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Has anybody reached the peak and losing interest? - Page 2

post #16 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

I feel that I pretty much reached the peak or got close, and I don't see differences mattering that much any more.  At a certain level, improvements are so minuscule.  Not that excited with next step up.  We know sound changes based on equipment used, but still there are criterias of accuracy, details, resolution, neutrality.  Give these criterias, I don't think I can get much higher anymore.  :o  I wonder what hobby I would move on to next?  :rolleyes: 

Mmmmh ?? Isn't the entire point of an audiophile set up to enjoy the music ?

Why not starting to enjoy your favorite music and not worrying about the set up anymore ? Is the sq not satisfying yet ? Of course there will always be some new version of some equipment that are promising better specs etc. Without comparing further, you should ask your self if the current state of your set up leaves anything to be desired ? Does a live recording put you in the audience in that venue and sends shivers down your spine ? If yes, then don't worry about your equipment anymore and start enjoying the music. No reason to move on to another hobby.

post #17 of 106

There is no ending in Hi-Fi. There will always be something that you will set your eye on unless you have the mindset to just be contented with the things you have. Be contented with the equipments you have and you will be able to ward off the 'upgrade bug'


Edited by Xdaggersoul - 6/18/14 at 11:58am
post #18 of 106
Unless there's a format demand, I'm done. Enjoying the fruits of a lifetime of formulating, trying, buying and selling, I've entered my happy camper nirvana.
post #19 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcoarment View Post
 

It's easy to believe that there's always a higher peak — there's always another upgrade to lust after, and possibly save up for and actually buy. That first time you listen to something new is always (or, at least, usually) such a memorable, significant experience that it's tempting to recreate it. But, of course, you can never match the feeling of hearing [equipment X] for the first time.

 

Once you're accustomed to amazing quality, it becomes normal to you. That doesn't mean you stop caring about quality — it just means that you've succeeded in reaching or approximating "the best", whatever that means for you.

 

After that point, it's easy to look around and think, "What else can I upgrade? What's the next level? I just spent $1000 on headphones, so this $200 amp must be insufficient. A more advanced DAC was just released, so I'm not hearing the best quality that I could be hearing. There are $400 cables out there — surely there must be a noticeable difference over my $5 set. And I'm still using this inferior stock power cable, plugged into a consumer-grade, unfiltered surge strip!"

 

Someone will always be happy to sell you another upgrade, and you'll always find people who tell you they got it and heard a huge difference. But most of that is placebo, and the few upgrades with real benefits might be measurable but not necessarily noticeable.

 

Once you reach the point in your setup where you're struggling to hear the difference with an upgrade, there's no shame — and plenty of sensibility — in pausing the upgrade train (I won't say stopping — let's be honest with ourselves) until there's something better out there that you'll actually get a major, noticeable benefit from.

 

A sequel to your favorite headphones? Worth investigating.

 

An entirely new kind of headphone, or a new generation of old tech, that has the community raving? Worth investigating.

 

Everything else? Rarely worth the time or money.

 

I've seen so many people get a nice midrange set of $300–500 headphones — say, the HD 650 or DT-880 — and then spend $2000 over the next couple of years on higher-end supporting equipment than they (or anyone) can really distinguish, while they could have instead just spent the same (or less!) on, say, an HD 800 and an Asgard 2, fed from a Mac or iPhone's built-in (and surprisingly good) DAC. Few people, even around here, could honestly say that the midrange headphones with the fancier amp and DAC would sound better overall than the flagship headphone setup with the "value" amp at a similar total price.

 

Recognizing this doesn't mean you're losing interest — it means you're realizing what matters to you, and what doesn't.

 

Hi Marco. It is cool to see you on Head-Fi, as another person who crosses between the Apple universe and the headphone one.

 

I'm going to write something or make a video about "huge differences" -- I spent years pondering it, but after an experience with noise, unrelated to music, I realised what was going on. Short answer: We tend to over-sensitise ourselves to small differences and the higher we experience, the more aware we become of things that we wouldn't have noticed when we started.

 

An example from another industry: Have you ever watched the Lion King? A friend of mine drew some of it. But in doing so, animation is now ruined for her. She can watch any Disney animation of that era and tell you, scene-by-scene who drew it, even if she wasn't involved directly. She is aware of a whole level of subtlety in the animation that we just aren't.

 

Back to Head-Fi -- I feel that portable technology has definitely evolved considerably over the last few years. When I first went looking for IEMs to use in a portable rig, EVERYTHING I tried was awful, even IEMs costing $500 or more. Now there are IEMs for <$100 that sound great. The latest $1k CIEMs from some companies now no longer have what I call the "IEM sound" where the treble sounds unnatural. In DAPs too, nobody took the AK240 seriously until they tried it. The first thought I had when I tried it HD-800s was "Bull****! This can't be possible." But that was with binaural tracks. I sure as heck wouldn't have bought one if I was still listening to Van Halen (the recordings of whom are quite poor, even now) as I was doing 10 years ago.

 

Likewise full-sized headphones. When I started, other than the discontinued Sony R10, Grado HP1000 and Stax models, the top-of-the-line dynamic headphone was the Ultrasone Edition 9 for $1500 (now sold, without the fancy metal bits, as the Signature Pro if you want to ever compare). The planars available are, IMO (and if you like the tone of them) along with the HD-800s, so far ahead it isn't funny.

 

I think, most importantly, to not lose interest, one has to not lose interest in music. When I started, I never listened to jazz, but now I do a lot of the time. A lot of classical I would have ignored if I hadn't experienced both excellent recordings and excellent reproduction. That is why I have taken a strong interest in digital audio, to the point I sometimes feel it has gone backwards in the pursuit of high-res numbers and that is a point I often started losing interest until more recently, when some manufacturers have stopped the brand-name-chip-in-a-box designs to develop far better solutions that can reproduce the sound of instruments in a way that doesn't sound so artificial.

 

I am totally with anyone who says about their basic system "This is all I need." In reality, there is no such thing as "need" in this hobby (except when it comes to absolute technicalities) as we are here for enjoyment. Right now what I enjoy most about the hobby is going to meets and meeting people. I don't see myself ever losing interest in that. 

post #20 of 106

Hi Currawong :) very good to see you are still active.

 

I've been away from head-fi for a few years and haven't had serious feelings of upgraditis until recently when I decided to take a look at new headphones and want to try out those balanced armature iem's. For me my audiophile journey was fueled mostly out of curiosity and a desire to understand more about the topic, and what made me happiest was finally hearing music with enough transparency and lack of coloration to feel like I could understand what the musicians themselves saw in their music, which I think can be done with maybe $1000-2000 worth of headphone gear. Even after I reached this point, I kept upgrading, auditioning gear, and trying all sorts of weird tweaks like cables because I wanted to see for myself just how different things might affect sound, and as I upgraded it got ever more transparent and technically able but the threshold of what I want was already met long ago with mid-fi gear.

 

I don't regret taking that journey because it was very fun and satisfied my curiosity, and I scratched all the itches I had about what different gear might sound like. Whenever I get a new cd and I really like it, sure then I can really get the urge to listen critically and then I appreciate having my better gear, but if I was stranded on a island for the rest of my life I would be content to have a $1000 setup, assuming it never breaks for the rest of my life ofc I can't imagine being without audio gear at all :p..

post #21 of 106
The resolution is better defined, the listening skills improved and the designs have finally gotten it. I noticed the better gear I listened to, the less I heard. Meaning I heard things in the music material I couldn't or was ignorant of before on lessor gear. I couldn't hear a background noise I ignored on lessor performing gear. As I learned the sound, I began to understand it's about getting out of the way and letting the signal flow as naturally as possible. Everything from the power used to the driver has an impact. Of course, it's all subjective preference as to the coloring one's willing to accept as the drivers have their own character that can't be changed. So we tweak the least offensive headphone and the rest of our gear to minimize the effect on the signal.

Once your level of listening skill is sufficient to justify the journey(meaning you can hear the differences), there is an endless variety of gear to accomplish happiness and avoid the money pit tactic.
Edited by Happy Camper - 6/19/14 at 5:53am
post #22 of 106

I think I'm pretty satisfied where I'm at. Of course, my main focus is always on the music - so that's where all efforts are directed.

 

It's one thing to be over gears, the incessant upgrading, etc, but it's a whole different thing to lose interest in music all together. 

post #23 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post
 

I thought this hobby was about music not who has the most toys, or more specifically the most expensive toys.

That wasn't my impression. :)

post #24 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

I think I'm pretty satisfied where I'm at. Of course, my main focus is always on the music - so that's where all efforts are directed.

It's one thing to be over gears, the incessant upgrading, etc, but it's a whole different thing to lose interest in music all together. 

I think I'm at that point. I've been pretty happy with my gear for a while now that it doesn't matter if I have the latest gear or not. My budget for music has been spent more on music then anything else last few months.
post #25 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post


I think I'm at that point. I've been pretty happy with my gear for a while now that it doesn't matter if I have the latest gear or not. My budget for music has been spent more on music then anything else last few months.

Stax tends to have that effect, eh.

post #26 of 106

Sometimes I think I'm getting tired of my audio setup, but then, I buy a new album and get that magic all back again.  We often  forget that all this audio gear is meant to enjoy one thing and one thing only: music. The day you stop thinking about the music and only think about audio is the day you'll get tired and lose interest.

Keep on discovering. 

post #27 of 106

I have a little secret to keep it fresh...

 

I love the HD800's, and as such, I've built a pretty splashy rig around them, tube amp, tube dac, etc.  My wife has a job that requires her to travel about a week and month and I only use my HD800 rig when she is gone.  They are a novelty every time I turn them on because I don't get to use them all the time, and it is my consolation prize for missing my wife :)

 

Some people may think it's weird having a setup that is only used one week a month...  I get that...  But the time I do spend with it is wonderful.  It gives me something to look forward too when my wife is gone and I spend hours every night, late in to the night, enjoying track after track.  Every time I fire it up, I get a bit giddy - who else can say that about a system they've had for a while?

 

I guess what I am saying is that I agree with marcoarment and Jude; that it is easy to always want 'the next best thing' and this is my way of keeping what I have fresh and new to me.

 

Happy listening!

post #28 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfatpaulie View Post
 

I have a little secret to keep it fresh...

 

I love the HD800's, and as such, I've built a pretty splashy rig around them, tube amp, tube dac, etc.  My wife has a job that requires her to travel about a week and month and I only use my HD800 rig when she is gone.  They are a novelty every time I turn them on because I don't get to use them all the time, and it is my consolation prize for missing my wife :)

 

I can also only use the HD 800 when my wife's not around, but that's because my overabundance of Phish leaks out of the open backs and assaults her brain.

 

(Fortunately, the TH900 is the better Phish headphone anyway.)

post #29 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post
 

Stax tends to have that effect, eh.

 

Most of my listening is done at work or on my commute these days. I'm very happy with my UERM/JH13. Although when I get home I do enjoy my Stax quite a bit too :) I know there's better stuff out there and I've heard it but it's not really that important to me. 

post #30 of 106

I have a Schiit stack (Gungnir/Mjolnir) with a pair of LCD3(C) phones. I have to say that this little system sounds really nice to me. So with the cable I have a little over 4000 invested into the pursuit of ecstatic music listening. I have over 30000 invested into my photography gear. I immensely enjoy each of these activities and would some day like to try other high-end audio gear, but the sound system now is good enough that I am not really compelled to change out what I have. The expense of a high-end speaker system precludes that for quite some time. So I will just keep using what I have and be happy with it. Now if you want something to get into that can run into big bucks in a hurry, then try photography. Good gear is unbelievably expensive.

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