Are you happy with your audio system?

Are you happy with your audio system?
Extremely happy
26% (42 votes)
Very happy
36% (57 votes)
Quite happy
21% (34 votes)
It's okay
10% (16 votes)
Not really happy
4% (7 votes)
Don't like it
2% (3 votes)
It sucks big time
1% (1 vote)
Total votes: 160

A very simple question this week: Are you happy with your audio system?

Wes Basel's picture

I listen to a lot of different types of music in a moderate sized apartment. My attempt to put together a versatile, mid-range system has been mostly successful. But it lacks the punch I'd really like in the loudest sections of Bruckner or James Gang. Also I think there's a tube problem in my vintage Luxman 35 pre-amp.

Thomas Nulla's picture

Careful room treatment made a huge improvement, especially WRT soundstage depth.

Mike Andrews's picture

I haven't updated anything for some time and am getting the itch to go to tube components. But is anyone really happy? This hobby is always about improvement. There will never be total happiness until they stop making newer and better products.

D.R.N.'s picture

I'm broke!!

Jeff's picture

Its all attitude. But the joy of being able to hear the music via the system is always a golden . One only has to listen to car stereo , old stereo to gain a perspective

Jim Stevens's picture

I'm stuck. My system is lovely, and I'm firmly against the diminishing returns issue. I can't see spending in the mid-$25k range to get small but important gains. The price is just too high . . . I'm stuck!!!

Steve Nicoletti's picture

Legacy Audio Whispers id definately the highlite of our system.

Mark Mason's picture

I just upgraded my ProAc response 1Ses to the Response 1 SC level, and have been amazed at the difference. Two weeks after the upgrade, the latest Stereophile covered this very speaker. Wes Phillips is right---this is a very special speaker. The funny part is that my electronics are all Arcam, and I thought that they were the weak link in my system. But now my system has some of the qualities I have heard in show high-end shops of much more expensive gear: an airy naturalness, more "thereness," even some depth. This opened my eyes to the importance of the loudspeaker. I still want more detail, and more of the really high-end effect, but I am at a loss as to where to start. Oh well, happy shopping ahead.

Dave Hammond's picture

If you're not happy with your system the problem is mental, not aural.

Arjun Shriram's picture

Extremely clear and loud sound as required.

David Gray's picture

My music system is very good but my Home Theatre components need to be upgraded !?!

Per Gadd's picture

Naim Audio system makes you happy if you likes to listen to music.

Kurt Christie's picture

Prior to subscribing to some good stereo mags, including Stereophile, I bought into the "perfect sound forever" myth. Now I have system hardware worth more than most people's primary automobile... and CD software that gives me mediocre sound quality. I feel ripped off.This leaves me reading every word Mr. Fremer writes, (do I go back to vinyl?)while wondering if the new audio CD standards will get me back to the wonderful sound I enjoyed with records back in the 1970's - with mid-fi components!

LP's picture


Bengt Annmo's picture

The purchase of a Denon AVC-A1 last summer made my Kef 104/2 speakers sound a lot better!

Brian's picture

Perfect? No, but after a lot of fooling around it's at a point where it makes me very happy. If only I can leave it alone for four or five years then I'll not only be happy, but smart.

J.J.'s picture

Just enjoy what you are listening to.... music. Who cares if your system doesn't do 'everything' right. None will. Hell, I've gotten goosebumps from my 15 yr. old television when watching live performances, the grammys, etc....

Alvester Garnett's picture

I've just recently upgraded some of my cables and I'm very impressed with the results. Based on my past experinces I can't help but wonder when the upgrade fever will overwhelm me once again. My playback chain is a Denon DCM-440 5 disc changer as a transport through Illuminati D60 to an AA DTI Pro 32 (AD rev 1.2) through Audio Magic Ref. I2Sbus to a DDEv3.0. (DTI powered by a PS2 & DDE powered by a PS4, under Dusty Vawter's recommendation until I purchase the MPS)From the DDE the signal goes through Straightwire Virtuoso Platinum unbalanced to an AA DLC powered by Dusty's HPPS power supply. (to my ears this was a very worthy upgrade from the PS2)From there it goes through more Virtouso Platinum to an Audio Research D200 on through Straightwire's Black Silc speaker cable to a pair of Thiel 2.2's (these were made before Bose forced out the decimal point)The system sits on a Roomtunes Junior Justarack in 21*10 foot room on the long wall. I've suspended 8*11' rug about an inch of the wall behind the litening position. I'm a musician and to my ears my system sounds very natural, musical, and has given me a greater appreciation for good engineering. If sessions are recorded well, they play well on my system. Since I'm a Jazz drummer Cymbal sounds are important to me. I wasn't entirely happy with the Cymbal sound from my system until I upgraded from Rhapsody to Black Silc speaker cable and then only after I replaced the Maestro with the Virtuoso interconect from preamp to amp. After this the highs became more extended, relaxed, clean and natural. The bass became significantly tighter and deeper. With these two extremes clarified the end result is more pace and swing. The midrange was noticeably richer also. On Miles' "Round 'Bout Midnight" CD Trane's Tenor never sounded so realistic and intense. Red Garland's piano touch became even more eloquent and Miles' horn took on more of true brass like quality and how much he could alter his sound at times to almost sound "wooden". While listening to Miles' solo on 'Basin Street Blues' from "Seven Steps To Heaven" his sustains revealed more of how he liked to play with pitch, crescendo and decrescendo, fall offs and articulations to deliver his emotional message. My system forces me to here these things now and brings me more into the music. I'm less distracted with the shortcomings of playback and more concerned with just hearing the music than ever than before unless of course the enginnering is shoddy. I believe a good system reveals a rhythm sections "groove character" but a great system reveals the section's "texture" and "interaction". My system is doin this better than ever. Now I can hear exactly when Phiily Joe or Tony Williams decide to push the beat a liitle harder and or dig in on the Cymabal a little more and how Paul Chambers or Ron Carter would react to that. Man, there was some hip tension and release on those Miles recordings! I guess I'm just I'm hearing more of what makes good Improvised music happen - communiction between musicians. Also the system conveyed more low level and out of phase energy that to my ears contributes to a recording's ambiance. While listening to Reference Recording's CD of the Turtle Creek Chorale performing Biebl's "Ave Maria" the result was clearer diction from the voices, more dynamic shading, more depth and more realistic imaging. The musical lines were passed between the sections of the chorus with such clarity it made me want to cry. This is some delicious harmony that only a high definition system can reveal and I swear I could hear the antiphonal voices behind and above me for the first time also! Their diction reminded me of all those years in middle and High School chorus in which my conductors stressed the importance of careful and clear enunciation even if it's Latin or some other langauage. There seemed to be more feeling to this recording and I must admit this is the first time I was able to enjoy it for its musical value alone and not from some "audiphilistic" view. Perhaps my system before wasn't conveying all of the gorgeous musical subtletness in this performance. I'm convinced of the synergy between Straighwire with Thiel, Audio Research and Audio Alchemy. My system sounds great on all types of music from Jazz to Classical to Hip Hop to R&B to Rock. So currently I'm very happy but I can't help but wondering what will a better Transport, the MPS power supply, and the AA AD rev 1.3 chip do for my system. I guess I'll just have to wait a while until I can afford the next phase...

Bernard Durand's picture

Restriction from my budget is limiting me from acheiving a better standard of listening pleasure. In 6 months from now I will be able to actualy claim to be happy with my system.

Ned Koppelson's picture

I'm very happy, but still want to upgrade several components? Go figure.

Bill Hipp's picture

Very happy with recent upgrade to B&W CDM1SE! First upgrade I have made in six years. I am currently looking forward to DVD and a new pre/processor sometime in the next year. After that I will probably go back in to hiding for a very long time.

Dick C.'s picture

I have just finished upgrading my entire system from ten-year-old "mid-fi" to A and B level components reviewed in the past year, and I am ecstatic! All of my music sounds new and more beautiful than ever. Just relistening to all my old favorites for the first time could keep me blissful for a long time. Can/will I upgrade more in the future? Of course, as there's always room for improvement, but right now I'm in love with what I already have.

Lou's picture

Recently added KEF speakers to Adcom, Oracle, Rotel, and Hafler- accumulated over the years. There is better but money is always a variable. So I'm very happy.

Anastassios, Roumboutsos's picture

My home system which is roughly around $3.000 U.S. makes me think of the sound that it produces. I dont know why but I enjoy listening to music through my cheap manufacturer's tape deck in my car then listening music in my house.

J.Slavata's picture

Just switched to tubes (VTL),Synergistic AC Master Couplers (unbelievable), and Synergistic interconnects (amazing). Now I want to upgrade my speaker wire and my CD transport and DAC. So there will always be another upgrade that keeps me from reaching that final Utopia! How did all of the above go on 1 line?

Kris R.'s picture

Great sound from my Legacy Focus speakers but I need to add surrounds

Philip Tremblay's picture

I go out and listen to an $80,000 system then go home and listen to $10,000 system. Sure it's not as good but damn it's close.

stu wexler's picture

i have a great system. sony 7000 dvd, yamaha dp2with an 739,polk speakers all the way around. the mains are ls70's, center350

sam's picture

yes, i will never have that perfect system ever. However, once in a while (well maybe more often)I will come home after a hard days work and turn on my system and feel a sense of life coming out of the speakers and It is all worth it.

K Doctor's picture

I only laid out about $4K for my system, and it suits my needs just fine. Sadly, I had to buy a new house so that I could put my speakers RIGHT WHERE I WANT THEM TO BE....right, Honey ??? K Doctor