There's a traditional greeting for new members of head-fi, the headphone geek message board: "Welcome to head-fi. Sorry about your wallet." Most new members think it's a joke...for about two days. It refers to the tendency to come looking for a $30 pair of headphones to use with an iPod, and leave two years later with several thousand dollars of high end gear. So far I've managed to be quite conservative with actual headphone stuff - I've only spent a total of maybe $300 - but I find myself suffering from the wallet-emptying tendency now I'm buying some new speakers. My original plan was to buy a Pioneer 815S receiver (cheap from Future Shop with Sammy's employee discount) and four Paradigm Titan speakers. These are very low-end hi-fi bookshelf speakers costing about $120 a pair. Well, I got my first pair of Titans second hand with a little amp (can always find a use for an amp...) off the head-fi for sale forums for $120. Nice, everything going to plan! Then I went to eBay to find another pair. There were a few ending soon, but hey, there was also a pair of Mini Monitors going for $150. Mini Monitors are the next level up in the Paradigm line, costing a bit over $300 a pair on average. So $150's a good price. I figured I had a bit of spare cash, so I thought I'd see if I could get these for cheap. I bid $192, and of course, that's exactly what I wound up paying for them. Plus $50 for shipping, and $60 to UPS. Whoops. So now I've got two Mini Monitors and two Titans (still in transit). Am I satisfied? Heh, silly reader. I was thinking of picking up a sub to go with the new speakers - bookshelves are great for midrange and high end, but they only have one 5.5" woofer which covers both bass and low mids, so they don't quite get down to the deep bass. So I was looking around locally available stuff (don't fancy paying shipping on a 12" sub...) and came across a good deal on a pair of Monitor 9 speakers instead. Now, these are ANOTHER few steps up in the Paradigm line. They're getting into the genuine hi-fi geek speaker range, albeit at the low end. They're serious, full-tower, floor standing speakers, with three drivers and reviews in Stereophile and everything. And they're only $500. Well, I've got $500. I've not got much more, but...heck, who cares about that, right?! I'm going out to UBC to have a listen to them on Tuesday or Wednesday. I suspect my wallet will be feeling very light when I come back. The Mini Monitors will be the rear speakers, and the Titans will end up in the bedroom connected to the little amp they're coming with. See, I told you you could always find a use for an amp... sigh.