Does your system always sound good?

I've seen incredible rigs in the Virtual Systems section. I am curious to know if your system always impresses you. Sometimes I am blown away by the sound and the next day it just seems ok. Is this normal? I am trying to enjoy the music, but catch myself analyzing the sound. It could be that my speakers are still breaking in and it sounds different from day to day. At some point I think there must be some sort of acceptance factor that comes into play. Am I wrong? Can you actually put together a system that totally satisfies you all of the time?
FWIW, While I don't have one of those 'incredible rigs' you refer to, I find it more a mood/music thing than the changes in the actual sonics of the system (apart from listening during warm up or if you have bad incoming juice, during the middle of the day), my systems sound is constant. But if I don't fit the piece to the mood it can be a real turn off.

Trying to enjoy a complex classical piece which requires attention, or some really up beat jazz, too early or late in the day can be a real turn off. It just doesn't sound 'musical' just sort of a lot of noise. This can be especially irritating when you know you love the music, so you tend to feel that your audio system is failing you.

This is not to say that sound cannot change due to atmospheric conditions, especially humidity, and as I mentioned the quality of your electricity (excessive RFI for example). This can make a difference but I've found if I really select a piece that matches my mood I can easily listen thru the sonics.
Not if you are human. I think your response is very normal. There are factors which make for sonic differences in your playback but IMO your mood/response to music will be different on different days. This is true of reproduced music as well as live performances.
Well, no. I've noticed that most days it sounds great. But every once in a while after listening a while I'll realize that, in fact, it just doesn't sound as good as it usually does. It is usually about that time of realization that my wife turns to me and asks: "Does it sound as good as usual to you today?" And, we've both realized simultaneously that something is off, although nothing material in the setup has changed.
With two seperate observations of the differences it probably rules out subjective mood influences on perception. But something is different. And I don't really know what it is. Perhaps ambient temperature? Humidity? Somewhat lower voltage on the local grid? Static electric influences? Whatever it is, it makes a noticeable difference.
Yes -- as long as I don;t touch the speakers. It sounds "good" or slightly better than its "good" within the limitations of mains power and my perception (i.e. ambient noise 25-40db; moods: volatile; 3yr old: 112db, etc).
I suppose the system's own psychology comes in s/where..:)

As a rule the system sounds mediocre when you have friends over to listen to the system and often sounds suboptimum when you have friends over to listen to music. So we listen to music.:)
I KNOW that my system can sound wonderful, but the variables are 1) the mood I'm in, for whatever reason, and 2) the quality of the CDs I purchase. That being said, a glass of merlot or sauvignon blanc will always help matters!
My system now, always sounds great. With any music that I like, I am always amazed at the sound quality and the enjoyment I get from it.
For 2-3 years, our system sounded great sometimes, less so at others. I continued to change amps, cables, tubes--you name it--to try and find the configuration that would sound good all of the time. We stumbled upon the realization that in order to cover the gamut of our music collection, as well as fit our schedule/listening requirements, we had to have two things:

1) an amplifier we could leave on all of the time, so as not to wait for it to warm up, or run the risk of a fire if we left home with the amp on; and

2) an amplifier with enough power to make the most dynamic music come across with a sense of ease, as opposed to straining to pressurize the room with the sonic heft of the bass & drums.

We figured we would try out a McIntosh amp because we'd heard they mated well with our speakers (modified Klipschorns). Lo and behold, the amp took the tweaker out of me. For the past six months, outside of adding the ability to use a hard drive as the source, I haven't changed a thing in the system. And it sounds good on every piece of music, every day, and every TIME of day. I can leave it on all the time, making it easy to flip the mute switch and immediately have music at the ready. I don't know what the recipe is for someone else, but this combination works for us, as these past six months we've spent all of our 'audio money' on CDs.

Our system does not have the sense of realism that tube amps provide (although the Lamm tubed preamp does help to deliver the texture and emotional energy in the music), but it is engaging on a much more satisfying level than it was before. We plan to eventually get another pair of SET amps, but they will be for those special, attentive listening sessions, or for those times when we care to interrupt the zen of satisfaction with an ardent session of analysis. :-)
I don't think there is a system that most audiophiles don't eventually start analyzing for the exception of Bryanhod's system. If we can get past that, the music becomes more enjoyable. If your looking for shortfalls, it won't be hard to find them but your not focused on the enjoyment of what your hearing. Does your system suck, probably not, just retrain your thought processes before listening.

It is known that as a system warms up it will change its sound especially pure class A gear & tubes. Hopefully this is a positive change as it usually is.
i am a firm believer in warm electronics sounding the components best...i've started turning on the equipment when i get home from work for listening that may or maynot take place that evening. also, i noticed evening listening is more sonically pleasing than day time.
i am a firm believer in warm electronics sounding the components best...i've started turning on the equipment when i get home from work for listening that may or maynot take place that evening. also, i noticed evening listening is more sonically pleasing than day time

I totally agree!

In response to the original inquiry, I would say that it depends. You have to be aware of the truth that not all material will have the same sonics than your best of the best "favorite" LP, CD, or whatever source you choose. Yes, it will not sound as good than the best ones, but is that your system's fault? Isn't it that you have to thank your system in this case because it reflects exactly what kind of material you are feeding it?

Does my system sound good all the time? No! But that's the way I like it because it speaks the truth. I wish I will not see the day that my system will sound good all the time. Because if it does, it's a sure sign that I am becoming deaf or have only a few steps before la-la land.
I am so glad that I am not the only one who experiences this condition of the system does not sound good all the time. I thought at one point that I was either going nut or my problem with sinus/ allergy is acting up to effect my hearing. Yes, the same soundtrack and the same system but someday I can hear the harshness from my system and some day it sounds so warm and smooth...I have learnt to deal with this condition by not playing my system whenever I feel it does not sound good as usual...Is it "me" or is it the humidity around me or is it my sinus acting up ? The question remains unsolved.
i believe there are certain components which age and therefore may affect the sound of a stereo system.

for example, tubes and exposed cable which can oxidize.

regarding a stereo system that always sounds great, i would say my favorite speker of all times, th original quads in a stacked configuration, i.e., 4 of them always sound wounderful. to me it's as good as gets.
Yes, it does. Lalalalala.