Do you mean Most Expensive?
(If so, then my Revel Studio Speakers.)
Or most discounted from retail?
(If so, then the New Koetsu Rosewood Signature, which I got for $1,200. New price is $3,500.)
Or the piece of equipment that we consider to be the best upgrade to our system?
(Either my Lamm M2.1 monoblock amps, or possibly my Ayre K-1xe preamp.)
My two cents worth.
Tough to say..... I have had so many good experiences purchasing from audiogon. I still talk to the guy who sold me my first piece on thhis site now several years later. I have made many friends from sales and purchases here, and am making new friends all the time!
I have to agree with Kenny T. I bought a preamp from a member five years ago and we became friends and frequent correspondents, up until his death. (we miss you Patrick!). That preamp moved on to another member, but it certainly brought me into the fold. Gotta be the greatest purchase.
My best purchase ever from a sonic perspective was a VPI record cleaner. Suddenly my collection of over 1500 LP's gained a new life and I've never looked back. Much bigger impact than any speakers, amps, turntables, or whatever that I've purchased.
Difficult to pick one "greatest". I have have been pleased with all purchases I have made here and have made a friend or two along the way. If I had to choose one purchase, it would be the Wadia 850. It was the most expensive audio purchase that I have made, ever. I had buyer's remorse from the get-go. I will give it up when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.
So far the Primaluna PL2. Its made listening to music so much fun. And thats just the beginning i hope.
FOR ME, it was something i acquired for free- an extensive continuing education on audio as well as what people enjoy listening to. i especially enjoy the pictures which help to answer alot of my questions (as well as raise others). lately i have been doing a bit of research on how (amazingly) well mid-fi equipment sells on this site- it appears that many individuals are pleased with inexpensive equipment, especially as long as it has been well cared for.
i also perceive a trend buying equipment that alot of people expressed enthusiasm for in the forums, whether it's new or several years old. a preamp, for example, that sounded superb 5 years (or more) ago, still sounds truly wonderful in 2007. a VTL-S150 amp is just about as nice a tube amp as you can buy regardless of price; this fact remains constant through the years. so while stereophile is obligated to "move on" (unless it's a Linn LP-12) in their recommendations, audiogon is far more informative, as long as the reader is really paying attention. ALSO, one must remember that a $2000 pair of speakers may be prohibitively expensive to some people, and we should never be snobbish about those who would still like something nice- perhaps all they can afford right now might have to reside in a dorm at college, or a small apartment. a friend of mine (i kept my mouth zippered shut!) put his dinky bookshelf speakers on the floor pointing at my ankles! but, he introduced me to a guitar genius named "Blind Blake" whom i acquired every alblum of his that was available. plus perhaps they may know alot more about music than you do, and/or make their living playing or teaching an instrument. audiogon is not just a marketplace for equipment, but a often becomes a community of people who love the arts, so with mutual respect for the preferences and opinions of others, you can end up with a nice system, some great tunes, and some new friends.
Sound Lab Ultimate-1s. Had been through quite a few speakers until purchasing these, and later became a dealer for them.
Vintage VTL Tiny Triodes :):):)
Nice sentiment French_fries. I agree completely.
As for equipment, I purchased a pair of Meadowlark Kestrel Hot Rods that still blow me away with their wonderful musicality. Amazing speakers for the <$500 I paid a few years ago. This site turned me on to the now defunct brand.
Another item is the Resolution Audio CD-50 I got so cheap I won't say. With this player I hear truly beautiful sound from a digital source. Actually it came from ebay now that I think of it but I learned about Resolution Audio on Audiogon.
Many years ago my TEAC X-10 reel to reel. Loved it. As of late an integrated tube amp, my first tube component. Coupled with the VSA jr4's, magical.
A CJ CAV50 integrated and DV2B CD player both from Audiogon.
My biggest purchase was a Krell KAV 280CD player new at a good price. My biggest savings were on a Wadia 64 D/A, (used in flawless condition) at about 15% of retail Second to a CAL DVD player from reviewer (when he heard repair places were out of CAL parts) at about 13% of retail, 4 months old. The general ability to move up without the retail (and associated) strain.
But what French fries describes puts the icing on the cake as my experience has been of fellowship.
Bocchino Evening Star XLR interconnects.
My system has evolved over the years to Burmester 001 CD/pre, Nagra VPA monoblocks and Sonus Faber Stradivari speakers. I used and enjoyed Argento speaker cables but I was never happy with my interconnects. I successively moved higher up the ranges of Audioquest, Transparent and Nordost. $12 K later and I still wasnt listening to music. What I heard was either lacking detail, depth and/or richness and was just not that "musical".
Poring through the asylums, Bocchino connectors frequently came up in use in the top end cables from Argento, Audioquest and so on. Given that both Burmester and Nagra suggest balanced interconnects I checked on bocchtech.com.au to see whether (Nino) Bocchino made cables as well as component connectors. And, yes his best balanced interconnects are Evening Star and are based on Bocchino XLR connectors the same as used by Argento in their reference Serenity Master Special Edition cables (tmh Audio showed a 1 m pair at $7 500). Bocchino Evening Stars were less than half that number and being in Australian dollars, even more economical.
So how do they sound? Well after 3 months in my system they add great depth of sound staging, pianos now have power and subtlety and bass lines are tight but deeply extended so that they are felt as well as grounding the music. Best of all singers now have real voicing, emotion and clear delineation. Definitely a "great" purchase.
Bocchino Evening Star
Is it possible to change para 2 website:
Being in Australia I thought he had an .au.
Sorry for inconvenience
C-J PV11 preamp in pristine condition, bought about 18 months ago. Works perfectly and made a huge improvement in my 2-channel sound (had been using Sherwood-Newcastle P-965 pre-pro for both 2-channel and surround sources). A close second are the two Vandy 2Wq subwoofers I bought here - both from local sellers - that augment my Vandy 1Cs. A huge upgrade from my Def Tech PF15.
A pair of one-owner KLH Nines in very good condition for $500!
My first Ludwig brass snare drum from the late 1920's, for $300. I ended up selling it to Art Laboriel Jr. (look him up ;-).
Oh, you mean hi-fi? Quad ESL's, Townshend Elite Rock turntable in the early 1990's, for $650. Rega RB300 direct from England around the same time, for less than $200. Hey, all British. I like the way they do hi-fi.
A Kenwood integrated amp I purchased about 30 years ago. It didn't have great anything, but it was beautifully musical and a crazy value in audiophile terms!