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?


No matter what cheap stuff you buy, over time, the cheepnis [ha ha]  will come to your attention.   And you will know you got what you pay for.

1. Crown PL-1 Power Amp $400

2. Crown SL - 1 Preamp $600 with adjustable separate external MM phone preamp.

Building JBL Laners from the JBL blueprints and Buying the LE 14A, Le20,LE5H mid components. Total speaker cost under $700. 

Sennheiser hd580 and hd650 headphones.

Schiit modi multibit dac

Zu mission rca ic's, $25 new off eBay

Onix Ref 1 speakers, $400

Belles Soloist 5 Amp, $400

Creek  Classic 5350SE Amp, free! Needed repair.


The one that stands out best in my mind was a pair of ADS bookshelf speakers, possibly the L300. They had a wooden veneer cabinet and a metal grill.   I recall a review about them that was full of praise and that said that in a dark room, the speakers seemed to disappear leaving only the music.  And, it was true.  They were in my second system In our finished basement.  The clarity and imaging were fantastic. I don’t remember what I was driving them with, possibly an NAD integrated amp, but, in a smaller space, the midrange and treble actually was a close second to my Infinity RSIIb’s, which were bi-amped.  Great little speakers.

Oppo @ MSRP or lower price. Bedini amps. Audible Illusions preamps. Meridian 504 tuner used. Basis turntables and Rega tomearms used. Totem speakers used(Mani II & Forest)