OPINIONS DIFFER: Let’s hear it for unfashionable kit!

There are lots of pieces of equipment out there that perform superbly, have a justified reputation, and a price tag to match. But what about the black sheep? Equipment that isn't normally rated, doesn't have a high price tag, yet punches far above its' price tag? I think we should be talking about equipment like this. If you do submit to this list, in the interests of fair play I'd like to suggest that it's equipment you're NOT currently trying to sell.

I'd like to start the ball rolling on this by submitting:

Thule PR350B a/v processor
Not at all awesome as an av processor, but as a stereo pre-amp, with built in DAC, very good indeed. Various prices during it's life ranging from $4000 down, available for £100-200. Most annoying thing - the mute only reduces the volume to 40% on the pre-upgraded firmware versions. Make sure you get one with a remote if you do purchase.

Micromega Logic CD Player
Available in GWO for £25 upwards, tired versions for £5 upwards - and rather lovely. Mostly grey imports with French buttons. A Phillips CD player remote control should work nicely, should yours not come with a remote. Unit is based on the Phillips CD350 (NOT the 350i), and uses the CDM 4/19 mechanism. This unit has a significant Achilles' heel in the shape of the drive cog for the drawer, available for about £10 from Ebay. I'm unsure how much they were new - have seen a cost of £800 suggested on some websites!

Denon 2900 DVD Player
Handling pretty much every audio format going, this unit cost £800 when new, and they're out there from £50 upwards now. Rock solid transports, for a start, with battleship build quality. If only mine had been black, I'd not have sold it. And yes, I have turned into that much of a tart with regards to hi-fi colour. Use by itself as a stand-alone CD player, or later on with a DAC - but have a play with the onboard DAC settings first before going that route. Keep an eye out for the 3900 too."

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