You can do a lot of things with cinder blocks, but creating a set of speakers is one of the less obvious options. Cinder Speakers are a development from Daniel Ballou and Dashdot that turns simple cinder blocks into high fidelity speakers. It turns out that concrete is a low resonance material that minimizes vibrations and reduces coloration of the sound delivered by the drivers. They ship pre-assembled and pre-wired, including a 5" driver, tweeter, crossover, and input jack. Of course, they are heavy, but once set up are able to create an impressive sound given the rudimentary components.
Last year's SL-1200G lauded the return of the heralded Technics turntable, albeit at a seriously high price. The Technics Grand Class SL-1200GR Turntable expands the lineup with a model that packs a lot of the same tech for less cash. It borrows heavily from its predecessor, using a coreless direct-drive motor with rotor magnets placed on both sides to eliminate rotation irregularities. The platter is a two-layer affair, with die-cast aluminum upgraded with deadening rubber on its entire rear surface, and the aluminum tonearm is manually assembled and adjusted by Japanese artisans. In other words, it's every bit as worthy of the SL-1200 moniker.