an SUV to save some mileage on this one, but am gonna keep my little silver box for canyon carving.
The only thing I can relate to this thread is my four year long allegiance to ProAc speakers. They really fit my tastes. I keep moving up the line, but never sell them off. Oh, and I have had my Blue Circle BC21 preamp for three years, but that wouldn't qualify because I've been wanting to jump to a First Sound Presence this whole year!
I really admire the people that can stand pat long term.
Thanks to Marco, we have our Klipsch La Scala's. Everything else in our audio planetary system revolves--and evolves--around them. They are extraordinary.
So, Chris, sounds like "women" are the methadone of the audio addiction for you! Dean, I've been riding the same motorcycle for over eight years now (I think it's the same brand as your silver cage). I actually upgraded to the latest version about five years ago, but the same bike. That's what I was getting at with the thread...it's not necessarily about the "best", it's about what fits YOU like a glove, and what moves you about it to stay married to it. Wow, I'm impressed too at the longevity of ownership of some of the respondants!
Slappy not True, you just haven't found the right Woman! I got married less than months ago, & I mentioned that now I can't listen to my system when the power is least polluted (2-5AM). And my Wife turns around and just bought me a pair of Stax Omega II Sr-007 Earphones, w/ a Stax Srm-717 amp for the off hours. She was the one who encouraged my return to analog, & even though she has Asthma will spend hours at my side scrounging through dusty dollar bins of records. Any downgrading is of my own doing, her concern was that I do not sell anything that is going to damper my listening enjoyment level. She was well aware of who, & what she was getting hitched to. And it's rubbing off as she hogs my listening chair many times. Her Bose Wave cd player that she bought before we meet mostly collects dust these days. So I guess she would qualify as my "A Keeper for Life"! I did mentioned to her early on, as I couldn't upgrade her as I disgarded all her original manufacturers packaging materials;0)~ All in all, I guess I got LUCKY!
I'm always amazed when I see those "I decided to upgrade my system for the first time in 15 years, need some advice..." threads.
My reaction to those statements are that they've rarely had the time to sit down to enjoy their system for the last 15 years, or they've had other interests and haven't paid much attention to their rigs over the last 15 years, or that lucky bastard REALLY has been happy with his system for 15 years!
I seem to fall into the category of people that have been smitten for the last three months with their latest system addition and have no intention of upgrading - "this time for sure, as Bullwinkle likes to say" - but then find something they just gotta have and away they go on the upgrade cart.
It's amazing! I was that way with comic books, then cars, car stereos, then guns, knives, pool cues, playing Quake online against kids, cars once more, comics again, then unfinished and barely started woodworking projects, and now it's history books!
But this high end audio thing has grabbed my apple sacks like no other hobby. EVER. The spending has been ridiculous, and the various possible tweaks just make it so much more knuts. It's a good thing I don't fish or play golf. I'd really be done then. This summer I was fascinated with Mata Ortiz pottery. That can get as expensive as audio gear!
The neat thing about my audio journey is that the deeper I descend beyond the crossroads to audio Hell, the more I understand what it is I enjoy about the way a music system recreates a performance in my room. In the beginning, I only had a vague idea of what would satisfy me. Today, there's a very specific flavor of sound I love to indulge in, and I'm always working to attain what I want and more. And, along the way I've discovered countless artists and genres of music I never would have if not for this hobby.
So for now, I'll be sippin' some ProAcs with a dash of tubes mixed in with a bit of solid state, and a nice dose of Bossa Nova Flamenco Middle Eastern Funk.
You really need to start looking at mechanical Swiss watches. Ready for a new (and VERY expensive) hobby?
Gumby - you didn't mention the collection of Pony porn you paid large for! Did Pokey ever get over that one? I run hot and cold through the obsessive aspect of my personality, but I think I tend to have a pretty good sense of what works for me, and when I experience something that way I the obsession gets refocused on something else too, as you mention, and Slappy suggests. I don't find I get bored with the things I find comfort with though...I often stick with them for a fairly long time, and remain as happy with them years later. I find as I'm getting older and more settled, and ostensibly knowing more about myself, I am able to let go and enjoy more than I was when I was younger. I have no idea if I'm any more discerning as the result of more exposure to life and its fruits (OK, who's gonna jump on that last sentence?). I used to like to drive fast and ride fast, but as no I can't even understand the compulsion. Weird!
I haven't owned any components as long as many of the posts here either. I believe I'm coming up on three years with my Quicksilver 300B prototypes with no desire whatsoever to change them for anything else. I cannot say I've compared them to anything very exotic or in the five figure category. I have listened to them with many other Quicksilver products including Mike's Mini-Mites, the Silver 90's, and a pair of EL34 triode prototypes he built. I do like his products a great deal, and the Silver 90's were the only one in retrospect that I'd not necessarily like to keep as it's more suited to different kinds of music (great for orchestral or rock) than I like to listen to (more vocals, solo instrumental, folksy, alternative, some classical and some blues, as well as different world music). I've also tried Pass Labs Aleph 5, and a Bedini 25/25, both in direct comparison. I liked both those SS amps more than many of the much more expensive Levinson and Krell boutique gear I've heard as it brings something of the warmth of tubes while maintaining many of the dynamic strengths of SS (bass in both being the exception there). I've also listened to several different Levinson amps though not alongside my SET amps, so the comparison is indirect, and really profoundly different and not really my bag, though I did appreciate some of their strengths. What else...er....oh, a Unison Unico, Jolida 302B and 502B, all very nice products and great bargains for their respective prices. I also have listened to every one of George Wright's fine amps with the exception of his 45 based SET amp. My favorites have been his Mono 10's. I did like the 3.5's very much but ultimately the lack of a low-end punch had me wanting something more. The Mono 10's give me that. But the 300B SET amps are the ones I've hung onto through all this experimenting. They just sound right to me. The airiness of the presentation, as well as a spectacular soundstage, when paired off with the right preamp, as well as astonishing depth and dimension just hasn't been available with any of the other amps I've listened to. The closest is the Mono 10's and I've been hanging on to those too, but the 300B SET's are what I've had the longest and would be the last thing I'd give up in my system. They're like that old pair of boots that fit like slippers, I am not aware they're there...but if I wore something else I'd immediately be aware of the difference. I think it's just a personal preference. I'd love to hear some of the OTL offerings (never have) as well as a 45-based SET amp, both of which I'd bet I would enjoy. I'd have to say also, that like Howard, I am smitten with the older Klipsch LaScala's though I do think they have their weaknesses (flabby bass being the worst for me), I still seem to come back to their sound as my preference since they compliment the SET sound very well. When I sold Howard his it was to appease my wife and get the "dishwashers" out of the house and replace them with something smaller and more visually appealing. At the same time I was buying another pair for a good friend of mine who was moving across the country into my area to a house he was having built. I kept those speakers in my studio system until he moved here (had to keep thos drivers excercised, don't you know). I didn't know what to do by the time he moved as I didn't want to let them go, and thought I'd made a big mistake. It all worked out as my friend didn't realize just how much space they took up and opted to get a much smaller pair of speakers, so the LaScala's stayed with me. So I guess I've had those in two different forms, over three years. Over that time I've compared those to Silverline SR17 monitors which over amazing focus and detail, and disappear like nobody's business, but cannot approach the fullness and airiness of the much larger horns. Also several other Klipsch Heritage speakers. The one I do like even better are the Klipshorns, but I don't have the corners, nor the space for them. Also the Soliloquy 5.3's which Howard traded toward the LaScala's, which are very fine floorstanders indeed...more razor sharp focus like the Silverline Monitors, but with a fuller presentation. Here they have the range and fullness of the Scala's, but not as much airiness....it's kind of like there is a 'glow' around the musicians with the Scala's. Some folks who've listened have labeled it a 'warmth' I think. I dunno...it sounds "airy" to me, more like the musicians are really there. The instruments and voice resonates more natural sounding, and less amplified. Sorry for lack of audio-speak terminology. I guess I've also had my Muse Model Two plus DAC for almost four years. I can't say I've heard a whole lot of alternative front-ends during that time as I've been really happy with the two-plus and have had no inclination to try to improve on it. I have no doubt it could be done, but I've no wish to invest the money. I've been very impressed with the modified Jolida JD-100 as well as an Electrocomaniet, but neither really made me want to replace the Muse.
That's it for me...no 20 year anniversary's here either, but I can buy some leather gifts, I think it is, for some of my gear!
My new Xindak SCD-2 will be in my system for a long time.
Its the biggest sonic upgrade I have ever experienced.
Next up.Top of the line Xindak cables.
2 items i know i'll have for years:
my wilson WP6s
my wavac 572.
world-beaters (and i got them cheap).
sure i'll try out new stuff, but now i'm onto tweaks---which says how much i think of the core components.