Have you ever found audiophile treasure in junk shops?

Have you ever found audiophile treasure in junk shops?
Yes!! I found . . .
65% (112 votes)
Close. I once found . . .
5% (9 votes)
29% (50 votes)
Total votes: 171

As Stephen Mejias <A href="http://blog.stereophile.com/stephenmejias/020408junk/" target=new>found recently</a>, there really are audiophile gems and deals to be had in the "junk" store. Have you ever found audiophile treasure in junk shops?

mrlowry.'s picture

At my local pawn shop, I've found a Threshold Stasis 550e and a McIntosh MC7100. Both were significantly under Blue Book. The Threshold is still the amp in my main system.

windzilla's picture

Thorens TD-126 mkIII in 9/10 condition (no box, and the grado cart was on the way out) for $8. Thorens TD 160 in 7/10 condition, for $10 a pair of HPM-100s that weren't my cup of tea, although at $40, i was able to turn them around and sell them for $250, making a nice, tidy profit.

Timbo in Oz's picture

But I've been given a few jewels. One, a Leak ST-60 power amp which I later swapped for two ST-20s! And two mono Leak TL-12.1's and two Varislope preamps! Luck?

Dave W.'s picture

Vintage AR, Advent, and Pioneer HPM'.

F.  Chasinovsky, Van Nuys, CA's picture

Recently, I found a Fisher 800B (circa 1962) at a local thrift shop. Although the unit was in need of some new power tubes, it was in otherwise pristine condition, including its original wooden cover. Very often, many of the audio "gems" found second-hand are well-cared-for pieces by elderly people who are sometimes the original owners. I only paid $75 for the Fisher, and the output tubes cost me nothing because I have a huge stash of tubes in my garage. I now have a gorgeous looking and fabulous sounding piece of vintage audio gear. Now comes the hard part; keep it or put it on eBay? Life can be tough....

tonyE's picture

If you define the Internet as your "junk" store, then I've found tons of audio stuff all over it. eBay for entry-level, Audiogon for a bunch more, and quite a few other sites for "B stock." It's unfortunate that, living in a remote area, the Los Angeles basin, the opportunity to audition has gone away, but the prices on some of those sites are low enough that I can audition and sell if I don't like them.

CB in NJ's picture

I get out before the garbage men in the morning and also frequent rummage sales, so I've found plenty. Countless turntables, two pairs of large AR speakers, a Fairchild tubed amp, a James B Lansing integrated amp, an HH Scott phono stage/EQ (never used in the orginal box). Everything gets sold on eBay—it should go to someone that can really use it.

Chuck Hansen's picture


Nodaker's picture

No, never won the lottery either.

Claude's picture

Craigslist is a great junk store. I just found a Denon DCD-1520 in mint condition with box, remote, and manual for $25! Had a drawer loading problem which was easily fixed with new belts.

Dimitris Gogas's picture

Some old vinyl records. Most of them BLR (Beyond Local Repair) though.

Tim Bishop's picture

I picked up some nice JBL and Infinity speakers. One at a charity thrift for $8 for the pair, the Infinitys tossed in as part of a deal at a pawn shop. I also picked up an Adcom GFA 555 II at a yard sale for $40 once.

Mike Agee's picture

My girlfriend is into junk shops so I visit quite a few and I am always looking. The closest I came was a mint tubed Magnavox console from about 1960 with a stereo option. After some research I discovered the idea was to purchase an external speaker that could be fed from an RCA jack. Having never heard the virtues of Magnavox extolled in audioland, fearful of the mods required, and a hesitant to gut a flawless piece of history, I didn't buy. Price? $100.

BeeJayDeeJay's picture

Hello! I once found three MFSL gold CDs at a second-hand CD shop and paid about $10 each. They are worth upwards of $700. Now that's what I call treasure, and it is gold too!

Douglas Bowker's picture

I thought I found a nicely preserved Garrard turntable, but upon arriving at home I realized it had a hairline crack and slight bend in the arm. Not such a treasure. I've gotten a lot of great used gear from audio shops however.

L.  Britja, La Jolla, CA's picture

All broken-down, if not well preserved crapola. No gems for me.

Omar's picture

YES! a perfect condition pair of B&W DM602s. Paid 50 bucks for them! My entry level beginners system consists of a Trends TA-10.1 integrated amp powering my new Rega P-1 through my junk shop find B&W 602s...one word WOW!

Larry Elmer's picture

Records, people seem very willing to unload their old vinyl, which I am very OK with!

Dan Ratliff's picture

I found a pair of KLH6 speakers made the 60s. They were in good condition and performed admirably. Older doesn't have to mean less in audio.

Jared Gerlach's picture

Lots of junk, but no treasure.

Bill Leebens's picture

...an old console containing a Marantz 1, Marantz 2, JBL D-123, Sherwood tuner and Garrard changer. I paid $15. Also once got a wonderful 7' long Fisher console for $25.

Jason's picture

Pioneer CS-99a speakers. Mint. $35.

rob's picture

Not quite a jumk shop, but I've been given a lightly broken Marantz 8b, and got a Stromberg-Carlson AU57 from a church sale.

G.S.  White's picture

Oh boy, have I ever. McIntosh MX110 tube preamp and matching MC40 tube amp - mint condition for $100 for the pair at a yard sale. Sold them both for about $2000 a few weeks later. Wish I'd kept the MC40. KLH-9 electrostatic speakers for $200 at an estate sale. Also minty condition and labeled as "screen divider speakers." Sold them a month later for $700. Wish I hadn't. Eico HF81 integrated tube amp for $5 at a yard sale. Liked it so much in 1998 that I sold my existing integrated. Still my main amp. A FREE Dynaco Stereo 70 in very dusty but excellent condition. Another yard sale. Sold it for $200. Fisher 500 receiver. I think $50 at a yard sale. Basically gave it away for $50 again. Klipsch Cornwalls for $150 at a yard sale. Sold them for $700 three days later and bought my first Mac computer. Countless Shaded Dog Living Stereo LPs including a 1S-1S Sheherazade in excellent condition. Keep those or give them away to friends. There's more, but I think you get the point. Yard sales rock!

Zing Zing Zhou Art's picture

I bought a 20-year-old Audio Research preamp at a yard sale once. The preamp was $20. I sent the unit back to AR for reconditioning, and it ended up sounding unexpectedly good. It really couldn't compete with modern quality AR stuff, but it was a nice find for $20.

Michael Chernay's picture

My first "true" audiophile speaker. Celestion A300. The dealer ordered them for another client, after they sat in his show room for several years, I picked them up for less 1/2 of MSRP. Not bad for a set of speakers that were never used.

Aaron H's picture

Found a pair of Infinity 2500 loudspeakers for $25. I had no idea how well they would perform and was astounded at the resolution and detail they produced. They appear to be from 1975-1980 and are nearly as satisfying as my pair of ELS-3's. Also found a Rotel RA-1210 integrated amplifier, almost never seen in the US for $75, amazing!

Bob H.'s picture

An Adcom GCD-575 CD Player at a thrift store for $10 a couple of years ago. This is a player with a Philips TDA1541A D/A converter. Sounds excellent for a late '80s player!

Nick's picture

The Fisher FM-200B stereo tube tuner w/manual, $6; AR AX turntable w/Shure cartridge, $5; Harmon Kardon turntable, $5; Marantz 2215 and 2250B receivers, ~$15 each; Loudspeakers: Spendor SA-3 (huge early 80's model), $40; Spendor Prelude, $20; The Advent Loudspeaker (1pr Walnut, 1pr Utility), $20 per pr. All of these have been in good working condition, although I have replaced belts or stylus and I had the Fisher tuner aligned. This is just the cream of the crop, I have also found various cassette decks, receivers, etc. I haven't found anything noteworthy in the past 2 years (including records). Isuspect that most of the decent stuff is going to eBay.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

I do believe that you can find something cool—and possibly really cheap—at oddball sales. The problem is that requires going to these sales, lots of them with little or no possibility of reward. If I liked that sort of shopping for it's own sake, that might be good. But I don't.