Crisis of I alone?

I’ve invested considerably. Read and absorbed much. And I listen to my system and I love it. Most of the time. And sometimes I question it. Is it sounding as it should? Have I made good choices?
Sometimes I think it would be lovely to have others listen. To make observations, suggestions etc. Good or bad.
Input from those with experience of sorted, balanced systems. I understand we are all different with different ears and expectations, but it would be nice perhaps for a experienced and discerning individual (s) to put a metaphorical arm around the shoulders and say, quit worrying, it sounds just great.
How do you guys trust your own judgement?
Maybe I just need time. I’m only 12 months back into this hobby after all and I’ve covered a fair bit of ground possibly too quickly.
Hmm. This sounds like a Dear Deidre :smirk:


Well that’s comforting :rofl:

Some like a warmer lush sound, some a faster cooler sound. Others experiences on hearing your hifi don’t help much ime.

There comes a time where you simply have to trust your own senses.



For me, part of the problem is the variety of recording qualities. I can listen to a track, and think, yeah OK, but not great, and then find a track of a different person/style, and be wowed. Not something you notice when you have a basic system, but more noticeable, the more you spend/upgrade. Best just to accept it and enjoy it, on the basis that it may not be the best recording, but you are hearing it at its best.


Trust your own hearing. If it sounds right leave it alone unless you like the ( expensive) hobby aspect of trying out other things.
If it doesn’t sound right to you then that’s a different thing. Logical and investigative thinking is needed. Randomly following other peoples suggestions without thinking will lead to dissatisfaction. Obviously listen to others experiences but then decide how that fits in to your experience with your own set up.

Also if you have limitless finances you really can always find something better. That way lies madness, ask me how I know. :rofl:

That is a very good point. I have probably killed some of my favourite albums by exposing the poor recording. I’ll just listen to them in the car.

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See you at the funny farm :confounded:


I’d say that there’s a pretty simple test.

Just pick your favourite music (Bach, Beethoven, Beach Boys, Beatles or whatever) on your favourite carrier (LP or CD or whatever).

Turn it on, preferably with your favourite drink in hand (tea, whisky or whatever).

Then ask yourself - simply - if you’re enjoying your chosen music. You can do that by yourself, or bring along a good friend whose judgment you trust.

Ultimately you make your own choices. No one else can do that for you.


I must add I am very grateful that Naim kit has no EQ type adjustments. I would never leave them alone. I nearly went the Macintosh route. That would have driven me completely nuts.


Ah but you can get round that. Have you tried evaluating streaming, transports, dacs, upsampling, resampling? Makes setting up an lp12 child’s play.

You swine :confounded::rofl:


I’ve done my level best to select gear that was meant to work together, followed manufacturers’ instructions on plumbing it all in, had stuff serviced, followed the wisdom freely shared in these threads and on CD at least 9 times out of 10 find I’m enjoying the music so much, getting so much from it, that I don’t want it to end. I’ll not invest in a higher end streamer until I have reliable broadband, and will one day get an LP12 but right now I’m super happy. I might add a sub, or at least try one but I don’t need to. So, overall I’m confident and the reaction from my siblings who hear similar to me is ‘Jes** Chri**’ how much did it all cost? which is their way of expressing approval. And helpfully out of earshot of the capex committee here at home. :innocent:


There will always be better recordings, but if you start choosing music that sounds more impressive over that which you enjoy, well, something is wrong.

Relax and enjoy the music.


But what is the hobby? Hifi or music? If the latter, forget about how it’s sounding today. Since you love your system, why not just enjoy the music, listen to as much as you can and explore some of the vast range of new music that streaming offers? If it’s the former, you’ve probably already taken the first few fatal steps on the road to the madhouse.!


Relax and enjoy the music. Remember, some days it may just sound ‘off’ or rather the playback mechanisms will. Reason being… the weather, barometrics, you, too many/not enough cushions, too much of everything…who knows? But that doesn’t last. Take a break, read a book, just do something else for awhile. Atmospherics and/or your brain/cushions will soon right themselves and you’ll back revelling in how your stereo presents music you love.


I completely agree. Especially that vexed axis of permutations and subjective dissonance, that is the brain/cushion quotient. I’ve spent this pm and evening with a new (to me) DAC (the nDAC), but I’ve given up enjoying playing tunes tonight, in favour of reading my current book of choice.

Sometimes it’s the only thing that’ll do.

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If you want to know what hifi systems of any given price range “should” sound like, go and listen to some of your favoured music on several system recommendations from each of several good dealers. If they all sound similar, that is probably the “correct” sound. If they sound significantly different then there is no “correct” hifi sound.

Alternatively if you want to know what the recordings sound like to the mixing engineer, listen on a system using cost-no-object studio quality pro amps and speakers (which of course may have been among the aforementioned dealer systems).

However if you prefer something different from any of the above, it doesn’t matter sk choose what best suits you and anyone else who you share with.

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I’ve been at this game for 27 years and …. I think that I’ve got the sound I was always looking for. Ive stuck with Naim and upgraded and upgraded and upgraded … not for the faint hearted!

It’s all the peripherals that have fine tuned my kit to help me get to the sound I now love … isolation, interconnects, power cables, and current filter blocks. But as mentioned I have the odd day when I think it doesn’t sound right so I go and do something else then come back and it’s just great.

I have the odd friend that just gets it and others that just don’t so enjoy your time with your system and be happy. There’s always an upgrade … look at my profile :joy::joy:

I spend roughly 4 hrs a night listening and don’t regret a penny and waking hour trying to improve the kit … you only live once :+1:


That is some profile.


Sometimes and for no apparent reason a perfectly good system can sound a little off

These are quite finely balanced pieces of equipment my advice would be that next time you feel it isn’t sounding good switch it off and read a book and try again the next day.

If there is anything really wrong it will still be there the best day.