Audiophile x 5 months.

I got my hi-fi system about 5 months ago. First one I've ever owned. Some of you probably know that it was essentially an inherited system. I got it with no current knowledge of hi-fi. From what I've read it is a thoughtfully matched system:

Audio Research LS-16 tube pre-amp.
Transparent XLR cables
Madrigal Proceed HPA2 Dual Monaural 250 watt amp.
Transparent Super Bi-Wire 8' speaker cables
Aerial Acoustics 7B tower speakers
Arcam CD92 CDP w/ Transparent RCA cables (DAC dead and now just a transport)
Sony PS T2 TT (cheap) w/ Grado's lowest end cartridge.

Got a lot of help here on Audiogon. My intentions (some of you may remember) were to enjoy the system and not spend ANY money on it at all and definitely not get drawn into expensive audiophile nonsense.

I did not succeed. I have been drawn in. Thought I'd take stock of what I've done. Mostly for myself but thought I'd share. Below is a list of the ways I've spent my money so far and how well I feel that money was spent:

Denon Tuner with remote. Used. $120. Pretty big waste of money. Charlotte, NC has no decent radio stations. Broadcast SQ on most of them is poor. WDAV is the exception. All classical. I occasionally listen on Sunday mornings.

Various cables. Some decent. Some average. Maybe $150. 

Monoprice Monolith component stand. $100. Had to have it. Pretty sturdy. Will soon be replaced by built in shelves.

Various raw materials to make spikes for the speakers. Originals were lost. $25. Do they make a difference. I don't know.

Sorbothane pads for various components. $20. No SQ difference that I can tell.

Art DJ Pre II phono pre-amp. $50. Probably commensurate with the low end turntable. Probably should have skipped it.

Grado Black phono cartridge. $50 after original needle broke off. Probably another waste of money. Should have skipped LPs until I decide to get into it more seriously. Between the old TT, low end cart and pre it really doesn't sound all that good.

Schiit Modi 2 Uber. Used. $110. Great purchase. Has opened up playing ripped CDs from computer as well as streaming. Now allows me to use Arcam as transport since its DAC died. Generally happy with SQ. Exploring upgrades.

Logitech Harmony programmable remote. Used. $20. None of the components came with original remotes.

40 or more used and new CDs. $250 or so. Best money spent in the whole 5 months.

So, all-in-all close to $900 in about 5 months. Way more than I ever intended. If I had skipped trying to get the TT running and skipped the tuner I'd have saved maybe $250.

Enjoying the hobby. Especially the music. Will probably be spending some more money in the future but not tons. Considering a DAC upgrade and still researching inexpensive streaming options. Running through Apple TV is okay but not great.
You should consider yourself lucky.
Though I would ditch those speakers, asap.
How many times have I said I am done spending money on this hobby .. Lol.

Welcome to the nuthouse!

Seriously what you have apart from phono side sounds pretty good to me and should be giving you some enjoyment.

Glad you found these forums helpful, generally a very good crowd in here.

gdnrbob said: "Though I would ditch those speakers, asap."

I would but they're too heavy.

uberwaltz, agree about the forums. Lots of good help and advice here.
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