Restrictions, behind the 8 ball.

As a confirmed generalist I have determined there are 8 restrictions directly influencing one's direction in this hobby. It is however possible to either ignore them all or be paralysed by any, some, and/or all of them. If one chooses the first option...more power to you and by all means share the ride.

1. Economic- probably the greatest restriction or right next to....
2. Social- most of us have a significant other who plays a role. If not most of us have neighbors.
3. Philosophical- whatever baggage, assumptions,  experience, we bring to the turntable. It's there for most of us. It can also be an attitude of learning and humility. 
4. Spatial- where is all this stuff going to reside? The dreaded listening ROOM.
5. Aesthetic- very much a lurker; if not specifically you, and I doubt it, see number 2.
6. Auditory--how many of us know our range of hearing? You could even be an outlier and not have a clue.
7. Listening preferences- Metallica or Mendelssohn? Al Hirt or Wierd Al?
8. Choices- yes when you make a choice in this world it can lead directly to restricting your next decision, or distorting a previous decision. 


Been buying hi fidelity gear since 1968.  I am still in the learning curve.  Since my retirement in 2013, budget has been a problem.  Ebay has been good for my budget.  I seldom sell equipment, never sell broken or junky gear.  I do give equipment away, sometimes a complete system.

A hearing test only tests up 10k.  My hearing aids only correct within a limited range up to 10k.  Two different providers told me the industry only test up to 10k-go figure.  I can hear the attack of the cymbals but not shimmer and decay.  This does not stop me from buying good affordable high quality equipment.

Research and due diligence prior to the purchase of any piece of equipment, for me, is a must.  Also type in problems on the computer....with name and model of brand.  Read as many reviews as possible.  I listen to a set of Martin Logan Clarities and various Magnepan planars.

I find Audiogon a richly rewarding source of good information.  And like cars and phones, we all like different gear.  The only question to me is, does your equipment make you happy?  5 years ago upgraditus bit me hard, now, not so much.

I’m in a similar situation with my hearing. My system has to be pretty lively these days. (I’m sure playing drums for many years didn’t help.)

Speaking of gear and budget, I was told there are hearing aids that can restore high level hearing, but they are not common and are pricey. Again, I was told this and can not vouch for it.

You hit the nail on the head, your gear should make you happy!

I don’t know. I think my system is fabulous, and I’m not being bottlenecked by limitation. I guess I’m missing out on the life of a long suffering audio enthusiast. 
Thanks Joe, Interesting thoughts. I like your methodology. I think we weigh all those factors when we look at upgrades, but certainly some overrule others.

I felt the original post was interesting and thoughtful. For me, the post describes exactly why there are so few people who pursue this hobby. It's expensive, it's technical is an unfriendly way (experienced people can't agree on what designs sound good), it takes up a lot of room, and it requires a tolerant spouse (unless you've got a dedicated room your partner can't watch TV when you're playing loud music). The one thing that Joe didn't mention is that there are a lot of people in this hobby who are assholes. If one is going to dive into this hobby one must have a high tolerance for jerky behavior. I think that partly explains the dearth of women audiophiles.

I wouldn't call the choices issue a restriction, however. It's more an issue of philosophy. In my case I seem to prefer the sound of less sensitive conventional speakers and I have a 185 lb. Krell amp (1200 watts @ 2 ohms) to drive them. A friend offered to sell me his hard-to-drive Thiel CS6 speakers and because I had the power to run them I jumped at the chance. I will never be an 8 watt SET guy.

Anyway, if Joe remains as introspective as his post indicates high-end audio will be a rewarding adventure. Coming into this hobby with a philosophical curiosity plus an appreciation of the trade-offs we weigh with every decision is a large part of the fun, at least for me.