What is your favorite audio gear purchase? (I've shared mine - a review of sorts) [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-07-2004, 05:51 AM
Since about Christmas or so I'd been looking for a cheap amp for my parents, then later my boss. I came across a used AudioSource Amp One at the local pawn shop for $76 bucks.
Both the boss and the folks since found other solutions, but when I went back to the pawn shop last month, the thing was still there. I thought "what the hell"...and decided to buy it to power my rear Studio 20's beside the two Adcom GFA-535 II's I have powering the side Studio 20's and front main Studio 40's.
I wasn't expecting much because, despite my best efforts, I'm one who takes comfort in brand name "value added". I half expected this thing to melt, break, or at least sound horrible when I got it home. This was the least expensive piece of audio gear I think I've ever bought.

Holy crap was I ever impressed with this little amp!!! I've heard so very little about this company (in fact 95% came from this website) that I was expecting it to be junk. This thing easily holds up to my GFA-535 II's in terms of power, and sound quality, but has a few more features that I like. At first I thought it was being generous with the 80 wpc rating, but then I realized the channel levels were turned up only 2/3 the way or so...duh!!!
I'm told this thing retails between $200-$300. I'd say it's great bargain at those prices.
(no, I am not affiliated with AudioSource, Carver, or their parent company Phoenix Gold International).
Just for fun I took out my NAD 3140 integrated and brought my Rotel RA-1070 (or is it RB? it's an integrated so that makes it RA I think, anyway) and did some demoing with the Studio 40's with my friend. I'd place the AudioSource somewhere in between the slight brightness I hear in the NAD and Adcom's and the more neutral/warm sound I hear in my Rotel. These differences are pretty subtle, and I may very well be imagining them.
My point is the AudioSource holds up quite nicely to the Adcom's and my NAD. I'd say it's better. I do enjoy my Rotel more, but I wonder if that's just because I paid 10 times as much or so for it?
When I bought it, the VU meters on the front weren't working...I took it apart, did a quick butcher and solder job and low-and-behold...one moves...don't know how accurate it is, but it looks cool. Can't wait to try to salvage the other one.
My only complaint is the somewhat cheap binding posts this thing came with. But no big deal. I'd put this up against $500-600 amps any day.
My new found joy at finding this "diamond in the rough" makes me want to hear the great stories eveyone else may have. Anybody else own AudioSource gear (any horror stories I should know?). Any other lesser known brands out there?
Please share your experiences.

piece-it pete
07-07-2004, 06:34 AM

So far my best experience was a Kyocera R-451 I picked up on a whim from Salvation Army for $13.50. Never heard of it, but it was heavy, and the price was right :) .

Though not unknown (apparently their cdps are well thought of) I've found very few previous owners.

It's GREAT! Sweet, sweet sound. Currently in the bedroom system, only 20-25 wpc but clean, very clean sound, excellent tight bass, clear highs, natural mids, no harshness. A perfect receiver for low level listening (almost silent noise floor), a good unit to listen to the Pastoral as you're drifting off to sleep. I'll miss it if it goes.


07-07-2004, 07:24 AM
I've got 3 favorites in use - all ebay purchases that totalled $190 including shipping. I bought a new turntable (Pro-Ject 1.2) a couple of years ago but did not like it's sound so I decided to replace the stock cartridge. There were other demands on money at the time so I needed a cheap alternative. I found a new old stock Parasound cartridge offered by edsaunders.com on ebay for $35 and thought I would give it a try until I had the funds to move up into the $200-300 range. I've been using it for about a year. I don't think I'll upgrade until I have money to burn.

Next is an Akai GXC-730D cassette player I got for $60 plus $20 shipping off ebay. At the time I thought the price was a little steep for a used tape deck, but I've been impressed with its sound, build quality, features and looks. It's a monster with real wood case, lighted level meters, etc. The last one I saw on ebay went for $250.

Finally, I recently purchased a Yamaha T-1 tuner that I just had to have for $75 (including shipping) off ebay. Unlike some of my impulsive purchases, this one has met all my expectations. Nice warm sound and deep soundstage that draws me into the music. Unfortunately, there's only one FM station in my area that I like and that doesn't employ some sort of compression that limits bass and treble extension.

However, if I can find an affordable cd player that keeps my attention, then it will be my favorite because it will resolve my final issue with my system.

07-09-2004, 03:42 PM
speaker, which I bought at a garage sale complete with power supply for FIFTY CENTS! It sounds great!!

Only a tick up the scale, I found Yamaha YH-1 headphones at an estate sale for a buck. They may just sound better than my Stax.

Maybe best of all was a Proton 300/301 combo for ten bucks. Now that's two bi-amped powered speakers plus tuner and preamp. Makes my main system superfluous.


This Guy
07-09-2004, 06:05 PM
ah yes the Audiosurce amps. I got an Amp three for $200 refurbished. Best purchase I made. 150 watts at 8 ohms, 300 at 4, 450 at 2. When bridged 400 watts at 8 and 650 at 4. And at the rated output at 8 ohms the THD is .04%. The thing weighs almost 30 lbs with that huge torodial power supply. I don't know why these things aren't more popular, you could make a kickass H/T rig if you buy a low end receiever with pre-outs and all the features you need, then just buy three of these monsters. I use mine to power my powered woofer (not really a sub, only goes down to 35 hertz). But it's a basshorn and 60 watts will shake the whole house, and if the driver in there could handle the full 400 watts I'd be getting foundation damage. I love my $200 audiosource and my (free) basshorn aka The Konk.


07-12-2004, 08:44 PM
My favorite thing I've purchased was my Pioneer RT-707 and my JBL 4430. The best deal i got was my Proton D-940 for $8. It's a great little peice and like piece-it pete i knew nothing about it when i got it.

07-14-2004, 05:04 PM
Nice, upbeat thread.

My current fave is the Behringer DEQ2496 digital equalizer, a gadget-hound's dream. It has a 31 band graphic equalizer, a 10-band parametric equalizer, dynamic compression and expansion, image compression, expansion, rotation, etc., real time analyzer, auto-EQ, digital and analog ins and outs (and of course any combination of DA-AD conversions), bypass and compare modes, 64 presets to save your precious tweaked-up settings, and lots of other stuff too. I actually use it mainly for getting the most out of headphones and my bedroom system, but I'm thinking of buying another one for the stereo downstairs. Mainly, it's just plain fun. The interface is brilliantly intuitive. The sound quality sounds great to me. The sound processing is done in the digital domain which is a whole new ballgame for sound quality. And it has lots and lots of pretty flashing lights. Not cheap ($300) but a freaky good time! :cool:

07-14-2004, 05:16 PM
Holy crap, Steve1000, that sounds like some gadget...you must spend hours tinkering with that thing. :)

07-14-2004, 05:27 PM
The DEQ2496 has been a wild fantasy for this tinkerer. Your imagination is the limit. The payoff is huge... audible improvement to enjoyment of the sound is obvious, immediate, highly gratifying and instantly verifiable. You can go loony and over the top, or classy and subtle. You can go from bass hound to detail freak at the press of a button. And you learn very quickly what the effects of altering different parts of the audio spectrum are. And if you get a little tired of the sound.... save your settings and start over... just do something completely different!!! :p Or you can sit and stare at the pretty lights of the real time analyzer, watch the piano or saxophone glide from frequency to frequency as the bass bump bump bumps along.... etc. etc. :cool:

Holy crap, Steve1000, that sounds like some gadget...you must spend hours tinkering with that thing. :)