what are your top "audio bargins" in your system history?

It is great to have all the money you need to have the best and endless upgrading.  But what about the components you've had that were inexpensive that turned out to be favorites of yours?


Townshend Rock mk2, also known as the Elite Rock. Bought for £500 in 1990. I’ve run a Rega 300 (with the damping trough) and a Naim Aro and now a Schröder Reference (without) since my Artemis is playing up again. The Rock is more resolving but maybe a bit more analytical with the Proteus, an SPU Royal N gets the combination swinging nicely though.

My Primaluna Integrated. Lovely tone. Fine imaging & 3D. As much slam as this classical music guy will ever require. Just spritz the volume and selector knobs with some Deoxit to quiet them down when they get glitchy. When a tube blows (which happens considerably less often than it happened in my previous tube amp adventures), you get hold of Upscale Audio and have them send you a new one.

If I consider a "bargain" as something that can be purchased at a relatively reasonable price, and that performs near or above similar gear that sells for a similar or higher price, then my list would include:

  • SMc Audio upgraded amplifiers and preamplifiers
  • Khozmo passive preamps and Hattor passive/active preamps
  • Mojo Audio Mystique v3 DAC (the rest of the line is very good but not the same level of bargain as the v3)
  • Sound Anchors Stands