How good is good enough?

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How good is good enough?

Post by Clave » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:13 pm

Kind of an audio-philosophical question here. At what point does one decide that his/her (there are a handful of female audiophiles out there, legend has it) system is good enough for all practical purposes and therefore stop upgrading? I'm asking the question here because Blue Circle stuff sounds awesome to begin with and the upgrade possibilities are endless and, in my experience so far, always gratifying, even if it's just a bit more power line filtering. But in theory there must be a point of diminishing returns, right?

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Post by Double D » Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:31 am

Curious that you posted this one.. as I've been going through a similar mandate over the last couple of years.
I think it comes down to a couple of things really, first and foremost is the financial consideration. Let's face it, if the cashflow is unlimited, and you have lots of time to play, then there is no stopping point. The second consideration is more personal in nature, and involves one's own tolerance level and perception for the CHANGE in performance perceived.
In many cases, it becomes more about hearing the music in a DIFFERENT way, than in an improved way. ie: change for the sake of change.
Humans tend to get bored fairly quickly, and will move on to something else for the sake of interest. Or in another way, we become acclimatized to a set of perceptions, and then seek other ways to experience even familiar things... just look at the proliferation of "gourmet" hamburger establishments .. hey, it's still "just a burger" :P
Ironically, one of the BEST things you can do to enjoy your rig, is largely subtractive in nature. Yup, go without ! :shock:
Take a break from it for a time, say 2-3 weeks, .. no high end audio.. nada.. when you come back to it, you might be surprised at what you hear. It's sort of like a full reset on your hearing and perception of what you consider your systems strengths and weaknesses. I've often done this when I start getting frazzled by my perceptions of what I consider my system is doing wrong, or where it needs to be "improved", after taking a listening break, I come back to and say.. hmm.. what I was perceiving as "busted" wasn't so bad, or in reality, is just me looking for a problem that wasn't there in the first place! :oops:
So, back to your original point, I think that each of us has to find our "comfort zone" in seeking musical satisfaction and the right balance in home audio reproduction. Some want to stress over even the most minute of details, and yet others are happy with a $12 pair of earbuds and an iPod loaded with lowrez rips of music. Is one right and the other wrong ?? well.. maybe, but on a personal prioritization level, probably not.
I know my own priorities for system enjoyment are changing, going from one of pursuing the best I can manage to afford, to one of the best balanced for long term enjoyment I can assemble. At the end of the day I want the system to be a good friend that compliments my life .. not one that adds more dramarama in an already screwball world. :wink:
I know that probably sounds rather holistic, and simplistic in nature, but I think it sort of sums up where I'm at these days.

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Post by garyj » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:10 pm

It really is all diminshing returns -- you can get music out of a modest system that can make you smile if you (I me mean here) forget your pretentions for a few minutes. Assuming you have a budget and other things to do sometimes, I think you slow sown when your system gets pretty good, because then real upgrades come with price tags in the several to many thousands. If you are pretty happy, you can somethimes satisfy the itch to upgrade with a relatively modest upgrade (bc is great of that) or some better wire or something like that. The danger is that something that comes along that is a radical change, because that can be really expensive. For me, the danger are some horn speakers made with vintage components. But then I listen to what I have a realize I have it quite good. Maybe when I retire


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