I’ve had so many high end pre/powers and integrateds: Naim, Chord and Leema. As powerful, dynamic and propulsive as they were I always found myself falling into ‘upgradeitis’ territory. Now I mention this as I spent thousands on amplification over a 10 year period and noticed, on one famous manufacturers forum, that the majority of posts were about running in period, or, when would the amp sound as good again as it did before? Could I get the sound I’m seeking with an even more expensive external power Supply? How do I get more Bass? Or, the trebles too harsh and I can’t listen for long extended periods?!....on and on. This perplexed me as I was in exactly the same boat. Audio Nirvana only came my way when I purposely decided it was time for a high end amp with tone controls. Sacrilegious to me at the time, as I was a purist and had fought off this ‘work around’ for years. Eventually I caved in and bought a Creek Evolution 100a which had defeatable tone control; if I wanted straight-line, it was still available. Now, I don’t doubt all the minimalist, pure amplification equipment I bought sounds great in an acoustically treated room but I don’t have one. Nor, do I suspect, do many audiophiles with expensive amplification. Quite simply, I put on my favourite album with the Creek, tuned it with the tone controls to sound exactly the way I wanted it and found that every album I played from that point on was quite simply right for my ears. I have been in HiFi heaven since and the tone controls have not been touched other than the original setting. You may have noticed I said the sound was right for my ears and not my listening room. Here’s another great thing about tone controls; they correct the sound to your specific level of hearing? This is important as I’ve noticed room-correction is becoming a popular sound treatment but it cannot take into account your individual or, in my case, diminishing hearing as 50’s take their toll, lol! TVs’ come with picture adjustment controls because nobody’s room has the same lumen levels so for the best picture the set needs to be adjusted. I can’t beleive it took me 10 years to deploy the same rule of thumb to HiFi. Does anyone have a similar experience? For the purists I should concede that when the Creek is switched to ‘straight line’ there is slightly more clarity but to my ears, at the expense of enjoyment.