The definitive solution...

acalex

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Good morning nice people,

I was wondering the last few days how many of you are thinking they will buy their gear once to keep it forever...and actually how many of you achieved this. This sounds like a very stupid question but when I bought my first system I said, that's it...I have spent my money on it and will keep it for 20 years at least..

And of course after not even a year, I am thinking about spending 10 times my initial budget to get something better. So back to the original question...do you think is it worth to spend this kind of money with the justification of buying it once for a lifetime?

Very curios to read your thoughts on the topic...
 

kevinJ

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It's a very nice idea of buying once and keeping it for 20years or more, but lets face it, it's not going to happen.
As soon as we hear something better, it may even be the exact same set but with different cabling or so, we're intrigued and will search for ways to make it better. The development of new technology doesn't help either.

I guess it's the nature of the beast :bounce:
 

acalex

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kevinJ said:
It's a very nice idea of buying once and keeping it for 20years or more, but lets face it, it's not going to happen.
As soon as we hear something better, it may even be the exact same set but with different cabling or so, we're intrigued and will search for ways to make it better. The development of new technology doesn't help either.

I guess it's the nature of the beast :bounce:

The problem might lie in the fact that we are obsessed by this research of the perfect sound...so even if we like a lot what we ear at home, we keep going around and listening to new stuff.
 

Electro

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I'm not sure about buying one system that lasts a lifetime, but I do spend months researching and listening to kit before I buy the very best I can afford in build and sound quality in the hope it will last me a very long time .

I have owned my amps for eleven years now and have heard nothing that equals or betters them , my Cd player I have owned nine years and again have heard nothing that comes even close, so twenty years of ownership is definitely a possibility.

I have changed my speakers recently , but they will probably last the rest of my life unless I win the lottery!
smiley-laughing.gif
 

acalex

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Electro said:
I'm not sure about buying one system that lasts a lifetime, but I do spend months researching and listening to kit before I buy the very best I can afford in build and sound quality in the hope it will last me a very long time .

I have owned my amps for eleven years now and have heard nothing that equals or betters them , my Cd player I have owned nine years and again have heard nothing that comes even close, so twenty years of ownership is definitely a possibility.

I have changed my speakers recently , but they will probably last the rest of my life unless I win the lottery!
smiley-laughing.gif

Nice to read this :)
 

acalex

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chebby said:
The longest I had the same system was 11 years.

(Rega amp/Rega tuner/Rega TT/Goldring 1042 (+ two replacement stylii)/Yamaha cassette deck/KEF floorstanders.)

Impressive. And why you felt it was time to change something?
 
I had my Pioneer amp for 17 years and - probably - would still use it now if hadn't given up the ghost.

My Leema is deffo a keeper. I'll keep it until it turns its toes up. For me the amp is THE component and I'll build the rest around it.

Logically, the first upgrade is to sort the CDP problem; there's no issue with sound but storage is a major irritation. That said, if I see something at a 'Must Have' price then inpulse (sorry for the cheesey pun) may kick in.
 

chebby

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acalex said:
Impressive. And why you felt it was time to change something?

It was all too big and dark in it's black steel and glass Atacama rack with black KEF Q35.2s (except the 'special order' sky blue 1996 vintage Rega Planar 3) and I was hardly playing LPs or cassettes anymore.

Changed (eventually) to an Arcam Solo-Mini with Rega R3 speakers (in light Maple) not long after I joined here. All downhill since then :)
 

acalex

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plastic penguin said:
I had my Pioneer amp for 17 years and - probably - would still use it now if hadn't given up the ghost.

My Leema is deffo a keeper. I'll keep it until it turns its toes up. For me the amp is THE component and I'll build the rest around it.

Logically, the first upgrade is to sort the CDP problem; there's no issue with sound but storage is a major irritation. That said, if I see something at a 'Must Have' price then inpulse (sorry for the cheesey pun) may kick in.

That's very impressive!

I understand the need of upgrading stuff due to some major problems (lack of space for example)...

I was referring more to upgrading because we feel our system does not sound as good as before...
 
acalex said:
plastic penguin said:
I had my Pioneer amp for 17 years and - probably - would still use it now if hadn't given up the ghost.

My Leema is deffo a keeper. I'll keep it until it turns its toes up. For me the amp is THE component and I'll build the rest around it.

Logically, the first upgrade is to sort the CDP problem; there's no issue with sound but storage is a major irritation. That said, if I see something at a 'Must Have' price then inpulse (sorry for the cheesey pun) may kick in.

That's very impressive!

I understand the need of upgrading stuff due to some major problems (lack of space for example)...

I was referring more to upgrading because we feel our system does not sound as good as before...

Not just that: In the loft I still have Wharfedale E20s which I purchased in 82 and replaced them with the RS6s in 2007. Ah, and my Marantz tuner I bought in 1979, with the Pioneer, and still works a treat. In fact, as I'm typing this, listening to XFM.
 

chebby

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I never hang onto stuff if I can sell it.

Exceptions (at the moment) are a pair of MS20i Pearl Edition speakers, an old Beresford DAC and a pair of black gloss Partington Trophy stands.

Despite all being virtually mint, there is no point in selling them because none would make more than the ebay/PayPal/postage fees. I could even lose money on them.

They will end up being given away/recycled/dumped in charity shop. (If they'll have them.)
 

jaxwired

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Great subject. My 2 cents is that hifi is a hobby for many of us. The hobby involves tweaking and upgrading to make incremental jumps in sound quality. If you buy once and don't change for 20 years, then you are not engaging in the hobby. What would be the point of using this forum or reading hifi reviews? Or visiting your local hifi shop? No point. So if you like the hobby, then it pretty much necessitates changing gear occassionally. That doesn't mean you change gear every 3 months, but certainly far more frequently than 20 years.

My next point is that it takes some trial and error to get the sound you like out of equipment. Not everybody likes the same thing from their hifi. If you buy once and never switch, you are very unlikely to be fully satisfied with the sound. Even if you swap gear in and out that is of the same relative price, you will get much more satisfying sound after a few swaps because you will be tayloring the sound to your taste.
 

AlmaataKZ

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I had my first system for abt 10 years and replaced it recently and completely as there was a lot of 'jumps' to make:

SD TV to HD TV

DVD to Bluray

Cd to computer-based 24/96

dolby digital/DTS receiver to receiver with HD sound decoding

passive speakers to actives

'Upgrade' for me means a clear, quantifyable step chage in spec, functionality, capability, design (as above). On the contrary, swapping a box for a very similar one is not really un upgrade but more of a tweaking. I would have loved to do be able to do that but it is expensive...
 

matthewpiano

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Interesting topic. I'm slightly split in relation to this. I agree with Jax that the hi-fi is a hobby in itself for most of us and certainly making changes and getting 'improvements' can be very rewarding.

However, there does come a point where the music has to take centre stage again and for this and financial reasons, I think you have to know when to stop or take a break. It can get to the point where the black or silver boxes are taking over your life and you are so obsessed with them that you end up ignoring other aspects of your life including relationships and other hobbies. I'm taking a different view now and as a result I'm enjoying more music more often, reading more (another great love), and spending less time on the forums or reading magazines. This gives me more time to spend with others and more time in which to enjoy the music with others. My current system, more than anything else I've had, encourages me to sit down and listen to the music, rather than obsessing with speaker placement or whether I should try a different cable or whether the sound could be better in respect of x, y or z. If it keeps me this satisfied for years rather than months then I will see it as a success.
 

jc.com

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jaxwired said:
Great subject. My 2 cents is that hifi is a hobby for many of us. The hobby involves tweaking and upgrading to make incremental jumps in sound quality. If you buy once and don't change for 20 years, then you are not engaging in the hobby. What would be the point of using this forum or reading hifi reviews? Or visiting your local hifi shop? No point. So if you like the hobby, then it pretty much necessitates changing gear occassionally. That doesn't mean you change gear every 3 months, but certainly far more frequently than 20 years.

My next point is that it takes some trial and error to get the sound you like out of equipment. Not everybody likes the same thing from their hifi. If you buy once and never switch, you are very unlikely to be fully satisfied with the sound. Even if you swap gear in and out that is of the same relative price, you will get much more satisfying sound after a few swaps because you will be tayloring the sound to your taste.

I think I may be the person you describe in your first point - I'm onto my 3rd system in only 40 yrs. I joined this forum when I thought it was time to upgrade ( a dead speaker suggested it was maybe time...:) ) in order to catch up with what was happening. Although I still spend some time here reading the various posts, you won't find me commenting on the merits of X over Y etc. because I can't - I don't spend my spare time at the local dealer listening to stuff I'm never likely to buy.

Regarding your second point, there's a fine line between "trial and error" and the search for the impossible. I resolved long ago that I would accept "good", rather than spend too much time, money and energy seeking "perfection". Yes, I do sometimes wonder if I could have achieved better for what I was prepared to spend, but then I realise that there's always something claimed to be bettter out there, and for just a few pounds more, etc. etc. and reflect on the time and energy I haven't had to spend. I know this philosophy won't suit everyone, but it works for me.
 

acalex

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jaxwired said:
Great subject. My 2 cents is that hifi is a hobby for many of us. The hobby involves tweaking and upgrading to make incremental jumps in sound quality. If you buy once and don't change for 20 years, then you are not engaging in the hobby. What would be the point of using this forum or reading hifi reviews? Or visiting your local hifi shop? No point. So if you like the hobby, then it pretty much necessitates changing gear occassionally. That doesn't mean you change gear every 3 months, but certainly far more frequently than 20 years.

My next point is that it takes some trial and error to get the sound you like out of equipment. Not everybody likes the same thing from their hifi. If you buy once and never switch, you are very unlikely to be fully satisfied with the sound. Even if you swap gear in and out that is of the same relative price, you will get much more satisfying sound after a few swaps because you will be tayloring the sound to your taste.

Yes I agree, is an hobby...with a main purpose, listening to music.

Having said that, once you achieved the sound that you like ( I suppse you listened to a lot of stuff before buying something) and you sit down listening to music and you enjoy every single moment...why do you feel at a certain point in time it's time to change?

I do not agree on the fact that using the forum or reading hi-fi reviews or visiting your local hi-fi shop must be linked with the necessity to find something better...for example I like a lot computers, I buy sometimes PC magazines, I visit computer shop just for the pleasure of being in an environemnt I enjoy and I understand, but I do not feel it's time to upgrade my pc every few months...

Ideally if the softwares I need will always be the same for 10 years, than I will probably keep my PC for that time also. Unfortunately that's not the case...as every year new programs become more and more demanding obliging us to make update to keep the pace.

But music...music is always the same. Why do we need to change the gear that reproduces music if the music does not require really a performace upgrade as PCs?

Hope some of this makes sense! :)
 

CnoEvil

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IMO The likelihood of getting it right first time, is likely to come down to the following :

- KNOWLEDGE.....of products, how they sound and what goes with what.

- UNDERSTANDING.......of how you like your system to sound (which comes from the above)

- MONEY.....enough to get it right first time

- ADVICE....if good, can steer you away from pitfalls

- EXPECTATION.....depends what you will be happy with. eg my wife would would make do with an ipod dock and a portable radio.

- ENTHUSIASM.....this is what drives the passion to do the research and seek the advice.

If you start as a teenager, you (usually) haven't Knowledge, Understanding and Money....just Enthusiasm and probably (due to social media), more conflicting Advice than you could shake a stick at!

If starting later in life, you may be able to add Money to the Enthusiasm, which on their own, can lead to expensive mistakes.
 
CnoEvil said:
IMO The likelihood of getting it right first time, is likely to come down to the following : - KNOWLEDGE.....of products, how they sound and what goes with what. - UNDERSTANDING.......of how you like your system to sound (which comes from the above) - MONEY.....enough to get it right first time - ADVICE....if good, can steer you away from pitfalls - EXPECTATION.....depends what you will be happy with. eg my wife would would make do with an ipod dock and a portable radio. - ENTHUSIASM.....this is what drives the passion to do the research and seek the advice. If you start as a teenager, you (usually) haven't Knowledge, Understanding and Money....just Enthusiasm and probably (due to social media), more conflicting Advice than you could shake a stick at! If starting later in life, you may be able to add Money to the Enthusiasm, which on their own, can lead to expensive mistakes.

Yes, tiz true. Also, if you consider most people's love of music/hi-fi/system of some sort starts in the teenage years, as in my case. My parents had only a radiogram (mono) so any half decent set-up will sound great. However, it's where you go from there: Personally I was primed with a JVC receiver, which was pretty good in its day....

Any set-up above a 'cutting your teeth' system is great. Obviously, I built on the JVC and purchased all separate system, and the rest as they say is history.

Sorry if that's a sweeping generalisation, but improving the SQ however small or large is the ultimate objective.
 

acalex

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CnoEvil said:
IMO The likelihood of getting it right first time, is likely to come down to the following : - KNOWLEDGE.....of products, how they sound and what goes with what. - UNDERSTANDING.......of how you like your system to sound (which comes from the above) - MONEY.....enough to get it right first time - ADVICE....if good, can steer you away from pitfalls - EXPECTATION.....depends what you will be happy with. eg my wife would would make do with an ipod dock and a portable radio. - ENTHUSIASM.....this is what drives the passion to do the research and seek the advice. If you start as a teenager, you (usually) haven't Knowledge, Understanding and Money....just Enthusiasm and probably (due to social media), more conflicting Advice than you could shake a stick at! If starting later in life, you may be able to add Money to the Enthusiasm, which on their own, can lead to expensive mistakes.

That's my situation indeed...that's why I am so afraid to make mistakes while trying to build the perfect system for my needs at the second attempt! Horribly scared to make some serious mistakes... :doh:
 

Electro

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I think I said before on another thread that the most important think when trying to choose a new component or system is to know what you want from it , this is the key to everything IMO .

I guess that I am lucky that I have always known what I wanted from a HiFi system, even from an early age. When I hear that special quality I know almost instantly it is going to do what I want , I have made some mistakes but luckily very few
smiley-smile.gif
.

The amp that I owned before my current Electro's was a Mission 776 / 777 pre / power bought in 1981 for £ 900 I got myself into debt to buy them with a loan I could only just afford but I knew as soon as I heard them that they were the best to be had at that time by a large margin and they gave me 20 years of pleasure, in fact I still have them in the loft !

Just because I have what I want now it does not mean that I do not have an eye , or should be ear out for something better
smiley-wink.gif
, I still go to HiFi shows and I am a member of several forums , I still read everything I see about music and HiFi and if anything looks interesting I will give it a listen .

The only thing I regret is not being able to hear other peoples systems because I am the only person I know who is interested in music & HiFi , most of my friends think I am nuts !
smiley-surprised.gif
 

CnoEvil

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acalex said:
Horribly scared to make some serious mistakes... :doh:

Personally, I think it's unlikely due to the trouble you are taking.

IMO. You have a shortlist of some of the most musical amps under £10k, and if you use Kef Ref 205/2 as a benchmark to judge other speakers by, the standard will be high.

Whether you go CDP or Streaming, there are very musical choices that are available.
 

CnoEvil

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Electro said:
I think I said before on another thread that the most important think when trying to choose a new component or system is to know what you want from it , this is the key to everything IMO .

I guess that I am lucky that I have always known what I wanted from a HiFi system, even from an early age. When I hear that special quality I know almost instantly it is going to do what I want , I have made some mistakes but luckily very few
smiley-smile.gif
.

The amp that I owned before my current Electro's was a Mission 776 / 777 pre / power bought in 1981 for £ 900 I got myself into debt to buy them with a loan I could only just afford but I knew as soon as I heard them that they were the best to be had at that time by a large margin and they gave me 20 years of pleasure, in fact I still have them in the loft !

Just because I have what I want now it does not mean that I do not have an eye , or should be ear out for something better
smiley-wink.gif
, I still go to HiFi shows and I am a member of several forums , I still read everything I see about music and HiFi and if anything looks interesting I will give it a listen .

The only thing I regret is not being able to hear other peoples systems because I am the only person I know who is interested in music & HiFi , most of my friends think I am nuts !
smiley-surprised.gif

Growing up with a musical background and/or having parents that had a good system, all help to fuel the passion, and know what "live" unmiked instruments and voices should sound like.
 
CnoEvil said:
acalex said:
Horribly scared to make some serious mistakes... :doh:

Personally, I think it's unlikely due to the trouble you are taking. IMO. You have a shortlist of some of the most musical amps under £10k, and if you use Kef Ref 205/2 as a benchmark to judge other speakers by, the standard will be high. Whether you go CDP or Streaming, there are very musical choices that are available.

OMG - how many 15, 16 and 17 years olds can afford to start with Kef Ref speakers?
 

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