Your Best Value Bargain Audio Purchase

Wondering out of all your components what do you feel was your best value purchase? My guess is it would be a used purchase but doesn’t have to be. Mine actually isn’t a component. I go to about a hundred live shows a year at the Dakota on a $2800 annual fee. Two tickets a show for about $15 bucks a ticket. An audio steal.


Bang for buck? Records.


Emotiva XPA-1 (MK I) mono. amps.

I paid something like $1,500.00 for the pair, brand new when Emotiva was getting ready to launch the Gen. 2.

They have really served me well for many years.


A pre estate sale. I found my speakers and the son in-law threw in the MC1000, MC7106, CR39 preamp , HT3 surround speakers, full set of Kimber ICs and speaker cables and a pair of Wharfdale E70s for another 3k over speaker price offer One MC1000 had a failure during listening session so he dropped the total another 2K. I fixed it for 400 dollars

A pair of XR290 speakers alone sold for full original retail MSRP at audio classics 6 months later. I have not seen another pair for sale 7 years later. I got the lot for 35 percent of what speakers sold six month later at AC. I still listen to the amps and speakers daily. After some tweaks i have yet to find a system at a show or high end retail store that can better my tweaked system. I go listen. Shake my head not even close. Then keep tweaking better performance out of the gear. Feed it good source, better piwer, isolation and better cables. Where’s the limit to what you can squeeze out of older well designed gear?


Current speakers, Alta Alec.


Mine was definitely my PrimaLuna Evolution 100 Integrated amp which was ex display bought in August of 2020.

They’d unboxed it in the shop for demoing in early March just before lockdowns hit, and it only had about 10 hours use on it. As such they lowered the price on it from £2500 to £1500 as ex display. It was good as damn it brand new when I received it.

It was the only way I could afford this level of quality, and the place I bought from allowed me to pay in 3 installments. Before this I’d been looking at some ChiFi products and some generally rather questionable entry level amps.


I bought an LP12 turntable in college for $270 bucks.
It was the only constant in my system for decades. Later sold it, but that would the item for another topic titled “Things you shouldn’t have sold”.


Too many to list but I’ll mention the two pieces that got the ball rolling fast and steady. My pair of JL Audio F113 subwoofers. $1800 for a pair. I sold 1 SVS SB16 for $1600 added $200 to that and one sub turned into two! I hope that’s not the last great deal I make on a pair of subs but if it is I’m happy.


My favorite purchase is my Gryphon Ethos. Cost isn’t on my mind. Second place my Vivid Spirits.
Both are remarkable bang for the buck.
The big bang theory.


Vivid Spirits? Is that a magic mushroom thing?


Most assuredly.

The trick is to let the Spirits warm on top of your teacup before proceeding.



I would characterize them as being more akin to a Dairy Queen vanilla, chocolate-dipped cone on a hot summer’s evening.


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I think buying my M700s has to be it. I traded a 30 year old Adcom GFA-555 on them and was given full purchase price for it. Oh, and it was a store demo so I hadn’t paid near what I was given in trade for the thing. It was like being paid to listen to music. Sign me up!


Although I don’t have an audio barn find purchase I think my T+A 1000-40’s were the best bargain. They were dealer floor models and were highly discounted (after some haggling).
My PSA gear is next. Most was purchased with trade ins / trade ups / sales events with large discounts applied.
My Pass gear was also dealer demo units so some major discounts there too.


Sanders Sound Systems Magtech amplifiers at around $3500 each used. These things are beasts and convey music beautifully. Customer support from Roger Sanders and company is second to none as well.

EDIT: They will also drive virtually any loudspeaker with ease including the SSS Model 10e 'stats that have an impedance that drops to 1 ohm or less at higher frequencies. Can make many amps go unstable and blow up. The Magtechs also have a regulated high voltage bus which is quite unique. Allows up to 900W/channel into 4 ohms from a standard wall socket.


My £5 / $7 Chord usb cable I’ve been using for 10+ years.

My sound and light system (speakers designed by same guy as @aangen Vivid speakers) comprises 50 units and gives me high quality sound in 6 rooms (8 zones), controlled by app, voice or Roon, and a world class lighting system. Total cost was about £10,000 / $13,000 with big savings on switches (doesn’t need them) and installation (takes minutes). The units in my office cost £1,200 and allowed me to sell my office stereo system for £3,500.

Besides the great value and having music everywhere and a home cinema sound array, the best part of the deal is no cables.

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My best value is the influence that I received over the years from this forum. :smiley:


An EICO HF81 integrated stereo amp from 1959 bought for 25 dollars. A landscaper friend was given it by a customer and it had sat in his closet for over thirty years. The landscaper was also a guitarist I played with and he was using it as a guitar amp head and was using the phono input and didn’t like the sound so he sold it to me. Luckily he hadn’t used the line level (“Tuner”) input or he would have kept it to use with his speaker cabinet.

I used it for about three years with no issue at all until I bought my first Decware amp.


My best bargain purchase was… I could not think of any! Is that sad? :frowning_face: