Anyone else grateful that they got hooked on this crazy addiction

I got home tonight after a 12 hour day of busting my ass for the IT company I work for and sat down in the single chair in my dedicated listening room and turned on Dido’s “Still on My Mind”. As I sat there listening with the lights off, I thought about the fact that the majority of the people in this world will never get to hear anything close to this kind of sound and I get to hear any track, at any time, at any volume I choose. Please don’t think that I am bragging about my system as I know that the majority of you have systems that put mine to shame. I am attempting to express how very grateful I am that I got into this amazing hobby, especially with all the crazy things that are happening in our world today.


As a lurker on this forum for a couple of years, I have read the great majority of the posts. Some with a chuckle, some with great awe and some with disgust. We all enjoy an amazing hobby that allows us to escape from the realities of life right in our own home.


My system consists of a Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Dynaudio Contour 60 speakers, a pair of REL S510 sub-woofers, AQ William Tell speaker cables, an Uptone Audio Etherregen, SOTM ethernet cable, AQ Tornado power cords, an AQ Niagara 1000 power conditioner, GIK acoustic room treatments and an SGC i5 Sonictransporter running Roon with 5TB of hi-res recordings and streaming Tidal and Qobuz. Once again, I am not bragging, and I am not looking for any comments about how good or bad my system is or could be. My goal is to give you some perspective about how lucky we are to be “audiophiles” in this crazy world.


When I sit down with a glass of scotch and put on whatever it is that trips my fancy that night, I can easily put the world out of my mind in under 5 minutes. Listening to what I think is an incredible soundstage and how I can be transported so quickly to the artist’s location is sometimes beyond belief. The best is those nights when you audibly mumble “holy sh-t” after an especially dazzling track.


We are a very lucky group of people to be able to sit down with our system that we have built with our own hands and hard-earned money. To think how much time we have spent reading forums and reviews as well as the never ending tweaking. Who would have thought that moving speakers ¼” would make that big of difference?


So, who else out there is grateful that we have these amazing systems in our homes and it would almost be welcomed to be quarantined for a couple of weeks?

Not that I’ve actually heard any of your components, but I’d bet your rig sounds great. As a matter of fact, it I were starting from square one, I’d probably be going your direction.
I used to think I was addicted to audio gear. Went to therapy, did an honest self-inventory. I’m not addicted to audio. I’m addicted to cheap USB cables.

I’m not really sure who I am anymore.

HiFi is the gateway drug to the vast amount of music available to us now in the 21th Century!
HiFi is a drug like any other drug. But a very positive one for your soul. Once you get addicted you can't leave. I can't listen to music on the radio. I hardly can't go to concerts because of the bad sound...
My son gets that same feeling and experience when he comes home and listens to iphone and headphones with 1000 of songs at his finger tips.  I am thankful for the music, but I see your point.
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Now if and when they figure out how to pump music direct into our sensory system and bypass all the hardware then we will in heaven.
Lot darn cheaper too....
Uber, the elites are working on that..... but you won't like what come's with it.
It probably would not be to my liking you are correct.
Might be very interesting though.
Some mind control would not go amiss nowadays on these forums.
And yes I am joking, shame when you have to qualify statements like that.

But seriously to the topic in hand.
Most eternally gratefull I got hooked on audio.
Might have been something much worse if not and thankfully now I cannot afford much else besides this addiction.
Great post. Isn’t that why we all go through what we do, ie the healing effects of great music when needed.
I'm addicted to music, and have been since I was a tot. The equipment and tweaks just get me closer to it. I'm very thankful for that and thankful for being blessed with excellent hearing even at an advanced age. 

Who would have thought that moving speakers ¼” would make that big of difference?

Please see the very last photo in the system images. Then read the description. 

Pictured is just one of three corners on each speaker. This is because after untold hours spent optimizing the last thing you want is to have to go through all that again just because someone bumped one vacuuming. This was, like with so many things, something stumbled across by trial and error and experience. 

We see where you're coming from, but our perspective is a little different. Grateful is for a nice break. Healthy, pain free- grateful. Study, try, fail, try again, basically work your butt off thirty years, somehow against all odds settle back in enveloping alternate reality sound field, that feeling my friend is what we call a sense of achievement. 

Its not something we got "hooked on" but rather, cannot ever remember a time we weren't fascinated with quality sound. Grateful is for J Gordon Holt, Robert Harley, Earl Geddes, Duke LeJeune, Keith Herron, Ted Denney, Eric Alexander, Chris Brady, Stewart Marcantoni, Peter Ledermann, Tim Mrock- a whole long list of them. For them we are very, very, extremely grateful. 
My local dealer told me a year ago that someday I will stop listening to the equipment and start listening to the music.  He was so right.  Once the equipment was tuned properly in my ears, I started to enjoy the music.  What a wonderful day that was and has been ever since.  Music is such a great escape and we get to listen to it through some amazing equipment.  
Who would have thought that moving speakers ¼” would make that big of difference?

Your hearing is all about thresholds and small differentials in levels of various transients and intermixed harmonics.

Subtlety of differential is what it is based on. In both time and level domains. We don't need much to go on. This is part of the trick that has been at work in human evolution, over time. We've developed into something that defies the mundane views of what measurement is, as measurement is not correlated back to how the ear works.

Even more alarming is the fact that most speakers are waaay too far apart. Hel-loo! Start with a distance of 4 or 5 feet and move speakers gradually farther apart until you strike paydirt. Unless you’re using the speaker set up track on the XLO Test CD or similar your chances of finding the absolute best speaker locations are about as good as solving N simultaneous equations in N + X unknowns. Good luck with that! Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “but when the speakers are far apart and toed in doesn’t that give you a wider soundstage?” 😳
I couldn't agree more with the OP.  Wednesday was a crushingly bad day at work, and when I got home late at night I put on Mozart's Clarinet Quintet and just breathed.  Oh, that was so rejuvenating....  I often feel deep gratitude for the immersion in sound and music.

Millercarbon is right IME that we were born this way.
Amen OP. Some of the folks I know are complaining about isolation and social distancing. I simply smile because hours each evening spent surfing Qobuz never gets old. Its like unlimited chocolate cake without any of the guilt. "Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don’t throw me into the briar patch" -Brer Rabbit
Tidal gave me a song today.
Bonnie Raitt - Baby Mine.
This is what our hobby are for!
A day without music is like a night without dancing. Sometimes night meets the day. 
Nearly the perfect hobby for the times we are in...... as long as the lights stay on......
Step One. “We admitted we were powerless over audio— that our audio systems had become unmanageable.
After a day in the life, and watching the news
And when I think of our current situation because of another country, I want to set my hair on fire!! But instead I zen out while listening to my audio system. desert38 very nice system, enjoy
Side note: how many have seen the movie Yesterday??

After a day in the life, and watching the news
And when I think of our current situation because of another country, I want to set my hair on fire!!

No doubt. After Tuesday I simply turned off the TV after the 6:00 news. Something I do a lot anyway, but got caught up in every detail and update on Monday and Tuesday night wondering what was going to happen next, and it only depressed me.

Thank goodness for music on a nice system to completely fill my living room and ‘get away from it all’.

Tonight, I had a need for choral orchestration. Unusual for me, but have been listening to Sir George Solti conduct various choral pieces by some of the best symphonies in the world; All Decca recordings on vinyl: Beethoven, Verdi, and Brahms all evening.

Sounds incredible, and the human voice/singing was incredibly comforting at this time for whatever reason. Good therapy for times as these.

For that I am grateful.
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@desert38....You have Nothing to be ashamed of with you system.
Play what you want, whenever you want, and Enjoy. *G*

That was/is/will always be the point of it all...after all....;)

Eric's strung out on cables....*uh oh*....Time for DD...Digital Detox!
(Recognize the malady...I've this 'odd attraction' to titanium...half hard aluminum....VHB cure....*breathing heavily*...gotta go....)

Mean, while....since we're 'hunkered in place' space.....

We Need Exercise.....

Turn to 10....

Unless you've got a 3D printer and/or a sewing machine....
Then, you've got a Mission...(check out the call....)

Save Us...and Save Yourself.
Great thread, to put it back on point. I have been in this hobby since my first real stereo when I was 16. I am now 62 and have owned and still own a lot of equipment. The equipment has always been a vehicle for the music. And the hobby is the reproduction of the music in all its nuances. So where ever you system is on the audio food chain remember it is the joy of the music that matters. Not everyone can afford the ultimate system or spend thousands on cable. 
I too sit in my room and get much pleasure out of the music and how my system can reproduce what the engineers captured. This is the point of all this. Take this hobby to whatever level you want it to be or can afford. But IMO it’s the music. 

I feel desert38 you truly get it like most of us on this site. 
+1 Millercarbon  

It was fascination they say ....  

From learning electronics from Dad, to building my first crystal radio, then ham radio, then a tuner, etc.  Enjoying all types of music all along the way and then one day meeting a client who installed Hi End sound systems for Hi End clients. In his office were a pair of Dahlquist DQ10's that were the catalyst that changed my life forever.  ( I still have a set over at an ex-girlfriend's house ! )  But the stage was set for a hobby that caused extreme enjoyment, frustration, anxiety, relaxation, and magic for over 40 years now. 

The fascination continues with each, album, cd, or stream and the learning and enjoyment never ends.   

Stay healthy all and happy listening ... 
For sure !!!!  I've been in this hobby, for lack of a better word for 40 years....  my first "real" piece of gear was a Sansui AU9900 integrated amp.  Many components and many years later and I'm still hooked.

For me music is the ultimate get away from the hassles of life.  It transports me into a place where I don't care what time it is or where I have to be in the morning.    

The past 3 years have been filled with heartache and loss along with coming very close to dying...  I don't know what I would have done without music to get me through...

So now when I am just rebuilding my life and looking for a new house something I could never imagined happening is unfolding before us.  Hopefully this will all be a bad memory very shortly.  That said , I'm sure music will help us all escape for a little while.  

Unfortunately for my wallet I just put together a great headphone rig and am rediscovering and discovering some great music . I was up until 2:30 last night enjoying my new Quicksilver Headphone Amp.....

I AM grateful to be able to enjoy quality music recordings. Although nothing beats Ray Chen or Denis Matsuev live for me. Missing that already.
What makes you arrive at the assumption that most forum members have better systems than yours?
Only in personal preference, of course.
Me like your post again.

4 days on menopren last year for myself
cancer radiation this year
now this everywhere - mortality doubles for us guys

Not many selections of A/V entertainment out there.
Plague news, 1982 sports, cruise guy reruns or any music we desire.
Some choice.
First off, your set-up is awesome!  Kudos to you 👍

I also was obsessing over our current situation but it gets depressing so more, now than anytime recently, I am so appreciative of my stereo.  I have been listening everyday, all day.  
Its interesting how things have become more enjoyable for me lately.  When you don’t know whats going to happen you start living your life like it could be your last day and all of a sudden all the bs doesn’t matter anymore.

Great thread!  We are all blessed to have our health at the moment and even more blessed to be able to have something that brings us joy like our awesome stereo’s!!

Dave Brubeck has never sounded so good 😎
Music, for me and I'm sure many others on here, is absolutely in a class all by itself in it's ability to take us to another place. With other media nowadays doing nothing but attempting to brainwash us, the option to pick our own form of entertainment apart from that is surely a blessing. 
Like Miller, my attraction to music seems to have begun at a very early age so maybe yes, an inborn trait. That hand held transistor radio my father finally bought on Christmas Eve '61 was my first personal music device. I was as obsessed with it as I am now with the system downstairs. The Admiral radio in the kitchen was always on and I was fully in tune with all the hits of the day. 
It is with great comfort and appreciation that I can indulge this hobby to the extent my circumstances allow. I'm so grateful. 
Music saved me while serving in the Army in the late 60s.  I bought my first system of separates then and have been hooked ever since.

It has been a long magical journey from Sansui SP-100s to 3.6 Maggies.  Music has always been my refuge.  I am now listening to four of Cream's last live concerts, just released from their Goodbye tour in 1968, amazing talents all.

Stay safe all and embrace the music you love
Audio is not a hobby its a way of life . Enrichment for the soul . Best dollar return for use to cost . 
I got into the hobby when I was 17 years old and still living at home. Now I have four grandsons. Every time I come upstairs after being in my room for a few of hours, I tell my wife everyone ought to have one of these. I've had friends ask me why would you spend that kind of money on that stuff. My answer, It gives me 365 days of pure pleasure.
I love stereo system which I have put together since the early nineties. I still use my flagship tower ADS tower speakers. I love the full sound. Am currently using just a cambridge audio integrated for power but cannot wait to hook up my Music Fidelity integrated someday. I also continue to use my Dual turntable I bought last year (love the auto) and my Nakamichi ZX682. I learn so much from you guys, thank you! Stay safe out there!
I agree with Engindr1960 and Coach....  best return on investment I've found ...  I enjoy listening several times a day...  every day.

My Ex never got it... my girlfriend does... she loves music .   She has diverse musical taste and we like a lot of the same stuff...  
It is a good healthy way to stay out of trouble, get into trouble, get out of trouble and of start all over again. LOL
Close to 50% of the people at any given time admit to having some type of excessive compulsive tendencies (OCD) or admit their addicts of one sort or another.  So we're clear, the other 50 % are in PURE denial.

Been in the program a LONG time.. I chose my obsessions with one thing in mind. CAN I AFFORD THIS, (not just monetarily), if I can, it's a hobby of sorts, if not it goes in OTHER pile.  The beware pile.. Sometimes, the NEVER touch this pile. 40 plus years, I been keeping it between the curbs.. For the most part. With the good ol Stereo.... Tons of fun, multigenerational,  Music!!!..

What a way to go through life, music does makes the world go round.
Listening to Highland music as I type. Something about, bagpipes, the pan flute, a comfortable chair, and a cloudy day...

Wonderful with regards..
There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
'Tis the seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

Emily Dickinson

"I coulda used more cowbell."

THE Bruce Dickinson
"Yes, & in the long run it’s actually cheaper than heroine." I agree about heroines...all that time spent hanging out at stage doors, the stalking, endless celebrity magazines cluttering up the single wide, the abandonment by all friends...a far larger cost than an audio hobby in every way, although friends still don’t get it.
I hear that wolf. Lost a good friend to it last year. He was a musician & very talented. Went to many concerts with him over the years. Tried to help him clean up, but it didn't work. Bummer to say the least.

Sorry about the dark turn in an upbeat thread. More grateful stories please. I enjoy reading them & can relate to everyone's love of this hobby!
Surely, an affirmation of the love of listening!
This reminded me of my first love. At 6 years, hiding under the covers being swept away by Elvis, and others, coming through my precious little transistor radio. Jumping to my first “High End” system at 18 joyously combined with my moving out from under my parents roof on the college: Pacific Stereo’s $199 Niko receiver, Quadraflex speakers and, now legendary, Lenco turntable. This now comes with the realization that I truly have found perhaps my greatest consistent life love in music playback for 61 years.
Now gratefully reveling in listening ever morning and much throughout our lonely days and nights.
Certainly, a precious silver lining, wishing all our chat group folks a healthy and melodious time!
To answer your posts headline. I like good sound, but wish I didn’t go down the road of an obsession. I’m really trying to keep it simple now. I do appreciate folks that just use an elementary system and don’t fret over it one bit.
 Absolutely.  “Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is THE BEST.”   Frank Zappa