34 year old audio nutcase enveloped in this madness since childhood under my fathers 70's stereophonica world a la Marantz, Thorens, and Advent mating. Bought my first piece at 14 years old - a Yamaha CD player and was immediately enamoured by the fact that differences in materials and the way they were laid out on a circuit board, or how a cable could alter and better the sound quality. How a piano sounded on one CD player vs another awakened my curiosities and laid out a course of non stop "upgrade-itis" to find the Holy Grail of utter musicality with pure neutrality, and engaging in what started with the musician and followed itself through the recording process, and into my living space. The fascination has never ended to this day 20 years later.
The best thing about this hobby is hearing the same recording you've listened to a million times, suddenly take on a whole new life upon an introduction of a different piece of equipment. Or to be spooked suddenly in thinking there is a real band in your house, or that with your eyes closed you could probably reach out and touch that singer standing in front of you. When the system disappears and you're engulfed in richly textured musicality and layers of sound that maybe once seemed unbearable, now incredible, and to FEEL with your ears, you know you've got suddenly a LOT closer to that perfection of "music"!