Equipment that has made you 'stop' looking?

OK we all know what a merry-go-round audio can be. For those of us who are incessant upgraders, what components have you found that either have stopped or seriously curtailed your search for better?

For me its my Audio Tekne Cables and my vintage Classe DR3 amps (25 wpc high current class A design designed by Dave Reisch in the early days of the company). My Green Mountain Audio Continuum 3s would probably fall into this category, but I would probably buy the next statement models that Roy Johnson builds sight unheard.


Showing 3 responses by mitch2

SMc Audio modified/upgraded TLC-1. This linestage from the 1990's was the forebearer to SMc Audio's highly regarded VRE-1 linestage, basically a buffered passive, which is most often configured for 6dB gain resulting from the transformers. Steve McCormack at SMc Audio performed "across the board" modifications to my TLC-1 resulting in what I call the TLC Signature Edition (TLC SE).

The improvements have resulted in a virtually new preamp with the additions of a Shallco discrete resistor volume control, Lundahl input/output transformers, new wiring, other new passive and active parts, and the outboard choke power supply from the VRE-1. The preamp now includes a balanced input and output. Even the faceplate and knobs were redone.

Steve is currently completing additional upgrades using new capacitors and transformers that have just come on the market, and modifying the gain structure. The SMc Audio TLC SE has met all my audio needs in a preamp/linestage and, in my system, has sonically bested a wide range of very good preamps in the general retail range of $5-10K. I look forward to getting it back and hearing Steve's latest work.
SMc Audio DNA-1 Ultra G20 Monoblocks
Hello @tvad  it is an SMc hybrid made from the TLC-1 platform with the VRE-1 outboard power supply and a bunch of upgrades.  I actually quit using it as a preamp and with Steve's help bypassed the volume control with two Audio Note Tantalum silver resistors so I now use it as a buffer with my Metrum Adagio, that has volume control by changing the reference voltage.  I am currently in discussions with Steve and Patrick to build me a dedicated buffer based on the VRE-0.5 platform but without volume control.