(Adding my $0.02 to the conversation regarding the questions you raise below without the anti-Golden Ear rhetoric.)
Originally Posted by Todd68
My experience is limited, so great sound quality to me might be just okay or even poor to you.
Hence a good reason to not get too good of an education; bias introduced via education or taught thinking.
Wires can sound different, but I think they are mostly overpriced ways to change the sound.
A little but not a lot. When it comes to home theater, a little is good enough; oxygen free, 12AWG zip line will get you there in style.
I did hear an improvement when I upgraded amplifiers with better coupling capacitors, or beef up a power supply. Just curious, do you think better passive parts quality has an positive affect on sound quality?
And after a certain point, the law of diminishing return kicks in and now the individual is chasing the tail of the audio esoteric monster, simply for the sake of chasing the tail of the esoteric monster. Doing so gives one purpose.
Did you ever experience a change in sound from passive parts burning in? I know that is off topic, just curious.
My experience was, after two hundred hours of burn-in, who cares. After two hundred hours, one is use to the sound (acclimation) and what is perceived as change is really nothing more that acclimation or familiarity. An example, listen and get use to a cheap pair of headphones. Note how good they sound after a week or two of use; acclimation. Change to a pair of high-end headphones and note the instant improvement, all the way around the boat. After a week with the high-end headphones, go back to those cheap headphones that sounded so good. OMG, they sound terrible.
If one keeps themselves uneducated, they don't know what they're missing. Education ruins a lot of dreams and creates a lot of snobs..
Or, if you could recommend just one model that would take me from good to great sound, for less than $5k ?
If you check out Monitor Audio
and HSU Research
, you'll be able to put together an excellent speaker system for sub-$5k. I'm a Klipsch guy. That's where my loyalty lays and the better your sonic education, the more expensive the hobby gets. FWIW, I'll be picking up a replacement sub in the near future and a 12" HSU Research subwoofer is looking mighty good.
(And yes, there's nothing wrong with buying good sounding speakers with a high cool factor because they look good (high cool factor), are well constructed or match the furniture at yes, an added expense)
-Edited by BeeMan458 - 7/25/12 at 10:13am