Pleasant surprises, what have you run across?

Not a biggie, but the other day I am working on a pair of speakers(Infinity 2.5, new surrounds) and while having them disconnected from my main system, I hooked up a pair of Epi M50's to it because it was quick and so I could have music during the repair. Now of course I had heard them before, used them in other rooms, etc. But I was just tremendously surprised again about how good an inexpensive(yes cheap)speaker could sound when hooked up to some decent gear(Perreaux SM2/3150,Elite DV 09, Scott 350B). Then I got to thinking about other pleasant surprises like the 1st Sonus Blue label, 1st real sound system,an AR System with AR 2AX's, 1st Advents,1st Stereo 70(about 1980), 1st Scott 350B(just recently) and some others. And now I wonder if any of the rest of you would share that experience, be interesting to read.
For me my most pleaseant suprise was my purchase of my Musical Fidelty Nu Vista M3 amp. I always expected it to sound good and have a marked improvement on my system but what it did was nothing short of astounding. To this day it still wows me. I had a smile on my face for two hours straight after i heard for just 5 minutes. I was just walking around the house smiling and happy as a clam. I wasn't even listening to it at that point, because the family was sleeping. All it took was five minutes....
I recently purchase of a Pair of large Advent loudspeakers from the 70's on a whim. They had been professionally refoamed and the speakers look very nice for 20+ yeasr. I hooked them up to my Antique Sound labs monoblocks of only 20 WPC and was awed by the really nice musical sound. Not state of the art, but they do have the very guts of the music. I had thought in 20 years much progress was made in Speaker technology, but I hadn't realized how much fun has also been lost in these designs.
I have a few pairs of those advents lying around... Not the prettyiest speakers but they are easy on the ears do some things better then you would expect from something so old. Actually, come to think of it, I recently paired a 100.00 pair of advents from the early 90s with my highend set up while i waited for my new speakers to arrive. I must admit these things impressed me. They did many things better than my 5K hometheater setup.... Wierd!!!
Quad 57's.....when properly powered and positioned they are a revelation.
Synergistic Research Active Shielding on their inter-connects was the most significant upgrade I've ever made, and if the wall wart power supplies are used it's inexpensive. I was expecting some improvement in music, but not the huge improvement that I actually got. Synergistic Research is really on to something here. Of course you do need their ICs that are active shield ready. The improvement in soundstaging was huge-- highly recommended.

They now are preparing to release Active Shielded speaker cables and power cords-- hope I can afford them!!! Cheers. Craig.
i once found nearly $8.00 worth of coins between and beneath the cushions of my sweetspot chair. yeah, i know they were mine to begin with but, hey, that's damn near 2 hours' worth of downtown parking! -cfb
I was given first row tickets to Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance! IT WAS GREAT !

I got damn near retail for them at the front entrance. I do regret not seeing Jean Butler dance beside fancy pants though.

Now here is the quandary.

If you were driving along the highway and an armored truck was in front of you and the rear door suddenly opened and a bag of money fell out, would you:

Call to the driver to stop and pick up his money?

Keep the money and pretend you never saw it fall out?

NOW..........What if Michael Flatley was driving that armored car and when you picked up the bag of money and you discover it was full of nickels? Would you still keep it for yourself?

What if Michael Flatley saw you pick up his bag of nickels and called out to you, "Gimmie back that bag of godam nickels you wee flagon of goat spray !"

Would you give him back his nickels? Strike him with the bag of nickels to make your escape? Pretend you didn't hear him and drive away?
Wow, talk about a bargain. Here in the east, you're lucky to get an hour or two of parking for the $8. On point, I recently bought a DNA 0.5 Rev B (used) for the same price that I paid for my 0.5 DLX (used). INCREDIBLE upgrade. Now it makes me want to send in the first one for the Rev B and then biamp my speakers! And with respect to the decent sound from Advents or any other older speaker, I have definately found that decent older speakers with high end electronics sound way better than high end speakers with decent older electronics. Just my 0.02.
albert: i think i'd hit michael flately on the top of each foot with the bag of nickels, then turn him in to the grammar police for misspelling "damn."

BTW, i saw mr. flatley perform "riverdance" in london. couldn't hear the recorded taps for all the screamin' teens. great fun, tho. -cfb
In the same vein as the original post above, I just hooked up my 15 year old Mission Cyrus One integrated as a phono preamp feeding into an Anthem line stage. I recently sold my AI M3a, which was Class A rated and Mike Fremer raved about its phono stage. The Cyrus One through the Anthem is better. Clean, natural unforced bass, smooth treble and an utterly convincing midrange. Palpable 3 dimensional and all the right size and height. No grain. Lacking only in deep bass, I think (my speakers dont go there anyway). Remarkable. It is NOT for sale.