Sometimes my system sounds great, sometimes awful

Does this happen to any of you? Sometimes I find that my system sounds great, but sometimes, with the same record, same everything, it sounds awful! It drives me nuts. Do we hear differently depending the time of day, our mood, heat, cold... other circumstances? Whenever I think I have to replace a component or trash a cable I tell myself to wait until the next day to overcome upgradetitis.
Yes, your hearing varies considerably throughout the day, and day to day. Humidity, temperature, barometric pressure, all contribute to hearing differences.

Happens to all of us.
Yes, in AZ during the summer with everyone using air conditioning I find the quality of AC power is bad it robs my system of smoothness, detail, and fullness. After 10pm at night it improves. Sounds best when it is cold outside!
check the archives

this has come up before with no firm answer
I sometimes think mine sounds great. I sometimes think it sounds not so great, but never awful.
I get that feeling a lot.
Completely agree with you, Vmm. Have you noticed if other systems, such as your car, also sound good or bad when your main system does?
When it sounds bad and two more fingers of Bourbon on the rocks:-)
Its natures way of telling us to upgrade.
Maybe you should get a super duper system - the kind where the system costs more than your home, then it will sound great all the time, any day of the year...:-)
The only thing I notice is that things do sound better after a few hrs of being powered on and everything has come up to operating temperature.
the poster who mentioned the power coming out of the wall is probably right on. I lived in an area with a stressed power grid, and I was shocked at the improvment I heard when I added a good conditioner with battery back up. Made a huge difference, more than anything else, tweak wise, I have ever tried.
"Do we hear differently depending the time of day, our mood, heat, cold... other circumstances?"

You left out recent noise exposure, current condition of sinus's, current emotional bias (I just changed this thing so now I'm going to believe music sounds better or worse), social pressure, humidity, ego, and probably lots of other stuff I'm not considering.

On the bright side, your knowing about all this stuff ("tell myself to wait until the next day") can save you a boatload of cash over the long haul and keep you from stepping backwards now and then.
I've read mixed opinions on conditioners, some say they kill dynamics, probably not all of them.
What I notice the most is how sometimes everything sounds flat and muddy, then sometimes I wonder how everything's sweet and engaging. Maybe I have bi-polar ears.
I experience the phenomenon often. I think Macdadtexas (and the poster to whom he referred) has the best single answer in terms of gear. Not only are there different power draws throughout the grid at different times of day, but there is a different level of electronic interference in the air (including household) and in the grid. If I had to pick times when my gear (generally) sounded the best, it would be early in the day--say 7:30-8:00 a.m., and a couple of hours after dark. So, even though I don't have one, a power conditioner seems like the one thing that could level off SOME of the inconsistencies. I've been eyeing the newest Shunyata conditioners (especially the Triton).

The other thing to blame is simply our moods. Plenty of people have alluded to that. Kind of like a biorhythm thing. In my scenario both of the timeframes I mention are either before the tension of the day is built up (a.m.) or when I have escaped it at night. Sometimes my system sounds the worst when I am trying to use music to get away from the BS/stress. Of course, nothing has changed about the gear--it's all in my head (stress, etc). There are times I just cannot get real joy out of my gear and some of those times I even blame the gear! It's idiotic, of course. I'm sure that even after I manage to assemble some sort of undefined "ultimate system" (for my means, anyway)I'll still have plenty of moments where the music is still not totally in synch with my head. It's those moments when it IS that I treasure.
In addition to the incoming power do you have a dedicated circuit for your system? Not sure if that would help but when I added 2 for my system the noise floor dropped significantly. That being said my incoming voltage varies from 119V to 127V and I hear no differences at either extreme. Before I knew my voltage was all over the place I added a 2.4KVA balanced isolation transformer that lowered the noise floor even more. Since then I have taken it out because there was a 2V gain on the output and at 127v I had 129V out. Can't be good for my tubes. Personally when funds permit I'm going to look into voltage regulators.
>>Sometimes my system sounds great, sometimes awful<<

Don't listen when it sounds awful.

Read a book or play Angry Birds or get drunk.

Maybe a nooner with the wife.

Power problems certain time of the day dude.
It seems that many of you agree that power conditioning is a good thing. What is a reasonable power conditioner solution that doesn't break the bank?
Better at night. Quieter and more constant power, the world around you is quieter, even your own mind may be less noisey, yielding better signal to noise ratio and bettter dynamics. Limited by paranoia about disturbing others.
Lloydc, you are right. It's 0:45AM and everything's place. Even listening to Spotify free via a bluetooth connection seems to work okay. I also suffer the paranoia about disturbing others, but now that I think of it, maybe the paranoia of being all alone with music blasting at night would be even worse, I could end up looking over my shoulder. Late night listening has also teached me that you can get a lot out of low volumes with a good system. Regarding filters and such I've just realized something, this also happens to me when I play guitar! My acoustic sometimes sounds awful, and sometimes it's wonderful and sings with a light touch. No power outlets or cables involved there, so I vote for the mood, sinus, stress, manic-depressive ears theory.
Audience aR1p gets good reviews and can be had for <$350 used
Fall and early winter mine sounds like a clock radio until the weather stabilizes and my ears adjust. I guess its a sinus thing, although I have no real symtoms of sinus problems maybe only pressure. Its like this every year, when I am laid off (construction work) its not as bad, as I am inside more. But if I am working nothing sounds good.