Gear you never listened to much... then realized it is Really Good Gear

Sony TA-N55ES amp (110 W/channel). I did not intend to buy this at first. It was my first Craigslist purchase, about 10 years ago. I originally went to look at a high power NAD 7 channel amp with one channel not working. The price was right and I liked the idea of biamping my speakers and running a couple subs with one amp. That didnt pan out so I asked if he had any other amps. He installed stereos for a living(amp was given to him by a client), used to work sound at stadium concerts, and had a Meridian setup ("digispeakers from 25-30 years ago I believe?") that sounded fantastic. I bought the Sony 55ES for $200. Initially the sound reminded me of my 900ES receiver, bright, agreeing with my general impression of anything Sony from the past 25 years ("Yamaha: Sony done right"- me). Listened to it perhaps 20 hours over the next week and packed it away. I used it on sub duty for about a year a few years later and it worked fine, but at 300W bridged, I felt it had "the bare minimum power I would consider adequate" for the NHT SW2Si sub (200W). Then I moved and it went back into storage for 3 or 4 years until one day about a year ago I just needed an amp that worked, so I hooked it back up and was immediately very impressed with its clean and not "bright/Sony sounding" sound. I dont know what was different this time around (inevitably my system:)) but my opinion has not changed.

How about you, ever not given something a chance/long enough time intially or perhaps your preconceived notions did not give it a chance to begin with, then later you end up thinking it is really good gear? :dance:)
 
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Really only one thing I can think of--a Sony ES receiver...but only after the digital signal processing was turned off, run on "Direct." It's no high-end killer, but what surprised me was the power output. Rated for 70 wpc, but it must have had some serious current capability since it was able to shake the room up a bit. I also own a Pioneer home theater receiver rated higher but it is thin and bright sounding, and runs out of gas much sooner. (It was for a low-cost den system for the family, but it was interesting to compare.)

Everything else, though, has always been purchased with an upgrade in mind, and they have all met or exceeded my expectations. I don't have a budget to buy many things and switch them in and out. (My Temple of Mid-Fi is a 40 year collection of "stuff" I never got rid of as I upgraded.)
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
When I first acquired my Dynaco SCA 35 back in 1992, I listened to it (without any sort of cap replacement) and it was noisy - lots of hum, and didn't sound that great with my Paradigm 3se Minis, so I switched back to my Lazarus Cascade Basic + Robertson 4010 amp. Later, when I had rebuilt the amp as a Stereo 35 circuit, I gave it another shot with a pair of Axiom M22Tis (which were a better match). Bingo!

That amp has had a few upgrades over the years (boutique parts, Enhanced Fixed Bias, etc.) and has had a place in my system ever since.
 
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Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
Interestingly, the Lazarus, Robertson, and Axioms are long gone, but the Paradigms are in the garage (for listening to music while I work) and the Dynaco gets quite a bit of run every year in my main system.
 
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