my pick NAD 3020
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Bob Dylan Live 1975 (Columbia/Legacy CD C2k87047), I seem to play it every day. If I divide the hours of play by the price that I paid.....well, this is just the best value ever, IMHO. Second, Rashaan Roland Kirk, The Inflated Tear LP (Atlantic SC1502)must have some kind of magnetic strip; I can't seem to get it off of my turntable.
It brought all the vinyl I own to life, in a noise free way that nothing else ever did. A revolation, that other vac cleaners cannot match. I paid 650 for a pair, with on to be used as a parts machine. I have restored it full functionality. The spindle was broken and I had a second one custom machined!
Any used DNM preamp.
I picked up a DNM 3c twin for $1000 on a "flyer" a while ago and it astounded me (as well as replacing some way more pricey stuff).
Their gear is not cheap new but seems to sell for relatively low prices used in the US.
The DNM does not come up used very often and when it does it usually sells pretty fast but it is a steal IMO.
I would say the same about their power amps with a touch less vigor..
of all time it has to be the ar turntable(xa and xb variety). still competes with tables several thousand dollars.....most recently the revox elegance cd player. sounds better than my so-called hi end player, and i recently compared it to a new, well known, and well reviewed player that costs nearly 4k. it sounds every bit that players equal. considering its price (around 1k) it makes one wonder how a swiss designed, german built player could be 1/4 the price of a player that has the audiophile community going nuts.
Any used Shahinian speaker; I picked up Obelisks for under $1,500. Any VTL amp; I found 300 monoblocks for under $1,500. Two Rotel CD players for $10 each at resale shops. An Accuphase E-202 at an antique shop for $25.
SMGa speakers for $40 at a resale shop. Any used Klipsch speakers and any used, but recent Decware amps. See Triode Electronics for NOS tubes unless you can find them in "antique" shops. Always ask for any cables to be thrown in, the worst answer is "No" and you may get Kimber KCAG interconnects for free like me.
In all seriousness acoustic reasearch cables for $14. were nearly as good as my bottom end harmonic tech's. River cable. The racket balls I use for isolation. Groove Tube Mullard reissues. Audio Experience. Marantz MA 500's. The old NAD Power Envelope Integrateds which can be had for about $80 now. This in absolute bargain basement terms, not in the OMG this was an f'ing steal sense... Then we would be into tube amps and carbon fiber tone arms, and pretty soon you're convincing yourself five grand is reasonable.
I remember being angry at Cable Co when I first tried the Museaus speaker cable. It just sounded so much better and more expensive than the other stuff in my price range, I thought CC stuck an expensive one in there to make me jump my price point. I was amazed when I found out the price later.
Now that I'm using the PA Musaeus Speaker cables and IC's, it's really made my setup sing. Don't tell Cable Co though, they might get wise and slip a pair of Venustas in my bag next time and really screw me up. ;)
At an impressionable age,I was exposed to my father's Heathkits. They were outstanding values.
I prefer panels(Maggies)to boxes, but for boxes,the Madisound stuff is a good value for money spent.
AVA's Omega Star line pieces are roughly half the prices of their fet/valve pieces. The fet/valve stuff is unquestionably better;I question if it is twice as good for twice the money. The Omega Stars' build quality is Demingesque,the parts quality is excellent,and a good value for money spent.
IRD Audio MB-100's. 100 watt SS Monoblocks that use the same IC chip as the Linn Klimax amps. I'm just breaking them in now, and they already blow away my old AB ultralinear tube integrated. These things are super cheap, around 600 for a pair new with a 3 year warranty. Huge costom Toroid 400v/a. Wonderfully balanced sound-heavily recommended. Love em so far!