Best hardware acquisition of 2017

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

  1. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas Thread Starter

    SF Bay Area, USA
    This might be a fun complement to all the best album of the year threads on the music board, which I love posting in by the way, but have a hard time finalizing. So, what was your favorite piece of gear you came into this year?

    I put together a completely new system this year so could list a few choices here.

    I love my Clearaudio Avantgarde table, it was a total steal which makes it even better, but truth be told, I have a couple other tables that would get me by without a big loss in the enjoyment factor if the Avantgarde never happened.

    I also picked up some Monitor Audio Gold series monitors with the ribbon tweeters, love the magic that happens in the top end, and I can get completely lost in the music when everything is just right, but they still aren't quite where this system wants to be in my mind, so they were a super purchase in mint condition at half of new cost, but will probably be replaced at some point, maybe with a pair of their top of the line PL200 series, on the lookout for a good deal. Lots of possibilities, love speaker shopping.

    Also got a pretty good deal on a Conrad-Johnson Premier 11A amplifier this year in really nice condition, and with a few sets of tubes. Really love everything about this amp, the way it brings the music into the room, just gives it such a lovely sheen, but never draws attention to itself. I really like it, but still, I have a couple other amps that don't give away that much to it, so even though it's the anchor to a very nice system, it may not be essential.

    The Benz Micro Wood SL cartridge? I so love that golden Benz sound, really may be the only cartridge I need until the end, but I do have a couple other cartridges that could get me by without too much lost. The Benz Glider I used for many years is no slouch either.

    And then there is the Conrad-Johnson phono preamp, in the case of this system, it's the phono stage in the PF-2 preamp from the early 90s. One of the things I love about this preamp is the complete absence of electrolytic capacitors, anywhere. I followed this same path with my own audio designs in the 90s, it leads to such a natural and relaxing sound, so it does mean a lot to me. But in the end, I still long for a tube-based phono preamp with those same design ideals, so have been on the lookout for a Conrad-Johnson Premier 15 with upgrades.

    But the piece that isn't gonna change any time soon is the main preamp, a Conrad-Johnson Premier 17LS2. Beautiful piece of gear. I love the heavy aluminum remote control, the precision resistor relay-controlled volume control, the triodes, the teflon capacitors, the simple circuitry, everything about it is there just to make music sound good.

    So that takes us to winner, the best hardware acquisition I made in 2017 was the Conrad-Johnson Premier 17LS2 preamp. What was yours?
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
    Rickchick, scobb, bluemooze and 4 others like this.
  2. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    MOFI Studio Phono for me.
  3. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Boston MA
    I would have to say the Wilson Yvettes, followed by the Convergent Audio Technology JL5...2017. It has been an unusual year for me. I'm getting geared up for my retirement in a few years.
  4. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas Thread Starter

    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, those do really seem like endgame speakers, most of us could be very happy going out in that style.
    patient_ot and Tullman like this.
  5. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Boston MA
    Yes, and the CAT JL5 is an amazing match with the Yvettes.
    LeeS and HiFi Guy like this.
  6. papatwo

    papatwo Abiding Member

    Easley, SC, USA
    I love my Fisher 500C receiver.

    Going back to tube sound has given me a renewed enthusiasam for music. I was mistakenly afraid that I would regret the major drop in power (from Pioneer Spec 1 and Spec 2) but I have not missed those watts.

    It takes a little more time to warm up and produce a full, rich sound but that's ok too.
  7. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Prescott, AZ, USA
    I made it through 2017 with no new gear - hopefully I can survive 2018.
  8. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas Thread Starter

    SF Bay Area, USA
    Ah, you're no fun :)
  9. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Prescott, AZ, USA
    It wasn't easy my friend. I was minutes away from pulling the trigger on a Jelco 750D, Greece armboard, collar and cable - had it all in a shopping cart.. ready to buy... then decided to sleep on it.
    bluesaddict and Davey like this.
  10. Seafinch

    Seafinch Forum Resident

    Tough one. Can't decide between my LP12/Ekos or my Line Magnetic 508ia.
  11. vinylbuff

    vinylbuff Forum Resident

    North Port Florida
    REAL nice deals on the Rega RP8/Ania cart./Mofi Ultraphono.........
    displayname, avanti1960 and HiFi Guy like this.
  12. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas Thread Starter

    SF Bay Area, USA
    For the Technics? That does seem to be a popular replacement.
  13. screener

    screener Forum Resident

    York, Maine USA
    Jump into some tubes to keep warm this winter.
    Rickchick, timind, russk and 7 others like this.
  14. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Prescott, AZ, USA
    Yes but I wanted it only for aesthetic reasons (I can't find fault with the existing arm) - based on that I decided I needed more records instead.
    timind likes this.
  15. timztunz

    timztunz Audioista

    Texas and Brasil
    Refurbished Tascam 42B
    LeeS likes this.
  16. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Surprise, AZ
    Cary 100TS Dac, Cambridge 851C CD player, Hana SH, Kenwood KD500, SME 3009 II improved, WD NAS and a few other items. 2017 was a very good year as was the year before I'm fortunate to say.

    They all are = in my book just different.
    avanti1960 and patient_ot like this.
  17. Riotvan

    Riotvan Member

    The Netherlands
    Quested S7R mk3's followed by Schiit Saga.
    patient_ot likes this.
  18. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Morrow MH4's 10 pair.

  19. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Where the wind don't blow so strange.

    Interesting Idea for a thread. I lost my damn mind this year buying gear and records. First off purchased a vinyl nirvana Thoren's TT. Arrived in January. That sent my record acquisitions into orbit. Then in October I bought some speakers, B&W N804's that I had been lusting after for 15 or so years. Then I needed the right amp to run them, so I bought a Parasound Halo A21. Then I decided I needed the right preamp to feed the amp, so I bought a Rogue RP-1. Oh yeah, bought an Oppo 105 and a schiit bifrost external dac. Don't get me started on the vintage setup I completed. I was completely swallowed up by the rabbit hole. So as @costerdock said he was able to finish 2017 with no purchases, that is my goal for 2018.

    To answer the question, I think the piece I like the most is my Rogue RP-1. Despite the minor issues I have had with it, it really transformed the sound of my system. The speakers I bought are VERY transparent and reveal exactly what is feeding them. And without the right preamp the speaker upgrade seemed like a waste. I love the look of the unit. And I love that I can adjust the balance of the preamp with the remote. This may sound trivial but my right ear is slightly more deaf than my left, so the ability to adjust the balance remotely has come in real handy. I can sit on the left side of my couch and sit in my lazyboy and still enjoy a balanced sound.

    My other favorite is the Thorens. And the amp. And the speakers. It's all one big system. I also really love the Oppo because it taught me to love CD's again. Which has saved me significant sums of money in some of the music I have acquired since buying it. Roughly I spend 3x the cost on vinyl versus CD's, and a well mastered CD is once again just as enjoyable, possibly moreso due to less headache. So I love it all and wouldn't trade it. But I REALLY need to make zero new gear purchases this year. If I were a betting man, and I am, I am betting on me still buying a piece of new gear in 2018.
    WapatoWolf, IanL, timind and 9 others like this.
  20. After 15 years, new speakers. All five with the B&W 702s as my main front. Took about 100 hours to kick in but they are so sweet now.

    Rickchick, djost, IanL and 26 others like this.
  21. signothetimes53

    signothetimes53 Forum Resident

    Burlington VT USA
    2 great purchases for me: fully refurbed Pioneer SX-1250 and fully refurbed AR 3a speakers. I have plenty of modern gear that sounds very good, but the Pioneer and the AR 3as make me feel young again. Frankly, I like how they sound better than the modern equipment I have. :love:
    TerryB, Sugar Man, SirMarc and 3 others like this.
  22. KevinM

    KevinM Member

    Kingston, Ontario
    Purchased Harbeth 30.1's to replace my PMC's. Also aquired and Arcam A39 and a Dynavector P75 MK IV.
  23. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    I acquired 3 pairs of speakers, 2 integrated amps, one phono stage, a DAC and a universal disc player. I'd have to say my Spendor SP2/3R2s were the best (yet most expensive) purchase, followed by my Yamaha A-S1100. The pairing is simply sublime.
  24. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    As most years I didnt buy anything, I hate spending money.
    JohnO, Postercowboy, bluesky and 11 others like this.
  25. russ e-s

    russ e-s Well-Known Member

    Traded my TD-145 for a Mac-1900. Bought a VN TD-125. Worked out well. Full rehab on the 1900 was less tha 1/2 the cost of the TT...
    efraley, russk, Bill Why Man and 2 others like this.

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