questionswhat is the most ridiculous piece of audiophile…

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Pretty much anything Steve Guttenberg writes about over at CNet.com. His idea of "budget" is $3000.

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My favorite was the $500 wood volume knob.
The theory was that a plastic knob that isn't solid will vibrate with the music, and this will create a feedback loop where the components circuitry vibrates, and this somehow upsets the flow of electrons.

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How about the Nanotech Systems NESPA #1 (http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/nanotech/nespa.html) or Machina Dynamica's Intelligent Chip (http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina64.htm)?

There was a great list of these things available online before but the site now appears to be dead. Thankfully we have the Wayback Machine cache of it:

http://web.archive.org/web/20071023220422/http://www.ilikejam.dsl.pipex.com/audiophile.htm

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Sadly, the dumbest thing I can recall buying was a variable tube-type reverb unit to go with an old pioneer amp.

It really made the sound in the downstairs echo like a stadium, but once Janis J. and Jim M. died so did my taste for stadium level reverb did too.

Still have it 35 years later along with several sets of 12" woofers.

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Friend sent me a link to $500,000 speakers once. Can't unfortunately recall the name or anything. Frankly, I'm of a mind that paying a little extra for 'the best' where audio is concerned is often worth it. But to the tune of a couple hundred bucks, not "diamond-studded, gold-plated, egoism-driven, it's-all-about-the-bragging-rights" stuff.

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Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable - 10,000 at Amazon (new) 400 used. It is a 3 ft cat-5 network cable. The reviews are great...

"Transmission of music data at rates faster than the speed of light seemed convenient, until I realized I was hearing the music before I actually wanted to play it. Apparently Denon forgot how accustomed most of us are to unidirectional time and the general laws of physics. I tried to get used to this effect but hearing songs play before I even realized I was in the mood for them just really screwed up my preconceptions of choice and free will. I'm still having a major existential hangover.

Would not purchase again."

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Gold-plated fiber optic TOSLINK cable (optical audio). Why would you need to plate that in gold?

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Oh, this is fabulous:

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=GWNOPAD2

"GutWire’s Notepad2 component isolator uses a special formulated cellulose high molecular polymer gel inside a container made from PE, aluminum foil, and nylon cloth to absorb vibration, resonance, EMI, and RFI.

Place a Notepad on top of the drive mechanism of your Blu-ray, CD, DVD, or SACD player or transport and experience a performance boost. The result is cleaner, clearer sound. For players or transports with a top loading mechanism, place a NotePad2 behind or next to it. For amplifiers, a single NotePad2 will work best if it is placed on top of the transformer."

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@cloudscout: Just wait until the new heavy duty version is released, made of selected raw minerals and silicon dioxide(1), specially shielded for radiation absorption(2) and encased in an vibration absorbing space-age polymer(3). Only $500!

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Laymen call it a (1) concrete block wrapped in (2) foil and wrapped in (3) foam. I also totally made this up, but I'm sure there's a market for this somewhere.

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Okay, this is, hands-down, the best one out there:

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina60.htm

You pay them, then you call them and they send magical waves over the phone that tweak your audio system.