Ever downgrade and have better sound?

not sure if we will ever get anyone to admit, but wondering if any of you out there went to a cheaper product and found the sound quality was better?

maybe even a cheaper cable within the same line of cables which mated better to your set up?
De2d307d e5fa 40ba 9fc0 0d95b5a6df5djustlisten
Many times in last 40 odd years, My house looks like a cable factory. I never throw one away, what sounds terrible in one set-up will sound great in another.
I agree with Schubert. Many times for me also, not only with
cables, but equipment too.
Not very often, but it can certainly happen very easily.

Strictly a judgement call in my case, but I preferred my small $500 Triangle Titus speakers to B&W P6s I owned prior that cost almost 4X as much.

Accessories (I consider wires to be accessories) are a different story. IT is hard to predict what will work best until you decide on something and try.
Yes, it happens. Infact, I have made a habit out of continually downgrading. It makes HiFi fun again. Here are just a few of my encounters: From Sota Sapphire/Signet X50 arm to ARXA with homemade arm. From Adcom 565 mono's to Fisher 15 watt tube mono's. From Proceed CDP 1 to modified Sony playstation.
Gotta ask the question: what does a "downgrade" mean really?

Cost less? No doubt even used market prices do not always indicate relative merit. So a "downgrade" in cost certainly may sound better.

Can't be that a downgrade does not sound as good. The answer would be obvious in this case. :^)

My approach to buying is to know for sure what I am after, then identify the candidates that appear most likely to meet my needs. Cost is always a consideration. IF I cannot identify a clear reason to spend more I do not.

Result over the years is I have had few cases of better sound via intentionally downgrading. I am always looking to improve for minimal cost. Its easier to take smaller steps I think and see where you land before moving ahead too far.
Substitute 'simplify' for 'downgrade' and I'm in hog heaven. If anything my end result today is far better than in the days when I had a bunch of 'near-SOTA' stuff. I attribute this to a better understanding of the speaker/room interface and electronics synergy issues, if nothing else.
How right you are Mofi.I currently have 7 preamps, 4 tube and 3 SS. You never know , one sounds rotten with one amp, sings with another. Not just a case of impedance mis-match either.

I hesitate to say it in print but I suspect rooms have an effect on even those.
What Newbie said....
True, and he's smarter than me.
Haven't had the luxury of downgrading since re-entering the world of hi-fi ten years ago. Still tweaking up, but on a tightwad's budget.
That said, I agree with Schubert's comment about the effect of the room. My "best" speakers did not sound so great in my teaching/practice studio at our new place so I moved them into a "living" area. Wow--night and day! I now put "the room" on a par with the speakers as far as overall importance.
Sure. Replaced a $3700 pair of Conrad Johnson CD player/transport units with a $300 Pioneer DV-414 and couldn't get over the sonic improvement. That's the most dramatic but there have been many others. Not "downgrades," except in the eyes of some of my audiobuddies, until they heard them. :-)
If it sounds better, it ain't a downgrade. We get way too stuck on "official" audiophile brands, price and bragging rights.
Now thats FUNNY Ebm-LOL !