The "Holy Grail," for this audiophool, is temporary. Always has been. peace, warren
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My systems are always based around the speaker system, if I make a speaker change..then I must sometimes make an amp change. I never search out the "Holy Grail", I've been snipe hunting as a young boy. Speaker change in my systems are at around 5-6 year mark and are for the most part just to add a different spice to the mix, I do the same thing with my car pretty much.
Yes.....but there's still my system at work to tinker with!!
I guess if you want to count all the years in between it was 20 years to get to where I'm delighted enough with the sound of my system to be able to say that. I could never say that with any amp before the current amps (300B SET monos). Amps and speakers seemed to change most frequently for me for some reason. I guess I found the solution from my front end more quickly than the downstream components. The speakers certainly have the most profound effect on the sonic signature of the system and also can dictate the need for a change in amplification (synergy & power). Average length of time....hmmm? The audio disease lay dormant in my system for some ten years at least....kind of like malaria. I just played my existing system and was happy as a clam in my ignorance. Then one day I was reminded of just how profoundly different and wonderful tubes can sound and the shakes and cold-sweats started all over again. During the next ten years I think I must have switched speakers and amps an average of once a year and sometimes more frequently. Now the shakes have stopped and I am good for at least the next ten years or more.........well, at least in the home system!
I fully expect that my Atma-Sphere M-60 amps will be the last amps I will ever own, given the fact that I don't expect to ever move away from my Köchel K300 speakers either.
Of course things can change, but it would take some pretty spectacular performance to change my mind.
I will probably always be on the lookout for "tweaks", but my system is complete except for some accessories and perhaps a digital transport. Acoustic treatment, isolation devices, power conditioning and a record cleaning machine are some of the accessories still in the works.
It took me about three years to research and purchase what I have now. I had been an avid audiophile many years ago so I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to accomplish this time around. The Lord has been good to me.
I'm pretty sure the author of this post doesn't refer to the "Holy Grail" in absolute terms. IME the "Holy Grail" is a moving target that is impossible to acquire in an absolute sense.
I would respectfully disagree with the comment regarding advances in technology. Unlike computers which have a absolute quantifiable measure of advance which is distinctly advantageous and readily usable to virtually all users, I don't think the advances on some fronts of the audio arena are necessarily a good thing in all cases. There are prodcuts designed and built decades ago that, arguably, will still hold their own against more modern designs and to some folks actually sound better than modern counterparts. Indeed there are no absolute terms in audio, and the charts, graphs and numbers seldom tell the whole story, nor do they always correspond directly to the aural experience of the component being measured. Certainly the digital front-end would be a possible exception with advances bringing it closer and closer to the sound of LP's.......er, ah, hey, wait a minute!!!
Absolutely. Until the next last amp I'll ever buy.
But seriously, I moved a few amps in and out of my system and I am really happy with Levinson 436 Mono's. They are
a perfect fit with my system and taste in music, [which is a wide, wide range, actually]. There may be a better amp
out there for me and my system, but I am so happy right now,
I don't have any motivation to leave my listening position
and go look. Or, uh...listen. You know what I mean.
Yes. I'm done with my reference system. However, there are room for play in my second system with DIY projects. As far as amp, preamp and speakers choices, as long as they're good match, it is very subjective to taste. Some folks prefer Shiraz and some prefer cabernet. As long as you find what you like, there is no need to switch unless you find some noticeable flaws in your system. As far as amplification goes, I started out with my speaker as the reference point due to size requirement. The amp would be the second and then the preamp. Therefore, I tend to switch preamp from time to time to fulfill my curiousity but not to mess up the sound I already have.
I have not switch my speakers yet because I have not find a better monitor speakers in the same size that could even come close to what this speaker can offer and I have audition over a dozen. I've only switched amp once because my friend wanted to buyback his amp. However, I did replace it with better sounding amp but ugly looks and cheaper price. I did switch preamp twice. Started off with most well known preamp from the 1990s to the vintage 1960s and back to 1990s. In the end, I found better sound for half of the cost I started out with.
As far as source selection, I have not switch any component since they all met my expectation before the purchase. I did modify the CD player myself and compared with much more impressive units which cost 10 times the prices and find my unit quite satisfactory.
My hifi rules: You either get best for the money or best of the best.
i.e. My budget for the CD player was around $300~$400 range new or used. I did find the best player for the money. For the tuner, I wanted best of the best ( in my opinon of course.) so I bought the Mac MR-71 and sent to Richard Moderfferi for the upgrade. For the TT setup, I also wanted best of the best, I then got myself the VDH Black Beauty cartridge (VDH really made my LP sing the way I like) to go with my VPI/Graham setup.
It took me couple years before I found "the Holy Grail." I've done much reading, chatting with users and manufactures, and experimenting with other's idea plus my own inputs.
If you do have audiophile friends whom already have good equipment knowledge database in their heads then it will take much shorter time to reach your goal (Golden ears A Must.)
Sometimes it is hard to convince some folks about cables that can make a difference. Even the speaker stand's height, material and shape can make a big difference. The Jitter in digital source can be cleanup with external clock circuit. I was able to prove my own findings from DIY projects but I also realized that there is no need try to convince the "subjective minded" folks out there so I stop giving my opinions on equipments and DIY stuff.
Just my 2 cents sums up about being an audiophile (freak)
No.I built a pretty good one based on a Tripath EV board.
Stan Warren optimised the board in regards to its pwr supply impedence requirements and grounding scheme and the amp is already obsolete. Stan is at work right now on an analogue amp which will probably out perform
this amp in every area.The most accurate reproduction possible at this time with the technology available is a good way to describe what is essentially a moving target.
The nice thing about progress is that I am able to enjoy a level of accuracy in sound reproduction that I could hardly imagine
even one year ago.Change is sometimes a good thing