What was your first big eye opener with regard to audio?

Hello friends,

what was the most fascinating thing you did with the compilation or optimization of your system in terms of SQ or performance, that really got your attention in either a good or bad way?

what was it that actually impressed or surprized you once it was in place?

or what DIY project was it that once done really gave your audio system a big shot in the arm SQ-wise?

maybe it was simply finding out just how much some items could cost

something always seems to take place that changes our philosophies or understandings and maybe even our approach to arranging a fine audio system.

what was your’s?


Perhaps it was buying a quality rack, platform, or maybe a pr. of amp stands?

rolling tubes? adding iso footers?

biting the bullet and bringing in a decidedly  more expensive or merely a different electronic component? DAC? Line stage? Mono blocks? Speakers?

what amazing things could be done with as little as 8wpc?

for example, my ‘eye opening’ events came two  fold. adding power line conditioning and using upscale wires/cables, or power cords.

which of these came first I’m not sure but all of them  came with a huge amount of prejudice on my part as to them doing anything positive to the quality of the sound, but indeed they did!

other things came along with nearly the impact or mind altering impact but those were the initial items that paved the way for me to keep an open mind with respect to building an audio system and preserving its synergy.

what was or has been your epiphany? your most surprising  ‘move’ in audio land?

1977 a buddy and I learned there was a world of audio beyond the malls and Crazy TV Lenny. Walked into a shop in the burbs of Milwaukee as they were unpacking a butt ugly pair of speakers from a little company in California. Cold out of the box not on their stands the Vandersteen 2’s lit my hair on fire.  They are still there selling Vandersteens 
First opener for me was hearing a properly setup system of Linn LP-12/Mark Levinson/Magnepan at Audio Concepts in Houston in the early 80s. I was in my 20s, had component systems since age 15, and still remember thinking how amazing it sounded.
Didn’t have another "wow" moment until I installed room treatment in a dedicated room just a few years ago. Biggest change, by a huge margin, ever. Truly "eye-opening". Actually "ear-opening", though I’m sure my eyes were wide open in disbelief at the transformation in sound quality.
Nothing sexy about acoustic treatment, but man does it work.

No one believes that it makes that much of a difference as they are all experts in what they know......except...this thing,this acoustics thing.. they forget......that they do not know it..

then.. proper acoustic treatment. Correct acoustic treatment. That’s the hard part to get right. To have the right lore the right knowledge and the ability to do it right. That’s a tall order, and a long way away from most folks.

So they live with their ears and brain adapting to a far more inferior sound quality. And telling themselves...it is all just fine.
Ha!  Interesting thread.....for me vacuum tubes. 

I added an (Audiogon purchased) C-J PV10B (preamp) on top of my existing Marantz 2285 and Wowza!  Unbelievable!  Made my JBL L65 speakers (of the time) sound fantastik!   

From that point forward I became a Tube Convert; now owning a C-J Premier 17LS (pre) and a C-J LP66S (amp).  Both all tube.
After optimization of my system with fine components, speakers, cables, room treatments, etc, I have recently been adding various products from Perfectpath Technologies.
I am beyond astounded by the transformation in the listening experience. For the first time ever, I can honestly say that I don’t have anymore “upgrade fever”.  My system sounds so much like “reality” that it’s mind blowing to me.

"something always seems to take place that changes our philosophies or understandings and maybe even our approach to arranging a fine audio system."
Realizing one day that I have spent five years with a $100 boombox on a bar stool (sort of) and never felt the need to buy a more decent equipment.

It reset my priorities, I guess.