Try a top notch Argentinean Malbec and buy some new music. Here are some suggestions: Most achingly-beautiful music
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I really don't like you Macdadtexas. It's taken years and I'm still not at the point of boredom because my system is so great that nothing more is needed. I haven't made it to audio nirvana yet. I've heard of others but not me and not my system.
I've said it before, if you're there, and your system is great, enjoy the music man! It's about the love of the music. That is all there is, is the music! The beauty of the music, the soul of the music, the heart of the music, the spirit of the music. Work on your music collection. Me, I want to get to the point where I can put in a disc and just get lost in the music. Have never reached that yet.
Macdadtexas, if you have money to burn then I suppose you can afford to burn and churn on the equipment merry-go-round. One way to stop the cycle is to go through a job loss or career loss and then the cycle will come to a grinding halt! Short of that, just be appreciative of what you have! Guys like you can buy as they please, I suppose. Some of the guys here are recession-proof and keep right on in the same old vein. Your pockets are deep. I guess we have plenty of professionals and entrepreneurs here. No, as long as you have money to spend it won't stop until you appreciate the special place you and your system are in. It really is all about the love of the music not the love of the equipment that delivers the music. It's the music.
Foster 9, that's a reality check. I do love the music, I don't know what the problem is with always wanting to change my system. I don't have a 'crazy' expensive system, I stay in the same league mostly for upgrades, so it's not killing me. It probably wouldn't sound perfect to anyone else but me, but to me right now it's about as good as I have ever heard. Also, I live in Houston, which is by far the cheapest US big city to live in. Modest house, and after living through energy bust of the '80's then the Enron meltdown I don't get financially over my ski's on anything, so don't hate on me, I'm not rich, just crazy.
I really do love to try new stuff though. But most of the time I end up disappointed. I tried about 10 different speakers after I bought my first pair of Maggie 3.6's, and the 3rd time I bought the same model speaker again I found that I really don't like the sound of any other speaker as much.
Same with amps. I tried many, many amps (thank you Audiogon) without spending much money before I settled on the Cary's I have now (for much less than some others I tried, thank you very much). I can't really try any others, although bi-amping could be interesting......
After many subs, I don't think I can improve (in my system) on the Rel B1 I finally bought.
I love my new turntable, although I loved my original Clearaudio Performance and stupidly tried about 4 others, none of which I liked as well, and 3 of which cost much more, before I bought the current model. Should have just kept the Clearaudio in the first place.
Tried many, many DAC's before I got the Bryston I have now, which I love. Won't get rid of that piece any time soon.
So that leaves me looking at my beloved Cary preamp with scorn and derision. Surely an ARC preamp/phono stage would be better, and bought used wouldn't cost that much more. Or possibly move up to the SLP05 Cary.
Man, I need help. What would I do if I get a new preamp and don't like it (I won't of course) then try another, and another, and another, until I find one I like.
Then what will I do??? If there is literlly nothing to else to upgrade buy???
I think I'm going to stop now, take a deep breath and buy some more records online. Good idea, thanks.
Until you reach the point that you try anything or hear any other system at a dealer and think "this is way worse than my current setup"...
Until you reach the point where you can put on a good recording like Maceo Parker "Made by Maceo" and sit back and enjoy what sounds just like live music...
Until you recognize that NOT every recording is going to sound real and that real sounding recordings are rare...
Balance, now I want balance!!! OK, that means a whole new set up. Can you say rationalization?
Now I am all about balance, that's what I need.
Well that will take a new preamp probably many until I get that balanced sound. Then amps, why that could take multiple, in many different configurations.
Maybe several smaller subs, instead of a big one, or several big ones.
Think I still keep the Maggies and the VPI Classic though.
But maybe a new cartridge??
Oh screw it, I'm going to show some restraint, not change anything and just buy some more records. Well, for tonight.
Step 1. Check the Audio Research Website for details on the LS26 and Ref 3 and 5 preamps
Step 2. Check Audiogon website for ARC preamps
Step 3. Check eBay for ARC Preamps
Step 4. Check Craigslist Houston for ARC Preamps
Step 5. Austin Craigslist
Step 6. Dallas Craigslist
Step 7. San Antonio Craigslist
Step 8. Bryan/College Station Craigslist
Step 9. Chicago Criagslist (family there)
Step 10. Los Angles Craigslist (go for work all the time)
Step 11. New York Craigslist (work)
Step 12. Drink another glass of wine
You do not know me, but you seem like a very trustworthy person. The only hope is to exorcise the demons that have possessed your gear. If you send it to:
123 Main Street
Monrovia, Liberia, Africa 12345
along w a certified check for $17,500.00. It will take approximately 18 months to complete the exorcism, at a cost of $1000.00/month. I will have a client send you a $5000 check each month, drawn on the account of my dead father, who was president of our country's largest bank. Please cash it and send me the $1000, keeping the difference for your trouble. Also please send me your social security number, date of birth, credit card number, expiration date and include the three digit code from the back.
I can help you.
I will come over, you can help me load it all up into my truck and I will take the offending equipment away.
It will be like rehab, but you go no where and then when you are not cured you can start all over again. Do not worry though, I will add your equipment to my own system and then some.
TRUST ME this is the only.
Macdadtexas, getting the ARC preamp won't end your search. You are seeking something that you cannot find, eternal contentment. You will still follow your 12 steps for the next item. There is no end until you first admit that you have a problem.
Many do not realize they have a problem until they face a personal crisis (health, wealth, marriage, etc). Many times a crisis can change your priorities and/or outlook on life, and what is really important. Good luck.
Hevac1, thank you so much for your truly grand gesture. I knew that the Audiophile community would close ranks and help out one of it's own with a problem.
I think I have been talked off the ledge at this point though, so I will turn down your generous offer of help for right now.
Oh hey, I have to go, someone just sent me an email that they have an ARC Ref 3 with a black face, what phono stage would I get with that?
Mac - I stumbled upon something by accident that might help. I just finished a remodel and my 'rig' was not hooked up for 6 weeks. You don't need to go that long but a short break from your system, then coming back makes one appreciate how good it sounds..
If that doesnt' work, see if there's a Texas chapter of the Betty Ford audio clinic you can get into.
my job got saved and I'm re-cableing my downsized system with all the extra money I got from downsizing my system and selling my car...Hmmm...new cables or a car...interesting choice.
Glad to hear your job was saved! (but considering you've chosen cables over a car, it sounds like the employment scare was only a temporary prophylactic to your equipment addiction...)
i suspect a huge number of people here are in your boat, which is why we're here in the first place. The urge to not leave well enough alone, to find 'better', an endless curiosity and desire to try more things, the itch to tweak incessantly...it's not really about the music...it's about how 'good' the music sounds...which of course could always be better. If i honestly asked myself which i prefer more, to listen to music or tweak my system, i would have to sadly answer the latter.
i feel your pain bro. Satisfaction is kind of a buzz kill.. Then again I do really enjoy listening to my system and can honestly say it's never sounded better then it does today. Which is exactly why I play it while poring over agon ads.
As much as I enjoy reading forums and occasionally posting a response, I recommend you taking a sabbatical from Audiogon for a period of time. How long? Depends on how long till you get that inner smile of contentment back while listening to your system. Maybe just a week, maybe longer.
Reading various threads and gazing the classifieds can easily stir the imagination along the lines - I wonder what that piece of equipment in my system would sound like.
I listened to "Dear Landlord" by Bob Dylan earlier today. A lyric from the song comes to mind-
"anyone can fill his life up
with things he can see but he just cannot touch"
If by chance you should decide to give my suggestion a try, enjoy the music, and we look forward to your return.
Tholt is my twin brother of a different mother. I don't know where you live, but I owe you dinner!!
Deal. I assume you'll still want 3% paypal? pls send fed ex insured to CA, 93401.
BTW nice house - your listening room and architecture in general is way cool.
It's surely a guy thing. If you tweak your system too much you'll go blind.
lol - friggin hilarious.
It's all futile. No point in it; you may as well give up. You can't win.
It's like the Twilight Zone episode I saw the the other day. Aliens come to Earth in order to "help" mankind. They are guided by a book entitled, "To Serve Man". They win humanity's favor and approval by showing how to be healthier, better fed, etc., then begin transporting people to their own planet for "extended tours". In horror a reporter learns that it's fixed - "To Serve Man"... is a Cook Book!
Eerily like your situation. Face it, your goose is cooked!
You know, there's a lot of really deep stuff pertaining to audio on Twilight Zone. ;)
Macdadtexas you really don't want help with your addiction. If you really wanted help, you wouldn't come here. Coming here is tantamount to an alcoholic going to a liquor store for help. You came here to a bunch of enablers. Stay here and you'll never be cured. I gave up a long time ago and accepted my condition. I'm a functional audiophile. I'm addicted, but I can still function....kind of like Miles Davis and Keith Richards. I don't pretend to want to be cured. Besides, as one esteemed member of this group wrote a few years back, "we're all as crazy as we can afford to be"....that, my man is such a profound statement and is absolutetly true.
macdaddy, ever find yourself air drumming/guitar to your music? if so, rest assured your system is at least of 'very good' caliber. a good litmus test.
a few to try: Govt Mule, Lynam (my new favorite band), Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (nothing else is worth it), Black Keys. If you can't feel it with those, your upgraditis is justified.
Hawking your wares in the Discussion Forums really shows poor tastes.
That's because automobiles do not have the ridiculous pricing strategy of cables. It's easy to sell anything for 60-75% off list price brand new when the list price is 800% of the cost of manufacturing the item. Even at 60% off list, the dealer is still making money on cables. A BMW dealer would lose his shirt selling for 60% off.
Apples and oranges.
There was a thread a few days ago where the poster got criticized because he posited that the people who constantly change equipment don't know what they're doing. (Yes, I've condensed and simplified his point.) Could that be the case here.
I notice in this thread that people are encouraging the poster to continue with what he calls his addiction. I read all the comments to be good natured and friendly in nature, but there is also an element of a man standing on a building ledge and the crowd below shouting "Jump!".
The same could be said about the SEC investigators who missed all the warning
signs concerning Bernie Madoff. Yet, I'll bet if we met those SEC employees,
most of us would consider them to be reasonably bright people.
The point being that not knowing what we're doing is a common human trait
as we move through life and learn as we go.
It helps to be able to laugh at ourselves as we recognize our failings.
"I can't leave well enough alone"
Nor should you. The greatest among us achieve greatness precisely because they can't leave well enough alone. Intrepid souls, often flying into the dark unknown in utter defiance of conventional wisdom, armed only with the courage of an explorer, and that insatiable spirit that took the slowest, weakest species on the planet and gave it lordly dominion over all. Go man go!