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Thinking of selling it all, or massive downgrade at least......

Discussion in 'audio' started by badger748, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    Does the family not use it because they CBA? Or are they scared in case they break something? If the latter, then cheaper/easier to use, more ‘idiot proof’ (esp. the TT) might be the ticket. This means simplification, not necessarily a significant sacrifice in quality. There may be a balance to strike between ultimate performance level, and preparedness for all users to operate it. Tonearms, esp arms with megabucks carts, are intimidating things for the neophyte.
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  2. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    I think youve missed my point, Im not saying that many would not be happy, quite the opposite.

    What I am saying is that digital streaming has levelled the quality of source to a homogenised level of mediocrity such that speakers as bland as ATC SCM50 (for example) are lauded as aspirational.

    ATC are not alone in this, or indeed exceptionally bad, they are simply a symptom of reduced expectations.

    I think things have regressed since starter systems used to be Rega2 , Creek 4040 , Royd A7.
    mega lord likes this.
  3. Bjork67

    Bjork67 pfm Member

    Write a novel, money raised sponsor a snow leopard or a narwhal.
    Fatmarley, cantgetnonut and joe9407 like this.
  4. badger748

    badger748 Like en eel. But in reverse.

    The most random response !
    RoA likes this.
  5. Colin123

    Colin123 pfm Member

    You are getting a lot of interesting views here badger748

    It occurs to me that during your hifi journey you have arrived at a particular sound/presentation that you like/enjoy.
    I would be inclined to keep the amp and speakers as they work so well together and take a hard look at everything else, do you need all your sources
    in the one system? I listen to the radio in the kitchen, car and the office when work allows and listen to vinyl and CD's in the sitting room.
    Do you really need all those exotic cables?
    I know nothing about your turntable other than it must be expensive, if you feel you need to replace it with something much cheaper, I'm sure you could still retain much of the SQ. A cheaper cartridge would be less stress.
    How old are the kids, are they leaving the home nest soon? You may see the world differently then.

    badger748 likes this.
  6. omers

    omers pfm Member

    Interesting thread.
    After many years in this (and other) hobby, you judge equipment emotionally. Take my nait2 and LS3/5A's. The Nait2 is my first serious hifi bit, and the LS3/5A's became mine by complete chance. I like these because of the story they tell. And because my personal image, as I wish it to be, blends well with the message these deliver - minimal, classy, environmental and all this shit. And it's from the 80's, the years of my adolescence which mean much to me. I can't see myself upgrading again dual hicaps to a supercap, a question of identity and values. One realizes that the chase never ends, that love is not 100% rational, and who cares rational anyway.
    badger748 likes this.
  7. Heckyman

    Heckyman pfm Member

    I definitely got a bit obsessed with the hifi during lockdown particularly, had my own mini-cycle of upgraditis / tweaking followed by mild disillusionment / simplification.

    My conclusion is that proper hifi is only worthwhile if it gives you (and your loved ones) goosebumps, yet at a price you're willing to pay.

    I'm back on the upgrade track, but with a new found awareness that the subjective sweet spot is narrower than I'd previously assumed.
    badger748 likes this.
  8. dweezil

    dweezil pfm Member

    My big problem is getting attached to stuff owned for a long time, i still remember the day i got the old MA4s in the bathroom system and the friend who gave me the IMFs after he blew my Sony pair.

    I'm sure that's the main reason the vinyl is still here, a lot of memories and a few rarities.

    During lockdown i've rearranged a few bits, polished speakers where appropriate and listened to a lot.

    Only purchase has been a gorgeous FM tuner for £50 but i love the concept of radio.

    Everything obviously has a value but often the monetary value is insignificant compared to the emotional value and the joy of listening to it.

    Main system is getting there after five years but sounds so good i guess it's a for life job.

    Whenever anything becomes surplus i seem to have a child who wants an upgrade somewhere!
    badger748 likes this.
  9. Curtis

    Curtis pfm Member

    I have been buying some old entry level gear recently and find I’m really enjoying it.
    Fatmarley, Margin_walker and ampedup like this.
  10. Nickargenta

    Nickargenta pfm Member

    The older I get (I'm 56), the less interested I am in owning stuff. More specifically, I've been questioning why I own certain things, and whether I get enough enjoyment out of them to justify holding onto them. Corny it might be, but there's a lot of truth in the saying that your possessions own you. So while I am by no means going down the path of extreme Japanese minimalism, I am going through a process of simplifying my life with the aim of keeping only the things which actually matter to me in some way. Personally, I'm really enjoying it, though I can understand why the mere thought of it would induce a panic attack in some others.

    IMO, thinking of the process as downgrading/downsizing is coming at it from the wrong angle. It's about finding the right system for you at this point in your life. The big system obviously gave you a lot of pleasure in the past, but that doesn't automatically mean it's the right system for you now.
  11. Conan

    Conan Loop digger

    Bathroom system??
    That's amazing.
    Where is the sweetspot?
    tuga, Curtis and ralphj like this.
  12. Bettisdad

    Bettisdad Active Member

    What a superb post!
  13. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    Enjoyable thread.

    I too have felt that too much equipment / too much money invested in a stereo system can feel heavy and a distraction from the (separate) hobby of enjoying music.

    I guess there's a balance for each us each to find.
    badger748 and Cereal Killer like this.
  14. jamesd

    jamesd pfm Member

    I have a bunch of gear kicking around, but when I’m listening to Roon through a raspberry pi > the digital input of a Yamaha A-S801 and my Vienna Acoustics Bach Grands, I often think “why do I need more?”

    the only time I think of upgrades is when I’m not listening

    (it was therapeutic typing that out as I’m ALWYAS thinking of upgrades when not listening)
  15. Anh

    Anh Naim ghetto blaster

    I have not really downsized footprintwise, more like just pick up gear that is competitive in a modest sized room in that high end sort of way without sinking in thousands. Gear that is shunned by snobs and therefore avoids the inflation going on with some of the more accepted hyped stuff, i.e Linn Kans, Nak Dragons, Naim olive preamps etc etc - my system is not the definitive example, it’s merely indictative of high price does not always = fidelity or best quality.

    The Pioneer A400 is to many just Jap crap but in fact an incredible ‘power amp’ with a potentiometer and source selection built in, that alone should tell you its a close stab at the amplifer idealised maxim of being a ‘piece of straight wire with gain’ - nothing I can think of except the very legit high-end amps is as resolving as this, as honest as this, as intimidating as this, or as cheap as this. Make sure you get one that works both channels though.

    Mission 752 Freedoms (driven by the A400), inert compact cabinets. Make sure the bass and tweeter face plates are sufficiently tightened, they sit 15 cm from a solid wall so is as unintrusive as a floorstander can get. Stupid ‘reach out and touch’ midrange / vocal projection. The F4 Unipivot tonearm IMO further lifts midrange projection a fair bit like how my old ARO did to the LP12. Then there is the sweeeeet HF performance and transient response without listening fatigue, and delivers all the PRAT you can eat - they cost me £170 collected back in Jan - stupendous VFM. If the A400 was so pants, surely the 752FR’s would not achieve the above level of reproduction.

    The Audio Technica AT440Mlb (or specifically its stylus) is mid range aluminium cantilever offering coupled with the ML tip, attached to this is an old low inductance AT150EA MM cart body, all run through a modest Cambridge audio phono stage it’s pretty much unbeatable across all genres of music, detail, resolution, wide frequency response and plenty of meaningful content above 12khz, pace, never boring, makes most of most records - makes many of the usual hyped-up elliptical MC carts sound broken.

    If Audio Technica are so pants in the audiophile context and belongs in a pub DJ’s rig, the 752’s or my headphones and the A400 would not reveal so much music detail and content.

    Cable Talk 3.1 speaker cables, sensible multistrand ofc cables and similar design to the NACA 4 & 5 with the thick sleeving and maintaining the gap between + & - runs to minimise capacitance. Add little, take away little, let the source and amp do the talking - like all good cables should be in the real world.

    I am a tapehead, and cant think of a better ‘playlist’ of music from Vinyl than recording a mixtape from a good Nakamichi deck. The CR5 and CR7’s are a serious no dicking around tool for that. Like all real high fidelity products, they add little and take away little, I can make near identical recordings ( peak db of +5 on Maxell MX or Metal Vertex cassettes to remain under 3% THD) of the above vinyl replay system ( or straight from a DAC) that you need to A/B the $*** out of it for 15 minutes straight to work out where the very slight loss of fidelity is. And these are 30 year old machines!

    If cassette is such a poor analog / hifi source, why does vocals and instruments from a recording still hang free acoustically, image consistently and retain very much the sense of pace, tonal balance and very detailed presentation of the AT ML cart through the 752 freedoms amplified by the ‘terrible’ A400?

    TL;DR version, plenty of underated and very impressive gear out there if you are prepared to get out of usual the high-end cirkus.
  16. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    That’d be a Mimik then, they are dull, very dull... don’t write Linn off based on your experience of a Classik and a Mimik. The Genki is loads better than the Mimik and most certainly not dull at all. The Ikemi is on another level again, stunning CD player and easily the equal of a CDX2 in my experience... and I’m just listening to my new LP12, not regretting buying it one bit.
  17. Anh

    Anh Naim ghetto blaster

    Any CD player will sound dull compared to a CDX\CDX2. I had an Arcam DVD / CD player floating around once and playing music on that after the CDX experience nearly put me into a coma!

    That said, problem with the X models is they dont sound ‘analog’ enough compared to say the CDS range of players or modern higher end DAC/ Streamers.
  18. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    I came to this conclusion not long ago. I had three systems. A critical listening system in a small dedicated listening room. Large home theater in the living room as well as my big dog HiFi in the living room. The HT set up on one wall (and surrounds) and the HiFi on another. Sooo much stuff. I was the only one who could use it...that hasn’t changed.

    What changed was my mindset relative to monopolizing every inch of available space in the home. My discomfort when guests would visit. I woke up one day and said this must change! It was fun and I kind of miss all of that, but I mostly do not.

    Fast forward and I no longer have any system in the living room. When my wife and I want to sing along or have fun with music one of us will grab a portable Bluetooth speaker and play music from Tidal or Qobuz. I still have a very small dedicated listening room where I can unwind or decompress. I have just a few bits and bobs that I can change around for fun. With retirement coming next year this feels freeing.

    Now everyone has the living room back and that means more fun for everyone, not just me. Like the OP, my passion for music hasn’t waned at all. I’m still a voracious consumer of all kinds of music, new and old. My little system gives me tons of joy. Once I buy a streamer (probably a Bluesound) I am done, unless something breaks or I sell something.

    Feels good to own my system rather than have it own me, and the rest of the family. Makes my music time and family time more special and feels like things are in their proper perspective.
  19. joe9407

    joe9407 actress/activist

    This was very much my take, as well. Decisions like this often appear to be zero-sum, but you don't have to sell everything or keep everything. @badger748 , you have a rad TT and speakers - fellow Devore owner here - so keep those items, particularly since they look good. Put the rest of the kit in a closet for a bit, throw a cheap cartridge on the Thales, encourage your family to use it, then consider your options. I think a Line Magnetic integrated or even something like a Nait 5 (there's a nice one for sale in the classifieds, BTW) would be great alongside a relatively cheap and "hideable" Roon endpoint and DAC.

    Tony pretty much nailed it from Jump Street: if you're not feeling compelled to explore new tunes, then it doesn't matter how good your system is. Likewise, if your family and friends are terrified to put on some music, that's no good, either. Sounds like it's time to make a change.
    badger748 and ArtK like this.
  20. jamesd

    jamesd pfm Member


    I did something similar. Had two full systems going but replaced the one in the living room with a Mu-so. It looks better, takes up way less space, less cables...and most importantly my wife actually uses it.
    Sloop John B likes this.

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