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Sold Everything - A journey back to the music?


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This thread might be entirely too self-indulgent and I'll apologise in advance if it lands like that ?

 

I am weeks from moving back to Australia (unexpected but necessitated by personal circumstances) after a couple of years living in the UK, and as a result of this we have recently sold our house over here.  I was home during the buyers second house viewing and got chatting hi-fi with them and knowing that we were moving overseas they approached me the following day to discuss our hi-fi systems and if we would consider making them part of the deal.  After giving it some careful consideration about what I really want I did what feels like a fair deal and we signed the final contracts today...

 

This essentially means we will walk out of the house and leave behind my entire reference system (Whatmough Signature 505i, Parasound Halo Pre and Power, Luxman CDP and DAC) and my second system (KEF LS50W and REL T7i).  ?

 

If you're still with me you may be wondering what the hell the point of this thread actually is!   I think it's at least partially for me to share that the overwhelming feeling I have at the moment is one of: RELIEF  For at least the last 12 months I have been more and more inclined to listen to the LS50W system with my wife, and just enjoy the tunes rather than squirrel away by myself into a separate listening room and feel like I'm isolating myself.  This has had the dual benefits of bringing me closer to my wife and spending more time with her, and getting her more interested in music and sound. 

 

Perhaps more importantly for me the LS50W system being essentially complete out of the box I stopped worrying about all the various system machinations and equipment and just got back to listening to tunes.  Radio Paradise has become my number 1 source and I absolutely love it having discovered so much new music.  Reality for was I had got to a point where I actually was experiencing far more musical enjoyment from a $6000 active hifi system than I was from a $50k plus system in a dedicated treated room and obviously this has nothing to do with the ultimate quality and fidelity of audio reproduction.  The reference system sounds simply superb in it's current room, but yet if I'm really honest I was not really enjoying using it!

 

I've been up and down on the cycle over many years now, but I think I am getting off the high end merry go round, at least for the foreseeable future.  Not sure what the future holds system wise, maybe another LS50W based system, maybe something different.  I certainly don't feel a compulsion to have a separate treated room anymore, especially if my wife doesn't want to share it with me.  Whatever it looks like it will be back to music first and enjoying the tunes without obsessing over equipment and system!  

 

So if you've read this far then thank you for allowing me to indulge in my own story!  I have heard the term' recovering audiophile' thrown about a bit recently and think maybe that is something that resonates with me....does it resonate with any of you!? 

Edited by POV
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A lot of people go the full circle and get back to enjoying the music and not just listening to their system.

 

I won’t say this too loud but I like to listen to my bose portable speaker too...

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The equipment can come and go, bit the music remains.

 

I get the isolation thing.  I have my two channel system in the main living area to prevent this.

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45 minutes ago, Tim D said:

.

 

I won’t say this too loud but I like to listen to my bose portable speaker too...

Awesome boom boxes for partying....:thumb:

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Good story :) 

 

I gave up my Dedicated music room years ago :)

 

doesn’t mean stopped me enjoying both music and movies with family infact like op it only meant could indulge even more... I still squirrel my self away... bedroom system and headphones are for that ... so there’s hope yet ! :D 

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I consider myself more of a melophile than an audiophile, so whilst quality hardware is nice, having music I like is more important than the hardware it is played on.

 

 

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Hey @POV thanks for sharing your story in such a heartfelt way...it's fantastic that things have moved in a direction where you're sharing music appreciation/togetherness with your partner.  Big moves like that must be overwhelming at times, hope all goes really well, and once settled an exciting opportunity starting with a clean audio slate.

 

Yep i think many peeps end up chasing their tail pursuing gear and "perfect" sound but lose sight (ear, mind, heart) of the simple joy and benefit of music.  I absolutely appreciate my 'main rig' but i equally enjoy music on low res streaming, basic headphones, in the car, on the radio, on Youtube, NPR...where ever.  And +1 for active speakers, keeping the box count down definitely a plus in my book.

 

Cheers

2B

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l love my listening room but also love the convenience of having background music played on 2 devialet phantoms as I relax in the house.  As long as you are happy.

Edited by Yamaha_man
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Shutting yourself off from the family whilst maintaining a wall of decibels that is nigh on impenetrable doesn't do anything for family cohesion, quite the opposite mostly. Having the music system where the family lives makes for a much better time for all. You can't always play what you want, when you want it, or at the volume level that you'd like, but that's fine. There are times when you can.

I remember one of my sons-in-law stopping in his tracks one day as I was playing Abbey Road. He turned to me and told me that he had been listening to this album for years but, just now, was hearing it in a way that he had never heard it before, and that he totally got why I have the system that I do. You never get those moments if you're locked away in another room and the people who are your life are wary of venturing in.

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2 hours ago, Gee Emm said:


For someone with no actual experience with this product, you sure have a lot to say about it?

 

 

Do you mind if I copy your signature? 

 

cheers,

Terry

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Great write up and welcome back.

 

A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday arvo, I had some music playing in the background and said to my wife, you put some music on. Well, 4 hours later she was still spining tunes. She probably understands more now the audio gear thing but especially listening to music at home. It's great to mix it up having your time but also involve the rest of the family. Back when I was growing up, music was the entertainment.

 

 

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Nice read. I remember when I had the same (decent mid-fi) system for 25 years and it was all about the music. I upgraded that after a change in rooms sent me on the path of ever seeking improvements. Had a lot of fun with the music in that time too but I do sometimes pine for the simpler times :)

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It’s also an indication of how good the Kef Ls50w is with reviewers saying it’s equal to $10-20k speaker and amp combo so not that far off your big system with law of diminishing returns separating the small difference.

 

Edit: Great to have the family enjoy more things together, but being not so umbilical or feeling guilty about it, keeping balance having separate interests and understanding that no one is in reality left out is also healthy frame of mind to have.

Edited by Al.M
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12 minutes ago, Al.M said:

It’s also an indication of good the Kef Ls50w is with reviewers saying it’s equal to $10-20k speaker and amp combo so not that far off your big system with law of diminishing returns separating the small difference.


Yes there’s absolutely something in this as well.  I bought the LS50W on a bit of whim to be perfectly honest.  My dealer over here had an oversupply so was doing killer deals on them, and my wife really likes the style of them so I bought them.

 

I don’t think I really expected them to live up to the hype but it really is a fantastic sounding system that we find very engaging and fun to listen to.

 

The whole experience has definitely sparked my interest in both Kef and active speaker systems for sure.

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Amazing what happens when you expect “less” from a system, it sounds better than you think!

 

Which is a good thing, the music becomes the hero...... but isn’t that the point all along?!

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On 23/07/2020 at 3:39 AM, POV said:

does it resonate with any of you!? 

10000%

 

Active "bookshelf" (or a little bigger) speakers

EQ to improve performance and to preference

Subwoofer crossed over reasonably low (can be placed anywhere, for domestic/aesthetic reasons as much as SQ)

Remote control  (auto-off, EQ presets, volume, etc.)

Inputs so it can be run in a living room system (ie. TV, movies, background music... and also "serious listening").

 

 

To me, this is the holy grail for most situations.

It doesn't have to cost the earth.

It can be fitted into a regular living room situation, and driven by the whole family.

Seperates and dedicated rooms and large speakers, cost the earth, and can often offer little over the above when it is done well.

 

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Great post, and thanks for sharing.
 

Whilst spending a lot of time researching different types of systems to buy (including separates), I always kept my family’s lifestyle/living habits in mind. I knew that we weren’t going to invest in vinyl or CDs (I lost my collection many years ago), and find streaming quite convenient. And like the OP, I recently ended up purchasing LS50Ws and a Rel T9i, and my wife and I have recently been listening to music together at an average of 2 hours a day. I have to say that we absolutely love the sound quality (especially after adding the Rel) in our moderately lively and untreated media room, and have enjoyed exploring new music.

 

My only gripe is that the wireless connectivity drops off every now and then, which I guess is now a known issue with the Kef Stream app. But I’m thinking that if I really wanted to solve this, I could always connect a streamer like the node 2i to the LS50ws and drive the system with the BluOS app.

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Thank you. Your story resonates with more people than you realise.

 

Having a simplified setup, sitting back and enjoying the music with someone else is something I cherish.  

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 Time-aligned speaker designs do have that sort of close-to-real life quality that draws the listener more intimately into the music. A more simplified, self contained system allows the user to less chance to introduce unlinearities into the system chain

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I'm coming to this conclusion in mountain biking. 

 

My current bike was $11,400 new. Then spent $4,000 on upgrades. Now it is 2 years old and find myself looking at the next bike, which costs more again. 

 

And had a super fun ride on my forgotten 10 year old bike the other day that is basic and probably only worth $500 and only cost $3,000 to build new. 

 

And for the same money as a new mountain bike, I can pick up an older well maintained boat that is whole family fun. 

 

On the hifi. I still have more to learn and let my acoustic engineering professional expertise grow a bit more. There may be a point where I simply get bored with it. But for now, my main system still blows me away. Go downstairs to iron a shirt and turn it on for a few minutes. 4 hours later the iron is hot but I still haven't ironed. The combo of music and the quality just gets me every time. And so does the teleport effect of music that can take me back to any time and place of my life or share experience of something new. 

Edited by DrSK
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Hey Drew,

 

I'm wrestling with a similar dilemma and realisation. I have progressively built up my own reference system over my entire life really. (I'm 62 and my first real audio system was purchased when I was 17). You know how it is, constantly upgrading individual components, tweaking cables, changing cartridges, etc etc. 

 

I've just semi-retired and so have recently fulfilled a life long ambition to design and build a turntable of my own. Very pleased with the aesthetics of the result, I connected  it into the heart of my system and 'temporarily' took out my Michell Orbe.  Well.....this damn thing gives the Orbe a run for it's money and in so doing undermines everything I have come to believe about hifi over the years. How can a turntable cobbled together from parts obtained via eBay and a hand made plinth seriously compare to one costing about 10x the price? So 6 weeks on and it's still in there with the Orbe sitting idle and looking a bit forlorn in the same room. The big question is......do I sell the Orbe and stick with my home made number??  I aspired to owning an Orbe for about a decade...... but in value for money terms it's impossible to justify. I plan to  make a pair of speakers next.....oh no!!!!!!   

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38 minutes ago, Andrew Hoyle said:

I've just semi-retired and so have recently fulfilled a life long ambition to design and build a turntable of my own. Very pleased with the aesthetics of the result, I connected  it into the heart of my system and 'temporarily' took out my Michell Orbe.  Well.....this damn thing gives the Orbe a run for it's money and in so doing undermines everything I have come to believe about hifi over the years. How can a turntable cobbled together from parts obtained via eBay and a hand made plinth seriously compare to one costing about 10x the price? ...........I plan to  make a pair of speakers next.....oh no!!!!!!   

DIY bug.. same same but different :) Seriously though, congrats on the TT build and DIY speakers are a whole new rabbit hole but a very worthwhile way of passing the time. Re live those teenage years :D 

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15 hours ago, DrSK said:

My current bike was $11,400 new. Then spent $4,000 on upgrades. Now it is 2 years old and find myself looking at the next bike, which costs more again. 

My first Mountain Bike Was a Diamondback "Mean Streak" Bought it back in 82. Was close to the top of the range and cost me $899.?

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great thread pov (Drew). I have read all the posts now from different perspectives and find them all extremely pertinent. Although, for me I dont see the time I will get rid of most or all of my current audio gear (which has expanded hugely over the last 25yrs into a vast excessive mass of stuff) or set ups, this thought process pov presents certainly makes me say that for me there need not be any more to amass. It will be more of a case of enjoying the music more and what the experience of listening to music produces for me and my wife.

 

Enough is enough. It is time! Thank you for helping me get to the end

Edited by aertex
grammar
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Without being negative, I suspect once back into Australia, you might start thinking of a ''simple" system, just to enjoy music..

The danger is, this might be the start of a new journey, albeit using past experiences and avoiding mistakes of the past.

 

Personally speaking, in anticipation of a similar situation like yours due to retirement, I have started to think what ...life would be without my current setup(s) ?

One has to be able to detouch oneself from that "belonging" feeling..  Well done!

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Similar experience here.  A year or two after the market switched from Vinyl to CD, I lost interest in HIFI.  That was until recently when my Luxman L58A died and after a couple of weeks going without I started to look for a replacement.  I found another Luxman and that started a whole new cycle of upgrades.  The only part of my original system are my ESS-AMT 1C speakers which still sound amazing after 35+ years.  I have to say though that I'm now once again really enjoying the music thanks to Tidal and Roon.  Now I have to be alert that I don't get hooked again back into the endless upgrade loop.

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On 23/07/2020 at 3:09 AM, POV said:

This thread might be entirely too self-indulgent and I'll apologise in advance if it lands like that ?

 

I am weeks from moving back to Australia (unexpected but necessitated by personal circumstances) after a couple of years living in the UK, and as a result of this we have recently sold our house over here.  I was home during the buyers second house viewing and got chatting hi-fi with them and knowing that we were moving overseas they approached me the following day to discuss our hi-fi systems and if we would consider making them part of the deal.  After giving it some careful consideration about what I really want I did what feels like a fair deal and we signed the final contracts today...

 

This essentially means we will walk out of the house and leave behind my entire reference system (Whatmough Signature 505i, Parasound Halo Pre and Power, Luxman CDP and DAC) and my second system (KEF LS50W and REL T7i).  ?

 

If you're still with me you may be wondering what the hell the point of this thread actually is!   I think it's at least partially for me to share that the overwhelming feeling I have at the moment is one of: RELIEF  For at least the last 12 months I have been more and more inclined to listen to the LS50W system with my wife, and just enjoy the tunes rather than squirrel away by myself into a separate listening room and feel like I'm isolating myself.  This has had the dual benefits of bringing me closer to my wife and spending more time with her, and getting her more interested in music and sound. 

 

Perhaps more importantly for me the LS50W system being essentially complete out of the box I stopped worrying about all the various system machinations and equipment and just got back to listening to tunes.  Radio Paradise has become my number 1 source and I absolutely love it having discovered so much new music.  Reality for was I had got to a point where I actually was experiencing far more musical enjoyment from a $6000 active hifi system than I was from a $50k plus system in a dedicated treated room and obviously this has nothing to do with the ultimate quality and fidelity of audio reproduction.  The reference system sounds simply superb in it's current room, but yet if I'm really honest I was not really enjoying using it!

 

I've been up and down on the cycle over many years now, but I think I am getting off the high end merry go round, at least for the foreseeable future.  Not sure what the future holds system wise, maybe another LS50W based system, maybe something different.  I certainly don't feel a compulsion to have a separate treated room anymore, especially if my wife doesn't want to share it with me.  Whatever it looks like it will be back to music first and enjoying the tunes without obsessing over equipment and system!  

 

So if you've read this far then thank you for allowing me to indulge in my own story!  I have heard the term' recovering audiophile' thrown about a bit recently and think maybe that is something that resonates with me....does it resonate with any of you!? 

Hi POV,

 

I think your post brings up a number of important points that resonate with lots of listeners.

 

Music by it’s nature is designed to be a shared experience. Being an Audiophile is by it’s nature is a singular hobby. It tends to revolve around a single ‘ special’ chair, in an isolated, removed room.  It always surprises me the dichotomy between these two aspects of our hobby.  Sharing the experience, the joy and emotion with your wife, or friends,  is surely a better idea.  Often difficult due to reduced impact caused by seating positions or opposing tastes in music!

A less finely tuned system , or one that also excels off axis is often helpful in this situation.

 

Owning gear above your financial position is a stressful proposition in my opinion. That feeling of RELIEF which you mention is one I have experienced with both hifi and vehicles. When I am over invested AND dissatisfied I find it very stressful.  No longer owning a hot car brought me huge relief. I no longer have to worry about it blowing up / being damaged and landing me with costs I would struggle to meet.  If I have too much invested in hifi it worries me, what if it goes BANG, big bills to repair.  If dissatisfied the potential financial losses in changing equipment when over invested is again a stressful situation. 

 

My enjoyment of my system has just recently increased markedly. The reason?  A couple of budgerigars in the room. They love music and react differently to each song, some they love, some less so.  I get to share the experience with them.  Intense, highly focused, critical listening has it’s place and can be very rewarding.  Less critical , more social listening with your wife and a good dog by your side sounds like a better use of life to me. 

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Music is a big part of my life .. from my early childhood playing my mothers pianola, learning the guitar in my teens and playing in bands in my 20's .... 

 

I luv' music to be with me where ever I am ...  

 

. before I retired and work evolved to open offices with 25% more people per floor, it was a portable USB drive off my work laptop into head phones to create some 'my' work space and to be soothed or motivated by music

. on the train each workday it was portable headphones working off my phone

. in the car or van its the vehicle stereos .. Tidal playlists nowadays

. in the open plan area of my house its a powerful system that can be cranked as I do home tasks and cooking, Tidal again and off my phone

. in my home office, a pre/dac off my PC driving a small but musical pair of powerful studio powered monitors, I make a lot of my Tidal lists here ..

. out in the alfresco when we have parties, less nowadays as the boys have grown up and moved out,  used to be a CD player into a guitar amp  30 years ago but now I use my (band) PA system and play Tidal off my phone

. in my theatre/music room I have the main system with fairly high end gear, and just get fully enveloped in beautiful music, 2-3 hours most days  .. its only similarly minded friends and extended family that come over occasionally share the experience which in itself is sad but I have learned when my wife became ill 28 years ago to be able to do things solo, dining and travelling solo as other examples, so I have no problems just to zone in and just enjoy .. its just me, well probably 2 dachshunds on my lap, and the music ..

 

So as much as I enjoy company to listen to music, and I do,  I am not constrained by the lack of company, and have learnt to appreciate all sorts of music for my own enjoyment.   I attend quite a few music festivals as I really enjoy the live experience and dynamics, and meeting like minded new people.

 

So there are many differences in our listening styles, the types of music we love to listen, the type of sound that we like, music that we will work to, or dance to, as is the huge variation in the systems we acquire and to how often, or not, we lust after something else and upgrade, or down grade as the circumstances permit.  

 

Only having basic needs to be able to achieve everything you want in terms of family listening to music is a great outcome for you.  Great discussion thread.  Thanks for sharing your journey.

Edited by Rosco8
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