What has stuck with you through thick and thin, through upgrades, and through downsizing?
For me it's easy- bought in 1985, used frequently, works perfectly- my Zerostat!
I'm on my 5th set of speakers since then, been through 4 amps and on my 2nd integrated, 6th CD player, 3 tuners, 3rd turntable, 6th cartridge, 5 preamps, 2 phono pres, 5 headphones ( and I adore my current headphones & headphone amp combo) but my Zerostat (red) rocks!
My Basis Ovation turntable, bought used in 1992 (I did upgrade it with the Debut's platter, bearing and vacuum system at some point in the early 2000s), my HW-16.5 RCM, bought a little earlier, and my Merrill Stable Table rack on which the turntable has been sitting for all those years.
My Great American Sound Thoebe preamp and Son of Ampzilla. These were my first high end equipment purchase and I have held onto to them after going through many different preamps and amplifiers, not to mention speakers. I have recently had them updated and upgraded and the GAS house sound is still there but in a more refined way. They hold their own against present day equipment. Besides, I like having meters on the amp even though they are meaningless.
I bought a pair of black Klipsch Heresy in 1978 and still have them. I no longer use them as my primary speakers but have decided to pass them down to my son just as my Dad did with his 1959 JBL C38 cabinets with D130s 15 inch extended range mid/woofers and 075 tweeters, And yes they still sound pretty good.
Van Alstine Super PAS4i preamp about 20 years old with 2 Amperex 12AX7's in line stage and 2 RCA cleartops in phono stage. About 20 years old, brought in into Frank about 2 years ago and said make it as good as you can, which he did. MUCH better than my Bryston BP-6 and save a tad in bass the equal of my EE Avant. Only 11 inches wide which I like.
Tandberg TCD440A. Bought it new in 1981 and it still sounds as good now as it did then. Had to throw repairs at it a few times, but after 33 years, that's a great track record. Next up are my Rogers Studio 1s from 1983 and my Sota Sapphire in 1984. Still going strong. For accessories, I have 2 original D3 Discwasher brushes from before the Tandberg, and still use them, too.
Equipment owned for 29 years - Marantz 7 tube preamp Eminent Technology ET2 tonearm MIT750 Shotgun speaker cable
Equipment owned for 25 years - Final Audio Labs VTT1 turntable Dynavector 501 Dynavector Karat Nova 13D
Final Audio Labs VTT1 turntable blows away my Platine Verdier and everything else I've tried. Will never be sold. Marantz 7 (modded) has blown away my Jadis & Klyne System 7 preamps and will never be sold ( I own 2 of them ).
Other vintage equipment staying in the house : Tannoy GRF Professional speakers Tannoy Belvedere Senior speakers
My Berning zh270, it sounds better than ever which is to say that as I have refined and fine tuned over the years it continues to be the strongest component I have and without any question the best purchase I've made in audio. Kudos to David Berning. Aside from that I still own a pair of McIntosh MC-60s that I purchased in 1989 that I don't use. Enduring in that I don't want to part with them just yet!
I bought a K&K phono preamp in 2003. I just sent it back last week for the latest updates (maxxed out status). I have upgraded everything else in the system at least five times since then (speakers many times that). It is the one component that I see no need to change out.
I'm kind of thinking that if a product has been updated since purchase, it's not exactly been an enduring purchase. That's why I do not consider my tuner enduring- it was updated. I would think enduring would best be understood as 1- bought long time ago, and 2- is in its original form since purchased. For me the Zerostat is still the king of the hill for me.
11-07-14: Zavato I'm kind of thinking that if a product has been updated since purchase, it's not exactly been an enduring purchase. That's why I do not consider my tuner enduring- it was updated. I would think enduring would best be understood as 1- bought long time ago, and 2- is in its original form since purchased.
I suppose that rules out my earlier mention of the body of my Grace F9E cartridge, since its associated stylus assembly has been replaced and updated multiple times. If so, next in line for me would be my SOTA Sapphire turntable and Magnepan Unitrac tonearm. Those have never been updated, modified, or repaired in any way, and still work as well as when I purchased them in 1983.
I see in Effischer's post that he has had similarly good luck with his 1984 SOTA.
Also NAD 7020 receiver running currently as pre-amp only in my second system since about 1986. BOught it in a pawn shop for $20 back then. Still more than holds its own. The Dual 1264 in there does not get much use these days but still runs good. Got that in 1981.