Ultimate list of guides on how to get good sound.

I just discovered how I can get my system to sound a whole lot better, I bet I will learn a whole lot more in the future. It would easier for me and others if others contribute as well. The latest thing I did was get my first tube preamp and it seems as though my system is a different system one thats much better.
We think it's to deal with room acoustics--but that's our own occupational hazard (yes, we probably are a bit biased towards room acoustics). That being said, we do really believe that you can spend relatively few dollars on acoustics that can go a long ways--particularly if you are the DIY type. For others, they may need a full design option, which can be more expensive, but considered to some of the equipment, is still a bargain.

Our resource page can help quite a lot, from DIY and articles that can help with acoustics. The one thing for sure is--don't ignore the acoustics in your room!

Rives Resource Page
I have to second Rives' response. Not to sound like a shill, but I have become a firm believer in the "room-as-component" school.

I am biased, of course, as I am a client of Rives' services. I can say that it is the single best upgrade I have ever done, and I only had the level one service performed.

Too many people overlook the issue of acoustics in their listening room, and wind up spending upgrade after upgrade, and thousands of dollars only to continue to be disappointed in the result. For the cost of a component upgrade, I invested in Rives' consultation, and went with the acoustical treatments they recommended and have been amazed (as have my friends in my listening group) at how great music now sounds in my room. Notice how I said how great the music sounds and NOT how great the equipment sounds?

Many other AudiogoM members have far more high-end setups than I do and have spent far more money than I did with their Rives designed rooms, so I don't think I am alone on this one.
Adding a tube preamp to my system a few years ago yielded great improvements as well. Fuller, more natural music with the ability to sound powerful when called upon and delicate when needed. Adding a tube preamp is definitely no guarantee to audio bliss, just one way of helping to transform an analytical system into an emotional one.

What Rives and Slipknot1 offer regarding room acoustics I feel is unarguable and fundamental to achieving good sound. It's the reason that after 15 years of trying, I stopped investing money in car stereos. The best gear in an unsuitable environment can only be so good.

So, after all my pontificating, click on my virtual system and have a gander at my "optimal" acoustic setting. Heheh. At least I'm happy.
Power, resonance control, and acoustics.
Speaker positioning! This is where inches really count! :P
a record or cd you really love.
Here is my advice: Read anything and everything you can find on acoustics...and then keep re-reading untill it slowly begins to sink in.

While this approach does not have the glamour of that shiny new component we have just added...it gets better results.