Is positive reinforcement why things are sounding better?

So I buy a nice amplifier and later I buy a nice preamplifier and then later I buy Nice speaker cables and each time things seem to improve nicely.

And then I buy telefunken 12ax7 nos tubes for a tube amplifier, and improved tonality, clarity and  a tighter sound is what I get and it's very engaging (tubes are only a few days old). The cymbals seem to come through with more openness.

Things seem to be sounding pretty good and I'm saying to myself is it real or is it just positive reinforcement playing with my head? And the devil is telling me oh let's buy more NOS tubes for the rest of the amplifier. The effects of positive reinforcement can be very expensive. 

Just curious if positive reinforcement experiences have occurred for others, and how can you really tell?





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I feel like I’m caught in the middle of something here.

Maybe I’m biased but I like the sound of Wilson speakers over other brands.  I confirmed that by listening to other brands.  Therefore, I bought Wilson speakers.  

Would it not be illogical to buy a speaker that I did not like to hear?


Not if for the dungeon room?


Or does confirmation bias drive me to upgrade to more expensive Wilson speakers?  I do feel that urge from time to time.  


Expectation bias is a root for favoring name brands, and confirmation bias can be an important subset of it. My impression has been it’s easy and reasonable to like something that sounds good to you, and it’s also easy but potentially unreasonable for that to morph into anticipation of more-More-MORE goodness from similar-but-maybe-better alternatives. Bias be aware, bias - beware.


“If a little is good, then a lot is better.”  I don’t know who said that but it should not be words to live by.  Although it is difficult to avoid in practice.



But I didn‘t know Wilson speakers existed until I heard a pair.  I had no expectation bias but once I heard them I wanted a pair.  It took me 27 years to finally work up the nerve to spend that much on a pair of speakers.  And over that period of time I never found another speaker that I liked better- or liked enough to buy in place of the speaker I wanted.

I agree that once I decided to buy my speakers, expectation bias continues to urge me to upgrade to one of their more expensive models.  But that is counterbalanced by, 1) Lack of desire to actually change speakers- a lot of effort, time and money, 2) Spending priorities such as needing to eat, and 3) Risk of disappointment that a change will not meet expectations.

@tonywinga your experience matches mine. I too did not know that Wilson speakers existed until I heard the Watt/Puppy 7's at a dealers. Once I heard them I wanted a pair. I kept my W/P 7's for 20 years and eventually upgraded them to Sasha DAW. In my opinion the upgrade was worth every cent.

@tonywinga  , I don't think anyone is trying to say that all percieved sonic improvements are a result of confirmation bias.