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Your hifi reflections and pearls

Discussion in 'audio' started by Fretbuzz, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    What tips/advice would you give your younger self or someone else starting out on the hifi journey? Your own pearls and lessons learned.

    Personally (not that I've been in it that long or bought that much compared to most)
    • Beware upgraditis. There’ll always be something ‘better’ but it doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy the music more. Sometimes the opposite. Keep perspective, especially wrt diminishing returns.
    • Related, there’s endless hype, marketing, BS, and opinion out there – so above all else TRUST YOUR EARS. Everyone’s are different too.
    • Aim for believable tone, body, and texture.
    • Listen to/demo as much as you can or be bothered to in other locations, though nothing beats trying at home. Room matters a lot.
    • Spending damage can be minimised by a) buying used stuff smartly (retained value); b) ensuring products are fixable or well-supported where you live, especially if a big purchase.
    • Wear sunscreen.
    Remember this thread is entirely subjective – no rights or wrongs :)
  2. oldius

    oldius Can pleasure be measured?

    Speakers make the biggest difference - choose them to match your room and then the amplifier that drives them best.
    Host a bake-off to try new gear in your room and your system.
    Use your favourite music as your demo music - why choose something that sounds amazing if it's not what you'll listen to?
    There is no substitute for quality components - no amount of cables can compensate for poor components or poor matching.
    ff1d1l and nmtjb like this.
  3. Beobloke

    Beobloke pfm Member

    Audio-related messages to my younger self would be as follows:

    - No, for gods sake don’t sell that mint, boxed Beogram 4000 for £60. Yes, you only paid £4 for it but trust me, you’ll miss it.
    - Ditto that boxed EMI EPU-100 with two pickup heads.

    and finally, and most importantly,

    - No, really don’t try and adjust the output stage bias of a Beomaster 5000 by trying to hold both probes in one hand and twiddling the trimmer in the other. One probe will slip, there will be a flash and a bang, and you will blow both output transistors…
    omers, chartz, hermit and 6 others like this.
  4. booja30

    booja30 pfm Member

    If you're always thinking about upgrading or tweaking something you're probably just bored (a lot of that going around in the last year or so). Get outside and/or find a new hobby. Learn a new language or spend some money on travel. Your stereo is fine!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
    jonesi, Riotvan, CJ14 and 11 others like this.
  5. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    On top of Booja’s fine advice I’d tell myself that within thirty years hard copy music ownership will turn into a niche minority interest anyway.
    And never buy a record on a review only. Some people like some utter shite.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  6. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    To my younger self?

    Buy all the cheap as chips ancient no one wants them Leak Stereo 20's and Quad II's you can get your hands on!

    Same with all those LS3/5A's available for the same price as new AR 18's and Celestion Ditton 15XR's etc

    Same with those LS5/8's that no way was I paying £400 for!
    chartz, RJohan, irb and 2 others like this.
  7. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Oh I hope so! That would mean loads of cheap vinyl to enjoy in my retirement :)
    nmtjb likes this.
  8. raysablade

    raysablade pfm Member

    Interesting how my lessons are so different to yours
    • Aesthetics are king, sound is important but it has to look right. I only buy red or black cable I only buy red white or black kit.
    • Spending damage is minimised by buying new after extensive demonstrations. Knowing that you are going to take a tear jerking hit as soon as I leave the shop forces me to to be diligent.
    • Don't implicitly trust your ears they are a small part of the sensory process that supports cognition.
  9. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I'm tempted to tell my younger self to invest in decent analog stuff (deck, amp, speakers) and not worry too much about the latest digital tech that could be landfill in a few years.

    But I'm still using the first CD player I bought so I guess my younger self had the same idea anyway.
  10. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    I know no one in any of my 3 kids under 30s friends who buy CDs, let alone vinyl.
    They just load up their phones with Spotify or You tube playlists.
    Charity shops round here won’t take vinyl.
  11. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    This !
  12. raysablade

    raysablade pfm Member

    My 20 something daughter is buying a flat. She cant comprehend how much of the sellers space is taken up by records DVDs CDs and books. For her it is all on a Kindle and her phone.
    Bob McC and booja30 like this.
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    If I could communicate with my younger self at the time I bought my first system (second hand GL75, 33, 303 & JR149s) in the late-70s it would be to look backwards from that point, not forwards (with the exception of digital, which obviously didn’t exist at that point). My taste now is certainly for 50s & 60s valve amps, classic idlers, Tannoys, ESLs etc. All of which could have been had for peanuts back then. Really the lesson is to not buy any marketing hype or agenda. The really good stuff finds its way to the surface long after it was current.
    CJ14 likes this.
  14. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    I would add get the gears that get you in the mood of your favorite music in a fast and deep way and forget about their technical details...............or flaws !
    camverton likes this.
  15. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    Campag or Shimano?
  16. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    Campagnolo on a Colnago bike..............if you can afford it ! :eek::D
    Tigerjones and RoA like this.
  17. RoA

    RoA pfm Member

    It's a fairly unsatisfactory hobby. Solitary in nature, expensive and it does nothing for your health. Quite the opposite if you have an addictive nature.

    Many will forever only be as happy as they were when they started no matter how much they spend. The chase never ends.

    Buy Sonos and you never worry about what could be. Leave it there.
    ampedup, Bob McC and booja30 like this.
  18. camverton

    camverton pfm Member

    My younger self didn’t have the benefit (?) of the internet. Nonetheless I would say, take heed of all points of view particularly the inner quartile, but in the last analysis the only thing that really matters is finding a system that connects me to the music. People waxing lyrical about the latest teak haven’t helped much, neither have hard line, oh so logical, objectivists who bang on about their version of what high fidelity is.

    If you listen to your hifi and you are taken to another plane by the music than it is good. If you are listening to the sound, or heaven forbid the specs, than not so good!

    Mind you, everyone needs a hobby, as evidenced by some never ending pedantic threads here.
  19. Nytechy

    Nytechy pfm Member

    Decide what you want to buy, and why, before you enter the shop.
    Tarzan and CJ14 like this.
  20. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    A Kurt Vonnegut reference?

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