Best hardware acquisition of 2017

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Davey, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. krisjay

    krisjay Psychedelic Wanderer

    Seems hardly worth mentioning in this thread with all the heavyweight gear going on, but, the wife grabbed me a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's for Xmas. That would be my best and only aquisition in 2017.
  2. putz

    putz Forum Resident

    I did check those 2 out, but the Powercell is $6k and the Shunyata is also pricey. The 2 units I am looking at run $500-$1,000. What do you like in that price range or a little higher? Used is always a good thing in my system. Thanks Lee.
  3. Kristofa

    Kristofa I dream of wires

    Eugene, Oregon
    2017 has been an overhaul year for me—actually all purchased in December after over a year and a half of research. Therefore, it is difficult to know which component is “the best,” as it really is a very different system and almost entirely new to me.

    The first upgrade:

    Yamaha RX-v775 AVR —> Parasound Halo integrated.
    This upgrade revealed the significant drawbacks of using an average AVR for 2-channel listening. Using the Yamaha, I needed to use YPAO calibration set to “flat” to get a sound with body. With the Parasound, I don’t even need to engage the tone controls. The Sabre DAC in the Parasound also makes my Oppo BDP-93 sound much better with red book CDs. Is this what a BDP-95 sounds like? Dunno. But my desire to upgrade the BDP-93 is diminished greatly now that it is going into this DAC—but there might be room for SACD improvement by going to a BDP-xx5 unit.

    Second upgrade:
    Pro-Ject Phono Box USB —> Lounge Audio LCR MKIII Phono preamp.
    After a few hours of using the Lounge, I noticed LPs sounded generally smoother and more effortless.

    Third upgrade:
    Polk rti-A3 standmounts —> upgraded Tekton Double Impact full range towers.
    Wow. As expected, more of everything with the DI’s: soundstage is expanded, vocals are crisp and clear, and they go DEEP. It took two songs before realizing the dual 8” Infinity subs I was using were meaningless with the DI’s, so I yanked those out. No subwoofer is needed, and they have such smooth crossovers. I watched Fellowship of the Ring last night, and while everything was crystal clear, the tubas during the Uruk Hai theme were incredibly realistic. The Polks are now my surrounds, and they are still great speakers!

    Fourth upgrade:
    Ortofon 2M Silver —> Ortofon 2M Bronze
    After using the Red, Blue, and Silver offerings from Ortofon (and a couple of inexpensive Shure and AT carts), this is the first time my LPs sound “right.” Vocals sound solid and less fragile. Pianos sound less wavering, and orchestral pieces seem better realized. IGD is essentially gone! There is undoubtedly more information being retrieved from the grooves, and this translates into microdynamics and a bit less surface noise. My 500 or so classical LPs will be getting a LOT more play now!

    Combine all of these upgrades, and I believe I have a synergy that I am very pleased with. Now it is time to enjoy all of my CDs, SACDs, and LPs in a whole different way.
  4. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    San Jose
    I started from scratch this year.
    First purchase was a decent low end TT- got the U-Turn Orbit.
    Then, I decided I needed a DSD-capable dac since I can rip my SACD's now, so I picked up a Mytek Brooklyn.
    After listening to vinyl through the brooklyn, I needed something better than the Ortofon 2m Red that came with the U-Turn so I picked up a Hana SL cartridge.
    That sounded so nice, I decided I needed to do some needledrops, so i picked up a used Korg MR-2000S DSD recorder.
    Finally, the massdrop HD6xx deal was too good to pass up, so I grabbed a pair of those, too.

    Best purchase out of all that? Maaaaaybe the Hana? it's very hard to choose between the Mytek, the Hana, the 6xx's, and the MR-2000s.
  5. 64voxac30

    64voxac30 Well-Known Member

    Birmingham, AL
    After significant research and careful planning, I went all in:

    Coincident power and speaker cables
    Coincident Dynamo MKII amp
    The Truth preamp
    Tekton Pendragons (fully upgraded)

    I'll get a good DAC and upgrade my turntable in a couple years.
    psulioninks and Kristofa like this.
  6. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Forum Resident

    You and I made some similar moves. I went from an ortofon Red (which i've read is very similar to the red) to a bronze. Yamaha integrated to a Parasound A-21 (still working on the preamp part). I went from bookshelf to floor standers. Previously had a Project Phono Box, now have the lounge. It's like the forum built our systems for us :). Oh and got an Oppo this year too.

    Sounds like you had a great year! Congratulations!
  7. Well how do you like the corrected unit?
  8. I considered upgrading my hardware gear but I put it off and spent the money on finding properly/decently mastered CDs from the old guard. I figure the system hard ware will be there next year, but at the prices target/80s CDs are fetching I thought I'd better scope 'em up while they last.

    Some of my "hardware" up grades include decent CD masterings from:
    Dire Straits
    Pure Prairie League
    Fleetwood Mac
    Blue Oyster Cult
    The Cure
    The Grateful Dead
    The Bangles
    Jim Croce (got Steve's 24k CDs)
    Flying Burrito Bros (1st & 3rd albums)
    Otis Redding in mono
    Kim Wilde
    Marvin Gaye
    Flatt & Scruggs
    Osborne Brothers
    Byrds in mono
    Doobie Bros DCC & SACDs
    Hotel California DCC

    among other things and a lot of music from new artists.

    Got my eye on Ascend, Schiit and Fisher for hardware upgrades next year.

    EDIT: I did get the gen5 usb upgrade on my Schiit Bimby though.
  9. husafreak

    husafreak Great F'n music that's difficult to listen to!

    NorCal, Bay Area
    I got a VPI JMW9-3D arm for my Scout 2. I've spent a lot of blissed out hours listening to vinyl since dialing in that arm. It has transformed my system from sounding great, to sounding great, with a huge soundstage, greater depth, and better instrument separation.
    Sharp 1080 and Ham Sandwich like this.
  10. Sharp 1080

    Sharp 1080 Well-Known Member

    I hope to visit the factory some day. I linked photos of my system from my Flickr page.

    <a data-flickr-embed="true" href="<img src="" width="640" height="480" alt="New amps"></a><script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

    <a data-flickr-embed="true" href=><img src="" width="640" height="427" alt="OW2R1883"></a><script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>
    Kyhl likes this.
  11. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Reading about all the incremental upgrades reminds me of the children’s book If You Give A Moose A Muffin, that I read to my kids too many times.
    ds58 and joeriz like this.
  12. DrZhivago

    DrZhivago Hedonist

    Adelaide Australia
    Haven't received it back yet.

    The idea was to run 2 Vidars in monoblock configuration. As I'm waiting for the replacement unit to arrive, I hooked up the single Vidar as a stereo power amp. While the unit is still breaking-in , early impressions are positive.

    AlmanacZinger likes this.
  13. Many upgrades too this year - but like you a noteable one was going from the Parasound 2125 v1 to a Parasound A21 Halo - and oh my! I actually had initial reservations wondering if it would really be justified, but it is a great amp, and brings my 150 watt RMS speakers to life!

    Also upgraded my SL-1200 Technics TT to a Yamaha GT-2000L. I still have and use the SL-1200, but the 2000L is one mean piece of machinery, and at 60 lbs, it lives up to its name - Gigantic and Tremendous (that is what GT stands for believe it or not, and it is right on the nameplate on the front).

    Also upgraded my Mani(s) to Lounge LCR(s) one with a Copla to match. Another marked improvement in SQ and a "glad I did" moment.

    There's more, but there are the noteables.
    bluemooze, Bananas&blow and Kristofa like this.
  14. I Bought a Technics 1200 and an AT VM740ML cartridge after buying some limited edition vinyl with more dynamic mastering.
    I know you can buy better but this was good value. I'm fairly happy with the sound.
  15. I used to work at Wharfedale back in the Diamond 7 days. I believe they've come a long way since then. I wonder if the Heybrook guy still works there? You probably can't buy better at the price.
  16. triple

    triple Forum Resident

    Zagreb, Croatia
    Carl Williams designed preamp? You definitely need a heavyweight dac to go along it.
  17. schugh

    schugh Forum Resident

    My big purchases in 2017 were the Bryston BDA3 and the Woo Audio WA8.
    Enjoying them both very much. They are here to stay for the long term.

    Oh wait. How could I forget my main purchase this year was the Zesto Andros Phone Stage.
    At least I think it was this year?
    If I had to pick for the best purchase out of the 3 it would have to be the Zesto.
    bluemooze and Tlay like this.
  18. BrokenByAudio

    BrokenByAudio Forum Resident

    My only upgrade this year: Magico S3s
  19. SJess

    SJess Active Member

    I bought a 'great value' sub new, and had it fail twice, so the second time I bought a used REL for a little more than the repair price and OMG - best upgrade I made this year.

    Santa brought me new NOS Mullard preamp tubes for my Primaluna Dialogue Premium, and some Irish, Scottish and Japanese Whiskey. A truly great combination as I sit here sipping away as the tubes burn in.
  20. nola27

    nola27 Active Member

    I checked my records and forgot that I had upgraded my Schiit Bifrost DAC with the AKM AK4490 Verita D/A converter earlier this year.
  21. Wow ----> "The digital input supports up to 768 kHz PCM"
  22. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Look at the Shunyata PS8/Defender combination in that range.
  23. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Those are great. Nothing at all to be ashamed of.
  24. triple

    triple Forum Resident

    Zagreb, Croatia
    PS8 is $700, Defender is $200, add $175 for the cheapest HC power cord Shunyata make and the total is $1075 without shipping. And he has basically not entered the realm of active filtering yet - the PS8 is a glorified power strip only. What I am saying is that Shunyata have gone up in prices.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  25. VintageVibe

    VintageVibe Forum Resident

    New Joisey
    Retired my Boston Acoustic a 100's in favor of Vandersteen 1C's and added Anticable OFC 2.1 speaker wire.

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