Treat your room, even if you need to divorce your spouse.
Been there done that 👌
When I got to the point where I realized that the system was really good and that the incremental improvements, given cost, weren't. (I had already addressed the room, power and set up and done a fair amount of tube rolling). At this point, I'd rather spend the money on records. Now that the record market has gotten inflated, and grading is all over the place, I'm buying records even more selectively. If I didn't buy another record, I'd still have more than my lifetime of music to listen to.
This industry is all about "the next best thing." I stopped that a while ago--without realizing it at the time. I'm an avid reader, am very interested in developments in recording, playback, restoration, archival standards and the like, but I don't read the consumer magazines touting new equipment. Antiquarian gear is more interesting to me. But, I did the "climb" and went through decades of acquisition phases. The history is in some ways more interesting than the "future" because much of it is based on market hype. That doesn't interest me.
My room got better after I got rid of the room treatments. What can I say?
Spouse now has her own private lair. She also essentially owns the living room.
I now enjoy my stereo enough to get off the upgrade wagon. If something breaks, of course, that's another matter. And, of course, stuff has broken over the years.
Currently sitting in my listening chair, enjoying the heck out of a Mendelssohn string quartet being streamed via Idagio. CD quality, and a big "So what?" thanks to the Idagio crew's wonderful collective set of ears.
+1 @czarivey - Same for me. I just stopped all the @$#&* around and started just listening to music. I even use Spotify for my streaming, and enjoy it! Can’t remember the last time I changed anything in my room or system.
Yes, looks like I'm with the "stopped" crowd... though I must admit I'm not completely stopped because I still want to get a pair of Q Acoustics Concept 50 in my living room, to contrast with my Heresy IV... for a couple different flavors I can go back and forth.
My gear sounds excellent, both my primary and secondary systems, after careful selection of amps and speakers, without spending too much (the Heresy were $2500/pair open box, the Marantz Ruby amp about the same) and certainly without obsessing on cables and wires, lol. I have no need for "beyond" because I've heard a lot of systems, some waaaaayyyy more expensive but I'm not too impressed, so I've come to a point where enough is enough because really there's not that much more for me "up higher" maybe a tiny bit for a lot more money but I realize that I just don't care. Time to enjoy what I have instead of chasing rabbits.
At this point, I spend on music, both live and otherwise. Just walked home from the record store here in Pasadena with two new cds: a BeeGees collection and a Neil Diamond collection (yes, that's correct). Probably could have gotten 'em on the streamer, but I still like shiny discs though I'm not willing to revert to vinyl anymore, and I'm supporting a local small business where I go to browse as I walk around town. I support the Pasadena Symphony, with season tickets, and so on... I draw the line on Springsteen tickets that are going for $1000+ list, shame on him.
I still piddle around, but stopped chasing the wind when I found little consensus. Each audiophile point had a counterpoint(s), and the points and counterpoints had caveats. For a guy like me, likely on the spectrum, the inability to grasp anything foundational is a turn off.
This concept sounds interesting, and I’ll likely try it when the price is considerably less. Fortunately, in order to gain a considerable market share, most products like this become more affordable and simpler to use over time, and I’m no early adopter.
"Treat your room, even if you need to divorce your spouse."
I am extremely lucky... my wife let me build a room (in the basement) specifically for 2 channel. The wall treatments, wires, glowing tubes, tweaks et alia, are now not a "factor" and she gets the HT room all to herself. Problem solved... Everyone Wins!
I stopped (not sure it is final, but I am OK if it is) with my last big purchase/upgrade to join the 21st century and enter the world of high-fidelity streaming. Previous system was CD only, the amp had crapped out, and the midrange driver in one of my speakers had blown (likely a casualty of the amp problem).
I did not want to listen to MP3s and had lost touch with high fidelity as I also transitioned into being married. I was "doing without" (audio-wise) at the time.
In the wake of a divorce, I decided to stop "doing without" and see if something better than MP3 was available via streaming. My dealer (Timbre in Houston) was instrumental in helping me understand everything. The "big purchase/upgrade" was to go active (Aktiv) with a Linn Akurate Hub and Akurate Exaktbox-I driving my existing AV5140 speakers (minus the crossovers). Very happy with the setup, which streams Qobuz via Roon. No regrets and no inclinations to tinker until/unless I find myself having to "do without" again for some reason.
Like so many things in life the journey for whatever you are seeking can be long, complicated, and unfullfillimg but it need not be. The perfect tweeter high note or the knock it dead bass isn't somewhere off in nirvana but in the state of your mindfulness as the orchestration of the systems reproduce the music. Much like sex, take your pick of blonde, brunette, slim, heavy etc. etc come into mind, What ever suits you, and the activity is easily progression, not thinking of missing a 1/8 note here or there.but enjoying the moment you are in. Realizing that this is good, this what I desired, this is what I enjoyed. My ex model wife now aging (gracefully I might mention) If you dwell on the 1/8 notes or a pound too much here or there or the chapped lips need a little work, you miss the experience. My system (not my wife, oh god no) is under $20,000 starting w/ Carver Crimson 350s. and ends w/ Carver Silver or MB Quart Vera VS 1 F. The point being I can settle back easy, close my eyes and ........
I'm pretty much satisfied with my system. Most importantly, it is capable of taking me on the emotional journeys that are so much a part of listening to music. I've also come to accept the fact that my piano will never be entirely in tune, and that when the weather gets too humid, certain keys might be a bit slow in returning to their rest position. Is this what old age does to you?😀
I think wharts comments sum up my experience...both my first and second systems are highly musical and satisfying, and my record and cd collections keep growing and could keep me in fresh music for decades.
Any swapping I do know is for educational purposes, and I don't sell my old gear. In fact, I usually end up putting it back in the systems and selling the "experimental" gear.
For what it is worth, I believe obtaining this level of satisfaction can only be easily obtained when also experiencing many live concerts. This allows you to judge against the totality of the live vs. recorded experience so far as the music goes (have to ignore the non-musical satisfactions of live music concerts). As a result, when the gear delivers the "aha" experience, you know it and stop searching.
listen > goosebumps > Benaroya ( duh ), go home cue archaic disc > some goosebumps > bin dive / scrounge/ trade content w allies, Pirates, scoundrels, > solder in something new > goosebumps > go to audio club and hang w great people > setup a system in Michigan over facetime from California > servant leadership goosebumps > chat with my Mentor since 1977 > be thankful > Lather / Rinse Repeat until my carbon is returned to whence it came ( Thank you Joni )….