Inconsistency in System

I am experiencing a rather large degree of inconsistency in the quality of the sound from my system day to day or even within the day at different times. At times rich, warm, inviting....other times veiled, harsh and way bright. My hunch is this is power related but am not sure. Does anyone have a suggestion on what might be causing this variability and if so, what I might do to correct problem?

System Components
Wadia 3200 Transport
Musical Fidelity TriVista21 DAC
Audio Research SP16 MK II Preamp
Musical Fidelity A308 Amp
Magnepann 3.6R speakers
Transparent Ultra interconnects
Transparent Music Wave Super Speaker Cables
Have you had the laser in the 3200 checked in a while. I used to have one and after about 2 years of owning it, sometimes it would be on sometimes it would be off, i would contact wadia to see what they say. good luck
Fairly typical complaint, and as you suspect its probably power related, although the humidity and your mood are also great contributors. If there was something wrong with your system it would usually be constant.
Hi, I recently had a similar problem. It was a power problem in my case. The power cord that came with my amp had a bad I switched it with another aftermarket cord I already had. That's when I noticed the problem that you are describe in this post. I looked at my monster power center and noticed that the amount of current that was usually being drawn with all my equipment on had decreased and music sounded different from day to day. I bought a used stealth HAC power cord here on Agon and my system came back to life.... The moral of the story is...Try a different power cord on your amp if you can. A power cord that you are certain is designed for power amps...not front end components. It's either that or your tubes in the preamp are starting to go bad.
Hi, You might want to put a meter on the AC to see if the problem changes with a variation. You may also want to tighten up the ground wires on your electical box, this could make a big difference especally with aluminum wire. Goodluck.
I used to have a similar problem with my system. It sounded best late at night and worst during the day, especially in the afternoon. The problem for me was noise on my power lines. I added Richard Gray Power Conditioners to my system and the sound is now very clean throughout the day, and much more dynamic. If you go with a power conditioner, I would recommend trying them first to make sure you find one that works well with your system.
The problem is either AC of Psychological guy.

The power might be a problem depending on how many peoplee in yer neighborhood are on the same grid, using how much power, etc, but that is kind of grasping for straws

I say the issue is psychological.
any time you get into a routine your brain will eventually wire itself for maximum ability. When you go to work you brain preps itself to be more involved in thinking, which gives you an edge at work.

At night when you go to bed your brain knows it is about bed-time and starts getting ready for sleep

With this chain of logic it is easy to say that if there are times where you unwind and relax, your brain will be more perceptive to the relaxation events and might be more open for musical pleasure.

I know if i am listening to my system on a day off when i normally would be working, it is not nearly as enjoyable as it is later at night when i will normally listen to music. Same goes with the morning, in fact, it seems like there is not only a physical sweet-spot in the room, but a psychological sweet spot where you are more open to the enjoyments of music.

Normally between 11pm to 1am is my psychological "sweet spot, cause my brain expects to be enjoying music and sets itself up to get the most enjoyment possible.

One easy way to back up this theory, is achohol and how your brain handles it. Normally i drink at night. When i do, i can drink quite a bit without getting plastered. My brain knows the achoholic onslaught is going to be happening and prepares itself to handle this.
Now, if during a day off, and i go and get a few beers around 1pm, i can drink 2 beers and feel like i chucgged a 6pack.

I think one of the most important tweaks you can do in your system is to schedule yourself a "listening time" and keep it around the same time on the same days. Eventually, you will find that listening during your "Listening period", you rig will sound very involving and very sweet.
It is the best tweak you can do for yourself, cause your brain is the most important part of the system. And the best part, is it is free! :)
Thank you everyone for your responses...I will be trying some different things to see what cures the ailment. Since my preamp is only approximately 5 months old and I do not run all the time, I don't think it is the tubes though........
Path7man, is there a pattern to when the system sounds good or bad? As suggested by Slv, late evenings are best for AC noise. Also, check if some of your home appliances are on when the system sounds bad (microwaves, fans, etc). Power conditioners, outlets, dedicated lines can all help and there are lots of threads about that.

Xplastic, you measured a drop in current after adding a different pc? Wow! First I heard of anyone being able to measure that.

Slappy, so that explains why those two beers hit me so easily over the weekend. Like yours, my mind is ready for the drinks the rest of the time! I absolutely agree that mental preparation and mood are critical.
To Ozfly....Hi. I'm not up on technical things so please excuse me if I sound like an idiot :-) but yes... I was forced to get rid of my PC that came with the amp...and replaced it with an aftermarket one. The current useage meter on the line conditoner/surge supressor which normally reads 1 amp went down to .5 amps. I swapped the PC's a few times just to be sure it was the aftermarket cord. It was. I don't know if you were making fun of me when you said "Wow! First I heard of anyone being able to measure that." but when I saw the meter drop and then swap cords for a test I just assumed the aftermarket cord was a front end cord not meant for higher current equipment. I was just trying to offer Path7man some things to try. Swapping PC's is easy. I'm only tring to help...besides only one or 2 people had writen to help him. I know how it is when I'm looking for things to try fast. Jeez...maybe I should not open my mouth anymore.
I find that my systems sound changes a lot from recording to recording. I put it down to the quality of the recordings I am listening to.
Xplastic, I am absolutely not making fun of you or trying to be cute. It really is the first time I heard of a cord change making a measurable difference. That's very interesting and will be added to my bag of memories I carry forward on the road to audio nirvana. The resistance in that cord must have been pretty large (current = voltage divided by resistance) and, normally, short lengths of different gauges that are reasonably close to one another don't make that big a difference. Thanks for taking the time to expand on the point.
Hi again...Sorry Ozfly if I seem's hard to tell what people mean on the computer vs. in person. I didn't think there would be a difference between my 2 cords. In fact I only noticed the sound of my gear was funny at first, very similar to what Path7man was saying. It was not consistant even in the ways that it sounded bad each time I turned on my system. It was a few days later that I noticed my powercenter current draw lights were -.5 amps. The aftermarket PC was just as thick as the original and worked well on my preamp and CDP. That's why I took the time to throw my 2 cents in was the similarity. To be honest was my last ditch effort before I gave up on my problem and sent my amp for repairs. I did not really think It would work but the readout on the powercenter pushed me towards it thank goodness. BTW the Stealth HAC PC that I got to permanently replace my originaly cord made a noticeable difference on my gear in terms of sound. I think it must be the way it grounded and/or shielded.
Slv is pretty much right on the money. Nearly every, if not every, system will sound better during late night listening for at least the following reasons:

1. The system is probably getting more juice because most everything else in the house is shut down.

2. Less noise in the lines due to other appliances and motorized funtions and dimmers.

3. If your listening room has much sunlight coming it, the glare and/or brightness has a way of affecting your mood toward what you hear. Especially if it's bright behind the speakers.

4. Listening later at night, there are less noises in the house that can be disturbing and one generally is more relaxed anyway.

And every system should benefit sonically from proper line conditioning because all AC power has much noise and all digital will generate digital noise back into the lines and service panel thereby contaminating the other components.

The trick here of course is to stay away from poorly designed or mediocre line conditioners.

Sounds electrical to me. Night time is the right time. Your system deserves some quality electric. There are a host of threads on power conditioners and audiophoolish opining, mine included, of course, on excellent power conditioners. Depending on the area: electric nirvanna is attainable. And what it'll do for your system is quite amazing...Can be costly, though.. peace, warren