Upgrade...Sounds great...Goes away

Has anyone experienced this?

You upgrade your system, componenet, cable etc
You reach another level of detail, transparency etc
You listen to a few of your records/sacd's etc and you cant believe how much better it sounds
You wait a few days and the perceived effect is not really noticable or is pretty much diminished
So you have to repeat step one
When you get to repeat step one above, is about the time my wife hits me in the head with a club. Sometimes I still repeat your process though :)
That's so true. Probelm is we haven't figured out why the sound got worse and if it's only temporary.

Maybe best to wait a few more days and see if it comes back.
I think we invariably grow accustomed to the new level of resolution / fidelity that is achieved with upgrades to our audio systems. Over a short period of time, our ears are no longer surprised by the improvements, and we subconsciously begin to simply expect that the system will perform at the new level.

I honestly think that, if we were somehow able to wave a magic wand and transform our regular listening rooms into ideally positioned windows onto a great concert hall, we would soon grow accustomed to even this - arguably perfect - live music sound.

All this reminds me of the Keats poem, Ode on a Grecian Urn. Often the excitement of the chase is more rewarding than actually achieving the goal.

"Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on..."
the 'biggest'break-in and 'upgrade' in audio is in our heads.
The best thing to do with ANY upgrade is to unwind it after a little while to make sure that the changes you are hearing are actually improvements and not just differences. Yes, you will get used to them over time and just fold them into your expectations.

Another truism is when you go listen to someone else's system and you don't hear those same improvements/changes that you got from your upgrade. Remember, everyone's reference is their own system, and you know that sound intimately. Other people's systems are based on their ears and preferences and may not correspond with yours.

Isn't this much like the "dog with a bone" analogy.Quite happy until it sees its' reflection in the water,drops the bone to get the other.Now has neither.
Try this. Get an extra set of speakers, something with a different flavor, and switch them every month or so. It keeps things fresh in my room.
Granted this would not be so easy for people with mega speakers such as Jfrech's but not so difficult when you are using monitors.
I will set up my system the OLD way if this happens. Even more than once! Going back to the 'old' sound, then replacing the 'new' sound usually clears up what the real difference is.
For example: I just purchased a used Audio Research SP-10 tube preamp. I liked the sound. Then it seems I could not remember the 'old' sound. (Was it any different?) so I put it back to the old. Yeah, I am now less happy. Hmmm what is the difference. Clarity, immediacy, dynamics.
I believe there are scientific as well as mental reasons for what you are describing. First, systems build up magnetic fields due to DC voltage being present. A new componet will take awhile, but will fall victum to this effect just like anything else in the system. Using a product like Denson's DeMagic or the Ayre's DeMag disc will do wonders to restore the magic. Also, all connections oxidize over time and need to be reterminated with a touch of silver and/or some type of Deox spray. Cleaning cable spades with a brass cleaner will make a surprising difference over time. In short, a super high end system requires commitment and maintenance just like a fine sports car. Making a big commitment to high end without a corresponding commitment to keep everything working at top performance is in many ways asking for an emotional let-down. Even the very best products need some TLC from time to time to keep providing the experience they were designed to provide.
the placebo affect is alive and well. if you expect to hear a difference, you are more likely to hear one , even if there is no difference in the components of a stereo system.

if you change a component and your expectations are that you will hear no difference, you may hear a small difference or none at all.

remember, a (small) difference that makes no difference is no difference.

it's mind over matter--if you don't mind it doesn't matter.
Well that easy, all I really need to do is believe I have a 500k system and in my mind it will perform to expectations.
audiogon forums are good examples of group think. many members will believe opinions and recommendations without thinking for themselves. when someone suggests that is not a good idea, he gets critocozed for it.

i guess political correctness applies to the world of audio as it does in other areas.
Sometimes a change,is just that.
When was political correctness an issue-just the facts maam.Dragnet!
where did the teleportation thing go.
Yes! Now I have something else to change/improve to move towards a sound that I am happier with. Sometimes it's change sometimes it's improvement and sometimes it's both. Adding vibration removing devise(Navcom pucks) is a change that led to an improvement in detail equaling cleaner leading edges throughout the spectrum equaling more detail. Now that there is more detail I can hear more and want to change something that I wasn't aware of before. Isn't this one example of how our systems evolve?
Samhar- YES, BUT: You're just imaging the improvement. You know: The (ubiquitous/inevitable/worthless) 'Placebo-Babble', er... I mean, 'Placebo-Effect'. KUDOS on your experimentation. Don't give up the Quest.
I know that, but I like to pretend that different tubes sound different and it makes me feel like I'm donating to a good cause when I give to the poor tube dealers. BTW I'm running Sieman El88CC's in my pre and loving them. My next fantasy CCa's, WOW this is as good as sand box therapy!!!!
Samhar- You must seek the same gratification as I, supporting those poor tube dealers, even buying the same tubes. Be certain the CCa's you purchase are pre-'68. Happy listening!! =8^)
Thanks you too!!!! [:^)
No. Never. Something is an improvement or it isn't. Improvements are hard to obtain above a modest investment - but you can easily get all kinds of coloration that will be pleasing or impressive and excitingly different. Added distortion and coloration inevitably become fatiguing after a while though. Even one note bass or boom boom tizz sounds really great until it dawns on you that every darn track sounds pretty much the same - all heard through the same pleasant but colored and distorted lens!

I'd suggest that if you have to change all the time then something is fatiguing you (it could simply be bad room acoustics,for example) and/or you hear with your eyes not your ears - meaning it only sounds good if you have a new toy on the rack rather then when your ears tell you it sounds good.