My seating position isn’t compromised, as my room was purposefully built for listening to music, but for almost all of us, what Paul is saying, is true.
The perfect spot
Your seating position is compromised.
If you’ve done your system setup homework your chair sits at a comfortable distance from the loudspeakers. With the precision of a ruler, you’ve tweaked and adjusted the speaker’s position for best imaging.
Though we call it the sweet spot, it’s certainly not the perfect spot.
Within the boundaries of most rooms, the perfect spot cannot be attained because of our old nemesis, bass.
If we could see sound we’d be rather shocked at how low frequencies bunch together like an angry sea of waves and throughs. Not far from your sweet spot bass notes boom. Move in the opposite direction and we hardly hear any low-frequency energy.
The perfect spot is where compromise negotiates a truce with boundary limitations.
Which is why we call our listening position sweet rather than perfect.
I just got in a T+A MP2500 Multi-Player, which is a combination SACD/CD player, streamer and DAC. It also has a tuner in it and bluetooth and it is just an incredible sounding player. So, while my system is mature, as described by PauI, T+A’s two DACS’s that I’ve owned, have made a really good sounding system, now sound great.
When energy is first applied to the building of a high-end audio system big improvements come quickly. Over time changes get increasingly smaller despite the same energy applied.
We refer to this as an asymptote (diminishing returns). Rapid progress slows as the system coalesces into its final form. Thus, the new and exciting DAC everyone’s talking about rarely has as big an impact on the mature system as it might when replacing a mediocre product.
This is natural and to be expected.
What’s remarkable is when you read of a new product that even on the most mature systems leaps forward in performance.
It’s one thing to best a meh product and quite another to stand out in a crowded field of exceptional gear.
You’ll know it’s worth your time when those of us nearing the asymptote find a new product worth shouting about.