Audio lows and highs 2023.

Low, some of the records I got and really wanted were warped. I also messed up some silver ICs I made and couldn't figure out what was wrong. Fixed but that goes in highs.

High, VPI Prime and Modwright PH9.0
 
Lows: finding out (quickly) that some gear i had high hopes for, just did not cut it for me in my system. not all too low tho, as i do most of my buying thru TMR these days and they have a really great return policy.

Highs: finding possibly end-game pieces at turntable (1200g), dac (terminator) and ss preamp (holo serene). oh, and the Nait 50!

Middle: realizing that am pretty much out of the vintage gear scene (without really trying to).
Did you get a Nait 50?

I guess I would consider my own situation with vintage gear to be 'mid' as well. Sonically I'm in a better place when things are like now, where all of my speakers and amplification are new(ish), but I just miss running at least one vintage setup. So... there's probably a trip to my basement storage soon to retrieve either my Onkyo A7 or Citation Receiver for dining-room duty.
 
Did you get a Nait 50?
yes! took a leap on the 50 before there were many reviews and love it. the user reviews now are almost uniformly enthusiastic. when i want a simple system, the 50 is a one box solution with its rca phono input, a din input for the dac (and a spare din input), and headphone amp (ok, well the dac is a 2nd box, but its always there on the rack for cd and streaming and i consider it a "source"). the 50's sound is dynamic, direct and fast - even bested my beloved nait 2, which will soon be up for sale. in some ways the 50 is expensive for a small box, but when consider all it replaces (amp, pre, phono and headphone amp) it seems like a bargain.

will be interesting to see how naim utilizes the groundbreaking technology from the 50 going foward after its limited edition run. expect good things.
 
Lows: finding out (quickly) that some gear i had high hopes for, just did not cut it for me in my system. not all too low tho, as i do most of my buying thru TMR these days and they have a really great return policy.

Highs: finding possibly end-game pieces at turntable (1200g), dac (terminator) and ss preamp (holo serene). oh, and the Nait 50!

Middle: realizing that am pretty much out of the vintage gear scene (without really trying to).
NAIT 50? Did I miss you got a NAIT 50?

Edit. Haha. I should have read page 2 first. :)
 
My low would be the US postal service loosing my Zu 103 R and an Acutex 415STR after retip ... ☹️
FedEx destroyed a cartridge alignment tool in shipping, and it took several months to get any resolve.
Highs includes landing on a 12b4a preamp circuit that stopped me searching for a preamp, getting @Tsingtao_1903 's horns and a pair of 802 8g drivers playing with my TA-7331-A project.
And ofcourse some really funny banter in this luni bin...
 
NAIT 50? Did I miss you got a NAIT 50?
i sorta low keyed it because there does not seem to be much naim love or lore on here. but maybe others are sorta quiet about their naim thoughts also, like i have been. as a whole, there is much to love and hate about the naim way. i could never be a full part of naim world, because i will always be mixing naim and other brands. not sure that very many people run a terminator dac into a naim integrated. but it does sound great :)
 
The low isn't related to audio. But it was not so easy to give back my PPL/D licence on my own choice mainly for rationality and health reasons. Tempi passati.
The high is that in our new home there is the chance to have my own HiFi room again, my cage. 😉
 
Highs
Discovering the Haven
Setting up my desktop system again
Qobuz and Tidal make discovering new.musix more like listening to KCMU back in Sea-town
Making bucket subs
Buying more Altec gear!
Buying all the good stuff for real subs

Lows
Wife hates the buckets
Not actually having built the good subs yet
Not having sold excess kit yet
Missing a half price Leben integrated by 10 mins
and not audio related, but crashing the Ducati last week and likely totaling it and breaking my collarbone
 
High

Setting up a nice listening space in a loft room
in our new house with a digital piano and some cool things displayed like old cameras and my photography. Wifey likes the room too, so that's a plus. The stereo setup changes frequently - currently experimenting with these new, cheap Class D amps.

Low

This has been happening for many years - the demise of local FM radio stations. Recently hooked-up a vintage FM tuner and checked out some local stations in West Palm Beach. Musical selections were limited, but the biggest surprise was the number and amount of time allocated to loud and obnoxious commercials, many promoting very niche products and businesses. These stations are desperate for advertising dollars and accept any commercials. As a boomer who discovered a lot of great music by listening to FM stations, this is sad. But from streaming services we now have almost unlimited options to find new and old music. The vintage FM tuner goes back into the closet.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Snade
 
Lows
Wife hates the buckets
Not actually having built the good subs yet
Not having sold excess kit yet
Missing a half price Leben integrated by 10 mins
and not audio related, but crashing the Ducati last week and likely totaling it and breaking my collarbone

That is a total bummer, hope you heal quickly - take care. And hope the cool bike survives.

Snade
 
i sorta low keyed it because there does not seem to be much naim love or lore on here. but maybe others are sorta quiet about their naim thoughts also, like i have been. as a whole, there is much to love and hate about the naim way. i could never be a full part of naim world, because i will always be mixing naim and other brands. not sure that very many people run a terminator dac into a naim integrated. but it does sound great :)
I've not been too keen on the smaller Naim stuff I 'd heard that was about 10 years ago at Pro Musica, but one of the better systems I've heard was a Naim separates system in Venice Beach around the same time. My reaction to the Nait 50 was wow that's a lot of cheddar and also "yeah but I really want it" because my dream has always been getting the sound I'm getting from a little integrated (the Leben CS300 was a means towards that end).

I'm thrilled to hear its working out for you. It's so cool looking and it's great that sonically it matches the looks.
 
It's been all highs for me. After many years with conventional direct radiators such as Monitor Audios (and several years with headphones when I was doing the RV life) I returned to Altecs when I got some nice 604Es ( I was on the verge of buying Harbeths when I came across the Altecs) and then later a very clean and recently supposedly restored Scott tube integrated amp. And now the combination has essily passed the Linda Ronstadt Christmas test--if your system has problems in the upper vocal range this recording will lay them bare and give you the willies, especially the song "River".

IMG_6186.jpeg
 
Been following this thread and racking my brain. Not too much on the low side.

Low,
Couple poor pressing of LP's, but that happens. The biggest thing would be lack of time to spend listening and or working on my own gear or DIY projects. Between the day job, side gig doing FM tuner mods, alignments and repairs. Add on to that owning a 96 year old house, and hotrod project out in the garage.

High's,
Still riding the high of the Redboy SE46 purchase from last year. They are truly special. Second would be the phone upgrade this year from a Moto Z to Samsung S20 Ultra. This combined with Roon ARC has really added to the hour and a half I spend in the car or headphone listening at work.
 
...... and hotrod project out in the garage.
I've got my driveway of hoopties to work on and they have had their own highs and lows throughout the year. But I guess it all contributes to the best high of all--having zero car payments again. 🥳 The only low I had that is lingering is another project car over in Muskegon that keeps dropping in price, and I'm on a buying/spending freeze. And that also means I've cut back on rally activity for the forseeable future.
 
This year has been a very chaotic and challenging year in stereo. I am definitely going to simplify my ambitions for the new year.

Lows.

It felt as if everything that I was planning to hold onto broke around the same time.

Made some decisions that may not have been the right ones for my hobby. Made some questionable trades and sold some items I probably shouldn’t have. Lessons were learned.

The audio market kinda tanked on me leaving me holding gear that I would have preferred to move on.

Highs.

I am very happy with the Marantz PM90 and the Eversolo DMP-A6.

I have a much better understanding of what I am wanting from my system and this is definitely going to help me make better decisions moving forward.
 
I realize you're supposed to list a "high", but I had such a devastating "low" that it overshadows everything.

I lost a very serious chunk of my hearing this year.
So far, I've yet to find a hearing aid solution that doesn't make me want to just say, "screw it", and move on.
Even aids programed for music rather than speech make me feel like I'm listening through a drive-in movie speaker.
Some sounds are right at the edge of being painful.

Definitely a major blow.
 
I realize you're supposed to list a "high", but I had such a devastating "low" that it overshadows everything.

I lost a very serious chunk of my hearing this year.
So far, I've yet to find a hearing aid solution that doesn't make me want to just say, "screw it", and move on.
Even aids programed for music rather than speech make me feel like I'm listening through a drive-in movie speaker.
Some sounds are right at the edge of being painful.

Definitely a major blow.
That’s awful bud. I am seriously sorry to read this. Hopefully, something can be done.
 
This has been happening for many years - the demise of local FM radio stations. Recently hooked-up a vintage FM tuner and checked out some local stations in West Palm Beach. Musical selections were limited, but the biggest surprise was the number and amount of time allocated to loud and obnoxious commercials, many promoting very niche products and businesses. These stations are desperate for advertising dollars and accept any commercials. As a boomer who discovered a lot of great music by listening to FM stations, this is sad. But from streaming services we now have almost unlimited options to find new and old music. The vintage FM tuner goes back into the closet.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Snade
I have 1 FM station in the garage and main rigs, a local NPR WRCJ Classical by day, Jazz at night. The music sounds good and the commercials are to a minimum, but some of the jazz DJs use that "Cool jazz dude" voice that can be as annoying as the screaming idiots on the rock stations. The car has 4 FM stations, a CD in the drawer and I can BT the phone too.

I bought a stereo FM Sherwood S-3000V last year and really don't use it much. There are some college and Canadian FMs that have promise, but apparently these can also be astreamed, so I'm considering selling it, as I have a few more here that I can easily use foir background music if IO don't want to connect online.

Sad about FM, but technology marches on....
 
As long as I am here I can comment too.

Lows definitely was my heart attack, triple bypass, and DVT in the spring. I'm pretty good now and finished cardio rehab, but that whole situation is quite an eye opener.

Highs aren't anything special aside from two realizations. First is that I need to get all this unused stuff gone and not saddle my family with it eventually. Had something gone wrong in February that would be the case now and I'm doing what I can and selling off unused items.

Second is that I can get a lot of joy from listening to run of the mill vintage mid-fi. The last week or two I've been playing my Almarro A205A SEP amp, a Sony STR-6055 and a Sherwood S-7210 on the AR-10Pi, Altec A7 and lately the Burhoe Direct Acoustics Silent speakers and enjoying it quite I bit; they all make me happy. I don't critically listen much at all unless I'm looking for differences between pieces, and then usually don't discern much even with trying; no real night and day differences in tube rolling for me. I usually gravitate to something that grabs my attention in a musical epiphany. I have on occasion told folks that I prefer to listen to music and not dissect it. That being said, I've sold 3 receivers, 2 sets of small speakers and several turntables this past month as well as parts of many items I parted and haven't moved and have more than covered the holiday expenses as well as made room on the shelves around here.

I know it's counterintuitive on these forums to sing praises of less, but it can be more. Like Harry Callahan said "A man's got to know his limitations" and I think those are well chosen words!
 
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Highs would be the addition of a whole-house mesh Wi-Fi setup last week. OMG why did I not do this earlier. Not only was the setup so easy that my 83 year old mom could do it, but now all of my Nodes can stream 24/96 music at the same time with no dropouts or any of the other WIFI-related nonsense I've been putting up with for years. If you are still fighting with drop outs, buffering or weak signal areas, the latest gen of mesh systems will make that all go away almost as if by magic. The other high was the addition in April of a portable Burmester 3D audio system complete with wheels to move it around and 4 seats ideally spaced out to enjoy the music :-).

Lows would be the realization that I just don't play records nearly enough. I finally got all of the issues resolved with the SAM Sinner, and it mostly just sits there looking cool. I really need to make an effort to play DJ at home more.
 
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