It's funny, when my income became limited (i.e., no money to waste) my system became "enough".
Very strange phenomenon...
Very strange phenomenon...
Everytime I make a change to my rig,I say to my wife (and I do believe it when I say it)"this is absolutely the last time. My system is done."...or something along those lines. I cannot tell you how many last purchases I have had...can you relate? I just used this line a couple of weeks ago when trying to sell her on my new speaker request. It worked again...crazy, but it's the fun of it all....
Even though I realize there is better out there, I am content. While I really enjoy audio, I also enjoy eating on a regular basis and there is alot to be said about having a roof over my head. It gives me the warm fuzzies on a cold winter evening.
I do enjoy reading those who can attempt to achieve the best. I sure don't begrudge them that pleasure. I also appreciate them sharing their quest.
I AM satisfied - after years of trials, numerous auditions, different paths and, yes, some upgrades.
It is assanine to suggest that just because somebody likes to upgrade and/or switch gear, that they do not listen to music as often as someone who does not, or that they do not enjoy music on the same level.
For me I have just come to learn that I like change. Often times the new amp or pre seems to sound better to me. Fact is, the sound is just different and I like that. At least it satisfies me fully for 6 months.
The above is true if the gear is truely high end and understood by most A'philes to be very good sounding. This is what I have done to slow down by buying and selling and thus far it has worked. I have two amps - one SS and one tube. Both represent what I know to be great sound. I use one for a month then go back to the other. This is enjoyable to me and delivers on my need for a new and "better" sound.
I know many of us want to try a new toy for this change. I have had so many new toys to try over the past 4 years that I have now come to this conclusion. Once you reach the level of a great sound system the new toys are not really "better", but just a different presentation of great sound. Now that I know what I like I simply swap out amps for a different perspective every month. All my learning from past gear has lead me to two amps that fit my likes and need for change.
You could do this with CD players, dacs, amps, pre's or even wire. I bet two preamps would do the same thing. My gear is purchased used and the units represent great values. I spent $1700 on two amps and have more sonic joy then any $8,0000 single amp I have owned. So this can be done for reasonable money. I find amps fun to swap and thus stick with this approach.
I love my current CD player and could see owning a nice used Ack dack, Audio Mirror etc to swap in and out to accomplish what I have done with my amps. I think a power amp greatly impacts the sound of a system, thus I swap amps.
What has this approach gained me? Less time listing, dealing and packing gear - less hassle. Saved money and time. Folks in the end, all the great - really great sounding gear satisfies and simply changing out pleases no more in the long run. Just a short term high induced by change. Get your high as I outlined above and get off the cycle that if we were honest - is draining and not always fun.
Grannyring, I couldn't agree more. For a period I was stuck on that same treadmill, until I noticed I was spending more time fiddling with equipment trying to decide if the new piece was better than the piece it replaced. I knew it had gone too far when there were 3 DACs sitting in boxes waiting thier turn. It's easy to find quality items at substantially reduced prices but one after the other just gets old and pointless after a while.
Although I still look for good bargains on equipment I haven't tried, it's not an all consuming habit any longer.
For a sanity check take a look at Wwwrecords system and read the comments there. An audiophile with a proper perspective.
Themadmilkman- I think you are missing his point, I know from my experience audiophiles concentrate on the reproduction of recorded sound, music lovers concentrate on the music. I am a music lover who appreciates accurate reproduction of the recorded music, I know audiophiles who don't really ever enjoy music because they are forever questioning if its imaging as well as it should, or if the bass is accurate... I think there is a fine line of being an audiophile and a lover of music, a lot of audiophiles miss this.
I've been dating my system now for years. We spend good times together on weekends and often during the week.
I've never been fully satisfied with it, but, I do have a wife and friends to assist in the personal satisfaction area. Mainly the wife during the last thirty years.
Oh, I'm sorry, you asked about happiness. Scratch the wife reference, she makes me satisfied, but I'm happy with the system
i went from midfy to nice about 6 yrs ago and immediatly quit changing things. My system, to my ears already bests a lot of rigs costing a bunch more and based on things i heard in various systems during the upgrade audition process i'm convinced my system is room limited so there is no use to swap gear. Living room tweaking within WAF parameters is more rewarding anyway.
Your system is "enough" when you can forget thinking about the equipment and just focus on being emotionally involved with the music. When you reach this point - you're done.
On this basis I have been quite happy with my audio system for the last three years or so, (an audiophile record no doubt!) However, after my last visit to CES (Jan. 2006) restlessness has now begun to rear its ugly head.
At CES I heard the TAD Model Two's driven by 4 Pass Labs amps (2 XA160 monos on top on two 600.5's for the bass), Pass preamp and a pro DAC. I thought this was one of the most natural, musical and relaxed systems I had ever heard. It ranked right up there with "my best of all time" list. Anyway, I've begun calling Pass dealers and my contacts to see what it would take to get the Model Twos into my home. Although this system is far from cheap, its much less expensive than my other two favorites. Thus, a gradual move to this equipment is feasible for me to consider (I'll just have to buy more oil company stock for a few more months). Besides I've been a good boy for three years.
Short answer: I'm satisfied (and very grateful, in fact) for now and could be happy with my current system, especially the speakers, forever.
Long answer: Done for at least a year. The speakers are probably lifers. Still in giddy euphoria about them, even when straining to find weaknesses or something to complain about, or to nitpick about: just can't really find anything.....DANG!
I MAY do some other upgrades after a while, but dang, it just seems ridiculous and stupid to do so, at least for now, with the system sounding as good as it does. Anything from this point on would be done on a discretionary basis to "push the envelope"; i.e., to see how much closer the system could possibly get to (my concept of audio) perfection.
I haven't gone this long (almost 2 years) with the same rig without going through the itch for something new. In fact, I have been so content with my tunes, that I'm not even entertaining the idea of listening to Zucables new Definition 2. Sure, it problably aces my Def 1.5 and is affordable, but I'm still in sonic nirvana. Sure I could do better, but there is no itch...and that's a good thing: to be content with what I have.......warren :)