I think the audio community here upgrades and tweeks quite more often than in reality.. For example.. I have a passion for watches, cars and clothes.. I buy alot more clothes.. than watches and cars.. Watches are classics and if anything.. I collect them not upgrade them.. Cars... well of course we strive to upgrade to the newer model with more horsepower and features.. but most people lease anyway, so upgrade is usually done on a regular basis...Audio.. is definately an upgradeable addiction.. Example.. currently, I have two audio research ls-7 preamps... I upgraded 1 month after purchasing the first one.. simply because the new one is silver and had infinity caps.. I still have the old one.. Also, I bought a new amp and..yes 2 weeks later bought new tubes or upgrades from Upscale.. just because they existed... A new cartridge from Garrott because of a recommendation from Needledoctor... what next.. I dont know.. but I am sure my next upgrade is just a paycheck away!! haha
Nice post, I hope we get some insight here!
Since I had to do a paint job on my Jag XJS anyway because of that tree limb falling on the hood, I decided to put 2 rows of hood louvers into it before repainting. Of course, all the little flaws in the body will get the perfection treatment, and then at least 15 coats of hand-rubbed midnight blue lacquer to match the original. Lovingly applied, of course, by myself. You must know by now that I'm DIY all the way. I've done lacquer jobs on cars before, so it's a no risk proposition. Past cars I've owned and painted were a Jensen Interceptor, BMW 3.0CS, 2 Austin-Healeys, and for bikes I've restored a '73 Ducati 750SS, '77 Laverda Jota, '78 Benelli 750 Sei. It's not really upgrading, but restoring that's best for these items. They all go pretty fast and handle well in standard form. They're all gone now, and all that's left is the Jag. When it's time to do the engine, it's getting the oversize pistons and sleeves for the 7 liter(427) upgrade. That's the 7 liter kit for the standard 12 cylinder Jaguar upgrade, not stuffing a 427 Chevy into it. That, and the appropriate breathing and FI re-mapping will give a nice streetable 450hp with no increase in weight, since the kit slips right into the existing 5.3 liter 12 cyl. block. Sweet. Add the Tremec 5-speed or 6-speed gearbox conversion, a 3.52 rear gear set, and a set of Koni hi-po coil-over units, and I should be in business. I've already put in the JagSport quick-ratio steering rack, sway bars, poly bushings, alloy cross-flow radiator, K&N filters with cold-air box, and adjustable shift modulator for the current TH400 automatic. Nardi steering wheel, Wilton wool carpet,tung-oiled burl walnut dash, and NZ sheepskins over the fine Connolly hides round out the interior(beige). Tan canvas convertible top. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot to mention the chrome 72 spoke wire wheels, and stainless steel wheel arch trim. She's pretty sweet, with 88k original miles. Everyday driver, but I won 2 car shows this year, before the limb fell on the hood. Oh, well. Time for the upgrade.
Hey Twl, the h*** with all this audio stuff, how about a pic of the Jag!!!
I'd have to say I've done more audio upgrades than anything. I was using my 21 year old Canon F-1 today & realized the camera system has stayed the same for a good 7 or 8 years. I was taking photos of my audio system for an insurance upgrade. Second place for upgrades goes to the garage (hand tools, power tools, assorted garage accessories).
Twl, your project car sounds great. Although I like to build cars/trucks, I've taken the sleeper approach (all the work on the inside, nothing cosmetic).
Audioman, I've never leased a car & everybody I know (family, friends, etc.) has purchased their vehicles. Even my good friend who has leased a Ford Explorer for the last 8 or 9 years decided to buy one. I've have never spent more on a vehicle than my stereo. Except for my Kenworth.
Funny thing about clothes-I won't hesitate to spend money for a good pair of shoes (ordering some Birkenstocks tomorrow) but really dislike buying clothes. I guess I just don't like breaking them in.
If only my girlfriend could
get..... Well that would be a great upgrade.
Skis need upgrading about every 3-4 years. Boots should be done as often but I rarely do. Ski clothing--if it's not ripped it doesn't need upgrading.
I work with computers at my job (Systems Administrator), and don't touch my home computers unless they break, or someone else upgrades and things get swapped around. Audio, on the other hand... I am always trying something new.
This is an excellent question. My passions, besides family, include drag racing/street rodding, flyfishing, photography and audio. In each one of these endeavors I had a mentor. This has saved me a boatload of money. Each time I researched what it was I wanted to accomplish and did a fairly good job of "stepping up to the pump" and doing it right the first time. In each case I bought more than I needed and eventually parted with the more unused items. The car thing is the biggest money pit and I have put this on hold since the last audio upgrade path. This was probably the best decision I have made in years. I have been rewarded through the audio upgrade this time around more than any other of my 35+ years in this hobby. This is because I found the great community surrounding this post.
Maybe it's an age thing but I have been removing clutter for the last few years. I'm down to to the basic maintenance supplies needed for the cars having sold my last spare motor last night. Three fly rods serve all my needs now and since I continue to fish in the same spots I only need the same flies. I can fit all my fly tying materials into a briefcase instead of a whole room. Whereas I had up to five cameras hanging from my shoulders in the past, I'm down to the trusty Nikon F1, 4 lenses, a Nikon Cool pix 950 and three lenses and my current audio system which is going to stick around for the next 10 years at least. When I was younger I pondered why older folks gave stuff away and figured they were getting bored with life or preparing to die. Wrong. Consider me in the groove. It's that simple.
Twl, where do you get real lacquer? I haven't been able to buy any for years and just last year the government outlawed lacquer primer.
The one thing that has remained constant the entire time is the accumulation of more vinyl although I must admit that for my taste in music parts of the 70's and most of th 80's were a difficult time.
I suppose this is as good a time as any to enlighten the readers as to my system. I'm not all that enamored with the "system" feature at this site having enjoyed the previous design more. Besides, I can hear the groans from afar about what I listen to. Here goes.
Linn LP12/Ittok/Cirkus/Valhalla/various cartridges
Wakona with phono stage
Linn interconnects and cables
Strange you should mention it. I'm recently on my fifth wife. I'm not sure if I'm upgrading or they are unloading!
Besides an audio habbit, I enjoy cooking and despite doing it less often than my wife(due to the lack of time) I have all home-professional cooking equipment and for "critical" gourmet dinners none in my family can compete. I'm very skeptical in the restaurants and out-dining since there are very few that meet my quality needs and so quite rare I go out for dinner rather than cooking something for my family or for myself something exotic and new. I also taught my wife to cook believe it or not and she keeps my standards. Any guest will certainly notice that we never order pizza or local chinese and all the served party dinner is home-cooked.
Certainly there are other interesting and super-expencive hobbies such as cars, cameras... In this case i'm modest with Lincoln Town Car 1987 and Nikon FM10 25years vintage.
I have to admit that manually operated camera is more fun than an automatic. I also believe that the real car hobbyist constantly upgrades one particular car and do not change it. With modern fuel-injection engines not too much you can do to add the power. Lots of redesigned cars that I've seen cannot handle whatever the engine can through due to lack of knowlege about suspention and brake system that have to match whatever is under the hood or trunk. Suspention of vehicle and body determins the maximum speed more than the engine power.
Wine is my other hobby/passion. This hobby consumes a serious chunk of my disposable income - likely more than my audio hobby and my system retail is about $20k or so. I guess the term 'upgrade' is not as redily transferable to wine as it is to other hobbies, but in some ways it is. I find it very difficult to 'downgrade' to drinking lower pricepoint wine, once I've become accustomed to the good stuff. I guess it's the same with audio, considering how difficult it is to ever consider a downgrade. In many ways wine is more of an engaging hobby than audio in that every new bottle is a new adventure. Even with the same wine, different vintages offer such variation in experience and quality. Finally, with wine as with audio, the pricepoints can just keep going up - even a recent vintage Chateau Petrus can cost several thousand dollars.
guitars, cadillacs, naps. I need to upgrade my couch.
You mean theres more to life than Audio?
I'll have to get back to you on that.
ooohhh! I almost forgot I love BEER and explore every time extra-ordinary bars that actually produce their own beer or brew on the premises under the trademarks of famous european beer brewers. Getting to the Manhattan with public transportation gives me a possibility to drink a beer with no limitation! Very often I can consume a tremendows amount of beer that can rich three or more liters per one bar visit.
A beer is less expencive habbit than audio or wine i believe:)
Hmm... for me it's audio, cars and computers. The computers get upgraded a lot - those upgrades are, by comparison to high end audio, almost free! The cars are a different problem, as upgrades there generally cost more than what I've been spending on audio. Actually at this point I think I'm going to chnage cars rather than upgrades, as the upgrades are getting too expensive and I can't actually take advantage of a lot of the benefits of any futher upgrades.
Is buying new music an 'upgrade'? If so, I think there are probably few hobbies that go through as many 'upgrades' as this one. ;)
The answer to this, after thinking it over, kind of surprised me as it's the same for all my "disposable big ticket" items. The main ones are cars, girl friends and hang gliders. Across the board, 3-5 years and it's time for a new one. Not sure if that's a comforting trend or not...
Luckily for the immediate gratification gene in me there's still beer and hockey tickets. Beer gets upgraded whenever it runs out. Hockey ticket upgrades happen every year. Talk about planned obsolescence. Without fail they work one season and BAM!, time for a new set. Go figure.
I got into racing motorcycles this year - I spent over 30K in upgrades before the first big accident. Still spending money upgrading and NOT riding. There is no limit to what you can spend in this hobby also - pro racers have a 100K into their bikes and spend another couple of 100K for a season of racing. Racing is also detrimental to one's hearing so the hobbies really aren't that compatible. Both hobbies have something in common...Can one really use the the equipment to it's full potential.
Outlier, I hear you!!
An '86 Lafite Roth is begging for me right now. Please, help me resist the Force!