For most of my journey since the late 70s my focus has been on the music, and so even though I was interested in hi-fi and read all the magazines of the day I lived with a budget system covering record and CD until about ten years ago.

After a period of researching, box-swapping, tweaking and all the rest I seem to have got "there" about two years ago. In part this is because I'm now at least satisfied, and occasionally quite thrilled, with the sound. I think the moment came when I got a Townshend Rock + Heed Orbit which lifted my vinyl into the same division as my CD (Karik + Numerik). In part it's also because I've realised that in spite of music having been my main leisure interest for over four decades I, and I suspect many of us, are really only scratching the surface of what's available in the world and so that's where I should be spending my time and cash again - more records and CDs !

Nowadays I research music by listening to internet radio stations which cover musical genres that I thought I knew a lot about, yet I can go five hours at a stretch without hearing something that I know - it's fabulous.