What are the odds......


....of making a really good sounding system better?

If it is really good odds are it is very hard to make better.

If it gets better all the time chances are it may not have been very good to start with.

Different is not always better although better is a very subjective thing. Is it even possible to quantify “the best” or even “better”? Music is a complex beast.


When is good good enough? YMMV. 

Back to listening now. I am thankful for what I got.
B64f85c0 1cfb 4d90 ae35 4d30613964ddAg insider logo xs@2xmapman
I can apply my tune-ups to just about any system but once that is done, there is very little else to get. Big changes are needed. 
Always finding ways to upgrade my sound.
I guess it’s safe to say when the odds are against you luck or chance alone will not suffice.
So you think its luck and chance. Figures.
That’s not what I said.  In fact the exact opposite.  It’s written there in plain English.
Two strikes.  You're almost out.
I thought I'd reached the limit of what I could get out of mine. Then I tried a set of $35 springs under the turntable. Never saw it coming.
"...I thought I'd reached the limit of what I could get out of mine. Then I tried a set of $35 springs under the turntable. Never saw it coming..."

I think that is what makes an audiophile, the willingness to try new things and make changes to improve your system. You don't know what changes will do until you try. they can often be dead ends but even then you have learned something.
It is very easy to improve what is already good. But at some point, where you are very high, it does become more difficult. In the end it is the recording and the room. 
How to improve the source if you have Continuum table, as an example ?
Well, good master tape dubs, of course, and real good R2R deck.
i have a lot of equipment (several pairs of speakers and the ancillaries to drive them well) - i find i enjoy a variety in presentation, so sometimes i swap them in and out over periods of time ... harbeths have a lovely tone, warmth and thickness that is very comforting... proacs have a precision and clarity and spotlit sharpness that makes the music more exciting, quad esl’s have a purity and hear-thru quality that is very appealing very refined ... and so on... the new spatials have bass slam and openness that is very appealing, especially after listening to the quad esl’s after a while!

each set of components needs optimization, in terms of placement, room interaction, equipment, cables, what have you

hard to say which is better... all very good just different presentations with different strengths and weakness that are highlighted in different types of listening and musical genres
If its good from begining it will get better with time. Know the limitations, financial, system, space, music, and proceed with experimentation and caution. What matters is the involvement with a wide range of music and not a particular style. The mastery is to create something impressive on paper to real music making. Patience will be rewarded. And i am pretty sure, having the same amp/pre/speakers, that i know more today than did nearly 20 years ago or even yesterday. Yes the odds are good.

G

I think it comes down to cost vs performance. I love the sound of my system now I am sure it could be improved but at what cost? Likely too much for me to consider upgrading as my performance level, to me, is quite high.

OP: What are the odds......

....of making a really good sounding system better?

If it is really good odds are it is very hard to make better.

If it gets better all the time chances are
millercarbon:
So you think its luck and chance. Figures.
mapman:
That’s not what I said. In fact the exact opposite. It’s written there in plain English.
Indeed it is. It's clear you’re talking randomness and luck. It’s written there in plain English.

Anyway, since I have the time, hate to belabor the point but we can’t answer the question until we do clarify are we talking about chances, randomness and odds? Or are we talking about experience, skill, and knowledge?

Because if the former, which it sure seems to me applies to a lot of people, then yes it is random and odds are low. But if its a skill where knowledge and experience rule then its a certainty. Absolute certainty.

For proof I offer two systems. Mine is really good sounding. To say the least. Beyond really good sounding in fact. Has been for some time now. Yet I was able to make a really nice improvement with some rubber bands scrounged from the kitchen clutter drawer. Seriously. Wasn’t hard at all. Cost: zero. Did a demo for some people, their heads shook in disbelief. Easily noticeable improvement.

Then another time I stuck some fO.q tape under my bearing and between the cartridge and head shell. Huge improvement.

But that’s my system. Some snooty types look down on my system as sort of mid-fi. Okay. So what about a system that is really, really out there? Mike Lavigne improved his with some diffuser panels he stuck on a wall. He listened for a while, thought about it, figured it out, put the panels up, heard the improvement.

The OP question wasn’t about how hard or expensive, it was "What are the odds". Remember? What are the odds? What are the chances. It’s written there in plain English.

If you have what it takes then it's not odds, its for certain. If you don’t- well then good luck to you!
I am afraid there is no odds here...Or odds are not enough which is what the OP think about....

Like buying a house or a car, buying an audio system ask less for odds than for a minimalistic search for knowledge and experience....


There is no "taste" also in good sound or in bad sound....There exist variations between systems tough,but variations are not reflective of some predetermined taste first but reflect more the many differences in systems with their embeddings dimensions....Instead of taste i prefer to speak about different perspective in sound presentation and interpretation....It is often "habits" disguised in taste....😁

We must all learn to listen... Listening experiments and experience are our personal journey and personal history...It is true for sound quality and it is true for music... Nobody is born with an immediate expertise in S.Q. acoustic nor with the irrepressible taste for Scriabin....All that is learned ....😎



A good natural timbre of an instrument is easily audible modulo a minimal experience in the listener...

Bad imaging is audible....

Harshness, or warmness, compressed soundstage, poor dynamic are all audible facts...

No tastes here....Only habits veiling or hiding limitations...



I discovered how to improve controls in mechanical electrical and acoustical dimensions where any system is embedded...It was an adventure in thinking, reading, and experimenting and funny, very rewarding....

It is the ONLY road i know....Please explain to me if there is another one, i will listen to you...But beware, my road had cost me peanuts...Costly solutions are NOT solution in my world....Anybody owning the money already can pay 500,000 bucks for a good system, no great challenge here.... It is more difficult to reach great results with 500 bucks for a system and peanuts for the embeddings controls devices.....😁

Then this is the road for me and the rest is most of the times costly upgrades...

But almost all good system, even costly one, need less an upgrade than a good embeddings controls, that is a fact....

When is good good enough? YMMV.
You answered yourself.... When you listen music without thinking too much about upgrade this is it....

All the rest is hobbying or obsessing.... We have the choice....

My best to you mapman....
MC you selectively quoted me to make your point omitting where I asserted that chance or luck alone is not enough. So we agree on that, I think.

What are the odds......

....of making a really good sounding system better?

That's a complete quote.
If it is really good odds are it is very hard to make better.

That's another one.
If it gets better all the time chances are it may not have been very good to start with.
Nothing edited there either.  

Just how much of what you write must one quote in order to no longer be "selective"? Come on, man! We all know its nothing to do with being selective. You simply think its all a matter of chance, which makes sense, especially if you don't know what you're doing. 

What are the odds of that?

“I guess it’s safe to say when the odds are against you luck or chance alone will not suffice.“

You conveniently missed the point again.
Stop telling me what I think and say. Worry about yourself Mr. Libertarian. If you must at least try to get by your biases and get  it right.
I must add a subtle and paradoxically evident point about improvement in audio....

Nobody can hear or listen to what is "missing" in his own S.Q. and more than that from a files or from a cd, what you will listen to is ONLY what your system will give to you...
BUT unbeknownst to you you will miss sometimes a whole dimension or even the presence itself of some instruments or their evidence or importance in the recording....

Then 2 aspects may be missing: the level of quality of the S.Q. by itself for example unnatural timbre, and the perspective and presentation or even presence of some instrument in a specific recordings...In 2 words the sound and the music....


The only possibilities to discern if it is the case or not and becoming conscious of that fact are simple, they are 2 ways :

Whether you upgrade a component, suppress it or change it or add something new like a conditioner , a cable etc...In this case there will be positive or negative additions and sometimes positive and negatives effects at the sames times relatively to the specific forces and weaknesses of your system.... For me this road was not practical because upgrading many components and adding new ones to complement them cost a high amount of money if we want great increase in S.Q.😂


Or whether you make simple changes in your mechanical, electrical and acoustical embeddings dimensions, organizing some sets of simple listening experiments adding low cost devices of your own making to do that...
This was my road... And incredibly without expecting it, because nobody had warned me of the existence of this manageable road and its viability, incrementally for 2 years, each week my S.Q. increased in quality.... It was so fun and rewarding than my imagination was creatively in a storm of experiments....And i succeeded....




But i understand that anybody with a very costly system may mock my room and my peanuts cost altough very good system, BUT my solution is valuable for all those who are frustrated by the lack of money to buy their dream....Or simply for those that love to play without throwing their money easily 😊Anyway who is the more silly, some who add a many thousand bucks equalizer to their system, or some who play with peanuts cost acoustic solutions? Nobody is silly at the end  for sure except those who judge negatively others....



No money is necessary for audiophile experience, save a relative minimal amount that is different for each of us, contrary to all the necessary marketing publicity that sells products at very high cost, their saying is not a lie, i dont doubt the value of their products at all, but it is an half truth they spoke about..... Some high level of audiophile experience may indeed be accesible and cost peanuts....Dont think a second that my system is the best, it is not, but dont think a second that i contemplate with the same envy now the many beautiful systems in the virtual pages.... When the piano is in your room with his natural timbre sounding, nothing else is necessary....You listen and stay mute in your head....

Unleash your own creativity, and try some ideas, especially those who cost almost nothing....

My best to all...

The odds that you will create from an ordinary audio system a best one if you " listen and experiment" is near certainty....

On the other end, the forums are also filled with a proportion of people not so enthralled sometimes by their upgrading purchase...A minority tough, but not always a small one.... 😁


Experiments in audio are like Pascal's bet, they cost nothing and may give you a big reward, then...... 

Making system sound better is usually not due to chance or luck but thoughtful evaluation and adherence to known concepts. It is also easy to make things worse. Usually when that happens it is because I fell for false marketing which I have done on three or four occasions. It is also not just the sound but rather how the system works and looks. We all have a high degree of pride in ownership. Having a system that is easy to use, well set up in nice cabinetry and void of any irritating quirks increases that pride. As an example the Oppo is a great value and does a lot of things no other unit will do. It functions as my video switcher. However, it's transport is the slowest I have ever used. You can measure the time it takes to open on a sun dial. I am working on getting rid of it. I'll probably go with the McIntosh Blu Ray player which supposedly has a great transport.
A system that looks good and works good always sounds better. There is nothing wrong with using psychoacoustics to good effect. Sounding better is sounding better, no mater how you get there. The word, psychoacoustics has such negative connotations with audiophiles and it should not. I just hate seeing some companies taking advantage of this to steal your money with phony marketing. You can work with your system taking advantage of psychoacoustic without spending piles of money on voodoo witchcraft.  
I just create on the spot in the last hour a new Helmholtz resonators of another kind that the few one i used already, without being inesthetically horrible, they are not esthetical....Total success at the first try....

I then exclude the placebo psych-acoustical effect of beauty in front of the eyes with his alleged  effect on the ears...

It take me 30 minute to use 2 different size of tubular pipes of reinforced plastic for plumber...Gluing them on a wood base...

No negative effect, more imaging, better mid bass....I will experiment with different shape and size definitively to refine the effect....


Dont bother with anything except your ears, dont accept to be afraid by the alleged complexity of the matter by so called specialist, perfection dont exist, improvement does....

Risk: zero ... Dividend: over the roof...

For the low money cost: discarded plumber tubes.... I enter heaven.....


Dont upgrade before creating mechanical,electrical and importantly acoustical embeddings controls....

Or pay 10,000 dollars to be assured that your device will be warrented by engineering science and in the rightful state of the art...

I prefer to pay peanuts and the warrenty of my ears is more than enough....

😊
I was bored and thought I'd check in to the forums since I rarely do.  I left because some people make it a less than enjoyable place.  This is the first thread I opened and was immediately reminded about why I left.  Closing my account now.  
Sorry for you...

Enthusiasm is not for everyone taste it seems....

By the way i am never bored...And putting in a corner dont appear necessary for me... 😁


Anyway my best to you....
@noromance I second on the springs. Put four Nobsounds under my VPI and it really made a difference.