The Final Answer

The road has been long and filled with twists and turns, highs and lows...yes, even dead ends. Tons of gear in various homes and rooms. One ideal has been the cornerstone of my quest for the ultimate sound (different for everyone). "Feeling"! All I wanted was to Feel the music, live in the moment of creation, connect with the artists expressiveness and basque in the tonal hues and rhythmic sinew. So simple but so hard to achieve. Both large scale and modest efforts were explored over the years. Bags of money were placed on the hope of conjuring up the magic concoction that could save my soul and allow my spirit to soar with the ethereal creations laid down by my beloved artists. So much time and effort chasing an ephemeral fleeting apparition that could never really take form. So many times my belief was strong. Countless others I was dumbfounded and resolved to living in the grey boundaries of marginal success. Recently I re-evaluated my pursuit and asked myself to reflect on my choices and my goals in assembling a true music making system. What was it that I really thought was worthwhile and how might I try and attempt to experiment a little.

Enter The Final Answer! After taking an inventory of my various systems and my success to failure ratio with certain equipment types and brands, I stirred up my most emotionally moving experiences listening to music. To my surprise, they were not necessarily from one of my mega systems, but from a far more modest and temporary setup! I tried to deny my soul for far too was time to move forward and go back. It was time to go "Back To The Future". I couldn't resist:). First was a trip to one of my local dealers. There I found my present amplification hooked up to an updated version of a speaker that had once moved my soul for more than a year. A year when my family was between homes and the money was tight. A year when I was actually enjoying all my music whenever I turned it on...a system that just connected to the essence of what great music can convey...soul moving emotion! The heart of the system was a pair of Totem Forests. I was unaware of the company or its products but had an epiphany upon spending some quality demo time with the Forest speakers. They beguiled me so much that I bought them on the spot. My amp was a Krell 400xi and my CD SPINNER was a Sony NS999es. The results were emotional, fun and charged with expression and satisfaction. They truly moved my soul! So I listened to the new Totem Forest Signature speakers driven by my Krell Vanguard but utilizing a digital internal DAC fed by a Blue Sound Vault 2. The old was morphing into the New before my ears and I knew what I had to do. I sold my rig and ordered the Forest Signatures and sent my Vanguard back to Krell to get the digital upgrade. I also decided to sell my $12k disc spinner for a Blue Sound Vault.   It is simplicity incarnate yet it stirs my passion again for what should be at the center of this hobby, and that is the music. The music lives and breathes and draws me in and feeds my soul...Totem has granted me access again back to the place where music the Forest!
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Good to hear that your journey has led you back home. "We spend half of our life leaving home and the other trying to return."

Very true!  We all want that feeling of comfort and place like home and we all have a different one.

Happy for your success.  Being an audiophile is not a competition with other audiophiles or even a challenge to yourself.  It's more about enjoying music that is also well reproduced.  That allows for a vast range of equipment at widely differing prices.

Thanks for changing the title.
Being an audiophile is not a competition with other audiophiles or even a challenge to yourself. It's more about enjoying music that is also well reproduced.
Very well said!
Good to hear that you're so happy with your current  system,  but I recall that you have made similar  pronouncements in the past.  I'm thinking of the Krell integrated  for example.
I am using the Krell Vanguard's the 400xi for the 21rst century!  I had Forest speakers before so I have returned to my Totem.  
I think we tend to cling to that which we loved when we were young. I caught an old movie "A Shot in the Dark". Elkie Summers was stunning to me. It took me back to my youth. I had Snell Type B's in 1994. I sold them. I missed them! I bought again two years ago and I've been happy since. Joe
When something connects and can simply communicate the music in a way that we no longer feel compelled to analyze it...that feels like home!  jnovak makes a good point...we want the comfort of that which reassures so we can embrace the music without judging it.

Enjoyed reading your initial post dave.
You make a good point. I have also gone back to old favorites more than once. The process is all about learning what really does it for you, over a period of time.