Is High-End Audio Obsolete? - Page 62 - AVS Forum
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post #1831 of 1846 Old 11-29-2014, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Freeman View Post
Currently I have:

Behringer Truth B3030A Powered studio monitors which are superb. (400$)
Polk RTiA3 Speakers. (400$)
SMSL SA-160 Class D chinese power amplifier from ebay. (120$)
Polk PSW110 Subwoofer. (300$)
Audio Technica ATH-M50 Headphones. (150$)
Focusrite Saffire 24 DSP Audio Interface. (400$)

For less than 1700$ I get my audio needs fully covered, by no means at the High End of the price range.
At the age of 28 I still hear 19kHz and have been a musician whole my life, I'm fully satisfied thinking I'm not missing any sound quality or experience with my setup.

.....no, I don't have cable elevators, wooden knobs or brilliant pebbles... I'm a scientist.
You can ditch the audio interface too, and just use your phone. Have you seen the specs on the audio output of the iPhone 6 Plus:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/iph...m#measurements

As good as it gets.
CruelInventions and imagic like this.
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post #1832 of 1846 Old 11-29-2014, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Wow; small, compact and powerful.
Yep, its well worth the 120$.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
You can ditch the audio interface too, and just use your phone. Have you seen the specs on the audio output of the iPhone 6 Plus:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/iph...m#measurements
As good as it gets.
Holly ****.

Well well done Apple.
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post #1833 of 1846 Old 11-29-2014, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
You can ditch the audio interface too, and just use your phone. Have you seen the specs on the audio output of the iPhone 6 Plus:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/iph...m#measurements

As good as it gets.
Pretty obvious, that's going to be my next phone. Wow.

Mark Henninger
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post #1834 of 1846 Old 11-29-2014, 08:40 AM
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Get the David Crosby Edition.

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post #1835 of 1846 Old 11-29-2014, 09:51 AM
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Wow - lots of opinions in this thread.

I'll add this:

I am definitely an audiophile, but it all revolves around one simple thing. When I listen to music, I want the voice to sound as if the person is in the room with me. I want the guitar to sound like a guitar, and the violins to sound like real violins.

I have a simple test for listening to evaluate systems; it involves three CDs.

First is Level 42 - World Machine. Several of these tracks will expose the very bottom end performance.

Second is Billy Joel - Songs in the Attic. Summer Highland Falls has one of the most natural bass guitar sounds ever recorded, IMO. Every note is precise and exactly the same level; this exposes the mid-bass transition region tremendously well. It has the added feature of showing how a two-channel system can achieve a sense of "space".

Third is John Mayer's "Olivia" The guitar intro is raw and pure, and sounds EXACTLY as a mildly overdriven guitar/tube amp combo should sound. If you have ever sat in the same room and heard a live guitar played like this, the sound is absolutely unmistakable. Any flaws in the midrange are immediately exposed with this passage. [FWIW, I can no longer play this CD in my car, as the stock Bose audio makes it sound like pure crap. It honestly makes my skin crawl to listen to it reproduced so badly.]

Notice that the second two are really about reproducing a very specific, demanding instrumental performance. Forget the technical measurements and evaluations and LISTEN! If it doesn't take you into the room with the performer, you need to change something; if it does.......you have arrived at high-end audio.

JMHO, YMMV.
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post #1836 of 1846 Old Yesterday, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by TownsendAvalnch 
 Sorry if this has been addressed, but is the consensus that "high-end" speakers are obsolete as well? i.e. are simply "good" speakers almost as good as the ultra high-end models?
 
If so, where is the asymptote? How much should a newbie be looking to spend on a pair of speakers before he reaches diminishing returns on sound quality such that the price isn't worth it anymore (billionaires notwithstanding)?


 
While I can't offer a concrete answer because there are still many variables to consider. However, I found this recent review to be quite instructive, especially since Brent is a very well-respected reviewer...
 

 
Review: Samsung MX-HS8500 Giga System

 

"The first time I fired up the MX-HS8500 was in my dining room during a visit by my colleague Geoff Morrison. Besides being a travel and fiction writer, Geoff has dabbled in audio and video for years, so he knows good sound when he hears it. He and I were both completely shocked by the neutral sound quality of the MX-HS8500. Products like this usually sound extremely colored, with huge swings in the midrange and treble response accompanying ridiculously overhyped bass. But the MX-HS8500 sounds as smooth and neutral as many of the speakers you'd hear at a high-end audio show. In fact, even smoother and more neutral than many." - Brent Butterworth

 
Moral of the story? You never know where you'll find a great-sounding speaker, or at what price.
+1 I got a chance to listen to this today.....and I can confirm it is indeed the real deal. I agree with the review %100
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post #1837 of 1846 Old Yesterday, 11:41 PM
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I just finished reading that review of the high-end Samsung MX-HS8500 Giga system. ...This is truly "Godzilla" hi-end.
With stuff like that hi-end will never get obsolete. ...The'll just keep pushing the boundaries of sound imagination and high performance.

Sure, it ain't the top-of-the-line Magico Ultimate III loudspeakers, with a Trinity DAC, but still, hi end nonetheless.
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post #1838 of 1846 Old Today, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
I just finished reading that review of the high-end Samsung MX-HS8500 Giga system. ...This is truly "Godzilla" hi-end.
With stuff like that hi-end will never get obsolete. ...The'll just keep pushing the boundaries of sound imagination and high performance.

Sure, it ain't the top-of-the-line Magico Ultimate III loudspeakers, with a Trinity DAC, but still, hi end nonetheless.
"Samsung Electronics MX-HS8500 Giga Sound System
by Samsung
7 customer reviews
Price: $757.66 Free Shipping for Prime Members"
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electr.../dp/B00K8L34A4

Hi-end sure has become affordable.

"Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye." - HAL 9000
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post #1839 of 1846 Old Today, 12:19 AM
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It looks like a gargantuan ghetto blaster, don't you think?
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post #1840 of 1846 Old Today, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
It looks like a gargantuan ghetto blaster, don't you think?
Yep, and with flashing lights too! I recall iMagic mentioning this in a post a couple of months ago. I think it would be perfect for a frat house party room or some similar venue. But honestly as a self-contained unit that supposedly sounds that good, I guess anybody could have a complete stereo system for $750 delivered. Not too shabby . . .

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post #1841 of 1846 Old Today, 06:43 AM
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So dabbling in sound and video is now what you need to know good sound?
Shouldn't be long before we start seeing a few refurb and reconditioned units on SlickDeals.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #1842 of 1846 Old Today, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dnoonie View Post


I now have Dynaudio BM6a MII (self powered) mains with a Dynaudio BM14s sub-woofer (plain black ash finish, not bad but...).  Yes they sound awesome, I think the active (internal bi-amped with two separate amplifiers and electronic crossover) design really enhances sound quality, yes they are less expensive by about 20% to 40% over their Home audio counterparts but you don't get a lovely piece of furniture.  I've done woodworking and I know how hard it is to achieve an excellent finish, trust me, you're getting what you pay for with the lovely piece of furniture in the Home version of the speaker.  So is it worth the price for the beautiful furniture?  For me it isn't,
Would my speakers also have a fine furniture finish?  No, at least not in the home theatre, if I were rich enough to have 3 nice systems one of the systems might have a fine furniture finish and be hi-end...or that third system might simply be in wall or in ceiling.
 
Cheers!
To each his own...certainly :-) and BTW, interesting thread.

After convincing the WAF of my need/wish to upgrade the home audio (R Shack 'Realistic' gear for 20 yrs ... Bose for another 15 yrs), the first big purchase were the ML Motion 40s. We decided that the dark cherry finish was nice, but the extra $$$ wasn't worth it ... we therefore ordered the gloss black (which look great in their own right). However, after bringing them home and upon opening them up, lo and behold ... dark cherry finish :-)
Hmmm ... what to do? Ended up notifying the Audio store, and settled on splitting the upgrade cost, keeping the dark cherry :-)

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former residence

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new abode :-)

Again, to each his own ... and in my case, whatever added cost is incurred by MartinLogan and passed on to the consumer when manufacturing the Motion speaker line is, IMO, worth it.

Audio these days, in general? We've certainly come a long way since that first record player/tuner I bought with my paper route money in the early 70s ... Bluray music titles with DTS MasterAudio ... Wow! The Cleveland Orchestra or the Metropolitan Opera in my living room ... Wow :-)
Did I need to shell out nearly $7,000 the past two years for my audio upgrade? Perhaps not. Nevertheless, we're all aware that there's considerably more expensive gear out there, which would provide even more detailed and accurate audio.

I consider my home audio equipment a nice, mid-level system ...
whenever I reflect on how far we've come, and what a nice experience I have with my HT set up, I am very grateful indeed :-)

MartinLogan Motion 40s / 30 / LX16s
Marantz SR5007 / UD5007
Emotiva XPA-3
SVS PC13ultra

exercise room: MartinLogan LX16s / Dynamo700

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post #1843 of 1846 Old Today, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post
So dabbling in sound and video is now what you need to know good sound?
Shouldn't be long before we start seeing a few refurb and reconditioned units on SlickDeals.
1. There are training listening sessions from Harman Kardon for evaluating preferred sound. ...So yes, you'll be able to discern good sound after while.
2. You can take an ISF THX video calibration course; for picture adjustments of your display. ...So that you can view films as the colorist intended.

And 3. Refurbs are already showing up on eBay. ...Second-hand units, with only the flashing lights needing new bulbs.

P.S. @ Tom: I prefer the dark cherry finish.

Last edited by NorthSky; Today at 11:12 AM. Reason: Up
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post #1844 of 1846 Old Today, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
1. There are training listening sessions from Harman Kardon for evaluating preferred sound. ...So yes, you'll be able to discern good sound after while.
2. You can take an ISF THX video calibration course; for picture adjustments of your display. ...So that you can view films as the colorist intended.

And 3. Refurbs are already showing up on eBay. ...Second-hand units, with only the flashing lights needing new bulbs.

P.S. @ Tom: I prefer the dark cherry finish.
But that's not what he said. His buddy is a dabbler, whatever that means. And claims of neutrality without something a bit more are just that - unsupported claims. That system is clearly targeted to things like parties and Brent cranked out a quick one for a few bucks.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #1845 of 1846 Old Today, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post
So dabbling in sound and video is now what you need to know good sound?
Shouldn't be long before we start seeing a few refurb and reconditioned units on SlickDeals.
Yes indeed, that caught my eyes as well.
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post #1846 of 1846 Old Today, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post
But that's not what he said. His buddy is a dabbler, whatever that means. And claims of neutrality without something a bit more are just that - unsupported claims. That system is clearly targeted to things like parties and Brent cranked out a quick one for a few bucks.
It's ok, I was just sharing with you. ...From your own inspirational post.

* We all know that that thing is just a big ghetto blaster for RAP kids. ...Nothing to do with hi-end, none @ all.
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