Starting to realize that I am picky audiophile without the audiophile budget!

Tom_Mack

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 11, 2000
Messages
233
I have been searching for a new receiver since December and I never seem to be happy. I am always finding something I am not happy with and I think I will be happier with something else. I don't have the money for a big budget system, yet I don't think I will be happy till I have one.
The grass is always greener on the other side..... Here is my story.....
The first home theater system I bought was actually a present to my parents for Christmas. It was a sony home theater in a box (pro-logic, no sub). Its actually not too bad for a box set. It has an easy to listen to smooth sound. Its not an "accurate" setup but it is very nice for background music and just enough for movies. I even upgraded them with a sub because I felt their speakers were struggling too much!
My first (and only) system was bought around December 2000. I have Paradigm Monitor series speakers along with a Paradigm PDR-10 sub. It was powered by a Yamaha 596 receiver. I sounded great....for a few months. Then I noticed that the highs were too bright and there wasn't enough bass or midrange. Music sounded bad and HT sounded OK....and it bothered me.
In December of 2001, I started looking for a new receiver and after much searching decided on a Marantz 8200 and thought all would be well. I was even moving all my equipment into a new room downstairs where I could have the speakers, TV, couch and sub could be where ever I wanted them. How could things be bad!?
The sound on the Marantz was great, but then I noticed the dreaded delay with digital sources. ...and it drove me crazy. Yeah, I know I could get a better DVD player and the delay would be not as noticable, but I already overspent by around $500 and the salesman wasn't being much of a help at all. The Marantz went back because if a $400 receiver didn;t have delays with any source I felt an $1600 receiver shouldn't either. I miss the sound but I still feel the same way.
So now I bought a Denon 3802, and again I was happy.... at first. I was able to get music to sound great in direct mode using the RCA cables, but I felt that all digital sources sounded dull. Great...I went from bright to dull. Then I noticed a hiss coming from all channels. The receiver is now in the shop to see if the hiss is considered a "problem" and if the dullness in the upper frequencies is actually the receiver or just me being picky. Every once in awhile, I still get a thought stuck in my head that maybe an Onkyo or Sony would be better, but then I remember the fatigue I had from the brightness in the Yamaha/Paradigm combo and I tell myself all will be OK with the Denon.
I think I have a sickness called upgraditis. I always find something that needs improvment and won't be happy till I have it!
Anyone else in the same boat? or is it just me?
Please help.....
Hmmm.........That SVS looks really sweet.....I think I need one.....must refuse.......HELP!
 

Evan S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2001
Messages
2,210
It's a disease we all suffer from. I just spent about $6,000 upgrading my audio system...didn't even touch any video upgrades (TV, DVD, etc.). Funny thing is I realize my system sounds absolutely wonderful, but I'm still looking for that missing audio nirvana. I don't know why it affects us all equally, but with my now strained budget, I have to realize that what I have is very good and any further upgrades will have to be weighted against what I could use that money for.

For instance, do I upgrade my $1100 amp to something in the $2000 range for better top end clarity, or do I spend that $2000 on new furniture (which I need) or a big screen TV? Suddenly, obtaining perfection in the top end doesn't seem so important anymore. That's how I deal with "upgraditis"...before getting impetuous and just getting what I want...I weigh it against what I really NEED first.

That's the problem with upgraditis...we all think we NEED something better, when in actuality we really only just WANT something better. Often at unjustifiable costs.
 

John Beavers

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 1, 1998
Messages
259
Tom,
The disease (upgradtis audiophilist) does'nt get better once you're at that audiophile level of equipment...if anything it's worse. I have put together a high end system after 4 years of highly advanced upgraditis. And still, even with a $5K processor, $12K worth of speakers, $2K pre-amp, $2.5K Amplification, $1K DAC, $2K worth of wire, $2K worth of Power Conditioning, $1K DVD/SACD player I am still plagued with illusions of further sonic grandure if only I would upgrade the right component. It's sick I tell you, SICK!
 

John Garcia

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 24, 1999
Messages
11,571
Location
NorCal
Real Name
John
Two things:
1) At some point we have to be satisfied with our gear.
2) I will be deaf or dead by then...
Seriously though, if you always want, then you can't be happy. Enjoy what you have NOW, when the oportunity to get something better comes along, go for it. Only get to live this life once, AFAIK. I don't really need stuff to be happy, or maybe I just can't be happy? What WILL make you happy, and once you have it...WILL you be happy?
At the same time, if you have nothing to strive for, then what does anything matter?
Sorry, hope that is not too much philosophical for daytime...I'm bored.
 

ikiru

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 17, 1999
Messages
138
Your condition is the very same reason that we have threads like:
Brand X receiver vs Brand Y receiver
or
Will my X sound better if I Y?
We all need reassurance that we have the best product for us (whether it means our ears or our budget).
Just buy the best your money can afford and be happy with it. If you still need rassurance, go listen to any of the systems in a low end store and be satisfied that your system kicks the crap out of any of the other systems there.

Works for me!
-ikiru
 

Matt Heebner

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Messages
241
This thread is too funny. I am finding myself in "upgraditus" hell as well. I am just not pleased with my stuff anymore. I keep upgrading, but then just find something else I am not happy with.
Foe example, I have budgeted money for a calibration on my TV because it has a few minor geometry issues that are starting to distract me from my viewing pleasure. I also am saving for new speakers because SACD has revealed the limitations of my current set-up dammit!
Seriously, I am not happy that I am spending a chunk of cash to get a new roof put on my house cause it sets back my budget for new speakers.
I'M SICK I TELL YA!
help me

Matt
 

Jeffrey_Jones

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 6, 2001
Messages
283
This may be the five martinis and numerous beers that I have had tonight talking but...I think we just get bored with what we have and crave something new. If we handed our old systems to someone else they would be perfectly happy with them. We are obsessed and should seek help

Unless you are really making a leap in hardware, lets say going from an old Pro Logic receiver to something with DD and DTS, or from a 27" TV to a 60" HDTV...fuck it, I won't even pretend to be able to turn this into a lucid statement...the end.
- Jeff
 

John Tillman

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 2, 1999
Messages
595
Ikiru said:

Just buy the best your money can afford and be happy with it.
I think that is good advise because gear/technology will change/improve over time. Why get stuck paying for yesterday's stuff when today's stuff is here now.

I'm enjoying my gear these days but the trickle of DVD-A, SACD or 1080i material can be frustrating.
 

Grant B

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2000
Messages
3,209
How do you stop upgrading?

It's called MARRIAGE

upgraditis = divorce

here is another equation

new shoes + dinner at fancy restaurant = New Amplifier

When I was single I just ate canned foods for a month to buy a new Carver Amp....wife cannot understand at all
 

John Garcia

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 24, 1999
Messages
11,571
Location
NorCal
Real Name
John
here is another equation
new shoes + dinner at fancy restaurant = New Amplifier
This is 100% true, and a proven fact. Always budget a little bit extra for the little woman. It's the "bribe" factor, and benefits you in more ways that just for your HT.

Hint: Do it ahead of time...
 

Brad_V

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 8, 2002
Messages
356
This may be the five martinis and numerous beers that I have had tonight talking but...I think we just get bored with what we have and crave something new. If we handed our old systems to someone else they would be perfectly happy with them. We are obsessed and should seek help
Heh, this may be the lime vodka I've had tonight talking, but you're right.

For an upgrade, I'd shoot for a Dolby Pro-Logic II system because it will make ANY analog input sound great. Maybe not as good as true digital DTS, but it works on *anything*. Even your local news broadcasts. And, really, who doesn't want to hear the weather forecast in Pro-Logic II surround sound? Especially when there's tornado warnings. Oooooo....
 

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