When did you put the most effort in setting up your audio system?

We all have this moment at the time you have put yourself through a lot of things when setting up your audio system. Please share your experience when you think in the past or present, you did put in so much efforts. 


To share my own experience, just to compare two different speaker products, I bought both products in new, held on to them for 4-5months. During the time I had them, I changed amps(2 different power amps), DACs(5 of them borrowed, bought and returned), speaker cables(3 times). Even after all these, I couldn't make up my mind which to keep, then let my sister, who wanted to have a pair, to choose whichever she preferred in design. Crazy... Now, I kinda know what I want, but I don't think I can put myself through chasing all those components just to test out two different products in speakers. 

So now, I am more careful choosing speakers with my existing system then take my time choosing different components. I think I know which components I am deeply attached to. 

Feel free to share your own experience. Leave a piece of your audiophile journey here, we all respect the craziness (or nerdiness) with total disregards in common logics. In Korea, audiophiles call themselves mental patients(hwan-ja in Korean pronounciation), who just do all kinds of crazy things to seek for their satisfaction in audio. I want you to join and share this patient journey, haha.    



I spent over a year setting up Quad 63's. A great speaker if you get it set up right in a good room. 

Moving my PS Audio FR-20s from the main floor to the basement using a new stair-climbing dolly. After discussing the correct approach, my son convinced me to let him go down the stairs backwards. Big mistake. It was like they were on a slide. He was quick enough to shuffle down the stairs and not get crushed or run over. I thought he was going through the Sheetrock wall at the bottom of the landing.  Bruised but not broken. 


I bought one of those 3-wheel hand carts designed for climbing stairs also!

First, I tried taking a 50 lb. package with it. However, I did not go backwards though as you did. But still the cart wanted to roll down the steps too fast. So, I did not try to use that hand cart with my new 250lb. speakers...


Each time I cleaned already clean records using Okki Nokki machine and Audio Intelligent fluids I heard a very small improvement in sound. I had to stop after five cleanings of some records, it became too crazy. I guess, if I had one of the best machines cleaning once would've been enough. Or once a year, at least.

My most of effort went to record collection and still goes on and on.

Discovering new music, getting records, playing them and enjoying.


The less is the acoustics/psycho-acoustic knowledge the more audiophiles are trapped in gear obsessed neurosis...😊

It is because they feel impotent to change their soundfield if they dont "upgrade " by buying ...

By fate and luck i did not have this money to invest in my sound obsession...Then it was mandatory to study...Buying was not an option... My "tweaks" were all homemade... A seller of Tweaks did not liked it  then because i did not buy anything... He complained even to me... I take it as a compliment...😎

I had the fun of my life working my acoustic room for a year ... Being retired i could do it full time and learn...

I will never do it again though ...

Too costly in tuning time.. And what is fun because we learn become tedious when we begin it again... Acoustic is way more than buying acoustic panels of various kind by the way... I designed my hundred Helmholtz resonators in some grid disposition relatively to each speakers and ears location...It cost me nothing save my time...

That is my audiophile journey...

I am very proud to be a bad consumer and a good learner...


I started on my first true high end system not too long after I got my first professional job after college. I think I spent at least two - three years getting my first system put together. There was a lot of swapping, as this component or that would not really do it. Incessant reading and trying to get the lay of the land. I took out my first loan to buy a Threshold s500 amp ($5K…. $19K in todays dollars). That became my first “permanent piece”.

That held me for about ten years until I got out af graduate school and got a job. Then maybe a year and a half upgrading my system to the next level. Including probably 500 hours into evaluating cables… how they differed etc.


Next cycle took less than a year. Next about a year.


This last one after I retired… the choice of components really quick, wires quick, then about a year of slow methodical positioning, vibration control, and room treatments.

@newbee what took you a year to set it up? Just the room acoustic issues?

@markalarsen @ozzy As Mon Acoustic speakers are all in aluminum cabinets, I can relate to the carrying issues head to toe myself. we thought of getting those electrical stair dolly, but wow they cost $10k. I'd rather buy a new turntable. Always think about how to move your components before you start lifting up. 

@inna how is okki nokki cleaner? I am looking into a LP cleaner these days, so many choices. I need to free myself from manual cleaning.

@czarivey You mentioned it, now show off your record collection. Come on. I am far from getting there myself. 

@mahgister You would have to be resilient in learning. I respect you learning all those after retirement age. I recently met someone who started learning audio mixing and sound engineering(hobby level) at the age of 64, I respect! True passion that moves your body and mind like you! 

@ghdprentice You need to share a photo of your system after putting so much efforts into it. I think the more you get to know of each component in your system, you want to perfect it or get the full capability out of the system. I started this audio passion purely out of the asesthetic and as a desired routine of my after work daily ritual. Then I start noticing the rooms for improvement. Then the buying cycle begins again, haha. The usual rabbit hole.




OP, 2 things about setting up the Quads were 1) Controlling the back wave which included finding the correct distance from the back wall, toe in, and finding the correct height off the floor. This last item was the most difficult, everyone thought they sounded best on stands (which came with them) which I found, after long experimentation, no to be so (in my room at least). 2)Figuring out how to handle the back wave was a bit time consuming, but when done I had an outstanding soundstage. And, FWIW, I was fairly anal in those days. :-)

The most effort? Hmmm....that's a tough one.

Learning patience and wisdom when thinking about making a purchasing decision.

That includes (especially) used gear.

It can be an expensive journey.

One of the most interesting journeys for me has been the constant refinement of the system, not by adding or changing components, but by fine tuning things like speaker placement, adding direct 20amp circuits, etc. That's what's taken the most time and experimentation.


Every little change makes an impact, and while I will continue to tweak the above, have really enjoyed learning about how everything impacts and plays off one another.

@newbee Ah, getting the position right  can be a tough one, but in the end, it is a journey that makes it worth while. Especially with ported speakers, room acoustic is crucial and one of the reasons, our designer, Jun is also obsessed with is creating the amazing harmonics. People can get caught on for ages. 
@coralkong Go on, share your story in pursuing your pre-owned items. 

@christianb5s4 So which refinement experience would you say it was well worth your time and effort the most? 


Thanks for your comments.

My systems are shown under my UserID. There are lots of photos and my components.

@monacousticusa Speaker placement once I settled on my current components and room treatment. It was eye opening how even tiny adjustments to speaker positioning could yield such an impact (positive and negative).

@ghdprentice Wow, indeed you have a wonderful system. Not to mention your LP&CD collections are something that I envy and admire! I also notice that you also have head-fi system as well. I also have susvara, abyss ab1266 tc phi, meze elite, audeze lcd4, focal utopia(older version) with WooAudio WA33elite. Now I am curious what kind of music you listen to with all your fantastic gear. Don't think I am stalking you. haha. 

@christianb5s4 for sure. a youtuber, Nemo Propaganda visited our office the other day, because we have a shooting range close to our office building. And he was telling me that he doesn't get much of bass out of our PlatiMon whereas my office listening room has more bass than his place. I suspect the placement due to our products ports design. Anyway, the placement is crucial when your speakers are capable of producing great sound stage. 



Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I really love Woo. It took me three small steps up the Woo head amp hierarchy to get to my current system.


I listen to jazz, world, blues, classical, electronic and rock, mostly. But I will admit I can get lost in nearly anything with my systems. I lent my headphone Aurender streamer to a friend. When it came back it was playing some pop collection with stuff like Michelle Jackson and other mainstream  “hits” that I would never listen to. I just haven’t been able to get myself to change it… a few notes in and I’m hooked. 

It took me forever and a day to properly set-up my Revel Salon 2 speakers for optimal sound quality after having to move them from a lager room to a smaller room in the house.  It  was a very frustrating process, but I finally nailed it, and I've been in audio nirvana every since 

@ghdprentice Nice. I always love unexpected encounter new songs

@kennymacc It all pays after all. We only need to keep trying and move components until we like it 😁


Immediately after my divorce.

@sounds_real_audio Ha! When I relocated and was in a 14’ x 14’ second floor apartment it was a nightmare especially dealing with bass as you might imagine, and despite a lot of effort never got great and balanced sound. Then we bought a house and I got a dedicated 24’ x 13’ listening room in the basement on a concrete slab and had things completely dialed in and balanced within a couple hours. IME, and as most everyone here knows, the room is critical as to how much effort is required to get a system sounding great.

Oh....that's an easy one.  "SPEAKER PLACEMENT.'  It took me forever and a day to get the optimal speaker placement of my beloved Revel Salon 2 speakers in my small room.  But once I got it right, it was all over.  Heaven!!!!  

Sorting out the digital front end: switches, cables, filters, servers, power supplies, power cables, isolators, USB tweaks, EMI shielding, software…. the better part of 5 years and still only 95% there?

"Sorting out the digital front end: switches, cables, filters, servers, power supplies, power cables, isolators, USB tweaks, EMI shielding, software…. the better part of 5 years and still only 95% there?" 

I get it antigrunge2 except don't be thinking 5 years is a long time.

I've been doing all that for 30 years. It would be a long post to document it, revealing absolute insanity and musical satisfaction.   For me, as improvements were made,  the opportunity to improve further by maximizing the performance of the major components has been a continuous quest. Major components then sneak in and the process repeats.  I may have learned quite a bit but the most important is that: EVERYTHING MATTERS

I'm done with it now and just enjoy the music. (Did you actually believe that??)


For me, the real fulfillment was the 5 - 7 years between upgrades. I love the time in between upgrades just appreciating the music and what I had accomplished. Then the couple years doing an upgrade… learning, slowly purchasing new and much better sounding components… learning deeply into another aspect. Love that part as well. Overall, I like both enjoying the music and upgrading.