Near the end? I won’t be the only one who thought that, and was wrong.
Over a short-ish period a few decades ago, I got a Lingo 1, Linnto & Ekos for my LPs and a CDS2 for CDs, keeping 82/ Hicap/ 250 and Shahinian Compasses. I heard some better systems, but nothing that made me spend. I was finished.
Then streaming happened, something that we hadn’t expected all those years ago - a quick listen got me an NDX2.
A year or so later, idly scrolling, I saw a second-hand 52 / Supercap & a Superline going for a song. I knew both were a audibly better than what I had, and at that price…
Everything was once again as good as I could get it without (to me) excessive cost & bother. I was finished.
Some time later, changing round my living room meant I could try bigger & better speakers - B&W 804 D3s won (with Tellurium Black 2).
The extra clarity didn’t spoil anything, but it did highlight that the NDX2 really wasn’t perfect - apart from anything else, the CDS2 should never be more involving and open than an HD stream.
Fixing that meant adding the XPS - now all 3 sources sounded about as good as I could get them, and I saw no likelihood that I could be bothered to change anything.
Then I hear the Karousel. I never expected to want a bearing upgrade - I wasn’t about to swap to (say) Brinkman or SME to get a better bearing. However, once I had heard the difference, I bought it (and a Lingo 4 instead of the Lingo 1).
Once again, I can’t envisage wanting to change any of that lot.
However, imagine if a new Super Nova offered a significant upgrade on the above streaming and the above amplification, all for about what I could sell my existing boxes for and in one box. Would I upgrade to that single box? Of course I would.
Imagine in in 2025 someone offered a wireless gadget to replace speaker cables on any speaker, with SQ like Super Lumina & for a vaguely affordable price. Wouldn’t we all buy it?
Throughout, if the SQ is about as good as I can get it with excessive cost/ bother, I have been quite happy to change nothing for years. But every time I have heard a difference that made a difference to how much music I could hear and how enjoyable it was, I have spent.
I think that that means the process for me will end with penury, deafness or death.
So, if you are getting to an end, well done - but we’ll see…