How much is too much?

jkbmusic

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As a result of a recent post of mine*, it got me thinking about how much all of “us” have spent over the years on “Box-Swapping”, “Upgradeitous“, “Downsizing“, or generally “Impulse buying” the various parts of, or whole Hifi Systems. Too much perhaps?.

In between purchases from the above list, I spend possibly too much of my disposable income on music. Wether it is on albums, streaming services, live concert, or whatever else is connected with this “Bloody expensive hobby”.

I feel I have upgraded from my original Hifi system below, to what I consider the best sounding system I’ve owned. I’ve recently toyed with the idea of saving for some Bang & Olufsen Beolab 5’s for my lounge, which sell for about £6000+ second hand. A crazy price for an obsolete 20 year old pair of speakers. Another example, although not for me for aesthetic reasons, The Quad Electrostatic Loudspeaker (ESL) was launched in 1957, and can still command £500+, even on eBay. Crazy prices 🤪.

I have subsequently shelved the idea, but I am now looking at my main speakers, my Usher Mini-Dancer 2s, and have started thinking how much it would cost to improve on their sound, if possible. £5k, £10k, £50k. This gets me to my original question. How much is too much?.

This reminds me of Paul McCartney’s lyric, “If I ever get out of here, I’m gone to give it all away, to a registered charity, all I need is a pint a day”🙄.

*
https://www.hifiwigwam.com/threads/from-your-listening-chair.105157/page-89#post-2388116
 

Lurch

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I think the how much is too much is all relative, depending on your free/available cash, and character. For me, I've always been one of those who goes into a hobby or pass-time, balls deep or not at all, and I over the course of time spend what I can to get me to a very good level/excellent level, at which point I do somehow find the sense to stop. Whilst I'm on the journey in whatever hobby I'm into at the time I'm always on the lookout for the most cost effective way (to my mind) to achieve what I want. This was easy when I was into motorcycles and customising as being an engineer and good with my hands I was able to see outside the box and repurpose stuff to get a particular look.
This hasn't been so easy with hifi as I don't have electronics as a skillet, however I've been pretty adept at either trading up or trading in general, so it's not been such a painful 6 years getting to where I am now as it could have been (see signature).
Mind you if you're at the point where your credit card bill is bigger than your mortgage or there's very little in the pension pot in order to feed the hobby, then that's definitely too much.
 

griffo104

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In my work I, sadly, regularly see people one day and then overnight they're gone.

My advice is not to worry and enjoy the things you enjoy while you can, as long as you're not putting yourself and family in to debt, as nobody knows what's happening tomorrow.
 

DomT

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As a result of a recent post of mine*, it got me thinking about how much all of “us” have spent over the years on “Box-Swapping”, “Upgradeitous“, “Downsizing“, or generally “Impulse buying” the various parts of, or whole Hifi Systems. Too much perhaps?.

In between purchases from the above list, I spend possibly too much of my disposable income on music. Wether it is on albums, streaming services, live concert, or whatever else is connected with this “Bloody expensive hobby”.

I feel I have upgraded from my original Hifi system below, to what I consider the best sounding system I’ve owned. I’ve recently toyed with the idea of saving for some Bang & Olufsen Beolab 5’s for my lounge, which sell for about £6000+ second hand. A crazy price for an obsolete 20 year old pair of speakers. Another example, although not for me for aesthetic reasons, The Quad Electrostatic Loudspeaker (ESL) was launched in 1957, and can still command £500+, even on eBay. Crazy prices 🤪.

I have subsequently shelved the idea, but I am now looking at my main speakers, my Usher Mini-Dancer 2s, and have started thinking how much it would cost to improve on their sound, if possible. £5k, £10k, £50k. This gets me to my original question. How much is too much?.

This reminds me of Paul McCartney’s lyric, “If I ever get out of here, I’m gone to give it all away, to a registered charity, all I need is a pint a day”🙄.

*
https://www.hifiwigwam.com/threads/from-your-listening-chair.105157/page-89#post-2388116
There is no right answer and we make our own decisions based on available capital or income. I got to listen to a system this week that costs more than my home (based on retail retail prices)After visiting the Delux Audio Show today none of the rooms had a system that did what that system did.
 
Last edited:

Nativebon

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I could spend 5k on a top spec computer to create content, but would think twice when spending same money on a single hifi component. One person's too much is another's spare change.
 
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Bogart

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Is all very subjective. As mentioned above is too much when ones needs to give it serious thought as to affordability. Is probably the strangest hobby, if one can call it that. The mention of Jaguars above is a good example. You buy one knowing exactly what it will do and not do and how it will
suit you. Not a case of putting it in the garage and thinking oh that does not look right etc. Hifi
you can spend an eternity going around in circles hunting the musical nirvana, and still not get there. That is why it can end up being a bloody big drain on ones finances. Better not tell the gaffer about the new amp I am considering, she will not like it!
 
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JANDL100

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My take on it - if the amount you spend bothers you, stop. If it doesn't, keep going. Pretty simple, really!
My problem is that I'm not spending enough.
I've found lately that I enjoy lower cost electronics just as much as, or more than, more expensive gear.

It's quite disturbing. I may have to seek therapy for UAS (underspend anxiety syndrome) .
 

jkbmusic

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Nov 25, 2006
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Jeff
HiFi Trade?
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I think the how much is too much is all relative, depending on your free/available cash, and character. For me, I've always been one of those who goes into a hobby or pass-time, balls deep or not at all, and I over the course of time spend what I can to get me to a very good level/excellent level, at which point I do somehow find the sense to stop. Whilst I'm on the journey in whatever hobby I'm into at the time I'm always on the lookout for the most cost effective way (to my mind) to achieve what I want. This was easy when I was into motorcycles and customising as being an engineer and good with my hands I was able to see outside the box and repurpose stuff to get a particular look.
This hasn't been so easy with hifi as I don't have electronics as a skillet, however I've been pretty adept at either trading up or trading in general, so it's not been such a painful 6 years getting to where I am now as it could have been (see signature).
Mind you if you're at the point where your credit card bill is bigger than your mortgage or there's very little in the pension pot in order to feed the hobby, then that's definitely too much.
I can relate to the other hobbies you refer to. Photography, model railways, DIY, Gardening, etc. I tend to go all-in or not at all.

The analogy of the Jaguar mentioned elsewhere is a good one. When I used to own one, I was as happy as a dog with two cocks. Then it inevitably reached a point of being too cost prohibitive just to get through an MOT, service, tyres etc., all at the same time. So it was “goodbye Jaguar”.

I am fortunate that I only have one credit card that I only use for “insurance” purposes.
The irony of it all is that it was my wife, (who doesn’t listen to any of my music), suggested I bought something for my music listening experience, as I spend so much time listening to it.
0B2E6257-7424-472F-9691-EB93AC38E070.gif
Bring back V.U. Meters!
 

JAD

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For me, the question should be how much time is too much time as I seem to spend a ridiculous amount of it looking at gear (amplifiers specifically to the point I think I may have a fetish!!), justifying in my head how my life would be so much better with it, then giving myself a shake. This week for example:-

refurbed Naim XS3 due to Proac synergy
musical fidelity M5si because I am enjoying the M2si a lot just now and I want to see what improvement I can get by going up a couple of levels
Denon pma 110a because spatial online have a really good deal on them
Rockchilds Exposure 3510:- no word of a lie I was about to pm when the sold message appeared.
Willsenton R8 as it just seems such an interesting proposition and value

it’s f‘ing mental behaviour especially since there are no pennies in the hifi bank at the moment
 
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Jules_S

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This is all sounding very reassuring to me! A lot of these thoughts rattle around my tiny little brain too, so it's good to know I'm not alone.... this is becoming a bit like the AA - Audiophile's Anonymous weekly therapy session

"Hello, my name is Jules and I'm an audio addict".

"Hi, I'm John, and I'm 2 months clean now. I've not bought even so much as a banana plug". (cue ripple of excitement around the room at the mention of said plugs)

😆
 

naka

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First, the bad:
The first signs appear when you get uncomfortable just of thinking about another purchase, feeling guilty and anxious, thinking “again? why do I need another” etc.
Selling some unused gear first tames that feeling but it is just a distraction.
There a different to wanting “better” or “different”.
Is the “different” that keep me going buying gear, but even with that certain, the guilty feel is present...

Second, the good:
It is fun and far less expensive than any other machine based hobby, as long you can afford it without any stress. Second hand gear in mint condition is where my attention is spent, so getting a good deal minimizes the guilty... after all this is still a luxury.

But I also must mention that, every year, I spend more money in records than in gear. And that is a pure pleasure.
 

Ceko

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Well this would be a fun question to ask to myself 10 years ago. He’d say that the system I now have is way way way too expensive 😂

The thing is, sometimes there are these precious little moments in our hobby that make us (me) go hmm. First time hearing a tube amp, hearing what a proper set of floorstanders can do, you know.. those things that make you go “but that’s what I want too!”
 
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