The merry-go-round over the last 50+ years of multiple systems and upgrading, has gotten me to a point where I’m ‘almost’ completely satisfied with my sound. What I did not quite understand in those earlier years of changes, is that you have to find your sound first. That takes getting off your butt and listening, like going to shows and dealers before buying a damn thing. If you can’t hear the difference you’re probably lucky. Get something pretty at your price point and be done.
Patience, can be a bitch. I was too impulsive then. You know, when you have money to burn or you’re saving up hard for something specific from reviews or whatnot.
I am lucky to have finally found the sound that I love about ten years ago, and it doesn’t matter what others prefer as well. This doesn’t mean that I’m done. I still want to replace my line stage, because it’s not the best match for my other gear. So, I’m working to match the level of quality of my equipment to the sound that does it for me.
So, if I were to start over again, I would take the time to listen to all types of systems, find that sound, then go after it, and build upon it.