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I moved from casual listener to one who is enthusiastic about hifi back in 1996 with the purchase of a pair of Canton monitors. Those speakers stayed with me all the way until 2010! Other equipment has come and gone more quickly. The piece I’ve had the longest in current system is also my turntable, bought in 2011 if memory serves.
Ahh, this thread is right up my alley!
Back in 1990 put together a 2nd system which included a Counterpoint SA-5, BEL 1001, and Spendor SP-1's. Today the Spendors, and the BEL still are in use in my main rig. For full disclosure however, they will be challenged soon.
Also have a Well Tempered Classic bought new I think in 1986 that I have stored away since 1995. Does the Well Tempered count?
longest of current gear;
Studer A-820 RTR Master Recorder--10 years.
King-Cello tape repro output electronics--9 years
gear where i have simply upgraded to the newer version;
darTZeel NHB-18NS preamp-12 years (2005-2016-1st version, 2016-2017-2nd version)
gear i stepped up one model in the same brand line up;
darTZeel amps-13 years (108 stereo 04’-12’-----> 458 monos--12’-17’)
Evolution Acoustics Speakers-12 years (MM3 05’-12’-----> MM7 12’-17’)
so really for over a decade my system has had the same sonic viewpoint.
My whole system practically. Twenty five years ago I stopped with Mark Levinson 20.6's and the 23.5, the CAT SL-1 preamp and the Theil 3.6's all wired up with MIT Reference cables. The only thing new is the digital front end (Aurender N100H and Schitt Yggy dac) as they are the only components that significantly improved digital playback in comparison to yesterday's state of the art transport/dac combos regardless of price. But for the rest of my system, over the last twenty five years I have not heard any amplification that would make me retire the Levisons and CAT nor any box speakers that are significantly better than the Thiels, with the exception of the Magico S5. But not for forty grand; maybe a used pair in the future.
Rega Planar 3 - about 24 years
Nakamichi BX-125 - about 23 years
My electronics and speakers seem to come and go every few years especially if its not tube gear. The longest I had any 1 system intact was about 5 years (McIntosh MC225, Music Reference RM5 mk II preamp, Pioneer TX9800 tuner, ProAc Studio 1 speakers + above listed gear)
lpretiring - interesting post. I listened to the Spendor SP1's against the ProAc Studio 1's for several hours, both were selling for $700 at the time. Was a very hard choice to make as they both sounded so good. I ended up taking the smaller ProAc's, but remember not being sure if they were actually any better than the Spendors.
Revox A77, bought new in '72. ESS TranStatic I's, bought used in '81. Nakamichi BX300, bought new in mid-'80's. Original Quad ESL's, bought used and restored in the early '90's. Townshend Elite Rock turntable, bought new around the same time. An ARC LS-1 and Bedini 25/25, used in mid-'90's. Stax Lambda Pro Earspeakers and McIntosh MR78, used in late '90's. Still own them all.
I still have my:
ARC Dual 75a- it was refurbished about 15 years ago and is presently not in use- purchased new in 1974-5;
Quad ESL- refurbished recently and now in use- purchased used in 1973;
Technics SP-10 turntable- refurbished and ready to go in vintage system, purchased new in 1973;
among other odds and ends, e.g. Decca Ribbons I purchased in the mid-’80s, Quad II amps I purchased almost thirty years ago (they are from 1961) and recently refurbished and in use in my vintage system; I still have the piezo stylus gauge (with box) that was sold by Technics. Much other stuff that I owned back in the day, new, was traded in for upgrades, e.g. ARC SP 3-a-1 for SP 10mk ii.
I had a Quad 405 amp that I 8 years later had the Mod Squad do their mod to it for 27 years of continual use. A Kenwood KD-500 TT w/ Grace 707 arm for 21 years until the TT started having troubles keeping the correct speed. Had Von Schweikert's original Vortex Screens for 18 years and sold them to someone that still uses them 9 years later. I still use a Harmon-Kardon TD-120 cassette deck in my prime system a little and it has been 23 years. The heavily modded Lenco 78 TT I have dates back to 1970 (47 years old) says the dude I bought it from although I've only had it for 5 years. The stuff I now own is because of a plan many years ago and it is pretty much finished. Will have 2 of the components modded with upgraded parts by a couple of different fellows with much experience at each component--won't change the house sound, but will make them both more reliable and much better sounding. It's about 50/50 as to which thing was more important--the reliability or the sound. I loved what I have but the reliability is very important to me as one of the component's designer is no longer alive.
I realize the last 1/2 of my post goes off the OP's premise, but I see this as a check of your satisfaction level along with the battle against the desire to acquire. Bottom line is I love my system and the music it produces.
Still running my Thorens TD-166 MkII, purchased new in 1984 (now somewhat modified).
Also still have my Advent New Large Utility speakers (recently restored by Millersound) in a secondary system. Got these in Febuary, 1978, as an early High School graduation gift.
Oldest accessory would be my Discwasher record brush, which I think I purchased sometime around 1976 or 1977. I don't use it often these days, but I still have it.
I'm one of the more unusual folks here, I guess. Don't change stuff all that frequently and have kept all the stuff I really liked. All of my "vintage" gear is at least 28 years old. Only bought one piece used and the Sansui was a hand-me-down from my parents in 1976.
Purchase date, oldest to newest:
1970 Sansui 1000x receiver (AM section out, bedroom system)
1972 Stanton Parastat Mk. IIA brush (retired now but still pretty)
1975 Discwasher brush (still in use)
1980 Discwasher brush (still in use)
1981 Tandberg TCD440A cassette deck (in primary system)
1983 RGR Model 4-1 preamp (just recapped)
1983 Rogers Studio 1 speakers (primary system mains)
1984 Sota Sapphire turntable (in primary system MC)
1986 Belles Model 1 power amp (in 5.1 subsystem for surrounds)
1989 Pioneer PL-15 DII turntable (bought used, in primary system MM)
Still have 2 original pressing LPs I played through that old Sansui when my folks would let me back when, too: Cat Stevens, Teaser and the Firecat and Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water. They're even still playable, to a point.
Much happy listening here.
A Jadis JP-80 MC preamp, although modded in 2005, has been my main source pre since 1994. I have rolled tubes, but find the Telefunkens are most at home.
Walker turntable, very early generation with multiple upgrades has been spinning lps for 11 years.
Avalon speakers...of one model or another for a good 18 years.
Who knows....maybe I'll surprise my wife, friends and myself; and leave the system as is for another _____ years.
A Niles Audio CPM-31 8x8 switchbay. Simple magic. *G*
Next oldest is a SAE 2 band parametric eq....think it's the 180 (too lazy to go look at the label....plays daily in my shop....)
A Nagoka destat wand. Little bugger will still bite your fingertip hard enough to make you nearly drop it.....
...there's some other 'oldies but goodies' underfoot around here....;)
Bought a Yamaha A-1060 intergrated amp along with a pair of Klipsch Cornwalls back in 1983. 34 years ago. I still use the Cornwalls (rebuilt & upgraded) now. But the yamaha just recently took a dump. I took it to a local "stereo hospital", and they were bewildered by this "beast of an amp". They told me "they wouldn't even know where to start"??? The amp features an "X" design type high output power supply that know one seems to remember or understand? I also have a Yamaha A-1000 and a Yamaha A-1020, both are class A intergrated amps, but the Yamaha A-1060 makes them sound like it's step children on drugs.... The cornwalls are now being powered by a vintage PAS 3X tube preamp and a home made 8 watt tube amp. All's well, except, i keep praying that i will find someone in my town (tucson) that can fix my beloved A-1060 so that we may be together again to make beautiful music.
Thiel 02 speakers owned since 93. Though I've moved on to many other speakers, floor standers and standmounts, I can not get rid of the 02s because they re-ignited my interest in high end audio (they were my girlfriends-now-wife). They have a magic that still serves as a benchmark for me.
Other than that: custom built tube pre-amp from mid 90's, Conrad Johnson Premier 12 amps from 2000. Spendor 3/5s bought in 2001 still doing duty as TV speakers, and occasionally take up residence in my 2 channel system.