Our systems will never sound like the original event so when is good , good enough ? Do we love new equipment so much we don't care . In another post Art said , " most audiophiles are never done , as long as they think improvements are possible " , good point . Sometimes I think I'm getting close to the end of the trail , Iv'e been doing less fidgeting and more listening lately , but there is still at least one more major purchase in the near future ( a power amp ) , I've been watching the reviews extra closely , looking for just the right piece . So are we condemned , I mean committed to a life of upgrades , we can only hope . Tim
My approach to audio system upgrades is quite simple:
Once one has assembled an audio system based around a specific price level or class (for example speakers between $2K and $5K and electronics between $2K and $5K per piece) then any real audible improvements most likely will require a system wide upgrade to a higher price level. Sure one can get more expensive speakers (say $10K) but after awhile one will start to feel and believe that one's formerly adequate electronics are now the weak link in the system and require upgrading to a higher price level. And the so the upgrade spiral begins.
The other factor to consider is that most, if not all, upgrades will not change the music, i.e. good music will be good and bad music will still be bad, as in an American Idol winner will sound bad no matter how great the stereo system.
And the most important factor is that one should never let thoughts and daydreams about possible or desired upgrades have a negative impact on one's enjoy of the music. So yeah a pair of Vandersteen Model 7s with top of the line Sim Audio electronics would sound great and better than my current system but that doesn't mean that I can't and shouldn't enjoy my present system.
Yup! I'm done as of today....can you believe it? Hmmmm? What...you doubt me? :O)
I'm currently upgrading all my cables. Just about through. Need a new DAC to replace the older Classe'. I'm looking at several brands; I like the EMM Labs DAC2, MBL 1611E, and the Accustic Arts tube DAC II.
Is it possible to be reasonably satisfied and still not "done"? If so, that's where I'm at. There's no rush to change or upgrade. However, I must admit I really want a pair of 120 Watt tube mono blocks and a new TT.
my cold, dead fingers from my vinyl? Just kidding. Mostly. Having 4 kids, I only upgrade infrequently anyway.
Right now, I have a receiver. I want separates when I can afford them. Meanwhile, I upgrade cables & source equipment when I can. You wouldn't believe how much better entry level gear sounds with high end cables! If I ever get my dream system, I am sure that upgrades will continue, even little ones. The goal is the same for all of us: to make it sound as real as possible. This of course varies from one pair of ears to another, but that's how it is
Well, for me anyway it was two years ago.
Waaaaay back in the day, now around 20 years ago, I worked at a great little RI high-end store, usually afternoons which were kind of slow. The cure for the lack of customers was playing with every possible mix of systems we had! Now THAT was fun. That and cleaning evry record I owned on the VPI cleaning machine, heheh.
So over time I arrived at what I felt was the ideal mix, which actually was not teh most expensive combination possible. That mix was basically a Well-Tempered Turntable, a Krell amp (on other days two Quicksilver monoblocks) and Pro-Ac Response 2.5 floor standing speakers. By the end of school I managed to score a Well-Tempered TT with some help from my boss and some creative trading. For many years after it was a Creek 4140 integrated and some Spica TC50s. Anyway, by a few years ago I had worked my way up to a Krell integrated and made myself some DIY Pro-Acs (using a detailed plan and spec.s I got online). By then I had fiddled and upgraded all my wires, had a great cartridge and phone stage, a great used Magnum tuner, and a decent Rega Apollo CD player. In short- I had my dream system. Not the best sytem I could ever imagine, of course, but the one I had always wanted, and it sounded amazing.
So for the past fews years I can honestly I say I don't think much about messing around with the system. Sure, the CD player is well under the level of the TT side of things, but that reflects my media skew too. I could see maybe a different phono stage, etc. but most of the time now I'd rather just get more records.
Of course in the last two years I have found plenty to "mess with" in the adjacent room, which is the Home Theater room! :)
Duh! So we likely crave getting new stuff. I am setting up the big aquarium in my office, and each new fish addition gets lots of my attention at first. It is fun and interesting, and the new addition is the star of the show. Until the next new addition!
It is the same for stereo and other hobbies I am certain.
With me it is a bit different, a combination of what I can afford and what I believe makes the biggest difference in my system....In the vinyl rig that means changes to the phono preamp and cartridges every few years. In the digital system it is better DAC's and cables every few years. The amps and speakers tend to remain unchanges for many years as does the CD transport...I do try to keep up with changes to audio software in the iMac front end.
I guess we do crave new stuff . Hopefully we get a sonic improvement too , the price can be high and if it is , there likely won't be another purchase for a while . To bad updating currant equipment wasn't more available , I really like some of my gear but I'm always on the hunt for an improvement and updating would likely be more cost effective .