Top 10 epic audio items in my audio history.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by thomaskong, May 22, 2020.

  1. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    I had my first serious audio system on 1978.

    Garrard turntable, ADS bookself speaker, Fisher Integrated amp(SS).

    The following is top 10 epic products that had made me blown out.

    1. Thiel speaker driven by Perreuax pre and power(200watts) on 1986
    2. Apogee Duetta Sig speaker on 1989
    3. Krell KSA 150 on1990
    4. DCS Elgar Dac and CEC tl0x transport on 1998
    5. Jadis 500 to drive B&W Notilus 800 on 1999
    6. Silbatone SET amplifier with WE 300B made in 1940's on 2001
    7. Lansche 4.1 speaker with plasma tweeter on 2007
    8. Line Magnetic 508 SET on 2018
    9. Stax 009s and Sr1a headphones on 2019
    10. 1578 tube on 2020

    [​IMG]

    1578 tube(6sn7 variant) makes my system full bodied with nice decay and with widest soundstage that I have had in my listening room.

    It is a steal at 250$ that I had paid.

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/p...kqPO4XjfoWX7MF20VYBo=w1200-h800-no?authuser=0

    This was taken about 3 years ago. Except Lansche 4.1 speaker, Audio Note IC and SC cables, every major components had been replaced.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  2. Ontheone

    Ontheone Drifting Towards the Dead Wax

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Hopefully our top audio components ever owned are the ones we currently use? I realize occasionally one will slip away with regrets....but 10? I can't play in that sandbox.
     
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  3. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, CA, USA
    Mine were more like a great pair of used old stock tubes for $68 a matched pair ... :) but actually in no particular order (and the last several I still have in the system):

    1. Hearing Innovative Techniques ITC-1 speakers (tiny little things) on stands out in a large showroom, driven by Perreaux electronics, an AR TT, playing an opera record, around 1984. AMAZING SOUNDSTAGE DEPTH AND SPACE. The soprano entered and was physically 'present' about 20' back from the orchestra. First time I had ever heard such a thing.

    2. Got a Pioneer SX-450 receiver, Pioneer Project 100A speakers, a BSR TT and a cheap Shure cart: my first stereo system, about $400 in 1976. Sounded great blasting Queen records in my room, a great improvement over my parents' flip-open TT that skipped. That was also the first thing I ever bought on credit ... good old "Foley's" ... started my slide into debt chasing the audio dream.

    3. Seeing Yes at Hofheinz Pavilion (Houston) 8/8/1976, my first laser show. I'm in the lasers/optics field for 40 years this year. OK that was more audio/visual but ...

    4. Got a new Yamaha A-700 integrated amp shortly after hearing the ITC-1 setup. It was all I could afford, didn't have ANY soundstage depth, I don't know WTH I was thinking. But it sounded pretty good and had good lateral imaging. Good resolution. Got blown away by a $100 Dynaco SCA-35 integrated amp I borrowed around 1995 from a friend for an audition - it never left my house. The A-700 then served well as a passive sub amp for a decade or more, then out in the garage for another decade. The Dyna had SOME depth and space, and sounded a lot more like real musicians playing together. Improved resolution and musicality with various mods and upgrades, sold for $300 to a classical music lover who I hope is still enjoying it.

    5. Getting a new Audio Analogue Puccini SE with a pair of Triangle Titus speakers, and some Analysis Plus Oval 9 cables. Excellent sonics, still use the Tituses and Oval 9. Upgraded the tweeter high pass filter (the mid-woofer runs "flat out" with no crossover) to even better performance, a great $100 investment. SO that's about 4 in one ... OK, 3.5 since the filter upgrade was on one of the other ones.

    8.5. Built some kits: Bottlehead Paramount 300B amps ... then upgraded some internal caps and got some $500/pair 300B mesh plate tubes. Excellent sound, improvement over the Puccini by itself. Still in my system today.

    9. McIntosh C220 preamp, bought new as a demo unit on a 'we pay sales tax' weekend, out the door for $2805 ($3300 MSRP at the time). Was using my Puccini as a preamp for my Bottlehead Paramount 300B amps at the time, it was good and highly resolving but the C220 blew it away with more organic sound and a luscious phono section. It lacked resolution compared to the Puccini as preamp though, until I upgraded the tubes and got a silver mains fuse. YES it made a difference. The other internal fuses didn't, though, a sort of expensive experiment that I left in place since the fuse sockets are so DAMN tight.

    10. Hmmmmm ... OK I sold the C220 to a fellow forum denizen to get more cash for my daughter's wedding. Then a year or 2 later was able to buy my Parasound P 7 preamp. Excellent and as good to me in every way as the C220, has remote balance (like the C220) which I now find essential for little soundstage optimization tweaks. No tubes to mess with, they're in the 300B amps. I have some NOS Siemens triple mica driver tubes in the 300B amps (10.5?) which made a really nice improvement in sonics and tweaked a little more resolution out of the amps.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  4. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    It was steal at 250$ but it had made so drastic improvement on sound of my system that I included it in my top 10 epic list.
     
  5. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    My list would all be LP's / music.

    The music has much more long term impact on me than any list of gear. No badges here.
     
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  6. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    I am both music lover and audiophile.

    Thus your statement make sense to me.:)
     
  7. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    It took lot of time to go through your thread.

    300B tube really do wonder in the system.

    I had tried to get another Nos We 300B tube but its price had skyrocketed to 10K$ for Nos pair made in 1940's or 1950's.
     
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  8. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, CA, USA
    WOW !!!!! My kit amps came with Electro-Harmonix tubes (??? Svetlana? or something). They sounded good. I got turned on by reading up on Princess 300B mesh plates, got some, they were $400 I think. Not overly impressed by any discernable difference in sonics, really. They looked really cool though, so I kept them. The E-H tubes are solid plates, look boring as hell when they're running. The Princesses are sexy beasts.

    ACTUALLY the best improvement in sonics was getting the triple mica Siemens ... 12AU7? ... driver tube. I forget what type it is actually! made a really nice improvement in sonics and resolution compared to the 'pulls' that came with the kit.

    Edit: ECC81 (12AT7 type) driver tube
     
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  9. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Washington State
    Some new production tubes also sound quite nice.

    But some Nos tubes are like old and famous wines.

    They have unique flavor.
     
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