What's the best audio deal out there?

Readers often complain that high-end audio products are priced too high for the typical enthusiast to afford. But good audiophile gear does exist. In your opinion, what's the best audio deal out there?

What's the best audio deal out there?
Here it is
89% (68 votes)
Can't think of one
11% (8 votes)
Total votes: 76

Bob's picture

The Clearaudio Emotion turntable with a Satisfy arm & Aurum Classic Wood cartridge at Elusive Disc.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

The "deals" in the audio world are plentiful and available for the asking. The issue here is quantity versus quality. Put in different terms, "ya get what ya pay for."

B Lennox's picture

Paradigm Reference 100s, and or surround sound, try the matching surrounds and center. These speakers have it all. Finesse,detail, great soundstaging, and depth, with rock solid bass, mids and highs. Can't be beat by anything even remotely close in price.

Allen's picture

I don't really think there is one. Let's face it, you get what you pay for, pure and simple.

Ken's picture

Apple Airport Express.

Bill Lollis's picture

NAD C320BEE. With the kind of discounts that can be had, nothing else is close for bang-for-the-buck.

Bubba in SF's picture

I was originally going to say any pair of used Magnepan speakers or the B&W DM603 S3s but, actually the hands down best deal is any LP you can find that is in decent shape at a garage sale or the local niche record store. I picked up four LPs at Charlie's Records in Albuquerque that I never thought I'd find again. He even had a CD version of the Strawbs fron the from the early '70s. I paid the same for the LPs as I had back in the '70s. Garage sales are even better. There is no watermarking and fair use is no problem. Mikey had it figured out a long time ago!

Doug McCall's picture

There are great deals out there, but you're probably gonna have to restrict the definition of "high-end" a bit. My speakers, for instance: ADS HT400 LCRs. They are high-end in performance and build quality, but not in the intangibles that define the high-end in the minds of many audiophiles.

Monty's picture

PSB B25 loudspeakers

craig.bradley@verizon.net's picture

My Ikea Expedit bookcase. Holds up to 1200 LPs for about $100.

John V.'s picture

PrimaLuna and AES by Cary come to mind quickly.

Dave's picture

How about a speaker from a designer whose previous creation was Stereophile's 1998 loudspeaker of the year. Not only does Siegfried Linkwitz's Orion speaker outperform the Artistry Audio Beethovens in a number of ways, it can cost 1/10 the price! I'm lovin' every minute of mine.

macksman's picture

Taking time to breathe calmly (and maybe breathe a Burgundy) and establish a peaceful attitude from which to hear some nice music, whatever you think that is, and truly give yourself an opportunity to enjoy it. No electronics can offer that and all systems can be improved by it.

Nodaker's picture

Though no longer available, I use a Chase RLC-1 remote line controller on my office system. For the $60 I paid it is wonderful. Controls bass, treble, balance, volume and fades between 2 sets of outputs so I can use a subwoofer under my desk. A well thought out little piece that when gone will be missed.

Chris S.'s picture

With a little self control, you can build a very good sounding headphone rig for a very reasonable price. You would also save on room treatments and space. Sure, you can spend tens of thousands of dollars on your system, but you can get great sound for just several hundred or a few thousand dollars..

Dennis's picture

Benchmark DAC Alesis Masterlink 9600 Can't beat either for the money.

John Lawrence's picture

As a class, there are many an excellent deal to be found in the sub-$500 monitor market. For amplification, both the modified T-amp, and Dual mono AV-20s are great.

Louis P.'s picture

PS Audio UPC 200 (formerly Ultimate Outlet) and power cords. For $1000–2000 depending on how many components your system has, I don't know of any other upgrade that delivers the same amount of improvment for the money. The power cords are bulky and difficult to manage around the rack, but they provide a blacker background and get rid of lots of has and other garbage.

Ron in Vancouver's picture

The Benchmark DAC. It's really as good as they say. Who needs SACD with this thing for digital?

Al Marcy's picture

Obbligato oil/paper capacitors.

Jazzfan, New Jersey's picture

If you have the space to properly set them up, then hands down: Vandersteen speakers, the best model that you can afford, either new or used.

Mannie Smith's picture

Vandersteen 2Ce.

R.  Muir, North Hollywood, CA's picture

The Bellari tube phono amp has what it takes to smooth out that fabulous analog rig without breaking the wallet.

Travis Klersy's picture

DH Labs Air Matrix interconnect is an awfully good value. Dynaudio's Audience 52 Special Edition is too, offering more than a taste of the Special 25 at a fraction of the cost.

peter strand's picture

Shanling t80 tube CD player. the best sounding player at anywhere near its price. Easily upgradable with better tubes,power cord, and plug-in op amps.

Dimitris Gogas's picture

Pro-ject turntables. You can have decent analog sound without spending 90.000 USD. Hey, we all need something to spin our LPs on, don't we Mikey?

Secondhand Sam's picture

Anything that was the "rave" product of three years ago, or older. Let someone else take the huge depreciation hit, and then enjoy some wonderful gear when that depreciation guy decides he needs the latest and greatest because he never knew how much more music there really was in those grooves or those pits.

Bob Farrand's picture

PS Audio appears to be moving into the position of great bang for the buck.

Brankin's picture

Used or second hand albums (vinyl). SACDs from discount music clubs. 20% off sales from music retail shops to buy SACDs & albums. And finally, most products from Creek, Rega, Jolida, Arcam, and Vandersteen.

Anonymous's picture

Benchmark DAC1 Quad 909