Not sure what the definition of vintage is for HiFi (20 years for clothes, 30 for furniture, much older for cars, there’s probably a discussion thread....) but most of the equipment here was available circa 2005, and most was purchased used via Audiogon or similar.
Changes since last posting include the BAT tube amp replacing a Krell integrated and the addition of the REL subwoofer, great improvements both. Isolating the amp (Vibrapods and wood platform aka cutting board) made quite a difference as have power cord upgrades.
Mostly older equipment has kept the costs low, although the upgrades I am considering next (DAC, room treatments, GAIA speaker isolators, also thinking about a second VK-55, running them in mono) will take me out of the budget category.
Thanks to elizabeth and all the contributors on the Thiel Owners discussion group for sound advice.
w/ Cardas Clear M power cord; Silnote Morpheus Reference II XLR cables. Tidal provides most of the music.
Balanced Audio Technology VK-55
w/ Early Russian NOS 6SN7 tubes; Cardas Golden Reference power cord.
Thiel Audio CS-2.3
w/ upgraded coax driver and crossover, trickledown from Thiel CS-2.4; AQ CV-8 cables. Speakers are 55” from front wall, 40” from side walls, 60” apart, and listening chair positions ears 9 ft from the speakers.
R.E.L. Storm III
w/ Acoustic Zen Tsunami power cord.
PS Audio UPC-200
w/ AQ NRG-3 power cord and Furutech GTX-D(R) power receptacle.
I picked the BAT bc it seemed to be one of the few lower cost tube amps on the secondary market that had the current to handle Thiels, and I love the sound. Not sure that counts as synergy? I do wonder what things would sound like with more watts, but for me that gets spendy fast in the tube amp world. Also wonder what the more conventional pairing of tube pre w/ ss or class D would sound like, but again, cost. Some day, or maybe experimenting with speakers more suited to the BAT?