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post #91 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 09:23 AM
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There are people telling me that $50,000 speakers or a $5000 amp is a waste of money because it adds no benefit to the sound quality than a cheaper set up. I'm just asking where that price point is, so I can be done upgrading my system and just be happy knowing this will be the best sound I can get at any cost. It seems everyone knows where that point is but me.
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post #92 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 09:33 AM
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There are people telling me that $50,000 speakers or a $5000 amp is a waste of money because it adds no benefit to the sound quality than a cheaper set up. I'm just asking where that price point is, so I can be done upgrading my system and just be happy knowing this will be the best sound I can get at any cost.
Price is not a technical spec. No one can say, spending more than $X will provide no improvement in sound quality. It just doesn't work that way.
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It seems everyone knows where that point is but me.
You must have missed it when I said:
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Speakers are a different story. They all sound different, and they have different capabilities in terms of frequency extension and dynamics and such. Surely there's a point beyond which you can't make a speaker objectively better. I don't think there's any way to identify that point, however.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #93 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post

As long as someone is willing to pay the price that someone else is asking it is worth their time/effort/money.

That is a variant of the efficient market hypothesis, which assumes there is no information asymmetry. That is, both buyer and seller have all relevant knowledge about the item.

But the high-end audio market is rife with asymmetry. Sellers attempt to hide what their products really are, while making wild claims about them. For example, a Bybee "Quantum purifier" was taken apart and found to be a 10 cent resistor inside an aluminum tube with some sort of goop.

An extreme example of information asymmetry was the mortgage-backed securities that caused the global financial crisis of 2008. The underlying mortgages on which the securities were based were not anywhere near as safe as buyers were led to believe. The idea that all transactions are fair because some buyer can be convinced they are is a naive view of economic reality.
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post #94 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 09:53 AM
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That is a variant of the efficient market hypothesis, which assumes there is no information asymmetry. That is, both buyer and seller have all relevant knowledge about the item.

But the high-end audio market is rife with asymmetry. Sellers attempt to hide what their products really are, while making wild claims about them.
The guy who sold me my car knows far more about cars in general and this car in particular than I do. And he may have told a few little white lies about it in the course of our transaction. But I feel that the car was worth the money I paid, despite this asymmetry. Asymmetry of information is a problem, but I don't think it's this problem.

More generally, I don't think economics has a problem with luxury goods (which is what we're really talking about here). There's plenty of fraud involved in pitching high-end audio, sure, but that doesn't mean that everyone who buys the stuff has been defrauded. If owning an expensive watch makes you happy, then I don't think you've been defrauded, even if a knockoff you buy from a street vendor for $10 can tell time just as well.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #95 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 09:59 AM
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I understand there's snake oil in audio as well as health care, food and just about everything else in a capitalistic market, however when someone tells me that I will not hear a difference between this component or that component based on price alone especially when that person has never listened to either component and is just using his/her own biases, that's when I ask at what price point can I stop wasting my money.

I have a relatively modest system that enjoy immensely and I have notice improvements and degradation with every upgrade I have done to it, maybe a bit clearer mids but a smaller soundstage, or vast widening of the soundstage but less depth. These are all personal preferences, I might wind up spending $1000's more to get the perfect system for me.

The point is don't go casting a blanket over the whole industry because you personally are happy at your price point, others may not be and are willing and able to spend the extra money to get to audio nirvana.
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post #96 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

More generally, I don't think economics has a problem with luxury goods (which is what we're really talking about here). There's plenty of fraud involved in pitching high-end audio, sure, but that doesn't mean that everyone who buys the stuff has been defrauded. If owning an expensive watch makes you happy, then I don't think you've been defrauded, even if a knockoff you buy from a street vendor for $10 can tell time just as well.

Okay, but I presume people buy expensive watches because they just think they are cool, not because they think the watch will tell time better than a generic one. But in the case of high-end audio, it's common for technical or pseudo-technical claims to be made, and people to buy based, at least in part, on those claims. It's been my experience in high-end audio forums that people actually believe a lot of the claims (such as "negative feedback in amplifiers degrades sound quality" and so on).

IOW, I'm arguing that the watch analogy is not a good one as audiophiles, in my experience at least, tend to believe (sometimes rightly, sometimes not) that they are paying more, not just to get something cool, but to get something that sounds better. But I'm sure the "coolness factor" is an influence as well.
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post #97 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post

If audiophiles are correct and properly designed amplifiers really do sound differently, why aren't people outraged about it?

In keeping with the theme of this thread, many people - especially audio magazine writers and editors - want people to believe there are differences. If they accepted that all competent amps sound the same, all magazine reviews of amps would be redundant. Further, if it's accepted that all amps sound the same, people who paid $10,000 or whatever would have to admit they were fooled into wasting money.

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post #98 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by NGNEER View Post

unless you listen on the speakers I mixed on, You're not hearing what I want you to hear and a consequence of that is it doesn't sound right which means not as good.

Yes indeed. I have made that very same point many times in audio forums.

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post #99 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 11:18 AM
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Okay, but I presume people buy expensive watches because they just think they are cool, not because they think the watch will tell time better than a generic one. But in the case of high-end audio, it's common for technical or pseudo-technical claims to be made, and people to buy based, at least in part, on those claims. It's been my experience in high-end audio forums that people actually believe a lot of the claims (such as "negative feedback in amplifiers degrades sound quality" and so on).
A fair distinction. And at some point, those claims become fraud. My specific point was that fraud and asymmetric information are two very different things.
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IOW, I'm arguing that the watch analogy is not a good one as audiophiles, in my experience at least, tend to believe (sometimes rightly, sometimes not) that they are paying more, not just to get something cool, but to get something that sounds better. But I'm sure the "coolness factor" is an influence as well.
A thought experiment: Imagine that there's no disinformation, and that high-end salesmen are pathologically honest. Nonetheless, people try out different amps or whatever, and because of the casual way they do the comparisons, and their own internal biases, they conclude that more expensive amps sound better, and buy a megabuck model. There's no fraud, no relevant asymmetry of information. Is there even a problem? I don't think so. The customer is happy. He thinks his system sounds better. To him, it actually does (for whatever reason).

Now, same experiment with a more realistic salesman. He doesn't lie, but he spins a good tale. ("Some listeners think this amp has a better soundstage." Which is true—some people do think that!) Is there a problem now? If we don't object to people buying audio gear based on their biases, does it matter that salesmen attempt to steer those biases? The purchaser is just as happy, and for exactly the same reason—his biases tell him he has a great-sounding amp.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #100 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by tom_c View Post

At what point does an amp no longer sound any better the money? $100? $500? $1000? $10,000? How about speakers?

Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. In fact, some of the worst audio gear is boutique stuff that costs 50 times more than normal gear. So paying much more can just as easily get you worse sound as better sound.

If you want a good idea of what high quality gear should cost, look at stuff sold to the pro audio and home recording markets.

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post #101 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 11:25 AM
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unless you listen on the speakers I mixed on, You're not hearing what I want you to hear and a consequence of that is it doesn't sound right which means not as good.
I would think that if you are doing your job well, you will produce a recording that will sound good on a wide variety of playback systems/devices. It won't sound to consumers exactly as it sounded to you in the studio (that's an impossibility), but that is a far cry from saying it sounds inferior.

OTOH, your broader statement kinda challenges the notion that we can judge a playback system based on how well it reproduces "the sound of real music in real space."

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #102 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jim19611961 View Post

Lets face it, if you got it to spend, and its your most important hobby, your going to spend it. Are super expensive components cost effective? Of course not. Is a $5000 amp better than a $500 one? Usually. If you want bang for the buck, go ahead and keep your mid-fi audio system. If you seriously cant tell a difference in sound between a Sony receiver and a Classe power amp, then I feel sorry for you. If you dont think a $50,000 speaker s worth the money, dont buy it.

Wow, there are a lot of assumptions here. Sony ($200) and Classe ($20,000) are the extremes and more interesting is the middle ground equipment $1K-$5K. Just because there's a difference, doesn't mean its necessarily a positive one. Just because someone can tell a difference doesn't mean its significant, and just because a company charges a stupid price for something that is incrementally better (maybe) doesn't mean we should run right out and purchase it. I've heard $27,000 Wilson Sasha's with a $50K Audio Research front end and monoblocks. Was it good? Hell yeah, better than anything else I've ever heard (or am likely to hear). Could I afford it? I could (after making some serious allowances/selling some stock, etc). But just because I CAN afford it doesn't really change the value proposition, for me, or anyone. I run Anthem recevier/ Creek integrated/24/192 M-DAC with Monitor Audio Bronze surround sound and I'm here to tell you that its 90% as good as the Wilson/AR setup because my room is treated, my gear is setup correctly and calibrated (by myself) and I don't even have $5K in my setup (bought used on A'gon). The earlier comment about technology inmprovements being priceless is true.

I saw an interesting article on CNN yesterday about how US families that earn below $70K give an avg. of ~8.6% to charity and those earning more give around 3%. Maybe because its being spent on Ferraris, Mansions and $80K stereros...I personally would way rather build an orphanage in Africa and feed and clothe 100 orphans with the $75K I had left between the high end setup and my own. Just my own opinion, but seriously, everyone should step back and get a little perspective before forking over that kind of money for gear. Civic duties and responsibilities should come out first. (of course, if they did, there might not be enough left for Ferraris mad.gif )
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post #103 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

In keeping with the theme of this thread, many people - especially audio magazine writers and editors - want people to believe there are differences. If they accepted that all competent amps sound the same, all magazine reviews of amps would be redundant. Further, if it's accepted that all amps sound the same, people who paid $10,000 or whatever would have to admit they were fooled into wasting money.
--Ethan

See Art Dudley's article "Skin Deep" in Stereophile this month...I think its Pulitzer level material...he brow beats audio companies for charging 500X more for something that performs 1% better, and rightly so.
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post #104 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 11:58 AM
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unless you listen on the speakers I mixed on, You're not hearing what I want you to hear and a consequence of that is it doesn't sound right which means not as good.

So, instead of buying seemingly better equipment which may or may not be a waste of money, I should instead buy the same equipment that every studio that recorded all my music used? Crap, no wonder people just buy sheep and call it a day.
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post #105 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tom_c View Post

There are people telling me that $50,000 speakers or a $5000 amp is a waste of money because it adds no benefit to the sound quality than a cheaper set up. I'm just asking where that price point is, so I can be done upgrading my system and just be happy knowing this will be the best sound I can get at any cost. It seems everyone knows where that point is but me.

So, the reason no one is telling you is that its different for everyone. Sound is subjective, listening/hearing is subjective, and our perception of what's a justifiable expense is certainly subjective. Just listen to a 1$1000 system, a $10,000 system and a $100,000 system (or whatever levels make sense) and ask yourself "does the$100,000 system sound $90,000 better than the middle system (it probably won't; if not, listen to a $1K, $5K, $10K system, the differences will be less, but so will the extra money...considerably). I think many would agree that speakers and source deserve the largest earmarks for money, as really great amps can be had for relatively cheap (my Creek cost less than $500 used and blows away amp that cost more, just do your homework and research and match your system to your room).

Hope we've helped, at least a little.
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post #106 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 11:58 AM
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Its all subjective. I have a friend who has a home theater company. He was running a $1000 denon blu ray player. I told him my Panasonic was just as good. He laughed of course,so I brought it over.. Guess what,he liked the Panny better,but he said he wouldn't buy it because all his other gear was high end and in the back of his mind it would bug him.. He did end up going with the Panasonic and got rid of the Denon. I highly doubt going from a $1000 amp to a $5000 amp your going to notice a $4000 difference. Your paying for the name ,some better parts,but mostly clout. And to the guy that said he was happier with his Vette for the price than a Ferrari. He obviously hasn't driven a Ferrari,let alone heard one. I have 2 newer vettes in my family and when my buddy pulled up to my house in a Ferrari 358 spyder,it made my house appreciate as soon as he pulled in the driveway. Is it faster than a Vette? Maybe,but $100,000 faster,NO! But there is nothing like the sound and looks of a Ferrari.. Pure sex! Guys buy Krell because is has clout and they can afford it. It doesn't mean its noticeably better than a $1000 Emotiva. Emotiva(Vette) Krell(Ferrari)..
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post #107 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 12:13 PM
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My two cents:
I had a neighbor who was head of of design over JBL, hired away from Altec. The former head was working on a titanium driver for the compression driver, died, so he was hired to finish the job.
He gave me and a friend a tour of his lab and the Harmon works back in '91. He said that in general, a speaker is 1/3 science, 1/3 art and 1/3 marketing. I asked
him if there were other speakers besides JBl that he liked and I was surprised at his lack of home team response, he said liked Wharfdale, M&K, Boston and some others.I asked "What about Bose?" and he shot back "Bose is a fraud!" and left it at that. He said there is no real rivalary between speakers companies, in fact, once a year, there was a small convention for speaker designers where they. The other thing he mentioned that I am sure many will argue with is tha
that old speakers can sound great, better than new speakers. He gave an example of old compression driver Altecs sounding better than some pricey new speakers. Why? He said that the workmanship and quality back then was great especially with the cabinets, a pet peave being fancy looking speakers with fancy looking drivers in flimsy cabinets. On the way out, he pointed out JBL's most popular speaker sold in Japan at the time- a two way speaker (compression tweeter/mid, 15" woofer, concrete base). "See, that is a solid box!".
He also that once a year, speaker engineers would meet and talk shop ("Speaker designers... there are really not that many of us!").
I also wonder if calibration systems are making the differences between mid and high priced speakers smaller.
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post #108 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tom_c View Post

There are people telling me that $50,000 speakers or a $5000 amp is a waste of money because it adds no benefit to the sound quality than a cheaper set up.
Generalizations like that can't be made with any degree of accuracy because of all of the undefined parameters at this point.

I think I'm pretty safe saying that a $50,000 or even $5,000 pair of speakers that is just the classic 1 cubic foot box with a 6.5" woofer and 1" dome tweeter in a nifty box is beyond the point of diminishing returns. However, a speaker array that is used for live sound in a large venue could easily cost $50,000 and provide good value and a SQ advantage for the money spent.

There are power amplifiers that put out something like 10,000 watts, and their current pricing is beyond $5,000. For example:

Crown MA5000i Macro-Tech i Series Power Amplifier. 2,000 watts per channel. Street price a few $100 under $5K.
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I'm just asking where that price point is, so I can be done upgrading my system and just be happy knowing this will be the best sound I can get at any cost. It seems everyone knows where that point is but me.

This is your second request for more details about your situation.
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post #109 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

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Okay, but I presume people buy expensive watches because they just think they are cool, not because they think the watch will tell time better than a generic one. But in the case of high-end audio, it's common for technical or pseudo-technical claims to be made, and people to buy based, at least in part, on those claims. It's been my experience in high-end audio forums that people actually believe a lot of the claims (such as "negative feedback in amplifiers degrades sound quality" and so on).
A fair distinction. And at some point, those claims become fraud. My specific point was that fraud and asymmetric information are two very different things.

I agree. Asymmetric information is not necessarily fraud, but it seems to me that fraud requires asymmetric information. If the buyer knows the claims are fraudulent, it's highly unlikely he or she would buy the item.

The point I was addressing was the assertion that something is always worth what a buyer will pay for it. In the case of asymmetric information, the price paid is that of a distorted market. And further, that high-end audio often creates and exploits asymmetric information. I gave the example of the Bybee devices. But there is also the example Arny gave in another thread of the Rappaport preamp, where the designer put a bunch of 741 op-amps in a potted module and successfully passed it off as a state-of-the-art design. I might call the Bybee situation fraud because the device does not perform its intended function, but the Rappaport one I would just call unethical behavior. The thing still functions as a preamp. It's not simply a brick in a nice-looking chassis or something like that.
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A thought experiment: Imagine that there's no disinformation, and that high-end salesmen are pathologically honest. Nonetheless, people try out different amps or whatever, and because of the casual way they do the comparisons, and their own internal biases, they conclude that more expensive amps sound better, and buy a megabuck model. There's no fraud, no relevant asymmetry of information. Is there even a problem? I don't think so. The customer is happy. He thinks his system sounds better. To him, it actually does (for whatever reason).

I agree, there is no problem with this scenario.
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Now, same experiment with a more realistic salesman. He doesn't lie, but he spins a good tale. ("Some listeners think this amp has a better soundstage." Which is true—some people do think that!) Is there a problem now? If we don't object to people buying audio gear based on their biases, does it matter that salesmen attempt to steer those biases? The purchaser is just as happy, and for exactly the same reason—his biases tell him he has a great-sounding amp.

I also agree that there is no problem with this scenario either. However, I think both of these scenarios are optimistic.
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post #110 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 12:39 PM
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The point I was addressing was the assertion that something is always worth what a buyer will pay for it.
If you're going to rely on economic theory, then that statement is true by definition. According to economic theory, people buy a product at a particular price if the utility/pleasure they get from owning that product is greater than the utility/pleasure they could get from any alternative use of that money. Hence, a product is always worth—to the consumer—what the consumer pays for it.

That said, you are right that both fraud and asymmetric information are market-distorting.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #111 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 12:42 PM
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So since it is subjective, your price point is between your ears and your wallet. When the OP asked "Are Super High-End Speakers Really Worth the Extra Money?" the answer should be it depends on your ears and your wallet, not simply "no"

BTW, I subscribe to the buying the most "bang for the buck" theory, I own Emotiva, Oppo and Aperion Audio gear, I love it. but if I had the money to burn I would spend it on a McIntosh and Wilson audio gear, just to hear what kind of difference it would make for myself.
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post #112 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by pottscb View Post

Wow, there are a lot of assumptions here. Sony ($200) and Classe ($20,000) are the extremes and more interesting is the middle ground equipment $1K-$5K. Just because there's a difference, doesn't mean its necessarily a positive one.

As a rule what you call middle ground is the same kind of bad value as the $20K products, only for a lower but still outlandish price.

Of course many components are different from each other, but the first question is not one of degree but instead of simple relevance. Are the differences relevant to sound quality or other more trivial things?
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Just because someone can tell a difference doesn't mean its significant, and just because a company charges a stupid price for something that is incrementally better (maybe) doesn't mean we should run right out and purchase it.

So far so good.
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I've heard $27,000 Wilson Sasha's with a $50K Audio Research front end and monoblocks. Was it good? Hell yeah, better than anything else I've ever heard (or am likely to hear). Could I afford it? I could (after making some serious allowances/selling some stock, etc). But just because I CAN afford it doesn't really change the value proposition, for me, or anyone.

I'd even bet some money that if we did an good level-matched, time-synched, bias controlled test comparing that AR stereo amp to a $239 AVR you would be reduced to random guessing. Interestingly enough the most expensive AR stereo power amp (about $13k) that I can a find technical test report on is measurably inferior to the cheap receiver in a way that may even be audible.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/audio-research-reference-150-power-amplifier-measurements

"
As expected, the Ref150's output impedance varied according to the transformer tap selected. The 16 ohm tap measured 1.4 ohms at low and middle frequencies, rising to 1.9 ohms at the top of the audioband. The figures for the 8 ohm tap were 1 and 1.4 ohms; for the 4 ohm tap, they were 0.55 and 0.87 ohm. All three taps offer quite a low source impedance for a transformer-coupled design; as a result, the modulation of the amplifier's frequency response, due to the Ohm's Law action between that impedance and that of our standard simulated loudspeaker, was relatively mild. From the 8 ohm tap (fig.1, gray trace), it was ±0.8dB; the 4 ohm tap offered ±0.4dB, the 16 ohm tap ±1dB. Fig.1 indicates that the Ref150 has a wide bandwidth, particularly into loads higher than the nominal tap value, which correlates with a well-defined 10kHz squarewave (fig.2). While this graph reveals a small but critically damped overshoot on the leading edges of the waveform, presumably due to an ultrasonic transformer resonance, no ringing is visible. Channel separation (not shown) was superb, at >100dB at 1kHz.
"
The effect of the excess source resistance mentioned above is shown graphically here:



The wavy black line shows a spurious frequency response variation that is due to a technical flaw in the Ref150. With Stereophile's relatively easy loudspeaker simulator it causes response variations on the order of 1.5 dB, but with a fair number of good speakers on the market today the variations would be at least double that, and potentially audible as timbre shifts. Again, the $239 AVR would not have this problem.

Another issue with the Ref150 is its power output:



This very expensive stereo power amp starts clipping pretty severely around 80 watts which is less than what we can expect to see from a $239 AVR running on a test bench in 2.0 channel mode. In other posts I point out why this is not necessarily a serious problem or even an audible problem at all. Nevertheless it is interesting to see highly expensive (about $13K) equipment outperformed by equipment costing only a tiny fraction as much ($239).
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post #113 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tom_c View Post

There are people telling me that $50,000 speakers or a $5000 amp is a waste of money because it adds no benefit to the sound quality than a cheaper set up. I'm just asking where that price point is, so I can be done upgrading my system and just be happy knowing this will be the best sound I can get at any cost. It seems everyone knows where that point is but me.

It's really to individualized to allow anybody here to answer for you. With speakers, what you gain as you increase in price is different among different speaker manufacturers and different lines within a particular speaker maker's product array, so you can't say doubling the price will absolutely reduce distortion by 30 percent, increase frequency range by 10 percent and improve the behavior in the crossover region by 40 percent. It all depends . . . .

You'll never actually absolutely know where the price/quality point is for speakers in particular4 because, once you've heard enough of them over a longe enough period of time to prioritize the virtues you most like and vices you least object to, you can only identify, theoretically, the speakers you can actually test to see which offers the greatest amount of virtue plus the least vice at any given price. There are a number of fine manufacturers whose wares are not available for me to hear anywhere near my home, so I'll never know if they would have offered a better price/performance ratio than my current Paradigms, former Magnepans, or more former-er Sonus Fabers (or even my somewhat beat Event 20/20s).

Ultimately as a consumer all you can do is choose among the choices you have available. Unfortunately, the learning curve to identify your own preferences is time consuming, and one's preferences may change over time. I've said before that I tend to like speakers with a "soft" presence region (let's say 4 dB down in an octave and a half centered somewhere around 4 KHz). But eventually I start to notice that sounds with stridency/blat to them (like trumpets) sound a little sleepy on those systems. So now I'm a little more in the flat is mostly right camp. WIth the caveat that off axis behavior is very important and its effects vary dramatically from room to room which complicates the whole thing.

As far as electronices, there's info out there in the world about levels of distortion that are audible and that are not. For a novice, IMO, it's pretty safe to acquire an amp, for example, that keeps distortion well below audibility within the SPL limits they are going to live with. Now if I had tons of money to spend on my HT, I might very well go get a bunch of Bryston amps because (like a few others) they're engineered so that, for example, IM disotrtion is 1/10 to 1/100 of the level you see in other well-regarded devices. But to the extent I'm making the inaudible inaudibler, I really haven't gained audible improvement. I've just satisfied a desire for something like uber-performance.

I listen relatively quietly with speakers of moderate efficiency and find that I'm not hearing distortion, or at least not noticeable (to me) distortion with the amps in my midrange AVR. So I am pretty happy. If I started cranking it up louder, I'd more likely be able to hear the difference between my Denon and some outboard amp of greater capability. Assuming that there are audible differences between electronics that are designed and operated to be linear within the relevant frequency range, they must be very small, because AFAIK, no blind test has proven that they don't sound the same. But you could always grab a mid 80s English amp, which likely will roll of the very highest frequencies a bit, and it might sound different to you than an amp designed with more of a "DC to light" philosophy.

Anyway, just like nobody could tell me that the Martin HD28V I bought over a decade ago was a better value proposition than the Santa Cruz Brazilian that I loved more (and was well over twice the price) or the Bourgouis that I loved about equally, just different aspects stood out to me, nobody can tell you what device(s) will hit your price/performance curve in the sweet spot. After all, I could have continued playing my old Alvarez, which cost less than a 10th of the price of my Martin and from a big picture perspective probably has at least 90% of the performance of any of the expensive puppies I auditioned.

Sorry for the ramble . . .
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post #114 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 01:35 PM
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So since it is subjective, your price point is between your ears and your wallet. When the OP asked "Are Super High-End Speakers Really Worth the Extra Money?" the answer should be it depends on your ears and your wallet, not simply "no"
First of all, who said, "no"?

Also, it's important to remember that your ears can be fooled. It's hard to ignore that price tag, no matter who you are.

And, as Arny suggested, a lot of high-priced speakers are in an objective sense really not worth the money. The fancy cabinets obscure components and a design no better and often worse than a good mass market product. For any particular speaker formulation (say, two-way towers) there really is an upper limit on what you can do technically. Can't say exactly where that limit is, but it's way below the top of the market.

Finally, buying an expensive speaker and putting it in a bad room is definitely a waste of money.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #115 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 02:16 PM
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First of all, who said, "no"?

Read the threads, when I tried to pin it down to a number, the threads went from being not worth it to it's subjective and a number can't be put on it.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that every time a post deals with high end audio gear, there is this group of "super heroes" that feel it necessary to save everyone from the "evils" of the high end industry. So much so, serious discussion about the original post is lost. The point about giving a monetary value to a perceived price point these posters seem to have was a sarcastic attempt to make a "sticky note" so we no longer will need these discussions. To pin it down, every time we a discussion like this comes up we can point to the sticky that says " Any speaker priced over this amount is a scam it says so in such and such article or blind test or whatever the proof is" Then we may be able to actually have serious discussions about audio and the "super heroes" will be free to take on more important matters like health care, politics and other important matters.

People this is capitalism, companies will charge what people are willing to pay. No one is forcing anyone to buy a Krell, Emotiva, Panasonic or any other device. There is no conspiracy, no one telling you have to buy a particular device, no government mandate. If a $100 set speakers makes you happy why can't a $20,000 set speakers make someone else happy, without the rhetoric.
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post #116 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 02:24 PM
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Has anyone tweeted Penn Jilette?

I posted years ago as a new member my listening to Wilson Alexandria's with Spectral electronics compared to my Klsch RF 7's and Yamaha receiver. No doubt it was better.

The debate is the business model and markup it appears.

Mike Miles

ICR [ Sales Consulting and Small Part-Time AV shop, very small...  ]

Process Integration, Inc. [ contract sales consultant ]

Eastern Shore of Maryland

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post #117 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 02:25 PM
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The point I was addressing was the assertion that something is always worth what a buyer will pay for it.
If you're going to rely on economic theory, then that statement is true by definition. According to economic theory, people buy a product at a particular price if the utility/pleasure they get from owning that product is greater than the utility/pleasure they could get from any alternative use of that money. Hence, a product is always worth—to the consumer—what the consumer pays for it.

Aargh, it's been over thirty years since I took economics. Doesn't this assume the absence of a market failure? I'm thinking of something along the lines of the quantities Pi and Pu in the first graph of this document.
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post #118 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 02:36 PM
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Aargh, it's been over thirty years since I took economics. Doesn't this assume the absence of a market failure? I'm thinking of something along the lines of the quantities Pi and Pu in the first graph of this document.
No, it does not assume a perfect market. It merely assumes a rational consumer. Consumers can be rational in an imperfect market. What market imperfections do is preclude the possibility of a Pareto optimal outcome. (Remember that?)

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #119 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 02:40 PM
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Thanks. And I did NOT remember it. biggrin.gif
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post #120 of 3048 Old 08-22-2012, 02:43 PM
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Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that every time a post deals with high end audio gear, there is this group of "super heroes" that feel it necessary to save everyone from the "evils" of the high end industry.

Likewise, there are high-end "fluffers". What else is new?
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