Here it is, spring-like and getting warmer. The sun is out, and this is the time of year when
Heh, you said a mouf full! I have my own little audio cave with various stuff in it. For the most part, I have stuff that I will never-ever sell and then I have stuff that I would rejoice at seeing their departure.
I completely agree with your observation about simply changing your systems sound rather than improving it. The benefit of having lots of stuff to swap around is that it enables you to get a better handle on the particular sonic attributes of each piece, which in turn allows you to separate the really special stuff from the so-so stuff.
I laughed at your comment about the noisey Mac. The best amplifier I've ever had in my system was also the noisiest at idle. I've had a number of other amps that were quiet as a tomb, but they just didn't have that certain something or other that made them keepers.
In some ways I think I am fortunate to have a basic system that I can live with forever and am always pleased to return things back to "normal" after putting something new into the mix. It took me quite a long time to conclude that what juices my lizard is apparently at odds with the majority of audiophiles and "more expensive" rarely translates into "better" to my ears. Yeah, it's often better in some areas, but just as often not as good in other areas.
If you think about it, it's a pretty difficult task to ask a system to remain musical with both high quality recordings and low quality recordings, as well as maintain a degree of transparency that can make all of it sound special. I really envy the guys who have very limited tastes in the type of music they listen to. That makes things a whole lot more simple in achieving a playback system that can deliver the goods.
From a purist perspective, bad recordings should sound like bad recordings, but who wants to dread putting on a piece of music that they otherwise enjoy because the system is going to chew it up? That's a laudible design goal, but I'll leave that gear to purists.
It's no wonder I can be happy with very modestly priced stuff. I listen to a lot of crap!
I'm not old enough to have a garage full of old treasures yet, but I do have a couple things that I would never dream of selling, even when I have more money to blow (invest? :-p). I'm madly in love with my Paradigm 7se Mk3s. I'll upgrade everything else before I ever consider that they might be holding my system back. The other item is my NAD 4020A tuner, which I haven't had for all that long, but it's vintage and it's wonderful. I never knew I could reap so much joy from humble FM radio! Conversely, I'll not shed a tear when my Yamaha K-2000 cassette deck sells. It's a great unit, but, c'mon, cassettes? I need amplifier money! Yes, Buddha, though it may be frozen over here in Southeast Michigan, I'm in the Spring spirit. I can't wait until the semester is over and I have more time to fool around with my electronic buddies back home! I think it's perfectly natural to personify and befriend gear, especially when it enriches your life so much while asking so little.
What I've recently enjoyed doing is resurrecting some of my stereo dinosaurs and putting together a sweet little "back bedroom" system. I once owned a Sansui 9090 DB receiver that got me through most of college and graduate school...gave it to my soon to be brother-in-law. I was fortunate to purchase another on Ebay in great condition. I've used it with both Chario Academy 2's and a recently refurbished pair of Acoustat 2+2's (I'll get them back to you soon, Buddha). This old workhorse still does a fine damn job and is very quite to boot! It reminds me of my bygone days lusting after used equiptment at Recycled Stereo (RIP) in Burbank CA. BTW, Buddha does indeed have about 1/4 of his garage filled with his stereo cast-offs (and this doesn't include his storage rental unit!). His wife is quite patient. I know that his sons will have some great pickings for their college dorm systems! Maybe one day I'll sneak in there and hook it all together for a garage system..."pass us that bottle, will ya!"
I have had some wonderful components over the past 30 years at this hobby,from stacked Quad 57 and OTL amps to CLS and solid state amps and everything in between.But alas I never had the room or pocket book to allow me to acquire new gear without trading in and trading up,the up wasn't always a given.I have a friend who got me involved in this hobby and he has come to a cross roads so to speak.He has swapped out so much gear over the years and made so many mistakes,that now when he should be enjoying one of the better systems he has owned in the past 10 years,he is forever looking for the faults in his system.He has lost the ability to find pleasure in his components,and has taken on an almost fatalistic approach to his listening."Will my Quad 63 get me thru the winter without a breakdown,do I need a tube amp to really make them sound good? Will the tube amp blow up,do I really need Shunyata power cords and conditioning ?"I told him it was time to disassamble his system,put together a 1970 type receiver,cheap speaker system,and listen to this for a month. Then set up the big rig again. If you don't notice any improvement,or if it doesn't make you feel better and appreciate the music more, then sell it all,but don't complain after the fact.This is why I keep an old Bell tube integrated amp from 1961 around everytime I get the urge to switch.It's nice to think that this is all I would ever need,but I know I am only fooling myself.