Get Robert Harley book- Guide to Home Stereo. Book title might be off, but close.
This is a good start.
This is a good start.
Lissten, listen, listen to your system. Then, think of ten questions about what you're hearing and bring those questions to the overwhelmingly nice folks here on Audiogon. Don't be afraid to ask anything that seems important to you.
We'll try to help you become addicted to audio, and more important to MUSIC. Never forget that the system serves the music...
In an abundance of caution, and by way of a disclaimer, you are hereby forewarned that Audiophilia is severely habit forming. There is no known cure for this obsessive/compulsive disorder other than a total loss of hearing. Before you proceed, further consider that none of us are able to save you once you have entered the realm of fantasy and the fantastic. Audio Manufacturers are known to prey on our weakened condition and fleece us of our hard earned cash with lavish promises of a new nirvana.
There are other rewarding hobbies you may wish to consider instead such as stamp collecting and gardening both of which may be considerably less addictive. Should you be predisposed to Audiophilia and succumb to its capricious whims please take note that this Support Group is open 24/7. Intervention is available.
right here, but the lunatic fringe and jerks are mixed together with excellent advice and interesting opinions from very nice people, and it's up to you to screen it. Eventually you learn which posters fall into each category. Stereophile (magazine)can be entertaining, but rarely useful (just one example: their "cover story" speaker in the last issue cost over $100,000)
I think the best thing for a beginner to know is that system synergy is everything. The way your speakers fit your room and component matching will have the largest effect on the final sound.
What I mean is that you match you speakers to your room and your amp to your speakers etc.
You can not read a positive review and buy an amplifier (for example) and expect it to perform the same in your system as the article told you it performed in their system, the synergy between YOUR components will determine the outcome instead.
Check to see if there are any audio clubs in your area. There's a list on agon (click here) to start with.
In our local club there are members at all levels and it's a very good source of information & experience. Most folks I know who are passionate about this hobby would be willing to help you in your quest for knowledge.