What Combinations of Components Have You Put Together That Sound Good?


Please share the components you've put together that are a perfect match, where you have reached a listening pinnacle, so much so that you don't want to stop listening! 
high-amp
I have a McIntosh preamp coupled with McIntosh 601's, driving a pair of Revel Salon 2's. I like the setup. The sound is a little on the laid back side but that's just my cup of tea. For me I don't think there is a pinnacle I could ever reach. It's more variety. I've heard so many fantastic set-ups. I would love to be able to switch out systems on a regular basis. Like it's Led Zeppelin day? I'll have the  Synthesis speakers paired with Levinson power please. And I can't wait for tube Tuesday! Whats the best? There are so many opinions about how to get the best sound. The opinions are very helpful, but in the end it's your preference. I have a pretty nice BMW now. But my wife and I are going camping this weekend. I wish I had a Jeep.
Decware Mini Torii with Brimar 6V6g  st tubes-4 wattsRef 3A de CaposVPI HW-19 mk iv with Shure V15VxMR cartHagerman Cornet II phono StageHad a Mc MR-71 but went to streaming radio with..Emotiva ERC-4 CDP/DAC
very happy  can't blast the sound but rich clean sound   have not made any changes to speakers or amp for 9 years
good question

but there are many many examples of this out there - too many to list
The same ones in the synergy version of this thread. Synergy means things work well together so the same thing.

I suspect most would say the systems they post here sound good together.
mapman and jjss are fully correct. Millercarbon would/could likely respond with just a link to his system page (HA) in which he would also be correct. Ok, I'll answer the question: Doshi Alaap pre, Wavelength (300B Cardinal XS & 45 silver) mono amps, Beauhorn Virtuoso (106db) speakers. We (most of us) like to feel our own combination is the best ever!!
Line Magnetic 805ia (48w SET Class A with 300B driver tubes) paired with DeVore O/96's.  Really quite impressive synergy in my system.
Synergy is just another word for never having to say you're sorry...

Seriously, synergy happens when components aren't grossly mismatched.  After that (when they match) it all a question of nuance.
Luvin' it, there's never too many, keep 'em rolling...


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Tannoy Stirling GR and Music Reference RM10 Mk II...just waiting for the Cary 303/300 laser drive to croak again so I can go Lumin T2 or whatever the time affords.  
Dynaco and SWTP kits were good together but I've moved on.
My current system. After many changes and diligent effort I am very close to what I think is ideal. The most recent changes adding an Ikeda tonearm and cartridge made for a huge increase in performance. getting out of the chair after I start listening, other than to change the record is difficult. Although I would not have expected it the Luxman tube amps from 1975 are a great match with the ProAc speakers

https://systems.audiogon.com/users/jperry
I love my Janszen zA2.1 Valentina hybrid electrostatic speakers and I went through a number of amps, trying to find that elusive synergy. I stopped looking when I found the Linear Tube Audio ZOTL40 and ZOTL preamp to be a match made in heaven. It’s incredible.
I'm very close with a few systems. At the center are Monsoon neo 8 planars, and Aurum Cantus, ribbon treaters. VMPS RMx Elixirs, Rm40s and RM30s. They are all coupled with MB Columns, and servo bass systems. I like Mac gear combined with Cary Valve units, NO Valves doing BASS here, all SS, class Ds, wonderful stuff with full blown DSP and active OXO.  

About a year to finish what I have going, and the same on the rooms.
pretty steady for the last two..

Never ending, though.

Regards
At the moment listening to All Night Jazz (89.7 FM WUSF Tampa) through a Mitsubishi DA-F10 tuner. DCM Time Windows 1A's and a Sumo Andromeda amp. Preamp is an RGR 4. Three other rooms filled with vintage gear await!
Do you want the $5K Synergy System, the $20K Synergy System, or the $75K Synergy System?  :)


Anything goes, but in for me $5000-$20,000 is my budget. I was hoping to hear from everybody about all their experiences, 
no price cap required 
Sorry Douglas, can you clarify your question? My question is what speakers, amplifier and source sound good together. This, based on the experience of the members here.

lancelock

Sounds good! Daedalus Audio is just down the street from me, Lou make great speakers. He’s affiliated with LTA (and Modwright). I heard the LTA integrated on Apollo 11 loudspeakers, wow!

In turn, Spatial Audio offers bundles with LTA which may offer more of a planar style sound, which I like as well.
Stirling Broadcast SB-88s driven by a Benchmark AHB2, connected via Mogami cables to the TRS jack of a Quicksilver Headphone Amp. Source is Tidal through a Topping D90. The resolution approaches some of the cost-no-object systems I've heard. The 88s continue to surprise as upstream ancillaries improve -- their tweeters now approaching what I typically associate with Be domes. 
You’re shopping, and it seems you are shooting in the dark. (Which is fine, if that is what you really want to do.)

The general question of what constitutes synergy in an audio system is unproductive. You will get a set of answers that is completely unusable, given the variance in products and listeners.

You need to be specific in using a search for synergy, or "perfect" sound. Focus on one item, the speakers, I suggest, and work from there. Genres of speakers include Panel, Open Baffle, Dynamic, Horn, Omnidirectional, etc. and hybrids of these.

Finally, be aware that unless a person has the capacity to hear hundreds of systems and dozens with a particular product, then the acclamation of synergy or perfect sound is to be weighted as such. Simply because someone thinks a match is good, in no way means it is ideal, or cannot be vastly improved. The systems I built years ago with speakers I would not listen to today. The common factor in the advancement of synergy is one thing, better components and cables, which are often much higher priced. Hence, the question, only partially facetious, $5K, $20K, or $75K synergy?

So, I recommend you hone your search to start with a speaker. If you make the "wrong" decision of the speaker that moves you, then you can have a system with excellent synergy and it still won’t wow you. Give some consideration to this. :)


Point we’ll taken Doug, but it’s still fun to hear what others have put together in there musical journey. You’ve reviewed a ton of stuff, but what components do you sit down and listen too at home at the end of your day?
In my case, I will most definitely consider speakers first, thanks for that.
Currently in the rig I have three consistent elements:

1. SOURCE: WireWorld Silver Starlight Ethernet Cable
Small Green Computer sonicTransporter with SONORE systemOptiqueand associated optical cable
SONORE Signature Rendu SE 
Clarity Cable Supernatural USB cable

2. AMP: Pass Labs XA200.8 Monos

3. Speakers: Kingsound King III electrostatic speakers

The DAC and cables are under review and change as required. 

I will build approximately 10-12 discrete systems for assessment, demanding improving synergy with each iteration. 

The system listed is representative of my work in regard to escalating synergy over 8 years. There have been many systems with the King III speakers that had "synergy", but the perfection has never been better than with the systems built for this review. That should stand to reason, as the source, DAC, cables and amps are all higher end compared to what I was working with years ago.  
Wow, that must sound AMAZING Doug!
Thanks for sharing...
What is amazing to me is how elevated the speaker's performance is compared to years ago. I continue to be impressed by how "flexible" a speaker's sound can be based on the ancillary components and cables. The truth is that is takes dozens of rigs to gain a holistic sense of what a speaker can actually do. When a hobbyist has the occasion to take a speaker that is well-loved and elevate its performance several times, that is imo High End enjoyment, as of course, the experience of hearing music through it is so gratifying, so enriching. 


Well so far it’s my best yet. Though I know my room needs serious acoustic treatment.
Pass Labs xa25
LTA microZOTL pre-amp
Schitt Yggdrasil - most recent build.
Dynaudio Special 40’s
Tripp lite hospital grade 6 outlet surge protector. No conditioner. 
Switch with a variety of mid tier IC and PC.
*L*  The majority of the things I collect and ic together? *L*
At least, until it doesn't....*shrug*
Much like anyone else here responding to the query....;)

I think we all in general let our ears do the walking 'n talking....*S*
Ones' 'disposable income' sets the upper limits to varying degrees, as noted by the descriptions....
Hardware from Audio Research and speakers from Magnepan have had a long and happy relationship.  Before they "broke-up" and Wendell went from AR to M, this was a combo that was even marketed together.

I have this system, and I have yet to hear one that is substantially better no matter HOW MUCH MONEY you spend.

Both companies have much newer products today, and I am not saying they retained their synergistic qualities, but you owe it to yourself to LISTEN to a system composed of those items that is set up correctly in a room that is properly configured before making a buy decision.

It may not be your cup of tea, but at least you were exposed to as good as sound system as you will ever find and can decide what you like and don't like about it before moving on to whatever YOU like IN YOUR ROOM, of course.

Cheers!
Verging on vintage- A highly modified Rotel RCD 991 (Burson discrete Op Amp replacements, Dexa clock, higher grade audio caps in signal path, etc by Parts Connexion, Canada) to ARC Ref 3 to modified McCormack DNA 1 (SMc Platinum Ultra with Plitron transformer etc.) driving Thiel CS 3.6 speakers. Running dedicated AC line to AQ Niagara 1000 with Shunyata Alpha HC power cables and AQ Columbia XLR interconnects. Characteristics of this system are low noise floor and good dynamics with nice soundstage and good frequency balance. Pieces work in harmony having good impedance match between
pre and amp and amp is able to fill heavy current requirements of Thiels. Purchased every piece used over many years on a teacher paycheck. It would seem that the CD player is the weakest performer, but I have tried others that cost 2X or 3X without any great improvement. Hoping to score a used Hegel Mohican to compare in the future.   
No subs with the KK III's Doug?

helomech - was unaware of the  Stirling Broadcast SB-88s. I do know some Spendors can be auditioned locally though.

jred - LTA sure comes up a lot as a big positive!

asvjerry :-)

richopp - gotta hear myself some of those Magnepans, I think there is a dealer somewhere in Seattle. Which model are you currently running and do you use subs?

yabe1951 - ah vintage, I truly miss my AR 9 speakers, coupled with my Carver C500 power & C4000 pre amps, my Oracle turntable and Teac tape deck, all channeled through my SAE graphic equalizer!
For reviews of products I always start sans subs, then after adequate experience with the product, I roll in the subs.
Sennheiser HD800 with Moon 230 HAD preamp DAC
MAC MHA 100 (50 W headphone amp), PS Audio Direct Stream DAC w/ Bridge II, Fostex th900 MK2 w/ upgraded silver/copper cable and titanium connectors. Wireworld gold XLR and Transparent ethernet cable. Obviously a headphone/ streamer set up and will blow your ear drums out before it ever hints distortion. I have a pair of Solilouy 5.1 speakers that match well and doesn’t beg power from the MHA 100. Open back headphones would elevate this system to next level, but i require the quiet provided by closed cans. Whole system cost me about $11K new and used gear (retail= approx. $14K. NO REGRETS. Once the cans go on, i’m in my own world of audio bliss.
Pathos Classic Mk3 integrated with Spatial M3 Turbo's. Smooth projection with just the right amount of bite.
Regarding home karaoke sound, I have used a combination of power amplifier and karaoke digital. The purpose of using karaoke numbers to adjust the sound signal is better
You can refer to the combination here  https://khangphudataudio.com/dan-karaoke-gia-dinh
All good stuff, thanks guys!
I am partial to simao's system and would love to hear those M3's!
simao, have you heard of the "Pathi"; two units in Mono mode? If you love one, you will adore two.  I reviewed a few iterations of the Classic One for Dagogo.com, and always had two units to run them Mono integrated, as splendid setup. 
soooo soooo many out there, but here are a couple, one lower and higher priced

lower -- chord mojo or ayre codex into audiosector patek se into proac tab 2000 w rel q150
higher -- sonnet morpheus into audio research ref75 se into proac d30r
jjss49

Hmm, I think I'll take door #2!
Nos Dac Starting points Systems --> Amplifier Sansui AU 7700 --> Speakers Mission cyrus 781....

Total cost around 400 dollars with a new tuning and replacement of some parts for the amplifier...

It is the best system i ever listen to, but i am not a guy that had listen too many systems, only some good one with magnepans, Tannoy or Quads....

Sound so good when rightfully embedded, that i was proud of myself and very afraid to upgrade it... No hurry and no need.... :)
@high-amp

well better IS better, a lot more expensive too

do not under estimate option 1 - it is utterly brilliant sounding... peter daniels patek is fully deserving if its legendary reputation, and all proacs just shine when the input is right
mahgister

Well the price is right! 
Ah, Sansui, my first system, way back at the ripe age of 17.
Integrated amp and separate tuner. I just went through 2 pages of Google images to see if I could find the model of the amp, with no luck. Wish I still had it, along with all the other gear I had in the past.
Very interesting DAC you have there:

http://www.makeasound.net/blog/category/starting-point-systems-dac3

jjss49

Both systems using DACs as pre-amps?



@highamp

yes all dacs mentioned have variable analog output volume (if so configured) so are run direct into power amp
FYI, there is another method to use a DAC direct to amp which involves software attenuation. If you have a music service such as ROON, you can use the software volume control in the media controller to raise or lower the volume, allowing a similar setup, but with a dedicated DAC. 

I have done this several times, and while one must exercise caution to always know precisely where the software volume control is (to not accidentally turn on/off the amp with it at a high level, etc.), it works very well. It was difficult to trust it initially, but now I am not worried to use it. In fact, I have a dedicated DAC on review that I plan on doing that very thing today. 

Is that a superior method to build a system? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends upon the preferences of the listener and the actual combination of gear. With the Pathi I had a slightly different setup in that I could run a CDP's analogue output directly into the integrated amps in mono. I advise that all possible permutations of systems be tried, as there is no telling, especially since cable differences have a strong influence, which will be superior. It is a mistake to presume the performance pecking order. 
I’ve read loads about the poor bass of Celestion SL6 speakers.  Try powering them with a McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe amp. My response on hearing a Telarc tympani with this combo was to exclaim loudly and involuntarily: “How the $%#% are you doing this?!!!!”
@douglas_schroeder 

it is worth making the important distinction in what doug is describing to reducing volume digitally in the processor chip, which is generally considered a bad idea, as it reduces the bit-resolution at lower volumes