Music first or sound first?

I just thought it might be interesting to take a poll of those that put sound first and those that claim they put music first in listening to their rigs.

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@grislybutter , re "I have become obsessed with the sound quality so much, I barely enjoy music as I used to."

This syndrome is what causes me to back off from thinking about upgrades all the time (i.e., the search for the Holy Grail). Also to consider cancelling my Absolute Sound subscription...their bias toward gear I am unlikely to ever afford is frustrating! It is audio p0rn. I don’t have a huge budget, and if I did I would probably hire a consultant to help me pick a forever system, and then set it and forget it. I also resist listening to systems that I can’t afford, to both avoid frustration and to reduce dissatisfaction with my current system. By most measures, my "modest" system (Vandersteen 2CE SigIII, Odyssey amp, good DAC/preamp) sounds better than any system owned by any of my friends or family, or anyone in my neighborhood.

The changes I consider making are more subjective, like adding a tube preamp, or room tuning. I am ALL about bang for the buck, and making my dollars go far, so spending many $1000s for small incremental improvements isn’t my thing.

So, I always try to focus on enjoying the music. The end, vs the means to the end. Of course, I wouldn’t be unhappy upgrading to the Vandy Treo CT (or Quatro/Kento, or Magicos, or Rockports, or... 😎), and think about it often and other upgrades. I have trouble prying the dough out of my wallet!

@mikelavigne - Maybe! I make one exception to not listening to systems I cannot ever afford—yours! I am only 3 hours away and I would make the trek. 😎 How is that for subtle?

I have followed the evolution of your amazing system with fascination. I have had to admit that I don't have the "tweaking gene" and in that regard am too lazy (and distracted by other passions) to do it. In addition, I get analysis paralysis, which is SO frustrating. Oy.