rv, based on the impression left from reading your posts you are clearly a true music lover. You have started several threads which address essentially the same conflict that you struggle with as described in this OP. You clearly struggle with this issue, I first became aware of this conflict when you posted a comment about a recording of a performance that I recommended on your thread of (if memory serves) Mahler, “Das Lied…”. The discussion had been about great performances of this work, not SQ. Yet, I was surprised (to say the least) that you found the recording to be “unlistenable” due to the quality of the sound. An amazing performance with SQ that, to me, on a scale of 1-10 is a 6, maybe even a 7. Certainly high enough to let the music carry the day in spite of less than fantastic SQ.
IMO, you don’t need to give up your stereo.
In another recent thread you described how you enjoy music more when listening “casually” and not analyzing the sound, I found this curious. Music can be enjoyed to its fullest, not by “casual” listening, but by serious listening…..to the music, not the sound. You, like many of us audiophiles have a penchant for analyzing. So, why not scratch the analysis itch with the music instead of the sound? My suggestion would be to take a course or more on music theory, orchestration or music history, dig deep into the history of favorite composers. There is so much to learn that one can’t learn from liner notes. You play piano. Start taking lessons again. Some feel that analysis of the music detracts from the emotional involvement, I believe that is nonsense. The more one learns about music the more one enjoys it.