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-   -   The "need" to spend lots of money (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/173-2-channel-audio/2175753-need-spend-lots-money.html)

Chris Schneider 10-20-2015 10:35 AM

The "need" to spend lots of money
 
So the system-on-a-budget thread that's near the top of this forum got me thinking -- well actually I've been thinking about such a topic for years myself, but nonetheless it inspired me to create this post.

Over the years, since I got into audio when I was 18 -- and I'm 31 now -- I've noticed a certain type of "need" by audio enthusiasts (not a fan of the "other" term) to spend money (and thereby feeding the Machine) in order to create the most hi-fi system that could possibly afford. On the surface, it seems like a noble cause. I mean, if you can afford it, why not purchase gear that would lead to a better sound. But it's obviously not that simple. Let's face it, most of the "audiophile" (and there it is, dammit I couldn't help it) industry is built upon snake oil, misinformation, biased ears, and gullible folks. This post is not get into the specifics -- it appears the majority of people on this forum already have both feet squarely set on either side of the fence. This post is more or less about the psychology of such a "need" and why it exists.

It's kind of sobering in a way to think that people with such a disposable income are basically brainwashed by the Machine to believe adding a $2,000 amp will make their sound better than a $350 HTR. Or even worse, external DACs. It all just seems malicious to me, on the part of the Machine. As much as I love audio, I equally hate how the Machine ups the ante on everyone that "buys into" their plan. So much gear is ridiculously overpriced, yet folks believe it is a "very fair" price, or a good value. I mean, you can take a 2 week trip to Europe and spend real money over there for the price of a "decent" set of speakers.

So to all the newcomers, newbies, and folks that are wondering if you have to spend a fortune to get good sound: you don't. You can actually build a hell of a system for under a grand if you can dig on Craigslist for the speakers. Everything else is more or less the same, provided you're buying name-brand stuff (Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer, Denon, Marantz, etc.).

torii 10-20-2015 10:49 AM

I tend to agree, but if you know what to listen for in certain songs, you might change your mind. OFC if you dont, then you wont know what your missing. One example is a song by the fugees where the 2 front speakers throw the voices over your left shoulder like they are behind you. many speakers I demoed could not do that. another example are background musical instruments which revel depth of the soundstage...it all is relative, but if you dont know you just dont know.

eljaycanuck 10-20-2015 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Schneider
... So to all the newcomers, newbies, and folks that are wondering if you have to spend a fortune to get good sound: you don't. ...

Amen to that.

bombertodd 10-20-2015 10:56 AM


RayDunzl 10-20-2015 11:43 AM

You don't have to spend much for good sound.

It's when, after a while, you think you want 'better' sound, maybe that's where the trouble starts.

FMW 10-20-2015 11:47 AM

It is called audiphilia and it is not a healthy approach to financial management. I suffered from audiophilia many years ago. I don't miss it for a minute. Some people have systems that sound better than mine. That's just fine with me.

Ratman 10-20-2015 11:52 AM

And possibly, reading too much on the internet/forums (and assuming it's accurate) can at times be confusing and/or misleading. Don't get me wrong. There's plenty of good info, help and direction, but oftentimes, one needs to be able separate the wheat from the chaff.

RayDunzl 10-20-2015 12:16 PM

Did you ever want or buy a 'better' house, car, shoes, whiskey, beer, glasses, coffee, chair, carpet, tires, pencil, computer, oil, bath towels, steak, anything, other than audio gear during your life?

Were you diseased?

Desiring to improve your lot in life shouldn't be classified as a nameable disease or affliction (Re: audiophilia), until it gets out of control, even then, it's a judgement call.

gajCA 10-20-2015 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bombertodd (Post 38228585)

Excellent article I had not seen before.

Yeah, same thing happens with cars, motorcycles, bicycles, TV's, watches, beds, you name it.

The point of diminishing returns happens quite quickly in this world where a truly awful product(s) in any category is harder and harder to find and where 90 percentile products are within reach of most people.

My home theater system, (if you back out the ridiculously over the top DD15 subwoofer....Velodyne offered me a "deal I couldn't refuse), cost new about $3,000 and sounds great, (Usher speakers, Denon AVR). A more powerful system for that medium sized room would be silly.

The one in my secondary room, including the "lowly" Yamaha sub, maybe $1,200.

Both sound excellent for their respective tasks at hand.

Chris Schneider 10-20-2015 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayDunzl (Post 38231345)
Did you ever want or buy a 'better' house, car, shoes, whiskey, beer, glasses, coffee, chair, carpet, tires, pencil, computer, oil, bath towels, steak, anything, other than audio gear during your life?

Were you diseased?

Desiring to improve your lot in life shouldn't be classified as a nameable disease or affliction (Re: audiophilia), until it gets out of control, even then, it's a judgement call.

The thing is, a better house is usually something that can be objectively measured. And people buy nice cars like BMWs for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact it's a status symbol. No one outside of audiophiles gives a damn that you have a $3k amp. In fact, for their sake and your sake, they're better off not knowing.

It is my belief that the audiophile industry is primarily composed of snake oil. Every industry has some snake oil, but not nearly as much as this one. Comparing audiophilia to parts of everyday life is quite the stretch.

Ratman 10-20-2015 12:27 PM

If you or a loved is consumed with purchasing audio gear which affects your job, life or family, contact the Audiophilia hotline at 1-866-TOO-LOUD or www.audiophilia.anon (NOTE: This is not an ordinary 12 step program. I was also an addict)

Also, if you think you have a viable lawsuit, contact the law offices of Greasem, Fleesum and Bolt.

eljaycanuck 10-20-2015 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayDunzl
You don't have to spend much for good sound.

It's when, after a while, you think you want 'better' sound, maybe that's where the trouble starts.

IMO, the trouble starts not when you think you want better sound, but when you've convinced yourself that you have to squander money on over-priced "audiophile" gear in order to realize better sound.

RayDunzl 10-20-2015 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Schneider (Post 38231665)

The thing is, a better house is usually something that can be objectively measured.

And people buy nice cars like BMWs for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact it's a status symbol.

No one outside of audiophiles gives a damn that you have a $3k amp. In fact, for their sake and your sake, they're better off not knowing.

It is my belief that the audiophile industry is primarily composed of snake oil. Every industry has some snake oil, but not nearly as much as this one.

Comparing audiophilia to parts of everyday life is quite the stretch.

Objective measurements are still interpreted subjectively.
Objective measurement: My house is 2700 sq ft. Subjective: the layout could be better, and that may or may not include changing the square footage.

Nice cars. BMW. You mean, "The Ultimate Driving Machine"? Do they still use that ad line? Is it accurate? Did the salesman help convince the buyer of that 'fact'?

No one not interested in what you are interested in has any interest in your interests.

There is certainly a fringe of goofy and mostly useless (judgement call) stuff around the core of the Audio business. More snake oil? Maybe you weren't around for all the gas mileage improvement devices when they were in vogue.

Comparing apples and oranges is always fraught with danger.

---

"Without deviation, there can be no progress." Zappa

JGM 10-20-2015 01:11 PM

There is definitely a psychology to this that goes beyond audio -- nobody wants to buy the least-expensive bottle of wine on the list, either (a fact that savvy restaurants have long taken advantage of).

In another thread someone was concerned that they could not get an Energy 5.1 speaker set due to supply constraints; I recommended the Monoprice knock-off which is a very close match; the response was that the price was too low for comfort.

People who don't know better often fall back on "you get what you pay for" (another thought process that sellers routinely take advantage of), but there may be few places where that saying is less true than in A/V equipment.

Idealized audio and HT has no real interest to me; it's always possible to throw more money at diminishing returns. Optimized (within a given budget, be it $100 or $10000) is a lot more fun.

Chris Schneider 10-20-2015 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JGM (Post 38233289)
There is definitely a psychology to this that goes beyond audio -- nobody wants to buy the least-expensive bottle of wine on the list, either (a fact that savvy restaurants have long taken advantage of).

In another thread someone was concerned that they could not get an Energy 5.1 speaker set due to supply constraints; I recommended the Monoprice knock-off which is a very close match; the response was that the price was too low for comfort.

People who don't know better often fall back on "you get what you pay for" (another thought process that sellers routinely take advantage of), but there may be few places where that saying is less true than in A/V equipment.

Idealized audio and HT has no real interest to me; it's always possible to throw more money at diminishing returns. Optimized (within a given budget, be it $100 or $10000) is a lot more fun.

I like that last bit the best -- idealized audio vs optimized. And yes I am the same way, with one caveat: everything based on science and objective facts.

With a 10K budget, for instance, I'd spend 9 grand of it on speakers. And the rest for the amp and media player. The only thing that sounds different are, of course, transducers, and that is where the money should be spent.

But if I was going to spend 10 grand on audio, I'd better be making AT LEAST $150K a year... there's too many places to see, people to meet, cuisines to enjoy, and natural wonders to behold to spend exorbitant amount of money on speakers... But that's just me.

Ratman 10-20-2015 01:26 PM

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...FUyPHwodUU8I7Q

A good set of headphones will be required. :)

Pacodutaco 10-20-2015 01:34 PM

As I see it, being an audiophile is a hobby. As with all hobbies, people want to do the most for THEIR enjoyment. If it means spending $10k on speakers...have fun. Myself, I need decent playback, on decent equipment that produces decent sound so I can enjoy my CD collection I have been working on since 1983. I am in it to collect CD's from artist I enjoy listening to. I do not need to have the best gear but some folks do. That is what is fun for them in the hobby. I will not fault them. My only issue comes from audiophiles who have an elitist and snobbish attitude because you haven't spent the cost of a new car on speakers. I am currently researching and pricing out what my new 2-channel system will be but it will stay in the $800-$1000 range. This will include a receiver, cd player, speakers and cabeling and about 50% of this budget will be going towards the speakers. To me this will be sufficient for my needs and I have lots of options to consider at this price point. Research is the key though. When you are working with a budget like I have, you want every dollar to count and to get the best YOUR money can buy at that price range.

aschen 10-20-2015 02:23 PM

Good speakers, bought new, through conventional distribution, are expensive. All those caveats mean that that there are lots of workarounds to that expense.


Otherwise hi fi can be quite inexpensive.

clpetersen 10-20-2015 02:30 PM

[QUOTE=RayDunzl;38232961]Objective measurements are still interpreted subjectively.
Objective measurement: My house is 2700 sq ft. Subjective: the layout could be better, and that may or may not include changing the square footage.

Nice cars. BMW.

No one not interested in what you are interested in has any interest in your interests.

There is certainly a fringe of goofy and mostly useless (judgement call) stuff around the core of the Audio business. More snake oil? Maybe you weren't around for all the gas mileage improvement devices when they were in vogue.

Comparing apples and oranges is always fraught with danger.

---

I tend to agree with Peter Aczel the 'Audio Critic' whose prior publications can be found here:
http://www.theaudiocritic.com

Peter fought the good fight against audio snake oil, quite well in my opinion. He stopped listening tests on amplifiers over 25 years ago as they all sound identical (excepting tube amps, etc.). But, as he points out, even though no one can hear the difference between a Panasonic or Bryston, which would he rather find under the Christmas tree? The Bryston of course. As he points out, build quality, engineering design (i.e. fault tolerance; fault protection), dependability, and simple pride of ownership are worth it for certain brands - but these brands are limited.

neo_2009 10-20-2015 03:01 PM

There are people who pay 900$/meter for this kind of things: Tellurium Q Black Diamond USB Cable

And "reviewers" who says things like this:
Quote:

There is a definite and easily noticeable difference in performance when using the Black Diamond from Tellurium Q, the equipment just relaxes and the music becomes more effortless. Like Hussain Bolt running the 100m dash and just taking it in his stride, the construction of the USB cleverly controls timing and phase distortion without the need for other gizmos and gadget add ons to produce a fast energetic performance or delicate and sweet details with ease

RayDunzl 10-20-2015 03:54 PM

How about a power strip?


8mile13 10-20-2015 04:09 PM

Reading and buying audio stuff is part of the audio hobby. AFAIK the question is if you need to buy audio stuff to stay involved with your hobby.

christoofar 10-20-2015 04:22 PM

I used to subscribe to Stereophile magazine, and then I stopped. And nothing bad happened.

RayDunzl 10-20-2015 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 8mile13 (Post 38239129)

Reading and buying audio stuff is part of the audio hobby. AFAIK the question is if you need to buy audio stuff to stay involved with your hobby.

I buy discs. Generally used.

The only thing I have on my hardware want list would be 'better' subs.

I'm evaluating that now, and coming up with 'not much need' when I compare the unequalized signal from the source to whats in the air.

More important at this point might be to address standing waves. Deadening the back wall a bit is on my mind. Chunks of 7x24x48 rockwool are on my shopping list. About 12 of them.

torii 10-20-2015 04:36 PM

I used to listen to klipsch speakers and then i got focal speakers, nothing bad happened except the smile/happiness inside of me got too addicting. now i just listen to music all day long.

yea, yea, Im sure you can do lots of stuff on a budget...enjoy.

GuidingGod 10-20-2015 06:33 PM

Apologize in advance if the following seems like philosophizing :)

In my native language the word 'Shauq' loosely translates to passion/interest/taste or an amalgam of those. An old saying goes that you can't really put a price on Shauq...it will hold a different value for different people for different reasons.

It seems madness to me that someone would actually spend their health & money and use years of their lives to train for, and then scale for a brief moment, a very dangerous mountain peak in the Himalayas. But what personal value they put on that feat, and what joy they extract from it, is known only to them.

Who are you really? Are you comfortable in your skin? Do you truly know where your shauq lies?

The misfortune of an increasingly material world is that a lot of people spend money thinking they're indulging their 'interests' when in actuality they're trying to find the answers to those questions. The trick is spending money and time after you know those answers.

Snake oil ceases to be a factor then because there is no objective measurement for what makes someone else happy.

IMVHO, ofcourse.

lovinthehd 10-20-2015 07:14 PM

I like that word shauq, as I view much of what goes on in audiophilia is based on passion and taste, we can share passion readily enough but tastes get confrontational and confuse the issue. To describe what goes on in audio you must also incorporate what goes on with the consumerism involved.

bluewizard 10-20-2015 09:34 PM

Just yesterday ...really by random chance... I was watching so Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Videos from 2013, and discovered several bit of interesting information.

First, in the '70's that average Home Stereo was $250, today that is about $1350. Myself back in the 1970's, I had a system worth about $700, and that we really just a bit above the bottom.

Price is a tricky thing. If my family knew how much I have in my audio system, they would have me locked up. Even after seeing it and shaking their heads, I haven't actually told them the price.

So ... how much is too much? From where my family stands, I've spend way too much, ridiculously too much. But the fact is, much like in the 1970's, my system at about $3500 is just a bit above average. Though I confess I have a new amp that is substantially out of proportion to the rest of my equipment. My previous system was about $2500, and really was enough.

One lecturer who spent his life in the audio business in one form or another said, the mistake most people make is they don't optimize the system they have before the decide to purchase new equipments. Putting newer better equipment into the same old bad flawed circumstance, it not the path to audio satisfaction.

You do own it to yourself to make sure the room your system is in, is not itself compromising the sound you hear. Optimizing a room is not free, but neither is it crazy expensive.

Further as you advance in years, you are likely to become more successful and more financially stable. When I was younger I drove a collection of really crappy used cares. Like $100 to $500 each cars. When I got older, I moved up to a $5000 car. Today I drive a slightly used $15,000 car.

Why should audio equipment be any different? If I can afford a better system now, and I want it, and I think I will used it, and I think I will get value out of it, why not have it.

So, there is an element of perspective hear. To most of the working class people I know, I have spent an unfathomable amount on my system. To upper middle class people with some knowledge of audio, I have an OK run of the mill system. To a rich guy who can really afford good equipment, my considerable system is low end.

But, as others have pointed out, that can apply to any aspect of life. When you are young and poor - TIMEX; when you are rich and successful - ROLEX. When you are young and poor - Ford, when you are rich and successful - BMW.

In another thread someone was trying to put together a good system for about $500/$600. You can see the equipment being discussed in this thread -

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/173-2-...00-stereo.html

Sample systems tended to run between $600 for bargains and slight compromises up to about $2200 for fairly routine systems.

But, in today's market, you have to seek out the absolute best bargains, even if those are not the ideal speakers and amps, and you have to make some compromises of features, power, and other aspects of the system.

Finding the asbolute best prices, the following system is nice, but really nothing special. Though it should sound very good and is a very modern amp with Streaming and a decent amount of power.

$380/ea = Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver
$230/ea = Yamaha CDS300 CD Player
$240/pr = JBL ES80BK speakers
--------------------------------------------------
$850 = Total


However, hear is a near identical system, more reflective of what a good middle of the road system is going to cost -

$550/ea = Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver 80w/ch
$300/ea = CD Player, or $600/ea for a Universal Player (BluRay, DVD, CD, SACD)
$800/pr = Typical floorstanding speakers (on-sale) (Diamond 10.7 Towers)
--------------------------
$1650 = Total


The world has gotten more expensive, there is no denying that.

Now certainly there are Snake Oils aspects, but "Let the Buyer Beware". It is up to you to educate yourself, and to spend your money wisely. If you have a $500 amp, then spending $500 on wire and cable is probably not a good investment. If you have a $5000 amp, then perhaps you could justify $500 on wire and cable. You probably don't need it, but you could justify it. Just as you can justify an expensive watch or a fancy car.

You don't need to spend a lot of money, but you do need to spend a reasonable amount to get a good system. Today, that means over $1000, probably closer to $2000 if you want a turntable.

How much is too much depends on who you are and how much money you have.

Plus ...a good system... varies with circumstances. Perhaps if you are student, in essence, living in a bedroom or dorm room, then a large bulky system is not likely to cut it. A pair of fair Studio Monitors or a small amp with bookshelf speakers is probably the most you can handle for size and budget.

If you are a successful professional with a stable job and home, then you are in a position for a larger more expensive system.

I've heard speaker costing $5000/pr or a bit more, and they truly do sound fantastic. That is not my imagination. But, despite the fact that those speakers sound fantastic, my $1000/pr speaker sound pretty damned good. I'm not complaining. But trust me, should I have a wind-fall of cash, I will not be settling for $1000/pr speakers.

More than a fixed amount of money, what constitutes a Good System is about perspective.

Steve/bluewizard

slong115 10-21-2015 08:13 AM

I fell into the situation where I bought about $1300 worth of stereo equipment while I was in Vietnam in 1972 and then over the years had about $300 or so worth of LP's. A buddy of mine went just the opposite and had a much less expensive stereo system and probably $3000 or more albums. Although I really loved my system (most of which is gone now), I think my buddy had a better way of doing things. I eventually equated my system to music ratio as being like having a brand new Corvette and only buying $500 worth of gasoline for it! LOL

I always wonder when I see people online who own systems worth many, many thousands of dollars, how many of them also have huge libraries of music. For me, it was more 'bragging rights' where my buddy was more into the music. Luckily, he would usually bring over his new albums to listen to on my system within a week of purchasing them. Back in those days, he and I would spend many hours just listening to music, but this was way before the internet, satellite TV and all the other modern distractions.

sladi75 10-21-2015 08:41 AM

Its very common to approach audio as some weird price tag worshipping -spiritually oriented way. About 98% of so called audiophiles do actually understand about audio buffalos ass hair -much.
That´s possible because audio is invisible, and requires quite a lot of education to comprehend as its bare naked acoustical/electrical i.e. real physical self.

shivaji 10-21-2015 09:38 AM

If you visit an audio show where there are a hundred rooms or more of audio gear on display, you are more than likely going to hear systems that you like more than others. Speakers that have a clarity that pleases the ear, a certain warmth and depth to them, tight deep bass perhaps. The ability to disappear within the soundstage, non fatiguing. As well, maybe they also have a pleasing design to them and know they will also look good in your home. Others, you might not like at all. Now perhaps comes the fun of scoring them at a good price. Myself, when i'm looking to buy something, I head over to Audiogon and see if I can find it at a good price. In many instances, it is not only what you pay for a thing, but what you can also resell it for down the road. With decent gear bought used, you can often get close to what you paid for it.
There is the machine as you put if, of course, always trying to squeeze the last dollar off of the ignorant consumer. But, there have also been a great many people over the years who have loved good sound and who also had a desire to engineer something better sounding than what they have heard. If you ask someone such as these guys to build the best amplifier for instance they can come up with, more than likely, they will not design and build a $350 dollar AVR. Using the cheapest parts they can find, filling it with circuit boards, plastics and limited power supplies. Nor fill it with a host of functions such as radio tuners, video tuners, bluetooths, etc. all crammed into a single chassis and then give it inflated watt ratings to draw attention. They instead design it to do one thing and do it as well as they can make it, using the best quality parts they can find, and then continue to refine it as their understanding grows over time.

Chris Schneider 10-21-2015 10:50 AM

[quote=clpetersen;38236001]
Quote:

Originally Posted by RayDunzl (Post 38232961)
Objective measurements are still interpreted subjectively.
Objective measurement: My house is 2700 sq ft. Subjective: the layout could be better, and that may or may not include changing the square footage.

Nice cars. BMW.

No one not interested in what you are interested in has any interest in your interests.

There is certainly a fringe of goofy and mostly useless (judgement call) stuff around the core of the Audio business. More snake oil? Maybe you weren't around for all the gas mileage improvement devices when they were in vogue.

Comparing apples and oranges is always fraught with danger.

---

Agree with the majority of posts here. I also tend to agree with Peter Aczel the 'Audio Critic' whose prior publications can be found here:
http://www.theaudiocritic.com

Peter fought the good fight against audio snake oil, quite well in my opinion. He stopped listening tests on amplifiers over 25 years ago as they all sound identical (excepting tube amps, etc.). But, as he points out, even though no one can hear the difference between a Panasonic or Bryston, which would he rather find under the Christmas tree? The Bryston of course. As he points out, build quality, dependability, and simple pride of ownership are worth it for certain brands - but these brands are limited.

BTW, bought the Bryston 2.5 SST2 after reading thru the Audio Critic. No regrets.

For an analogy, I have a Timex and a base model Tag-Huer. Both keep identical time and are water resistant. Which one do I wear to the office?

I understand your point but to me, it STILL doesn't make sense. Luxury watches and luxury cars are obvious status symbols. Your peer professionals and clients at work will take notice of your Tag-Heuer, or Omega, or or Rolex watch. People whom you are acquainted worth will take notice if you drive an Audi sedan or Range Rover. Those items make a statement about you and your place in life.

Maybe I'm off base, but I don't believe audio equipment makes that kind of statement, or any statement at all, unless your social network consists purely of audiophiles. I get the "pride of ownership" sentiment -- we all like to own nice things. But to me, a Yamaha Aventage or Marantz receiver is pretty damned nice too, and they flawlessly perform all the functions they are supposed to. And if they don't, they have great warranty service.

I guess I should also tell you all that I'm a firm believer in that consumerism in the western world is completely out-of-control. My thoughts on this thread obviously are slanted in that way. I believe in owning possessions that add real value to your life (basically things that you derive enjoyment from), but from an objective standpoint. The value of the dollar is not to be diminished. And I feel the audiophile industry is one of the most extreme examples of consumerism that has run completely amok. For the last couple of years I have tried a more minimal approach to buying things and also with the things I possess. I find that I am much happier to not be a part of the rat-race where buying stuff (that I don't need seriously want) does not give me pleasure any longer.

This is not to say I don't wish to make big, expensive purchases in the future, but only for things that I know I will derive lots of enjoyment from and will also be fulfilling for me in my life. I just feel the the audio community on this forum could get something out of this post so that's why I made it.

Trust me, in year's past I'd blow money on gear that I absolutely didn't need and it made me sick to my stomach that I even bought it in the first place -- especially once I delved more into the science side of things and discovered that in blind studies, no one could tell much of a difference.

Alex F. 10-21-2015 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Schneider (Post 38261537)
Trust me, in year's past I'd blow money on gear that I absolutely didn't need and it made me sick to my stomach that I even bought it in the first place -- especially once I delved more into the science side of things and discovered that in blind studies, no one could tell much of a difference.

It mystifies me why you would purchase audio equipment you did not need. I prefer to stop upgrading when my ears are sufficiently satisfied. I could certainly spend more but I am happy with what I have now, both in my theater system and music room. I never spend one dollar more than necessary.

I am also baffled why you cannot trust your own ears and brain to tell you if a component sounds better, worse, or about the same. I cannot fathom why anyone would rather defer to what others hear or do not hear in blind tests that may or may not have been conducted properly. Many people, myself included, can routinely differentiate between components in blind tests. The brief exposure to music in blind tests (typically conducted in rooms with unfamiliar acoustics, using unfamiliar components and unfamiliar recordings) only makes it more difficult to tell one component from another, something like participating in a food taste test without swallowing. Would you choose to eat only canned beef stew if a few strangers could not tell it apart from your Mom's homemade beef stew in a blind test?

Longer term testing is far more useful in comparing components. Always trust your own ears, not something you read somewhere written by people who have a personal agenda.

RayDunzl 10-21-2015 01:17 PM

Your quote attributions are messed up.

clpetersen didn't say what Alex quotes him for.

I didn't say the second half of what it looks like I said by Chris Schenider.

lovinthehd 10-21-2015 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayDunzl (Post 38266641)
Your quote attributions are messed up.

clpetersen didn't say what Alex quotes him for.

I didn't say the second half of what it looks like I said by Chris Schenider.

He must have been fuzzed up by the blind test thing, it really does apparently discombobulate him. Maybe he was listening to the posts and trusted his ears only? ;)

JGM 10-21-2015 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluewizard (Post 38247401)


Finding the asbolute best prices, the following system is nice, but really nothing special. Though it should sound very good and is a very modern amp with Streaming and a decent amount of power.

$380/ea = Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver
$230/ea = Yamaha CDS300 CD Player
$240/pr = JBL ES80BK speakers
--------------------------------------------------
$850 = Total


However, hear is a near identical system, more reflective of what a good middle of the road system is going to cost -

$550/ea = Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver 80w/ch
$300/ea = CD Player, or $600/ea for a Universal Player (BluRay, DVD, CD, SACD)
$800/pr = Typical floorstanding speakers (on-sale) (Diamond 10.7 Towers)
--------------------------
$1650 = Total


The world has gotten more expensive, there is no denying that.

Funny how the receiver increased in price when it became part of a "better" system.

Even $200 for a disc player is a crazy outlay (let alone $600 for that latter system).

Nitpicking aside, I do think the assertion that the cost of a typical "decent" level system has gone up is off base. Computer aided design and modeling techniques and quality international manufacturing have allowed for better-than-pretty-good sound at startlingly low prices (think: Monoprice "premium" series stuff). It's easily possible to put together an $500 system today that would simply blow away a $1000 system from almost any era in that era's dollars.

Alex F. 10-21-2015 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayDunzl (Post 38266641)
Your quote attributions are messed up.

clpetersen didn't say what Alex quotes him for.

I didn't say the second half of what it looks like I said by Chris Schenider.

Something went buggy in the software for Post 33. I clicked on the Quote button as usual and did not notice the wrong attribution came up. (Post 32 isn't quite right either--see the visible coding at the top of that post.) It has now been corrected.

RobertR 10-21-2015 03:51 PM

I've thought for years that high end audio is basically audio "jewelry". Just as a Rolex watch doesn't keep time better than a $50 Timex, so do these megabuck systems not reproduce sound better than something much cheaper.

smasher50 10-21-2015 04:09 PM

fwiw, the human brain is a powerful and wonderful thing. if you let it ,it can persuade anyone into anything. from hearing things, seeing things, feeling things ,smelling things and tasting things. so my point is go out and find what "you" and your own opinionated brain like (at what ever price it is) and you'll be happy. seems like nobody can think for themselves any more and have to be told what they want to hear which usually comes with a huge price tag. I really feel sorry for these people. and stay away from audiophile forums and audio magazines, or for sure you'll be spending money you can't afford on what your brainwashed brain now hears audio equipment . just my inflated 3 cents

FMW 10-21-2015 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayDunzl (Post 38231345)
Did you ever want or buy a 'better' house, car, shoes, whiskey, beer, glasses, coffee, chair, carpet, tires, pencil, computer, oil, bath towels, steak, anything, other than audio gear during your life?

Were you diseased?

Desiring to improve your lot in life shouldn't be classified as a nameable disease or affliction (Re: audiophilia), until it gets out of control, even then, it's a judgement call.

Ray, the difference is that most audio electronics aren't better. People spend the money over and over in a frustrating search for the unattainable. This is normally not a problem with new shoes or bath towels.

Alex F. 10-21-2015 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertR (Post 38271593)
I've thought for years that high end audio is basically audio "jewelry". Just as a Rolex watch doesn't keep time better than a $50 Timex, so do these megabuck systems not reproduce sound better than something much cheaper.

I do not care much for Rolexes (too gaudy for my taste), but my then year-old, top-of-the-line, $25 Timex--which was a poor time-keeper--died and I was late for a college class. I still have the $25 Swiss-made Gruen that replaced the Timex that same day.

Many megabuck systems sound considerably better than "much cheaper" systems. Some do not. Some sound worse. No generalization can be applied here.

RobertR 10-21-2015 05:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38272673)
I do not care much for Rolexes (too gaudy for my taste), but my then year-old, top-of-the-line, $25 Timex--which was a poor time-keeper--died and I was late for a college class. I still have the $25 Swiss-made Gruen that replaced the Timex that same day.

Many megabuck systems sound considerably better than "much cheaper" systems. Some do not. Some sound worse. No generalization can be applied here.

I'm not sure what point you're making here. Your cheap Timex died, therefore--what? No inexpensive watches are reliable? That makes as much sense as saying Toyotas aren't more reliable than Lamborghinis because your Toyota is a lemon. It means essentially nothing. I could easily talk about my Timex and Casio watches that have lasted for many years.

It can indeed be generalized that some high end components (amplifiers, cables, speaker wires, etc.) don't sound better than cheaper ones. It would also be interesting to compare the frequency of repair records for megabuck gear vs. cheaper gear.

aggmiami 10-21-2015 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FMW (Post 38272225)
People spend the money over and over in a frustrating search for the unattainable.

...or for simply something different.

Alex F. 10-21-2015 09:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertR (Post 38273505)
I'm not sure what point you're making here. Your cheap Timex died, therefore--what? No inexpensive watches are reliable? That makes as much sense as saying Toyotas aren't more reliable than Lamborghinis because your Toyota is a lemon. It means essentially nothing. I could easily talk about my Timex and Casio watches that have lasted for many years.

It can indeed be generalized that some high end components (amplifiers, cables, speaker wires, etc.) don't sound better than cheaper ones. It would also be interesting to compare the frequency of repair records for megabuck gear vs. cheaper gear.

Why are you overreacting and making a mountain out of a molehill? Calm down. I was not trying to make any point. I thought it was an interesting story to tell about one person's ownership of a Timex and an inexpensive Gruen. I guess not.

But you made me think of a funny scene that could happen many years from now:

Here, Grandson, I have saved this Timex wristwatch for 62 years and I am giving it to you as a family heirloom. I tossed out the Rolex.

pcfriedrich 10-21-2015 09:35 PM

So you're saying I'll be perfectly happy with my upgrade from 20 year old Bose to SVS Prime, and I should stop considering going SVS Ultra? And I should only upgrade my receiver when the "latest technology" is a few years older and $100s cheaper?

Thank you. Sincerely.

Stove 10-21-2015 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Schneider (Post 38227649)
So the system-on-a-budget thread that's near the top of this forum got me thinking -- well actually I've been thinking about such a topic for years myself, but nonetheless it inspired me to create this post.

Over the years, since I got into audio when I was 18 -- and I'm 31 now -- I've noticed a certain type of "need" by audio enthusiasts (not a fan of the "other" term) to spend money (and thereby feeding the Machine) in order to create the most hi-fi system that could possibly afford. On the surface, it seems like a noble cause. I mean, if you can afford it, why not purchase gear that would lead to a better sound. But it's obviously not that simple. Let's face it, most of the "audiophile" (and there it is, dammit I couldn't help it) industry is built upon snake oil, misinformation, biased ears, and gullible folks. This post is not get into the specifics -- it appears the majority of people on this forum already have both feet squarely set on either side of the fence. This post is more or less about the psychology of such a "need" and why it exists.

It's kind of sobering in a way to think that people with such a disposable income are basically brainwashed by the Machine to believe adding a $2,000 amp will make their sound better than a $350 HTR. Or even worse, external DACs. It all just seems malicious to me, on the part of the Machine. As much as I love audio, I equally hate how the Machine ups the ante on everyone that "buys into" their plan. So much gear is ridiculously overpriced, yet folks believe it is a "very fair" price, or a good value. I mean, you can take a 2 week trip to Europe and spend real money over there for the price of a "decent" set of speakers.

So to all the newcomers, newbies, and folks that are wondering if you have to spend a fortune to get good sound: you don't. You can actually build a hell of a system for under a grand if you can dig on Craigslist for the speakers. Everything else is more or less the same, provided you're buying name-brand stuff (Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer, Denon, Marantz, etc.).

I always wanted a great sound system. For 20 years I used $500 systems or less and it did what I wanted. Then I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. I dropped a little over $6,200.00 for 1 x RX-A3020, 4 x LSiM-703, 1 x LSiM-704c, and 1 x SVS PB13 Ultra. I can tell you this, after my surgeries and going through chemotherapy this new system is making my journey to beating cancer so much easier. The sound is so beautiful, I hope to be listening to this system for a long time.

lovinthehd 10-21-2015 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pcfriedrich (Post 38280113)
So you're saying I'll be perfectly happy with my upgrade from 20 year old Bose to SVS Prime, and I should stop considering going SVS Ultra? And I should only upgrade my receiver when the "latest technology" is a few years older and $100s cheaper?

Thank you. Sincerely.

You sir have won the non sequitor award of the day! You could easily compete with this one for the weekly and even monthly award! Congratulations!

pcfriedrich 10-21-2015 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lovinthehd (Post 38280393)
You sir have won the non sequitor award of the day! You could easily compete with this one for the weekly and even monthly award! Congratulations!

I don't know. It seemed like I was taking the OPs point and using it to draw a logical conclusion toward my own situation. I don't "need" to spend twice as much money as I was initially planning, even though my insecurity and some outside sources were trying to convince me I should. Are you gonna tell Stove that his personal experience isn't based in logic either? Is he a runner up for the non sequitor award? douche...

jumuo 10-21-2015 10:44 PM

I think we have to remember, as well, that "a lot of money" is all relative. I don't think I could get myself to spend $3,000 on a speaker setup, but a lot of people here do. By the same token the majority of the public will probably have a hard time spending more that $500.

It's really a matter of what you're satisfied with. I feel like I can get "good enough" quality with around $1,000, but some people are looking for that extra something.

spkr 10-22-2015 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38266065)
I am also baffled why you cannot trust your own ears and brain to tell you if a component sounds better, worse, or about the same.

That's because typical comparison by subjective side let the sight get involved which isn't really trusting own ears.
Quote:

I cannot fathom why anyone would rather defer to what others hear or do not hear in blind tests that may or may not have been conducted properly.
But these people should defer to tests done by you?
Quote:

Many people, myself included, can routinely differentiate between components in blind tests.
Likely because you (& many people) listen to components at different volume levels.
Quote:

The brief exposure to music in blind tests (typically conducted in rooms with unfamiliar acoustics, using unfamiliar components and unfamiliar recordings) only makes it more difficult to tell one component from another, something like participating in a food taste test without swallowing.
Did someone force you or others to do such test? Looks like you aren't familiar with DBT. See below.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PETER ACZEL
4. ... The standard tweako objections to ABX tests are too much pressure (as in “let’s see how well you really hear”), too little time (as in “get on with it, we need to do 16 trials”), too many devices inserted in the signal path (viz., relays, switches, attenuators, etc.), and of course assorted psychobabble on the subject of aural perception. None of that amounts to anything more than a red herring, of one flavor or another, to divert attention from the basics of controlled testing. The truth is that you can perform an ABX test all by yourself without any pressure from other participants, that you can take as much time as wish (how about 16 trials over 16 weeks?), and that you can verify the transparency of the inserted control devices with a straight-wire bypass. The objections are totally bogus and hypocritical. Here’s how you smoke out a lying, weaseling, obfuscating anti-ABX hypocrite. Ask him if he believes in any kind of A/B testing at all. He will probably say yes. Then ask him what special insights he gains by (1) not matching levels and (2) peeking at the nameplates. Watch him squirm and fume.

http://nyarlathotep33.free.fr/hfr/TenAudioLies.pdf
That was out 15 years ago. Where have you been?
Quote:

Longer term testing is far more useful in comparing components.
See above.
Quote:

Always trust your own ears,
Only if the sight isn't included and volume levels are same.

bluewizard 10-22-2015 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JGM (Post 38266945)
Funny how the receiver increased in price when it became part of a "better" system.

Even $200 for a disc player is a crazy outlay (let alone $600 for that latter system).

Nitpicking aside, I do think the assertion that the cost of a typical "decent" level system has gone up is off base. Computer aided design and modeling techniques and quality international manufacturing have allowed for better-than-pretty-good sound at startlingly low prices (think: Monoprice "premium" series stuff). It's easily possible to put together an $500 system today that would simply blow away a $1000 system from almost any era in that era's dollars.

The first system is probably B-Stock and Close-Outs, and is an exceptional bargain, at well below common market value. You can't always count on those discounts being there, so ... I posted the second system with equipment more at standard common prices.

Also the second system had, in my opinion, better speakers. But those speakers were also at discount prices. The standard selling price on them is about $1300/pr.

As to the CD Player, apparently you have not bought many good but middle of the road CD Players. The $300 Yamaha is not remotely expensive in today's market. In fact, at the Website I used. the Yamaha CDS300 is fifth from the bottom in a field of about 30. Of those below it, the only one I would consider is the NAD C516BEE, which, by the way, is also $300.

If you can put together a $500 system the equal of what I posted ... then do it. Lay it out for us in detail. Let's see this magic system that beats the systems I posted.

Yes, there are bargains out there. I use a new Harman Kardon DVD-48 Universal Player for my CD's. It has a retail value of $450; I paid $150. But you simply can not buy a CD Player worth having for $150. Neither is that bargain still available. In fact, now, that DVD Universal Player is long out of production.

With the exception of my newest amp, I paid about HALF price or less for everything I have. If the Original Poster can find similar bargains, more power to him. But they don't come round every day. I spend YEARS gradually accumulating the system I have. Waiting patiently for the right bargain to come around.

Steve/bluewizard

Alex F. 10-22-2015 12:24 PM

Spkr:

You are a broken record, repeatedly telling people on threads all over AVS to listen to you and to never, ever use their own ears and brain to make judgments.

Andrey Gorodnov 10-22-2015 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Schneider (Post 38227649)
..if you can afford it, why not purchase gear that would lead to a better sound..

yes, spend as much as you can afford.. then wisely add on, and update, and upgrade.. at the end it's what you like, so why bother with negative thoughts like that? :cool:

bluewizard 10-22-2015 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pcfriedrich (Post 38280113)
So you're saying I'll be perfectly happy with my upgrade from 20 year old Bose to SVS Prime, and I should stop considering going SVS Ultra? And I should only upgrade my receiver when the "latest technology" is a few years older and $100s cheaper?

Thank you. Sincerely.

Actually that is a perfectly valid way to buy a system. Though you don't need to wait until the latest technology is a few years old. Typically when new models come out, you can get the old model for near half price. Crutchfield recently had a $1500 Denon AVR for about $600.

The one problem with your projected method is - waiting. Do you want a system now, or this year, or do you want a system 5 years from now. Most people do NOT want a given system 5 years from now.

It took me about a year to find a CD Player, a year of diligent searching. I had a very tight budget, and high demands. Eventually I bought a Harman DVD-48 Universal Player off a Harman EBay auction, retail = $450, I paid $150, exactly the amount I wanted to pay. Few low end CD Players can match it for that amount of money.

But that was about a year or more of searching. Most people do not have that kind of patience and determination.

My speakers, retail = $1000/pr, I paid $425/pr with free shipping and manufacturer's warranty. But, I waited about 2 or 3 years before I found this bargain price.

So, yes, there are ways to find bargains, but those ways involve a lot of time and effort ... a LOT of time and effort.

Steve/bluewizard

bluewizard 10-22-2015 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrey Gorodnov (Post 38297089)
yes, spend as much as you can afford.. then wisely add on, and update, and upgrade.. at the end it's what you like, so why bother with negative thoughts like that? :cool:

I went through about 5 progressively better systems in rapid succession when I was young ... until... I landed on a Pioneer system and some DIY speakers. Once I had that, that system lasted me for decades.

One channel started getting weak in the Pioneer amp, and I bought a Cheap Onkyo Stereo Receiver ($169) from Crutchfields. Very clear amp, but when I bought new speakers at a bargain price too cheap to pass up, I didn't think they matched the Onkyo very well, so I switched to a Yamaha RX-797 100w/ch Stereo Receiver which I bought B-Stock for about half price. That system lasted me about 5 years, when on a whim, I bought a new, relatively expensive Rotel RA-1570 120w/ch amp with DAC. I didn't really need to upgrade, but I like the ROTEL and I liked having Digital Inputs. It is paid for in cash, so I'm not complaining.

Any of the later systems in that early progression were fine, just not quite what I was looking for. When I found the Pioneer (in 1978), it was as much as I ever needed and like I said, lasted me decades, and parts of that Pioneer system are still in my system today. Still performing very well.

Do I still have the urge to upgrade? ... absolutely. Will I? ... not likely. Not unless I come across a large windfall of cash. The system I have sounds great and serves both music and movies very well. But ... I still have the urge to upgrade, just not the wallet.

Steve/bluewizard

pcfriedrich 10-22-2015 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluewizard (Post 38297185)

The one problem with your projected method is - waiting. Do you want a system now, or this year, or do you want a system 5 years from now. Most people do NOT want a given system 5 years from now.


Steve/bluewizard

I currently have a 6 year old 7 channel Onkyo receiver. It will suit me just fine until I can acquire a 9 channel Atmos for less than $1,000.

beaveav 10-22-2015 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38296689)
Spkr:

You are a broken record, repeatedly telling people on threads all over AVS to listen to you and to never, ever use their own ears and brain to make judgments.

Hmm, that's odd. I read the same post and got an entirely different impression.

He didn't say to listen to him for his opinions of gear.

He didn't say for people not to use their ears and brain; he said to be sure to blind your eyes/knowledge and to level match when you use your ears.

Is your reading comprehension lacking or did you willfully misrepresent his post?

ceptorman 10-22-2015 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stove (Post 38280321)
I always wanted a great sound system. For 20 years I used $500 systems or less and it did what I wanted. Then I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. I dropped a little over $6,200.00 for 1 x RX-A3020, 4 x LSiM-703, 1 x LSiM-704c, and 1 x SVS PB13 Ultra. I can tell you this, after my surgeries and going through chemotherapy this new system is making my journey to beating cancer so much easier. The sound is so beautiful, I hope to be listening to this system for a long time.

Good luck…I hope you're listening to your new system for a long time also.

Andrey Gorodnov 10-22-2015 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pcfriedrich (Post 38298321)
I currently have a 6 year old 7 channel Onkyo receiver. It will suit me just fine until I can acquire a 9 channel Atmos for less than $1,000.

Why go 9 channel only? I hope it won't be too late already, when with Atmos you realize the lack of two additional sides/rears and the new need for 11 channels/receiver.. and it's going to be painful.. go max, unless that is your budget, then get a credit..

JGM 10-22-2015 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluewizard (Post 38296649)
As to the CD Player, apparently you have not bought many good but middle of the road CD Players. The $300 Yamaha is not remotely expensive in today's market. In fact, at the Website I used. the Yamaha CDS300 is fifth from the bottom in a field of about 30. Of those below it, the only one I would consider is the NAD C516BEE, which, by the way, is also $300.

If you can put together a $500 system the equal of what I posted ... then do it. Lay it out for us in detail. Let's see this magic system that beats the systems I posted.


Steve/bluewizard

I suspect we talked past each other and I misunderstood the point you were making with the two systems.

If I were putting together a 2-channel system on a budget (or really at any price point) I'd be all over the used market, too. Plenty of good old stereo receivers are still out there in the thrift stores.

I haven't heard the speakers you suggested, so I can't claim "equal" but I would make the base of any such system the Monoprice 250-watt sub that goes for ~$200 (on sale regularly at $187) and is a monster. The premium 5.25 speakers from Monoprice pair up well with this and the whole speaker set winds up around $350. If you can't allow for a used amp or receiver you could do worse than the $150 25-watt/0.1%THD tube amp Monoprice sells. This all-Monoprice 2-channel system comes in at $500 and change before the CD player. I'd stand it up against most $2K systems I've heard.

We do disagree on the CD player; you can routinely get Blu-Ray players from Woot or even Amazon at $50 that will play CDs with equal or better fidelity than any Yamaha CD player. My main "CD player" is an otherwise-obsolete (pre-Blu-Ray) Oppo DVD player that I think I paid about that much for new in box. Any thrift store will have a stack of DVD players for $10, many with known-great DACs. I just don't buy into the idea that one player handles bits differently from another.

Alex F. 10-22-2015 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beaveav (Post 38298369)
Hmm, that's odd. I read the same post and got an entirely different impression.

He didn't say to listen to him for his opinions of gear.

He didn't say for people not to use their ears and brain; he said to be sure to blind your eyes/knowledge and to level match when you use your ears.

Is your reading comprehension lacking or did you willfully misrepresent his post?

Did I quote any part of his post in my comment to him? No.

I commented on his persistent refusal to understand that people have ears and a brain and can decide for themselves whether an audio component does or does not please them. Do you get it now?

I suggest you improve your own reading comprehension and stop making false assumptions about my intentions.

beaveav 10-22-2015 02:33 PM

AlexF writes:

"Spkr:

You are a broken record, repeatedly telling people on threads all over AVS to listen to you and to never, ever use their own ears and brain to make judgments."

Please share a link where he has stated any of the above.

spkr 10-22-2015 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38300545)
that people have ears and a brain and can decide for themselves whether an audio component does or does not please them.

Don't forget the eyes.

spkr 10-22-2015 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beaveav (Post 38300665)
Please share a link where he has stated any of the above.

Don't hold your breath. :(

bluewizard 10-22-2015 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JGM (Post 38300233)
...

We do disagree on the CD player; you can routinely get Blu-Ray players from Woot or even Amazon at $50 that will play CDs with equal or better fidelity than any Yamaha CD player. My main "CD player" is an otherwise-obsolete (pre-Blu-Ray) Oppo DVD player that I think I paid about that much for new in box. Any thrift store will have a stack of DVD players for $10, many with known-great DACs. I just don't buy into the idea that one player handles bits differently from another.

Points taken, but on this last issue you are wrong ...sort of ...more or less.

I have a universal player that has a very good sounding DAC in it, it cost me $150, but it was model Harman was closing-out. The Retail was $450.

Most modern $50 BluRay Players do not have analog outputs, which means your TV is converting analog to digital, and you can't listen to CDs unless the TV is ON.

Now you might have a AV Receiver to solve that problem, but remember we are talking a full system on a $500 budget. So, decent quality AVRs are lean on the ground to hit speakers and AVR for $500. If we are talking a good quality good sounding system.

Also, while USED equipment can be a bargain. In fact, I know people who went their whole happy lives buying used equipment and trying it out, then selling it on when the urge for something new came along.

But, USED comes with a degree of risk. Equally new comes with some risk, but a much much much smaller degree than Used.

There was someone in another forum who bought a turntable off Ebay, and the seller didn't secure the tone arm or package the counter weight (anti-skate). During shipping the tone arm bounce all over the place destroying the stylus and losing the Anti-Skate weight.

With Used, you are at the mercy of ham-fisted bone heads, and out and out liars.

But, having said that, a vast majority of time, it does work out. But, there is a higher element of risk.

Steve/bluewizard

RobertR 10-22-2015 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38300545)
Did I quote any part of his post in my comment to him? No.

I commented on his persistent refusal to understand that people have ears and a brain and can decide for themselves whether an audio component does or does not please them.

Having a brain means you should use it to recognize that it's subject to biases which must be eliminated when making these comparisons.

Alex F. 10-22-2015 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spkr (Post 38292417)
That's because typical comparison by subjective side let the sight get involved which isn't really trusting own ears.

Quote:

Originally Posted by beaveav (Post 38300665)
AlexF writes:

"Spkr:
You are a broken record, repeatedly telling people on threads all over AVS to listen to you and to never, ever use their own ears and brain to make judgments."
Please share a link where he has stated any of the above.

Quote:

Originally Posted by spkr (Post 38302505)
Don't hold your breath. :(

I see the usual piranhas have found this thread and are ganging up again. Are you two married? Once more, issue is taken with anyone who would dare to suggest people should subjectively listen and judge for themselves, such as spkr's statement quoted above. Maybe spkr cannot trust his own ears with his eyes open, but I certainly can do so, as can others. That is what subjective comparisons are about, people listening with their own ears--using any method they prefer--to determine whether they like, or do not like, a component's sonics. It is not difficult to do.

So far we're missing two or three others from the gang, but now it is time for you two to pound away and tell everyone--again and again, ad nauseam--as spkr did earlier, that (1) volume levels must be precisely matched, (2) that blind testing is the only way to evaluate components properly, and (3) that you cannot make comparisons with eyes open.

Did I forget anything that your gang insists upon telling us? Oh, yes, (4) all components sound the same, (5) distortion levels in today's gear are below audibility, and (6) instruments can measure audio characteristics beyond the ability of human hearing. Finally, for your next post do not forget (7) the all-important speech about human bias in listening tests.

I am curious about one thing: Does spkr always arrange a blind test every time he brings home an audio component? We must take for granted he does by the way he rants about the need for such tests. I will ask him:

Spkr, what specific components did you compare in a blind, level-matched test (with eyes closed, of course) the most recent time you purchased a new component? What was the result?

Now if you two will excuse me for the evening, I have things to do.

FMW 10-23-2015 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38306457)

So far we're missing two or three others from the gang, but now it is time for you two to pound away and tell everyone--again and again, ad nauseam--as spkr did earlier, that (1) volume levels must be precisely matched, (2) that blind testing is the only way to evaluate components properly, and (3) that you cannot make comparisons with eyes open.

OK, I'm here to correct your misunderstandings. We don't say that blind testing is the only way to evaluate components properly. We only say that it is the only way to determine accurately where audible differences exist and where they do not. There are all kinds of differences between various components. Whether or not they affect the sound of your system is only one of them.

Quote:

Did I forget anything that your gang insists upon telling us? Oh, yes, (4) all components sound the same,
Anybody who says that is wrong. I haven't seen that statement made by anyone except audiophiles who hate blind testing.

Quote:

(5) distortion levels in today's gear are below audibility,
Distortion level in modern properly designed electronic components are below audibility. That is fact. Speakers, as an example all have audible distortion so you need to define the component about which you speak.

Quote:

(6) instruments can measure audio characteristics beyond the ability of human hearing.
Nobody but you fails to understand that this is true. There is no question at all anywhere that instruments can measure things that cannot be heard.

Quote:

(7) the all-important speech about human bias in listening tests.
Apparently you have read it before but have decided not to accept it. I won't bore you with a repetition.

Quote:

I am curious about one thing: Does spkr always arrange a blind test every time he brings home an audio component? We must take for granted he does by the way he rants about the need for such tests. I will ask him:

Spkr, what specific components did you compare in a blind, level-matched test (with eyes closed, of course) the most recent time you purchased a new component? What was the result?

Now if you two will excuse me for the evening, I have things to do.
I'm not speaking for Spkr so I will speak for myself. The advantage of blind testing is that we adherents understand where audible differences exist and where they do not. That allows us to put our money in parts of the audio system that make a difference and save money on those parts that do not. We aren't trying to get you to change your audiophiliac opinions. We are simply trying to help others understand where it makes sense to spend the money. You can buy and enjoy whatever you like. We do the same.

Alex F. 10-23-2015 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FMW (Post 38316385)
OK, I'm here to correct your misunderstandings. We don't say that blind testing is the only way to evaluate components properly. We only say that it is the only way to determine accurately where audible differences exist and where they do not. There are all kinds of differences between various components. Whether or not they affect the sound of your system is only one of them.

Anybody who says that is wrong. I haven't seen that statement made by anyone except audiophiles who hate blind testing.

Distortion level in modern properly designed electronic components are below audibility. That is fact. Speakers, as an example all have audible distortion so you need to define the component about which you speak.

Nobody but you fails to understand that this is true. There is no question at all anywhere that instruments can measure things that cannot be heard.

Apparently you have read it before but have decided not to accept it. I won't bore you with a repetition.

I'm not speaking for Spkr so I will speak for myself. The advantage of blind testing is that we adherents understand where audible differences exist and where they do not. That allows us to put our money in parts of the audio system that make a difference and save money on those parts that do not. We aren't trying to get you to change your audiophiliac opinions. We are simply trying to help others understand where it makes sense to spend the money. You can buy and enjoy whatever you like. We do the same.

There are no misunderstandings for you to correct. You are almost convincing in spreading fiction. But I prefer to live in a world of reality.

RobertR 10-23-2015 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38324529)
There are no misunderstandings for you to correct. You are almost convincing in spreading fiction. But I prefer to live in a world of reality.

The reality is that the mind is capable of convincing itself that things exist that aren't really there. This is beyond dispute.


spkr 10-23-2015 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beaveav (Post 38300665)
Please share a link where he has stated any of the above.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38306457)
I see the usual piranhas have found this thread and are ganging up again. Are you two married? Once more, issue is taken with anyone who would dare to suggest people should subjectively listen and judge for themselves, such as spkr's statement quoted above. Maybe spkr cannot trust his own ears with his eyes open, but I certainly can do so, as can others. That is what subjective comparisons are about, people listening with their own ears--using any method they prefer--to determine whether they like, or do not like, a component's sonics. It is not difficult to do.

So far we're missing two or three others from the gang, but now it is time for you two to pound away and tell everyone--again and again, ad nauseam--as spkr did earlier, that (1) volume levels must be precisely matched, (2) that blind testing is the only way to evaluate components properly, and (3) that you cannot make comparisons with eyes open.

Did I forget anything that your gang insists upon telling us? Oh, yes, (4) all components sound the same, (5) distortion levels in today's gear are below audibility, and (6) instruments can measure audio characteristics beyond the ability of human hearing. Finally, for your next post do not forget (7) the all-important speech about human bias in listening tests.

I am curious about one thing: Does spkr always arrange a blind test every time he brings home an audio component? We must take for granted he does by the way he rants about the need for such tests. I will ask him:

Spkr, what specific components did you compare in a blind, level-matched test (with eyes closed, of course) the most recent time you purchased a new component? What was the result?

Now if you two will excuse me for the evening, I have things to do.

Still no links or quotes. :rolleyes:

RayDunzl 10-23-2015 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertR (Post 38326913)

The reality is that the mind is capable of convincing itself that things exist that aren't really there.

That begs for a corollary:

The reality is that the mind is capable of convincing itself that things don't exist that are really there.

First example I see:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...t-let-you-see/

Skylinestar 10-23-2015 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bombertodd (Post 38228585)

I bet those expensive feet can make the samsung laptop stream better :D

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/imageh...1abb9e21a4.jpg

FMW 10-23-2015 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38324529)
There are no misunderstandings for you to correct. You are almost convincing in spreading fiction. But I prefer to live in a world of reality.

By all means choose your world.

FMW 10-23-2015 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skylinestar (Post 38327737)
I bet those expensive feet can make the samsung laptop stream better :D

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/imageh...1abb9e21a4.jpg

They may help keep it cool.

gajCA 10-23-2015 01:08 PM

I've always lived below my means

It's how I managed to retire at 51.

Audio/Video was an area I've been known to splurge in.

HAD to buy one of the first HiFi VCR's for $1,250 back in the day (1985) and HAD to buy one of the first true 5.0 systems available back in the day...the Shure HTS 5000, forget how much that was, there were no AVR's so you had to buy separates with pre in/outs to shove amps including a sub amp in there to achieve 5.1.

It was MARVELOUS!

My total system including sub today retailed for around $5k which is where my financial pain ceiling lies.

Been worth every penny to me mind you.

But sheesh, $1,250 for a HiFi VCR...almost $3,000 in today's money.

I was nutty.

Mind you I wait till a piece of equipment fails before replacing it now.

Everybody's financial pain threshold is different, but yes, you can buy marvelous sound and video today for peanuts.

RobertR 10-23-2015 01:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayDunzl (Post 38327297)
That begs for a corollary:

The reality is that the mind is capable of convincing itself that things don't exist that are really there.

First example I see:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...t-let-you-see/

But that begs the question of whether the things are objectively real in the first place. The examples cited in the article were objectively real. Another example: We know that color differences are real, even though some people are color blind. That's the whole purpose of blind testing - to demonstrate the objective reality of differences.

A9X-308 10-23-2015 04:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertR (Post 38326913)
The reality is that the mind is capable of convincing itself that things exist that aren't really there. This is beyond dispute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFKT4jvN4OE

I've posted that before and even after multiple viewings, it's hilarious.

Here's another for you, with the same waiter.


Alex F. 10-23-2015 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertR (Post 38330081)
But that begs the question of whether the things are objectively real in the first place. The examples cited in the article were objectively real. Another example: We know that color differences are real, even though some people are color blind. That's the whole purpose of blind testing - to demonstrate the objective reality of differences.

Color blindness might be a good analogy here. The medical term is color vision deficiency. The American Optometric Association defines it as "the inability to distinguish certain shades of color or in more severe cases, see colors at all." Like those who, unfortunately, have such vision deficiencies, there are also people who have hearing deficiencies. Not everyone hears equally well.

In the world of audio, the reality is that some people do routinely hear differences during single- and double-blind testing (I am one such example). But there are some who do not. There are differences in hearing acuity.

Unfortunately, there is a tiny group of people here who will not accept that blind testing can and does reveal differences in components. They choose to deny that reality. In addition, for instance, they continue to insist (usually with a nasty, bullying attitude) that audio components (amplifiers, for example) sound identical despite blind tests that prove otherwise. The source of many problems here is, again, a refusal by a select few to accept that some people have better hearing than others. It is not fair, but it is reality.

Have a nice evening one and all--tonight's Toronto vs. Kansas City baseball playoff game will be starting soon. Time to break out the snacks.

spkr 10-23-2015 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38336145)
Unfortunately, there is a tiny group of people here who will not accept that blind testing can and does reveal differences in components. They choose to deny that reality. In addition, for instance, they continue to insist (usually with a nasty, bullying attitude) that audio components (amplifiers, for example) sound identical despite blind tests that prove otherwise. The source of many problems here is, again, a refusal by a select few to accept that some people have better hearing than others. It is not fair, but it is reality.

It would be nice if you can support your statement with quotes. Otherwise you are just imagining this.

A9X-308 10-23-2015 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38336145)
In the world of audio, the reality is that some people do routinely hear differences during single- and double-blind testing (I am one such example).

Please provide links to these.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38336145)
Unfortunately, there is a tiny group of people here who will not accept that blind testing can and does reveal differences in components.

Strawman. No one here would not accept the results of a well done DBT showing differences. It's just that in 30 years, I have never, ever seen one

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38336145)
They choose to deny that reality. In addition, for instance, they continue to insist (usually with a nasty, bullying attitude) that all components (amplifiers, CD players, etc.) sound identical despite blind tests that prove otherwise.

This is a strawman. None of the group that I know here whom I would term objectivists, would make such a claim. I know that I would not. However, when the measured differences are way beyond what is know a person can hear, then it's reasonable to question it. Just like if I said my out of shape 50yo body could equal Bolt over 100m. Or that I could read the text from a tabloid sized newspaper at the half way line (~50m) of most football fields when standing on the try/end zone line with unaided eyes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38336145)
The source of many problems here is, again, a refusal by a select few to accept that some people have better hearing than others. It is not fair, but it is reality.

The difficulty is not believing that some have better hearing than others, it is the lack of evidence that those who claim to be able to hear these differences under test. I've tried many time with those whom claim to have superior hearing, but they have ALL, singularly failed.

My hunch is that you will not actually provide any links to actual well run DBTs but reply with another wall of words that constitute nothing but assertion. I will happily apologise if you do.

However, here's one that was well run: starts in the Letters section on PDF7. (last letter that page. RTWT)

CharlesJ 10-23-2015 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38300545)
Did I quote any part of his post in my comment to him? No.

I commented on his persistent refusal to understand that people have ears and a brain and can decide for themselves whether an audio component does or does not please them. Do you get it now?

I suggest you improve your own reading comprehension and stop making false assumptions about my intentions.

Oh, but people rarely state they picked a component because it pleases and stop there. No, on the contrary, they make endless claims that are testable.
So, he certainly is in his elements to challenge those claims, from time to time or all the time.

I wonder if people fall for homeopathic, psychics, and such nonsense due the same brain function?

CharlesJ 10-23-2015 06:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38336145)
...

In the world of audio, the reality is that some people do routinely hear differences during single- and double-blind testing (I am one such example). ...

A claim yet to be supported by evidence. Meaningless.

ceh383 10-23-2015 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluewizard (Post 38297185)
Actually that is a perfectly valid way to buy a system. Though you don't need to wait until the latest technology is a few years old. Typically when new models come out, you can get the old model for near half price. Crutchfield recently had a $1500 Denon AVR for about $600.

The one problem with your projected method is - waiting. Do you want a system now, or this year, or do you want a system 5 years from now. Most people do NOT want a given system 5 years from now.

It took me about a year to find a CD Player, a year of diligent searching. I had a very tight budget, and high demands. Eventually I bought a Harman DVD-48 Universal Player off a Harman EBay auction, retail = $450, I paid $150, exactly the amount I wanted to pay. Few low end CD Players can match it for that amount of money.

But that was about a year or more of searching. Most people do not have that kind of patience and determination.

My speakers, retail = $1000/pr, I paid $425/pr with free shipping and manufacturer's warranty. But, I waited about 2 or 3 years before I found this bargain price.

So, yes, there are ways to find bargains, but those ways involve a lot of time and effort ... a LOT of time and effort.

Steve/bluewizard

Like the quest some have for audio nirvana, some have the same for finding the best deal possible.
For me, if it takes a year or more to find what I want at a $500 or so savings, it actually cost me more. A person’s time is worth something, and at what point have you spent more time than the savings are worth?
In the end, they’re your ears…buy what makes them happy within a budget you can afford, put on some music and enjoy…

Alex F. 10-23-2015 11:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A9X-308 (Post 38336809)
Please provide links to these.

Strawman. No one here would not accept the results of a well done DBT showing differences. It's just that in 30 years, I have never, ever seen one

This is a strawman. None of the group that I know here whom I would term objectivists, would make such a claim. I know that I would not. However, when the measured differences are way beyond what is know a person can hear, then it's reasonable to question it. Just like if I said my out of shape 50yo body could equal Bolt over 100m. Or that I could read the text from a tabloid sized newspaper at the half way line (~50m) of most football fields when standing on the try/end zone line with unaided eyes.

The difficulty is not believing that some have better hearing than others, it is the lack of evidence that those who claim to be able to hear these differences under test. I've tried many time with those whom claim to have superior hearing, but they have ALL, singularly failed.

My hunch is that you will not actually provide any links to actual well run DBTs but reply with another wall of words that constitute nothing but assertion. I will happily apologise if you do.

However, here's one that was well run: starts in the Letters section on PDF7. (last letter that page. RTWT)

If you have been involved in product development of amplifiers you would know that some companies occasionally conduct their own blind testing. I have been involved in such testing, which I've discussed in earlier threads. So, too, has Charles Hansen, the founder and owner of amplifier manufacturer Ayre Acoustics. He has touched on the subject on AVS as well. I found this example (see Post 20):

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-rec...necessary.html

How can you say none of the usual self-described objectivists do not claim amplifiers sound identical? It is all over AVS. The battles over the subject run rampant. I took a minute and found these mentions (see Posts 5 and 72; also see the moderator's comment in Post 128):

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-rec...dge-audio.html

I continue to be amazed that people who cannot hear obvious sonic differences between amplifiers or other components feel it is necessary to attack those that can. Posters who wish to discuss those differences often come under verbal assault. They have made AVS a very unpleasant website to visit.

BassThatHz 10-24-2015 12:13 AM

Beats make a million dollar pair of headphones encrusted with a tonne of diamonds.
Are they the best headphones EVER made? Probably FAR from it...
They are just the most-expensive because they have a bunch of shiny rocks glue onto it.

Money = Expensive.
Money not= Quality.
Money not= Sound Quality.

There are always extreme cases on both sides of the fence, but lets not get too delusional...
it's not like one can obtain the abilities of say 16 HST-18's powered with 8 Lab FP14k's from ANY subwoofer to be found at a pawn shop or even BestBuy for that matter,
there IS a minimum-enterance criteria to a given level of system-ability.

But as already stated it can always be blown out of proportion, like $100,000 for a pair of speakers, or amp or cables etc etc etc and other such snake oil.


I don't know if you have ever taken statistics before, but they teach you to throw out all of the low-balls and high-balls because they don't give an accurate reflection of the mean or median results. When you include them they tend to mess everything up!

There is math that can prove it.

For example:
If 1 person is a 0.001%er and makes 5 billion a year like Buffet, and you ACTUALLY have 51% of the population making less than $30,000 per year, then if you were to accidentally include a Buffet in a small sample set of say 10 or 100 or even 500 randomly phoned people, you'd come to the conclusion that the average first-worlder makes tens-of-millions a year (which is clearly NOT true).
Therefore you must exclude all the people making nothing and all the people making millions and billions if you want to get a truly accurate number of what the average-joe ACTUALLY makes for yearly income. But in order to figure that out you need a fairly large sample set of say: 10,000 people.
It lowers the statistical-confidence, making the result inconclusive.

Including such extreme examples in arguments makes about as much (non-)sense as such inclusive stats would.

rnsound 10-24-2015 08:52 AM

Alex F. You rely on posts by Charles Hansen, of Ayre Acoustics, to support your declaration that competently designed electronic components have sound signatures? His livelihood depends on selling ridiculously expensive products to people, who like you, believe that they do. How could he afford to say anything else?

Doesn't he even sell magic wood?

spkr 10-24-2015 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rnsound (Post 38348041)
Alex F. You rely on posts by Charles Hansen, of Ayre Acoustics, to support your declaration that competently designed electronic components have sound signatures? His livelihood depends on selling ridiculously expensive products to people, who like you, believe that they do. How could he afford to say anything else?

He may not know what shills do on internet forums.

FMW 10-24-2015 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38342977)
How can you say none of the usual self-described objectivists do not claim amplifiers sound identical? It is all over AVS. The battles over the subject run rampant. I took a minute and found these mentions (see Posts 5 and 72; also see the moderator's comment in Post 128)

To correct the statement, we say most amplifiers sound the same.

Quote:

I continue to be amazed that people who cannot hear obvious sonic differences between amplifiers or other components feel it is necessary to attack those that can. Posters who wish to discuss those differences often come under verbal assault. They have made AVS a very unpleasant website to visit.
But we can hear the obvious sonic differences just like you do. And those sonic differences often disappear in bias controlled comparisons. They would disappear for you if you were to engage in these comparisons. We all experience hearing bias. We continue to correct your misunderstanding over and over. You are like a broken record.

spkr 10-24-2015 11:52 AM

Alex F., you don't compare audio components with matched volume level, do you? It's important to do so when you want meaningful results. Without it, it's meaningless when you want to post claims about how components sound on public forum. You can compare 2 of the same disc players, DACs, preamps, amps at different volume levels and you will hear difference. Think about that.

Alex F. 10-24-2015 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38306457)
I am curious about one thing: Does spkr always arrange a blind test every time he brings home an audio component? We must take for granted he does by the way he rants about the need for such tests. I will ask him:

Spkr, what specific components did you compare in a blind, level-matched test (with eyes closed, of course) the most recent time you purchased a new component? What was the result?

You still have not answered. You tell others they must perform such tests in order to make an informed purchasing decision. Please tell us about your testing and the results when you made your most recent purchase.

Quote:

Originally Posted by rnsound (Post 38348041)
Alex F. You rely on posts by Charles Hansen, of Ayre Acoustics, to support your declaration that competently designed electronic components have sound signatures? His livelihood depends on selling ridiculously expensive products to people, who like you, believe that they do. How could he afford to say anything else?

It is not reliance, it is an example. Can you understand the difference?

Of course, we should listen to you instead of one of the most well-respected designers of audio components. His reputation for creating some of the highest performing preamps, power amps, integrated amps, and CD players pales in comparison to the reputations and achievements of the few true audio experts here such as yourself. Your name, in fact, is one that immediately comes to mind in the realm of state-of-the-art products and the research that led to those products.

Further, of course different brands have their own sonic signatures. You think it is just luck that each brand's products sound the way they do year after year? Have you ever been involved in product development? Obviously not or you would not have asked such an uninformed question.

Quote:

Originally Posted by spkr (Post 38349577)
He may not know what shills do on internet forums.

You are so smart with your typical snide insults. Do such comments help boost your ego?

Anyone who creates products is obviously a "shill" in your mind. Apparently you have respect only for people who do not create anything. You aim high.

PS: Still waiting for your answer (see above).

Quote:

Originally Posted by FMW (Post 38351905)
To correct the statement, we say most amplifiers sound the same.

But we can hear the obvious sonic differences just like you do. And those sonic differences often disappear in bias controlled comparisons. They would disappear for you if you were to engage in these comparisons. We all experience hearing bias. We continue to correct your misunderstanding over and over. You are like a broken record.

No, there are people here who say flat out that all amplifiers sound identical. I gave specific examples earlier, which you conveniently ignored.

How many times must I tell you I have engaged in single- and double blind testing. I thought you knew that blind testing is designed to eliminate hearing bias. So how was I biased during a blind test?

Again, there is no misunderstanding for you to correct. As for a "broken record," now you are using my description of spkr (Post 52)?

Alex F. 10-24-2015 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spkr (Post 38352945)
Alex F., you don't compare audio components with matched volume level, do you? It's important to do so when you want meaningful results. Without it, it's meaningless when you want to post claims about how components sound on public forum. You can compare 2 of the same disc players, DACs, preamps, amps at different volume levels and you will hear difference. Think about that.

How may times must we discuss the same question in various threads and I must provide the same answer?

Here goes once again: Yes, levels were matched precisely in the blind tests in which I have participated. Do not ask again.

See what I mean by a broken record?

Ratman 10-24-2015 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38354057)
See what I mean by a broken record?

IMO... just "skip it". :D

beaveav 10-24-2015 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38354057)
How may times must we discuss the same question in various threads and I must provide the same answer?

Here goes once again: Yes, levels were matched precisely in the blind tests in which I have participated. Do not ask again.

See what I mean by a broken record?

Yet when we asked you how precisely they were matched, and by what method, you could not provide an answer other than to say they knew what they were doing.

Also, when pressed, you admitted the blind tests you participated in were done in the 1980s.

I suggested before that you very well may have been able to discern differences. Perhaps one of the amps had a measurable flaw. Perhaps one was driven past its linear range. These are unknowns in your test.

As for your comments about Charles Hansen being so highly respected, by whom? I know entire teams of audio hardware designers who think he's rather nuts.

bluewizard 10-24-2015 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ceh383 (Post 38341017)
Like the quest some have for audio nirvana, some have the same for finding the best deal possible.

For me, if it takes a year or more to find what I want at a $500 or so savings, it actually cost me more. A person’s time is worth something, and at what point have you spent more time than the savings are worth?

In the end, they’re your ears…buy what makes them happy within a budget you can afford, put on some music and enjoy…

This is precisely it. It doesn't matter if Amp-A sounds better than Amp-B, when I have Amp-C and am perfectly happy with it.

Some people claim, or at least act as if, some technical nirvana is the goal of audio. MY goal is to find a system I like, which I have been doing since the mid-1970's.

Keep in mind all those year of waiting and searching was not without a Stereo system. Since the mid-70's I have always had a subjectively good Stereo. So I'm not hurting. I have a good Stereo and always have, but I'm always looking for a better system or sometime just a different system .. .or sometimes just looking for the fun of it.

So, the point is, those years of waiting don't really cost me anything since I'm always looking at and for new equipment, and looking at and for excellent deals. Also, I've passed up many good deals from simply not being ready - both psychologically and financially - to make a purchase. In fact, I'm passing up a great deal right now.

But sooner or later, I do find the right deal at the right time, and I do make a purchase. Being something on the low side of the economy, I'll sometimes choose a piece of equipment based on the price rather than my preference. Some bargains are just too good to pass up, even though there might be a piece of equipment I like better. For example, $1000/pr speakers for $425/pr with free shipping ... too good to pass up.

The overall Subject is - Do you 'need' to spend a lot of money? That first depends on what you consider - a lot of money. As I pointed out earlier, in the 70's the average system was about $300; today it is about $1300. And if you do a currency conversion, $300 in 1975 dollars is $1300 in 2015 dollars. So the answer is, no you don't need a lot of money, but you do need a reasonable amount of money. You can't expect $5000 performance on a $50 budget.

As someone else pointed out, today $1300 buys you a bit more than $300 in 1975. I'm actually stunned to think I had roughly a $700 system in the '70, which in today's money is closer to $3000. Trust me the system I had back them was not remotely close to a $3000 system today. It is probably closer to the suggested $1300 system.

OK ...I'm starting to ramble ... but the original point is, not to find audio nirvana, because that is an impossible goal. Better to just enjoy the systems you have along the way. I've probably had about 8 to 10 systems in my considerably long life. The first one being a Realistic (Radio Shack) receiver, a BSR Turntable, and some 8" Realistic speakers. That was a good system ... all things considered. Every system I had along the way was a good system. Even the system I stuck with for decades (Pioneer) was a good system, and today I still have a good system, though costing considerably more, and being considerably better.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to upgrade, as long as it doesn't become an obsession.

Sorry, that was a bit longer than I intended.

Steve/bluewizard

beaveav 10-24-2015 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38353777)
You still have not answered. You tell others they must perform such tests in order to make an informed purchasing decision. Please tell us about your testing and the results when you made your most recent purchase.

By this same logic, do you expect people to perform double-blind tests on themselves for each and every medication they may need to take? Or is it enough for patients to rely on the double-blind testing and the science that has already been done by countless others?

bluewizard 10-24-2015 02:02 PM

Curious ... does anyone remember what the SUBJECT of this thread is ...and... does anyone have any intention of addressing that question?

Steve/bluewizard

KJSteward 10-24-2015 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluewizard (Post 38356025)
Curious ... does anyone remember what the SUBJECT of this thread is ...and... does anyone have any intention of addressing that question?

Steve/bluewizard

Why not? Gives me a chance to brag about my system.

I'm presently listening to an mp3 rip of The Number 1 Baroque Album, using the equipment mentioned in my signature.

The quality of the system is, to me, the #1 reason for having it and I'm not particularly fussed over which note is coming out of which speaker. I want to "feel" the music, rather than just hear it, and if I have the expected emotional response to a particular piece, the equipment has done its work.

Everything about my experience with music is subjective, and that's fine. I listen with my ears; no-one else's, and others are welcome to their opinions.

As far as building a system goes, the thrill is in the chase and turning up a bargain is what makes it worthwhile. I'd love to be able to buy what I want off the shelf without looking at the proce, but I can't so bargain hunting is the order of the day. My system ran be about 10 cents on the dollar due to being in the right place at the right time.

Would I have bought the stuff at full retail? Are you nuts? $1000 for a center? Couldn't pass it up at $50, though.

FMW 10-24-2015 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex F. (Post 38353777)
No, there are people here who say flat out that all amplifiers sound identical. I gave specific examples earlier, which you conveniently ignored.

Yes, I have read that as well and they are wrong. All they would have to do is compare a typical modern solid state amp to a tube amp and they would know better. My suspicion is that they are trying to save words when they post.

Quote:

How many times must I tell you I have engaged in single- and double blind testing. I thought you knew that blind testing is designed to eliminate hearing bias. So how was I biased during a blind test?
You probably were not as long as the tests were properly conducted. I would say you probably got a feel for the process. If you identified audible differences, they were likely real audible differences. Given that those tests took place back in the 80's audible differences were much more common back then than in later decades, particularly with DACs. The audiophile penchant for DACs occurred back when they were far more imperfect than they are today. Amps haven't changed much since the 80's but DACs have.

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Again, there is no misunderstanding for you to correct. As for a "broken record," now you are using my description of spkr (Post 52)?
The broken record comment was motivated by your constant repetition of things we have already answered without any information about why or how we might be wrong. Our answers to your posts are like a broken record because you are receiving the same answers to the same comments. If the point is that you did a bias controlled test or two in the 1980's and you heard an audible difference, therefore bias controlled tests are meaningless, then that isn't logical at all. Yes there are audible differences between audio electronics. Some are rare, some are subtle and some are non existent. Mostly they don't exist. Real audible differences in modern day audio electronics are incredibly rare and usually involve poor design like my integrated amp that has a bass boost.

Since the thread is about DACs, what I said is that I have done many bias controlled comparisons and never found an audible difference. Obviously I haven't compared them all and there could be some bad ones out there. But the point is that it is wasteful to spend money on DACs because the chances of finding one that has a sound at all is rare. It is reasonable advice based on actual testing. If you state that you hear audible differences between modern DACs then my conclusion, based on actual testing, is that those differences didn't come from the equipment. They came from your hearing bias. So there is some more broken record for you.

FMW 10-24-2015 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluewizard (Post 38356025)
Curious ... does anyone remember what the SUBJECT of this thread is ...and... does anyone have any intention of addressing that question?

Steve/bluewizard


Go back to the beginning and read. I and others answered it back then.


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