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

Norman L.  Bott's picture

A new Arcam item that has a CD player and amplifier in one unit for around $1500 or so sounds like a good deal to me.

Beto's picture


Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.View, CA's picture

E-bay, Audiogon, etc.

Lazarus Short's picture

Two things: 1) The Yamaha M-35 amp. You have to find one used, but they are small, light, cheap, and sound great. Mine replaced a $1200 tube amp in my system. 2) Realistic Minimus-7 speakers. Again, small, light, cheap, and sound great (for what they are). Bought mine at a garage sale for $10. Every audiophile should have both of these.

Anonymous's picture

Magnepan MMG speakers

Anonymous's picture

Denon 103R cartridge. Proof of how little things have progressed in 40 years. Sensible design, top notch QC, astonishing tracking given the low compliance/conical stylus(!). Oh yes...and it sounds superb!

Adam Geib's picture

Sennheiser HD-650 with Musical Fidelity X-Can V3. About $750 brand new or $600 on Audiogon, the two rival amp and speaker combos at many multiples their price.

Andrew D.'s picture

Magneplanar 1.6QR

piraya's picture


Lawrence Britcha, La Jolla, CA's picture

The Grado SR125 headphones get my nod. I've owned a pair for over a year, and I couldn't be happier. They sound better than my late '80s KEF loudspeakers!

Jeff's picture

Benchmark DAC-1 Great sound, great technical design, reasonable price.

Stax's picture

Atractive audio furniture.

Dave W.'s picture

Tickets to the opera.

david's picture

1) Simple musical compressor (LA-2A) for car stereos and ipods (possibly home) so classical and acoustic music can be enjoyed away from "perfect" room. 2) Decibel limiting software for iPods. 3) 24 bit music, I don't care what format, just give it to me!

Shahrukh Dandiwala's picture

The Wharfedale Diamond 8.1. (No, not the 9.1.) The 8.1 produces excellent sound for peanuts. Some may say that the bass isn't that low and that the speaker isn't that resolving. But at that price, it's the best you'll EVER get!

Anonymous's picture

Used gear.

Agentsmith's picture

Slim Devices Squeebox.

Craig's picture

I'll be watching to see what other readers submit. Main interest at this point...what is the very best sounding CD player now on the market priced under or close to $1000, excluding any models from Arcam.

Doug Tayrien's picture

The Apple Ipod. Your music any time and any where you want for $300. You can listen to it with headphones, through your home stereo, your car stereo and it can wake you up in the morning. And it sounds decent too.

David K's picture

Stereophile subscription at $9.95/yr for 12 issues. You can't beat that for the break you need from critical listening of your audio gear!

S.  Chapman's picture

A used Sony SCD-1 or 777-ES SACD player.

John Dean's picture

PSB speakers in general. The Stratus line in particular. I am told that production has recently ceased on the Stratus Goldi, Silveri, and the Mini. All great sound and great value.

loluyastreb@msn.com's picture

Balanced Audio Technology. "BAT"

Thomas's picture

Margules Audio

Evert Sharp's picture

PrimaLuna Prologue 2

Carter's picture

DIY tube amplifiers are great bargains. There are many examples from Bottlehead (Foreplay & Paramour), Diy HiFi Supply (Joplin, Billie, Basie), Welborne Labs (DRD amps), and others. Audio Note even has kits, but they are pricey just like their finished gear. Most of these kits are not that difficult to assemble and provide you with hand assembled, point-to-point wired, single ended triode amplification at about half of what a similar quality unit would cost assembled, plus you learn a lot about amplification, electronics and what makes good sound. That is a bargain. It is, however, an entry level pathway into the addiction of tweaking.

Hector's picture

The best deal is used gear. For new I would vote for Anthony Gallo's little round speakers.

Gerald Clifton's picture

Any of the demo deals on the Musical Fidelity A3.2cr power amp. If you can get by on 150 or so watts, I just don't think you can get better sound for less than 10 grand and up. I have heard MANY very expensive amplifiers in my system, and this one does the job as well as any of them, within its power limitations. And you can pick one up for around $1500-$1700 at various demo sales. It is the only cheap solid-state amp I know of that can fill the room behind and around the speakers, and layer the rows of a symphony orchestra as they appear to the microphone. Great deal. Spend the money saved on a great preamp and you're in business.

Timothy Harnett's picture

Second hand Meridian components.

BILL CRANE's picture

I just tested the Monarchy Audio DAB-1 XLR interconnects. A real steal with top flight performance at only $118 a pair. C.C Poon is a genius.