The Horror

After getting  back home from “The Show” in Costa Mesa, California this past weekend, I walked over to my stereo system and turned it on. And silently wept. I had held out a feint hope that my cross-over modified 1.7i Maggies and mighty Parasound A21+, fed from a Prima Luna 300 tube preamplifier could somehow manage a slight shimmer of resemblance to the robust setups I witnessed at the SHOW. Not—- on— your —-life. Not even close. I slumped into my over-stuffed couch and stared long and hard at the thing I created: an anemic concoction of false hopes and wishful thinking. The horror, the truth: entry into serious audiophile listening begins with purchase of speakers that cost the price of the car I had to finance for 4 years, closely followed with the added expense of beefy sophisticated electronics and wiring, not a gaggle of cheap wanna-be plastic and tweeks. I so wanted to belong, but that’s turned out to be just a fever dream I’ve got to wake up from. Maybe one day, if ever I have the nerve to rob a bank, find Jimmy Hoffa, or survive a head-on collision from a sleepy Amazon driver, I might make it. Maybe. Feel free to play the violin with two fingers.



Well said. It hit me hard, I can’t lie, the feeling of being so foolish as to believe my inexpensive panels could rival those monstrously engineered speakers and boxes that only the rich can patronize. Well, at least I know now. I’m free of the delusion. It’s time to take a breath, and, in time, see where to go from here. You’re right about it being about the music.  

You have to start somewhere and you have to have a target to shoot for. You take evolutionary steps. I'm 70 and just getting there.....I think.

Disillusionment can be costly. And once you know, you know.

Everything in audio is a trade-off. Everything.

Quality costs money. Usually LOTS of money. 

Discipline is knowing your equipment is the best you can do, and being happy with that.

IOW, almost everyone has to learn to be happy with "good enough".


You have some nice equipment, you will be shocked at how much better it sounds if you research and apply some room treatments! From your system page it looks like you will have a lot of unwanted reflections going on in there.

If Gryphon/AGD sound dazzled you, it might be time to set up the Maggie as a Asian wall divider (rest its speakering duties for a few months, let the old lass rest). Get a Borresen X2, before any price hikes.

The rest of your electronics should be just fine.

I would get rid of that goofball Martin Logan sub and get a Rythmik FM8 subwoofer (considering that you may have a Borresen and Maggie as speakers).

Much of audio group Denmark’s tricks revolve around their unique noise mitigation solutions, which can dazzle many dudes perceptually. You can do it affordably with their AXXESS line of cables and power conditioners. Otherwise, spend a little extra on the Ansuz (mainz) power conditioner.

Last, but, not the least, if a small (setup restrictions, etc) and untreated room is all you can do....lower all expectations, have several swigs of whisky, renounce everything and become a wandering monk.