What is the least amount you have spent on an audio component that produced music that made you happy?

Wes Phillips's picture
Money can't always buy love, but it is often thought it can buy audio happiness. Or can it? What is the least amount you have spent on an audio component that produced music that made you happy?
What is the least amount you have spent on an audio component that produced music that made you happy?
Here it is
72% (140 votes)
I have no idea
28% (55 votes)
Total votes: 195
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Varun Jagger's picture

Sennheiser PMX 100. Fabulous headphones at a fabulous price.

Stephen Curling's picture

I spent about $200 for a Pioneer DV-333 DVD player, used as my primary CD player. I've used it for years and it has performed flawlessly. It's a truly great value.

adam's picture

I spent 10 bucks on some speaker wire to hook up a pair of Mordaunt Short MS35ti I was given when I was fourteen, hooked up to a Marantz 2250b: heaven!

Nat's picture

My first good phono cartridge was a game changer. It was a Shure V15 type III. I doubt I spent $75. It was a revelation compared to the typical, almost free garbage that used to be bundled with turntables, but that also was many years ago.

E.Giannakis's picture

Tivoli Radio Model 1

henry's picture

Koss Porta Pro headphones, ¢30 GBP to use with iPod, laptop, and Tivoli Pal. (About £40,000 GBP less than my living room stereo set!)

KJ's picture

I'm sure I'm not the only one who says "free," but I found a discarded portable FM radio (Sanyo, maybe?) in a drawer in a junior high art class that my teacher said I could keep (because he thought it was broken). I still remember its absolutely brilliant sound to this day, even with the cheap headphones. I didn't know it at the time, but that radio marked the beginning of my audiophile hobby.

Fred's picture

Cowon D2 and ATH-M50.

Ron's picture

175 on a second-hand Audio Note AN-Vx digital interlink. It's absolute magic.

audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

I forget what it cost, I think about $2200, but it was a Manley Stingray. It's still my office amp, and still makes my day musical.

Witman1's picture

$250 Paradigm Atoms! Dollar-for-dollar, the greatest value I've ever heard and owned. Period.

Bill Leebens's picture

I once bought a '50s console that had a Marantz 1 and 2, a Sherwood tuner, a Garrard changer, and a JBL D123. The sound was full, dynamic, lovely. I paid $15 No, I don't still have it. Life isn't that logical, or fair.

Robin Landseseadel's picture

My Kenwood KR 9600 receiver. Great amp section. Got it for free.

Matt's picture

$299. Squeezebox.

brian carlson's picture

A Nak BX2 cassette player—it's still hooked up to my reference rig.

Patrick's picture

I spent $100 on a pair of working Magnepan MMGs at a garage sale; $250 in upgrades and I have the most musical speakers I have ever heard (my B&W 802Ds are still nice though).

John Hall's picture

I got an old Denon receiver from my local recycling day a while back, for free. It works great and really pushes my Infinity Entra ones quite nicely.

Mike Agee's picture

The fringes, if antique fairs frequently diversify into any realm of resellable. One gentleman relaxing in a lawn chair had a classic '70s Kenwood tuner in its original box (sorry, can't remember the model number) with a $25 price tag. In daylight, the lights did not appear to light so he let it go for $15. At home that night, the lights worked perfectly, everything worked, and a quick web search revealed that it is considered by some to be one of the best tuners ever made and sells, updated, for much much, much more.

D.A.B., Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

$1. Back in the '60s, I placed four quarters under each foot of my Thorens TD-240 'table on the advice of a then-Stereophile columnist, whose name escapes me. It made an audible difference in bass, rhythm, and pace. The 'table just sounded better all around. Even my musician friends were blown away by the difference those four quarters made. I haven't tried using that technique with my Clearaudio Statement.

Satish's picture

Onkyo Intec 185

Steve's picture

After 35 years in this hobby, the best return for the money and biggest shock at the improvement would be a toss-up between the HRT MusicStreamer ll ($135) and Caig DeoxIT and Pro Gold ($16 per can each). Ten years from now, I may have another DAC, but I still will be using can after can of Pro Gold. So many tweeks are free and cumulative in effect. Lately, I have been grounding everything (speaker baskets to cross over neg posts, left, mono, right sub woofer speaker baskets to each other and each other's amps, neg speaker terminals to wall outlet ground, on and on) with bits of wire and unused speaker cable, until I ran out of wire. Zero out of pocket, startling improvements across the board.

JP's picture

Grado SR80 @ $99.

Andrea Tubaro's picture

$249 for a 160MB iPod.

chris's picture

Now that's an easy one. How much cheaper can you go than"'free," as in gratis? Which is exactly the asking price for iTunes. Which again transforms your modest Mac (or meager PC,, if you must) into a full-blown, universal, infinitely tweakable music server. Up to 24/384, if you please. If this ain't the Grand Theft Music, I'd very much like to know what is.

Dennis's picture

$300 for my Squeezebox (okay, not counting $4000 DAC, $2500 IC, $1100 Power Cord, $,000 computer, etc). Yep, best $300 I ever spent.

Bill Cannastra's picture

My new Logitech Touch gets my vote. For $250, it cost less than than the digital interconnect sticking out the back of it. In a cool, convenient way it provides remote and touch screen access to all my computers and storage drive's music, and will handle 24/96. With the outboard PSU from Welbourne, it sounds almost as good as my Theta on 16-bit. Great fun for the money.

Nodaker's picture

Just bought one of those little DSPs for my subwoofers and it made me stop thinking about a new (tube) preamp. Let me tell you, when you get the bass right, that's half the battle. I had my room tuned for my main speakers, but when I added a few subs it got a little muddy. Enter the DSP and now I'm very happy for a few hundred dollars. Go figure!

Jens, Denmark's picture

Superspikes from Soundcare, a Norwegian company. These babies made my Verity Fidelio speakers improve dramatically, at least on my wobbly floors. They cost about $120 for two sets, and I have on other occasions paid thousands of dollars for comparable improvements.

Lon's picture

That's too easy: my first car stereo. Probably $150 total, back in the day. Made me fall in love with music and provided the soundtrack to the best years of my life.

Thomas A Martens's picture

Toshiba SD-3960 DVD/CD player: A $50 plastic wonder. It looks ridiculously out of place next to my higher-end components, but plays CDs so competently it feels a bit like cheating. Best $50 I've ever spent in audio.

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