AVS Special Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Southeast FL, USA
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I do like the thread. I am myself interested in a system that will satisfy me for the next 10 years. I do think that OB (and maybe others) have found such to his (their) liking, I am reasonably confident that the X-2, Gotham, LAMM, EMM Labs and Meitner could well be the cornerstone of his system for many years... I have somewhat found that kind of solace, to use the term loosely. I have found the Burmester Electronics (011 Preamp, 911 Amp, 970/980 DAC/Transport Combo) to be better or as good to my ears than anything I have heard. I have posted that I have found my speakers "good enough" but somewhat wanting in a few areas; yet I do not want to spend a hundred of thousands of dollars to subjectively find my next speakers only "slightly" better. The MG 20.1 will do that to you...
It is clear that there are more contenders out there than anyone can possibly review. While it is not possible to do a perfect job one can do reasonably good one. The problem is how to eliminate the real contenders from the "poseurs", i-e the products out there whose only merits for consideration would be their high (outrageous?) price. Maybe one should put a ceiling on price, that might well leave some incredible designs out but will force a look on real quality rather than claims of being the best or the most expensive.
I am an engineer and we are forced to design with cost and time constraints almost by definition. With infinite time and infinite budget we, engineers would have designed the best of anything you want to think of: Bridges, Coffee Maker, Cars, etc. The real world constraints of time ( implicit, you have to design it and make sure it is produced our during your customers lifetime) and cost are what make great products. There must be a ceiling to price IMHO.
I understand this is a difficult proposition: for example what should be the ceiling for the components? For the system in its entirety? Let us use an arbitrary number: What about $750K for the whole system, Room not included? Only gears and maybe services? , else we delve in loony considerations with products such as the Million dollars Wisdom speakers which from many reports have only disappointed their listeners, the $300,000 amplifiers in actively quad-amplified speakers or the $200,000 cable, which is what a whole set of Nordost Odin or Transparent Opus might cost. (On Cable I am SQUARELY and UNABASHEDLY in the OTHER camp) ...
Lowering the ceiling would also be quite helpful... How good a system can one have with 100K? 75K, 50K? As an aside $75K is the threshold for greatness IMHO.