Originally Posted by mva5580
As you get older (and hopefully more successful,) those things become more of a curiosity to you.
That's because, as you get older and your income increases over time, your basic needs are satisfied and you start having more disposable income. At this point, the things you never thought about because they weren't previously feasible to own now become a reality. Just walk into any high-end audio/video salon (they don't call them stores anymore) and you'll quickly discover the vast majority of their clientele all have salaries in the 6-figure range. I could actually afford some of the less expensive high-end audio gear when I was single and had few fiscal responsibilities. Now most of the high-end equipment is priced in the stratosphere and I've got a family and a mortgage that would choke a horse. My desires for the holy grail of home theater have been squelched as a result and I've learned to live with the best quality I can afford.
The last time I set foot into a high-end shop was probably 20 years ago. I looked at all of the gear I used to drool over and chatted with the salesperson for a while. When I learned how much the prices had risen since I had the high-end bug I asked, "Why would anyone need all this stuff?" He just smiled and said "Necessity has nothing to do with it." He then put on a demo CD of some group I was unfamiliar with at the time (I believe it was The Smashing Pumpkins). The system I was auditioning was comprised of mostly Krell electronics and some high end loudspeakers whose name escapes me at the moment, although I believe they may have been made by Genesis. Total cost of the system, including speakers ($10K), preamp ($6K), 2-piece mono power amps ($35K for all four pieces), and a CD player ($10K) was over $60K, and this was around 1982. I can't imagine what a comparable system would go for today.
I listened politely to a few songs and soon realized that I really couldn't tell the difference between this ridiculously expensive setup and my modest home theater system comprised of lower-priced high-end electronics and Vandersteen speakers all around. At that moment I realized I had been cured of the high-end bug for good. It was such a relief because it used to make me totally neurotic. I got so hung up on how the system sounded that I lost sight of the music, which is what it was all about to begin with. People used to come to me all the time asking for advice on audio gear because they knew I was into it and had a good ear for quality. Now I just tell them to buy whatever sounds good to them.