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?



@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.

When I bought my first tube preamp, a ARC SP-3a in 79(?) I bought maybe six different sets of tubes for it.  Each had its own sound and I settled on the a Amperex 12ax7. Now I have an SP 9-MK ll that uses 6dj8’s and I basically did the same thing and ended up using Amperex 6922’s in it.

Half the fun of this hobby is trying new things and seeing what hat they do, good or bad.

All the best.

I’d say it’s a combination of good equipment and bias. So as long as your happy, that should be all that matters.