Pandemic equipment break?

Anyone else taken a bit of a break from the “equipment” side of audiophilia and just rested more with the music during all of this? Since we started working from home, I have spent a LOT of time listening to my 2nd system in my den (Sprout100, Martin Logan 35XT’s, ML sub, PC/audirvana), and I have really come to relish how amazing it sounds, esp in near-field. I still keep up with equipment and stuff, but my mind is much more on the delicious sounds coming from my HiFi.


I have been listening to a lot more music in the last year, partially because I am working from home and also because I cannot attend or perform in concerts.

I listen to everything from my laptop to my main system. I enjoy it all. The music is what matters.


No breaks here. Upgraded my speakers and transport in the last year. Listening to music is still the main focus though, as always, although with business being so crazy I find I have less time to do so.


I am listening significantly more than I had been. Live performances are very limited over the last year. With the pandemic I have treated it as an opportunity to (1) revisit lost treasures in my collection, (2) share duplicates within my collection with friends and acquittances, (3) expand my collection by picking up new releases from active and living performers to continue to support the “Art” with a preference for hard copies, (4) upgrading my den system (secondary) as it s getting a lot more use than previously, and (5) considering a significant upgrade to my Summer Residence system. The latter has become somewhat of a challenge as I am torn between a “common sense” approach, or gong with a little more adventurous route.

Ultimately it is about supporting performers impacted by the pandemic and the music. The hardware, well that’s a distraction.

As I say Provoke Culture!

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Most of my money over the pandemic has been funnelled into records, I’m just loving music through this time, it’s my go to form of relaxation.

I adore collecting records as well, hunting down those old favorites and finding that particular pressing, I find it really rewarding.

Be lost without it.

I did upgrade to a tube amp at the end of last year, and will be upgrading my speakers in a couple of months, but these are long term plans that fit in with not really having to spend much money on travel or social stuff. It’s just made it easier to achieve now.


With the pandemic the hunt has become more challenging and less frequent as I prefer to frequent brick and mortar establishments versus online purchases. How I do miss crate digging. :disappointed:


Kinda the opposite impact on me…

More time at home with my music and systems, and closed doors at the office, have led me to pay more attention to the music and the kit.

In turn, I have been upgrading the power side of things and focusing on reputed tried and true tweaks. I have also been planning and started the upgrade of the key components of my office/second system.

A sampling of (off the top of my head) some of the purchases the last 12 months or so, in no particular order:

PS Audio DirecStream Memory Player (used)
PS Audio Stellar Power Plant 3 (used)
Several separate purchases of PS Audio AC-12, AC-10 and AC-5 power cables (all used)
AGD Productions The Audion mono amplifiers (new)
Gaia III speaker footers (used)
Shunyata Research Taipan Alpha Helix power cord (used)
Shunyata Research Venom Amp-1 Power Distributor (used) X2
Signal Cable 15’ Silver Resolution subwoofer cable with Neutrik ProFi RCAs (new)
Auralex 2" ProPanel B224 Acoustic Wall Panels (new) X2
REL Acoustics Tzero Subwoofer (new) X2…

You get the idea…

Now that I have written the above, I think I maybe I need to stay off of this site for a while.



I’ve bought more equipment in the pandemic than ever before:

EAR Phonobox phono stage (from main dealer, sale or return)
Raidho X1 for office (used from a dealer, sale or return, part-exchange with Harbeth P3)
CXA81 for office (from Cambridge Audio factory refurb eBay store)
ifi Power Station and English Electric 8 for office
Wilson Sabrina (in-store demo, part-exchange for Harbeth)
Shunyata Hydra Alpha A10 (home trial, part-exchange for Venom)

The bricks-and-mortar dealers I’ve spoken to have been busy, especially those selling ultra-popular brands like Rega, Harbeth, Hegel etc. The biggest problem has been supply chains and getting stock. The Phonobox was delayed 3 months because EAR were waiting on one part and the last two items were ex-demo and had I wanted new delivery would have been many months. I had a pair of Focal on home loan and the Wilson demo was done in-store during lockdown, by appointment.

My dealer did a 6-months refurb and has brought in a few new brands, including darTZeel and Zanden.

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It’s insane, made 2 different, severe upgrades (one at analog source, one for the whole setup) in Covid times and spent too much in getting several missing and important vinyls which were among the last to get for a reasonable price. The paper/carton trash can is still busy. If this would be interesting to anyone, after retirement I could make a consulting business in getting the best masterings/releases for a recording, as well as, due to the digital music offers, so many great releases of very different styles…I feel I have to establish a bit of an antipole to the for me .many one dimensional music preferences around.

I think audio and music business has no explicitly bad times at the moment.


The irony is I’ve been working remotely from home, with occasional business travel, for more than a decade. My rig is on for 8 hours a day, I listen a lot in casual mode, and for me the pandemic hasn’t changed my equipment and music buying habits one iota. Or my work paradigm for that matter. My colleagues often remark I was pandemic ready years before it happened. Was NOT planned that way, but I haven’t missed a beat workwise or musically at home.


Stick around, play jazz on your new acquisitions and enjoy the music. :blush:


Well let’s see…for me during the pandemic…going from
P5 to P12…great improvement then on to P15 (P12 sold)
then from Parasound A21 to JC5…oh and fuses along the way
as well…

Enjoying higher blissful newly reached levels of musical
performance and the ensuing enjoyment…

Best wishes

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I’m looking to upgrade to a Parasound HALO A21+, how did you like yours? JC is out of my price range, but I know Curl had input into the A21 design.

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Hey stonefree…I really really loved my A21…the reason I
traded up was the refinement in the JC5’s circuitry along with
upgraded parts …as well as the first 12 watts Class A then on up to
400 watts in Class AB

My A21 would create a very wide, deep as in front of speaker to the wall
8’ behind them and very good verticality…problem free, highly

The A21+ is upgraded from there …will be very pleasing with the first 8 watts
in Class A then from there on up to 300 watts Class AB…

Here you go:

A 21+ Stereo Power Amplifier


When I found out that Music Direct could do tread ins for upgrades
the results were very favorable…was the enabling factor for me…

JC 5 Stereo Power Amplifier by John Curl


Best wishes in your audio journey!!

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The pandemic compressed five years of upgrades into one – for three separate systems.

I need to get out of the house.


Thanks man, I’ve done quite a bit of research on different amps that I think would work for my tastes and system and pretty much narrowed it down to the A21+ or a (used) BHK 250 or JC. The A21+ has received really good reviews so I think I’d be happy with that. Thanks!


I have spent the past 6 to 9 months spending more daily time listening to music. I am realizing more of an appreciation for my system. I would believe many are too.

At the same time, I have been playing more of what members post which has added to the music bliss. Cheers and thanks to all.


Yes, this forum has proved to be a great place to help one expand their musical horizon.


I actually have had LESS listnening time as my wife is still working and she has been taking a lot more time off which has led to some repair and remodeling which has meant sawing, hammering, workmen in and out which has meant less money for audio and less time to just chill and listen.

I actually have enjoyed a lot of tube-rolling and swapping of interconnects and power cables, going through my audio excess in boxes in the cabinet and improved my system that way. And. . . I have been buying way too many cds. Pre-pandemic I had started a rhythm of “downsizing”. . . for some reason that was totally interrupted and things moved the other way.

I would say the one biggest expenditure that paid off big time was moving from PS Audio xStream Statement speaker cables to xStream Resolution speaker cables. I had been looking for these for some time as I have PCOCC copper in my interconnects and power cables, and the synergy is as good as I had hoped it would be. Very good cables for my main system!


Lot more listening in the past year than in a long time. I bought my fair share of vinyl and Hi-Res downloads in the past year. Also figured out how to rip SACDs. I have about 180 SACDs, so it took some time to rip them all.

Gear upgrades & new purchases:

Lounge Audio Phono Stage Upgraded to Gold Version
Ortofon 2M Black (old stylus broke from usage)
Auralic Altair G1 - Dac/Streamer
Focal Aria 906 Bookshelf Speakers
4 - Pangea Power Cords
PS Audio SP3 - Just got this nearly 2 weeks ago and still going through the burn-in phase.

Still mulling over a few more upgrades…

I went back and forth on the SP3 or the SPP. SP3 got the edge only since I never had anything like that and wanted to give it a try. May still get the SPP, since I do not have a lot invested in my current phono stage.

I have a McIntosh MAC6700 integrated SS receiver. I have a desire to go back to tubes (again). I have an older PrimaLuna ProLogue Three tube preamp that I have not used in about 5 years. I may hook it up the receiver to see if the desire for tubes is real. If it is, then the big decision of replacing the integrated receiver. Should be a no brainer, since I am not using many of its features anymore. Still debating what direction to go and what to buy next.

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