So you've purchased your new hifi system and it's been great to replay your record collection, connect to spotify and itunes. However the gloss has started to wear off; so what to do to keep the dream alive and the enjoyment levels flowing?
My recommendation is that you set aside a small amount of money each month to invest in a fresh piece of vinyl or CD. There is lasting pleasure to be gained from owning something like a CD or record. You actually have to go to the effort of selecting the music from your rack and in the case of vinyl, you will also need to carefully clean it and check the needle is free from dust before playing.
I enjoy taking time to look over the album artwork and to read sleeve inserts while listening to the music. I find the tangible experience is all together more rewarding as opposed to simply hooking up to Spotify or itunes and turning your precious audio system into an expensive juke box. So many people enjoy music on Spotify, but don't even know who the artists are. To my thinking, it just doesn't cut the mustard when compared to something like vinyl.
Then there is also the thought that with vinyl each track is to be played in the sequence as it was originally recorded. This prevents the temptation of just re-playing the best tracks as is so frequent when listening from digital sources.
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Vinyl in particular comes with enhanced lustre and just feels all together more intimate and realistic to my mind. Because it is a continuous analogue signal, it is as close to the original recording as it is possible to achieve. I feel it is music in its purest form and there is also considerable knowledge and skill required to optimise your tonearm/turntable/preamplifier combination. All things considered, vinyl would be my first choice area of investment and also appeals to the connoisseur in me.
The same logic also applies to your hifi system.
At its most fundamental level, you can consider a hifi to consist of links in the chain, where your system is only as good as the weakest link. You may consider saving up for a new power amplifier, or set of interconnect or loudspeaker cables, in order to improve the overall integrity of your system.
Another source of enjoyment is subscribing to a quality hifi print magazine such as UK based, hifi news or similar. Annual subscription to these magazines works out to be ininitely less expensive on a per copy basis than casually going up to your newsstand and purchasing a single copy. There are also some cracking good online sites, to which you can subscribe to free of charge.
There is a saying that the moment you stand still, you start to die. You can consider your hifi system in the same manner. Regular small purchases and tweaks can make all the difference to the level of enjoyment you can obtain from your investment.