Are You More Comfortable As A Collector Or A Ladder Climber?

Discussion in 'Gear' started by Former Member, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. Former Member

    Former Member Active Member

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  2. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head

    I guess I'm neither. Except for music...I collect records...too many to be exact!
    When it comes to gear, you guys are on a whole other level than me.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  3. John Frum

    John Frum Junior Member

    I would say that I'm a ladder climber, but I'm prone to making as many steps down or sideways as up.

    Chalk it up to my being broke, and to decreasing reinvestment of stereo sale proceeds into gear as I take on more responsibilities (being honest, it also has to do with giving my SO more control over finances).

    If I had back the best 10% of what I've sold over the years, I'd be a lot farther up the ladder from where I am now.
  4. guiller

    guiller Active Member

    Most of the time I make moves based on intuition or comments, as I don't have much time to research the matter. So I learn after I've made a purchase, and sometimes it is a up move and sometimes a down one. In the latter case, I sell the gear and keep going happily along my journey without many remorses. Life is short!
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  5. Redboy

    Redboy Knobophobe

    Thanks for posing the question, because I had to stop and think about this one...

    I'm a proponent of "Trading Up" but you might not think that if you visited, given the sheer number of audio oddities found 'round here. Look more closely though, and you'll see that there's not much duplication - the only thing I've really "collected" is a nice assortment of Decca ffss cartridges. I don't hang on to much that doesn't further the end goal of better sound, or truly spark interest. I like this:

    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." -- William Morris​

    What I consider useful or beautiful has evolved, of course, along with my criteria for "better" sound. I am ever more intrigued by older and earlier audio design and I'm most interested in hearing it for myself, firsthand. My decision to keep something after that is informed by how I connect with it, and not solely by it's sonic merits... if that makes any sense.

    So maybe I'm climbing a different ladder? I dunno. Each of us probably has different end goals; climbing or collecting are just means to those ends.
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  6. JohnVF

    JohnVF Administrator Staff Member

    C: content listener.
  7. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    @Mister Pig - I also thank you for posing this question - definitely prompts thoughtful introspection.

    My primary goal ( very similar to @Redboy ) is to find components that best convey the emotion of the music, that connect me emotionally with the music, and then to assemble a synergistic system that exponentially increases that connection.

    I have been known to deploy radically different systems over the years, all of which met my criteria - all of them capable of bringing tears to my eyes when listening to music that I love. Each one of these systems could easily stand on its own as an end state system

    My current experements ( remember, this is SCIENCE ;) ) with various vintage horns ( again, like @Redboy , I have gravitated back to older technologies ) have been very satisfying - and a great deal of FUN. :)

    The Belles, with the Community horns in place of the stock Belle mid horn, driven by the Almarro A205a (or the CazTech SE845 or the Quicksilver SET300B) and the Schiit Saga (or the custom Quicksilver Dual Mono Line Stage Preamp) facilitate (for me) an incredibly deep and meaningful connection with the music I love.

    However there will come a day, God willing, that the Lowthers, Quad ESL-57s, M-L CLSs and JBL 4430s will all be rotated back in, driven with the appropriate electronics.

    The LS3/5a are small and they are never too far away when I need my LS3/5a "fix". :)

    What I am wrestling with right now is what to do with all of the other neat stuff I've accumulated over the last 45 years of seriously playing with audio.

    So am I a collector or a ladder climber?

    I guess I am kind of both and kind of neither - all at the same time.

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  8. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Member

    I’m a ladder climber however I only need a four footer. So I’m good unles something just falls into my lap to try out.
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  9. airdronian

    airdronian Junior Member

    I'd say I'm not a collector. Not only did I ditch vinyl (heresy !) at one time, I even sold off a bunch of CD's that I didn't care for. Not really a ladder climber either, more "water treader" these days. ;)
  10. John Frum

    John Frum Junior Member

    I am NOT a collector.

    The presence in my basement of 3/4 of the '66 Sansui speaker lineup is almost purely due to happenstance, and is definitely temporary.
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  11. S0und Dragon

    S0und Dragon Junior Member

    I seem to vacillate between ladder climbing and just listening to the music. I reach plateaus of contentment that never seem to last too long before I start looking for the next rung.
  12. Try1256

    Try1256 Very Special Member

    My wife just thinks I am crazy. Which catagory does that fit into?
  13. JimPA

    JimPA Junior Member

    I wouldn't consider myself to really be either.

    I have collected replacement drivers and other drivers just to experiment with.
    I do have a collection of unfinished Fried transmission line enclosures.
    Basically I am a content listener.

    My son who is in the music industry has learned quite a bit in his career.
    He has given me a new perspective on many things.
    I am not a fan of rap or hip hop I like classic rock.
    He has pointed out to me that if the bass below 100hz is off key it's really noticeable with this type of music.
    When it comes to recording drums it does take some compression to get the playback to sound tonally correct.
    Without compression the tone is off completely.

    Sorry for the rant but it helps other understand my current perspective.
    Prime Minister likes this.
  14. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Great post! :)
  15. JimPA

    JimPA Junior Member

    My wife says the same thing about my speaker building hobby.
  16. Mortsnets

    Mortsnets Junior Member

    I was a collector, especially of speakers. At one point I had 12 or 13 pairs unfortunately all in a 12 by 13 music room. Now I am down to 2 passive pairs and one powered desktop pair. I'm itchin' to get some new ones to try.
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  17. Don C

    Don C Active Member

    I have a few collector tendencies, but for the most part I'm a ladder climber, though the ladder isn't very tall.
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  18. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    I figure that as long as you're having fun, it's all good. :)
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  19. Fran604g

    Fran604g Just Call Me Junior

    I'm an enthusiast. I have both ladder climber, and collector tendances by nature, but being adult ADD, I learned a long time ago to reign-in those tendancies, because I have neither the financial resources or space to fit in everything that intrigues or fascinates me.

    That's probably a good thing, too. :)

    When I'm convinced that something will very likely improve or augment the personal enjoyment of my interests, there isn't much I'll let stand in the way of those acquisitions, but I have to be pragmatic.

    I also have a difficult time letting go of things I like, and have formed an emotional attachment to, which further limits new acquisitions. I've been lucky that most of what I've gathered around me over a lifetime doesn't suck. ;)
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  20. rogerfederer

    rogerfederer Junior Member

    i guess i'm a cheapskate ladder climber. i am always looking for an improvement to one of my rigs, but instead of saving up for a big purchase i try to nickel and dime things. the good side of this is it makes me creative: scouring craigslist for deals, following cool chat sites like this for ideas, learning how to solder and build things. the bad is obvious: slow progress, dead ends that waste money and time.

    at some point i will have to boil things down to just a main system and maybe 1 other. that may force me to be more studied in my choices. or maybe the creative cheapskate is just who i am and that won't change. some of my best gear has come from the skeapskate urge: building my own case for slagleformer TVC modules; duelund cables, my current horn/full-range driver in large vintage cabinet setup.

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