Here's one for you "source first" fanatics. $10K plus in front end (actually 12K plus, but who's counting), and less than $200 for the rest of the system. In addition: turntable azimuth was not set, anti-skating was not set, tracking weight was "kind of" set, damping fluid was not installed, vacuum pump was not on, three sets of adapters and "interconnects" (I use the term loosely) were used between the table and the receiver, and the MM phono stage was fed by a cartridge with a low output (.18 mv I think).

I'll be darned if it didn't sound good anyway. Lots of focus, detail and punch!

Components Toggle details

    • Basis Debut Gold Vacuum mkV
    Top of the line Basis - Sexy Beast!
    • Basis Vector Model 1
    Unipivot with silicon oil bath dampening.
    • Accuphase AC-3
    Re-tipped by Benz Micro
    • Unknown - Are you kidding?
    Whatever we could find to get the stuff connected. Extra interconnects, zip cord, you name it.
    • Hitachi HS - 480
    Lovely mids '70's vintage 3-way speaker; 12 inch woofer, adjustable tweeter, spiffy vinyl veneer! Bought on eBay!
    • Sansui G7500
    Mid '70's receiver bought at an audio flea market. Superb cosmetics, quite stylish in that special '70's retro way. Eat your hearts out!!!

    Oh, yes - it has an MM phono input.

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My own system is the epitome of mismatch. I've got a Levinson No. 38 preamp fed by a Marantz CD5004 thru a Musical Fidelity V-DAC, and outputting to a Hafler 9270 driving a pair of large DIY 7" two-way monitors (a competent design, despite the DIY stigma) on Target stands.

I think Source First only makes sense if you plan to have several pairs of speakers on hand and swap them out periodically. I don't yet own enough speakers (hopefully of my own design) to do that, though.