Audiophile Magical vs Non Magical Days

Why is it that some days (a) my system sounds magical, effortless, musical… and some other days you wonder if something went wrong?

Down here we had torrential rains for 3 to 4 days straight. Sat down for a listening session and everything sounded beautiful, relaxing and exciting. Yesterday, I sat down and played the same music and it was off.

I gather its not a system problem as much as a mood or physical change? Level of tiredness, caffeine, etc?

I even moved my speakers around. Let’s see how it sounds later today.


Humidity, sinuses, time of day, time away from the system, components warm up time…?

I have sensed, at times, that all can impact the “rightness” of the system performance.

Might behoove you to make sure all of your connections are snugged up as well.

Isn’t this fun?



I went through all connections, restarted router, DAC, streamer, tried plugging amps directly into the wall (they are all connected to a Decware Zen Line Conditioner)…

Must be tiredness or sinus pressure from the rainy weather.

Its Friday, looking forward to good music. If its not working right, I’ll breakout the good bourbon!


Paul made a video about how power qualiaty from the grid flactuates throughout the day, which is a big factor. Other factors: mood, food, empty stomach, too full of a stomach, unhappy “boss” all play a role :smiley:


Human levels of expectation vary daily…Just part of the process!


We have discussed this a number of times, without finding a definitive reason.

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I say much of the difference is my mood. Last Friday my system was on fire, enjoying every note. On Saturday/Sunday, I was very worried about an eye infection my grandson had. I could not suspend disbelief, my system sounded flat and un-involving.

The same thing can happen to me when I have guests over. I want them to hear the magic but I’m so concerned about their enjoyment, I rarely hear the magic myself under those circumstances.

Funny thing, it’s why “objective” is a false premise when the subject is something of the heart.


Grandson OK now?


He is thank you! It was a very persistent and ugly infection. My daughter finally found the right antibiotic.




Hope grandson is OK.

I have the same when guests are over. I went over the questions from my sister in law earlier this week. “what are all those things next to the speakers and do they need to be there?”

Glad that one of the albums she said she likes is Nils live… which even on bad days sounds magical in my room.


It’s funny, I don’t seem to have this problem anymore, but my friend still does. I get emails from him sometimes on a daily basis, telling me the ups and downs of how he’s hearing his system. I attribute it to gas. :face_with_spiral_eyes: :crazy_face: :joy:


For me it’s mental and/or rhinitis related. If it is a bad day in the office (arguing with assholes, for example), I don’t bother firing up the rig. A waste of time. A foul air quality day, same deal. My rhinitis causes my eustachian tubes to close up.


Here in the area i am in the UK I find the system sounds worse at the weekend than in the week. Also, if i don’t use it for, say, a week, it’ll sound better than if i listen to it daily. All this in spite of running it off a P10 (with good regen boards in it).

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For those owning the DS DAC Mk I (not sure about Mk II) reboot it from time to time, it can get stuck soundwise.

Take care that you didn’t change anything of or near your setup since the last good day.

Then there are bad ear or bad mood days, just as you sometimes don’t like your best whisky or are not in the mood to watch a great film.

Then there are bad power supply days for some, but this usually isn’t so much a question of magic or not (but it certainly can still cause worse sound). In my experience, regenerators if needed, can help a lot, but in such cases help basic technical sound characteristics like grip, dynamics, focus, soundstage, but not really so much the aspects of magic, airy, natural, realistic, organic sound.

The latter (the general quality of equipment ignored for a moment) in my experience is a matter of proper speaker placement, room situation and especially bass/sub setup. Things which usually don’t change.

What I can tell you is, although I don’t have more HF polluters than anyone else, I use several bigger and smaller active devices with small antennas for room and equipment related HF, RF and EMI cancelling, which make a total of 14 antennas in or near the equipment, speakers and room. Doesn’t look weird, most can hardly be seen, but when I remove them, the magic described above collapses from realism to hifi for me. This is still what most everyone else would listen to, but you can’t, if you heard the status before. The only sound coming close I heard anywhere at shows and similar is from the best horns with tube amps using double coke can like tubes and the like (which unfortunately don’t have the power and bass I like).

What I want to say is that the main destroyer of magic, realistic sound seems to be noise of any kind in equipment and room. You get more resolution, the less noise you have. Part of it is addressed by equipment design but more of it by other elimination efforts only. So if you have differences in your listening pleasure , it might not just be your mood or power cirquit, but maybe your different HF load situation, which can come from a ton of active or snoozing electrical stuff in your house, but also mobile’s, WiFi’s, microwave or some other environmental radiation.

Some will think about this as others years ago about cabling…I know :wink:.


I found this parenthetical curious.

Would you mind sharing what is meant by good regen boards?

Thanks in advance.


For example (please)?

Thank you.

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Everything was loaded with negative ions…. :wink:


Hi Scotte1, regarding P10 regen boards, they seem to degrade over time and may ultimately fail to deliver the voltage and distortion that they should do. I’ve two P10s and over the last seven years I’ve twice had to replace the regen boards (not cheap). Since I replaced them about three months ago the system has never sounded better. Luckily the UK distributor is only a fifty minute drive away (and on a P10 it’s a fairly quick job. There are two boards that are involved). I suspect the P15 may be a more reliable design (no real evidence of that though) and will wait until the next generation of regenerators come out before changing from the P10s. Best, Dan.

EDIT - pic of P10 regen boards

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It’s such stuff.
To make you imagine effects: the small black ones are usually placed on the speakers and at the front wall. They make soundstage airy, extended, 3D and palpable around and between their placement. Would you put 3-5 of them just at the front wall, your soundstage would stick from there to further back and you wouldn’t have a soundstage anymore between front wall and sweet spot, although your speakers stay where they are. The bigger devices are for different purposes, the biggest treat the whole rooom and with all the rest, enable a levitating, airy, palpable, enveloping sound in the room. Put all of this out and the sound gets to a normal, comparably flat and technical sounding level (but a normal level for the gear one’s using).

There’s more absolutely essential measures (not only but extremely efficient for digital gear) I avoid to talk of more than in my profile, as it’s not commercially available and therefore not really meaningful to pick out.

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