What Gear is Universally Adored?

I’m always on the lookout for gear that seems to be universally and widely adored. Such gear in my experience is difficult to go wrong with, despite the fact that we all have unique variables in our rooms, systems and tastes. My experience with such products seems to be consistent with what the consensus is. As I said these examples I believe are rare. My first encounter with this was when I had read near unanimous glowing adoration for the Gryphon Diablo 300 amp. Up to that point in my search I was ready to quit HiFi because the gear I was testing with home demos, including separates, wasn’t doing it for me. But after reading all the praise and an endorsement of the Diablo 300 at that price point from @jays_audio_lab , I went to demo the Diablo. To be honest I didn’t fall in love with it until the first moment I turned it on in my system in my space. But I totally love this amp I feel differently about it than any audio component I’ve ever owned, even expensive ones. I had the same experience with the Innuos PhoenixUSB and PhoenixNET devices, which are USB reclockers and network isolators, respectively. The PhoenixUSB in particular has seemingly almost unanimous praise and I see why (although one could argue it makes sense to step up to the top streamer from Innuos which includes the tech in one box, at least for the USB reclocker.

So, my question is, what other gear do we universally adore? I’m not talking about things we each adore - please don’t list those. I have very premium Nordost speaker cables that I love but I know not everyone loves these. That’s an example of what not to list in this thread.

To Start:

  • Gryphon Diablo 300 Integrated amplifier
  • Innuos PhoenixUSB USB Reclocker (I know some say it makes sense to step up to the top level Innuos streamer that includes this tech in one box, but that doesn’t stop everyone who has it from loving it. I love it as well)
  • Herbie’s Audio Anti-Vibration footers. Bought these for my speakers and my experience is in line with all who have reported great things. I don’t have experience with other more pricey options.
  • Chord M Scaler upsampler (I think? I struggle to find more than a handful that don’t like this device. I’ve not heard or used it. Yet.)
  • Chord Dave DAC (haven’t heard myself)

What else belongs on this list???? Why I love such products is that our collective consistency of positive experience is greater. Meaning, you can be more assured (but certainly not entirely sure) of how you will feel about the product in your own system. Products called out should have unanimous pro reviews and most importantly must have lots of positive buzz in forums with little to no negative comments.

Also - it’s okay and even a good thing if Amir at Audiosciencereview says the product sucks balls. 


@nyev , that's tricky to answer, I've never listened to the Dave or any of the other super high level DACs, but I've seen a lot of reviews on the Holo Audio May KTE and everyone seems to like it, praise it's measurements etc. I haven't read a bad review for that one.

@tom23 you’re right, Holo May probably belongs in the category, as far as DACs go.  Also don’t have experience at that level for DACs though.

I have a Hafler DH-200 that is now in my secondary system and served me so well for so many years. However, I have had 2 Cary Audio tube amps that are both clearly on a superior level.  Back in the days of cassette players, nothing compared to Nakamichi.

Usually there is a string visual component to the adoration.


When listening to the four seasons, I also there is a bit of a different between Vivaldi and the Jersey boys.

McIntosh sort of falls into that idea, “where we see it and know it should sound a certain way.”