1. Time for some upgrades in server hardware and software to enhance security and take AK to the next level. Please contribute what you can to sales@audiokarma.org at PayPal.com - Thanks from the AK Team
    Dismiss Notice

Score Of A Lifetime Thread

Discussion in 'Dollars and Sense' started by Snow, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Shrugg

    Shrugg Member

    Woodland Hills, CA
    Last summer, I picked up a mint Sony PS-X50 at my local goodwill for a measly $13. Its actually what got me into the whole hi-fi thing into the first place, and learning how good (or bad) music can sound. Pro tip: try to ignore the various stares you get when transporting a 25 pound turntable via public bus.
    Leland47 and Snow like this.


    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

    Aotearoa New Zealand
    Hah hah - I'll rememer to ignore people's stares the next time I try to transport a Technics SL-P900 CD player in my aeroplane cabin baggage :) It's not my fault that I just happend to be travelling on business to the city where the item was located. And I certainly didn't trust the baggage handlers to put it in the hold........
    Leland47 and Snow like this.
  3. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

    Aotearoa New Zealand
    Actually I cant remember if I posted anything in this thread, so I'll do a quick recap -

    Pioneer SX-880, $20 NZ
    Technics SL-10, $20 NZ
    Acoustic Research AR90, pair, needed refoam, $10 NZ + $60 NZ in parts.
    JBL L110 - $50 NZ, perfect working order.
    Technics RS-B965 tape deck, $60 NZ, perfect.
    Nakamichi Cassette Deck 2, $60 NZ, perfect, with a bunch of other stuff.
    Technics SL-230 turntable - $20 but sold for $350 with nothing but a detail job :)
    Tokina 12-24 wide angle lens, Nikon mount, bought for $60 NZ with faulty AF - sold for $420 !

    Those are my best ones to date, more to come (hopefully)
    Snow likes this.
  4. 81spirit

    81spirit Super Member

    Shiloh, Tennessee
    AR Model R - $20 (sold for 596)
    Pioneer SX-1280 $20(485)
    Many more "scores"

    Attached Files:

    Snow likes this.
  5. WillVT

    WillVT Super Member

    Burlington, VT
    I don't know if it counts to call a gift from extended family a "score," but here's the story anyway. A few years ago, my wife's uncle, who is getting up in years, mentioned to family members that he wanted to get rid of his stereo and records. He is a huge opera fan, and I remembered while at his house years earlier, that he had some interesting gear. This was before I was really into this stuff, so I didn't remember details. I just remembered that the speakers looked pretty weird. I thought maybe they were dahlquist dq-10s.

    Well, it turns out they were Quad ESL57's! In great shape! Well, I decided since we were going there for the holidays, we would drive the 20 hours round trip. Screw flying! I want those Quads!
    They did indeed fit in the back seat of our Camry, and made the trip back in one piece. Included was an Onkyo TX-4500, a Rotel CD player, a MCS turntable, and lots of records.
    I am forever thankful that I was able to receive these amazing speakers, and that they didn't end up in a random church sale, or worse, in the trash.

    Oh yeah, and I also found a working Marantz 140 and a SAE Mark 1M together on the side of the road.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    mstrane21, Audio Fan and Snow like this.
  6. bigcaddy64

    bigcaddy64 Active Member

    My score of a lifetime didn't exactly involve stereo gear, at least not in the end.

    At the time, i was spending most of my time in the SF valley, where my girlfriend lived. I lived/worked 45 miles away and wasn't a fan of the commute due to LA traffic. Work had been exceptionally busy and i was working lots of overtime which meant i would come in on fridays for a full day of OT but i also had to commute the 45 miles to work.

    This particular Friday started like any other except i wasn't going in that day. I had some "family" stuff to attend to (estate sales) and couldn't make it in. As i was running errands later in the day, i took a shortcut through an older neighborhood and saw it......a whole driveway piled high with yellowed, brittle cardboard boxes! I turned around and spoke with the people (who were visiting from out of state) and found out they were planning a garage sale on Saturday but were preparing for it today. If i wanted to help move boxes, i could buy whatever i found. With that having been said, i was inside the garage before my engine came to a complete stop and started digging.

    Right off the bat i noticed lots of metal cased radios in OD green, black and grey. The gentleman that previously owned the stuff was a radio man in the merchant marines and delivered equipment to troops in Vietnam. After he was discharged, he collected gear until he passed. Since my brother is a huge fan of old radio gear, i gave him a call and told him what was up for grabs. He quickly sent me a text message that listed what items he wanted so i went to the couple selling the stuff and asked for a price.

    With that out of the way, i went back to digging for myself and started to find some real treasures. Lots of really early Plomb tools, NOS Craftsman tools/toolboxes, Gillette safety razors, car stuff and much more. With my pile growing, i figured i would need a much bigger box. A quick scan of the garage turned up a large box, half filled with old car manuals, which is the kind of stuff i was already buying so i just threw all of my junk right on top.

    After helping the couple completely clear out the rafters and garage, i paid for my stuff and headed back home.

    Since i spent so much time doing the clean out, i had little time to work on the stuff that needed to be done so i unloaded the box/radios and went about my day. Saturday was spent with the girlfriend and then dinner with the parents so again, the box just sat in the garage.

    Sunday finally allowed me a bit of free time in the late evening so i started to unpack the box and itemized my junk.

    As i got the the old car manuals (Cadillac, Ford, Edsel, Plymouth) i noticed that i was only halfway down and it wasn't all manuals. They were covering something else below. Underneath were dark blue boxes sealed with kraft paper tape and a bunch of individual white boxes (approximately the size of a blue ray dvd case).

    With my imagination running wild, i opened one of the individual white boxes. Inside was another box that included a COA and a small card from the GSA. By now, i had a good idea of what was inside the smaller box but, with fingers crossed, i flipped up the lid......

    Inside was an uncirculated Carson City Morgan silver dollar, slabbed and in pristine condition :jump:

    Then i moved onto one of the larger boxes and opened it up. It contained (5) smaller boxes. A quick count gave me a total of 68 individual silver dollars, all in the packaging with related paperwork. :eek2:

    To say i did a little dance is an understatement but i had a pretty big smile on my face for the next few months. I did go back by the house to see if the people were still there but nobody was home. I left my contact info but nobody ever came back. Its been sitting vacant and not for sale so i have never been able to contact the owners.

    That was my best find ever and i have yet to top it....... Maybe someday i will
    darkblue94 likes this.


    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. 11somekid

    11somekid Space? What space?

    Roebuck, SC
    Still won't forget my $10 pair of B&W CDM1 SE's from Goodwill. I'll probably keep 'em forever as they really helped me get into this audio thing.

    But I am kicking myself from that same day I got those. They had a D/A converter (fancy CD player) from Onkyo for the same price. The door didn't work and I wasn't into CDs at the time, but I found out it was a good chunk of change. Came back an hour later and it was gone. At least I got the speakers though!
    Steelydan71, Audioraven and Snow like this.
  8. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    Went to an estate sale awhile back, 4th day, afternoon, of a 2-weekend sale. Picked over is an understatement. But, there were a couple things still there. The guy was an electrical contractor and deep in the basement shelving I picked up multiple 250' spools of Western Electric KS-13385L1 16-gauge hookup wire in various colors. But that was it from the basement. I lugged it all upstairs to pay and on one of the tables of stuff by the door was the thing below with a $20 tag on it.

    I paid immediately and took it out to the car not 100% sure I'd actually bought what I thought I did. One image search confirmed it and I went back in to get the wire. I got all of that for $30 or thereabouts. The wire has gone into the stratosphere over the years on price. I've used it, signal does indeed pass through it to speakers, and I'll leave it at that for wire discussion. The other piece though, golly. Here is the reply from the military classics auction house about it -

    "Our specialist has reviewed your Pedersen case and estimated the pre-auction values at: $5000-10,000. Rare and highly desirable."

    Here's one shown with the whole rig -


    So a case for a WW1 Pedersen device is my second best in-the-wild find. As a little kid I was fascinated with guns & military items and spent hours in the library pouring over books on those topics. There was an image of that rig in one of them and although I'd not thought about it in decades remembered it. Very few Pedersen devices exist now as nearly all were scrapped after WW1 -

    The metal case is even rarer than the Pedersen Device itself; most existing Pedersen Devices lack the issue metal case.

    So if you happen to own one of the ~100 that still exist it is likely missing what I found on banquet table at a backwater estate sale about an hour before it closed -


    1st best find, Edo period katana w/ uncut tang and full maker's signature. It was a cheap auction buy, I was sole bidder -

  9. bigcaddy64

    bigcaddy64 Active Member


    You have to just love that obscure, slightly unique item that turns out to be a winning powerball ticket. Gun stuff is always great and i stumbled onto a horde years ago. I saw a listing on CL for "tools/guy stuff/ammo". I went there and the guy started pulling stuff out of the garage. Turns out tools was what he had the least of. Crate after crate of NOS M1 Garand/M1 Carbine parts, packed in grease/wax paper, appeared for about an hour. Needless to say, i bought everything without any idea of the value. I just like gun stuff but that purchased turned out to be quite the windfall once i took stock of the stuff and parted some of it out
    soundmotor likes this.
  10. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    This stuff is off most people's radar. And if they do suspect it is desirable they don't know what to do with it. I find great WW2 pieces often enough to know it isn't my mad skillz but the lack of them from other yard sailors. Found a great piece of 1st issue USMC "frogskin" camo gear in mint condition for $0.25 (!!!) last year. Very little came back from the Pacific as the pattern was changed and 1st issue stuff was used until it was worn out. How it was still around would be a story itself but I knew what I was looking at. I tend to be a gigantic clearing house for info tidbits that are occasionally useful.

    WW2 USMC Frogskin disruptive camo -

    jdsalinger likes this.
  11. mimalmo

    mimalmo I like big speakers Subscriber

    I've had a few good ones in 2017 & 2018

    Denon AVR 4802 $30
    Denon AVR 4802R $50
    M&K MX150 THX $15
    Canton 702 DC $100
    Bang & Olufsen 2500 $75
    Denon DVD3930 $15
    Velodyne F1500 $50
    Klipsch CF3 $250

    But I had a really good one today.....

    The CL ad was for a Carver C1 and a matching M200t for $150. When I arrived, the seller led me into a dark room in the basement and I couldn't quite make out the speakers until I got closer....KEF 104/2's! The seller played a CD on an old Sony CDP-610ES to show the amp and preamp worked then mentioned that the Sony was also for sale. I immediately asked "what about the speakers?" to which the seller answered "we were just going to throw them in a dumpster".

    Not on my watch bud.

    Snagged the Sony for another $30, loaded everything up in record time, shook the man's hand and raced home.

    The best part? The KEF's sound amazing - cabinets are a bit rough but I'm not arguing with free!


    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

    Aotearoa New Zealand
    A very nice dumpster save there sir, well played.
    onwardjames and Audioraven like this.
  13. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

    Bucks County, PA
    Maybe not the score of a lifetime, but on Saturday I picked up this good working pair of Bose 901s for $100 with stands and equalizer.
    hjames, Audio Fan, Audioraven and 2 others like this.
  14. markshan

    markshan Sir Thrift a Lot Subscriber

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Do they need foam? That's a big job.
    jberger likes this.
  15. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

    Bucks County, PA
    The front drivers don't, I have to get a look at the rear drivers tonight. From the sound, I don't think so.
    MarZutra likes this.
  16. wd409

    wd409 Super Member

    Mobile, Alabama
    i guess my (two) would be, the sansui 9090db that i bought for 25 dollars, which came with a bunch of other crap including a mixer that i sold for $56, i also bought what was left of a pioneer sx-1080 for $5 after someone at the goodwill took the transformer out of it, breaking the power board in the process. i parted the rest of it out and got some good coin tho.

    probably my favorite score though are my little a/d/s L400 (the nice version) which i found back in 2001 ish for 3 or 4 dollars each. I still have those, and doubt ill ever willingly part with them.
    Snow likes this.


    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. Audio Fan

    Audio Fan First Class, Second Hand Subscriber

    Each time I have found something cool, I think it is the Best Score EVER. :)

    I have had more than my fair share, but some that stick out as more memorable. I don't consider all "scores" to be just about the money/profit, etc.. Below are some of the best by year.

    - 2009 - my first vintage system- Sansui G-9700 with turntable, speakers, cass deck and reverb. This got the vintage audio bug going. All those memories of hanging out in the cool audio store of my youth came flooding back.
    P1010788 (1).jpg

    -2010 - Thorens TD-124 w/Black Window arm for $40. Lots of other fun stuff, like restoring some Maggies, had some minty Vandy 2Ci's, ADS L880's, etc.

    - 2011 - My first set of Beveridge speakers were a big score. I was a kid with his first "big boy" toy, but missing the manual to put it together. After a LOT of help from various members, I got them going again. In that restore thread, someone, I think Elcoholic, coined the phrase, Audio Archeology and that is the theme I always take when on a new adventure for gear.
    IMG_0718 (1).jpg Bevs - first day in house.jpg

    - 2012 - Added another set of Bevs, Model 3, drove all the way from NC to Tampa, FL in a 24 hr straight round trip. More important, after having a very painful miss on some Sansui gear, a few months later I found another set with boxes, Sansui AU-20000 and TU-9900, sold off the other pieces to cover the cost of purchase.

    - 2013 - Found a hoard of EH Scott radios along with a huge number of great tubes, single drivers like RCA LC1, Altec 604C, Stentorian, single amps from Altec, McIntosh & Radio Craftsmen. In the EH Scott group was a mini-Quaranta which is also called an Allwave 27. According to the EH Scott Enthusiasts group, only a dozen or so were known to exist. I joined an EH Scott group and found an older fella that had built a cabinet with hopes of finding one some day, so although I could have sold it for much more, I accepted his offer for it which was still a good sum.

    - 2014 - Ampex, Ampex, Ampex. In the process of buying a set of Altec "Big Red" speakers, I befriended the widow of an audio engineer that moved down from NYC many years ago. They brought with them the entire inventory of what must have been several studios of recording gear. Parts, R2R's, transformers, cables, connectors, you name it, along with thousands of master tapes. She sold it down from 6 storage units to 1 and I bought the remaining inventory of the last unit, really just to help her out. I had NO idea about this stuff, but, it turned out to be a gold mine and have since sold off the vast majority of it all over the globe. Ironically, just a few months later, I happened across another decent lot of Ampex gear that I also picked up, funny how things often happen at similar times.

    - 2015 - Free set of Snell A, Superphon amp and PS Audio pre

    - 2016 - Western Electric tubes - 211E & 284D for almost nothing

    - 2017 - Despite all the above, last year is, for me, the best. Many may recall the thread of my cross country adventure (see link below) of what is arguably a snapshot of the finest gear available in the early 80's. A bit reluctant to post it since I still am not able to even set it up, but, nonetheless, they are waiting in the wings while I complete other family projects. After all, without keeping the family first, I would not have been able to make such a trip.

    Complete System List:
    (1) McIntosh MR-80 tuner
    (1) Citation XXP preamp
    (2) Nakamichi 1000ZXL cassette decks
    (1) Nakamichi TX-1000 turntable
    (1) Eagle 7a amplifier
    (2) Krell FB-600 amplifiers
    (1) Wilson Audio Modular Monitor (WAMM) speakers

    LittleSnapper 3.jpg

    All of that and I still managed to find a hoard of Sherwood tube gear and a great bunch of ADS speakers from an estate sale just before the year ended.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  18. Brad Muller

    Brad Muller Super Member

    Vancouver, Wa
    Audio Fan likes this.
  19. wheeble

    wheeble New Member

    And I thought I had some good scores. Some of the stuff in this thread is mind numbing.
    Snow likes this.
  20. KR7600

    KR7600 Well-Known Member

    I like mine. A Marantz 7c preamp,a MAC MC 2500 and a pair of Wilson Watts with subwoofers for free.
    Fitero, superdog, damacman and 3 others like this.

Share This Page