Originally Posted by Jeff Fritz
I guess it's time that I clarify a few things. I actually had a debate with a reader the other day about this very issue. He was of the opinion that the more expensive components naturally sounded better and therefore I was missing the boat since some of what comprises my system is not the most costly.
Here's my example: I recently wrote about the new Weiss Minerva DAC. It costs $4500 retail. In my system it provided the best digital sound I've ever heard. It will play back the Reference Recordings HRx master files at their native 24-bit/176.4kHz resolution via a FireWire connection with my MacBook. To hear this level of clarity is breathtaking - 16/44.1 simply does not compare. So my contention right now is that the Minerva is the high-water mark "despite" its price.
So what this means is that I'm after the best sound regardless of price. But here is what is important: that works both ways. Regardless of how much or how little the component cost. That might mean I have a $200k product right next to a $2000 product. Someone will scoff at that I'm sure, but if we put our preconceptions aside and truly look for the best products for this system, and are intellectually honest, that very well may be the way it turns out.
I'm sure those that only see value in the lower-cost products will have a problem with this. I'm also sure those that always equate price with performance will have an issue with it too. So be it.
So to sum up, I'm looking for a system that raises the bar on performance regardless of price -- low OR high -- and in that spirit I'm listening to your suggestions.
That puts you and I more in synch than not. I don't expect the best to be cheap or the most expensive. I also don't think any one company has all the answers, though clearly some try harder than others. The biggest problem we have is that we tweak and tweak old technology rather than moving forward. Most people here would never use a MacBook as a music server. But if you can get better sound, why the heck not?
We're at a point where electronics are close to perfect and speakers are anything but. Yet people will buy a $20K stereo amp before they'll by a digital crossover/impulse correction device and a 6-channel amp for the same or less money. Most of the expense in analog speakers is because we try to minimize the problems with them in the lowest tech, most expensive way possible, trying to come up with a better make up for the pig. It makes for good product brochures, but doesn't get us any closer to perfection. DEQX is the beginning of the future of speaker design. Unfortunately, the future seems stalled by pre-conceptions from self-described audiophiles who prefer to look back rather than forward and refuse to believe that a speaker is a transducer, not a violin.
In any case, don't take the bait on trying to close the thread, there will always be contention over 'the world's best', but it's better to just move past it and keep on taking ideas. I'm just glad you seem open to ideas that are forward looking too.