The 'perfect' system?

kramer2020

Well-known member
Apr 18, 2020
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Over the years I've gone down the upgrade path and sometimes instantly regretted the choices I've made. However I've recently come to the conclusion that my current system, albeit modest, is both functionally and aesthetically the best system for my needs. That's not to say that the desire to upgrade has gone away, but the more I drool over 'better' system components the more I realise my current choices are perfect for me. Anyone else have this 'first world' dilemma :rolleyes:
 

matthewpianist

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2022
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It sounds like you are in a similar position to me, where you have combined relatively modest components to achieve results bigger than the sum of the parts.

I've been through a shedload of kit including some much more expensive stuff, but never have I matched a system so well and achieved such engaging results. For me, the desire to upgrade has gone away, because I would fear upsetting the balance and it just doesn't feel necessary. There is a point at which this whole hobby just becomes indulgent and compulsive rather than being about enjoyably reproducing the music. I've been there and I'm not going back.

I'm referring in the above to my main system (first in my signature), but I am also very satisfied with the Sony/Rotel/Q set-up and can't justify any changes to that either. I do have a second Rotel CD11 Tribute sitting in its box, but I will continue with the Sony CD player until it dies - it never hurts to have a spare player that could slot into either system. The Technics all-in-one in our bedroom is what it is, a very capable compact system well suited to the kind of listening that takes place in that room.
 

npxavar

Well-known member
Nov 30, 2022
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Your room has great acoustics, apparently. Also, down-firing bass reflex ports, like the ones on the Warfedale 230s, give more space-uniform bass response and don't pick up as much room gain. If bass is good, so much can be forgiven ...
 
Your room has great acoustics, apparently. Also, down-firing bass reflex ports, like the ones on the Warfedale 230s, give more space-uniform bass response and don't pick up as much room gain. If bass is good, so much can be forgiven ...
I take it you're referring to me. If so, then yes room acoustics plays a big part. However, what many newbies in particular don't think about is you have to choose a kit that suits your room rather than spending fortunes on acoustic panels, carpets etc etc.
 
It sounds like you are in a similar position to me, where you have combined relatively modest components to achieve results bigger than the sum of the parts.

I've been through a shedload of kit including some much more expensive stuff, but never have I matched a system so well and achieved such engaging results. For me, the desire to upgrade has gone away, because I would fear upsetting the balance and it just doesn't feel necessary. There is a point at which this whole hobby just becomes indulgent and compulsive rather than being about enjoyably reproducing the music. I've been there and I'm not going back.

I'm referring in the above to my main system (first in my signature), but I am also very satisfied with the Sony/Rotel/Q set-up and can't justify any changes to that either. I do have a second Rotel CD11 Tribute sitting in its box, but I will continue with the Sony CD player until it dies - it never hurts to have a spare player that could slot into either system. The Technics all-in-one in our bedroom is what it is, a very capable compact system well suited to the kind of listening that takes place in that room.
Yep, it's about matching the ideal system within your budget. No point saying I must buy this 2k component when you've only got £600.

That's one thing we have in common: Savvy buying within a restricted budget.
 
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abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
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I take my time choosing and my systems usually lasts me for about 8-10yrs , with the only reason for change being new technology support.
Upgrading for upgrading sake is virtually guaranteed to be a disaster, as well as being a drain on the wallet.

Bill
 

aversaurus

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2016
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I'm forever in search of the perfect system and I've come close to only sell bits and go another way.
I only buy second hand I buy cheap as possible and keep for a while and sell for a profit and then buy more expensive kit with the profit.
I started years ago round the £100 mark and now I have quite expensive hifi separates.
Some times I keep hold of some items .some time I buy and sell quite quickly.
But always in search of the prefect system
 

bigfish786

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Jan 29, 2013
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I don’t think I’ve achieved my own “perfect “ system just yet, but I feel like I’m very close. What I do have is the best I’ve ever had. But, you never know what the future may bring. 😊
 
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Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
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I like what I have but I am confident that there is more to be had from those grooves in my vinyl collection, so over the next 12 months or so I intend to slowly upgrade what I have, whether I go Cartridge - Phono Stage - Turntable or Phonostage - Turntable including Cartridge is very much work in progress.

Last week I went and listened to a very nice Pro-Ject X9 with in-house MC cartridge run through a Primare R35 phono stage to a Leema Tucana II and out to a pair of Fyne F501's at my local hifi shop.

With the system cost coming in at around £11k for the whole set up it is way above my budget but it did sound very good, whether it is that much better than what I have is however debatable. We used my vinyl for the audition and I had a good 2 hours of listening and enjoyed what I heard.

The TT set-up is excellent as is the phono stage and these would definitely look good on my HiFi stand but they are very expensive, but if I did buy something along these lines then I think that I would have reached the end of the TT road.
 
...is one I am not making enough time to listen to.

Too much time exercising, or should that be too much time spent on work, even though I am semi-retired? An aspect of life that I know I have to change...
 
I don’t think I’ve achieved my own “perfect “ system just yet, but I feel like I’m very close. What I do have is the best I’ve ever had. But, you never know what the future may bring. 😊
I don't think the "perfect" system exists at any price. With any audio it's always the compromise, hence why the phrases I always use is "ideal compromise".
 

WayneKerr

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Jan 21, 2022
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...is one I am not making enough time to listen to.

Too much time exercising, or should that be too much time spent on work, even though I am semi-retired? An aspect of life that I know I have to change...
I'm loving my retirement. I get up in the morning and see what kind of mood I'm in: productive or non-productive. If it's a non-productive mood then the music goes on :)
 

SteveH72

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2020
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My issue has always been finding the best system for all music. I’ll listen to, say, The Wedding Present and think I have the best system for the money I’m prepared to pay, but then play Ravel’s piano concerto on and it’s missing something.
Them I see the Ukrainian family we have taken into our school, and feel ashamed for worrying about such trivialities.
 

matthewpianist

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2022
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Poor recordings can indeed be a challenge. I listen to recordings from around 1900 (great operatic singers and pianists mostly) to the present day, and my system has to be able to handle reproducing all as well as possible. My current system is the best I have had for this - it sounds totally immersive with the best quality recordings without making poor recordings (including early digital and 90s brick-walled ones) unbearable to listen to. A few set-ups over the years have fallen at the first hurdle - as soon as I realise I'm only playing the well recorded stuff and actively steering away from everything else, it goes.

I've come across people who seek only music which makes their system sound good instead of seeking a system which makes all music sound enjoyable. It's partly why hi-fi shows aren't the best place to judge anything, because nearly every exhibitor plays beautifully recorded music that any decent system could make sound good.
 

twinkletoes

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2021
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Im happy with what i have, its the only system I've had where i feel content. it will be with me now till either something dies or vis versa. I may add to it eg a streamer but currently, the iPad does everything a streamer would do and streaming is starting to take a back seat these days
 

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