System psychology, or just psyched out?

After reading through these forums a bit, listening to what some people have to say about their systems and given my own experience, I have noticed something of a pattern:
People generally like their systems.

Now my question would be is this for psychological reasons, or purely objective?

What I mean is, after we buy something and own it we usually become comfortable and accepting of it which may affect our judgement of it. We become accustomed to and familiar to our systems, and regard it dearly and would not wish to part with it... We have a pride of ownership.

For example, I met a guy in the hi-fi shop who said he loved his Totem Mani-II speakers, but that when he first heard them he wasn't really overly impressed by them, they were simply the best he could afford. But now, he loves them and is completely satisfied with their sound. I know that speakers need to be broken in and played in your usual listening environment for a satisfactory audition, but I also think that other psychological factors like pride of ownership, familiarity and comfort with the product, etcetera, play a role in the level of enjoyment and opinion of the sound.

Now don't mock me here, but my RCA home theater in a box system along with my Bose Acoustic Wave music System(you know, the big stereo box) gives me great enjoyment when listening to music. Playing CD's from my cheap $40 Cyberhome DVD player, the sound has good, not great soundstaging and depth along with decent, good stereo imaging. Also the sound is pretty clear, certainly not the best earth challenging sonics, but still nice. I actually think my system costing just over 300 bucks, 1500 if you count the Bose, which I guess you must although I got it for free from my uncle, he owns a pawn shop, sounds better than the 20, 50, 80, 100 thousand dollar rigs I hear at Audio Lab, my Hi-end shop. Don't get me wrong, I know there's better sound out there, and I want to upgrade which is why I go there(Audio Lab), but I do enjoy my modest setup immensely.

So what's the deal? You think if people heard their own system blindfolded they would be so thrilled, or does the fact that they own it influence their views... and ears?

Oh well, just a thought I had about systems and speakers, what about you?

if you truly enjoy music, you can enjoy it when the source is a personal stereo purchased at circuit city or best buy or when listening to an expensive stereo system. the music is the same, but the sound quality varies.

audio obsessed, do you care about sound quality, or is it the music that counts ?

any stereo system can be evaluated objectively and subjectively. perception and taste matter.

if you have feelings of insecurity about the sound of your stereo system, have an open mind and listen to a variety, from an audio dealer, to friend's and acquaintances. then, decide what is quality and what isn't. at that point, you will be able to make an intelligent decision as to upgrading, or keeping what you have.
Post removed 

The thread rises, back from the dead 14 years later, and still as inconsequential a question.  :(


The only high end audio "store" I've been to that truly impressed me (& I've been to many) was Goodwins in Boston. For sure the equipment being used was top shelf, but so was the room & set up. That stated, judging sound quality in a store is typically not the way to do it. Bring it home & judge it there. 

But....If you're happy with what you have already, enjoy the music. Seriously, it's all right.