System matching can be difficult...

Anyone have good ideas on system matching ?

I got to the point where I can hear individual gears in a system, and point out the weak link, but system matching still is difficult for me - fine tuning it.

I am beginning to think this is the reason for my constant upgrade bug - If I were better at matching gears, perhaps I will settle down with a system for a long time to come...
I think I have a well matched system and I feel no need to upgrade or change any componets
Totem Winds
Plinius SA102 amp
Plinius m-8 pre amp
MSB Platium Plus Dac III
Analysis Plus Solo Cables all around
simple but good
Its a start
A sensible solution is to go with a company that designs and manufactures with system matching as a guiding principle, particularly in the source through amplification chain. Unfortunately, VERY few excel at all links in this chain. One company that does is Naim. If you're anywhere near a Naim dealer, give the gear an audition. Speakers being the most personal of audio components, another manufacturer's speakers might be more to your taste. For instance, ProAc does very well with Naim components upstream. Good listening!
Audio Note was the answer to my system matching problem.

I am embarrassed with all the transactions I have on Audiogon because I didn't know about AN gear.
Use this forum to your advantage by searching the archive and seeing what other reputable members are using with your individual components. If no information is found, ask. Also, call the manufacturers. For example, If you own a particular type of speaker, call the manufacturer and ask them what they recommend for amplification. You may want to go to a show...perhaps RMAF in Denver and see what other folks are using with your gear. Instead of trial and error, ask first. That being said, trial and error is a good thing; as you have found out it is a learning experience, albeit an expensive one.
I looked at you systems and noted a lot of old speaker technology. I think that if you focused on one system and built it around a really great modern speaker that you'd get more total enjoyment.

Going to a show, like RMAF, is a great suggestion. (Be sure to stop by Soundings' room, which always sounds great). Focus on finding a "special" speaker, then enlist your dealer's help and/or A'gon to help you put together a really synergistic setup.

Thanks for all the posts !
Especially Dave - I appreciate you taking the time to look at my systems and putting in the effort to shed light on this subject.

I gained a few good ideas.
I agree that it is difficult, the only way, other than sticking with one manufacturer, is to audition for a while, in your system, before buying. I think one reason for constant upgrading is having equally performing kit in your system. There is always one item holding back the rest, you upgrade that, then the rest of the system holds the new kit back and on and on
I have found that sticking with one manufacturer can also cause problems, because you end up with a single vision: a 'sound' that the designers favor. This is especially true with english companies such as Linn and Naim, which tend to be pleasant and detailed, but ultimately dry and unemotional IMO. I think the the fun and challenge of audio is THINKING FOR YOURSELF and trying things until they work in your space. Every room is unique, so you cannot really know anything until you do a home audition. No matter how tight the hype might be, don trust anyone but yourself, ultimately. The ears know best.
System matching is hard but of course of primary importance for good sound.

The fact that it is not easy is probably one of the biggest reasons people continuously modify their systems.

Another reason is that it is fun to dabble and see what more is possible.

Another reason is that tweaks may be needed to get best results with the same system in different or new rooms/living accomodations.

Another is that peoples hearing and tastes change over the course of their lifetime.
The title of your post is perfect. I agree with Chashmal and Louis Armstrong: "If it sounds good, it is good."

Too many people listen to their systems instead of the music, and they are 2 different things. My own system is evolving, but since I live in a NYC apartment, combine home theater with 2 channel, and don't make a ton of money, everything is a compromise. I have my own idea of what sounds good, and therefore it is good. So although I'm upgrading like everyone else (cables now), I point my purchases in the direction of my idea, and enjoy what I have.