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The Journey to Perfect Sound - What's Yours?

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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   Dave Upton

Dave Upton


  • 2,030 posts
  • Join Date: May 16 2012
  • Real Name:Dave Upton
  • LocationHouston, TX

Posted November 06 2012 - 12:28 PM

Each of us has a unique journey that we have traveled in search of the perfect speaker for our listening preferences. Along that journey, we have magical moments where we hear something we just have to own; in some cases we buy that piece of gear and own it for many years, and sometimes that something is far outside our price range and all we can do is dream of one day owning it.

I wanted to start a thread where our members could share their stories. What have been some of your most memorable auditions or audio moments and how do those moments affect your purchasing and listening decisions today?

My first "Aha!" moment was in a high end audio shop here in Houston. I managed to convince my wife to let me explore the store as long as I promised not to spend any money. I was true to my word, but that didn't keep me from spending some time in several demo rooms. The first system I heard was some Magnepan MMG's running off a Parasound amp. It was a nice setup, but it didn't grab my attention for more than a few minutes.

The next room I was lucky enough to walk into, was a pair of Vandersteen Model 5a's driven by a high end Goldmund amp. I remember distinctly sitting down in the listening chair next to my wife and being shocked at the incredibly wide sound stage this system was throwing. As usual, some form of smooth jazz was playing - and as I closed my eyes and couldn't help imagining myself in a jazz club somewhere. This was my first legitimate taste of audio so good it could be real and right in front of me - evoking chills and an emotional response to the music. Needless to say, the 5 figure price was a good reality check and quickly killed any ownership aspirations I may have had - but that was the beginning for me, when I first caught the itch.

The next (and most significant) experience I had was in my home when Legacy Audio sent me a pair of FOCUS SE speakers for review. This was perhaps the most convincing listening experience as I knew within minutes of having them set up that I would do anything in my power to own them The review link is here for anyone who really wants to read it. Following that experience I found myself soured towards most speakers that I heard - fervently missing the imaging and authenticity that I had experienced while reviewing the Legacy FOCUS SE's. Perhaps I've ruined my ears by sampling the high end, but looking back on that review loan, the only real thoughts I have are of the pleasure I experienced while listening to those speakers, the joy of music.

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