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Audiophiles and the fear of missing out on something better

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  • Audiophiles and the fear of missing out on something better

    Two old farts kibitzing about nothing or is it the elephant in the room none of the 'serious' boards talk about? I have an audio buddy that can turn a 15 minute question into a two hour phone conversation about the most trivial minutiae audiophiles obsess over and at the end of the call it almost always turns to what SG and Andy are talking about here...

    Linn Kilmax LP12 | Channel D | Jadis | Denafrips | Innuos | Klipsch Cornwall IV | Falcon LS3/5a | McCollum ESL 57

  • #2
    Excellent post; this is essentially why I abandoned vinyl 10 years ago.

    It seems vinyl equipment goes "obsolete" as fast as digital with all the improvements in every aspect of vinyl sound reproduction, no doubt each reproducing better sound (but where does it end?). This was the height of FOMO for me, not so much what I had in my system, but knowing there would always be better, if not soon, then in the near future (back then most especially cartridges; now it seems like everything).

    Instead, I have gone on a decade-long Esoteric journey first with separates, then to PCM via USB, and finally to DSD via USB, where my journey can now end.

    When I need the magic of analog I fire up my reel to reel, which is pushing 50 years old (although fully refurbished) and hopefully will not become obsolete before I do.

    I am now focused solely on isolation and power management, so hopefully no more FOMO (but still the ghastly break-in periods; at least there is a fair amount of instant improvement). I am still amazed that my system can reach new levels with these two types of improvement.
    Aurender X100L, Esoteric Grandioso K1, The Truth linestage, Mara Machines MCI JH110 Reel to Reel 1/4" 2 track Hi-Fi version, Coincident M300B Frankenstein II amplifiers, 300B Psvane ACME Supreme 1% tubes, Coincident Triumph Extreme II speakers, Coincident Statement interconnects, Coincident Statement speaker cables, Coincident Nordost and Shunyata power cords, Coincident Statement USB, Element subwoofer with Behringer 24/96 crossover, Final Audio Design Sonorous X headphones, EMIA silver autoformer headphone volume control, Nordost Qbase8, Furutech FLUX 50 NCF and GTX-D NCF (R), HRS DPX Damping Plate, Tascam DA-3000/Mutec 3+ USB/SOtM 75 ohm, Mutec REF10, Shunyata Sigma Clock 50, ADD-POWR ElectraClear/Wizard/Sorcer x4.


    • #3
      There is always something better, but i don't fear that I am missing out.
      SME 30/12A, SME V-12, SME 3012R, vdH Master Signature, MySonicLab Signature Gold, Air Tight Supreme, Pass Labs XA160.5, XP-22, XP-27, Magico Q3


      • #4
        Yeah.... I used to be on that train. Got off the train a few years ago. What I thought was better.... was just "different". There is only 1 absolute..... Now I spend my money on much more enjoyable things than worrying about the latest/greatest ....... feels sooooooooooo good.......


        • #5
          I like the part where S.G. says, "You mean you could have got something better... the one that got away?" A.S. says,"You're saying it's like fishing and girls?"


          • #6
            We all lust for new things. But I agree with all here. Yes I have changed my system around but it took 20+ years before I made those changes and my analog source has remained the same with no regrets. My analog was terrific for me and I only added my little Arcam which is a remarkable overachiever. My Bluesound is equally good and I love, yes I said LOVE streaming. Found a super new recording a few nights ago by a young Iranian woman with a variety of Mideast instruments. Name is Nelia Safaie. A real musicianly recording. Not for everyone but superb in every way. And I have had in depth communication with her via messenger as well. What a fab pastime. My final frontier is updating my wires which has begun and has been very meaningful. Apologies for my windy response. Oh yes I saw the interview on YouTube. Much truth in it.
            TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Transfiguration Proteus Cart; Arcam R Phono Preamp; Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer; VTL 6.5 preamp, Pass Labs 150.8 Amp; Piega C711 Loudspeakers; Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls; Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables; Schiitt Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD700 Headphones; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner


            • #7
              I’m lucky I went retro on all of it except digital. I do wonder in the analog domain how much better has it gotten. My first dip back into analog two tables and phono pre amp less then 8 k all in. I’m very happy.
              analog stuff.
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
              sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
              new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
              thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
              thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
              kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
              phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
              speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
              mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
              digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
              Dacs lampi various


              • #8
                I dont think it has anything to do with missing out. Its more, how do I really know what sounds good to me, in my home, that fits my budget.

                Myself like 1more, find my server to be a dream. When I let myself open up to something new, I really sit back and enjoy what I have. If I obsess over the sound, i get anxious, critical and miss out on what its about.
                PAP Trio 10/Voxativ & PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Ampsandsound Casablanca monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp,
                Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cablling,
                Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.


                • #9
                  No fear of anything, especially audio. Heck life’s to short and besides Mick Jagger really doesn’t care about my system anyway
                  Source Analog: Kuzma Stabi R with 4point 9 arm & Kuzma 40 Cartridge
                  Source Digital: Aurender N10 | Brinkmann Nyquist MK II
                  Amplification: Dan D’Agostino Momentum Pre Amp and Monos | Boulder Phono 508
                  Speakers: Wilson Alexias
                  Cabling: Nordost Valhalla 2/Odin: power, interconnects & speaker | Ansuz: C2 power & interconnect | Audioquest Diamond RJ45’s
                  Power: Nordost QRT series | Furutech FP55SN cable from 20 Amp Breakers on grounded sub panel to Furutech GTX D NSF receptacle packages | Surge Guard at Main Panel | Keces P3 & P8 | ADD POWR series
                  Other: HRS M3X | Stillpoints Ultra 6, SS & Mini | Nordost Sort Cones TC & BC | AQ Vox SE switch | Gigafoil v4 | Vicoustics | Audio Desk Systeme - Gläss


                  • #10
                    The issue is, audio is very subjective. Many audiophiles are very insecure and need others to tell them whether their system is good or not. But audiophiles also like to criticise in order to show that they are sophisticated. Therefore, it is unusual for audiophiles to get affirmation from other audiophiles.
                    It is therefore important to have experience with live music, which would provide a reference for what we should be going after. Often, when we go to a show or a demo, the system is tuned to impress. It is like the Coke and Pepsi comparison on those TV ads, and most people chose Pepsi on the first sip because it was sweeter. But such a system would soon sound fatiguing or even annoying, as live music does not sound this way. Therefore, many audiophiles soon become disillusioned with their new acquisitions and the cycle starts again.
                    Many manufacturers also make claims on their technology and design being superior to what is on the market. In fact, breakthroughs are few and far between, and components from the 1960s and even the 50s and 40s can sound very good. It is important to have some background knowledge of electronics, acoustics and psychoacoustics in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. I tend to go for classic equipment that stood the test of time, especially high end professional equipment, which cannot fool professional engineers with sales gimmicks alone.


                    • #11
                      I’m not on that path with gear. Had the same basic system since 2007, and the same speakers since 2001.

                      But I do feel that way about fancy LP re-issues and tapes 🤪
                      TAPE: Studer A807, A810; Revox B77 MkII; Tascam BR-20; Technics RS-1700; Pioneer RT-707, RT-909
                      VINYL: Pioneer PL-50LII/Benz LP-S MR/ModWright PH 9.0; Denon DP59-L/Dynavector 20xH
                      DIGITAL: Bryston SP-3, Marantz NA6006/Pioneer N-50, Schiit Bifrost
                      SPEAKERS: B&W Nautilus 800, Pioneer DSS-9, Velodyne FSR-15
                      AMPS: Cary SLP-05/Sunfire Signature 600, Pioneer SX-1980


                      • tom_hankins
                        tom_hankins commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I'm a complete sucker for latest greatest reissues

                    • #12
                      Comparison is the thief of joy
                      Last edited by tom_hankins; 01-15-2020, 02:47 PM.
                      SOURCE: VINYL - EAT C-Sharp with, EAT LPS power supply, Soundsmith Paua mkII
                      DIGITAL - Auralic Vega G2 DAC. Schiit Yggdrasil DAC. Bluesound Node 2i streamer
                      PHONOSTAGE: AudioNet PAM G2 with AudioNet EPX power supply.
                      PREAMP: Audionet PRE G2.
                      AMPLIFIER: Audionet MAX monoblocks.
                      SPEAKERS: YG Acoustics Anat III Signatures (upgraded to Sonja 1.2) SVS SB-4000 subwoofers (x2)
                      CABLES: Kubala-Sosna.....Audio Desk Systeme RCM, Adona Rack, GIK room treatment, Isoacoustics


                      • Rob
                        Rob commented
                        Editing a comment
                        another way of saying ignorance is bliss?

                    • #13
                      I know for a few, it's acceptance by your fellow man.... peer pressure. If I don't have the latest/greatest..... I won't get the attention I deserve.....

                      Just sayin' .......


                      • Rob
                        Rob commented
                        Editing a comment
                        its a credibility thing, I can see that.

                    • #14
                      Originally posted by lance002 View Post
                      Excellent post; this is essentially why I abandoned vinyl 10 years ago.

                      It seems vinyl equipment goes "obsolete" as fast as digital with all the improvements in every aspect of vinyl sound reproduction, no doubt each reproducing better sound (but where does it end?). This was the height of FOMO for me, not so much what I had in my system, but knowing there would always be better, if not soon, then in the near future (back then most especially cartridges; now it seems like everything).
                      This was a bit of a surprise to me to see this. I'm still running the same turntable as I was 20 years ago (Atma-Sphere 208). I've had the Triplanar arm the last 15 years although Triplanar did update it for me at no charge. My cartridge is a bit long in the tooth, being 10 years old, but still tracks the hardest tracks with no strain whatsoever. I've no incentive to change anything out; I go to audio shows a lot and about the only real improvement I've seen is Technics is back in the game.

                      In that same time I've seen digital improve quite a lot. It went from 5 figure DACs required for great sound to DACs under $200 (Topping) that sound just as good. 15 years ago USB input on a DAC was a big deal, now its not. A lot of digital is sorting out how to keep the noise down in the layout of the circuit

                      With regards to cartridges, I feel your pain, but one lesson I learned about 8 or 9 years ago was that the ability of the tone arm to track the cartridge properly was far more important than what cartridge you have, with the minor exception that a low output cartridge will trace accurately to a significantly higher frequency than a moving magnet, on account of the attendant resonance set up by the inductance of the cartridge and the capacitance of the tone arm cable (hence the advisability of using a low capacitance tone arm cable). Ultimately the result is I no longer play the 4 of 5 figure cartridge game as there is literally no point. I have the master tapes of an LP I recorded, so I know how its supposed to sound and I base my comments on this reference.

                      I also found out about 30 years ago that the phono section itself can be responsible for ticks and pops that are often associated with the LP surface; once those faults in the phono preamp are corrected you get a lot less ticks and pops. So I am very used to hearing multiple album sides without surface noise. The reason this happens is a bit technical; I can explain it if you like.

                      But generally speaking from my perspective the digital world is changing a lot faster than the LP world. Heck, CDs are rapidly becoming extinct! That wasn't a thing 10 years ago.


                      • #15
                        It is the insane trek of having to possess the very best. It is pointless because there will always be something better.

                        There is always a more beautiful woman, a nicer boat, better sounding speakers and a better pressing.

                        It is a matter of getting the best you can get and being satisfied that yours is good enough. Enjoyment is not about the best. The best is anything but enjoyment. A constant state of trying to acquire the best is something that leads to perpetual dissatisfaction with what you own.

                        Nonetheless there are plenty audiophiles that try.

                        Life is is just samples thereof

                        Analog: VPI Prime TT w/Walnut Plinth, HRX Pulley + 3 Belt Drive + ADS Speed Ctrl, 3D Dual Pivot Assy, Tru Lift
                        Analog 2: Ortofon Windfeld Ti + Bob's Devices VPI Sky 30 Stepup Transformer + Liberty Audio B2B-1 Phono Preamp, Stereo Squares Dust Cover
                        Digital: TASCAM UH-7000 High-res USB Interface, Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai Universal Disc Player, NAD C448 Internet Radio/Streamer
                        Digital 2: Digital Audio Workstation (Toshiba P75-A7200 w/MS Windows 10, 24GB RAM, 1.5 TB Crucial MX300 SSD Internal Storage, Intel i7-4700MQ Processor)

                        Amp: Rogue RP-9 Line Preamp, Schiit Loki Tone Ctrls, Parasound A21 Power Amp
                        Speakers: Magnepan MMC2, Magnepan DW-M Planar Woofer, REL T9/i Subwoofer
                        Headphones: Stax Lambda Pro + SRM 1 MK II, Focal Clear + Schiit Lyr 2
                        Wires: Kimber Hero ICs, Kimber 8TC Speaker Cables, AQ Leopard Phono IC, Pangea Silver USB Cables, StraightWire Expressivo ICs
                        Power: Furman Elite 15 PFi