Audio Nirvana....... Does it exist ?

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After being an avid audiophile for over 20 years, forever chasing 'better sound' and that elusive feeling of Nirvana, I was starting to get jaded to the point where I asked myself whether it was really worth the effort (and considerable expense) of trying to achieve the impossible.

I even considered selling all my hi-fi separates and settling for one of those '3-in1' systems so widely available in stores these days.

However, something happened to me just this week, and I'd like to share this experience with you all:

Earlier this month, I was trawling through an Audiophile site over in the US of A and noticed a pair of speaker cables that appeared reasonably priced.

As I was unfamiliar with the brand, I did a bit of online research to ascertain its credentials and to determine if it would suit my particular purpose (to hook my speakers up to a cheap integrated valve amp).

The seller was asking 1/3 of their retail price, and his advertisement said that they hadn't been fully broken in yet.

His feedback appeared good, so I took the plunge and purchased the bi-wired pair.

Two reasons for my decision:

1. I needed a pair of biwired cables for an amp (reason above) I had recently purchased.

2. The amp only accepted bare wire/banana terminations (the cheap terminals didn't accept spades).

I have many good/expensive cables, but all of them have spade ends, hence incompatible with the el-cheapo amp.

(This cheap amp is the main component of my secondary listening system)

I hooked the cables up between the amp and speakers..........and wasn't expecting any thing dramatic.

Nor was I expecting miracles at the purchase price.

About 3 hours into my listening session (I was listening to a 1996 BMG recording of Jose Feliciano at the time) I started to notice a discernable improvement in sound, so I turned the volume up a couple of notches.

What happened next, left me slack disbelief !!!!

My large Proac Floor Standers literally disappeared...........

Yes, I had to pinch myself and tell myself that I wasn't imagining things.

All that was left in my listening area was Mr.Feliciano singing his heart out.......(about making love to another man's wife)

There was no left or right speaker........just glorious music emanating from where they both stood.

I had achieved what I thought wasn't possible.........a 20+ year dream had seen realisation.

Now, before you start thinking, Yeah, but what does his system cost ?

The total cost of the equipment (excluding the Proacs) including the speaker cables and interconnects is AUD $1100.00............

YES !!! that's right !

A $400 Pioneer DVD player (used as source), $500 integrated valve amp, $100 for the speaker cables and $100 for the interconnects (No D/A convertor, just RCA out of the source into the CD input of the amp).

Oh.......and $5 for the Jose Feliciano disc of course (it isn't an audiophile hi-res recording on anything exotic).

Since that evening/night, my (multi-thousand $$$) main rig has remained 'switched off' and will possibly continue to remain so for the time being, whilst I savour what I've been chasing all these years.

This surely is proof, that you don't need to spend mega-bucks to achieve great sound.

But what you have to keep in mind is that System Synergy has to exist in order to achive what I was lucky enough to have found, at a reasonably cheap price.

Thanks for perusing this guide, and may you also achieve 'Nirvana' sometime soon.

You'll know it as soon as you hear it the very first time.

Please drop me a line when you do so.........

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