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What is the best you've bought so far?


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I've owned a fair amount of high end gear over the years. My current setup is the best I've bought/owned thus far and will likely be with me till I'm gills up at this stage of the game.

 

Speakers - Magico S3

Amps - Pass Labs XA60.8 Monoblocks

DAC - Benchmark Audio DAC3

 

If I can offer one piece of advice that I've learned the hard way (ie..the expensive way), stick to gear with a large following that has a strong proven track record of making its owners very satisfied over a long period of time. In the early days of this hobby for me I for some reason chose to buy the bleeding edge, boutique brands with high price tags, a small following and basically no track record. Simply put, don't do that and you'll probably be just fine 😐

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This is interesting and I like it because it's the best we've actually bought, not heard or read about.

 

For me, my Wilson Audio Alexia Series 2 loudspeakers are the best I've bought so far. 

 

https://wilsonaudio.com/products/alexia/alexia-series-2

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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4 hours ago, fas42 said:

For me it's the Edifier S200Pro digital active speakers - because they do everything but read the source media, and do it remarkably well for the money ... as a best value for the amount paid item, they far outreach anything else I've had.

 

Wow.. really? Interesting...

 

That's the first speaker I wanted to buy before I researching bout this audiophile hobby.

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Interesting question. I started considering which was the best element I'd bought for my system; DAC, power amp, Network Bridge or speakers? Couldn't decide between them - all gave a similar, worthwhile increase in sound quality. Then I realised that actually the best was a Synology DS412+ NAS. Before I bought this in 2013 my music was all over the place: CDs in 3 rooms, LPs (partially ripped) somewhere else, not to mention DAT tapes and cassettes of concerts recorded off-air and stored away in cupboards. Now most of this music (I'm still ripping) is easily accessible and I spend far more time listening to music. Furthermore because I can dial it up immediately I can listen to a specific piece of music as the opportunity arises without the room search and loading stages previously required.

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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The gear I have experienced that was uniformly head and shoulders above the competition that I was familiar with are the Class D amplifiers from The Digital Amp Company (DAC - not the best acronym!) (disclaimer - I am close personal friends with the owner/designer Tommy O'Brian, so ignore this if you wish, I understand).

 

These class D amps are 100% designed by Tommy and do not rely on commercially available modules. If I understand correctly the modulators run at several times the frequency of competing Class D amps and this may play a role in their relative SQ. They usually feature massive linear transformers to achieve huge wattage.

 

I had a VAC PA100/100 amp until I heard my first DAC amp. I was shocked to hear how much information was simply not leaving the tube amp. The VAC went up for sale immediately, so relatively poor was the SQ.

 

Read the many pro and consumer reviews on these amps - Shocking speed yet liquid with no harshness. Incredible bass from massive linear transformers. Designed and made in the USA if that matters.

 

Edit - Tommy and I are both drummers and are keenly aware of cymbal sounds, which a lot of Class D does not get right. DAC amps do, IMO.

 

I honestly believe that the vast majority of audiophiles, if given the chance to audition in their home, would be shocked at how different these amps sound vs. their existing amps. You will be shocked at the amount of info that never leaves your amps. It is really stunning to hear.  The sound is different but not "weird different" or "interesting different" but different exactly up the middle towards that elusive goal that we seek.

 

In my experience when people hear them they buy them. There was one fellow on AudioCircle who wanted to shut Tommy up as Tommy is very confident in his engineering abilities, so he bought some amps with the hope of being able to say "Meh, not so great" but then was stunned at how good they are, told a friend about then who now swears by them. On and on, again and again it happens. 

 

I have heard them strapped to Zu speakers - Forget the "It'll fill the room with 2 tube watts" BS, the Zu absolutely came to life and sounded fabulous with several hundred watts of DAC Class D power.

 

Chris, how I would LOVE to hear your impression of these amps driving your Wilsons!!  (Let me know, I'll talk to Tommy, wink wink)

 

I now have a DAC amp pumping into Maggie 3.6s and they just love it.

 

-Mike

 

 

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Its been about 5 years now since I bought a Linear Tube Audio Microzotl 2 at CAF. At the time I was shopping for a headphone amp,

had been mulling over which Woo amp to buy since the prior year but something about the bass was wrong; I knew within 10 minutes of listening

to the MZ2 that it got the bass right and more, ordered 1 the same day.

Over the last 4 years it edged out my  CJ PV10A/Prima Luna Premium as preamp and in the last 2 when my Magnepan 1.7's were moved from a 15x20 room to a 12x12 room and I acquired a JS2 power supply, its 1W amp output put to shame the 100W musical concepts modded

Hafler DH200 for resolution and dynamic range clarity. At some point I will have to get more watts but I really don't play my Direct to Disc

Virgil Fox Organ recordings that often and death metal not at all.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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The Tambqui DAC (Roon endpoint/preamp), because it brought out the best in my other gear.   The system now seems seamless and much like live music.  Having live performances available at any time -- with control of the volume! -- is a blast.  

Mola Mola Tambaqui > Mola Mola Kaluga > B&W 803 D3       Cables:  Kubala-Sosna

 

"As neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least use to man...they must be ranked among the most mysterious with which he is endowed."  Charles Darwin - The Descent of Man

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6 minutes ago, cjf said:

I've owned a fair amount of high end gear over the years. My current setup is the best I've bought/owned thus far and will likely be with me till I'm gills up at this stage of the game.

 

Speakers - Magico S3

Amps - Pass Labs XA60.8 Monoblocks

DAC - Benchmark Audio DAC3

 

If I can offer one piece of advice that I've learned the hard way (ie..the expensive way), stick to gear with a large following that has a strong proven track record of making its owners very satisfied over a long period of time. In the early days of this hobby for me I for some reason chose to buy the bleeding edge, boutique brands with high price tags, a small following and basically no track record. Simply put, don't do that and you'll probably be just fine 😐

Solid advice. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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On 5/15/2020 at 9:51 AM, bluesman said:

That has to be my Thorens TD125 and SME 3009 arm. It’s been a faithful companion since I bought it in 1969 and is still in great condition.  I “rebuilt” it about 20 years ago by replacing the bearing and belt, and I made a tone arm board for it that let me swap arms easily.  It’s been home to a few oddballs over the years, the coolest of which was a Formula 4 unipivot. But the SME is back on the original board, which came cut for it.

 

It’s been a real joy over the years and a great example of true value in audio!

Do yourself a favor and get another new belt.   ;)

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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I still have faith in my Donald North Audio amp, even though it has a slight ringing problem at the moment. I am positive it will be fixed. It is by far the best Amplification device I have ever heard. My new DAC is also the best DAC I have ever heard, and after hearing one I simply had to have it. So what is it? A Balanced Lampizator Pacific with volume control...

No electron left behind...

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11 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

I still have faith in my Donald North Audio amp, even though it has a slight ringing problem at the moment. I am positive it will be fixed. It is by far the best Amplification device I have ever heard. My new DAC is also the best DAC I have ever heard, and after hearing one I simply had to have it. So what is it? A Balanced Lampizator Pacific with volume control...

You gotta love Lampizator’s description of Toslink ...

 

 

DAF74B67-6967-4A73-835E-97C4B2637DDF.jpeg

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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