Anyone delt with "Reference Audio Mods"? - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 147 Old 05-04-2010, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

There is absolutely no way these "upgrade" companies can do something that the original couldn't do period. That is where the flaw exists in thinking these are actually real "improvements"

btw, you would be amazed how cheap those parts are when bought in bulk

I can imagine that "upgrade" can do some improvement. Any design of mass market unit is compromise between function and production requirements. For instance some technologies can not be used because they require individual tuning and calibration of every unit. Here custom "modders" can come to play, since they can deal with it. Simple swapping parts won't make any significant improvement, but may make things worse.
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post #32 of 147 Old 05-04-2010, 06:53 PM
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I would (and HAVE) added balancing transformers to equipment that was manufactured with unbalanced I/Os. It is simple and MUCH less expensive than anyone who has posted here was ever quoted by a "mod" company.

Any professional audio repair center can do it easily, effectively, properly and on a timely basis. The transformers are US made and available all over the country and you won't be taken to the cleaners.

I wish someone could explain to me why anyone would take a professionally designed, inspected, tested and UL approved device that plays a 15.00 mass produced disc and supposes that a 7,0000.00 MODIFICATION to a player will do something magical to the image or audio signals which are digital in nature. That means On or OFF (0 or1). The D/A conversion is achieved in a single IC that costs about 5.00 in bulk.

The same with cables lifters, and all the other silliness the koolaid hawkers can imagine. there is NO physical test that affirms the claims. NONE.

I propose that I can make all this gear sound like G*d himself created it. Just send me a money order for 15,000.00 and I will produce a crystal specifically for you that will bring you to eargasms simply by placing on the uppermost level of your system stack. The rays of audio nirvana enlightenment travel downward so all the gear will be dramatically improved.

That is just as sensible as spending 7,000.00 on a DVD player or CD player modification
.
The ONLY effective parts of a system to deal with past the source are the preamp, amp and speakers. Everything else is passive and does zilch.

Guys save your money for the REAL world. We have enough snake oil.
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post #33 of 147 Old 05-05-2010, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

There is absolutely no way these "upgrade" companies can do something that the original couldn't do period. That is where the flaw exists in thinking these are actually real "improvements"

btw, you would be amazed how cheap those parts are when bought in bulk

10-4!!!

I thought about "upgrading" the caps in my Dynaudios from Solen to Mundorfs. Dynaudio told me that they spent "countless" hours finding the best match for the design and Solen was chosen. With millions of dollars of test equipment I am going to trust their judgement.

I am sure that there are advantageous mods out there but not all of them will be.

Caveat emptor!
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post #34 of 147 Old 05-06-2010, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

What is more amazing is that they say the can upgrade even the higher end electronics. Wouldnt the Engineers working for the high end electronics company do the simple upgrades if they really mattered?

How can any upgrade cost more then the sum of all parts? Those who buy into this have to be the most gullable types around.

It has been my experience when trying to explain something to someone, it is not worth the effort to even try. That being said, let me retract my last statement. I will try and explain it ery simply. No, I mean no, ok, let's say no, the engineers who work for audio/video don't do simple upgrades. Companies many times will not install a $10 better capacitor vs a $3 one, even if it makes a huge difference. Why? Because the bean counters give them a price point to work with. It is that simple IMHO.
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post #35 of 147 Old 05-06-2010, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Talk2Me View Post

It has been my experience when trying to explain something to someone, it is not worth the effort to even try. That being said, let me retract my last statement. I will try and explain it ery simply. No, I mean no, ok, let's say no, the engineers who work for audio/video don't do simple upgrades. Companies many times will not install a $10 better capacitor vs a $3 one, even if it makes a huge difference. Why? Because the bean counters give them a price point to work with. It is that simple IMHO.

There is something wrong with this premise. Lets talk strictly about high end companies. They are using the higher cost components internally to get the better sound, pricing their product as such to have a better sound. There is little more that can be done. ASK any engineer working at these high end compaines!! Now you have "upgrade" companies saying they can improve those "high end" products even more... Think about it!

Now many low end products have the really cheap products and are not completely handmade and 100% tested so there will be peformance variances. Upgrading might make sense. Even then its smarter to realize that speakers and rooms are 99% of all SQ and most money should be put into those before we sink money foolishly into electronics changes that are deemed improvements but really are just "sound altering" fixes that people believe are better, I can do that with a $1K DSP!!

btw, your cap example is a bad one though...I know what different caps do and $10 vs $3 isnt a good example because everyone knows there isnt a different between them accept tolerances. Which does not matter once the absolute value of each is measured in house and the Cap is used.

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post #36 of 147 Old 05-06-2010, 08:37 AM
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You know Penn, the high end companies that have comparatively small production runs are using the higher cost components (allegedly) because the volume doesn't allow for them to buy in bulk or negotiate deals. They can't leverage economies of scale.

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post #37 of 147 Old 05-06-2010, 10:14 AM
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Ah yes, Reference Audio Mods - makers of the $485 wooden knob .
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post #38 of 147 Old 05-06-2010, 10:15 AM
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lol, nice!!

and still people do not question their motives

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #39 of 147 Old 05-06-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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Moderator, please do not let this turn into T.U.C. sequel.
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post #40 of 147 Old 05-06-2010, 11:54 AM
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No discussion of Reference Audio Mods would be complete without mention of the $485 wooden knob . In case you want to find out more about it, the product page (with price removed, hehe) is here. An archive of the original product page with price is here. Part of the appeal of these knobs comes from their use of the infamous "C37 lacquer". The C37 lacquer product page (also with prices removed) can be found here. A discussion of the "theory" of the C37 lacquer, by Dieter Ennemoser, can be found here. He even has a book about it. Finally, Rod Elliott has a page about it here.

Enjoy .
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post #41 of 147 Old 05-06-2010, 12:06 PM
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Rod Elliott's site is a must for anyone interested in audio (and wanting the truth). I use it a great deal for learning XO designs.

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #42 of 147 Old 05-06-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock_bottom View Post

Ah yes, Reference Audio Mods - makers of the $485 wooden knob .

I looked at what they do with OPPO DVD players: http://www.referenceaudiomods.com/Me...oduct_Count=39

They promise to put like $7 (retail price) worth of parts, and ask $795 (this is just $100 shy from what is OPPO special edition BD player sold for) for it. I do not think that there is more than 30 minutes of labor involved. And no, they do not offer to use any magic force to take you to nirvana.
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post #43 of 147 Old 05-06-2010, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
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Rod Elliott's site is a must for anyone interested in audio (and wanting the truth). ....

That is the problem, many are not interested in the truth
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post #44 of 147 Old 07-01-2010, 03:28 PM
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The OPPO BDP-83 SE Blu-ray Player which costs $899.00 + shipping features an already significant upgrade of parts (DAC and Power Supply) from the stock unit. So yes, as agreed by many professional reviewers and some respected modifiers (such as Dan Wright of Mod Wright Instruments) the upgrade cost, which is almost as much as the cost of the base unit itself, is justifiable given the significant performance upgrade. Here the upgrade is being performed by the original manufacturer (who recognized both the performance potential and the potential market) so no one is taking issue with this "modifier".

Being that OPPO is doing the modding, some of the trust issues are removed but the mere fact that it was done using some of the same "parts upgrades" approach of many modifiers should speak to whether or not it makes sense to do an after-market mod. So spending $1,500 to modify a $2,000 unit does not seem unreasonable, if expected performance upgrade will equal or better competing products costing much more. Is such an expectation realistic? Again, if we use the OPPO as a reference we see that an approved (by OPPO) modification of the BPD-83 / BPD-83 SE by Nu Force costs $1295+. Given that the original BPD-83 costs $499+ this is an "approved modification" costing $796 more (and at over 2.5 times the original cost). But even Nu Force admits that its mod is not necessarily the ultimate mod that can be performed on this unit. Neither of these "factory approved" mods address the issue of upgrading the analogue output stage. This is the area addressed by the Mod Wright mod (highly regarded for both modded and Production equipment).

The output analogue stage is also one of the areas that is supposed to be addressed by the RAM mod but interestingly no pricing has been specified on the web site for the Marantz's mod.

My intention is not to detract from the original thread but to bring some legitimate context to the disparaging questions raised regarding aftermarket modification.
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post #45 of 147 Old 07-06-2010, 06:29 PM
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Why not open the unit you plan on sending in. Take hundreds of photos of the inside parts. why not use an invisible pen that shows up to mark the parts they are supposed to swap out.

After you get your unit back see what they changed by your reference photos or invisible ink.

Reidman: I would just buy the $3500 unit in the first place and not mod a $2000 unit with $1500 in parts/labor. You are paying mostly for labor. Why not just buy a better unit that is mass produced with better parts? I just believe there are much better ways to spend money. Room treatments would be my first investment. Speakers second. Electronics would be one of the last things I would upgrade.

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post #46 of 147 Old 07-06-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

lol, nice!!

and still people do not question their motives

Being a business, I would assume that would be making money, and making clients happy, in that order.

What else were you expecting?
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post #47 of 147 Old 07-07-2010, 03:26 PM
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Being a business, I would assume that would be making money, and making clients happy, in that order.

What else were you expecting?

Just like the Chicken Ranch and Burger King.

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post #48 of 147 Old 07-07-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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Just like the Chicken Ranch and Burger King.

pretty much
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post #49 of 147 Old 07-07-2010, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mbyrnes View Post

Why not open the unit you plan on sending in. Take hundreds of photos of the inside parts. why not use an invisible pen that shows up to mark the parts they are supposed to swap out.

After you get your unit back see what they changed by your reference photos or invisible ink.

Reidman: I would just buy the $3500 unit in the first place and not mod a $2000 unit with $1500 in parts/labor. You are paying mostly for labor. Why not just buy a better unit that is mass produced with better parts? I just believe there are much better ways to spend money. Room treatments would be my first investment. Speakers second. Electronics would be one of the last things I would upgrade.

I really like your proactive approach there!

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post #50 of 147 Old 12-27-2010, 09:45 AM
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I have spoke with Kyle Takenaga few times in e-mail. He has always responded quickly and professionally.

I had e-mailed him because i heard about mods to a BD8002. I asked him if he had any mods for video quality, and his replay was most of his mods deal with audio. Also if he had any for the load up times and he did not ( SUCKS )

I said i heard that the PS upgrade did well with video upgrade ?
Hes reply was it does somewhat to video but mostly for audio.

So i will have to say that he didn't push his product on me and didn't make me think that, OH YA my mods will do just that. I can respect that...

I think i`am going to give the PS a try and see what happens ?
I also bought a Hi-Fi tuning fuse for him to install.
Upgraded my power cords to some PS Audio for my BD & AMP.

So i will try something once and if it turns out to be snake-oil then it will be the last...

Its funny that still now one has gone out to prove these company's wrong when is comes to upgrades like Cables,PC,MODS, and anything else they can think of. So people could stop wasting their hard earned money or appreciate it !
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post #51 of 147 Old 12-27-2010, 10:19 AM
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Its funny that still now one has gone out to prove these company's wrong when is comes to upgrades like Cables,PC,MODS, and anything else they can think of.

You have it backwards. It is the responsibility of the person making the claim to provide the proof of the efficacy of what they have performed, not for anyone else to disprove it.

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post #52 of 147 Old 12-27-2010, 11:24 AM
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You have it backwards. It is the responsibility of the person making the claim to provide the proof of the efficacy of what they have performed, not for anyone else to disprove it.

I disagree

Well, so many complain about these mods and upgrades. Why does someone not see if its snake-oil or not. Like ( Mythbusters )
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post #53 of 147 Old 12-27-2010, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by motogp34 View Post

I think i`am going to give the PS a try and see what happens ?
I also bought a Hi-Fi tuning fuse for him to install.
Upgraded my power cords to some PS Audio for my BD & AMP.

So i will try something once and if it turns out to be snake-oil then it will be the last...

How will you compare the component before and after the modification???
From memory of what you can remember then a gap of time and what it sounds after the mod???
Or, you have two, one unmodded and the other with the mod, side by side, under level matched DBT???
If not, well, the outcome is unreliable at best.


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I disagree

Well, so many complain about these mods and upgrades. Why does someone not see if its snake-oil or not. Like ( Mythbusters )

Well, you may disagree but he is right, you are not.
It is small potatoes for Mythbusters but why don't you challenge them and ask them to compare? Will their findings convince you one way or another, or dismiss them as well???
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post #54 of 147 Old 12-27-2010, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motogp34 View Post

I disagree

Disagree all you want, you'll still be wrong.

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Originally Posted by motogp34 View Post

Well, so many complain about these mods and upgrades. Why does someone not see if its snake-oil or not. Like ( Mythbusters )

OK then, you provide me two units, one modified and one not and I'll both set up a DBT, and have them tested technically. Video mods will be especially easy here as there are reference standards to compare them with. But even for audio, there will be easily measurable differences if indeed there are any audible ones.

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post #55 of 147 Old 12-27-2010, 09:52 PM
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Don't forget to try the tuning fuse in both directions to see which sounds best.

"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 #56 of 147 Old 12-28-2010, 12:40 AM
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Power cables, wooden knobs, 5,000.00 RCA interconnects, blue goop, and now "tuning fuses". It is now official. Audiophools are some of the biggest suckers around.

It is absolutely frightening how so much money is literally thrown away on these phenomenally and absolutely technically useless "modifications" and "high grade" parts.

I am seriously thinking of starting a before and after comparison service. I would of course charge up front (no problem at all for the audiophool assured of the merits of his mod etc). The difference is that I will provide a real time video of the arrival, setup of the original unmodified device, the connections made to all the necessary testing and graphical recording devices so that ALL aspects of the device's performance BEFORE the mods are on file and then after the "mod", the same tests will be performed. Model numbers of all test equipment will be provided along with the various settings used on each piece of test/alignment/reference equipment.

In addition, HD video of the components and circuit boards - the solder side as well as the component side- and wiring harnesses will be made. These videos will include close-ups of any and all identifying stickers/decals etc on power supply modules, integrated circuits, connectors, capacitors etc.

Special attention will be paid with extreme closeups of surface mount components and traces as these are manufactured using hot air to flow the solder as opposed to hand-held soldering irons. Any evidence of rework will be readily visible and apparent.

The owner of the equipment will provide a CD or DVD of his choice for comparison and I will use a factory spec reference test and alignment CD or DVD. Comparisons using both will be recorded.

All shipping costs to be prepaid by the owner. (just like the modders)

The test jig will be on a table that will be secured to the floor and made from heavy gauge steel- welded, not bolted together. The jig will be properly connected to a Ufer ground system and power will be supplied by an isolation transformer with a digitally controlled output of 120volts +/- .5%. The power outlet will be a hospital grade receptacle.

Anyone think of any additional parameters I must provide? Oh BTW the table will be powder coated with a flat, black paint.
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post #57 of 147 Old 12-28-2010, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Disagree all you want, you'll still be wrong.

OK then, you provide me two units, one modified and one not and I'll both set up a DBT, and have them tested technically. Video mods will be especially easy here as there are reference standards to compare them with. But even for audio, there will be easily measurable differences if indeed there are any audible ones.


Their are just as many people that believe in this **** as people who dont.
I could start posting magazine articles and postings of people that have had it done and believe that is works.

I not saying these companies peddling this stuff shouldnt prove that it works, but also be a 3rd party that provides proof.
If these companies are selling snake-oil, then they should be put out of business.

If anyone can legitly prove this, then all the power too them. Not sure why someone has not publicly done this ? If these companies are wrong, i would want to know.

Like i said i will try something once and if it doesn't work then, i wont do that again.

I think buddy with the 2 BD8002 spending that kind of money on mods is excessive, other people saying spend your money on buying better units. Unfortunately the next upgrade would be the UD9004 $6000 player. So unless i win the lotto... forget it

I post this on a couple of forums and people went berzerk ( LOL )
http://www.theaudiocritic.com/downloads/article_1.pdf
You think i just shot their dog or something...
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post #58 of 147 Old 12-28-2010, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motogp34 View Post

Their are just as many people that believe in this **** as people who dont.
I could start posting magazine articles and postings of people that have had it done and believe that is works.

People buy into all sorts of bovine manure: how about astrology, homeopathy and dowsing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motogp34 View Post

I not saying these companies peddling this stuff shouldnt prove that it works, but also be a 3rd party that provides proof.

Sure, but who's going to pay for it. If I had Bill gate's bank account I would set up something myself and have an absolute ball watching the hucksters squirm. As a working man I don't have the readies to buy two and then have one modded and hire an AP to do the testing with. As the modders are making the claims, it is morally their responsibility to prove they are making some real difference, or else it is just faith. How many typical working people who buy one of these mods are even willing to have their faith tested? Hint: your last paragraph gives a clue.
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If these companies are selling snake-oil, then they should be put out of business.

I think some of them should be shot.

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If anyone can legitly prove this, then all the power too them. Not sure why someone has not publicly done this ? If these companies are wrong, i would want to know.

Well, let them provide some actual evidence.

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Originally Posted by motogp34 View Post

Like i said i will try something once and if it doesn't work then, i wont do that again.

Sure, but you have to buy the mod to do this and have an unmodded unit to DBT with, otherwise you are just urinating into the wind. Now most people who buy into, and actually buy these mods, are very, very unlikely to get them home and start posting, 'I've just spent $2k at Bodgey Bob's Audio Mods and it made no difference' are they? No, they are going to go into pseudo-Fremer mode and wax lyrical about them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motogp34 View Post

I post this on a couple of forums and people went berzerk ( LOL )
http://www.theaudiocritic.com/downloads/article_1.pdf
You think i just shot their dog or something...

Same thing has happened to me.

A couple of posts in another highly entertaining thread in the last few hours has summed it up, much as I have said many times in the past. A copy/paste is easier for me this morning in my haze of painkillers than to think it out myself.

"I wonder why audiophile curiosity usually covers things that can be easily changed without going inside the equipment, things like cables, powerline-conditioners, expensive feet or dampers .
It is of course a nice way of keeping yourself occupied while saving up for the next upgrade, also clearly visible for a visitor.
Also it doesn't require extensive knowledge of audio-electronics."

and

"Sure I do. You read those trashy hobbyist magazines with their greatest speaker, amplifier, wire, or whatever in the world of the month reviews, you go to the boutique audio equipment stores where you compare their equipment (do any of you even bother to bring your own recordings?) and then you buy, buy, buy. You've hardly got your newest whizbang out of the box before you're shopping for its replacement.

Meanwhile while your new equipment disappoints, you can always hope it will "break in." But it invariably disappoints which is what keeps these high end equipment manufacturers, designers, retailers in business selling endless variants of the same idea."

8138 and 8156 from here.

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post #59 of 147 Old 12-28-2010, 12:15 PM
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All these "mods" and uber expensive welding cables for speaker line and all the other useless claptrap to play a 15.00 mass produced CD or BD. Amazing.
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post #60 of 147 Old 12-28-2010, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

People buy into all sorts of bovine manure: how about astrology, homeopathy and dowsing?

Sure, but who's going to pay for it. If I had Bill gate's bank account I would set up something myself and have an absolute ball watching the hucksters squirm. As a working man I don't have the readies to buy two and then have one modded and hire an AP to do the testing with. As the modders are making the claims, it is morally their responsibility to prove they are making some real difference, or else it is just faith. How many typical working people who buy one of these mods are even willing to have their faith tested? Hint: your last paragraph gives a clue.
I think some of them should be shot.

Well, let them provide some actual evidence.

Sure, but you have to buy the mod to do this and have an unmodded unit to DBT with, otherwise you are just urinating into the wind. Now most people who buy into, and actually buy these mods, are very, very unlikely to get them home and start posting, 'I've just spent $2k at Bodgey Bob's Audio Mods and it made no difference' are they? No, they are going to go into pseudo-Fremer mode and wax lyrical about them.


Same thing has happened to me.

A couple of posts in another highly entertaining thread in the last few hours has summed it up, much as I have said many times in the past. A copy/paste is easier for me this morning in my haze of painkillers than to think it out myself.

"I wonder why audiophile curiosity usually covers things that can be easily changed without going inside the equipment, things like cables, powerline-conditioners, expensive feet or dampers .
It is of course a nice way of keeping yourself occupied while saving up for the next upgrade, also clearly visible for a visitor.
Also it doesn't require extensive knowledge of audio-electronics."

and

"Sure I do. You read those trashy hobbyist magazines with their greatest speaker, amplifier, wire, or whatever in the world of the month reviews, you go to the boutique audio equipment stores where you compare their equipment (do any of you even bother to bring your own recordings?) and then you buy, buy, buy. You've hardly got your newest whizbang out of the box before you're shopping for its replacement.

Meanwhile while your new equipment disappoints, you can always hope it will "break in." But it invariably disappoints which is what keeps these high end equipment manufacturers, designers, retailers in business selling endless variants of the same idea."

8138 and 8156 from here.


Good Points, Thx


Ok, the whole purpose to buying higher end units is the better components ! So would not upgrading your existing unit to better components be the same thing ( yes/no )
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