Have you "lied" to yourself?

It is time for the utmost honesty. How many of you have made a fairly costly upgrade/purchase and weren't able to hear any difference (even if you struggled, it wasn't very obvious), but convinced yourself the difference was there (to avoid feeling embarrassed/taken, or facing that you don't have "golden ears")?

There's no need to mention the brand/manufacturer, but do mention the type of component as it would be interesting to see whether this type of thing happens more often with preamps, amps, cables, or sources (I doubt it ever happens with speakers).

I'll start. I'm guilty of spending about $600 upgrading speaker my cables and couldn't hear much of a difference.
Felthove, I recently bought another CA-400 amp and use it with my existing CA-400 as monoblocks-I was on power trip. Was thinking look at thoes big ass Monsters, a la Krell Monoblocks. Listened for two weeks imagining great improvement, but was missing my single amp sound. Power trip mad me lie to myself. I am using the extra amp for surrounds.
Are you wanting us to name products or just relay that we have been bummed out about some of our purchases ??? I can't see anyone spending cash and keeping something that is FAR below their expectations. As such, i agree with Garfish. If it's THAT bad, it's either going out the door or back to the dealer.

I don't know of anyone that has purchased more than a few pieces of gear that DOESN'T have some type of "horror story" or "big disappointment" that they could tell you about. Great reviews for products that are "junk" happen every month. The only problem is that, while they might be "junk" to you in your system, someone else absolutely LOVES them. I have encountered this first-hand and i'm sure others have also. Obviously, there are MAJOR differences in personal taste and system configurations.

While dozens of people and several reviewers say "yes, Brand XYZ is truly fabulous for the money", i'm thinking, "that was the worst thing i ever bought. How could ANYONE live with that crap ???". NOBODY knows what will work best in EVERY system. This is one of the things that ends up driving the audio market. We are all looking for that "magic piece" that will give us audio nirvana, so we keep buying and selling ( the audio foodchain ). That's why most of us stress "see for yourself in YOUR system". It's also one of the reasons that we play the used market to a great extent. We're hoping that "someone else's crap" will sound "killer" in OUR system AND do it for pennies on the dollar.

Anybody have any "boat anchors" that they want to "give away" ??? : ) Sean
Perhaps whoever gave my post negative votes missed my point; perhaps I was too vague and not direct enough. I will answer Felthove's query as directly as I can: NO! I have never "made a fairly costly purchase and not been able to hear a difference". Was it always a positive difference? No way! But I could always, perhaps with time, hear a difference. And no I was not fooling myself. I will add however, that my personal experience with all the different types of equipment and tweaks available is not nearly as comprehensive as that of some audiophiles I know.

I think it is important for audiophiles to accept the premise that ANY change in the components of a sound system, and that includes isolation and other "lesser" components, will have an effect in the sound of a system. It has to. Wether we can hear it or are familiar enough with that type of possibly subtle sonic characteristic, does not affect the reality of the sonic change; however subtle. Then again, one man's subtle change is another's obvious change.

The point of my first post, if perhaps not directly on topic, is certainly relevant. And that is, that only through exposure to the live musical experience can the audiophile hope to truly reach the highest level of hearing/listening acuity and appreciation. I hope this point is not construed as provocative or elitist; it is IMO quite logical.

We audiophiles generally accept the idea that the recording/playback process distorts the original event to varying degrees. The rich complexity of live music is IMO well beyond the capabilities of most record/playback equipment, so only through exposure to the live experience can we have an honest sense of just how "subtle" the potential effects of changing equipment might be.

Happy listening and support live music! It just might save us costly equipment purchase mistakes in the long run.

3chihuahuas, your practice is normal, don't worry, eventually they stop asking...afeter about wife no. 5!
Bluenose, I'm going to HAVE to lie about the Meadowlark Nightingale's I crave, unless the Talon Khorus that I'm planning to listen to do it!

Anyway, that's why I keep my system at the office...great for late night / early morning listening!