Can one ever be "done" in this hobby?

I would like to think I am pretty much in audio nirvana right now but supremely well aware how quickly that can change to audio nervosa!

What do think?

Is it really possible to kick the addiction and be done and just sit back and enjoy the music?

Has anybody managed this trick of the mind?
6db47fb2 f8db 415d a4f7 49a7b6ed12b0Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz
Amps, cables, speakers. A Jedi cares not for these things.
The music, flow through you it will. Happy you will be.

Audio nervosa is something people create all on their own, or allow others to create it for them.



I actually completely agree with your statement... And Miller's to an extent.

Yes a lot of it is in the mind but the mind as being powerful can at the same time be a very weak thing and easily influenced.

These forums can and certainly ARE both blessing and curse!

Hi uberwaltz

This is why I preach doing instead of talking. Audio is simply not nearly as hard as people are making it.

On one end you gather the info and on the other end you tune that info back in so it plays how you want it to.


I think "audio nervosa" and the image of the audiophile as on an endless path of upgrades and expense is just a stereotype. Sure, there are those who fit the stereotype, but it’s no more than that.

Based on what I see, most people who own high-end audio equipment are actually somewhat reluctant to "upgrade." After all, their systems are already at a pretty high level of performance. For that reason, they also tend to be reluctant to embrace the latest technology. That’s why so many high-enders waited before they jumped on the CD bandwagon. It was obvious from the beginning that the technology was immature.

None of this means my audio system doesn’t slowly evolve over time. But it’s a gradual process and often driven by technology. Things like streaming and remote control preamps weren’t an option when I assembled my first high end system decades ago, for example.
Hey cleeds, what do you mean, "was"? lol!
I thought I was done,stopped reading the magazines and stopped coming on here for several years.But then got the urge to try something new and I'm baaack. I am pretty much done now,retirement means my disposable income is curtailed.I'm happy to read about other's adventures,discover new music,experiment with tweaks.

Really glad you can manage to just read about others and not feel that overwhelming urge to change.

I am getting there.

I feel mostly some tuning and tweaking is the order of the day for a while as I feel I have now managed to assemble a pretty sweet system.

To this end I have some brass cones, some ceramic cones and some lamp glass balls/footers to experiment with under amp and CD player... About $35 total.
There’s a fine line between audio nervosa and just doing what needs to be done. You could even call it housekeeping. Very unstressful. The stress comes when you can’t figure out where to go next or what’s wrong with your system. There’s not enough time left in the world to do what I think needs to be done. If I could explain it to the average bear they’d give me the Nobel prize. Good luck to y’all. 😀 Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I’ve got a plane to catch. A plane going to the future, I only come back here for the breezy chit chat and Wack a Mole. They don’t have audio forums in the future. Talk amongst yourselves. Smoke if ya got em. 
Kaitty, you're excused and please don't come back (my wishful thinking impulse kicked in). Regarding the subject at hand, note the word "hobby." Changing components including cables and tubes or whatever can be FUN, and I, like many, don't change things very often except in my case maybe tubes, and that's because tubes are an inexpensive personal esthetic testing device. Otherwise, my sort of recent switch (couple of years) to a small single ended amp and efficient speakers is working for me, mostly because the music coming at my earballs sounds hobby...
I almost forgot. Nobody said audio nervosa can’t be fun. Think of it like gambling. Sure, it’s an addiction. But it’s fun. Even when you lose it’s still fun.  

The more time and energy one devotes to focusing on the music, the less one has left for thinking about sound for sound’s sake. Just as the best musicians play in service to the music, so too do the "best" audiophiles. Perhaps I’m actually not an audiophile at all. ;-)
This is a hobby where "done" usually means "done for now". I've been there countless times. There are just so many different designs and implementations to explore and listen to. With loudspeakers alone we've got single-driver, 2-way, 3-way, line-array, horns, panels, omni's, monitors, floor standing, etc. etc. Never mind driver size, materials, and crossovers. I could go on but y'all know what I'm saying. So, for me it's not so much nervosa but simple curiosity. I think it's part of being an audiophile. Love of music is the driving force and, let's face it, we love the gear as well. Do you really need to upgrade? Of course not. Need has nothing to do with it.

I have just about come to the conclusion it is very similar to a sick addiction I had for decades.... Cars....
How much horsepower do you really need?

Who cares?

Old saying .... Too much is never enough!

I have likely blown hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years on the quest for more power....

It nearly makes me ill to think of it now!

Nearly ... Lol.

Sure was fun at times!

Piloting a 70 Old 442 on its back wheels for the first 60 feet of the quarter is an essential memory!

Wish I had that car now... Oh darn there we go.......
I was for several years a PCA driving instructor. Everyone gets caught up in the whole more power go faster rat race. PCA does a much better job trying to counteract this than any of the other programs, even going to the extent of calling their program Driver Education. PCA never has a Track Day. They have DE. They even discourage timing. All the focus is on education. Technique.

The connection I hope is obvious. Its not the equipment, its how its set up. Go to enough of these and you will notice, sure enough, lotta guys with "slower" cars lapping guys with "faster" cars. The difference between skilled and average is so great I drove a student's Turbo at a very conservative and comfortable (for me) 85%, he thanked me for showing him what F1 is like. 

Same applies here. Way too many guys waste way too much time talking about what class their amplifier is (Can I bi-amp my CD player? Which balanced cables work best with my iPad?) as if it matters whether you have SOHC or DOHC when you're still hunting around for the apex.

We are on the same page I think.

But... I used to live for my Track Days!
Was so addicted I was up to 2 a month!

They were on my Track bike .
Used to have a blast on my ratty looking Kwak zxr 750 ( about $1500 all in) running around the inside or the outside( I would shove it wherever there was a gap) of the posers on their 10k plus showroom squeaky clean bikes.

Still have a real photo( before the days of digital!) Of myself gassing it hard out of a hairpin with wisps of smoke peeling off the rear tire. Rear wheel steering before the Japs made it commonplace!

Failed racer I admit, came from same little village as Rocket Ron Haslam, Google him if not familiar. Every kid wanted to be like Ron in my day.

But I digress......

Setup or change of set up maybe just my next big thing for now at least.
I had five (count em!) Alfas in a row. The most fun of any car to have in the shop. Most had de Dion rear end and rubber couplers separating the segments of the drive shaft. You knew when it was time to get new couplers when you saw one flying down the road in the rear view mirror.

Well considering you just added The Gate which is still in the burn-in improvement phase and yet you are already talking about the next big thing there very well may be no helping you. I mean that is like, Yeah I got 8  miles on my GT2 but wouldn't the RS be nice or maybe that Mercedes W05, Bottas and Hamilton seem to do pretty well maybe F1 is the way to go....

Where am I talking about the next big thing??

This thread was to see what members thought of the possibility of being done.

I have already said tuning and tweaking of current setup is the " next big thing".

However I may agree that there is no hope for me though... Lol.
Setup or change of set up maybe just my next big thing for now at least.

So certain were you. Go back and closer you must look.
Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
That means change of setup of my gear.

Not change of the gear that my setup consists of.

I.e. ... Cost zero.....

Must try harder Padawanan....
Im done for now but once a month i reevaluate i may buy some new stuff in time.Love upgrading and buying new stuff ill never be done.What a great hobby!!!

If you have to ask....


Some people manage to stick with a system for a long time. Others, not so much.  I tend to enjoy the different presentations of different speakers, so I keep a few around.  I may have a pair in my system for a week, or months, or a year or two.  Whatever suits my fancy.  But when those speakers are in, I generally don't fiddle around with stuff once they are dialed in, just relax and enjoy.  There are some very tweaky audiophiles who evaluate every song or album to see if there's something to tweak better or differently in their system and that's a level of audiophile nervosa, or desire to fiiddle, I'm glad I don't suffer from.I personally don't even need an EQ because I find I can enjoy virtually everything through my system, rather than thinking "is there too much treble, too much bass in this song?" and reaching to tweak. 

Still, I can be an obsessive audiophile, especially when searching for new speakers.  And it seems my brain can only really devote obsession to one hobby at a time.  At one point I moved from two channel listening as my main focus to creating a home theater.  Then all the little details of video quality became my focus.  And when I thought back on my audiophile obsessions I'd think "Why did I obsess and sweat over all that small stuff?"

Now my interest has swung back to high end audio again. I find myself listening to music as a way to relax far more often than using my home theater.  And when I fire up my home theater I just think "this is great, this is fine" and I can't find the same obsessive sweating-the-details that I had when home theater was my focus.
As for two channel, I just don't fool myself that I'll ever be "done."  And that's ok so long as I enjoy the journey.

I'm pretty much done. And happy. Maybe something for streaming if Amazon makes hi-res available for cheap. But that will cost less than most of you guys wall outlets and power cables. ;-)
Loved my Turbo but never confused it with F1

spend more time in the music section Uber, notice we oh so rarely talk about the gear

I guess my approach to cars is about the same as my approach to hi-fi. Use what I have and enjoy it. I’ve got a 2007 350z (quite pedestrian and slow by today’s standards) but I take it to the track and thrash the hell out of it 4-5 times a year and have a blast. No upgrades. And much like my audio system, I'm comfortable with the car and I have the most fun when I'm thinking about the driving, not torque specs, performance parts, upgrades or even set up. I think I enjoy my hi-fi system the most when I don't think about it at all.
Too funny Tomic.

With the exception of Slaw there is likely no more prolific poster in the music sections than myself.....

I've been searching the classifieds for the last three months, looking for a pair of speakers I could be happy with for the next 10 years, and listening to as many setups as I could, within 100 miles...  Fun experiment, but I finally pulled the plug this weekend and got a pair of Usher Mini-Dancer 2's, then spent most of yesterday afternoon playing with room placement, etc.  My wife passed through on her way to bed, and asked "so are you happy with the new speakers?" And I replied "I THINK so" -- she said you'd better be..., and shuffled off to bed.  I do like these speakers, but 10 years is a long time; I think I may be incurable.
10 years......
My mind cannot even begin to process having the same gear in 10 years time.

10 months maybe.......
@uberwaltz in ten years our gear will be vintage and sought after enviously;)
Music = pleasure.  I'm naturally curious.  I love trying everything I can in life.  I travel, seek new experiences and new perspectives, I'm a foodie too and love to experience different takes on combining ingredients.  Music is just one of life's experiences and for many it nutures our soul.  Some people are happy tasting chocolate every day and others are just curious what other flavors are like or combinations of them. While I could eat a bit of dark chocolate and be somewhat content every day I'd rather taste something else along the way, even at the risk of not liking it....for the experience. 
"The most fun of any car to have in the shop."
Biturbo, hands down.

Alfa 33 comes second.
"Done" is a temporary state of being.
For me, when I have the system as good as I perceive it can be within what I sanely feel like spending, then I have to STOP READING anything about audio--forums, reviews, new products, etc.  I went 18 years with basically the exact same components when I did this the last time.  The only thing I replaced was a totally blown component that would cost too much to fix to keep it.  I'm very close now, as I love all the components together in my system and have done the Schroeder method with all the sets of ICs.  I could go to higher cost ICs in the Schroeder method and have this part of the journey never end.  I said I would do all 3 sets of ICs with the Schroeder method and love it.  I have and I'm done.  

Don't listen to friend's systems that are much better than your own either.  Help your friend's out by letting them borrow things to try in their own systems.  I have 2 close friends and we do quite a bit of exchanging.   

Building a system that is ULTIMATELY musical and dynamic to listen to
does take a good ear.  I absolutely love the system I now have.  A couple things are being done to optimize things in some way but other than shipping, it is costing me nothing.

I will buy my own syringe on Perfect Path Total Contact to paste the contacts that I have removed or changed out in the past couple years.  I bought part of a supply from a friend to do what I did.  I WILL NOT start pasteing everything that has been suggested on the Forums.  Tube pins, AC plugs, IEC pins, RCA male ends, spade lugs, bananas--did do the fuses, but will clean those off and not do the next time.  Too much mess.

As you can see, my final quest was on tweaking the system in many somewhat less expensive ways to finalize the sound.

I just need to keep busy in retirement so I stay away from hobby reading.
If I can't be extremely happy with my system, I should do as Jim Carey did in Liar, Liar and kick my own ass.

You can be done
I am

I took up guitar ten years ago and slowly began to care less about audio quality.  These days I spend virtually all of my music time playing, not listening.

Now, 90% of my listening is in the car, 8% is via Sonos when entertaining, 1.5% via headphones in the gym or on a plane, and half a percent in front of a high quality system.  

The audio thing has just sort of gone away 
I beleive it has a lot to do with creating that "1st time reaction" why do we upgrade? Because we have become bored with what we have. On  the "Happy Scale" I was just as excited with the first impression of my first higher quality system as I was with my first impression of recent acquisitions that are much better and 10 times as expensive.
The best your new upgrade will eversound is in the first week of listening to it. 

We try to recreate that feeling with most things. Desensitivity to any thing can be very dangerous if you don't have a level of self control. Some times you just have to turn that system off or listen to your second system for a while or drive the grocery getter instead of the Ferrari to regain the level of excitement people thirst for.

So can we ever actually be done? Only when we don't care anymore and move on to something else. 

I live in the "twilight zone of zero self control" (Walter Becker line) and in my decently funded retirement I enjoy my self indulgent audio, guitars, a Triumph air cooled motorcycle, sporty German cars, mechanical watches, longboards, SUP boards, an adult long skateboard (Dewey Weber) and whatever else I feel like doing and absolutely care zero about what anybody else thinks about any of it. However, I do crave attention, so there's that.
“I live in the Twilight Zone.”

I can vouch for that. 😳
Happiness lies in satisfaction rather than accomplishment.

There is no end to improving audio sound.

You had better stop and take a break and find another hobby.

I had not changed major audio equipment from 2012 to July 2018 concentrating on photography.

I got some award in photo contest.

For last 6 months I had done lot of renovation on my audio system but it is close to the end.

I will go back to photography and travel around the world.


I get satisfaction from accomplisment. I actually take offense to you telling me to get a new hobby. I did not say I did not enjoy it. I merely pointed out that humans become desensitized to almost anything when repeated enough. . Why did you do renovations to your system? I am guessing because you tired of it and wanted something better. Which proves my point. Change is the spice of life. 
Nice attitude on your retirement. It is how I live my semi retired life (by choice) as well. Gotta keep it new and get the thrills. 
Assuming one cares, once you know what your target is and you hit it, its harder to change than not.

Otherwise, not so hard if you are not hitting the target or the target constantly moves.

Then of course most things break or wear out and eventually just need to be replaced, assuming again one still cares.

To each their own.
Thank you folks.  After reading this thread, i put my ear up to the various drivers.....hissy noise in The right Heil AMT tweeter/mid.   Appears to be from my ESS 2142 crossover.  And the quest goes on.  Did my due diligence, unplugged the IC to amp, noise gone.  IC connected to amp but not the ESS xover still no noise.  Unplugged the input to the ESS xover and the noise stayed.
Correction.  The ESS xover is model 2241.  Question for Millercarbon or Geofkaitt or any one.  Considering a tube amp to run the ESS Heil AMT.  I listen at mostly moderate levels.  Current amp is Parasound Zamp.3 at 35w per channel.  There is a Wavebourn on E for 800+shipping, but only 6 watts.  Is that enough power?
mapman mirrors my feelings about hitting the target.I feel that I have, but fooling around with different tube combinations and cheap tweaks keeps things interesting.Finding new music and collecting different versions of a favorite song is fun also.
I too still like to keep up with new innovations or products that might add value even after having identified and actually "hit the target". I also actively look for every opportunity to downsize and still hit that target or at least come close enough that it does not really matter.

Like Martykl, I count many (about a dozen or more different ways) I might listen to music these days, both in and out of the house, so lots of opportunity to just listen to more music in different ways, in different places, play around, and experiment.
Question for Millercarbon or Geofkaitt or any one. Considering a tube amp to run the ESS Heil AMT. I listen at mostly moderate levels. Current amp is Parasound Zamp.3 at 35w per channel. There is a Wavebourn on E for 800+shipping, but only 6 watts. Is that enough power?

>>>>my guess is no. Even though the sensitivity of the ESS Heil AMT is relatively high at 98 dB at one watt, one meter, it’s power handling is 375 watts. So, I suspect 6 watts is not enough. But you never know. Depends on what you listen to and how loud. 
Had the same set for almost twenty years . Just recently changed everything !
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