Are you on or off? What say you?

The HiFi Merry-Go-Round!

Merry Go Round Wallpapers - Wallpaper Cave

Standing very close to the merry go round. First step on was back in the 80’s with a Luxman c120 preamp and m120 amp, added DCM Timewindows, and a Mitsubishi LT1 turntable. Great stuff at the time and kept me happy for a long time. Old now (>70) and look at the whole area from a different point of view. Cost, and return play a big part in choices and outlay, although I’m retired and spend more time listening than I have for a long time. I linger here to hear opinions and recommendations, but am not willing to spend the $$ to reach very high. I live in a small apartment, and the choices for layout and treatment are nearly non existent. 14 x 12ft with a big opening into a dining area and hallway. So I’m in a sort of near field situation, but want to fill the dining area with ”good” sound as well. I love the sound of Magnepans, but don’t have the space for them or some of the higher end speakers. Have had a background in electronics so have ideas as to what I would realy like in that department. A really good clean preamp with at least 5 input sources, tape or extra line out, and HT bypass. Clean meaning that 4 live sources active, and output on an inactive source with the volume at max should have no sound at all through the headphone output. Monoblock amps with lots of current, high dampening and quick response. Don’t really have a preference for type off amp, tube, ss, class A, A/B, or D as long as it mates with the speakers, and is musical. So, looked at on paper, about $15k to $30k right there - but that ain’t going to happen. I tend to the mahgister point of view. Work with what you have, and optimize as much as you can to get enjoyable sound. I just changed interconnects between my dac and digital receiver and noticed a better sound floor, cleaner sound and better separation. But still question whether it was the cable, purchase bias, my mood that day or low ambient background noise. Background noise is typically around 30db, and can go to 40db ambient; that excludes peaks for mowers, blowers, traffic and the like. Will evaluate them for a while and see if I feel the same about them over time and various source material. With all that in mind, with even the best speakers, preamp, amps and cabling, would it really increase my listening pleasure in my environment? - it’s questionable. Only so much can be done in the space I have. But I still look to the weak parts for a little more. Current focus is on dacs. Just compared a Schitt Modi Multibit to a Cambridge audio Dacmagic 200. Like the Schitt a little better. To me better bass definition and separation, maybe not as smooth as the Cambridge, but a little better separation in space of various instruments. Width of soundstage about the same, depth and height a little different, and the Schitt a little more forward. So looking at the Schitt Bifrost, or a Denafrips as the next step. Want to stay under $1k and shopping to try to stay closer to $500. Want to stay with the resistor ladder type (whether resistors are on a chip or discreet) versus Delta Sigma. That gives you an idea where I am relative to the merry go round. If I had a nice basement to work with and unlimited budget, I would love to explore what I could perceive and enjoy in going round and round. Single driver, open baffle, horns, electrostatic, and traditional 3 way speakers. Choices of SET, pure Class A, class D amps. Probably tend toward a tube pre with a tube phone stage. The fewer resistor wiper knobs and switches the better. They all fail eventually, and cause noise due to electrostatic migration of material even if they are separate for each channel. The issues with my Luxman ss components were all with the switches, knobs, and relays degrading over time - not that I expect to outlive any new versions.

No merry go round.  Most changes I make these days are exploring new frontiers. 


"Never got on. Happy with my reconditioned 1970s gear."

My stuff is from 1990. Almost done getting it all refurbed and upgraded.

Then I'll be good for 30-40 more years. More than I'll be around!

I am now getting into making what I have sound it's best, while keeping it affordable.  I replaced all my cheap old interconnects with the Audioquest Tower line. Big improvement. Just yesterday I received my SP6  speaker cables from Morrow Audio. Huge improvement. Still goofing around with speaker placement and am going to start room treatments soon.

In response to the OP, I never got on. Bought the best I could afford once, still have it.


+1 @larsman for the Kesey quote.

I am off the bus...until I "blow something up".




Off for now. I have enough different components that I can mix and match when I desire a different sound.