Musings of an aged Audiophile over 75 years of Madness

Thanks for sharing the story of your journey and the great documentation! Loved your tip on pdf jackets in Roon to complete missing info and share your emphasis on DACs. Would be interested in your personal take on cables (without opening a can of worms hopefully).

Hi. Thank you very much ! Could you indicate some DACs at reasonable price tu connect with a Streamer ?

Thanks for sharing the memories. I’m only 73 so my recollections don’t go back as far, but I do recall 78s around the house and a record player whose “cartridge” swiveled down onto the record from the end of the tone arm. I think this old gear was stuff my parents or grandparents handed down for use by us kids.

You had me at Ortofon. What a great story. Thank you for sharing.

My prejudice is obviously towards LKS abd Audio-gd but I did own an S.M.S.L. amplifier for awhile and was impressed with it so this DAC from them could be worth investigating -SMSL Audio D300 DAC. But tread carefully and research it out because I do not have personal experience. Another worthwhile avenue could be an R8 DAC from Schiit - I purchased a used use for a friend and was very impressed with its capability but note that was after processing by the hi end Auralic G1 streamer. Maybe there is an important clue there - the DAC might be less important in tandem with an effective streamer. Choosing items is becoming a black art!!


I really have not formed conclusive thoughts about cables and recently, shopped at where there is an excellent choice of cabling at very reasonable prices. There are arguments about silver plating being an advantage but I’m unsure. One cable I was very impressed with was a 16 strand ultra pure copper one I had made up for the Sennheiser HD800S headphones, Against that I also like an 8 strand copper cable with silver plating for the Focal Clear Mg cans - it is not heavy like the one that came with the Focals and the sound via them s fine.
However I must add that previously I was ignorant about digital cabling but was educated by Canare that not any old cable does the job well. I’m also not a fan of wireless so use quality LAN cabling throughout. It makes sense that cabling can affect transmission as the ease with which the electrons bump into one another when transmitting a signal must have significance. That said, I’m not sure it is significant enough for the human ear to be able to detect differences. The placebo affect plays a much larger part in opinion about cables IMHO. If this reply confuses then it is in line with my “knowledge” on the subject!!


On a budget, I would recommend Schitt. You can start at the Bifrost and move upward.
The Ayre Codex can be found used under $1K nowadays and is a real steal. Though if you can swing it, the Ayre QB-9 Twenty would be a better choice due to it being a newer model. (And, through my conversations with Ayre, it sounds as good as their newer models}.

If you are going to upgrade Ethernet, I would suggest upgrading the cable from the box that enters your house, if possible. CAT 7 or 8 should be overkill.
One of the things that CAT 7 and above have is a ground wire (perhaps some CAT 6 does, but I am not sure), and the wires have shielding. Yes, it can be a bit anal, but getting the most out of things tends to be so.

Great story. My journey is a bit shorter, so far, but after 48 years my experience pretty much coincides with yours. I especially like the observation that upgrading is often a sideways step in pursuit of unobtainable perfection. Happy listening to you!

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Great to hear from you John,
I’m a younger version at 76.
I began my audio adventure in 1962, 60 years ago.
Naim had just entered the market then, but I could not afford a Nait then.
My first system was a Garrard 301 turntable with a Transcriptors fluid arm and a Shure M55E cartridge on a second hand plinth.
I also purchased a second hand a Leak TL12 mono amplifier with a Leak Varislope pre-amp.
My speaker was a single Wharfedale 8" RSDD in a homemade labyrinth cabinet.
At the time I thought that this set-up sounded fantastic.
Currently I stream my music collection from a Synology NAS to a Sonos Port, Chord Quest DAC, Sugden A21SE amplifier and Neat Iota Speakers.
Good as this system may be I spend more time listening to my desktop system in the study, enjoying more of an Audio Visual experience with my Bose speakers and my new Mac 5K monitor than my stereo in my listening room sitting staring at a blank wall.
Perhaps this is the way things are moving towards later in life.

Wow Davyd, I used to own just about every item you mentioned - Leak amp, Garrard turntable, Shure cartridge …