How did you know when you reached your endgame?

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by DJ The Rocket, Sep 26, 2017.
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  1. DJ The Rocket
    How did you know when you reached your endgame?

    I'm wondering how much happier I would be with another high end pair of headphones--or if this is just upgraditis.

    My favorite headphones (so far) are the Mr. Speakers Alpha Primes (which I settled on after passing on the HD800 and LCD2). The way I have them tuned with "doggie treats," the sound just gives me the happy warm fuzzies every time I put them on. They've effectively ruined all the mid-fi cans I used to love.

    Is that as much as I should ask for, from a pair of headphones? I feel grateful to be as lucky as I am, for sure. I don't doubt I would be happy forever with what I have now, but the same might well have been true when I was listening to an M50x out of my phone, when that was the best I'd experienced. It's hard--if not impossible--to imagine what better would even be like, if you haven't heard it. I can't even tell you what improvements I want, because I don't have a way to know what improvements are possible.

    My setup: I run an ODAC -> a Kenwood 45 wpc speaker amp running a TRRS plug off the speaker posts, so I have all the power that any headphone could theoretically need. I also have a Stax SRM-727a with a Lambda Pro, so improving my electrostatic setup is on the table too. I'm not considering upgrading my other (non-Stax) source gear at this time.

    Pretend that money isn't much of a factor: I can and will save up for a Focal Utopia in 6-12 months, if being patient for that long looks like it'll be worth it in the end. Planning to save for longer than that isn't practical for me.
  2. mulder01
    I don't think anyone really reaches an end point. Even if you had the utopia, you'd wonder what other summit fi headphones can offer. Each of them are different (not necessarily better) and a lot of people choose to own multiple pairs because they like something that each pair offers. I guess that's why you currently have the Alpha Primes and e-stats - they are both good, just different.

    If you have an interest in audio, I don't think that switches off when you reach a certain point - especially as new products keep getting released. I was fortunate enough to audition almost every flagship on the market and ended up buying an Abyss (even though I never even considered spending that much money) because that was the clear winner for me. However, I still hang around on the forums, keep an eye on what's coming out and listen to it if I can. But even though I haven't felt the need to buy a new pair of headphones in years, I ended up buying a turntable and phono amp, a couple bits of portable gear, thinking about maybe studio monitors or a smyth realiser... There really is no end to the game... It is a hobby or an interest or an addiction or a combination of all 3 for most people on here.
  3. kylev
    Well.. I don't think there is no such thing as endgame.

    I think there is only "temporarily paused" for most of the people lol :o2smile: - before going to the next level.
  4. rgs9200m
    I don't think there is one best headphone, since not one is best in all respects. This probably applies to other components too. So by definition, there is no endgame if that is defined as the ultimate sound.
  5. wink
    "Endgame" is an evil concept devised and foisted on us by our wallets and/or significant other.... Resist the infidels :L3000:

    Endgame is only applicable when you find yourself in a pine box that is NOT a speakerbox.:ksc75smile:
  6. seamon
    When my wallet was empty
    BunnyNamedCraig likes this.
  7. NA Blur
    End game is when you no longer feel the need to upgrade because you trust your system. A system that has been modified and tested for years, against a multitude of other gear, and always won out without bias. It has little to do with cost and avoiding buyers bias is key in improving to a truly endgame setup.

    An endgame setup not only sounds great, it measures well, and performs again and again without fail. For most people endgame is never attained because our brains get used to a particular system and it eventually sounds dull. Taking breaks from an endgame setup is key in building trust that it will stand up and last.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  8. DJ The Rocket
    Ha. So I guess it's a mistake to take the word endgame at face value, because it's not actually the end of anything. It's more truthfully a temporary pause in new acquisitions, as @kylev put it.

    It is a heck of a luxury to not feel any urgency about upgrading. Seems like most of the last year all of my disposable income was going into this hobby, and I still spent lots of time waiting for paychecks to accrue until I could afford whatever new thing I was excited about trying. But unless you live in one of the dozen cities worldwide where you can demo anything, you gotta make some "bad" purchases to gain the experience you need to appreciate the good ones.

    Hm. Maybe endgame doesn't refer to your current equipment as much as it refers to the sum of all your previous experience together. Endgame doesn't describe a pair of headphones you can go out and buy, it describes your feeling of completion: "I've heard enough 'high-end' gear to be comfortable in my knowledge of what's out there, and when I like something, I'm confident I'm going to keep liking it." Pretty sure @rgs9200m would agree

    Hahaha. The exact opposite of this would be buying your first M50x or whatever, then discovering that open-back headphones were a thing, too. I bought an HD800 before learning what planar magnetic drivers were. Hahahha x)
    NA Blur likes this.
    I'll know it when I hear it. I just haven't heard it yet. At some point I will hit play with a set of cans on my head and my world will change. I know it will happen, I believe it will happen, with my entire heart and soul I believe it will happen. It just hasn't happened yet and so the search continues.
    sheldaze and Eldair like this.
  10. DJ The Rocket
    I like your attitude @HAWKEYE7, keep hanging in there!

    When I traded my old LCD2.2 for my now-beloved Alpha Primes, I had the impression that my trading partner just didn't feel the AP's at all, and frankly couldn't wait to get out from under them. It was a trade that both parties were extremely happy about; it's what the buying and selling forums here exist for. Keep at it and I'm sure you'll pull off something similar when your turn comes!
  11. weissja36
    When I realized that I like my HE1000 more than the Utopia and that I could never justify the Sennheiser HE-1. I don't imagine I could get much "better" than my current setup without spending inordinate amounts of money for diminishing returns. However I'm always curious to hear about different sounding headphones. But the HE1000 are just perfectly suited for me. I'm good.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
    knopi likes this.
  12. DJ The Rocket
    That makes a lot of sense too. I feel very much the same and I like the way you explained it
  13. theheadfier
    If one pleads guilty to being an "audiophile", then the concept of endgame remains just that, a concept. It never gets attained. Exploring different audio gear is, admit it or not, at the core of this hobby, So as long as there are new products being introduced every time, and as technology improves over time, just when you thought you've got the best system you can buy, here comes something better, and the cycle goes on. The only "endgame" for us is if we quit the audiophile hobby.
    DivaFonda likes this.
  14. DivaFonda
    I'm with you! Finances permitting, always keep trying new things!

    Right now unfortunately, I'm indeed at a financial "endgame" but that'll hopefully change next year when I get my tax return. I have a decent setup that ''tides me over" but there is no true endgame for me. Just got into the higher end of headphones and amps, and I'm not done.
  15. gazzington
    I don't think there is a fabled end game. You just get stages where you are happy with the equipment you have. Thus all changes when you read about something new on this forum or you get some money..
    DivaFonda likes this.
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