Why do we get the upgrade bug?

H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
It's truly a disease that we have in this hobby, why do we all get this urge to upgrade even when we are happy?
Tonight we had people over cause they wanted to see "Jungle cruise" and we have Disney+. System sounded absolutely fantastic, I actually tuned in to just listening and evaluating my HT because I had seen the movie twice already.
The center sounded great, excellent dialog, no issues hearing the voices of the actors. The mains speakers and surrounds working well together sounding excellent. The subs rocking the house big time. It was super fun, loved every minute.
Now I have been getting the upgrade bug for a while now but really, why? It's funny thing right, we all do it, we all go through from time to time?
Just some crazy observations on my part being in this crazy hobby. No particular profound statement or anything.

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K

Kleinst

Full Audioholic
For me, I think I get such a thrill out of the seeking a deal in buying and then selling. It’s cool to pull off an amazing find and keeps me looking for more.

I have 3 setups. 2 I never contemplate changing. But one is always on the mind. But it’s completely unnecessary:)
it sounds good, fits the room well, and frankly no clue if the next thing will sound better.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
The grass is always greener...

And everyone is almost certain they will hear the difference!

When really it's just the audiophile version of Chasing the Dragon, but everybody should know you never get high the way you did those first prescious few times. :p
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
The grass is always greener...

And everyone is almost certain they will hear the difference!

When really it's just the audiophile version of Chasing the Dragon, but everybody should know you never get high the way you did those first prescious few times. :p
That's a good way to explain. Always chasing that first high, it really is like being a junky but in a clean way.

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TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
My guess is that people become irritated by their speakers mainly and also to adapt to changing technology and replacing failed units.

In my case everything has been assembled for a purpose. In addition there is the issue of changing environments.

Then there is adding facility. Also replacement of failing units is a factor.

I was on Grand Forks around 30 years. Our living room system did not change in about 30 Years, except for addition of CD.

My studio speakers were built in 1977. They had a major revision in 1984 and were repurposed for my rear backs in 2006. The living room speakers were sold with the house, and speakers built for the family room in 2006 and moved here 2019. The speakers built for the AV room were reinstalled here, apart from adjustments for the new space, these speakers are unchanged in 15 years.

I have used Quad amplification exclusively for 50 years. I did build speakers for remote location monitoring when I was doing location recording and broadcasts. The there was the transition from analog to digital recording moving though VHS PCM, DAT and then audio workstations, I on my third iteration of my DAW. This has been driven by change in technology, at the same time maintaining my analog recording equipment, and turntables.

AV has been a different matter as it has been a maturing technology over the last 20 years or so. This has resulted in improvement in screen technology, HDMI changes, and increased video resolution in addition to evolution in surround formats.

So the only changes I made to the AV room in the move two years ago, was going to 4K and adding four ceiling speakers. A couple of Quad 405-2s had to be put back into service. The pre/pro had to be upgraded and my Oppo player proved not to be compatible with the system, so changes had to be made to the disc player.

The great room system was a new installation and not an upgrade.

Finally, I have to say that building speakers saves a lot of trouble upgrading speakers. I can modify and tweak the voice at will. All speakers have had changes to the crossovers after installation until I was happy. I now do not plan any changes to the speaker systems apart from a change in the subwoofer system in the family room.

As you probably know, I keep my equipment long. So I believe in making careful choices and designing superior and reliable systems. That is the cheapest way to go about it over time.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
No upgrade bug from me. I have learned I don't need six-figure or even five-figure systems to make me happy. Naturally, really cool stuff can be had with a very healthy budget, but once you get in the ballpark of the kind of response and soundstage you want with the kind of dynamic range you want, diminishing returns sets in pretty hard. I would also say that if you need a pricey system to enjoy your music, it's not really the music that you were listening to in the first place.
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
No upgrade bug from me. I have learned I don't need six-figure or even five-figure systems to make me happy. Naturally, really cool stuff can be had with a very healthy budget, but once you get in the ballpark of the kind of response and soundstage you want with the kind of dynamic range you want, diminishing returns sets in pretty hard. I would also say that if you need a pricey system to enjoy your music, it's not really the music that you were listening to in the first place.
I totally agree with Shady my setup in my old house was fairly budget friendly but damn it sounded good to me and really didn't break the bank at all. But I loved it and wouldn't have made any changes at all. But my parents can't stay in the mountains in the winter anymore so sold my beloved man cave and here we are in the new place.

That old system though 3 JBL 590's up front 4 SVS prime towers as surrounds and 4 rsl c34e's in the ceiling. With a denon X4500 and some used gen 2 emotiva amps I found on the internet and 2 SVS 4000's nearfield

The new RBH system in the theatre room is really that system just more of it. Same dynamics response Soundstage imaging just more of it. But really the same I can honestly say when I got both systems dialed in I love them both very much.

I still miss that old house and setup because it was the first time I got it dialed in just right finally had learned enough to do that

I still like having a side room where I can flip gear though. It's less of an upgrade and more of the pure enjoyment of just trying out new gear and speakers especially. I enjoy for a year flip and then do it again. I want to hear as many speakers as I can in my lifetime I love this hobby
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
Awesome responses guys. It's just as some of you know I have been on the hunt and learning about different speakers for an upgrade, RSL CG5, Emotiva, SVS Ultra, JBL, HTD recently too but yesterday it just hit me, why? I was thoroughly enjoying the sound, it sounded so good. Friends were over enjoying it, the subs were just blowing up the house. If I told them "yeah I'm thinking of upgrading" they would be, "are you nuts, why"?
And I don't have expensive speakers, I have very inexpensive speakers from a great company, RSL CG23 LCR, CG3 surrounds. They just sounded so good last night even I was impressed.
And I'm not going to go to to extremely expensive speakers, I love the guys at RSL so I don't think I will move on from them, CG5 LCR is the replacement that I will seek eventually. I just love everything about RSL and I probably would have never gave them a look or try if it weren't for Gene. That vid he did years ago with Hugo put RSL on the map for me and they are great people.

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MR.MAGOO

MR.MAGOO

Audioholic General
I think I've been bitten by the "downgrade bug", should dig out of the closet my old Harman/Kardon 330B receiver, hook up the current speakers and turntable to it and see if there's really a difference!
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
For me, it's about getting a system where I believe I can be completely happy for the next 25YR+.

And the system has to meet MY criteria:
1. Great Sound Quality (audio system)
2. Great Picture Quality (video system - projector)
3. Reliable
4. Great Customer Support and Warranty
5. Aesthetically pleasing to my eyes (big a$$ Towers of Power with big drivers, not little bitty speakers with little bitty drivers)

Audio system - I am completely happy. So no, @Replicant 7, you cannot have my RBH or Yamaha - you have to get your own RBH and Yamaha. Haha! :D

Video system - great PQ (vivid colors, ANSI Contrast > 200:1 (JVC NX9 is 145:1), big screen, LASER 4K for reliability (30YR), super bright (6,000+ Lumens) in case I need it for some movies. So hopefully the new Epson EB-PU1006 (6,000 lumen laser 4K) or EP-PU1007 (7,000 lumen laser 4K) will be the "last" 4K PJ I will need to buy. :D :D
 
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Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Ah, the upgrade bug. I call it the itch. It's why I'm always digging through Craigslist looking for deals. Humans have built in reward systems that have evolved to help us survive as a species. I think it gets hijacked when we get something new or cool and we get that little shot of dopamine that feels so good.

I'll tell ya, there are ways to deal with it that won't cost you a lot, if anything, like optimizing what you currently have. I think you have an opportunity for audible improvement with a nearfield sub. I'm tellin' ya, you get it dialed in and you'll feel like you upgraded. I'd argue a free or cheap tweak is even more rewarding than an expensive upgrade.

Getting a Umik and a MiniDSP was a pretty big "upgrade" for me and didn't cost a lot compared to buying new speakers. There were undeniable audible benefits from learning to use and employ some dsp based on measurements. Took a little time and elbow grease but it was totally worth it. If you have MultEQ XT32 you don't even need the mini, just get the editor app and a mic and you're good to go.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
Ah, the upgrade bug. I call it the itch. It's why I'm always digging through Craigslist looking for deals. Humans have built in reward systems that have evolved to help us survive as a species. I think it gets hijacked when we get something new or cool and we get that little shot of dopamine that feels so good.

I'll tell ya, there are ways to deal with it that won't cost you a lot, if anything, like optimizing what you currently have. I think you have an opportunity for audible improvement with a nearfield sub. I'm tellin' ya, you get it dialed in and you'll feel like you upgraded. I'd argue a free or cheap tweak is even more rewarding than an expensive upgrade.

Getting a Umik and a MiniDSP was a pretty big "upgrade" for me and didn't cost a lot compared to buying new speakers. There were undeniable audible benefits from learning to use and employ some dsp based on measurements. Took a little time and elbow grease but it was totally worth it. If you have MultEQ XT32 you don't even need the mini, just get the editor app and a mic and you're good to go.
Now this i agree with very much. Sometimes it's a cheap change or even something that costs nothing that is most rewarding.
I definitely got to take a day and work on it the near field sub thing, it's gonna be a pain in the butt a little but I have to see what it can do.
The Audyssey app. I have been so stubborn with because 20 bucks is crazy when you come at from the perspective of apps are typically free.
I'm also afraid it's gonna be WAY over my head and I'll get nothing out of it in the end.

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H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
I just read the recent reviews of the Audyssey app and it's not great, connection issues bad. I'm a bit hesitant now.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
My guess is that people become irritated by their speakers mainly and also to adapt to changing technology and replacing failed units.

In my case everything has been assembled for a purpose. In addition there is the issue of changing environments.

Then there is adding facility. Also replacement of failing units is a factor.

I was on Grand Forks around 30 years. Our living room system did not change in about 30 Years, except for addition of CD.

My studio speakers were built in 1977. They had a major revision in 1984 and were repurposed for my rear backs in 2006. The living room speakers were sold with the house, and speakers built for the family room in 2006 and moved here 2019. The speakers built for the AV room were reinstalled here, apart from adjustments for the new space, these speakers are unchanged in 15 years.

I have used Quad amplification exclusively for 50 years. I did build speakers for remote location monitoring when I was doing location recording and broadcasts. The there was the transition from analog to digital recording moving though VHS PCM, DAT and then audio workstations, I on my third iteration of my DAW. This has been driven by change in technology, at the same time maintaining my analog recording equipment, and turntables.

AV has been a different matter as it has been a maturing technology over the last 20 years or so. This has resulted in improvement in screen technology, HDMI changes, and increased video resolution in addition to evolution in surround formats.

So the only changes I made to the AV room in the move two years ago, was going to 4K and adding four ceiling speakers. A couple of Quad 405-2s had to be put back into service. The pre/pro had to be upgraded and my Oppo player proved not to be compatible with the system, so changes had to be made to the disc player.

The great room system was a new installation and not an upgrade.

Finally, I have to say that building speakers saves a lot of trouble upgrading speakers. I can modify and tweak the voice at will. All speakers have had changes to the crossovers after installation until I was happy. I now do not plan any changes to the speaker systems apart from a change in the subwoofer system in the family room.

As you probably know, I keep my equipment long. So I believe in making careful choices and designing superior and reliable systems. That is the cheapest way to go about it over time.
What's a "failed speaker"? Only had one and still don't know what caused it, although I did rent with other people for a couple of years, so the damage could have been caused by someone else. I know what failed speakers are, just not in my systems. I don't use drivers with foam surrounds- that's an absolute but I have repaired many and in the ten years at the first stereo store, we saw a lot of blown drivers, almost always because of ignorance and abuse, although some were damaged by accidental volume increases caused by pets, children or dirty controls & switches. Saw a lot of burnout teenagers and early-20's guys come in on Monday mornings with a bunch of cheap blown drivers after they had a party, too.

I think that a lot of people see what others have and become jealous, so they feel the need to find something newer or somehow better than what they had. Whether it is or not, is up to them or the reality that some things didn't improve by being made later.

I had lunch with someone I had worked with at a car stereo store and he recently did a swan dive with a triple twist into the "I need something better" rabbit hole.

I could have saved him a lot of money and frustration.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
I just read the recent reviews of the Audyssey app and it's not great, connection issues bad. I'm a bit hesitant now.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
It's not without its quirks, I'll admit that. When I don't use it for a while sometimes I have issues with it finding my receiver. A soft reset and/or router reboot always fixes it tho.

It's 20 bucks for the editor app, which in my experience works just as well as a $200 MiniDSP 2x4 HD once you get it up and running. So I'm a little more forgiving with some bugginess. I know @PENG put his Mini up for sale after trying out the app.

*Edit: Audyssey will refund your money too, if you decide it's not for you.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
It's not without its quirks, I'll admit that. When I don't use it for a while sometimes I have issues with it finding my receiver. A soft reset and/or router reboot always fixes it tho.

It's 20 bucks for the editor app, which in my experience works just as well as a $200 MiniDSP 2x4 HD once you get it up and running. So I'm a little more forgiving with some bugginess. I know @PENG put his Mini up for sale after trying out the app.

*Edit: Audyssey will refund your money too, if you decide it's not for you.
Yeah I'm leaning towards giving it a shot. I mean what the hell is 20 bucks. I'm be messaging you if I run into issues or questions.

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Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Yeah I'm leaning towards giving it a shot. I mean what the hell is 20 bucks. I'm be messaging you if I run into issues or questions.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
It won't be a whole lot of use to you until you can measure what's going on so I wouldn't rush out and get it until you're ready to roll your sleeves up and get a mic and REW.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
It won't be a whole lot of use to you until you can measure what's going on so I wouldn't rush out and get it until you're ready to roll your sleeves up and get a mic and REW.
This I disagree with... the $20 bucks was well worth the ability to turn off Mid Range Compensation and to see the Before Graph of your uncorrected response. To that latter point, I was able to see a 30dB suckout and fix it.
To be fair, you CANNOT fine tune your overall response with just the App, alone. It is, however, a useful tool as a standalone product.
:)
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
This I disagree with... the $20 bucks was well worth the ability to turn off Mid Range Compensation and to see the Before Graph of your uncorrected response. To that latter point, I was able to see a 30dB suckout and fix it.
To be fair, you CANNOT fine tune your overall response with just the App, alone. It is, however, a useful tool as a standalone product.
:)
Fair enough, I forgot about the midrange compensation. That is almost worth it by itself, but otoh it's kinda shitty they don't give you that option from the factory.

Agree too, the before graphs provided with the app can help you see big room related problems too, but for fine tuning a calibrated mic is a must.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
Hold on, just to use this app you need REW first? 20 bucks doesn't get you all the way there? That kinda stinks and REW is way over my head so forget that.

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