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Your best deal ever on audio equipment, to support your Vandersteen speakers.


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Back in the 90s, a guy at work was moving out of state and wanted to unload his LPs.

He knew I was into higher end audio, being the original owner of 3A Signatures powered by McIntosh tube gear. (C22, MC275, MR71) 

He gave me about 2000 LPs, boxed up in his basement.  I had to haul them out!

For $50. he tossed in a nice Technics SL-1100A turntable with a Shure V15 Type III on it.

Also, a new in the box Denon DL-160 cartridge, which I set aside and forgot about for over 20 years.    

 

I still use the durable Technics today.  I did finally install and set up the DL-160 cartridge on it. (see "DC-93s Stereo" thread)

I was AMAZED at how much better it was over the Shure.  Punches way over its weight.      

 

Anyone have a good story to share?

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@DC-93 Wow, great deal.

For me? Probably all my Vandy speakers themselves. Got my first 1C’s for $450 (shipped), next my 2CE Sigs for $600 (pick-up), and finally my Treo’s for $2,400 (pick-up). 

Still have all of them, with no intent on selling any. 

As far as non-Vandy stuff?…..mmmm….first comes to mind is probably my open box Audiolab CDT6000 CD transport for $495 (shipped), A fantastic CD transport for the money.  I was also gifted a Denon DL-103R for $0, which really is a sweet musical cartridge. Although I use my Benz Ruby3 and my various Soundsmiths more often, that Denon still yearns to be mounted and never disappoints when I do. 

Edited by bkeske
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I have to say that my Brinkmann Nyquist mk2 was a store demo unit.  It was not from a store in the US and I saved over 10k off the retail price.  He used it a fair amount, so it was basically a used unit, but it’s a DAC, so to me it’s new and I’m BLESSED.

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"Your best deal ever on audio equipment, to support your Vandersteen speakers."

Geez, if I had to choose one component it would have to be my Simaudio Moon W5 dual mono stereo amplifier. I talked the dealer (now long gone) into selling me the demo. He let me take it home to try with my 2Cs. This was in 2002. My digital playback had vibration and electrical conditioning issues so I relied on vinyl to evaluate. I had never heard such driver control and soundstage definition from my 2Cs. What was really next level was how the amp allowed the 2Cs to fill the sound between the speakers with separation and air around the instruments and performers. 

After 7 years (listening to CDs), I decided on a project to replaced my Talisman phono cartridge with its shattered Sapphire stylus with a hand made Benz Series 2 Glider. (It took 9 months to get it!) This started my upgrade from audiophile gear to high end that I could afford. I went from an old PS Audio IVH in passive mode to my Classe preamp. Both preamps' strength was phono playback. My cartridge salesman, whom I have become a repeat customer contacted Classe and decided on the proper gain setting for the mid output of my cartridge. I still hadn't taken preamp delivery because I hadn't decided on the phono cartridge. I upgraded from MIT330 RCA interconnects and Monster Powerline 2 speaker cables to Transparent Super level balanced interconnects and biwire speaker cables. I splurged and got the Ultra level for my turntable cable. These were significant upgrades that allowed me to experience what the Moon W5 could do when the time came.

To further improve the power amp's performance I did in home trial and bought a Shunyata H2 power conditioner and Taipan Alpha cord to plug it into the wall. This brought out further details; microdymic shading and defining instrument and performer placement in mid air, all from humble 2Cs! I've tried various power cords and these days use Shunyatas, Delta V2 NRs for critical pieces.

This past year I finally got a Moon preamp from Simaudio to bring out the best of my amplifier. This has been another significant upgrade. I took advantage of demo pricing. It didn't have a built in phono stage, so I bought a demo Moon phono preamp. Eventually I'll get to tweeking VTA to see if I can bring out more performance. My vinyl was dialed in for the Classe. I've finally nailed the toe in on my 2CE sig 3's I purchased a couple years back. My most recent upgrade is on backorder. I'll post about that when it comes in. It's a new USB cable to upgrade my Transparent Premium USB. Most of my listening these days is done via music files played through JRiver from my HTPC to my DAC.

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  • 5 weeks later...

 

I just remembered buying a single large speaker cabinet from the Salvation Army store for $35. in the 90s.

I took out about 30 wood screws from the back plywood cover and inside the cabinet was a 15" woofer with a cast iron frame!

A spun aluminum cover decorated the magnet and it stated:  "Jensen G-610 Tri-Axial". 

I sold it and put the $$$ into buying Vandersteen 3A Signature speakers.  

🙂

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I am currently working on a home audition of a dealer demo QX-5(20). It hasn't had the USB2 or Net2 card upgrades but I have an Aurender N20 to feed it w/ an AES cable. It exactly fits my need for a DAC ONLY at this time. The dealer is willing to sell it for $9k and it will come with the 5 yr. factory warranty. I'm not sure if this is a great deal but it sure seems enticing (as long as I like how it sounds in my system). If anyone can offer any guidance for this demo pricing I would appreciate what you have to say. I know many here like this unit, I'm just not up on used Ayre pricing.

Bruce

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  • 2 weeks later...

The new unit costs 15 or so I believe.  I forget how much I bought the original Ayre for, but it was maybe 9k or so???  Costs have gone up considerably though.  It sounds like a decent deal.  The question becomes, is there another DAC that has AES connection that would be better.  Ayre makes a great DAC as does Auralic, MSB (how much would a demo Discrete be?) . There are others out there in this price range that are great DACs and since you dont' need a streamer built in or anything special for USB/ethernet inputs, there may be options that cost less that focus on just a top notch AES connection and basic connections for the other ones.  Taht Ayre is a great DAC though.

 

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