Your Best System?

I'm curious how many people own their best system currently. Is your main system right now the very best you have ever owned. If not, why did you change? Do you plan on going back to that system in the future? Mine has always gotten better and the one I own now is the best I've ever had.

Great question. I have had three rather large systems, and have sold out the entire system and started over. For me, building a system is more than half of the fun. Learning what matches with what, learning about all of the product out there, it is all about fun!

Complete McIntosh (MX-132, MC-352, MC-7205, MVP-841, MLD-7020, and the Display light) with 2 Energy Veritas 2.8's, and 3 Veritas 1.8s and a single Velodyne FSR-18, all with a 42 Plasma. Sold the package to ONE person in New York!
Proceed PAV/PDSD, with a trio of Rowland Model 7 monoblocks, and a Citation 7.1, all running a B&W Nautilus system, 802's, HTM-1, and the 805s as surrounds with a pair of Velodyne HGS-18s.
All California Audio Labs, CL-2500 series, with a complete Aerial Acoustics speaker system (10T, CC5, SR-3, and a pair of SW-12s) all VERY close to heading out.
This time, it will be replaced with a Lexicon DC-1 and a Chiro C-500 5 channel amp with a pair of Hales Revelation Ones, Center, and an Energy MicroStar 12.1 or a pair of Janis W-1s. A little less expensive.....but will rebuild, absolutely.

Are you considering an upgrade?
My current system is the best I've ever had. It's very well balanced, meaning that none of the components are clearly the weak link, and none stand out by revealing the rest of the system as being the weak link. I'm enjoying this state of affairs for the time being, and buying a lot of music with the funds I might have recently put into new gear.

If I do ever change (as opposed to upgrade), it will be for one of two reasons. The first reason is that the amp I have runs hot, and it heats the room. I'd love to get the same quality of sound (on the music I listen to) without all the heat generation. This would almost necessarily imply new speakers, and then the ball is rolling. Second, I'd love to play with some different pairs of speakers - I may end up deciding what I have is what I like best, but it would be fun to buy a pair or two in addition to what I have, experiment, sell the ones I don't care for as much, buy some others to experiment with, etc. This process could, again, get the ball rolling. -Kirk

Absolutely. My current system consists of an Arcam FMJ DV27 DVD player, Sunfire Theater Grand and Cinama Grand pre and power amps and Monitor Audio Silver 5i front speakers, which are undoubtedly the weakest link in my system. I am going to purchase a new speaker system next year. Currently considering a sourround system based on B&W 802 fronts or the Meadowlark blue Herons. Looking forward to taking my system to the next level...

My best system will definitely have be my current one. The reason I am saying this is because that over the last five years, I have taken great care and pride over being careful and selective when it came to the selection of my components. That is I made absolutely sure that the "next" component in the chain brings out the absolute best in the component that both preceeds it, and succeeds it in the system chain, with myself aiming for a synergistic match when it is all said and done. It has taken me five years to get to the point that I have gotten to already, and I anticipate that my system will be finally complete around early 2004 (with the addition of a high-end turntable/arm/cartridge system to displace my current Thorens TD-147/Grado Gold setup), whereas from that point on, all I plan to do is spend a lot of money buying music instead of buying equipment. Because the way I see it is this, if your system is really, really good to begin with when it is finally completed, then there won't be any need to perform any upgrades anytime soon afterwards. Just sit back and enjoy the music (which is when it is all said and done, that's what it is all about anyway).

But if there is a weak point in my system right now, it may possibly be that my front-end sources could all in probabililty outclass my speaker system and my amplification. If that turns out to be the case after a while, then more than likely, I am going to upgrade the speakers to something like the Totem Mani 2 (in either mahogany or cherry), and then probably drive them with used Krell or Levinson electronics (in the 100 Watt Per Channel to 200 Watt Per Channel range), and eliminate the subwoofer entirely if there is one in my system during the time I intend to upgrade.

But as it stand now, my current system is as follows:

Speaker System: KEF Reference 102 with KUBE Equalizer.
Power Amplifier: Adcom GFA-545 MkII.
Preamplifier: Adcom GFP-750.
Turntable/Cartridge System: Thorens TD-147/Grado Prestige Gold (not yet hooked up).
Phono Stage: Monolithic PS-1 + HC-1 (coming in September).
Compact Disc Player #1: Pioneer Elite DV-37 Progressive Scan DVD/CD Player (to be replaced by a Sony DVP-S9000ES Progressive Scan DVD/CD/SACD Player at the end of August).

Compact Disc Player #2: JVC XL-M509TN 6+1 CD Player/Changer.
FM Tuner: Magnum Dynalab FT-101.
AM/FM Antenna: Terk AM FM Q.
Cassette Deck: Nakamichi BX-300.
Power Conditioner: Monster Cable HTS2500 Power Center/Conditioner.
Interconnects: MITerminator 2 and MITerminator 3.
Speaker Cables: MITerminator 2 (Single Wired).
Speaker Stands: Sanus Foundations SF24 (Sand Filled).
Headphones: Sennheiser HD-580.
Headphone Ampifier: Yet to be decided. But it is going to be either a Creek OHH-II SE/OBH-2 or a HeadRoom Supreme/Base Station One (coming in early-to-mid 2003).

Well, regards for now.

The system currently residing in my living room hands down wins when it comes to being my best system.

Threshold T-100 amp
Audio Research LS-15 preamp
AH! Njoe Toebs 4000 CD player
Perpetual Technologies Digital Correction Engine
Spendor 1/2 speakers
Onix innerconnectors
$6 a foot speaker wire