Sound. Isn’t sound the quest? The ultimate goal? The bottom line? The reason or the basis for spending more money? The reason you are never satisfied? The rationale behind labeling yourself an Audiophile? Why I have to own six different Headphones? Does the obsession get in the way of common sense when it comes to an equalizer like the Schitt Loki and now the new Lokias?


I mean, I have what others have in Klipsch Forte… they are the first generation… they sound great. Some say Klipsch SOUND “tinny”, horny, or harsh. But hey, when I turned my Loki equalizer knobs back-left, down from neutral as I saw in a YouTube video, and played the “fine tune guy” for some differing musical genders, I can make my Forte I sound like a Forte IV, a JBL L100, Focal, etc. And add to that my SVS micro 5000 sub,  my Cary Rocket 88 tube amp, and the DAC in my  Bluesound Node…I mean, if that Loki equalizer working off “WHAT I HEAR” isn’t good enough… what sounds good to my own ears… why not use one? I find that would end discussions, (for some, arguments), about sound… Simply because tweeking KNOBS are not graphs, they are your EARS! They are your sound, according to your acoustics, and what SOUNDS GOOD to you… I mean, is it pride? Isn’t it true that “Ego is not your Amigo” when it comes to folks arguing about Sound? The book “ Get Better Sound”, (which I have)? Shouldn’t we be talking about “ Tweek to Better Sound”?

What do you think?





I bought the Loki for my 2nd system, out of curiosity mostly… Since I have a few recordings that sound muddy in some places. With a twist or two of the knobs.. it really does “fix” some of the recording downfalls..  making for a more pleasing listen. Yet I’m hesitant to place the Loki in my main system as I feel it is a bottleneck in overall SQ. My main rig is very minimalistic and I want to keep it that way.. 

It's not even so much just about solely the sound but overall connecting to and enjoying the music - that is so much of the experience to me.  Over the past couple of years I've cobbled together a 2nd system with mainly used gear that I deliberately wanted to sound different than my main system for some variety.  It includes a Leben CS-300xs driving a pair of Forte III's, a Node2 running through a Benchmark DAC3, and VN Thorens TD-160 Super (using a Tavish Classic and Rothwell MCX SUT + Hana SL). The entire setup cost me much less than just the DeVore speakers in my main system.  I love the 2nd system so much! It is just fun and lets me really jam out and immerse myself in musical joy.  It isn't until I immediately A/B the system against my main system do I even realize there is actually a massive sound quality difference between the two.

If I didn't have my main system I'd be happy as a clam just enjoying my 2nd system and not wishing for more sound quality.  Music and gear can be really fun without breaking the bank but make no mistake, you can get substantially better sound by spending more.  That doesn't necessarily mean you will have more fun with your listening experiences.


Fortunately the audio journey isn’t all ego. I’m old and speaking from experience, I agree with what you said to a point. Yet decades later, I only care about the music and not being competitive or owning a trophy system. 


I concur with your post above 100%.  I built a pass labs designed Amp, the ACA. I have a modi multibit, and use a Magni for a volume control. Speakers are a pair of NHT super ones from 23+ years ago.. I have this setup on my desk at home. I enjoy the heck out of this system.. as you say, I connect with the music and am amazed at how good it can sound for so little money..  The big rig is better in every way, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the 2nd system almost as much.. 

I can see the point of it BEING about the MUSIC. I mean, I’m 68 years old, and I thought closed  KOSS 4A Headphones, back in 1975, listening to ZZ Top, were the “cats meow”. 

I even like my Alpine car stereo in my 2009 Chrysler Town n Country, right, because it’s about the music SOUNDING good! But then, I fall back to the EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE at a specific time that theMUSIC HITS ME… through each systems’ different SOUND… hmmm. 

@woowoo  I have neck injuries from the pro4AA’s , also bought back in the 70’s. Heavyweights . 

Yep. Seems like most every college night, I fell asleep with those Koss 4A Headphones on, sleeping on the mattressed floor, in New Haven, Connecticut. WPLR. 

Nowadays, gotta have a pair of Focals, cannot be single ended. Gotta have the Koss Massdrop electrostatic with the AAA 789 amp, because I listened to reviews from a TALKING HEAD on YouTube expound on what his hearing perceived as “ the “better or the best” to use when listening to a particular type of music, that each product would be warmer sounding… or need smoother highs… or a Planar Magnetic ability to deliver more THUMP… “gotta get it, have to have it”… maybe there’s some sound I’m missing… and yeah, there is no end, take a hit selling it afterward on EBay, rationalize the costs away, and go on with “my hobby”. (Yeah, I don’t waste my money on buying a new car, or sports cars, so “why not”) HaHa

We are all on the journey. I can remember as a kid, in the 1960’s, being absolutely “thrilled” to be the owner of an upgraded “12 transistor” over my old “8 transistor” AM radio… and it even had a earplug port for private listening … stored under my pillow… once again, as I fell asleep, in my bed. 

@mikem , I think once we become a certain age and our hardware no longer works well other issues assume more importance;)  

Imagine what would happen if we all only bought equipment that truly made our systems sound better. 3/4ths of the manufacturers out there would go bankrupt. 

I bathe in the beautiful sound I get from my stereo. What can I say? Listening to my stereo is a treat.

Yes for sure but a little bling too can never hurt.

Disclaimer:  raised in Amish Country. My concept of bling may not be quite up to snuff.

Appreciate y’all’s response. The one WORD that predominantly stands out is : ENJOY!

Growing up around the Boston area, having family work for Bose in Framingham, it was a joy to go into a (Sound Advice- type store like in Ft. Lauderdale to visit Steve Zipser) electric- rubberized -component smell… and make a PURCHASE… get my enjoyment home… plug and hook it up… and produce the SOUND!!!! Ahhh!

As I sit here at work waiting for the next problem to arise out in the mill. I read the daily posts on Agon while listening to Spotify through a JBL charge4.  Not much, I know, but it has a purpose... and ... it sounds great!!  It serves up the music and the emotion to pass the time.

This is simple, the 'SOUND' is an illusion.  It is the intentional delivery of audio information in an effort to make yourself have aural hallucination.  To feel things in your mind triggering memories, emotions, 'feelings' that are generally pleasant.  When done well we call it an 'eargasm', it is a thrilled based on experiences and expectations you have residing in your mind that generate good feelings.

Barry Thornton

Austin Audio Works


LOL,  My wife threw out my Koss 4’s. I had them sitting on a stand for years and one day she decided to use them and the ear cushions crumbled.  She was so grossed out, she tossed them like they were a dead mouse!


20 *impressed*

You ought to clamp them over your extremities and torso and play some drum solos......if you haven't already.  *G*  Why stop at an eargasm when you could have a 'bodybuzz'.....🙄

Explain THAT to the significant other.....

(...after the recovery from the spectacle....)

"Honey?  I think you need audio rehab.....if such a thing exists....."

And today's your lucky day, in time and rhythm for my 20 step program to free you from the killer:  AuditudeAmping.

AudExtremis: How to Sample and Hold Your Audio Itch.

*Coming Soon from Buzzkill Books!*

I'm also a minimalist when it comes to my hifi digital nannies, good wire...blah blah, but I do keep a Loki Mini + in the system as it's utterly transparent. No clue how they managed this but you can flip it on and off, take it out for comparison, pour hot lava on it, subject it to quantum magnetic hypersnot....whatever...and it is signalus non interuptus el mundo.

One of my sources for Mancave Heat in the Winter is my Cary Tube amp. It has no knobs, and feeds from  a Loki +, which gets operation and selection from  my Bluesound Node which has a remote. But in the warmer months, Marantz 2226B will be the power to my Forte 1 pair. (Cooler temps then in the mancave, with my TV)…the Loki will then come back to my AAA789 headphone amp and play along with my Focal headphones, because Marantz 2226B has its own Bass, Mid and Treble knobs.

I haven’t performed  this seasonal switch before.  Do I need to concern myself with the “ sitting idle monthly time” of either the tube Cary amp, or the solid state Marantz receiver…. Waiting for it’s playing season?

I went to college.  We slept all night using a turntable that kept playing.  Abraxas or DSOTM.  Heard all the Yamahas and Advents.  Good sound? Sure.  And we had the best ,music, mid 70's rock.  Kept the bug.  Very nice store here in town.  Bought a Sony VFET and Polks.  Played the hell out of them. 

WIF=no stereo

Bought a house.  Now we're talking.  My friend kept bringing over his amps that he made or fixed.  Some classics.  Quatre, Ampzilla.  Paradigm speakers.  Could never get them right.

I got banished to the basement.  More iterations.  Then due to work, it just all sat in a pile.

My son talked me into seeing if it all worked.  Buzz in the preamp, poor connections, CD player drawer broke. 

Here we are.  Retired, I love music, I have time, started buying stuff.  I got lucky and/or informed and bought pretty good stuff for my tastes.  I kept telling my wife.  Man, this thing sounds good.  Buy another addition, Man this thing sounds good.  On and on.  NOW, I think it is really good. 

The point is: each time, I thought I had really good sound.  Each time I added something it sounded better.  Kept scooting speakers around, etc etc.  Each time it sounded better.  How do I know?  It's in my head.  The few times I went to hear the $$$ rigs were disappointing.  Let alone remember what they sound like.  So, it's what sounds good to me.   PS never liked tone controls.  Don't want to fiddle with every song. 

@woowoo WPLR Harry Minot Station Manager back then. I also listened and listened. One of his sisters an old friend too.

Anyway .. after dinner we usually sit and listen....nothing better although I'm scheming for that someday room that may never happen.


I you are generalizing music as sound then I 200% agree. For me it is not about status or $ it is about the enjoyment if music any way I can get it. If you like what a piece is doing to help you enjoy the music who cares. Figure more than half the people on this site will be critical of a tweek and they never tried it or heard it. They will tell you your speakers suck based on a graph or db efficient number but they have never heard them in person. We still have “audiophiles” who think stereo sound destroyed music, can only imagine hi res is eating at them terribly. The sooner you can move on from needing someones approval of your system the better off you will be. Enjoy the music and be your own judge and jury they sre your ears and all that matters.


the proper use of a “tone control” or eq is not to change each song. The proper use is to enhance a shortfall from the system or the room acoustics. Once you dial in the sound for your room it should be a set it and forget it, not adjusting for every song or artist.

Ultimately you want a system that you enjoy. If equalization works for you, use it.

There are folks trying to build the best system possible, over the long term. I have been working on my for fifty years. There are paths that can get you off track. Equalization is one of them. It fixes issues but creates others. I have tried it several times and ultimately realized it created more problems than it solved. . Basically, I found that I needed to fix the problem directly instead of the symptom to get the most out of my components. If a component was too bright… getting a component that was not too bright got me much further along than did modifying the sound with a equalization… or whatever the problem was. 

Ultimately you want a system that you enjoy. If equalization works for you, use it.

There are folks trying to build the best system possible, over the long term. I have been working on my for fifty years. There are paths that can get you off track. Equalization is one of them. It fixes issues but creates others. I have tried it several times and ultimately realized it created more problems than it solved. . Basically, I found that I needed to fix the problem directly instead of the symptom to get the most out of my components. If a component was too bright… getting a component that was not too bright got me much further along than did modifying the sound with a equalization… or whatever the problem was. 

i agree with @ghdprentice as he stated above

that said, some folks have less time resources bandwidth, and thus a well designed fairly simple unit like a loki can fix some problems

but for a proper longer time answer for a dedicated audiophile really trying to optimize his/her rig, @ghdprentice 's approach is spot on imho


To me, no equalizer will fix problems with songs or your system. I feel I have my room pretty well treated and don’t hear dips or loud frequencies( cancel or add) I have tried to keep the sound as neutral as possible, then I feel I can tell if something changed or still isn’t where it needs to be.

I also don’t listen to music simply because it is recorded "properly". Well ...most of the time.


Years ago I had a rather pricey (for those days) equalizer referred to as a SCAN-ALYZER/EQUALIZER.  Used a microphone to analyze tone and had a thousand levers for fine tuning adjustments, left and right channels adjusted individually.   Based on my results with that unit I would completely agree with you.

Now with a whole new system, I purchased the newly introduced Schitt Lokius a few months ago.  I find it works very well for fine tuning.  This may be because I wanted to add a just touch more treble emphasis to my soft dome tweeters, versus compensate for any weakness in the electronics.  For me it is basically set and forget, same adjustment for all music, not adjusted individually for any particular song or album.

As wolf mentioned:

 No clue how they managed this but you can flip it on and off, take it out for comparison, pour hot lava on it, subject it to quantum magnetic hypersnot....whatever...and it is signalus non interuptus el mundo.

I wish I had learned to speak Spanish.



Yes, I also try to fix as many of the sound issues with room treatment and speaker placement. With phono cartridge selection, you can also tweak a bit. Tube rolling has also helped. Luckily my Tannoys have high frequency energy adjustment pads that help too. But these are just subtleties that come after the room issues have been resolved.

I'm all in for any way to adjust/equalize without another circuit involved. My system has no tone controls so the room set up is critical to me. But then, I lucked out with an old house with nice formal rectangular rooms.

One of my dreams was to own an Eichler Home. But the open architecture that's become so vogue these days really doesn't help.

Give me a pre 1940s home any day. Heavy plaster walls, l solid wood floors and formal, mostly symmetrical room shapes.

Yeah. Conclusion? Be happy with what exists in your present surroundings? It’s like” How long is a piece of string?”

or the old razor blade commercials that promised they would shave you 25% closer or their brand of blades were 25% sharper. Than what? No one knows… no one really knows the truth of sound either. 

Today there are no FACTS anymore, but lots of OPINION… and we don’t use KNOBS anymore to turn on the news. Just my opinion. 

If we cross-examined ourselves, I'll bet we'd be forced to admit that (1) we really dig the industrial aesthetic of audio gear; (2) we need toys like anyone else with discretionary income needs toys, and (3) we really, really enjoy playing with them. There is no end point, nothing that can't be tweaked, never a shortage of new gizmos. A contemporaneous post asks "what are you tweaking this weekend?" Because what other than fiddling with their setups would audiophiles be doing on cold winter weekend days?

A harmless hobby with the added benefit of Awesome, concert-hall sonics that nobody but ourselves will ever get to appreciate.

It’s really true. If you think that TWEAK is the big deke. I mean, what direction do you go? Tweak your speakers… knob them, raise them up, toe them in, pull them away, play on the floor with your sub?

Maybe tweak your room acoustics? Buy a rug? Change the direction?

Or tweak an equalizer?

Gotta play with something… and yes, it all comes down to truth that it’s “ in your head” after all !😂

Any  music reproduction you enjoy is a good "system". While the high end stuff can get absurdly pricey, I think you can actually get better sound for the $ (adjusted for inflation) today than you could in the 70's. From $100 headphones to half million dollar systems, its all fun. 

Funny Koss Headphone story: My roommates in college in the 70's plugged them into the microphone jack instead of the headphone jack by mistake on my Pioneer 939 receiver & realized they were also a good microphone. The battle of the dorms escalated & my speakers got moved to the window facing the quad & regularly in the middle of the night, many kids got woken up to a variety of "greetings". The speakers would then quickly get put back into their normal place before the RA could track down what was happening. This went on for months. 

Put a lp or cd or stream and enjoy your favorite artists, learn to just relax and enjoy the music coming from your system....we always hear with our eyes here....make my system better,better ,better....when will it stop ,well NEVER....until you die......just set back and enjoy what you own....which probably, is alot better than some other people on

Yep. Just listen …some of my friends believe sound or music is to be LISTENED TO. That means… at a level.. to be enjoying it… not BLASTING it… which may be the most common denominator of those that don’t appreciate speaker efficiency. They are prone to overspending, buying amps that they can read their friends power statistics, and have them them say WHOA!


… but it was hard to listen to… most common with the folks that listen with a buzz on… thinking it sounds better that way!

I can’t say I like tweaking things, I would be more happy to plunk things down and enjoy. But I long ago learned that will not get great sound. I will say I now, once I get to a new higher plateau of performance and am very happy to stay there for many years, so I can just enjoy the music.


I learned long ago if you reached the balance of tone and detail that you want, if you then change a component, it is going to resulting in some imbalance (tone or detail vs musicality, etc)… and if not that, some components will then be holding back performance of others (my rule, only 2x or higher investment in a component). Then you get thrown into a new upgrade cycle. But I think it took me twenty years to get to my first really satisfying plateau.