Hey, Greed. Sorry I was confusing. I have been doing the highest-end audio I could afford for a longtime. I build a hi-fi amp with a pair of 6L6s at the last moment of single-channel high-fi, when I was in high school. And gradually I have learned that the gear in itself is usually a pain in the rear. A perfectly good tube will suddenly start making noise or something. But the gear is just a tool. It is only about the music. The gear only gives you access to the music.
I listen to many kinds of music. Last night a friend was over, and we were very excited about listening to a double bass
player named Renaud Garcia-Fons. I don't know much about him, but he makes amazing music.
The music I am involved with day by day is (it doesn't really have a good name) downtown New York jazz--Charles Gayle, William Parker, Matthew Shipp, and many others, and some younger people, including some wonderful women players, Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock, Shayna Dulberger (and this is new in jazz). It is a big and rich scene, much of it now moved from downtown to Brooklyn. There is a rarely a night that it is not possible to hear some of these artists in New York. I hear many of them live with some regularity. Live music is not a good test for audio. The two experiences are totally different and can't be compared. In one (limited) way you hear more of the music even on crappy audio systems than you do live, but there is nothing like having the living breathing players there with an audience.
Gradually I have learned to separate the music from both the audio gear and the jazz club. There are bad venues for live music just as there are bad audio system. It is the music that counts.The biggest variable in recorded music is the quality of the recording.But, in a live venue, you might find that the acoustics are so lousy that you can hardly hear the music at all.
I listened to my current system for several months, before I fully understood that it was producing some of the best recorded music I'd ever heard. This gear does not hype things, does not create excitement that is not created by the music, and so forth. I have not heard all of the top of the line phones, but it is hard for me to thing any of them could sound much better than HD800. Gear should give you the music, and HD800 does that. What more might come forth? A lot of audiophile stuff tries to give you more than the music.