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Thread: Nice Surprises. Equipment that sounded way better than expected!

  1. #11
    Join Date: Mar 2013

    Location: nottingham

    Posts: 289
    I'm nigel.

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    My SMSL Sanscrit dac....bought from Amazon for well under a 100 quid.
    Very smooth and musical.

    A special mention for my Nad t 744 home cinema amp.
    I got hold of this for free.....travelled more than I should have to purchase this from a EBay seller.

    Not listened to on site (bad), the remote had leaky batteries and needed a strip and clean, the amps volume control was only useable on digital inputs...strange indeed.
    A couple of factory resets sorted it out.
    Upon contacting the seller to complain about these defects she wired me a full refund.

    After a couple of years use I went back to stereo and the amp was sitting idle until my power amp died.
    Purely as a stopgap I pulled the Nads jumper links and fed my tube pre into its power section....to say it rocks is quite an understatement.

    The Nad is rated at 70wpc in stereo but delivers much more and as seemingly added an octave to my speakers bottom.

    Not bad for nothing.

  2. #12
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos

    Posts: 10,187
    I'm Jerry.

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    Xiang Sheng DAC-01A. Bought on an eBay whim (70 used). My jaw hit the floor when I heard it.

    Similar with Amptastic Mini-T amp.
    Jerry

    Qobuz 16/44 streaming, Topping D30 DAC with lpsu, Herron VTSP-2 valve preamp, Trigon TRE 50M monoblocks, MBL 116F speakers.

    Cables: Wireworld Starlight USB, Ixos Ixotica i/c, W&M speaker cables, Belden 19364 mains cables

    Headphones: Fostex TH600, Audeze EL-8, Wharfedale Isodynamic, Philips Fidelio X2
    Headphone amp: Rotel RX-603

  3. #13
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

    Posts: 511
    I'm Paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sumday View Post
    My SMSL Sanscrit dac....bought from Amazon for well under a 100 quid.
    Very smooth and musical.
    Seconded

    Great sounding bit of a kit for sod all money and it has plenty of inputs.
    It's actually ideal paired with a passive (I use a Tisbury) as it allows you to cover a lot of bases with two tiny boxes for less than 200
    Linn Sondek LP12, Ittok, AT-F7 > Musical Fidelity XLPS v3 Phono Stage
    Sony CDP-XE520 CD Player > SMSL Sanskrit DAC
    Pure DAB tuner
    Tisbury Mk.1 pre-amp > 2 x Meridian 205 monoblock power amps > Linn Kan mk.ii speakers on Kan stands and I'm about to do a handstand
    Grado SR80 headphones

    www.paulridgeblog.com

  4. #14
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 47,207
    I'm Grant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rigger67 View Post
    Seconded

    Great sounding bit of a kit for sod all money and it has plenty of inputs.
    It's actually ideal paired with a passive (I use a Tisbury) as it allows you to cover a lot of bases with two tiny boxes for less than 200
    Got the smsl m6 minidac which is superb for the money... great headphone amp too
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D DARBEE - JBE SERIES 3/B&O SP1/EMOTIVA XPS1/12V BATTERY - TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK AMPLIFIERS - XIANG SHENG DAC\PRE\HEADPHONE AMP\WE TUBED - TWIN AVANTREE OASIS CLASS 1 BLUETOOTHS - AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-MSR7 & OPPO PM-3 PLANAR HEADPHONES - WIN10, AUDIRVANA 3 PLUS, TIDAL - SMSL M6 MINIDAC - RPI/AUDIOPHONICS/VOLUMIO/5V BATTERY - FULL RANGE TWIN TELEFUNKEN/Q ACOUSTIC BT3/CANTON SUB - P.INSPIRED MAINS REGENERATED.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 36,760
    I'm Geoff.

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    This may make you laugh. My Pioneer PL-12D.

    I bought it last year out of nostalgia, as I've always had a soft spot for them. It's just a simple, honest and reliable piece of basic equipment and you know what? It makes music. Better than I remembered actually.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: East Midlands

    Posts: 386
    I'm Hugh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    This may make you laugh. My Pioneer PL-12D.
    Not me. As you say, simple, honest, reliable. One of the true classics.

  7. #17
    Join Date: Feb 2011

    Location: Wales

    Posts: 7,077
    I'm Tim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    This may make you laugh. My Pioneer PL-12D.
    Not me, good honest turtabale that makes music.

    For me, my Amptastic Mini-T amp and an old beat up pair of Celestion 5 speakers I got for a tenner, paired with an HRT Streamer II+ DAC, that little combo sounds way better than it should do.
    "People will hear what you tell them to hear" - Thomas Edison

  8. #18
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: cheltenham

    Posts: 399
    I'm matt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    The Quad 306 power amp. Definitely bought on a whim, but I'd heard them sounding good elsewhere. It's a damn nice sounding unit, much better in my system than I'd anticipated, it simply does nothing wrong and is very musical. Needs careful pre-amp matching though.
    Agreed (although I have tweaked mine a bit).

    For anyone who's tempted to go for the Xiang Sheng DA-03A rather than the 01A. I wouldn't bother. I had to mess with It to stop It from sounding thin.

    Also like the S.M.S.L sAP II headphone amp.

  9. #19
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

    Posts: 1,600
    I'm Geoff.

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    A Rogers Cadet 3 amp bought in West London through Exchange & Mart around 1982. It cost 12 if I recall correctly. Really dirty, greasy and dusty but sounded fantastic with my Rogers LS3/5a speakers.

    Geoff

  10. #20
    Join Date: Mar 2013

    Location: nottingham

    Posts: 289
    I'm nigel.

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    Geoff....are you the guy who had my Thorens TD150 a few years back?

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