Downgrade Suprise?

Has anyone downgraded according to price and Stereophile grade and been surprised or that it surpassed performance of the other?

I'll throw out my scenario considering a supposed "downgrade" from Revel M20 to Triangle Zerius 202; reasons are many but not a factor in my general question.

I always here about the traditional price/review class upgrade success stories but I thought the other direction success stories should be heard.

I use an Exposure 2010s or a vintage Luxman L58a. I will also be pairing an Exposure XVII with a gainclone at 50 watts for experimentation.
Those Triangles must really be something. I owned a pair of the M20s a few years ago and thought they were fantastic speakers, wish I still had them.
But to answer your question, yes, I currently use an older pair of Soliloquy 5.0s which have bested speakers costing 3 times as much. At least to my ears this is the case.
Done the same with some Stereophile recommended amps also. Maybe my ears are miss-tuned.
I have things that would be considered a downgrade in systems at home. I think for what I've spent, they are surprisingly good. Are they better than my reference gear? No. It would be great to find something like that. At my price point, (modest compared to many) I don't think it's possible.
I was auditioning some Audioquest DBS cable (Meteors, Gibraltars too, I think) when I switched to Anticables. They were just as good. Threw in my Kimber 4TCs to compare and they were not as good as Audioquest or Anticable. Given that Audioquest is many times more than Anticable, I was happy.

Revel speakers are room/gear dependent. OTOH, Triangle speakers are a great value, plus, have a very nice presentation.
I have owned both Traingles and M20's. The Triangles are faster, far more efficient and amp friendly. The M20 has more body and bass weight with the right amp. The M20's do't respond well to amps such as gainclones or small tube amps that don't have much control. There is a big difference in sound between the two pairs, but both can be excellent when matched with the right gear and room.
I've seen how little bookshelf Boston A120 vintage speakers can humiliate and outperform Bose901 literally with any amp low or high powered.
Stereophile "recommendations" are only someone's opinion and very far from absolute. Your opinion may vary. It's actually kind of refreshing.
Those anticables sound interesting, mmmmm.....
Yes, my original post kind of points to a company that really knows its engineering over its' marketing.

Another example is that I have a TD-124 with Denon 103-LC mounted on a ESL-2000,a tonearm that most people consider a throw away. I think the synergy is pretty fantastic and I use it as much as my Nottingham and Jelco arms. The ESL-2000 has its issues; aka no antiskating (grrrrr), but it belts out full bodied sound.

I guess downgrades (according to popular ratings) is trumped when synergy is really working.

I decided not to do the Triangles (althoug I met regret it) because I have a pair fostex fullrange waiting for me to finally put it in a cabinet that would most likely give me the speed and transparency that the Triangles would.

Cheers and love to hear more "downgrade"/synergy success stories.
not sure thats a surprise really ENO. the link between price and performance is a best a loose one. a $1K system to a $100K system is easy but no reason to assume a 3k is inferior to a 5k system. the more I learn ( not hear or read but actually demonstrate to myself) the more I realize I had many incorrect views when I started this audio journey.
Another downgrade surprise for me was a ADC PSX-40. The body is a p-mount with a standard mount adapter. Some guy gave it to me when I bought an old turntable awhile back. I needed a backup cart and something to play less than stellar records. The psx-40 stylus is a titanium alloy cantilever with a hyper polished nude styli, it was $30 from Needle Doctor. This cart punches way above its weight class. It has a smooth sound, lightning quick, tracks really well and throws a massive soundstage that is very deep. Highly recommended.