What's the best-sounding system you've ever heard?

Where was it?
Who owned it?
What were the main components?

@PeterR system. Full 500 system and treated room!


Full Audionote system ( mid level in the range) ( no room treatment)
Focal, Lamm electronics, Audioaero cd player ( no room treatment)
Full 500 series Naim into Apertura Everest speakers ( little treatment)


Roksan TMS3/552/500/Titan 808s owned by a member of this forum.

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CDS,NAC52, SNAXO 3-6, 6-pack 135s, DBLs. It was at Radford HiFi or some such place (where Jason was working) in Bristol. Superb.


Were those 3 systems in ascending or descending order, FR?

Were they in dealerships or private homes?

That’s a tough one, but for me, probably the Kudos demo of the then new Titan 808, using NDS/555/552/300. Anyone who thinks hotel room demos at HiFi shows are always rubbish would change their mind if they had heard it. There was just a sense of naturalness and ease to the sound, which meant you could relax and listen without ever tiring of it.

By contrast, in the room next door was one of the first Naim Statement demos, using the same NDS/555 source, with some big Focal speakers. It was a hugely impressive sound in that it could render a massive amount of detail, whilst still playing impressively loud and presenting a huge, full range soundstage. In many ways a much more capable system than the Naim/Kudos one. The trouble is, it was like being in the back room of a pub listening to a band thrashing out really loud music when you just want to relax and have a quiet pint. I could only take so much before I had to go back to the Kudos chill-out room to recover.


Great components.
And no doubt the expert set up made all the difference.

Was that in a big hotel room?

Yes, I’m sure it did. Jason hadn’t quite finished setting it up, though I don’t know how much more tweaking he was going to do. I was just given free rein on it for an hour or more. Amazing session.

The one that sticks out the most for me was - CDS3 - 552 - 500 - DBL.



Were on our way😉

Any time Gazza :sunglasses:


At dealer shops . Difficult to give an order , all three were specially musical.
The Audionote was the most magical ( with the TT3 turntable). But lacked some explosive dynamics of the Naim.
The Lamm lacked just some bass.
The Naim lacked the full tonal colors of the two others.

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When you ask the “best sounding system” question this might include the “most natural” perhaps?
About 3/4 years ago at the then Windsor Show I was in the Symetry large demo room.
From memory a massive Clearaudio TT, Lyra Atlas or Etna set up by the late Derek Jenkins into unknown amps and really large Magnaplaner speakers.
I heard an LP of modern jazz. Not playing that especialy loud but shut your eyes and you were there.
The best for me and some. The best vinyl always makes me think of master tape, the next best thing to the real thing.

Full blown Linn system in the 1990’s set up in Graham’s HiFi in London. At the time I think it was about £30k. Don’t know the components, but it got me hooked on hifi. “Ahhh, now I understand…”


Just visualise an old keystone kops movie😉

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I remember listening to a pair of the mighty Nautilus at Grahams. To this day the memory still sends shivers down my spine.

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About 2005 at the start of the 500 series I heard I think an active 500 system into DBLs at a Manchester airport show. Magic, just magic