Night and day differences - the real truth

After getting a good quality Hi-Fi system (not necessarily spending a fortune), things can be better and more nuanced. Night and day differences? Maybe not objectively.

However my personal “wow” moments have been:

  • Testing the Totem Sttaf speakers: I’ve never listened to any Totem speaker before, I was blown away by the soundstage and their crystal clear highs. I knew I had to buy Totem speakers sooner or later. At that time I had the B&W 600 series.

  • Comparing the Exposure 3010DS2 and Naim Nait XS2 to replace an old NAD amp from the 90s: they were simply on another level.

  • Trying Nordost cables for the first time: before that all cables seemed to have minor differences, Nordost just changed my expectations about cables.

  • Testing a proper Hi-Fi rack from Quadraspire for the first time: I was shocked at the impact it had on bass and soundstage, I thought it wasn’t possible before that.

  • Testing the ND5 XS 2: the level of depth and refinement was jaw dropping, at the time I had an Audio Analogue Vivace.

  • Installing both dedicated mains/earthing and acoustic panels with a proper setup: I’ve never heard my system sounding so good, I could hear details that were just hidden before. Everything became crisper, punchier and more dynamic.

  • Testing the Octave V70 SE amp with the Focal Kanta K2: this was the first valve amp I’ve tried and, a month before, I tested the NAC202/NAP200/NAPSC/HiCap paired with the Totem Forests. I was shocked at the level of detail, presence and refinement delivered by the Octave. For a similar price, it seemed on another level.


Night and Day, well, I guess for me, if you couldn’t live without it!
Owning CD5 & then adding a Flatcap 2, game changer
Upgrading CD5 to a CDS3, huge jump here, lovely natural sounding player
Adding Townshend Super tweeters to my PMC 26’s - completely brought my CD playback to life, everything more revealing but not clinical or fatiguing, quite the opposite.

Adding a Supercap to power a Prefix is imo definitely night and day. :blush:

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Interesting on the Townshends, have flirted with nearly getting some a few times.

I believe you can loan, my pair were ex-dem so great discount, once you have had these in place, there is no going back, the most difficult thing to describe, thye just makes everything sound more real. Considering the cost of most Hi Fi upgrades, these and the speaker bars that I have also from Townshend are complete bargains and have made such a difference. The only thing that can top this for me which I failed to note in my post was the move from a Musical Fidelity Pre Amp to Townshends Allegri+ Autotransformer which matches the impedance of your power amp, stunning performance, absolutely no noise floor, silence!

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You make some very good points @jmtennapel and I agree with a lot of them.

However, I would elaborate further on the human hearing condition by adding the cases for those that have hearing in advance of the norm. Blind or partially sighted people have honed in on their listening skills to a much higher degree.

What about musicians? Some have perfect pitch which must enable them to hear when something is wrong. Of course many musicians, even with perfect pitch, may be used to hearing music in a particular way. For example a guitarist playing loudly at the front of the stage will be used to a wall of sound behind him/her, plus floor monitors and/or ear monitors.

Similarly, a person playing in an orchestra will be used to a particular sound dependant upon where they sit. In front of the woodwind or brass will be different to beside violins etc.

Perhaps musicians are less critical about their Hi-Fi. I don’t really know. Actually, I wonder how many musicians are actually really into their Hi-Fi - I suspect there may be a few on these forums.

Back to your point about hearing all nuances all the time - I believe there is a condition whereby people suffer great anxiety due to the effect of being able to hear ‘everything’.

Likewise, zooming in on something different will cause an immediate reaction which does indeed need to be tempered with a period of time for analysis. Something may initially sound ‘wow’ but may become fatiguing.

I like your explanation of allowing a few weeks to get accustomed to a change/improvement and then removing it and re-assessing the impact. I am certain that many of the skilled upgrades/tweaked on here already follow this methodology. The ‘do no tweaks then change everything at once’ crew, like myself, probably don’t! I personally like to make my decision, implement the massive change and then just get on with enjoying the music. This way I don’t have to worry about which box, cable or whatever, is contributing what - just enjoy the whole.

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How very Zen and ultimately of course true… :melting_face:

The truth is differnces will be heard from interchanging equiment - it’s down to the customer. For me familiar music is like walking down a known path - you know where things are - you can sense everything, music is a bit like that, a music journey - a storey so to speak… In my own personal expeience - I find it quite easy to discern changes up to a certain level… at which point I am happy to finish chasing any further improvement. However the ear/brain is powerful…but ultimately subjective…at which point I will leave it there…in the room which is a huge elphant itself…

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Musicians swim in music. Hi-fi buffs just paddle.


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Excellent! :grinning:


Musicians make music, hifi just plays recordings

probs no use to anyone this but my stereo always sounds better at night

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Night is when you can see very little around you because you’re on the side of the planet facing away from the sun.

Day is when you can see very well around you because you’re on the side of the planet facing the sun.

This change gives a very strong contrasting improvement in the observer’s ability to perceive the immediate environment.

It also removes the ability of the observer to see the stars millions of miles away.

So the phrase ‘it was a night and day change’ is useless as a metaphor for a change in a HiFi system. :musical_score::loud_sound::drum::notes::violin::new_moon_with_face::sun_with_face::full_moon::waning_gibbous_moon::last_quarter_moon::waning_crescent_moon::new_moon::waxing_crescent_moon::first_quarter_moon::waxing_gibbous_moon:


Err, yes.

Perfect pitch is a disadvantage though many see it as a super talent.


I’d probably go for Dutch and Dutch 8c.
Getting even more interesting as the latest firmware lets them run plugins.



Night and day difference is just a phrase used by some to emphasize that they are experiencing a greater change or something to that effect. Said without context, it lacks meaning IMO.

My true moment of night & day differences was when I listened to the Linn Klimax DSM/3 goes into a 6-packed Linn Klimax Solos to a pair of passive Linn 360 passive speakers at a Linn/Naim shop.

I was in a shock at how good it was, and still have not fully recovered from it.

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