avoiding component purchase errors :part 2

in my previous discussion, i mentioned the importance of being aware of personality traits which may conflict with the sound that results froma particular component selection.

it is important that one be aware of one's preferences. if one has no idea what type of presentation is enjoyable, the result will be numerous purchases and sales in the quest of finding one's audio nirvana. one may be lucky at some point and achieve it, or one may continue to buy and sell for years and years.

it's a good thing that seious audio hobbyists do not "change" their spouses as often as they change their equipment.

if one has a desire to create a sound that conflicts with one's psychological makeup, the equipment will change frequently, but the persoanlity will probably not change.

better to have your tastes in sound consistent with your psychological make up, once you have figured out both.

as an example, consider the dimensions of stimulus intensity and complexity, and consider that most manufacturers design for maximum resolution, while the paragon of a high quality stereo system is also maximal resolution.

human being differe with respect to sensitivity of nervous systems to income stimuli and their ability to process data in a time fashion.

if you overload your brain and nervous system, you will take an action to achieve a comfort level.

if you want more and more detail and clarity, you may reach a point weher you have excede your threshold of tolerance.

such a situation puts your desires in conflict with your physiological and psychological capabilities. this is a recipe for eroors adn more buying and selling.

numerous studies have demonstrated that an intermediate level of complexity and intensity is an optimal state.

what levels of complexity and intensity are ideal for an individual, must be ascertained, creatively by that individual.

one need not be ashamed to admit that backing away from a high resolution stereo system may be better for one's health.

too many of us are concerned about being criticized by others for liking a sound which others consider inferior.

most of the time we listen alone and it is better to please ourselves than please the few friends who come over and share our listening experiences.
Mrtennis, I have been reading your threads and posts, and I would like to ask you a few questions.

1) Do you have a background in psychology, philosophy, research, or ethics?

2) Are you primarily interested in audio, or the "stuff" that audiophiles are made of?

I hope that you don't take offense to my questions, but your recent flurry of activity here at Agon and the types of questions seem to be geared more to opening up discussions of human nature and philosophical debates, rather than being geared to the specifics and nuances of audio gear and its application.

Hey, if you are doing research on Audiophiles ("Audiofools") more power to you! Maybe someone will determine what makes us tick :-)
If your mind is ever evolving, it only makes sence that you would eventually become used to or bored with the sound of your hifi no matter what the quality. Systems change because people change. As for avoiding purchase errors, I try to keep it simple. I know what I can sell it for before I buy in the event I don't like it. I try not to worry too much about being able to handle the dimensions of stimulus intensity and complexity or if physiologically and psychologically the component and I are made for each other, or which CDP is better for my heart.

I have no doubt that you are onto something Mrtennis. It's obvious you are very intellegent, and I do enjoy reading your posts. Is there gonna be a part III?
Mrtennis thankyou for starting a thread & then providing all the answers, well almost. If buying & selling gear makes you happy, then do it. Every piece of gear I purchased gave me a thrill but some were more well received than others & the possibilities/combinations are endless. It is all trial & error & thats precisely what audiophiles love to do when they can afford it, make puchases, thus the reason Audiogon exists. An enjoyable hobby, yes but more than that, a distraction from the daily routine of life & a troubling world. Finally avoid watching the news everyday. Garbage coming in, garbage going out, you may find yourself having a good day. Oh yea, be sure to participate in Mrtennis's threads, they are also excellent distractions.
gentlemen, i have a background in psychology, economics and mathematics.

my motivation for my threads is to create a dialogue. get people to think about their own behavior. perhaps, as we all do, we will realize we are doing things that are not in our own interests. by examining our assumptions and attitudes, our behavior may become more constructive.

i have been criticized for starting debates, debating myself, taking unconventional positions, and in general rocking the boat.

yes, i admit i do all that, as i am by nature very inquisitive. why do people behave in certain ways ?

i try to apply certain principles of psychology to uncover the deeper meanings of our behavior as it applies to listening preferences and purchasing behavior.

yes, you may call me unusual, because i have a very analytical perspective.

i hope something good comes out of my posts, even if people get angry at me.

as far as part iii on this subject, i think the sentiment doesn't favor it. i may have more to say on this subject in the future.
If you are not interested in trial and error, or if you do not wish to change the sound of your system, why would you be on Audiogon anyhow? Anyone who was happy with the sound of their system and content in this "intermediate" level of sound would likely be surfing forums on new disc releases, rare vinyl, etc.

There is always excitement in purchasing new gear, and let's face it, it really is just a new toy regardless of how important music may be to your relaxation or state of mind.

Anyhow, I have built incredible systems only to tear them down and start over with something that sounds like crap several times...it's the challenge and research required to get it back to snuff that is half the fun.
Mrtennis, human behavior is a very interesting topic & one only needs to look deeply into ones self to find possible answers. I think the subject you brought forth is unique & interesting and if you can get audiophiles to disclose the real reasons why the behave the way they do, more power to you. Mrtennis I always thought there should be a psychiatrist on Audiogon, maybe we will get one. I'm not suggesting were all crazy but there are alot of audiophiles on Audiogon that will admit to being compulsive or at least with this hobby.
hi sbrtoy, if all you want to do is change the sound of your stereo system using trial and error, you don't need the advice and opinions of other people.
it is a challenge to build a stereo system which sounds wonderful to your ears. what purpose does it serve to tear it down and recreate it ?

i guess i may be onto something regarding my comment about persoanlity and speaker preference.

the psychology of audio behavior is very interesting.

maybe i'll write a book. don't worry i won't name names.
I think many people would share Sbrtoy's views. Think about a hotrod builder, as soon as the build is complete they start over. Could be a Cuda today and a Mustang tomorrow, completely different but equally satisfying. Same goes for any hobby.

I'm late...bye!
Mrtennis: If you decide to write a book, please hire a good editor. Your posts are full of misspelled words, which could lead a person to believe that you've never been to school. You irritate many people here on Audiogon not because of your intellect or insight but because we think you're full of yourself and, quite frankly, don't know what you're talking about.
9rw, you just gave me away. i don't know anything. but to know i know nothing would mean i know something--quite a paradox.

and you sir, and your ilk have all the knowledge that i lack. thank you for enlightening me and pointing out my ignorance. perhaps, you too need some anger management. how is your blood pressure ? have you seen your therapist lately ?

if your superior intellect has been operating you would have noticed that i have used the word opinion several times.

therefore my comments do not represent knowledge. i never asserted that i know anything.

anything i have said has been my opinion.

i'm sorry you are taking this so personally. it's just a discussion and fun. lighten up. as for my speling errors, i type fast and make mistakes.
Mrtennis: Who's angry? And who is taking this personally? I'm not.
hi 9rw, either you are more of a comic than mr g, or you are not taking responsibility for your statements.

using the words "irritate" and "we think you're full of yourself", indicates that you are offended, annoyed, over reacting or perhaps posturing.

in any case your tone is scolding, like a parent.
calm down and stop taking my remarks so seriously. it's only audio opinions.

there is no knowledge here, why get so exercised over trivia ?
Is my Goldring Eroica cartridge compatible with my Jolida phono stage?

Stevecham, total incompatibiliy, borderline insanity, definately a match made in (you know where), ok, what the hell I said it.
Phd, it is not surprising to me to see the fanaticism/compulsiveness of the audiophiles on Agon, or on the Asylum. Having observed a bit myself, it appears that all people display compulsive behaviors. It just varies from person to person what that compulsivity involves. By the time one takes into account dietary, sexual, monetary, internet related (read Agon discussion forums?) etc. aspects of behavior, it becomes fairly easy to see how people operate at times "out of control." It seems that only when it becomes harmful in the extreme do we suddenly take notice, like when a fellow Agoner admits he's overspent or threads lament of conflict at home beause of WAF...

Some compulsive behaviors seem benign, such as the grandma who knits obsessively, or the retiree who plays golf every single day and no one takes notice. Yet, there is as strong a driver behind their actions as the out of control spending of some on audio equipment. Totally different motivations likely, and quite different outcomes. But, supporting my point that people tend to "overdo" it in certain areas of their lives. Someone may say, "I don't do anything." Further confirming evidence of my observation...
MrTennis -

For every 'hater' such as 9rw who spread their negativity on these forums, there are 10 others who appreciate and enjoy your posts.

Even on this thread, it is clear to see that most found your original commentary interesting, and have posted thoughtful comments.

So I say - Keep it coming! It adds to the community. There will always be negative people, all the moreso the more meaningful the discussion gets. They are only to be ignored.
the point of my thread is to provide ideas for avoiding them.

nobody has commented on mistaken purchases and the resulting frustration of admitting the misrake and then selling a component.

does anyone ever regret a component purchase?

does anyone try to learn from a mistake and try to avoid another mistake ?
Douglas_schroeder, I concur that most all people are compulsive in varying degrees about something or another as you mentioned & I believe that is how folks get things done. My wife is compulsive about a clean house and it becomes difficult at times to relax and enjoy music when you have a vacuum cleaner running in the background but I do prefer a clean house but not to that degree. Fire up the stereo & here comes the cleaning crew!

Anyway I don't know how any audiophile can avoid making some purchase errors when there is so much gear out there and so little time. Although I have tried alot of gear, I haven't heard everthing or tried every conceivable combination. You can go into the forums & read excellent reviews on any given piece & the reviewer may claim its a giant killer but compared to what & what type of sound does he prefer. I know a fine gentleman who has been in the hifi business since the early sixties. A quiet man but very experienced & if asked he will tell you what gear he prefers & he is usually right on the money. Out of curiosity I asked him what type of equipment he's currently using, he said he no longer owns a stereo just a tabletop radio. I wonder sometimes as you mature & the hooplah wears off if this is the final situation that some audiophiles will find themselves in. I know at this juncture I am using just an integrated amp, (one step closer to the tabletop radio?) hopefully not, but I might eventually lose interest in it & go back to separates, on the other hand it may not happen.
Goatwuss: Actually, I think you'll find that the ratio isn't nearly as high as you think regarding those who are fans of Mrtennis and his sophomoric pseudo-intellectual posts. Many of us find them to be a waste of space on these forums. Perhaps you and Mrtennis can just agree to exchange pointless e-mails. I've never been good at suffering fools. Enjoy.
9rw -

Didn't your parents ever tell you "if you don't have anything nice to say...."

If a thread bores you, don't read it, let alone actually replying to it. Why waste your precious time?