My Poop theory by kublakhan

I’m willing to bet all of you have had this experience and keep on having it, am I right? Have I said what the experience is yet? (Reading back, reading back…no, I didn’t). Ok, here’s the experience: You get a new piece of gear, be it some new cables, new speakers whatever, and the sound difference is extraordinary. You can’t believe what a beautiful improvement the item has made. Then, days, weeks, months later you find yourself remembering back to the good old days when you first got the piece and smiled ear to ear every time you listened to music through it. What happened, you say to yourself? I LIKE my system, but I no longer smile as I used to.

So okay, you go to and search out some answers. Answers which almost always cost money and a lot of hassle with research and this that and the other thing. Then you fixate on the new ‘solution’ buy the item and WOW, that is what was missing! And you write your ‘gon review of how stupid everyone is for not having used this xlr cable or that capacitor, etc….you get my drift. But the cycle continues. And continues.

Thanks for all of you who are still with me because here is where my ‘poop’ theory comes into play and it’s what we call in scriptwriting (and good sex) ‘the payoff.’ The poop theory (I’d use a stronger term for ‘poop’ by the way but audiogon already deleted one of my posts for vulgarity. I wrote a synonym for ‘posterior cavity’). Anyway, the poop theory says that if you put someone in a room full of …poop… they will cringe from the smell. But after a while, they will no longer notice the smell. At all. Can this theory be at work with us freakish audiophiles? I think perhaps so. After a while some part of our body gets accustomed to the poop (which in this case would be good, like a new preamp) and we no longer notice it. We need the poop back and we search for the poop (this time read like, you know… ‘the skinny’) on audiogon. We spend our money and time and finally, shazam! Once again we smell the poop …but the sh*t starts right up after a period of time. When will it all end? When will we all stop to smell the poop?

I write this because I’m now bored out of my mind with my system. And I’m refusing to pour more money into it. So now what? Look for new music I suppose – that’s the cheapest poop I can think of. I don’t know. I just know I miss the stench of a pair of newly retubed ARC monoblock 300s.

We’re all doomed. The cycle continues. I’m willing to bet all of you have had this experience and keep on having it, am I right? Have I said what the experience is yet?
Kublakhan, that theory was 1st invented my Chris Rock although he called it the "old p*ssy vs new p*ssy" concept.

If this theory wasnt correct, I would need plastic surgury to rid myself of laugh/smile lines. Im only 34 and ive got none of the above.

Very few of us will ever have that everlasting smile.

Piece Out to you
The answer it's simple, man: LIVE, UNAMPLIFIED MUSIC. LOTS OF IT. Then, and only then, will you realize how bad your stereo really sounds no matter how much you have spent. Acceptance or denial will come as a result...

Just happens that last night I was talking on the phone to one of the owners of an audio store whose page is in Audiogon. His name is...(I'm not saying). Having worked at audio stores to get me through college, I noticed a pattern: people who really got into classical music did not buy outrageous equipments. They FLEW to concerts several times a year. Period. The audio shop owner agrees. Live music listening is the way they spend their money. One of these persons' father was Pablo Casals' best friend. They are millionaires. They bought a very modest system from me. But they fly to Europe to listen to concerts. That's why I don't believe in the Voodoo. No offense, but it seems to me the Voodoo is for wannabes.

Hope you learn.

Peace to all.
When you install something new, it's DIFFERENT at least for awhile, then you get used to it & it's not different anymore. That boredom thing. Need something else different then. I think it (that boredom awareness)is fleshing out your lack of satisfaction in something about the rig, but you just can't put a finger on it. So then you try another experiment. I've been there too so I do understand. If you ever get to the point where you're not bored over the long-term, then you've finally arrived. Then you leave things alone & you're happy with it as-is. I've settled into that 'arrived' scenario for as long as 15 years at a stretch; the rig was perfect for me. Then the PA dies, cannot be repaired (no parts available for a piece that old) and your 'cycle' starts all over again. Just enjoy the ride then.
Been there, done that. My cure? Shut the system down and leave it alone for as long as possible. Do something, anything else that doesn't involve music. Keep away from the stereo as long as possible, this includes reading or even talking about it. Put it out of your's hard to do....but if you can manage to ignore it for awhile, one night you'll feel like some tunes...time for a well deserved fix. And the magic will return and everthing will be alright with the universe. Our systems become a physical and emotional extension of our very being. We don't always need new toys, we simply need to step back and view from a distance, then return to it as we would an old friend...Ups and downs but it all comes around.....when it gets too serious this works for me. Have a great week-end everyone, cheers, Bluenose
Or, bluenose, take time out to smell the poop.

I agree.
If you cant do as Bluenose suggest, have 2 systems, one (your best) that sounds like real life or as close as you can get, and one that is more analytical, highly detaled. When the magic wears off your best system, spend some time listening to the analytical system. You can enjoy it for what it is and be analytical about your source components and software (ie, listen with whatever side of the brain that is). Then after some time, go back to your best system, where real music resides, listen with the other side of your brain, relax and enjoy the music.
I like Paulwp's strategy the best, and there have been times when I've maintained two systems for that exact purpose. I just sold my speakers from sys #2 and now, after only a month or so, I have the urge to get another set of speakers to start the cycle again. My only problem is that over time, I tend to make little tweaks and changes that result in the two systems sounding progressively more and more alike. When the time comes that I can hardly tell them apart, I sell off the "lesser" of the two and start the process again. And here I go again! :)
just like your wife,damn smelly poop!but wait,its been a month now,come on honey?man that was good!just like when it was new : ).isnt it amazing how much alike women and stereo's are?
I agree. You are full of poop. Goodbye!
kublakhan: it's really too bad casettes have fallen out of favor. still, with a nakamichi dragon, you might be able to test your theory on a "poop deck." -kelly
I like Bluenose's approach, and also Paulwp's. There are taxes, up-grade the system, and death. But really, sometimes when I find myself in a "stereo slump", I (try to) work harder at finding new and interesting music-- or it can be old and interesting music.

I can think of virtually unlimited "upgrades", and when I think I've finally achieved "audio nirvana", well, there's always a sideways move sonically. Of course running out of money is a serious limitation for some of us :>) Cheers. Craig.
Yeah Craig, that's the other approach. Listen to a lot of different music, especially some that isnt well audiophile-quality produced. I listen to alot of Zydeco and TexMex. Dont care about how good the system is when your body is moving. Then listen to that bland life-like stuff and appreciate the resolution and detail and whatnot.
I agree with Bluenose. After a several-week hiatus from listening, I recently fired up the system again. Even stone cool I was pleasantly surprised at the detail and quality of the sound. I remember not being quite satisfied with a number of things last time I listened.
Ok. you win the bet Kahn. I am really glad you brought it up though. Sometimes, late at night and all alone in my own head ( a very unsafe neighborhood ) I have these fears that maybe I am different. Maybe I'm the only one who spends several thousand on system upgrades, listens to different systems in the house, loves returning from a vacation or trip just to hear how good my music is again, etc. Then you start a thread like this and I feel Ok again . I'm not're all as CRAZY as I am!!!!!!!
I am with Paul and Craig and have zero burnout. My second system however is a Lo-Fi one on which I also play cassettes. New intersting music is what it is all about. I have picked up six killer CD's in the last two days, one is the Boz Scaggs "Come on Home" Radio Special recorded live from The Supper Club, NYC. It has radio commercials, interviews and live music. Others are "Appalachian Journey" with Yo Yo Ma, "Dusty Trails" on Atlantic (many female artists), a Haitian folk music CD and Uman "You are Here" which is French techno music. Right now I am listening to "Innovation in Contemporary Japanese Composition" which is way out there.
Long term satisfaction will not be found in material things. There is always better equipment in whatever hobby you choose and if you don't know it, the advertisers will tell you. Dissatisfaction is not all bad. It is what drives us on to invent and create better things. It seems that is what you are doing; trying to create something better. However that is work. You need time for relaxation which brings me to a question. Do you enjoy the music or do you enjoy the sound of the music? As I type , I am listening to Jethro Tull on my computer system and enjoying it. It certainly will not compare to the CJ gear in the main system (which still need new speakers to help get me closer to audio bliss)but I am still enjoying it. After speaker purchase is accomplished I will spend more time listening and much less time researching audio equipment(though I know that speaker matching may be a little tricky).
A quick fix may be to buy a Kenwood receiver, Technics cdp and Bose speakers, hook them up and listen. There is nothing like a little torture to help one appreciate life; even the parts that we thought unacceptable.
A cheaper fix is to go to the "high end" room of Circuit City and listen. This is where the majority of the people get their "high end" gear and they think it's great. I guess ignorance is bliss. And here we are on the threads trying to learn all we can to put together the system which will give us musical bliss. Quite a paradox don't you think?
Hey, Artemus: How interesting that you chose Bose speakers as part of your description of torture. I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly. Back in the days when I was a high end dealer, if a customer came in looking for new electronics but said he was totally happy with his Bose 901's, I would turn around with my back to him and talk to the wall. When I saw the baffled (no pun intended) look on his face, I would explain that I did it because he obviously liked that kind of sound. Sure I lost a few sales, but it was worth it!
Doug, I laughed so hard I almost pooped. The poop theory is alive and well.....Bluenose
Bluenose hit the bullsnose...err eye. So did Mr poop theory. It has happened to me too. Not intentionally but due to family duties etc can't get to sit down for session for few days although I am dying to. But when I listen after say more than few days, I almost always enjoy a great amount. All of a sudden there is the soundstage, detail, dynamics that you always desired. It is like restraining and having sex from weekend to weekend. You always enjoy way more because you been craving for it.
Now if only If I can enforce my own theory and go away from my system to a vacation or business trip that I am always trying to postpone or have it thru telecon, just so that I can go back to my system every evening at 8.00 sharp!!! God ! Force be with me.
I have yet to meet anyone categorically obssessed with this stuff not occassionally dis-satisfied with the crappy sound projecting from, what just days earlier was believed the "ultimate". Four nights ago I replaced the tubes in my line stage, discovering a tautness and detail not heard before. But, today after popping in the same CD, the unforgiveables have returned.
It's hard to nail down the cause. Could be mood swings, bio-rhythms, the humidity...who the f... knows. It does happen way to often, though, and just when I think I have captured the truth in reproduced sound, time will pass taking that illusion along with it.
Often, I ask a fellow listener to help verify that the problem actually exists, get his feedback in order to rectify. An odd thing then happens. We sit and listen. We analyze, we shoot the sh*t, and wham-o. The problem disappears. The focus of what's not right reforms to what is. Again, I can't figure it out. Maybe I ain't supposed to. The money part is definitely getting to me, though. And, the fact that too much time is spent attempting to perfect the defective.
Thanks, kublakhan, for opening the discussion.
Well, to my opinion, Psychicanimal is basically right. We move generally closer to live music with every improvement of our system, but never really get properly close, except for very fleeting and magical moments. So if we compare our setup to a musical instrument, its one we are continuously working on, fine-tuning it, which next to the enjoyment of music can be a pleasure by itself... as well as a pain in the ahem neck, of course. In time our last improvement will seem normal and if we are avid concert goers especially, we will soon get restless again. A good remedy against that, especially if the budget is drained, is to play a LP or CD we haven't listened to for a long time and bingo, the poop is back and wow it smells good.
I sometimes throw my old,old speakers in the system for a session. After one night with my ADS L880's, I put the Proac 3.8's back and the poop smell comes right back.
Well chosen words and nicely put, Detlof. Especially the analogy of the musical instrument. Live, unamplified music is THE reality check.

In my particular case, I listen to most any kind of music. From orchestral to salsa/merengue/cha-cha back to chamber ensembles. From jazz to rock to electronic to Celtic. Creating a system that will be able to play ALL these genres and variations in recording quality is, in my opinion, the most challenging.

What do I do? I have programmed my mind that once I finish setting up my system what I get is what I get. Period. I have to optimise sound quality and musical enjoyment. Beyond that point the system will start becoming ruthlessly revealing and the defects of my not so great recordings (a good chunk of them)will stand out. The resolution of the system will interfere with the enjoyment of the music. I learned this working at an audio store while in college. We had B&W 801s wired to a McIntosh rig. The only two rock groups we could listen on those speakers were Pink Floyd and Alan Parsons Project. They sounded awesome, indeed. But what about the rest? Those Dahlquists on the corner, however, were sooo sweet with any kind of music...
The brain is very complicated. And some parts don't behave in an orderly way. The part we call "self" is just a small bit of all the stuff in there. When we are scrutinizing the sounds, the brain bits in use are a DIFFERENT BUNCH than when we are enjoying the sounds. A few highly trained folks have these parts working in harmony. In the rest of use they are on again/off again. today we love what we hear, tomorrow that part of our brain is on vacation, or thinking about that hunk on the tube? or whatever, and the analytical part tears up and spits out critical comments for it's own amusment. And we think we are displeased. And D*mn.. what IS that smell???
Muy bueno, Elizabeth!
You are "eine Kluge". Much agreed.