Psychological audio, proceed slowly

I just have to take a moment to tell you of the scariest experience in my life.
I went to my shrink last Friday and we spent a great deal of time talking about how I've been imagining things lately. I was concerned that I was paranoid or something so we talked about what was going on lately and what might have contributed to this anxiety. Well of course Audiogon came up and the fact that I was hearing differences in power cords and the like, and that it was explained to me that this is all psychological. Well, talk about opening the proverbial can of worms! After a lot of tears and major confusion, he sent me away with the suggestion of how I could use this phenomenon to my benefit and not let it destroy me any more. I got on my left knee and kissed his hand thanking him for again saving me from my intense insanity.
Well tonight was the night to try out or plan. I went into my listening room, unplugged all my fancy wires and expensive snake oil and got back to the reality of life. I picked up some brand new interconnects from "the shack" on my way home from the Doc's and used these beauties along with my stock power cords that have been in storage, some since they arrived in my house. I was most excited by the piece of equipment I got today, following Stevemj's lead, I bought a Carver 1000w amp knowing that Bob Carver is the most underrated audio mind in the business I felt this was a steal! Well given the facts as told to me here at Audiogon, amps of similar specifications all sound the same, wire doesn't matter and I took the final step concluding that heck, speakers, must fall into the same category. I already have a SACD player so I'm covered there and in that I've been told distortion is good, my tube pre-amp will fill out the system perfectly. So as directed by the good Doctor, I hooked up the system and plugged it in.
Now is were things get a bit tricky, so please pay attention, I'm only going to say this once. Psychology tells us that our surroundings and our experiences in those surroundings are complete fabrications of our minds. If I believe in it, then it's true. That's how the mind works and I have a note from my Doctor to prove it!
So when the power came on, I was amazed, dead quite, not even the smallest of hiss from the speakers. This was going to be cool, I could sense it now. I pulled out my favorite SACD, Duke Ellington, "Blues in Orbit" and cranked up the volume. WOW, the detail was perfect, it was as if Duke was sitting in my livingroom cranking on the bones. The entire orchestra was there in full 3-d imagery, and my God I had no idea the depth could be so finely focused. It was like the cymbals were floating in space with multi-colored tone radiating from all 360 degrees. I was completely entranced in the holographic presentation taking place in front of me. I closed my eyes and let my imagination run with the sound. My system had been transposed to among the best. I thought of the great systems I've read about, focusing on one from Stereophiles V0l.19, No.6. Then something all together unexpected and actually quite frightening happened. I saw myself with long straight sand color hair, down to the middle of my back. My rippling muscles were defined even through the frilly shirt I had unbuttoned to my navel. I think I was Go... no I was FABIO! My system was comprised of the special order Martin-Logan "Statement" speakers with Krell KIS Reference A monoblocks at 1800 watts of pure class A. this was incredible, I saw myself sitting in my "loft" in Manhattan, sitting back in the ribbon chair" as my wife K-10 brought me another drink and my servant K-9 brought a pillow. There I sat in all my arrogance and all my greatness when the door bell rang and there at the door were my best audio buddies, Steve, Jostler and 70242.241. They brought over some new electronics text books for me to check out.
It was at about this time in my neurosis that I began to feel very paranoid. I realized I was in a major hallucination, but I could not get out. Somehow, in all this delusion I remembered something from my childhood. "There's no place like home, there's no place like home, it's only a movie, your father is sexually attacking you, you are a worthless waste of a human life..."
I jumped to my feet, standing shaking in a cold sweat. HELP! I ran over to the outlet and pulled the plug on this hated experience. I was O.K., I'm in my own house and that's my family behind me, looking at me with fear and concern. I told them I was fine, just a bit overwhelmed by the system. It was that moment I replaced all my old designer cords, my old inadequate amp and left the room.
God I hope I get the courage to walk in there again someday. I can tell you one thing for sure, this psychology stuff had best not be underplayed, it's powerful stuff! Unless your fully prepared to act like Jonathan Scully, look like Fabio and have your friends become electro nerds, I'd recommend proceeding slowly on your upgrades. And be sure to understand the extent you mind can play tricks on you! I wish you all a good day, and be sure to visit your shrink soon! J.D.
JD don't worry, you will be fine. Instead of seeing that shrink I would eat a lot of New Zealand RHUBARB. It helps forming antibodies against electronic gubledeegook and as a rule lets you upgrade safely.
Trolling, JD?

I'm disappointed.

Get a bag of some product best used in a water pipe and a very large bag of Oreos. This combo helps any system, regardless of cost. Or so I'm told. Also helps old Cheech and Chong movies to become much more hillarious. ;>)
Graduate English and Expression: A+
Imagination: A+
Reality for the untrained ear, however I know what my ears hear :-}
JD you have too much spare time, go listen to some music instead of writing long exposes.
Whether i agree with your point or not, this is basically a direct attack at both frequent contributors and viewpoints that more than a few people share. As such, it has NO place here. Try spending the same amount of time writing some helpful posts. Sean
PS... If you get "negative" votes on this one, it's not from me.
I know that I risk some neg votes on this, but I will not lurk on this one.

In my opinion, it’s one thing when passionate people get wrapped up in a discussion, without appropriate thought to their style before expressing themselves, leading to some perceived and some real personal attacks.

It’s quite another, when someone purposefully sets out, in a mean-spirited, pre-meditated way, to personally attack.

The later case is how I view this thread and find it very disappointing.
Discom – bebop- ulate
A sort of confusing post.
If you want to read something high quality about the psychology behind audiomania, read Markus Sauer in the Jan 2000 Stereophile, there is a part about why certain people get too wrapped up in technology, i.e., they may lack a secure sense of being loved as people and idealize equipment (things they can control) to make up for this void. I hope only a minority of audiophiles are motivated like this, perhaps all the crazy internet posters are among them.
Sean, I just posted +2/+2 for you. I could not have said it better. We need to concentrate on making better music and helping those with whom we have something to share.
Jadem, the only mind playing tricks here is yours. fuhgeddaboudit!
I'm not sure I understand the purpose of the original post, but I find it interesting that some of you took offense at it. I do believe that we tend to hear what we want to hear. and if that is the meaning behind this post, then I agree. I also find it interesting that whenever someone challenges the validity of expensive cables, some people get all upset and accuse them of having bad hearing. I bet that those who are upset have invested a small fortune in these cables.

I think that well chosen, high quality electronics and speakers connected by inexpensive low inductance and capacitance cables will yield as pleasing a sound as those connected by the ultra expensive cables. I'm not saying it won't sound different, But it won't sound better. I just replaced $8000 worth of cables with less than a $100 worth and I am very happy. Yes it does sound different, but I can make a lot more of a difference by moving my speakers around a bit than I can with these cables. For that matter, I bet if I spent the same $8000 on a better set of speakers that integrated well with my room and electronics, there would be a tremendous payback compared to the cables.

Think about it for a minute. Can you seriously tell me that investing $8000 more in wires is going to make more of a difference than investing $8000 in a better set of speakers, or a better amplifier or other electronic component? Until your system gets the point that you have the finest components possible, it is my contention that you are wasting your money on expensive cables.
Good wires are less expensive than a good psychiatrist. Cheers. Craig.
Wow, I'm very suprised at the feedback. Thank-you for the comments along with the votes, at least I understand your objections. As for the purpose of this post, I thought it would be worthwhile to laugh at ourselves and how serious we tend to get. I didn,t see it as an attack, but it is very clear from you all that I went to far. Sorry if I insulted you, I just thought we could have some fun. I forgot that humor is not allowed on Audiogon. I'll go back to my proper behavior, and again THANK-YOU FOR THE WRITTEN FEEDBACK.
hear, hear bruce483
jd: if this thread were an audition tape for your standup routine, i'd suggest you keep your day job. like a number of others, i'm dissappointed, too. but i'm willing to write off this feeble attempt at humor as an abberation and expect you'll continue your positive contributions of which you we know you are quite capable. i don't mean to hector but offer my views as one might suggest to his neighbor that he let his dog out a little later in the morning. -kelly
JD; You're right about humor. I hope it never becomes unacceptable on Audiogon, and I thought your thread hilarious up to the point where you specifically mentioned Audiogon member's User Names. At that point it unfortunately became somewhat personally insulting, and you've now picked up on that yourself. BTW, I have a tendency to be somewhat sarcastic myself, but I try to use sarcasm as humorously as possible. I didn't want to "lurk" on this one. Cheers. Craig.
Bruce, I think you may be misinterpreting things a bit. I think that the average amount of most Audiogon members' budget for cables is around 15%, some have cables worth about 30% of their total outlay, but they got it second hand at around the same 15% of budget. Given $8000 to buy with, I doubt many,if any AG members would spend it on cables, unless they already have their hearts desire in hardware. I bet most would upgrade their source, amp or speakers first, and then pick some highly regarded cables. My amp cost $2400,my interconnects $200, my power cord $130. I have tried $700 interconnects on this system, and guess what, they sounded great. I would love to buy them, but must wait until I can get a good deal on them, with $700 to use, I might put that towards something that gets me a little more bang for the buck (SACD, HDTV tuner). If you truly had $ 8000 in cables you should have a $50,000 system to go with them, otherwise you did exactly what you are accusing AG members of doing....overspending on cables, and it would be no wonder you wanted to get rid of them.
Bmpnyc, you stated "with $700 to use, I might put that towards something that gets me a little more bang for the buck", which is exactly my point. After getting some decent low priced cables, it is my contention that you can always "get a little more bang for the buck" by spending your money on better components until you've upgraded them to near the peak of what is currently the best. Then you can think about getting that last bit of performance by finding the cables that work best with your system and tastes.

By the way, I don't think I misinterpreted because your price analysis was right on the money (no pun intended). The $8000 I mentioned was retail, but like any smart shopper, I got them for a lot less right here on Audiogon. The percentages you mentioned were very close though. The cables came to about 20% of the retail value of the whole system. I stand by my belief that I can get more bang for my buck by buying speakers or an amp that retails for $8000 more than mine, than I could by putting the $8000 worth of cables back in. Besides, I have taxes to pay in a few weeks and the money I got for them will come in handy.
Bruce, Sorry if I wasn't clear enough, I actually agree with most of your points, but do not feel that AG members are being defensive, I find them to be very open minded, but they take exception when people try to invalidate their hard earned experience, (not necessarily including yourself). As for expensive cables not making as signficant a difference as some claim, I agree there is some hype and exagerration but let me relate this experience. I was given four power cords to try, and told by a friend to keep whichever one I liked, (as a return for a favor) Not knowing anything about the various brands or their price I proceeded to carefully test each one in my system. Most were good, but one of them brought such undeniable realism and life to the
music that no other choice came close. Usual cost of this power cord (Yamamura Quantum) $1500. I did not include this in my previous post because it was a gift and not purchased, I could live quite happilly with another one of my $130 power cords (Harmonic Technology Pro11 AC). So, even though I would not spend that much money on a power cord given the cost
of the rest of my system it sure did make quite a difference. If I had a higher end amp and preamp I would want to be sure I was getting the most out of my system as possible and be willing to spend time and a reasonable amount of money on the right cables for that system. But, if I only had $1500 to spend on an audio item, it would not be a cable, but probably a high end 5 channel amp. Good listening to you anyway with cheap or expensive cables.
Come out, come out, whoever you are.Why not contribute to this thread, and state for the record exactly what part of my discussions you disagree with or find offensive? Instead of using the easy way out and pushing the -2 button, or is there something spiteful and personal going on here?
Bmpnyc, you will get +'s for reasons hard to fathom out, such as you will get minus points without exactly knowing why. I also wish people would speak out either way. But mostly they don't seem to, with some notable exceptions however. I would not worry too much. I try to take it like the weather....
I think once you have components that will show the difference then go ahead and spend all you want on cable. The better cable will all ready be in place down the road when you want to upgrade the other stuff but you might as well get all you can out of what you have now. Bmpync, I evened the vote out for you.
Geez, how many folks can find that one offensive? Still shows -2,-2... Somebody must be having a bad day.
No money, he's back to zero now!
Hi Everyone, Thanks.
JD, you smokin' banana peels?
Jim, watch out you don't slip on one. (-:
I Cant thNIk strat siz I brrrrrokE my MUUUUsi c Macuin?
IIIIIII was jusT liszennnin To some MUUUSIC anD BAM mY brain friED. DDDo you thinKKKk it was the Nordost cable Iiii Just bnoougHTTTT ?? ????
Must be a +/- war. I gave no_$$ 2+2+ to bring him back to 0/0(again, apparently) Gotta swat those pesky - flies.