What's wrong with me? / the audiophile bug - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 32 Old 06-01-2019, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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What's wrong with me? / the audiophile bug

Posted this on AC but figured AVS might have a few more members with some sage advice.

I've appreciated nice audio equipment all my life - started with some Polk R50's at Black Friday in college, picked up some focal bookshelves at some point in my 20's, then some Shure SE846's through a friend that worked at Apple (hooray, employee discount), and most recently some Klipsch RP-8000F towers and a 504c center (after owning those Polk's for 10 years).

I bought the Klipsch setup a month ago after reading some extensive reviews about how they're an incredible value for the money, run really efficiently so you don't need expensive electronics, and have a killer matching center.

After setting them up, I love them. My condo is not the best listening room - a huge rectangular box with hard surfaces everywhere and minimal treatment options due to windows, but I still think they sound great to my untrained ears.

Buuuuuut, I've spent some time reading AVS, AC, and other forums in the past month, I've discovered the world of direct to consumer brands like Philharmonic (RIP), Ascend, Salk, RAAL tweeters, etc. and already want to upgrade.

It's been a month. My Klipsch's sound great. The copper woofers are beautiful.

I really don't want to fork out $5-6k on some incredible, used towers + electronics. But I can. And I've convinced myself that there are diminishing returns beyond this price point so this would be my setup for the next 5-10 years. But I don't even have room for a hifi center channel taller than my Klipsch in my TV stand.

Why can't I just be happy with my new Klipsch speakers??
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post #2 of 32 Old 06-01-2019, 11:51 AM
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Rule #1 in the audiophile's handbook, never be satisfied.

I know what you're going through. I've been there too. I'm totally happy with what I have in my setup. I'm 71yo and it took many years to find a sound that could be truly happy with. It's in my sig line. Between where I am now and where I was as an 18yo sailor buying my first piece of audio gear I've spent a lot of money. That first purchase was a Sansui 500A receiver, a 17 tube 20wpc wonder. I paired it up with two used Acoustic Research AR2 speakers and a Garrard TT once I got stateside. Compared to what I have now I've spent a lot of money, and I've got incrementally better sound. How much better? Don't know that.

It was fun and I'd do it all over again, and at least I'm no longer chasing my tail! Sure wish I'd found something like the Song Towers 50 years ago. But I'd probably have sold them off in search of.... What? Not sure any more, which is why I'm done. Happy with what I have. It is IMO very good. I hope you find 'it' sooner than I did. Whatever 'it' is!
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post #3 of 32 Old 06-01-2019, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcazes
... I bought the Klipsch setup a month ago ... After setting them up, I love them. ...

Buuuuuut, I've spent some time reading ... I've discovered the world of direct to consumer brands like Philharmonic (RIP), Ascend, Salk, RAAL tweeters, etc. and already want to upgrade. ...

I really don't want to fork out $5-6k on some incredible, used towers + electronics. But I can. And I've convinced myself that there are diminishing returns beyond this price point so this would be my setup for the next 5-10 years. ...

Why can't I just be happy with my new Klipsch speakers??
You can be happy with your Klipsch speakers. But you feel there's gear out there that:
- is (arguably) better than what you currently have;
- you can (easily) afford;
- falls within what you've identified as a point of diminishing returns; and
- will keep you happy for the next 5-10 years.

IMO, you should go for it.

Last edited by eljaycanuck; 06-01-2019 at 03:07 PM.
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post #4 of 32 Old 06-01-2019, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcazes View Post
Posted this on AC but figured AVS might have a few more members with some sage advice.

I've appreciated nice audio equipment all my life - started with some Polk R50's at Black Friday in college, picked up some focal bookshelves at some point in my 20's, then some Shure SE846's through a friend that worked at Apple (hooray, employee discount), and most recently some Klipsch RP-8000F towers and a 504c center (after owning those Polk's for 10 years).

I bought the Klipsch setup a month ago after reading some extensive reviews about how they're an incredible value for the money, run really efficiently so you don't need expensive electronics, and have a killer matching center.

After setting them up, I love them. My condo is not the best listening room - a huge rectangular box with hard surfaces everywhere and minimal treatment options due to windows, but I still think they sound great to my untrained ears.

Buuuuuut, I've spent some time reading AVS, AC, and other forums in the past month, I've discovered the world of direct to consumer brands like Philharmonic (RIP), Ascend, Salk, RAAL tweeters, etc. and already want to upgrade.

It's been a month. My Klipsch's sound great. The copper woofers are beautiful.

I really don't want to fork out $5-6k on some incredible, used towers + electronics. But I can. And I've convinced myself that there are diminishing returns beyond this price point so this would be my setup for the next 5-10 years. But I don't even have room for a hifi center channel taller than my Klipsch in my TV stand.

Why can't I just be happy with my new Klipsch speakers??
1) Stop going to audio forums.
2) Delete your account.
3) Be happy, sit back and enjoy!

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post #5 of 32 Old 06-01-2019, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pase22 View Post
1) Stop going to audio forums.
2) Delete your account.
3) Be happy, sit back and enjoy!
No No, go here, order BMR's
http://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=BMR+Monitors

Then

1) Stop going to audio forums.
2) Delete your account.
3) Be happy, sit back and enjoy!

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post #6 of 32 Old 06-01-2019, 02:00 PM
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enjoy the hobby ..however /wherever / and spending whatever is comfortable ... or just get some bmr's

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #7 of 32 Old 06-01-2019, 02:09 PM
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Polk and Klipsch? Hell, you haven't even owned a speaker that can't be purchased at BB! In other words, you haven't even owned an audiophile speaker yet! Go for it! You won't regret it!

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #8 of 32 Old 06-01-2019, 02:29 PM
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Welcome to the challenge that is this hobby.


This is a complex question. I'll take a stab at an answer but label all of this as IMO.

First, there's nothing wrong with upgrading gear. That's a big part of what makes this hobby fun -- finding something new and better. It becomes problematic if the upgrades occur too frequently, however. To help combat that, it can be useful to have a written plan on where you are trying to go with your system and what you're trying to achieve. This can slow down the acquisition process and lead to more thoughtful purchases.

Of course, we're all subject to being manipulated by marketing & sales organizations. It's more or less their job to create a need that their product satisfies, right? That isn't necessarily evil (YMMV) and you may genuinely want the products they are trying to sell you. Regardless, it's easy to get caught up in the hype around the next shiny new object. A written plan helps to manage this.

A plan isn't static but it shouldn't morph every other day. I tend to revise my plan annually and ask questions like: What new tech looks interesting? What about my system isn't cutting it? What new capabilities would be useful and/or fun? This usually keeps me out of trouble. But it's no panacea. Check my sig.
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Just one more upgrade and things will be perfect.
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post #9 of 32 Old 06-01-2019, 02:42 PM
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@pase22 is correct. Delete and enjoy but if you really really are wondering let me tell you this.... I have the Klipsch RP-8000F's and they are good but I also have the Ascend A CMT's 340 and those are GREAT
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post #10 of 32 Old 06-01-2019, 04:13 PM
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Satisfied may not be the right word. I get bored, and maybe that’s not a good word either, every three to four years no matter what I’ve owned.

Maybe it’s time to look outside your comfort zone of drivers and maybe try something like a Softdome. You may just need to shake it up a bit with something completely different.
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post #11 of 32 Old 06-02-2019, 12:12 AM
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Since joining this forum I've upgraded all my speakers, my sub twice (JBL to Bic F-12 to SB-2000) and AVR twice (Onkyo to Denon 710 to Denon X3400) in almost 4 years. I'm grateful for all the advice as all upgrades have made a noticeable difference, yet there's still room for improvement. All purchases have been at close-out price and "B" stock so I did good there. After every upgrade I've told myself "that's it, not buying anything else for a few years".
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post #12 of 32 Old 06-03-2019, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pase22 View Post
1) Stop going to audio forums.
2) Delete your account.
3) Be happy, sit back and enjoy!
Yep, this is what it takes. I actually quit all the bourbon groups and podcasts I listened to because I was spending hundreds on dollars on bourbons I just "had to try" every month. I'm much more satisfied now.
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post #13 of 32 Old 06-03-2019, 09:20 AM
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I used to be that way. But now AVRs have very good room correction and can make a crappy set of speakers sound really good. The ROI for new speakers is lower than it's ever been.

I haven't bought new speakers in over 7 years and have no desire to.
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post #14 of 32 Old 06-03-2019, 09:48 AM
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The best and cheapest upgrade will be room treatments. Start with a UMik-1 mic (- $100 ) and free REW software, to measure your room and decay time. Which, given your description of your room, should convince you that any gear upgrades is ultimately a losing battle in an untreated and highly reflective, rectangular room.

Spend about $500-$1.5K (depending on aesthetic concerns) on room treatments and smile at the money saved, and improvement in sound quality, which will also carry over to future gear upgrades.

Some options for aesthetically pleasing room treatments that don’t scream “recording studio” are, acoustic drapes to cover the glass windows, custom art panels that look like art work, or diffusers in designs that look interesting. You can also add bass traps below the sofa or on the ceiling so they are not in your face.
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post #15 of 32 Old 06-03-2019, 10:10 AM
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Wonder why the OP has not responded to any comments?

You out there jcazes?
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post #16 of 32 Old 06-03-2019, 02:14 PM
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Just don't do what I've always done and do sideways upgrades just to compare sound signatures. Very fun but not smart financially! If you move on from the Klipsch make sure it's a worthwhile upgrade.

I'd also recommend understanding what type of sound you prefer. Because if you really like the horn sound that Klipsch provides you'll be in for quite the surprise if you buy something like a British speaker with recessed mids, for example.
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post #17 of 32 Old 06-04-2019, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrieze01 View Post
The best and cheapest upgrade will be room treatments. Start with a UMik-1 mic (- $100 ) and free REW software, to measure your room and decay time. Which, given your description of your room, should convince you that any gear upgrades is ultimately a losing battle in an untreated and highly reflective, rectangular room.

Spend about $500-$1.5K (depending on aesthetic concerns) on room treatments and smile at the money saved, and improvement in sound quality, which will also carry over to future gear upgrades.

Some options for aesthetically pleasing room treatments that don’t scream “recording studio” are, acoustic drapes to cover the glass windows, custom art panels that look like art work, or diffusers in designs that look interesting. You can also add bass traps below the sofa or on the ceiling so they are not in your face.
I thought about treatment, but at the end of the day I enjoy looking out my windows while listening to music. I'm just now learning about panels that have some aesthetic, so I might look for something to hang on the wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djp2k7 View Post
I'd also recommend understanding what type of sound you prefer. Because if you really like the horn sound that Klipsch provides you'll be in for quite the surprise if you buy something like a British speaker with recessed mids, for example.
This is certainly a risk, though my intention was to buy used and minimize that risk.

Fortunately, the two sets of Salk's that were tempting me (Veracity ST's and SS8's) have been sold, so the bug has gone back into hiding.
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post #18 of 32 Old 06-05-2019, 03:27 AM
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I thought about treatment, but at the end of the day I enjoy looking out my windows while listening to music. I'm just now learning about panels that have some aesthetic, so I might look for something to hang on the wall.

.

Look at GIK Acoustics or ATS acoustics, both of whom get mentioned on these forums. The Impressions series from GIK, or some art work spread across 3 panels could look quite good. The GIK stuff is considerably lighter than ATS, but I like the stock colors/fabrics of ATS better.

Playing with different thicknesses (For example thinner panels flanking thicker panels in the center) will allow you to get some bass traps on the wall without being too imposing.
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post #19 of 32 Old 06-05-2019, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcazes View Post
Posted this on AC but figured AVS might have a few more members with some sage advice.

I've appreciated nice audio equipment all my life - started with some Polk R50's at Black Friday in college, picked up some focal bookshelves at some point in my 20's, then some Shure SE846's through a friend that worked at Apple (hooray, employee discount), and most recently some Klipsch RP-8000F towers and a 504c center (after owning those Polk's for 10 years).

I bought the Klipsch setup a month ago after reading some extensive reviews about how they're an incredible value for the money, run really efficiently so you don't need expensive electronics, and have a killer matching center.

After setting them up, I love them. My condo is not the best listening room - a huge rectangular box with hard surfaces everywhere and minimal treatment options due to windows, but I still think they sound great to my untrained ears.

Buuuuuut, I've spent some time reading AVS, AC, and other forums in the past month, I've discovered the world of direct to consumer brands like Philharmonic (RIP), Ascend, Salk, RAAL tweeters, etc. and already want to upgrade.

It's been a month. My Klipsch's sound great. The copper woofers are beautiful.

I really don't want to fork out $5-6k on some incredible, used towers + electronics. But I can. And I've convinced myself that there are diminishing returns beyond this price point so this would be my setup for the next 5-10 years. But I don't even have room for a hifi center channel taller than my Klipsch in my TV stand.

Why can't I just be happy with my new Klipsch speakers??
Personally, when it's within my means, and it's not taking away from something *important* in life, I have no problem indulging myself with gear upgrades. IMO, the problem is when the process of upgrading becomes more appealing than enjoying the gear itself. I used to find myself listening to music primarily to evaluate my gear as opposed to truly enjoying the music. Ultimately the whole point is to give the artist's recording the best opportunity to be enjoyed in the home, and when that becomes secondary to the "chase" for that perfect collection of electronics, that's when I give myself a reality check.

I find I really enjoy the research phase of gear upgrades. As you get older and REALLY understand your personal preferences with audio, you can narrow things down both efficiently and accurately before even getting to the demo phase. There's so much stuff out there, it's enough to make you crazy and overwhelm you. I find that my decision making - even with internet purchases - is far more productive now at age 47 than it was at 27.

But anyway, this hobby is meant to be fun, price tags be damned. As long as that's what a gear upgrade represents - fun - I say go for it.
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post #20 of 32 Old 06-05-2019, 05:32 AM
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I thought I would chime in as I like both the Klipsch sound and have heard many speakers.


You cannot go wrong with the ribbon Salks, they are fantastic sounding.
At some point I want to have a pair for a seperate room.

On the Klipsch side the LaScala's and Khorns are fantastic speakers.
All of these are lifetime speakers IMHO, almost anything else is way up the diminishing returns scale.
Tho if money were no object I would have some of the very high end Dynaudios or Magico's.
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post #21 of 32 Old 06-05-2019, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrieze01 View Post
The best and cheapest upgrade will be room treatments. Start with a UMik-1 mic (- $100 ) and free REW software, to measure your room and decay time. Which, given your description of your room, should convince you that any gear upgrades is ultimately a losing battle in an untreated and highly reflective, rectangular room.

Spend about $500-$1.5K (depending on aesthetic concerns) on room treatments and smile at the money saved, and improvement in sound quality, which will also carry over to future gear upgrades.

Some options for aesthetically pleasing room treatments that don’t scream “recording studio” are, acoustic drapes to cover the glass windows, custom art panels that look like art work, or diffusers in designs that look interesting. You can also add bass traps below the sofa or on the ceiling so they are not in your face.
100% this before you do anything else. Watch this video (Part II is good also). Not saying don't upgrade your speakers but just doing some minimal room treatments and addressing the room will make a drastic difference for any speaker you buy. I would also learn how to use REW and measure your room.
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post #22 of 32 Old 06-05-2019, 05:23 PM
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It's not necessarily an urge to "upgrade" -- that's merely a word used to rationalize the desire for something new. Which is common, especially among the young.

On sports radio in Los Angeles, part of the banter between the two jocks turned to talking about the beautiful women often seen in LA. One of the jocks summed it up well: "When you see a gorgeous girl out here walking down the street, there is usually some guy she's been with for awhile who is bored making love to her."
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post #23 of 32 Old 06-07-2019, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by PrimeTime View Post
It's not necessarily an urge to "upgrade" -- that's merely a word used to rationalize the desire for something new. Which is common, especially among the young.

On sports radio in Los Angeles, part of the banter between the two jocks turned to talking about the beautiful women often seen in LA. One of the jocks summed it up well: "When you see a gorgeous girl out here walking down the street, there is usually some guy she's been with for awhile who is bored making love to her."


Lol.. pretty apt!


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post #24 of 32 Old 06-07-2019, 06:01 AM
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Despair caused by the perception of unlimited choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcazes View Post
Posted this on AC but figured AVS might have a few more members with some sage advice.

I've appreciated nice audio equipment all my life - started with some Polk R50's at Black Friday in college, picked up some focal bookshelves at some point in my 20's, then some Shure SE846's through a friend that worked at Apple (hooray, employee discount), and most recently some Klipsch RP-8000F towers and a 504c center (after owning those Polk's for 10 years).

I bought the Klipsch setup a month ago after reading some extensive reviews about how they're an incredible value for the money, run really efficiently so you don't need expensive electronics, and have a killer matching center.

After setting them up, I love them. My condo is not the best listening room - a huge rectangular box with hard surfaces everywhere and minimal treatment options due to windows, but I still think they sound great to my untrained ears.

Buuuuuut, I've spent some time reading AVS, AC, and other forums in the past month, I've discovered the world of direct to consumer brands like Philharmonic (RIP), Ascend, Salk, RAAL tweeters, etc. and already want to upgrade.

It's been a month. My Klipsch's sound great. The copper woofers are beautiful.

I really don't want to fork out $5-6k on some incredible, used towers + electronics. But I can. And I've convinced myself that there are diminishing returns beyond this price point so this would be my setup for the next 5-10 years. But I don't even have room for a hifi center channel taller than my Klipsch in my TV stand.

Why can't I just be happy with my new Klipsch speakers??
This topic is very interesting to me. Obviously, there are many facets to it. But there are two I have focused on in particular. One is the despair caused by the perception of unlimited choice. I think this is a consequence of the relative wealth that almost everyone on this forum enjoys. I don't mean millions, just enough disposable income to be able to indulge our enthusiasms. If I can buy, within reason, what I want, how do I know I've got the best? Of course, I can't really. But that's not really the question. Am I happy with what I have? Am I sitting here thinking about what I'm missing or thinking about how lucky I am to enjoy what I have. Several dealers and high end manufacturers have told me over the years that some of their most frequent customers don't really seem to enjoy using their systems but rather are always upgrading. I personally have accumulated two wonderful systems (surround sound and stereo) over the years, but I only upgrade when a component breaks or new technology requires it. Each time I upgrade I am first sad because I have loved what is now broken and then pleasantly surprised by the improvement the years have brought to whatever component is being replaced. My speakers are 19 years old and with any luck will never be replaced. Do I think there are better out there? Of course. But there is a type of mental discipline required to enjoy what I have, not worry about what I don't have.
The second issue that has interested me in this regard has to do with boredom. I work full-time and, like most of us, have a busy life. However, I feel particularly engaged when I am going through the month's long process of deciding what new piece of equipment to select. Then there is usually the equally exciting process of learning how to maximize the new component. Once this process is complete, I experience a let-down. I believe this is the point at which some hobbyists look to upgrade more to continue the excitement rather than figure an alternative.
All of this has more to do with feeling lucky and enjoying what you have rather than worrying about what you don't have. Since I can't afford $100,000 subwoofers and $500,000 speakers, I have no doubt that there is better equipment available than what I have. So what, aren't I really lucky to have what I have?
I anticipate a number of angry responses to this post. I would like to forestall these responses as much as possible by stating that I have no interest in deterring anyone (as if I could) from their enthusiasms. Let me also state that my home theater and stereo systems both represent significant investments considering my income level. They have both been major sources of pleasure over the years and I anticipate will continue to be in the future. I love them both and find these forums to be wonderful places to have a community of enthusiasts who I can share my love of this hobby with.
I have only written this response because you have raised the issue for yourself. Anyone who doesn't share this concern should just ignore this post.
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post #25 of 32 Old 06-07-2019, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by BluesDaddy56 View Post
Yep, this is what it takes. I actually quit all the bourbon groups and podcasts I listened to because I was spending hundreds on dollars on bourbons I just "had to try" every month. I'm much more satisfied now.
Audio is hard on the wallet, but not hard on the liver!

Set up #1: EMP e5Ti, e5Ci, and EMP e5Bi surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, SVS NSD SB12 sub, Marantz Slimeline 1504 AV receiver
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and EMPtek10i10i sub, Denon 1910 AV receiver
Set up #3: Philharmonics- BMR in a 2.0 system, music only, Yamaha RXV-363 AV receiver
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post #26 of 32 Old 06-07-2019, 11:25 AM
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This topic is very interesting to me. Obviously, there are many facets to it. But there are two I have focused on in particular. One is the despair caused by the perception of unlimited choice.
This perception now has a modern term: FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It also describes the constant channel-changing ("surfing") engaged in by some TV viewers -- mostly male, of course.

Quote:
I think this is a consequence of the relative wealth that almost everyone on this forum enjoys. I don't mean millions, just enough disposable income to be able to indulge our enthusiasms.
"Should I pop for a few thousand bucks to get that new 21-inch subwoofer that will knock the plaster off the ceiling?" That self-query devolves into a simpler question: "What's preventing me?"

Quote:
If I can buy, within reason, what I want, how do I know I've got the best? Of course, I can't really. But that's not really the question. Am I happy with what I have? Am I sitting here thinking about what I'm missing or thinking about how lucky I am to enjoy what I have.
That's another question: What constitutes "the best" in anything?

Like many men, I'm not particularly interested in how I dress. (Women, of course, often are -- in this society, they have to be.) However, my wife expresses concern on what I wear when I am in public, especially in more upscale locales. (Check out this neat, well-written tale on the subject.) So one day I parted with over a hundred bucks to buy some better-looking dress shoes. Man, were those things hard on my dogs. Years later during a visit to Baja, I came across a shoe tent event and bought some decent-looking shoes for $20. Turns out they were made of sheepskin, and are by far the most comfortable shoes I've ever had. I wear them everywhere -- I even went back the next year and bought a few more pairs so that I could wear the first ones while doing repair chores around the house. If you ask me what the "best" shoes are, I can confidently answer: the ones on my feet right now.

Sometimes this dilemma takes the form of, "What would you get if you won the lottery?" With cars, many say they would run out and buy a Lamborghini -- mostly the younger crowd who have never driven over 100 mph. It has become common in Los Angeles to turn on the 5 O'Clock News and see pictures of a twisted hunk of metal that used to be a Lambo that someone wrapped around a telephone pole at two AM in the morning. Having something can be less interesting than wanting something -- and sometimes not as much fun.

Quote:
Several dealers and high end manufacturers have told me over the years that some of their most frequent customers don't really seem to enjoy using their systems but rather are always upgrading.
Robin Williams famously said that cocaine is God's way of telling you that you have too much money. In the AVS realm, $10,000 turntables serve a similar purpose.

Deeper questions arise: What are audiophiles trying to accomplish? One popular concept says that elaborate audio systems are an attempt to re-create a live concert experience. The problem with this idea is often overlooked: no stereo system that I have heard in a career in audio even comes close to simulating the live music experience. This isn't necessarily an obstacle to enjoyment, as much of modern music was created in non-real time in studio isolation booths and significantly altered during the engineered mixdowns and mastering. There was no originating performance to begin with, everything was piped through loudspeaker monitors and evaluated that way. This reminds us that music over loudspeakers is a different realm than live performance -- not necessarily inferior, just a different animal which should be appreciated on its own merits. And those merits, considering all of the tweaking that was involved in the recording, are so subjective that a listener should become familiar with the controls at his disposal that can alter and, in some cases, actually improve on the recorded rendition.

A second question suggests itself: What motivates this drive to exert control over a musical performance? I think that part of it has to do with an audio amateur, in many cases, being a frustrated musician who never mastered an instrument and in his own way is compensating by trying to play all of the instruments.

Quote:
I personally have accumulated two wonderful systems (surround sound and stereo) over the years, but I only upgrade when a component breaks or new technology requires it. Each time I upgrade I am first sad because I have loved what is now broken and then pleasantly surprised by the improvement the years have brought to whatever component is being replaced. My speakers are 19 years old and with any luck will never be replaced. Do I think there are better out there? Of course. But there is a type of mental discipline required to enjoy what I have, not worry about what I don't have.
This school of thought originated with Diogenes the Cynic in ancient Greece, who famously walked about in broad daylight carrying a lit lantern, saying that he was searching for an honest man and, as such men are rare and hard to spot, needed as much additional light as possible. (Diogenes also lived in a dugout, which might be taking asceticism a bit too far.) A more modern expression of this thinking comes from Sinead O'Conner's I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got.

Quote:
I have only written this response because you have raised the issue for yourself. Anyone who doesn't share this concern should just ignore this post.
Perhaps I should have preceded my post with this.

Amen.
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post #27 of 32 Old 06-07-2019, 02:38 PM
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Enough

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Originally Posted by PrimeTime View Post
This perception now has a modern term: FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It also describes the constant channel-changing ("surfing") engaged in by some TV viewers -- mostly male, of course.

"Should I pop for a few thousand bucks to get that new 21-inch subwoofer that will knock the plaster off the ceiling?" That self-query devolves into a simpler question: "What's preventing me?"

That's another question: What constitutes "the best" in anything?

Like many men, I'm not particularly interested in how I dress. (Women, of course, often are -- in this society, they have to be.) However, my wife expresses concern on what I wear when I am in public, especially in more upscale locales. (Check out this neat, well-written tale on the subject.) So one day I parted with over a hundred bucks to buy some better-looking dress shoes. Man, were those things hard on my dogs. Years later during a visit to Baja, I came across a shoe tent event and bought some decent-looking shoes for $20. Turns out they were made of sheepskin, and are by far the most comfortable shoes I've ever had. I wear them everywhere -- I even went back the next year and bought a few more pairs so that I could wear the first ones while doing repair chores around the house. If you ask me what the "best" shoes are, I can confidently answer: the ones on my feet right now.

Sometimes this dilemma takes the form of, "What would you get if you won the lottery?" With cars, many say they would run out and buy a Lamborghini -- mostly the younger crowd who have never driven over 100 mph. It has become common in Los Angeles to turn on the 5 O'Clock News and see pictures of a twisted hunk of metal that used to be a Lambo that someone wrapped around a telephone pole at two AM in the morning. Having something can be less interesting than wanting something -- and sometimes not as much fun.

Robin Williams famously said that cocaine is God's way of telling you that you have too much money. In the AVS realm, $10,000 turntables serve a similar purpose.

Deeper questions arise: What are audiophiles trying to accomplish? One popular concept says that elaborate audio systems are an attempt to re-create a live concert experience. The problem with this idea is often overlooked: no stereo system that I have heard in a career in audio even comes close to simulating the live music experience. This isn't necessarily an obstacle to enjoyment, as much of modern music was created in non-real time in studio isolation booths and significantly altered during the engineered mixdowns and mastering. There was no originating performance to begin with, everything was piped through loudspeaker monitors and evaluated that way. This reminds us that music over loudspeakers is a different realm than live performance -- not necessarily inferior, just a different animal which should be appreciated on its own merits. And those merits, considering all of the tweaking that was involved in the recording, are so subjective that a listener should become familiar with the controls at his disposal that can alter and, in some cases, actually improve on the recorded rendition.

A second question suggests itself: What motivates this drive to exert control over a musical performance? I think that part of it has to do with an audio amateur, in many cases, being a frustrated musician who never mastered an instrument and in his own way is compensating by trying to play all of the instruments.

This school of thought originated with Diogenes the Cynic in ancient Greece, who famously walked about in broad daylight carrying a lit lantern, saying that he was searching for an honest man and, as such men are rare and hard to spot, needed as much additional light as possible. (Diogenes also lived in a dugout, which might be taking asceticism a bit too far.) A more modern expression of this thinking comes from Sinead O'Conner's I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got.

Perhaps I should have preceded my post with this.

Amen.
You and I are obviously on the same page with most of these issues.
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post #28 of 32 Old 06-08-2019, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Deeper questions arise: What are audiophiles trying to accomplish? One popular concept says that elaborate audio systems are an attempt to re-create a live concert experience. The problem with this idea is often overlooked: no stereo system that I have heard in a career in audio even comes close to simulating the live music experience. This isn't necessarily an obstacle to enjoyment, as much of modern music was created in non-real time in studio isolation booths and significantly altered during the engineered mixdowns and mastering. There was no originating performance to begin with, everything was piped through loudspeaker monitors and evaluated that way. This reminds us that music over loudspeakers is a different realm than live performance -- not necessarily inferior, just a different animal which should be appreciated on its own merits. And those merits, considering all of the tweaking that was involved in the recording, are so subjective that a listener should become familiar with the controls at his disposal that can alter and, in some cases, actually improve on the recorded rendition.
This is a sad realization I've had recently after a trip to the Chicago Symphony. I could pick out every single instrument, eyes open or closed. I have yet to be able to do that with any audio system for certain instruments like french horns, cellos, bassoons, etc. in orchestral pieces without blasting the db to neighbor-displeasing levels.

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Originally Posted by PrimeTime View Post
A second question suggests itself: What motivates this drive to exert control over a musical performance? I think that part of it has to do with an audio amateur, in many cases, being a frustrated musician who never mastered an instrument and in his own way is compensating by trying to play all of the instruments.
This is a fascinating theory. Ex-percussionist here, though I never came anywhere close to mastering it and am totally fine with that. While that may be a component for some, the driving factor for me is getting an emotional response from great music. The more authentic the reproduction, the easier it is to get that response.
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post #29 of 32 Old 06-10-2019, 05:10 PM
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This is a sad realization I've had recently after a trip to the Chicago Symphony. I could pick out every single instrument, eyes open or closed. I have yet to be able to do that with any audio system for certain instruments like french horns, cellos, bassoons, etc. in orchestral pieces without blasting the db to neighbor-displeasing levels.
A couple of months ago I attended a concert with the LA Phil at Disney Hall. My seatmate was a youngish science professor from Santa Barbara visiting the city with his son. We were talking at intermission, and I mentioned that there are some audio enthusiasts who believe that what they hear coming out of their speakers is a reproduction of what we just heard.

We had a nice head-shaking laugh at that one.

I'm not saying that the sound of live musicians is preferable to a recorded rendition (although for me, it is). The important point is the sound of recordings through speakers is totally different from the sounds of a live experience. And the fact that you can't exert control over a live experience (comparable to, say, bumping up your subwoofers) could be seen as a drawback for some.
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post #30 of 32 Old 06-10-2019, 07:18 PM
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A couple of months ago I attended a concert with the LA Phil at Disney Hall. My seatmate was a youngish science professor from Santa Barbara visiting the city with his son. We were talking at intermission, and I mentioned that there are some audio enthusiasts who believe that what they hear coming out of their speakers is a reproduction of what we just heard.

We had a nice head-shaking laugh at that one.

I'm not saying that the sound of live musicians is preferable to a recorded rendition (although for me, it is). The important point is the sound of recordings through speakers is totally different from the sounds of a live experience. And the fact that you can't exert control over a live experience (comparable to, say, bumping up your subwoofers) could be seen as a drawback for some.

Mostly true, but I said this is my goal. Gets a little close sometimes in slightly miniaturized form of course.

Disney is an exceptional hall and far better than Chandler so It's a worthy goal.
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