Ultra High end or Ultra-Ultra-High end - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 49 Old 07-07-2005, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks like more and more people are spending high 5 figures (low 6 figures) on HT and Audio.

This groups states $20 000+, but you can't get a good projector for under $30 K. :D

With so many options for 'just audio' at $50 K, do we need a revision to this group and add a second sub-group of $100 K + or Money no-object??

I ask only cause someone asked me "What can I get for $40K?" and after giving this some thought, realized that even 40 K on just audio really 'ain't that much' :) (See oneobgyn's system or mike lavigne's system as example).
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post #2 of 49 Old 07-07-2005, 07:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FusionRx
It looks like more and more people are spending high 5 figures (low 6 figures) on HT and Audio.

This groups states $20 000+, but you can't get a good projector for under $30 K. :D

With so many options for 'just audio' at $50 K, do we need a revision to this group and add a second sub-group of $100 K + or Money no-object??

I ask only cause someone asked me "What can I get for $40K?" and after giving this some thought, realized that even 40 K on just audio really 'ain't that much' :) (See oneobgyn's system or mike lavigne's system as example).

I admit--it is starting to get crazy, isn't it?

And then when all is said and done we now start to factor in the cost of the room.

It seems to me at least that when one is up in the ozone the small percentage of gain in improvement starts to follow the diminishing Law Of No Return. After a while all we are doing is stoking our egos. At least, that is how I see it.
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post #3 of 49 Old 07-07-2005, 08:10 PM
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$42,000 for my CD player ?? Sure that makes sense!!

While we may justify this craziness because "we love music" or "we are seeking a higher truth" or....., the fact is (IMO) that much of this craziness comes from addictive disorders and /or perfectionism and/or ego out of control and/or....... . Please don't take this a a criticism of any specific person (except me --- I suffer from the first two), but I have done enough study of the various kinds of addictions and talked to enough counselors and know enough audio/videophiles to believe that a large majority of REALLY high end audio/videophiles fall into one of these categories. This does not mean to imply that we don't really enjoy (the object of our addictions), but rather the rationale for making these purchases is not quite as honest (ins some cases) as we would let on.

The idea of creating an ultra-ultra high end forum does not ring my bell. The number of folks on this one is small enough (it sort of feels like "family").

R 8:28


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post #4 of 49 Old 07-07-2005, 08:33 PM
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no wonder in asia where hi fi freaks and audiophiles are being described as a bunch of people with high fever

any doc here to help???

cpu8088 - OLD and SLOW !!!
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post #5 of 49 Old 07-07-2005, 09:22 PM
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Well, the $20K+ was generally a guidline for projector prices just to create a group that doesn't get inundated with $1500 projectors and people who buy such things talking about what a rip off anything ovr $10K was.

$20K won't get much in the way of a full theater unless you are pretty much at the entry level on at least some major parts.

Still, with the $20K+, it cuts out a lot of traffic without getting the group so narrow that it withers and dies.


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post #6 of 49 Old 07-07-2005, 09:30 PM
 
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the fact is (IMO) that much of this craziness comes from addictive disorders and /or perfectionism and/or ego out of control and/or
All too true. I agree. It is almost like "boating" ;)
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post #7 of 49 Old 07-07-2005, 10:31 PM
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What? Ego? .......yu talkin bout me?

whether sailboats......or Ferrari's......or 'ultra' high end audio.....there becomes an element of self indulgence and ego-stroke that is undeniable. but the whole picture of what motivates a person to invest big bucks and pursue ultimate audio reproduction is more than just being a 'show-off'. it is also a reflection of a desire to reach a certain 'perfect sustainable moment' where the crazyness of the world's pressures are pushed away and one is lost into the music. then there is the social and friendship aspects which for me have had more and more significance over time.

i think it would be a mistake to judge why particular people do things without really knowing them personally to the degree that you know the whole person. people come to a common place for many different reasons.
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post #8 of 49 Old 07-07-2005, 10:40 PM
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The best/worst system that I saw that was clearly a 'keeping up with the Joneses' was about 16 years ago. I was called to give a quote to install a Barco 600 CRT projector. THe fellow had bought I'm guessing about $500K worth of gear over the years, all brought over from hong Kong. I quoted him $800 to custom build a bracket and hang and tweak the projector. He refused, wanting to deal. I never did install the set, no idea who did.

The room had insane amounts of gear in it. cabling as thick as your arm. JBl Everest series speakers, tube and solid state amps. Some mega CD player with separate D/A converter (this was 1989, remember, that was pretty esoteric back then).

Very large power conditioners. Sorry, no idea of the brands, it was all foreign stuff to me at the time. All I remember was the Everst model name.

Magnaplanar speakers in front of the Everests.

The sad thing was, the ceiling height was about 7' and the room was about 10' X 10'. An impossible room to get to sound good, let alone that each tube amp probably drew 10 amps each in standby mode, there were that many output tubes on each monoblock.

The house was from circa 1940 or so, and I'll bet the entire room had less than a 15 amp circuit dedicated to it. Sad really when competition overtakes good taste. Good for whatever salesman sold the stuff though!

:)

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post #9 of 49 Old 07-07-2005, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne
i think it would be a mistake to judge why particular people do things without really knowing them personally to the degree that you know the whole person. people come to a common place for many different reasons.
Profound words indeed.

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post #10 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 05:14 AM
 
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Profound words indeed.
Most definitely.

Some of my best friends have come as a result of our common love of this hobby.
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post #11 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 05:50 AM
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You are preaching to the choir here. I am the one that is totally befuddled by so many of you supposedly high end guys settling for a sub 30K projector, when cinema dlp is ideal for the home.


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post #12 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 06:41 AM
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did you read the description?

Quote:
This area is it talk about any HT Gear with a price tag of $20,000 or more. From display devices and A/V processors, to speakers and Amps, this is the place for the Ultra HT Gear.
and the name of the forum

Quote:
Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+)
this forum is for specific equipmnt talk. So in theory this forum should just be for the piece of equipment that is more then 20k not for everything + the room. Officially we should be talking about a 20K+ speaker or a 20K+ amplifier or a 20K+ projector or the cone cable that was 20K+......

and my guess is a 40K theatre would not have any one piece that costs more then 20K so this is your ultra-ultra hi-end gear section

20K for the whole theatre is not even hi-end
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post #13 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 07:16 AM
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still this 20000+ forum is under display devices so it may mean those high priced electronics or transducers are display devices only lol

i opt for this 20000+ forum to have its own heading to avoid ambiguity

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post #14 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Agree'd. Although the point of my initial post was to say, maybe $20 K isn't that accurate a 'price point' of the very high end equipment, as this now simply gets you just 'good' equipment and not Ultra-high end. ;) Even $40 K offers you ALOT of choices if you are just spending on equipment alone.
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post #15 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 07:37 AM
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Great post Mike! Your comments really resonated with me... Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne
What? Ego? .......yu talkin bout me?

whether sailboats......or Ferrari's......or 'ultra' high end audio.....there becomes an element of self indulgence and ego-stroke that is undeniable. but the whole picture of what motivates a person to invest big bucks and pursue ultimate audio reproduction is more than just being a 'show-off'. it is also a reflection of a desire to reach a certain 'perfect sustainable moment' where the crazyness of the world's pressures are pushed away and one is lost into the music. then there is the social and friendship aspects which for me have had more and more significance over time.

i think it would be a mistake to judge why particular people do things without really knowing them personally to the degree that you know the whole person. people come to a common place for many different reasons.

ÂScience without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. - Albert Einstein
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post #16 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 07:39 AM
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When I started this trip 8 years ago I never thought I would have a $$,$$$+ set up . I used to think that it was Insane. Now, I know that I am not even done yet. And that is not even with a projector. This forum has been very helpful to me. I have learned allot of things here. New ideas and products that I never new about. It can start to add up real fast.

It ain't easy being green.

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post #17 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 07:57 AM
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Mike Lavigne: "it is also a reflection of a desire to reach a certain 'perfect sustainable moment' where the crazyness of the world's pressures are pushed away and one is lost into the music"

Mike said it better than any post I've seen yet. This is exactly what motivated me to pursue high-end audio/video. I still remember that I started with the idea that a plasma screen and home-theater-in-a-box was literally "as good as it gets". I now have a dedicated music room, a dedicated theater room, and an HDTV setup in the living room.

The reasoning behind pursuing the hobby to this degree is exactly what Mike has described. Yes, I'll readily admit that the researching and hunting for the perfect components is a great deal of the fun in this hobby (Just as treasure divers will say that the treasure hunt is sometimes more fun that finding the treasure). But when all is said and done, being able to sit in a room and listen to music so real you can't pull yourself from the seat is a huge thrill. Being able to enjoy a movie-watching or game-playing experience where the images are life-sized and the sounds so realistic they make you jump is what makes this worthwhile.

There is a hobby or pursuit like this for everyone - whether it's cars, boats, travelling, fine dining/wines, clothes, jewelry, gardening, home buying/decorating, audio/video, or a little bit of all of the above.

The advantages of audio/video as a hobby is that it can let you get a taste of many of the other hobbies that are more time demanding.
For example - do you like to drive fast, but don't have time to find and drive to a public racetrack? Take a spin in a racing game on a 120" screen with 7.1 surround and a Buttkicker/D-Box Motion system, and see how close you can get to the real thing.
Do you love live music but your schedule is preventing you from attending the local philharmonic? Fire up a good recording in a properly set up music room, close your eyes, and see if you can tell the difference. (Yes I know you probably can, but it's getting damn close to a live experience these days.) :)

I'm not suggesting that we replace our other hobbies exclusively with this audio/video, but that it can help us experience aspects of many other worthy hobbies during times when we would otherwise be unable to. As well, the social aspect can be a huge plus - I get a huge grin every time I find my wife listening to a CD in the music room, or when she wants to play a game or watch a movie with me. We've even been turned onto very non-audio related activities by our music listening. For example, we didn't listen to much latin music in the past, but after hearing one exceptional CD, we decided to take up salsa dancing. Almost everyone I know in this hobby has a story about how it has enriched some other part of their life in addition to just being a source of entertainment and relaxation.

Anyway - really good thread. It really made me think about and re-appreciate why I got into this hobby in the first place!
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post #18 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 08:02 AM
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The price point would be different depending on the item in question. Certainly there are subwoofers that people would consider ultra high-end that are sub $20K, while $20K doesn't quite put you there in projectors. There are only maybe two front projection screens that get up to that price and then it is only because of the masking systems.

There is no single seat that will retail for $20K unless you put a 4 actuator Odyssee motion simulator in it, yet CinemaTech and Fortress seats are most definitely ultra high-end.

I made mention a while ago that the Ultra Hi-End subforum should really be in the same part of the forum as dedicated theaters, home theater general or something and not in display devices, but I was rebuffed. It doesn't really matter to me where it is at this point - I will read it.


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post #19 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainKellog
For example - do you like to drive fast, but don't have time to find and drive to a public racetrack? Take a spin in a racing game on a 120" screen with 7.1 surround and a Buttkicker/D-Box Motion system, and see how close you can get to the real thing.
I agree with that statement, but Buttkicker and D-BOX shouldn't be put next to each other any more than Cerwin Vega and Wilson Audio or Aiwa and Krell.

With the D-BOX Odyssee motion simulator, I have experienced a realistic enough plane crash that I know I don't want to be in one and realistic enough race cars that I know I do want to be in one. ;)


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post #20 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 08:13 AM
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Hi

I love this thread :).. I have come to see this part of the forum as my preferred part of the AVS Forum.. It is almost addictive... I do not believe ANYONE here see it as a site where we should discuss about equipment costing upward of 20K , rather like a place where we discuss gear that push or at the very least push the envelope. The beauty of this over 20K is that although it is in the Display section it is the home of the Hi-End Audiophiles on AVS Forum ! I do not own , yet any single piece of VIDEO equipment that could by any stretch called High-End .. Audio is a different affair ...

I do surmise that 20 K can provide many , including the most discerning a pretty good HT system. Complete.. While Audio has not moved much,, only slight gains except in Loudspeakers where ever increasing computing power allows better speaker modeling... Video is another cup of tea. What we are getting these days on a $5,000 PJ + Screen + Source combination was only attainable with say 50K of video only gear 10 years ago..
15 K of Audio gear is a very good amount for a serious high end Audio system IMHO

So to me the >20 K is for dicussion of high end Audio AND Video equipment regardless of price and I have come to just forget about the name and just enjoy the lively discussions about Hi-End Audio and Video

Frantz
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post #21 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 08:49 AM
 
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I have come to see this part of the forum as my preferred part of the AVS Forum.. It is almost addictive...
Welcome to my world :p

Had it not been for this Forum the formation of the BAAS would not have taken place. It only happened because of fun debates between the subjectivists vs objectivists. I decided that it would be good therapy for everyone to meet at my house one Saturday afternoon.
Frantz Mathias was even an attendee all the way from Haiti.
There was
Tzucc
Michael Grant
Els
Morbius

Several more meetings welcomed new members
Mike Lavigne
Bugleboy
Mike Poindexter
Grellberg
Jeffmac
Ron Party
Dizzman
Dean Roddey


It has been the love of this hobby that fostered the enjoyment of getting together for listening and viewing

Jeffmac's passion for cooking has opened new doors to our meetings with gourmet food and wine at the meetings

I spent a weekend in Seattle with Mike Lavigne as he opened the doors to his over the top room that sets the standard by which all others should be judged. During that weekend I met other Forum members from Seattle
Darinp2
Chris Wiggles

These two gave us unbelievable video demos.

I think that my point is clear.

The friendships that have arisen as a result of all of us trying to achieve audio/video nirvana is what it is all about.

It was because of members in the BAAS reassuring me about the ability of my new Lamm ML 2.1 amps to drive my X-2's that I made the decision to buy them.

As Sonny and Cher sang "And the beat goes on" :)
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post #22 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Poindexter
I agree with that statement, but Buttkicker and D-BOX shouldn't be put next to each other any more than Cerwin Vega and Wilson Audio or Aiwa and Krell.

With the D-BOX Odyssee motion simulator, I have experienced a realistic enough plane crash that I know I don't want to be in one and realistic enough race cars that I know I do want to be in one. ;)
I definitely agree with you about a motion simulator being in a completely different league from a bass shaker, I probably should have clarified a bit more though. I put them both together because they both add a tactile element to the experience that no amount of speakers/subs could create (which is fine, since speakers are supposed to move you emotionally, not physically) :) . One adds shaking (Buttkicker), one is true motion simulation (D-Box). Pretty easy to see the D-Box is superior, but I've only ever had the chance to experience bass shakers. :)
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post #23 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne
" ... desire to reach a certain 'perfect sustainable moment' where the crazyness of the world's pressures are pushed away and one is lost into the music... "
Perfectly expresses my inner motivation for pursuing my media room. Clearly a self indulgence, to a fault perhaps(I judge myself nobody else), but it is a crazy world, and one does need some respite!

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post #24 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 12:32 PM
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The answer to the original question is a simple one. The $20000 number was an arbitrary figure chosen, and was specifically targeted to projectors. You can tell this because it was created at about the same time the digital projector forum was split into "Low End" and "High End" versions. For digital projectors, I still think it's a pretty good number.

For other components, clearly the $20K number just doesn't make sense. For speakers, it quite possibly ought to be higher (certainly if you're talking about the whole set). For other components, probably not. I'd say DAC stacks we talk about on this forum qualify as Ultra Hi-End but most of the pieces are well under $20K.

We'll just have to trust people to ignore that $20K number and figure out for themselves whether a piece they're considering is truly Ultra Hi-End. I for one don't think I own anything that would qualify, though my new media room in Austin will probably change that.

As for the rest of the comments on this forum, I'm with everyone else, they're great. And I've certainly enjoyed the company of those who own what I consider to be Ultra-Hi End.

Michael
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post #25 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 12:49 PM
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I didn't necessarily want to spend my way into this club but after finding out what is possible, all roads led here :).


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post #26 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne
i think it would be a mistake to judge why particular people do things without really knowing them personally to the degree that you know the whole person. people come to a common place for many different reasons.
As I noted in my post, since I have only actually met one person on this forum (tho I would much like to meet more) , I have no clue as to the motivation of their purchases. What I said was "a large majority of REALLY high end audio/videophiles fall into one of these categories" and I still believe that. I too love to get lost in the movies that are presented so well in my theater or some of the music that can transport me to another place and TOTALLY relax me (I am a bit overactive !!). No one enjoys their home theater or audio system anymore than I do, but if I am really honest with myself, the total motivation for these purchases was not entirely so that "I" could have a great theater (or music room).

(Doctor, I am now getting off the couch as I believe this session is complete !!)

R 8:28


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post #27 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 03:31 PM
 
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No one enjoys their home theater or audio system anymore than I do, but if I am really honest with myself, the total motivation for these purchases was not entirely so that "I" could have a great theater (or music room).
And so, what was the real reason?
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post #28 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 04:09 PM
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There are many reasons:
(a) the continued chase of improving my system (which relates to perfectionism)

(b) the ability to relax when I listen to music

(c) a venue to which I can invite my friends for an evening of enjoyment ...AND impress them

(d) the LOVE of technology

(e) the "tweak" aspect of the hobby...e.g continuing to refine existing hardware and the room interaction to improve the sound

(f) a place to escape to from life's pressures

(g) BUYING things

(h) creating MY room that I can do with as I so please

(i) it's a hobby I have been actively involved with for over 40 years and I see no reason to not stay involved (as long as the money holds out !! -- or until I sell the boat)

(j) a great place to listen to new kinds of music

R 8:28


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post #29 of 49 Old 07-08-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy
There are many reasons:
(a) the continued chase of improving my system (which relates to perfectionism)

(b) the ability to relax when I listen to music

(c) a venue to which I can invite my friends for an evening of enjoyment ...AND impress them

(d) the LOVE of technology

(e) the "tweak" aspect of the hobby...e.g continuing to refine existing hardware and the room interaction to improve the sound

(f) a place to escape to from life's pressures

(g) BUYING things

(h) creating MY room that I can do with as I so please

(i) it's a hobby I have been actively involved with for over 40 years and I see no reason to not stay involved (as long as the money holds out !! -- or until I sell the boat)

(j) a great place to listen to new kinds of music

well said

I am sure that if you spoke to any of us wacko audio/video hobbyists, we would probably give all of the same responses
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post #30 of 49 Old 07-13-2005, 05:21 PM
KBK
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I made it a lifetime pursuit, starting at the age of 13... to bring the Joy of Music.. to others. With as much fidelity, and thus, emotion and communication..as possible. Nothing other that the absolute best that it is humanly possible to offer, will do. After a 25 year apprenticeship, I'm finally getting to the point were I can sell good product to people - that meets that specification. Specifically, there is absolutely no reason that the world's finest has to be priced as the world's most expensive.

Exhibit A:

I'm willing to give 10 sets of our new isolation products to 10 different people in this forum. The sets retail for $50 each, enough to mechanically isolate and thermally absorb energy from one given audio device. Now, I hope no-one thinks that it is a money/advertising grab..as how much can we possibly make from such a priced item? However, it will outclass isolation devices at almost any given price range. Or I wouldn't be selling it. They also do it properly, with the least amount of interference in the dynamics and tonality as possible. A very critical and important factor.

Anyone care to take me up on the offer? Send me an email with your AVS handle. Mike, OB, and Steve B. are specifically invited.

Speaking of Lamm, our devices were under the Lamm amplifiers in the High end show in New York, until the Lamm dude saw them there. He asked for their removal immediately. I can understand, of course. Who wants a unknown product supporting their creation? The Gentleman with the $40k turntable felt they were doing a terrific job. It's sad I can't remember the name of the company. dang! (But I never attended the show) OB is offered two sets for his mono amps.

I moved and was out of contact for a month or so. I now have satellite internet. Not too bad.

(the new spell checker really sucks)

Ken Hotte

"Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream." -- Malcolm Muggeridge.
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Closed Thread Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+)

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