What has been your most satisfying component?

I don't think I have seen this question asked so here it goes. Many of us tend to buy and sell looking for the ideal, the holy grail, what works best in the current system, or whatever.
What component (or components)have stood the test of time in your system? I've been through quite a few but some have stayed despite having bought their replacements and subsequently selling them. I'll share once we get a few posts to get things going.
VAC Renaissance amplifiers. The sweetest gear I've ever owned. I am on my third version. I started with a 30/30 MKll. Then I bought a 70/70 MKlll. I thought that was it for me. All of a sudden a 70/70 signature came up for sale here. Just when I thought it couldn't get better, every step was a quantum leap. Kevin Hayes of Valve Amplification Company is a genius. I don't work for VAC, and I am not related to anyone that is employed by VAC.
good thread. since 1984 i've had 3 pairs of b&w 802's (most recently matrix s3's), so there must be something there i find appealing....the mainstay has been the mac c22 II. my second favorite pre of all time(next to the marantz 7), and its not going anywhere.
Quicksilver 300B SET amplifiers have remained in my system longer than any other component has before. I once came close to selling out of financial necessity, but they've managed to stand the test of time and temptation to try alternatives. Other components have changed around them, and in my other system, but they've remained and have never ceased to delight me.

I have two. The audio refinement complete. I've managed to own it five different times. I've sold and rebought. I think I'm sticking with it now. Even if I choose to go with another amplifier.

The second one is a mint condition 1978 Yamaha T-1 tuner. I bought it about six years ago and is the only piece of gear I've ever had for more than a year. I don't see it going anywhere. I have owned a couple other tuners, but the T-1 stays around.
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Audio Research LS-3 preamp...
solid, transparent, performs well w/ SS or tube gear.
The JRDG Consonance preamp w/phono- for approximately $3500 with the line-stage upgrade and sorbothane treatment which came a bit later (stereophile never acknowleged the new mod even though they gave a very favorable review to the original preamp). a very quiet/great sounding AND inexpensive mm/mc phono stage ($300) which i never felt the need to replace, was included. AND, with the new line-stage module ($450) there was easily a 25% improvement in the transparency of the piece. even after experimenting with some fancier preamps much later on, there was improvement in some areas, but the Consonance still sounded great. i see these going for $1000 on audiogon and i just have to smile a little- this was THE FIRST REMOTE CONTROL PREAMP ON THE HI-END MARKET, and the remote is still one of the best i've seen (200 volume steps, one at a time or 10 at a time), a big chunk of metal with phase, record out switching, mono, virtually everything is on there. inside the preamp you can set input and output impedence, plus a whole lot more YOURSELF without tools or solder. IMHO it's pretty special.
I would say it's a toss up for me. I bought a Aragon 8008bb from a fellow goner and it made a big improvement in my system. Also up there is my Ps Audio P-300 Power Plant. Also has made a big diff. I'm missing it right now, it's out being modified. Can't wait to get it back.
Stood the test of time? That's pretty scary.
When looking at my current system I'm almost ashamed to admit that the only component that has been in my system for over two years is an original Shunyata Hydra.

So I guess I can't really say that anything has stood the test of time. I guess that's what happens when you combine my AADD with my OCD, you get AADDOCD. Hey, I'm what keeps AudiogoN in business (not to mention Fed Ex). :)

The bright side? I don't have to take photos and post links to my system. Since the photo and description would be obsolete before the 4-8 hour wait for moderator approval on a new post. :)

As for most satisfying component, I would say my ZYX UNIverse phono cartridge. I've had that almost 15 months (a lifetime for me), and I have no urge to upgrade (at this second). :)

my brain and my ears (is that 2 components ?). i don't need a component or stereo system to enjoy music.
I just acquired another Pass Aleph P, after having sold an original version right at 3 yrs ago. This is one of the last made (2/00) w/remote & it sounds better than I remember. I had the first one about 3 1/2 yrs. & only sold it to try other gear. I think this one will be a keeper regardless of other changes down the road.
Can't say that they stood the test of time yet, but so far so good - ARC CD3MkII cd player and Pass Labs X250.5 amplifier.

The component that stood the test of time in my system was an ARC LS-15 preamp - almost 7 years!
okay, maybe the brain and ears are not audio components.

my favorite audio component was and still is the quad esl.
My Linn LP12 Lingo. My once and future TT, through many upgrades. It has a Graham on it now with a Koetsu that's just breaking in. Gorgeous. And a hat tip to my Klyne SK-5A preamp.
I would say the most satisfying has been a modded Jolida JD 100. I've had it for over 2 years -almost got rid of it before. Until I started adding better and more compatible amplication and speakers (that dreaded synergy thing) I did not realize that the Jolida could play this well. But like most, the quest goes on to optimize my system. I'm counting on receiving my upgraded Modwright 999ES and the addition of Xtreme Quicksilver Gold to fully realize how good the rest of the system can be. The Ouicksilver Gold on the tube pins of my Jolida by itself has taken the sonics of my system to another level. The Quicksilver Gold has bested the Walker Extreme SST in my system. I have no afilliation with any of these products, this is simply my experience in my system. A fellow I communicate with named Mark (1Markr) in Chicago (part of that Chicago group of audiophiles (Mark, Bon, of Bon Mod fame etc). who've had the legendary Modwright Sony,999ES and 9100 ES etc shootouts) recommended the Quicksilver Gold- you were right Mark!- it's the bomb Thanks.
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Resolution Audio CD-50, this player provides such detail it truly amazes me each time I play a well known cd on it for the first time. Listening to Jeff Buckley -- Grace now, and sure enough I'm hearing music that was missing before.
Meadowlark Audio Kestrel Hot Rods a close second. They're in the closet now but they are fantastic for what I paid for them.
Music Reference RM-10 tube amp. Has made me a very happy person after going through more than a couple amps. Sometimes less is more.
The component that has been in my system the longest is the pair of MC501 monoblocks. I just can't imagine ever needing/wanting to replace them.

The second longest component is my Platine Verdier. Again, don't know why I'd ever want a different TT from a performance point of view. Aesthetics...maybe.
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Nutella, 19 months later, isn't it time to share?

He can't get no satisfaction.
I'm on record up there as loving my LP12 Lingo, but I have been unfaithful and the Sondek has left me. I have a Scheu now and I will keep it forever... yeah, right.

Still have my Klyne preamp, though.

Nutella, what say?
Ridge Street Sason's bar none..

Next is my Audioprism Mantissa decked out with vcaps
The Walker Audio Procenium Turntable, without any question. This turntable enhanced our enjoyment of our extensive vinyl collection more than any other change we've ever made to our system.
Conrad Johnson PV-5 preamp. Is it rolled off at the f requency extremes? Yes. Does it sound like music, with depth and width to the soundstage? Yes. Does it allow the body and richness of instruments to come through? Yes. I only use it to listen to records with on my VPI turntable....the Wadia CD player goes straight through my Belles 350A amp. I've had the CJ since 1986, it was purchased from a dealer as a never-opened 1984 model.--Mrmitch
Son of a gun, I reread my post written Jan 07, I'm still using the pieces listed. That is amazing.
My secondary rig is three components I hope will last forever...so far so good. Pure analog bliss from the '70's. I'm hoping to pass it on to my son someday(he's 5 years old now).
Marantz 2238B receiver
Marantz 6300 turntable
a/d/s L620 speakers
Nutella, 19 months later, isn't it time to share?
Tvad (Threads | Answers)

What about you Tvad? :)
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I stepped into High End HiFi in the late 80's with some nice speakers that led to a used ARC preamp. By the early 90's I worked myself up to spend big $$$ on a Sota TT with an SME arm. I got the TT home and was shaking wondering what had possesed me to spend that much money on a record player. But once I set it up and played my first album I was estatic! All doubts vanished the moment that first record started playing. The clarity, detail and musical sound kept me listening for hours. 16 years later I am still enjoying my TT while everything else around it has changed twice.
I have to say it's been my SP Technology 3.0 speakers. I can now honestly stand up and say "I've heard it all".
My Idler Driven Dual 1229 turntable, with Grace 747 Tonearm. I have had Aristons RD 11, Linn LP 12, and Thorens 126, nothing sounds like this Dual. Now, I never even consider looking at another turntable. I am set for life.
Oh, and I just love how 'suddenly' everyone is raving about rim drive turntables... when my audio budies all thought I was nuts for the last 30 years saying I thought they sounded better. They do.

Great thread.
Switching from a Goldmund DAC to a DCS Delius and Pucell Upsampler was the most satisfying upgrade I have made because it addressed a lot of underlying issues with the source.
One of my least expensive 'components' but most satisfying is a recent purchase of Harbeth M30's. For a bookshelf system- listening to classical, jazz, acoustic and vocal music, I think ( & hope) they've gotten me off the speaker 'merry-go-round'.
My merlins, they just keep revealing all the upgrades in the sources and amps.
And in time I will include the atma-spheres I am sure!
Pedrillo, sounds like you are more into the tech than the music. Which is ok too. Anyone into Hifi is bogus if they say it is just for the music. I get into both the tech and music. But once I find a certain point of satisfaction, I forget about the tech and focus on the music. In the end that's what drives us, right?

My favorite times listening to music is not always in front of my stereo- and it is not at concerts. It is either at some of the blues clubs in Detroit and Nashville or just walking around cities in Europe and finding musicians and/or bands playing on the street.
Couldn't be further from the truth, I do appreciate the tech part and it is easier to enjoy the music when the system is well put together, but it is the music that I am appreciating and not the equipment.We're on the same page.
It has to be my Sunfire True subwoofer. I bought it for HT 10 years ago and everything else has changed at least once or twice but I've never considered swapping it out. Does its job perfectly and is visually unobtrusive.
Actually, I have two "landmark" components:
Philips MFB 544 active loudspeaker, 3 way, 3 inbuilt amplifiers, 10 inch woofer. Tonally correct, dynamic soundprint with ability to convery body and presence to music. No more hassle with matching speakers, amps and cables.
Apogee Rosetta AD/DA with firewire card. It is a wonderful dac able to compete with the best with added functionality to connection to PC, which would more than enough to justify its price alone. But its inbuilt AD converter and firewire card made possible to record onto my computer live classical music concerts broadcasted by local FM station. Direct live transmissions have something special feeling of live music and ability to convey the "being there" feeling.
Audioquest Doubled Bi- Wired Volcano S/C added so much resolution, they not only upped the anti they changed the game.
A marantz 8B with m-o valve kt77's and rca clear tops in the driver stages. 16+ years now. I go to sea for a living, that's how my tubes last so long. Looking back, I paid $65 ea. for those outputs - wow, those were the days.
I rarely buy new equipment....DAC...yes but I seem to be able to upgrade my equipment. So I have found I get more enjoyment doing that than creating a revolving door. I have had my speakers since 1980 and my Accuphase since 1975. The VAC Rennaissance is legendary...I just bought a pair of mono blocks. I started with NBS and just upgrade as funds allow. A good system that works for me.
I bought a demo McCormack DNA225 and had Steve McCormack do his Platinum and ARC2 upgrades/mods (whatever you want to call it). The amp has exceptional sonics and has been very dependable (knock on wood!).
Sometimes think about a tube amp but would keep the DNA225 even if I got one.
Plus, Smc Audio was a pleasure to deal with.
Amendment to 10-28-08
Joule Electra VZN-160's are by far the most satisfying!!!
My Mcintosh C-22 when paired with one of my Mcintosh SS amps is awesome. C-22 cost alot but well worth the money spent.
My room treatment acoustic devices, for sure, followed by
my Magnepans 20.1 replaced with Analysis Audio Amphitryon and 1993 built Nakamichi MB1000 Music Bank CD transport.