Number of yrs. to reach the finished line?

Ten long years and way to much $$$ lost running sometimes backwards and sideways.

No more for me. I am very happy with the end result and can live a very long time with what I have built.

The Lampizator / Tenor was what brought me to the end and took the longing out of me for better sound.

What say you?
I tried to say the same thing to myself...25 years ago. I'm still searching, but I am getting closer.

Glad to hear you've found your nirvana and your quest is complete weedhopper.
I have been at this for 35 years, and just recently got to a place where I feel like maybe posting my system in the "done for now" category. For me, a series of recent acquisitions produced the synergy I had been looking for. In particular, a pair of Wilson Benesch Curves are the linchpin to my new-found satisfaction. I am hoping to be done "fiddling" for good long while.
great. i've been setting up systems since 1975 and will never quit even if i win the lottery. ha. i have recently got to the point of diminishing return i can stand and would have to spend a lot more money to get just a bit better sound. so for now it is just experimenting with room treatments, and a powercable and.........ha
I just retired last year, and blew a bundle on what is to be my 'last' setup. I am already thinking what i want next....
Of course some of the stuff i just bought will probably stay... maybe...
(Ps I have had a stereo since 1960's)
Started when I was 15 with my first table-I'm getting buried with an mp3 set to random!
I've been hard at it since 1985 and I am done. Well unless something breaks.
Just Started about 2 years ago. I like where I am now but the search for perfection is ongoing. Isn't continuous improvement what this hobby is all about?

If one could go to the store and by the perfect system in a single visit, it would not be much fun.
"IF" one could go in a store and buy the perfect system.. Then this would not BE a hobby!!
I can remember my first "system" back in the late 60's. Hope to God I never find that I'm satisfied. I look here daily to see what else I can play with hoping that I'll find something that will "move my soul"
" What say you "

I say I feel the same as you do , However the influence of ones financial health cannot be overlooked. Get too healthy in that area and it always becomes easier to justify a little more expense at least easier than it was to do it all the years that financial health wasn,t there and still did it anyway. So I,ll say I'm done...... at least till I'm "healthy" enough to afford a kick ass all tube system and enough tubes to roll for the next 30 years!

Over 60 years and during that time have had 5 "Final" systems
That is also why tubes are fun because you can change the sound of the system by tube rolling although that can also get expensive. My power amp has 16 KT-88's
Finish line! There ain't no stinkin finish line!
There I said it, I have been at this for 35 plus years and have yet to see a finish line. You do get pit stops, some long ones a few years and some short ones only a few months but that is all. The never ending search, that's the fun of the trip. For me anyway.
It has taken me six years of effort to cludge my system together to the point of complete satisfaction. (I still wish to install dedicated lines but that is for completeness rather than seeking out audio improvement.) During the journey, never having excess money seemed to cause great frustration for me as I knew what direction in sound to continue to improve towards but could not get there fast enough. But looking back on it now I feel it was a blessing as it forced me to do far more investigation and be very disciplined with my selection process. Limited funds kept me from purchasing "flavor of the month" gear and instead forced me to rely more on my own ears than others' opinions. I still lost some money on some of the items I've replaced over the years but each replacement was always a great improvement towards the sound I was chasing.
40 years in the hobby and I think I'll be looking for a new preamp at my funeral.
The 'end' you think, but I've been at this for over fifty years and there is no end, but the grave. Looking forward to heaven, when music will be endless.
Gotta say, I have no current plans for major changes. I have owned the Aerial 9's for about 5 years, Lector for 3 yrs. and Tom Evans Vibe/Pulse for 3 years (off and on - I have owned several of them). I have only had my Clayton amps about a year, but with the upgrade to current product, I cannot imagine wanting different amps. The only possible near-future changes I foresee would be with my source, where I am currently going between the Lector and a MUSE, and also by potentially adding server based music.

To get here required some stops, starts and sideways moves to try new things which usually were not aligned with my sonic preferences. I have found simpler to be better for me, by staying mostly away from tubes, simplifying support options with Herbie's products, and getting off the cable merry-go-round. In summary, I will not say I am totally done forever but, for now, I will move forward at a much slower pace since my current system sounds great to me, I am a little tired of the upgrade process, and I have other ways I would prefer to spend my time. To answer the OP question, I started upgrading my previous system of 15 years around 1999, so it has taken 12 years to achieve my current system.
There is no finish line. It's like quitting smoking. You are really just putting off having the next one.

30+ years at it and still messing around.
Perhaps no finish line, but certainly a place and time for complete contentment in a system that can last for years.

Soundlab M1 speakers with a powerful (600 watts/side) SS amp and nice tube preamp has taken me to that place. I am certainly done for now, but perhaps not finished for life.
Forgot to mention 32 years at this hobby.
There's an "Finished Line????".....DANG!
Did you notice that most of us "old farts" have been playing with equipment for a long, long time and hope(I can only speak for myself)to do so until we can't hear any more. I feel like a pup compared to some of you elder statesmen!
Before you can even think about finding the finish line, you have to actually know what you want to hear from your system. For example, if you like the Virtual Dynamics sound over the Stealth sound, that tells you something.

Next, you have to open up yourself and seek out and if you're lucky enough to find someone who knows more than you and understands what you're looking for, listen to them.

My search ended when I found Roger (Irish65), Peter Israelson, Craig Hampel (CH Acoustic), John Pharo (The Cable Company) and Mark (Tone Studio) and actually listen to them.

It doesn't sound like you've gotten there Gary, it sounds like you're still flying on your own. The reviews and Audiogon forum contains too many opinions by audiophiles who don't know you personally and your personal preferences.

being satisfied with one's stereo system is very subjective.

i have one priority which i have yet to achieve--accuracy of timbre. i have not yet reached it. i doubt i ever will. so i have to accept some inaccuracy. i haven't decided when i reach a level of inaccuracy that is acceptable, so i continue to make adjustments.
Right when I think I've arrived at the finish, someone will come along and throw something at me to make me change my mind. I believe I've arrived with my last purchase. My system has had ups and downs. The last upgrade should be my last. Just tired of trying to one up the last change. It sounds sweet, and I'm pleased. No need to waste any more time or money for a meager gain.
oh yeah, I started playing with audio in the early 70's.
Audio truth No.___, Just when you think you have reached the Finish Line, someone moves the line a little further from where you are. It is a natural law, I think:>)
Glory: How long have you had the Lampizator and Tenor?
30 days.

Speakers have to stay as they are one of the few that will work in my room.

Cables stay as they have the sonic signature I want in my system

Dac is staying as it made my digital sound as good or better than my ex TT.

Tenor amps are as good or better than Atmasphere amps and the OTL amp is what works best with the Zu speakers.. They stay.

MM stays put.
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't you used to own the Weiss Minerva? If so, I assume you prefer the Lamp. Can you briefly compare the two? I'm considering the Lamp dacs in the furture.
The trick is not to go backwards or sideways , you must move ahead to get the rewards this hobby has to offer .
The Weiss Minerva was SS sounding and had a narrow sound stage.
The Lamp is in another league. Sounds like my ex TT or better.

Demo for 7 days and hear the sound of a truly great sounding dac.
My quest will never stop for as long as I can hear at least a single note. That doesn't mean that I am going to spend a fortune though; just $500 on every piece on average including a set of isolation cones, no more.
I don't think there is a finish line .
I think that there is a finish line, but it's made by each individual. I think that point is when an individual says "I am fine right here".

It may be because they are really content with the sound from their system, which has the best chance of lasting. A lot of times someone may vow to stop because of the money spent, but that doesn't always last.

What Roger and Peter have shown me is that there is a point where you can be content if you know what you like and how to achieve it.

But in order to reach that point, you have be willing to accept the help and guidance of people in the industry who really know what they're doing and talking about, and will help without allowing monetary gains to be the driving force.

Listening to music is a great experience , but if It wasn't for tinkering with my system or the systems of other club members I think I would lose interest quickly . Shouldn't a hobby be ongoing . Improving things and then listening for improvements or changes is fun , educational and highly entertaining , for me .
We often swap components , cables , cords or something with other members temporarily so the cost is usually nile and if you learn something it may save you money in the long run .
I know that everyone is different, in both what they listen for in music, why they listen to music and as you said, the fun of experimenting with different components.

But I listen to escape and relax, and I'm 57 and have been actively buying and upgrading since I hit college. That's forty years, and a lot of different components and a lot of money.

I'm finally at the point where I want to enjoy my music without wondering what's next, because what's next is getting ready to retire.

At some point you would have to change the listening room and possibly the house. How many of us would go that far?
Even now my modest $7.5k in used prices system would sound much better if I could move it to a better room which I cannot do. But that wouldn't stop me from upgrading. Though my stereo is not a true hi-fi yet it is very sensitive to even small changes; that's good to keep the hobby going. It is not at all only about music, it is also very much about the sound as we all know.
Inna , your almost right . When the wife mentioned she had found a house with a pool and that we would be moving , my first and only question was , is the living room symetrical .
This is funny, I just thought about this idea and then i ran across this thread. It took about 20 years for me.
Trying friends wire/ gear for free is fun but is this an addiction for many members here like crack/sex/eating disorder/smoking etc...
Addiction or not, if it is more or less under control it's OK.
I don't think the love of music and audio is really an addiction . Those that have had a real addiction will no what I mean .
could someone define what "finish line " means ?

is it contentment with the sound oy our stereo system?

is it the satisfaction of your sonic criteria, as confirmed by the sound of your stereo system?

or is it the correspondence or lack thereof between the sound of an instrument on a recording to the sound of the same instrument, unrecorded ?
Finished with buying / selling and searching for the perfect sound.

Enjoying the fruit of your labor when you turn on your system and not going into a travail for some new Footers for your dac.
I have accepted the limitations of my listening space. So, not long ago I dialed back on gear a bit. Any future purchases will be a lateral move out of curiousity.
Depends on your bankroll. If you have a butler to move your speakers just right for the sweet spot, it doesn't take long.
I'm done. I'm very happy with the sound I get. Maybe a real RCM at some point but nothing more in the system.
hi glory:

thanks for your explanation. i believe what you are saying is that satisfaction with the sound of your system is , essentially , the finished line.

i wish it were so easy.
i haven't decided when i reach a level of inaccuracy that is acceptable, so i continue to make adjustments.

This is how i feel as well. The problem is, I doubt I will ever find a level that is 'acceptable' for the long term. For me, it's about the journey, not the destination.
Reaching the destination is where the fun starts. The journey is like hell at times with the loss of $$$ to go backwards/sideway.

How many times did you try a tweak/ component only to find yourself eating BS after owning the stuff for a while. Frankly I found it quite boring at the end. Time to conquer something new.

The Tenor amp and the Lampizator dac has transported me to my destination.