What are/were the best sounding cheap components you have ever had?

It is easy to like the best of the best, so to say.  However it is always satifying and memorable when an inexpensive product turns out to be very good to great. 

Some that come to mind from personal experience"

Large Advents (original)

Early Nakamichi SR receivers

Original Monster interconnects and speaker wire

Pioneer Pl-12 turntable

Shure M-95

Early Stax and Audio Technica headphones

MoFi "special" pressings

Magnum Dynalab Etude.  Yes some were better, but a real value

The Absolute Sound mag in the beginning 

Early Conrad-Johnson and Audio Research tube electronics

Early Classe integrated amps.

The original Sony Trinitrons

And there are others....but part of this hobby is enjoying the journey.

Have you had cost effective items that were successful for your enjoyment?


Yard sale LPs and CDs some amazing finds for $1.00 or less great rock, jazz and classical music in mint condition especially back in the day folks were getting rid of their vinyl. Sometimes I’d come home with 50 pieces for under $25. I’ve ended up with thousands of great musical gems.

NAD 3225PE 40 watt integrated amp. It did it's job for the time being while being not expensive.

Used Marantz Model 7 for $200 in 1976!

Double Advents

Schiit Yggdrasil GS (biggest personal bargain)

2-way Pioneer stand-mounts (designed by Andrew Jones)

Topping Pre90 preamp

Schiit Freya preamp

NAD receiver from the 80s

NAD integrated from the 80s

Anticables SCs and ICs

Oppo 103 UDP

Vincent SP-331 amp

NAD 3155 integrated, bought as a floor demo in 1985 with an NAD 5325 CD player (same vintage). Both still performing flawlessly in the third system, what a deal.

Sansui AU-505, bought new in 1974. Amazing sound, currently being rebuilt.