FAITH: Losing mine in the high-end … except speakers

I have had two experiences of downgrading that make me wonder about the vfm of much hi-end equipment. First I replaced a Naim 52/250 for a while with a cheapo NAD C320BEE and felt the NAD sounded better. More recently my modified Pioneer PD-S904 (called an Eikos) died and I put in a standard PD-S904 and preferred it (the Eikos was older and had had a lot of use).

I am totally happy with the unmodded Pioneer and will scrap the Eikos (its death was due to a failure of the physical fixing of a replaced capacitor which caused a wire to come off, which then shorted out). Speakers still benefit from expensive components and manufacture, but there are still some amazing bargains secondhand (a friend has two pairs of Yamaha NS1000Ms which sound amazing and were less than £1000 a pair).

Good new turntables aren't cheap, but again provided you avoid the LP12 there are many bargains to be had with classics or good secondhand bargains like the Roksan Xerxes. I now think my expensive kit is pretty silly.

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