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.



Seriously, start over with your room and your setup. Like many on this thread I’m sure, I hopped on to see if you had your system online and you do. Thanks, that helps those who want to be of help. The presence of photos also helps....and informs, so thanks for that as well.


That’s why I suggested that you work on setup and acoustical treatment. I was trying to be kind but the way you have your system setup in the small alcove just amplifies your potential for trouble preventing your system from performing to an appropriate standard for your enjoyment. Additionally, and I can’t speak for everyone...Maggies in your room as pictured may not be ideal. The challenge is you wont know until you begin the proper setup process. Sometimes the room dictates the compromise and sometimes the ideal optical system placement is at odds with the ideal acoustical setup for best sound.


Please take the wise advice offered by @tvad because you have some great gear. In fact, I would take almost any wager that in a few hours some of us could rearrange your setup, apply a few tasteful acoustical treatments and you wouldn’t believe how great your gear and room would sound. The only thing I know for certain is that it isnt your gear holding back what is possible, its your room and setup. If you absolutely have to have it set up in exactly the current configuration, Maggies may not be choice A for you. Since none of us know your room, all advice (including this post) is purely guesswork.


In summary, you presently have a fine system that is handcuffed by the way you have it set up and the absence of appropriate room treatments. Good luck!

@ghasley I’m all in. I want the sound. I don’t give a flying wallenda about the gear if it doesn’t produce the right sound. Later today I will post more up to date pictures of the gear and room to help you all help me get this right. Thanks so much!

I did not see the Dana Point Room as I never got to that part of the lobby until I picked up my program before leaving.  I guess that I didn't realize there was even a room over there. Damn!

Actually, I think that the rooms were not all that bad for sound, and certainly better than most people’s home listening spaces.

The rooms were actually quite large compared to a regular living room and set up symetrically. Speakers were typically well into the room and not placed along the wall nor was the seating. Most demoers had absorbant panels or such placed next to the speaker and many, around the room.

AND..., if you sat toward the front middle, there was no furniture to get in the way and create diffraction.