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  1. #1
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    end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    having spent the past 2+ years slowly and methodically building / upgrading my system, i must say that at this point i am really, really enjoying it. when listening critically, i no longer find myself thinking that i need to upgrade this component or that cable, etc. instead, i find myself thinking about things like the quality of the recording.

    honestly, i do not think embarking on another upgrade cycle would increase my listening enjoyment one iota. so, i may have reached my version of the proverbial end-game.

    however, that being said, the tinkerer/hobbyist/audiophile in me says this is a heck of a lot of fun -- keep going!!

    just curious how others here know when they have reached or will reach their end-game -- and once there what do you do?
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
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  2. #2
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    just curious how others here know when they have reached or will reach their end-game -- and once there what do you do?
    Will stop when they pry my cold dead fingers from my checkbook...:-)

    Cincy
    MSB Select II DAC
    MSB M500 Monoblocks
    Magico M3 Speakers
    Magico Q-Sub 15 subwoofers
    Transparent Opus Gen5 speaker cables and interconnects
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  3. #3
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cincy2 View Post
    Will stop when they pry my cold dead fingers from my checkbook...:-)

    Cincy
    lol -- i was afraid that would be the answer...

    i have also heard it said: there are certain things one does in this stage of life that just simply equate to a smaller inheritance for the kids.

    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
    core audio designs
    plyKraft 3L | hifi racks ltd podium t5-iii

  4. #4
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    When the hearse arrives to pick me up

  5. #5

    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    When the hearse arrives to pick me up
    Very good!! end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

  6. #6
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    When you can no longer justify the costs associated with the next upgrade. The decision has nothing to do with having the funds rather is the expenditure asking you to cross a arbitrary line you have drawn in the sand for each component.
    Jim

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  7. #7

    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    I really enjoy changing different components and seeing what it does to my system. I have set a limit of about $10,000 per component as this allows me to sample more equipment. When will I stop? I'm not sure, I bought my first system in 1973 and the fun hasn't stopped yet.

  8. #8
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    having spent the past 2+ years slowly and methodically building / upgrading my system, i must say that at this point i am really, really enjoying it. when listening critically, i no longer find myself thinking that i need to upgrade this component or that cable, etc. instead, i find myself thinking about things like the quality of the recording.

    honestly, i do not think embarking on another upgrade cycle would increase my listening enjoyment one iota. so, i may have reached my version of the proverbial end-game.

    however, that being said, the tinkerer/hobbyist/audiophile in me says this is a heck of a lot of fun -- keep going!!

    just curious how others here know when they have reached or will reach their end-game -- and once there what do you do?
    me too, in the modern era of internet, forums, etc it's easy to get 'sucked in' to the merry-go-round.

    as an active and competitive shotgun shooter I've said the same thing when it comes to the latest and greatest clay gun, haven't bought a new shotgun in over a year, guess I'm due ..........
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  9. #9

    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    This Is akin to a relationship. When you are “there” you are happy. You don’t need anything else.

    But... all relationships are dynamic; never static. Things can change with time and then who knows.

    Spoken from the “happy” side... for now.

  10. #10
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    My two vices in life are being an audiophile and a photographer. As an audiophile, I haven't reached end-stage system yet. Though I do have an end-stage system in mind and a plan to get there ...

    As a photographer, however, I haven't upgraded my body/lenses in close to three years now because at a certain point, I realized that the image quality coming out of that camera was frickin' amazing and I felt like it wasn't the tools holding me back anymore.

    I'm hoping to get to the same point with the stereo when I reach the same "plateau" as I did with my camera gear. Say, around 2023.
    Pass Labs XP-22, Pass Labs X250.8, OPPO UDP-205, Auralic Aries G1, Bryston BDA-3, Janszen zA1.1, SVS SB13-Ultra, David Laboga Custom Audio/Shunyata/Audioquest cabling, Panamax power conditioner

  11. #11
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Wow, boy can I relate... I think I am so close... I absolutely love the sound of my system... I am completely astonished that a step down in speakers would actually bring me to nirvana. Then something inside me says... but but, maybe just more power, or or this or that... but honestly at this point I am not sure where else I would go.

    I was thinking that everyone says I need more power for the Magnepan's, but then I listen to the "little" T+A and see it provides more pure power than I will ever need and it sounds sooooooo good... but but but... then I realize this system sounds amazing to me.. maybe it is time to just enjoy...
    Hattor The BIG - AMRG Trans | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Bel Canto REF500S | T+A AMP 8 | McIntosh MC754 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000 | Rega RP8 w/Neo PSU | Rega Ania Pro | Hexmat Yellow Bird | MOON (by SimAudio) Neo 310LP | Record Doctor VI | Falcon NW PC (music server) | Roon & HQPlayer | Wyred 4 Sound Recovery | Magnepan MG .7 w/Magna Risers | (x2) Rythmik L12 | Abyss Diana Phi | Bryston ​BHA-1 | Astell&Kern AK240 | McIntosh MR7083 | Oppo BDP105

    "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know when when you are wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  12. #12
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    having spent the past 2+ years slowly and methodically building / upgrading my system, i must say that at this point i am really, really enjoying it. when listening critically, i no longer find myself thinking that i need to upgrade this component or that cable, etc. instead, i find myself thinking about things like the quality of the recording.

    honestly, i do not think embarking on another upgrade cycle would increase my listening enjoyment one iota. so, i may have reached my version of the proverbial end-game.

    however, that being said, the tinkerer/hobbyist/audiophile in me says this is a heck of a lot of fun -- keep going!!

    just curious how others here know when they have reached or will reach their end-game -- and once there what do you do?
    If you strike oil sonically, then you should stop drilling. However, if you uncover a bottleneck in your system, it should be addressed.

    Best,
    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
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    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  13. #13
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Or maybe have fun assembling a new system for another room. maybe base it on a different front end or a different type of speaker system. main system remains the primary and the new one opens up a lot of fun and tinkering. you could also go crazy and make it surround sound with video.
    Aurender N100H > Cary DAC 200ts > Audio Research Ref 6
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  14. #14
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    I will stop when I cannot justify the upgrade cost. I will stop swapping gears when I stop reading posts (I have an itch for upgrade/change when I see someone saying good things about the gears they have) and just enjoy what I have.
    Jim
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    TubePlanar System: Conrad-Johnson | Magnepan | VPI | Lyra | Cardas

    Integrated System: Pass Labs | Luxman | Revel | Lumin | Devialet | Shunyata

  15. #15
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    if you are happy - dont touch it!
    samsung soundbar & subs

  16. #16
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by u-sound View Post
    if you are happy - dont touch it!
    But it makes me happy when I touch it.

  17. #17
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    This reply isn't exactly what you are asking, but it works for most of my RoomPlay clients, and has for me for many years:

    When I am voicing a client's system to their room, I am listening to tracks that I have heard many thousands of times. I actually think I know exactly what happens in the next few nanoseconds as the music unfolds.

    Even so, when I find myself falling into this music that I have heard countless times, it's time for me to turn and say to my client, "we're done."
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Alpha & Sigma USBs; AQ Diamond USBs; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; PecanPi USB dac; Ayre Codex - updated; Topping D-90; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamplifier, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amplifier w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amplifiers w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Symposium Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

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  18. #18
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    lot of really interesting and insightful perspectives here.

    i don't mean to say that i can't improve upon the SQ of my comparatively very modest system. rather, i just don't think there will be greater toe-tapping, head-bobbing and overall enjoyment from the listening experience with any further material system upgrades.

    on the other hand, there are other parts of this hobby that i find quite enjoyable: the tinkering, research, learning, experimenting, etc with new or different types of gear and technologies. there is still plenty of fun to be had in this area. it is always the journey rather than the destination -- right?

    just curious about the thinking of others on the topic ...that and maybe just looking to give myself permission to indulge further.

    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables
    core audio designs
    plyKraft 3L | hifi racks ltd podium t5-iii

  19. #19
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    The end game for me is when your health dictates your hobby goals, be it audio, photography, cars, golf, fishing or anything you enjoy. Its then that you know your priorities in life.
    Chris

    (2 Chl): Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE Lumin D1, VPI Classic 1, Manley Chinook, Dynavector DV20x2L.exaSound e32 mk11, Marantz SA11S2. ( computer) Win7, Synology DS413 NAS ,Vincent SP-331MKII , Quicksilver LS,Vapor Audio Breeze, Rythmik F12se. Cables: Acoustic Zen, DL Labs, Blue Jean.. ,Bryston BCD-1,, OPPO 105, Timbernation Rack, Metrum Onyx, Orchid DAC, WooWA6SE

  20. #20
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    The end game for me is when your health dictates your hobby goals, be it audio, photography, cars, golf, fishing or anything you enjoy. Its then that you know your priorities in life.
    I like that, well said! Luckily at this point I am fit as a fiddle!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Source Analog: Kuzma Stabi R with 4point 11 arm & Kuzma 50 Cartridge
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    Power: Stromtank S1000 | Nordost QRT series | CAD GC1 | Furutech FP55SN cable from 20 amp breakers to Furutech GTX D NSF packages | Keces P3 & P8 | ADD POWR Sorcer 4 | Environmental Potential EP2050
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  21. #21
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    just saw this thread topic. seems like it was calling me.

    i've been on a 26 year run of serious system building, including a no holds barred purpose built dedicated room. and i'm actually at that "know you are there" end game point right now. this last year i've added 3 more turntables and associated gear, and the last of those pieces (three cartridges, another turntable and arm, and 2 exotic cables) arrived in the last 30 days. a couple years ago i upgraded my digital, and two years ago added my 3rd tape deck. 5 years ago i finished tweaking my room, a year ago my long term amps were upgraded.

    there was actually a strategic plan somewhat driving this; i'll retire likely in the next 20-30 months, and i did not want to be in acquire mode any more. and for my particular sonic tastes and speaker type, i'm where i want to be and there are really no forward jumps left. i'd need to change to horns or dipoles or some other driver tech to really take things in a different direction, and not interested.

    my system fulfills my reference sound in my head, checks all the boxes, every time i listen it excites me. no unfulfilled gear lust. never wanted to listen more than right now. i'm happy. so i feel i have reached a system status where it's at the point to stop and smell the roses.

    so for me it's a combination of (1) finishing my system plan completely, and (2) anticipated life changes. i did invest more than most into hifi, but got a big level of satisfaction too. and i'm not stopping my enjoyment or selling off my gear; now it's time to just listen. i will likely be buried in my room.

    time to go fishing ('catching' is a different thing).

  22. #22
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Fishing in your neck' means downrigging for salmon (boring). Mike, don't take this the wrong way but you're never 'there' I cant be the only person that has watched you and your system grow into what it is today. You managed to do it quickly and reach the pointy end in under a two decades--which takes most of us at least three, if not more. So, for the sake of being modest lets just say you're taking a respite until after you retire, then its back to no holds barred
    Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | LTA ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

    "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  23. #23
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by puroagave View Post
    Fishing in your neck' means downrigging for salmon (boring). Mike, don't take this the wrong way but you're never 'there' I cant be the only person that has watched you and your system grow into what it is today. You managed to do it quickly and reach the pointy end in under a two decades--which takes most of us at least three, if not more. So, for the sake of being modest lets just say you're taking a respite until after you retire, then its back to no holds barred
    Yep, pretty sums it up for Mike as well as all of us end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Source Analog: Kuzma Stabi R with 4point 11 arm & Kuzma 50 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: Stromtank S1000 | Nordost QRT series | CAD GC1 | Furutech FP55SN cable from 20 amp breakers to Furutech GTX D NSF packages | Keces P3 & P8 | ADD POWR Sorcer 4 | Environmental Potential EP2050
    Other: HRS M3X | Stillpoints Ultra 6, SS & Mini | Nordost Sort Cones TC & BC | etherREGEN | Gigafoil v4 | Vicoustics | Audio Desk Systeme - Gläss








  24. #24
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by puroagave View Post
    Fishing in your neck' means downrigging for salmon (boring). Mike, don't take this the wrong way but you're never 'there' I cant be the only person that has watched you and your system grow into what it is today. You managed to do it quickly and reach the pointy end in under a two decades--which takes most of us at least three, if not more. So, for the sake of being modest lets just say you're taking a respite until after you retire, then its back to no holds barred
    well......my neck of the woods extends to the Aleutians. and i was clear that the catching part was not significant. it's more where you are than what you catch. best cruising in the world from here to there......and i will have time. with some fishing thrown in. but not quite ready to do that yet. moving that direction.

    as far as my system and whether i'm done, it's fair to say we have to just see how that goes. i know how i feel about it right now.

    if you were me, what would you aspire to do to get to a higher level of hifi performance along the same path i've been on? show me what i should be thinking about. and not being a smart ass, just curious where i still need to go.

  25. #25

    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    having spent the past 2+ years slowly and methodically building / upgrading my system, i must say that at this point i am really, really enjoying it. when listening critically, i no longer find myself thinking that i need to upgrade this component or that cable, etc. instead, i find myself thinking about things like the quality of the recording.

    honestly, i do not think embarking on another upgrade cycle would increase my listening enjoyment one iota. so, i may have reached my version of the proverbial end-game.

    however, that being said, the tinkerer/hobbyist/audiophile in me says this is a heck of a lot of fun -- keep going!!

    just curious how others here know when they have reached or will reach their end-game -- and once there what do you do?
    I don't know about anyone else, but...I listen to music. That's the whole point, IMHO. Not to be churning "gear."

    So, given that, I'm pretty darn close....I am very intrigued by the Spatial Audio M3 Sapphires, though. If they are as good as I think they may be, I may flip my Harbeths for them. Or, maybe my big Dyns.

    And then, I'll be done.

    And that will be nice.

  26. #26
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    In all honesty....

    I could have easily stopped 3 years ago with my end game systems (as I have 2 I play with).

    But .... I still have a job and like it. So I've been able to get even a better to my ears and toe tapping system since then.

    So I'm HAPPY AS ..ck to have this as my end system. But ..... will I stop. HAHAHAHAHA. that's funny!!!!

    At some point - my end system requirements will probably change. Just like my wife and I went from a 4,000SF house to a 1,400 sf house 5 years ago and love that change!!
    Jock

    If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.

    ---------

    House: Naim ND555/2PS, Naim 552, Naim 500, Studer A80/Doshi V3, Magico M2s, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Lumina IC/SC, Shunyata Everest and Omega PCs.

    Workshop: Naim ND555/2 PS, VAC Master Pre, VAC Sig 200iQ, Avant Garde Duo Mezzo XD, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Shunyata IC/SC, Shunyata Typhon QR/Triton V3/Sigma PCs.

  27. #27
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    IDK, My system sounds great and my whole excuse for spending so much(for me) was because it's my end game system, but change is fun so i'll probably build a smaller 2nd system, or another motorcycle. First world problems eh.
    Meridian dsp8000 se upgrade, meridian 218 zone controller, VA Beethovens, , Hegel h360, rega jupiter, roon nucleus, revox tuner.

  28. #28
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    In my view you are there when each time you are listening to music you get a big smile and think ‘WTF’. It took me about 30 years to get at this point. About 10 years ago a finished my dedicated room, wherein I made hardly any/no compromises and that provided me with a lot of relieve in my head. After that I upgraded by system in quite big steps and in a structured way. Currently no clue what I could do to improve it even further, but going back to the first sentence... if you have well recorded content and you are dragged into the music, you should be happy and conclude that you reached your end-point. Stop spending money on hardware and buy music.
    Jan

    Dedicated room: Confidence Mansion
    Electronics: Trinnov Altitude32 | VAC Signature 200 IQ mono’s | Parasound Halo JC-1’s + A51 | Synology DS918+/DX517 (48TB) | Oppo BDP-105D / UDP-203 CM Stufe2
    Speakers: Von Schweikert VR10-MKII system | Dynaudio Confidence C4 | Velodyne DD-18
    Projection: JVC DLA-RS55 | Stewart LX123HST13
    Various: Artesania Exoteryc 3L + Aire racks | Schnerzinger Emi + Giga Piccolo A3 | PS Audio Stellar Power Plant 3 | iPad Pro 12.9” (2018) | Roon
    Cables: AudioQuest Huricane EC | Nordost Frey speakercable | AudioQuest Diamond RJ/E | AudioQuest Diamond HDMI


  29. #29

    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    If your neighbors love your music you're doing it right!!!

  30. #30
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    My feeling is as Jan said. I sit down in my listening room and never cease to be stunned by the sound my system creates. I can be taken to the world of any performer that is playing at that time.
    I'm sure there may be some power supply upgrades and possibly a cable or 2 that gets changed but I don't have any need to move on.
    Synology 1019D+ - SGC Sonictransporter I9 w Roon/HQ Player- UltraRendu- PBD Stream IF to Playback Designs MPS5 via fiber optic - ARC 40th Anniversary Pre - ARC 610 T's - Martin Logan CLX's - 4 Martin Logan Depth i Subs - Shunyata Hydra, IC's and PC's. Audio Quest Vodka CAT 7's. Acoustically treated room with one permanent chair.

  31. #31

    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by bzr View Post
    If your neighbors love your music you're doing it right!!!
    I used to play my music very loud while in college. Years later a person who lived in the same building told me that I played the music very loud and that he could hear it from several rooms/floors away. Then he said that he never complained because he really liked what I was playing. I enjoyed it too and did not even know that “high-end” existed.

  32. #32

    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    I used to play my music very loud while in college. Years later a person who lived in the same building told me that I played the music very loud and that he could hear it from several rooms/floors away. Then he said that he never complained because he really liked what I was playing. I enjoyed it too and did not even know that “high-end” existed.
    I can relate to this. i had a neighbor that used to yell out between songs to turn it up. We moved into another house but eventually sold that & returned to our previous dwellings. The neighbors told me again that my music just seemed so good & don't be shy on sharing....

  33. #33

    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Earlier this year when I upgraded to the Wilson Alexx I realized after a while that I was no longer listening in terms of audiophile terms but just enjoying the music. Before the speakers I was always thinking I'm almost there as this or that isn't quite right ... Now I'm done with this version of the system as I have no desire to change anything at all. Also, ignorance is bliss! :-)

    George
    Wilson Audio Alexx|Pair of BalancedForce212's
    ML No536|BAT Rex II Pre
    VPI Avenger Plus w/ Transfiguration Proteus/VTL TP6.5
    Esoteric D-02X|Esoteric P-02X|Aurender N100H
    MIT Oracle SC and IC
    Transparent Reference Power

  34. #34
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Probably depends if the hobby is the music or the gear. Having the ability to swap out components that accentuate a different spectrum of sound and make old songs sound different enough to be interesting again can't be dismissed.

    My current system is the most natural sounding i've heard anywhere so I'm done right? hmm.
    Meridian dsp8000 se upgrade, meridian 218 zone controller, VA Beethovens, , Hegel h360, rega jupiter, roon nucleus, revox tuner.

  35. #35
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    I like the way Chris put it. It will never really end if I'm healthy, happy and have and income, and interest in audio. At the least, I will wear out a cartridge. Tubes will die. Something will fail. Something will need tweaking. I am already thinking I want new caps In my speakers. Will I make big component changes. Maybe, maybe not. I don't want to. I have other hobbies and activities that fulfill me too.

    As for Mike L. His new quest should be to slowly shrink it all. Take it from the massive towers to a single driver and 2.7 watts😂

  36. #36
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    I have basically had six different systems in my listening room over the last 28 years. Three of the systems produced stellar sound quality and musicality and the other three were disappointments.

    The moral of my story is breaking down a great sounding system and replacing it with a more expensive one does not always result in better sound. The winning systems were system one (Denon, Bryston, Apogee), system four (Esoteric, Pass Labs, Revel) and system six (MSB, Vandersteen, Vandersteen). Each of these systems produced magical sound.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  37. #37
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Hi Carlos,

    I hope all is well with you. I know you’ve had some amazing gear grace your listening room over the last several years. It would be interesting to hear where you’ve landed and if you are content or if further system changes are planned.

    Best,
    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  38. #38

    end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    I have basically have had six different systems in my listening room over the last 28 years. Three of the systems produced stellar sound quality and musicality and the other three were disappointments. The moral of my story is breaking down a great sounding system and replacing it with a more expensive one does not always result in better sound. The winning systems were system one (Denon, Bryston, Apogee), system four (Esoteric, Pass Labs, Revel) and system six (MSB, Vandersteen, Vandersteen).

    Ken
    Hi Ken,

    Hope you are well and throughly enjoying your current wonderful MSB-Vandersteen system.

    I can relate totally to your post. In many ways, for me the enjoyment of this hobby, aside from the pure listening pleasure, also comes from continually learning new things about audio, and applying that knowledge to hopefully improve the listening pleasure; even though the improvements quickly reach a point of decreasing marginal benefit per unit cost.

    So I’m curious to hear your thoughts on what, in your case, motivated you to move from system 1 to 4 and then to system 6, although the two systems previous to 6 “produced stellar sound and musicality”? And what specific improvements do you feel you gained in system 6 versus 1 and 4?

    Thanks


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Rockport Lyra speakers; Gryphon Mephisto mono amps; VAC Statement 450 iQ mono amps; four box CH Precision L1/X1 pre/power supply monos; CH precision P1/X1 phono/power supply; Pacific Microsonics Model 2 DAC; TotalDac d1-12 MkII DAC; Kodo The Beat Turnatable with LT Schroder magnesium tonearm and Lyra Atlas cart; Sound Galleries EVO Music Server; Kalista Dreamplayer CD Transport; Taiko Audio Daiza Platforms; Nordost Odin2 Power Cords and Analog ICs; Nordost Valhalla2 Digital ICs; 512 Engineering/Tim Marutani Balanced Transformers (30 amp for sources; 50 amp for amps); Rives designed dedicated room.

  39. #39
    Senior Member
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Objectively I realize there is better everything out there. Emotionally, I feel I have reached my end game.
    Bud

    Lumin X1 file player
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR for preamp, Denali 2000 (2) for amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
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    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.

  40. #40
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    I like the way Chris put it. It will never really end if I'm healthy, happy and have and income, and interest in audio. At the least, I will wear out a cartridge. Tubes will die. Something will fail. Something will need tweaking. I am already thinking I want new caps In my speakers. Will I make big component changes. Maybe, maybe not. I don't want to. I have other hobbies and activities that fulfill me too.

    As for Mike L. His new quest should be to slowly shrink it all. Take it from the massive towers to a single driver and 2.7 watts😂


    as far as shrinking it all, or a different amp/speaker approach, i suppose how my life evolves with pending retirement is maybe the significant issue. i'm prepared to continue this level of involvement in the hobby, and with this room and system, but when i don't have the 6 day a week work focus and stress, will i view all this as essential anymore? right now it fits perfectly as a balance to work.

    anyway that is the prism i'm viewing this through. i'm not going to continue this approach as some sort of shrine, it has to be what i love to do to keep this up. i could see fewer turntables, i could see fewer tape decks. a different speaker/amp approach? the only reason i might do that is that i've gone as far as large dynamic cone speakers can take me, and do believe that my room/system is able to do horn-like or planar-like things already. but would a change be enough fun to go to the trouble? or might i move from my room for life style reasons and then be able to try something different for difference sake?

    i have interests and repressed hobbies (i've not given the needed time or resources to) that might rise up and command more of my time and so could push hifi to a different spot in my life. no way right now to say for sure how that will go.

    i will simply follow my heart and keep on keeping on.

  41. #41

    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    This is a great thread with some interesting and good points!

    Speaking for myself I have no plans for changes or upgrades as I am very pleased with the sound and use of the systems.

    Following various people on various fora I have noticed some that make a high number of horizontal moves, changing this and tweaking that, without ever being fully satisfied. An endless merry-go-round and a lot of money sunk into it. So I promised myself that I would not change unless it was a significant improvement - and that means spending funds I dont have, this side of a lottery winner! My former system lasted 19 years...

    In any case, listening to music is still the most important part, a point also made by others here. Enjoy.

  42. #42
    Senior Member
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by bzr View Post
    If your neighbors love your music you're doing it right!!!
    Also when your wife asks you to turn it up, or just walks over and cranks it, is also a good indication.
    -----------------
    Brian

    Main System -
    Rotel 1072 CDP / Rega P3 > Luxman 505UX Mark II > Dynaudio Audience 82s > Synergistic Cables

    Secondary - OPPO 93 > VAC CLA 1 MKII Pre > Odyssey Stratos > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs Cables


  43. #43
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Right now I'm playing Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie over my new system and it just carries me to a wonderful place...no politics, no street violence, no escalating pandemic, no war, no global tensions. Just peace, tranquility, and a high like no other. Great music, great sound, great musicians. It just doesn't get any better.
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

    DAC/Streamer: MSB Discrete Dual Power Supply.

    Server: Roon Nucleus with lifetime subscription.

    Speakers: Harbeth Super HL 5+ 40th Anniversary
    Model.

    Cables: AudioQuest Rocket 88 speaker cables,
    Mackenzie interconnects.

    Speaker Stands: HiFi Man.

  44. #44
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    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by cmarin View Post
    Hi Ken,

    Hope you are well and throughly enjoying your current wonderful MSB-Vandersteen system.

    I can relate totally to your post. In many ways, for me the enjoyment of this hobby, aside from the pure listening pleasure, also comes from continually learning new things about audio, and applying that knowledge to hopefully improve the listening pleasure; even though the improvements quickly reach a point of decreasing marginal benefit per unit cost.

    So I’m curious to hear your thoughts on what, in your case, motivated you to move from system 1 to 4 and then to system 6, although the two systems previous to 6 “produced stellar sound and musicality”? And what specific improvements do you feel you gained in system 6 versus 1 and 4?

    Thanks


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Hi Carlos,

    System 1 with the Apogee Duetta Signature speakers provided the most lifelike vocals and piano I ever heard in my listening room. Just stunning realism. What eventually drove me crazy was too much brightness in the the treble. I didn’t know much about how to address these issues back at that point in time, so I moved on.

    System 4 with Pass XA-100.5 monoblocks and Revel Salon 2 speakers sounded luscious after the amps had warmed up for 4 hours. A truly magical sound. The big negative was a lack of bass at anything but high volume levels. My normal listening preference is low to medium volume levels.

    My current system with MSB Select 2 DAC and Vandersteen monoblocks and Model 7 Mk2 speakers has no weak points. Smooth effortless treble, organic and natural sounding midrange, and robust and perfectly tuned bass for my room. I can listen all day without any fatigue. No need or desire to bring in a new system again.

    Best,
    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  45. #45

    Re: end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Hi Carlos,

    System 1 with the Apogee Duetta Signature speakers provided the most lifelike vocals and piano I ever heard in my listening room. Just stunning realism. What eventually drove me crazy was too much brightness in the the treble. I didn’t know much about how to address these issues back at that point in time, so I moved on.

    System 4 with Pass XA-100.5 monoblocks and Revel Salon 2 speakers sounded luscious after the amps had warmed up for 4 hours. A truly magical sound. The big negative was a lack of bass at anything but high volume levels. My normal listening preference is low to medium volume levels.

    My current system with MSB Select 2 DAC and Vandersteen monoblocks and Model 7 Mk2 speakers has no weak points. Smooth effortless treble, organic and natural sounding midrange, and robust and perfectly tuned bass for my room. I can listen all day without any fatigue. No need or desire to bring in a new system again.

    Best,
    Ken
    That’s fantastic Ken. Truly a balancing act including how to incorporate your own preferences and how they may evolve over time. Congratulations on reaching your endpoint!

    I’ve been thinking about how to respond to your question without getting wordy yet capturing the basics - another balancing act! Will respond soon.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Rockport Lyra speakers; Gryphon Mephisto mono amps; VAC Statement 450 iQ mono amps; four box CH Precision L1/X1 pre/power supply monos; CH precision P1/X1 phono/power supply; Pacific Microsonics Model 2 DAC; TotalDac d1-12 MkII DAC; Kodo The Beat Turnatable with LT Schroder magnesium tonearm and Lyra Atlas cart; Sound Galleries EVO Music Server; Kalista Dreamplayer CD Transport; Taiko Audio Daiza Platforms; Nordost Odin2 Power Cords and Analog ICs; Nordost Valhalla2 Digital ICs; 512 Engineering/Tim Marutani Balanced Transformers (30 amp for sources; 50 amp for amps); Rives designed dedicated room.

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end game audio system -- how do you know you are there?

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