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OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

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  • OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

    Something that's quite obvious in the commercial speaker world is that there's a pretty noticeable saturation point around $3500-$5000 where products seem to stop being better or worse and instead just become different from one another. Now that's not to say a Focal Grande Utopia is as good as any $5000 speaker but within reason, the term "better" becomes muddy.

    Is there such a point in the DIY world? Where does the law of diminishing returns hit hard enough that individual taste supersedes quality?

  • #2
    Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

    Originally posted by shirazir View Post
    Is there such a point in the DIY world? Where does the law of diminishing returns hit hard enough that individual taste supersedes quality?
    One can say that spending more than $20 on a capacitor falls into that category, so the simple answer to your question is yes.
    www.billfitzmaurice.com
    www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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    • #3
      Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

      Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
      One can say that spending more than $20 on a capacitor falls into that category, so the simple answer to your question is yes.
      What value of capacitor?
      1: Sony DVP-S7000 | Denon DVD-2900 | Laptop > Parasound Zdac > Denon AVR-5700 > Focal 826V | Def Tech BP2000 | (2) DIY 15" Subs powered by Crown XLS2500
      2: Computer > Schiit ‹bered Bifrost > Emotiva RCA Control Freak > Crown XLS 1500 > Focal 706V | Def Tech SM450 | Velodyne F-1000B Sub

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      • #4
        Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

        you aren't really going to touch many high performance designs at $5k in a commercial world. Certainly not a saturation point.
        In a DIY world, the saturation point is rarely reached because people keep experimenting and building. You are asking the question about "end of it all" "price/quality" relationship question. It's been talked about, fight over for years.
        http://www.diy-ny.com/

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        • #5
          Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

          The Saturation Point is in the wallet of the beholder..
          NLA

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          • #6
            Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

            My wife determines the saturation point when she screams "No more speakers or amplifiers!!" She came close a few times...
            Some people are addicted to Vicodin. I'm addicted to speaker building.

            The Chorales - Usher 8945A/Vifa XT25TG Build
            ESP Project 101 Lateral MOSFET Amplifier
            LM4780 Parallel Chipamp
            Sonata Soundbar Project
            The Renditions - Active/Passive Towers

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            • #7
              Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

              in the commercial world the point you are talking about is probably more in the $ 25,000.00 range. something to look at in those speakers are the drivers being used. with the exception of a few companies making their own drivers, most speakers will have either SS, Seas, or Accuton drivers. this is part of the reason for speakers have a similar sound. most people in the DIY world do not use $500.00 tweeters or $ 300.00 mids. there are also many more speaker options when using $50.00 dollar tweeters and $ 75.00 mids and reasonable priced woofer. so I do not really see a saturation point in DIY like in the commercial end, the goals of the builders are really not the same. so back to your question, I think that when you start hitting the $25,000.00 plus range you are listening for a sound "you" like, because most speakers are pretty good sounding at this point and up.
              Last edited by craigk; 01-22-2014, 08:37 PM.
              craigk

              " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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              • #8
                Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

                Originally posted by hongrn View Post
                My wife determines the saturation point when she screams "No more speakers or amplifiers!!" She came close a few times...
                Tell her Bob Says "It's one or the other but not both".....Yea tell her that...I dare you :D


                Bob
                From a bunker somewhere in PA
                NLA

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                • #9
                  Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

                  Very interesting...

                  http://i974.photobucket.com/albums/a...e_johnson1.jpg

                  Bob
                  From a bunker somewhere in PA[/QUOTE]
                  Some people are addicted to Vicodin. I'm addicted to speaker building.

                  The Chorales - Usher 8945A/Vifa XT25TG Build
                  ESP Project 101 Lateral MOSFET Amplifier
                  LM4780 Parallel Chipamp
                  Sonata Soundbar Project
                  The Renditions - Active/Passive Towers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

                    Originally posted by hongrn View Post
                    Very interesting...

                    http://i974.photobucket.com/albums/a...e_johnson1.jpg

                    Bob
                    From a bunker somewhere in PA
                    [/QUOTE]

                    A classic !
                    BTW: I responded to your message hope you got it
                    NLA

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                    • #11
                      Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

                      IMO, there is something called the point of diminishing returns. The more you put into something the less you get back per dollar spent.

                      The difference between a $10 speaker and a $500 speaker is greater than the difference between a $500 to $1000. Therefore, one may safely conclude that diminishing returns occurs somewhere between $0 and $1000.

                      Usually in a mature technology it is possible to achieve 90-95% quality at a mainstream price. For example, you can buy an HP laptop computer from walmart for $400 that is 95% as good as the $2500 Gamer Deluxe. Or you could buy a Polk speaker for $400 that is 95% as good as the $2500 Sympantic Deluxe. How far past mainstream you wish to go depends upon your enthusiasm and wallet. Most people will not hear much difference between the inexpensive Polks and the deluxe studio monitors - or, if they do hear it, they don't really care.

                      As a designer, it would be your job to identify a price point and design a product that competes favorably in that segment. Which may or may not be past the point of diminishing returns. However, the further past DR you go then the more expensive your product will be to prototype and the less likely it is to succeed.

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                      • #12
                        Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

                        Also - I feel that the point is different to everyone's listening ability. I can't tell the difference between a 1000 and 2000 dollar speaker unless one of them is really bad. Some people can (or claim) to be able to hear the difference between everything down to different binding posts. If your ability allows you to hear the difference (and enjoy) between price point X and price point Y, then it can be seen as worth it. Listening is a personal thing, chasing what other people say sounds better may get you easily past that "saturation point" unless you have talented ears as well.

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                        • #13
                          Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

                          Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
                          One can say that spending more than $20 on a capacitor falls into that category, so the simple answer to your question is yes.
                          I won't say that. The Solen 200uF cost about $50 each. If you only want to use all polys and not even use the $alty ones, then I would say $50 is likely the regular cutoff for larger values. Personally, I try not to spend more than cost of drivers in the xover. 50/50 drivers/xover sounds realistic to me, or even 60/40 being that 3-ways have 4 networks in them to start with. However, not all caps are created equal.

                          I do get your point though, Bill, and agree that this thought alone will set someone's peak before diminishing returns set in, even if rather closed minded, IMO.

                          Later,
                          Wolf
                          "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                          "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                          "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                          "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                          *InDIYana event website*

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                          My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

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                          • #14
                            Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

                            Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                            I won't say that. The Solen 200uF cost about $50 each.
                            That begs the question of where do you stop using passives and go to an active bi-amped system. For me that's at 200Hz. It also begs the question as to whether one really needs to use a poly as a shunt in a low pass. I don't, as I've never been able to convince myself that I can hear any difference. IMO it very much comes down to whether you subscribe to the idea that more money always equals better sound. IME it doesn't. Others think that it will. That debate is the crux of the OPs question, which likely will never be resolved.
                            www.billfitzmaurice.com
                            www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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                            • #15
                              Re: OT-ish: Does DIY Have a Saturation Point?

                              Originally posted by moron#99 View Post
                              IMO, there is something called the point of diminishing returns. The more you put into something the less you get back per dollar spent.

                              The difference between a $10 speaker and a $500 speaker is greater than the difference between a $500 to $1000. Therefore, one may safely conclude that diminishing returns occurs somewhere between $0 and $1000.

                              Usually in a mature technology it is possible to achieve 90-95% quality at a mainstream price. For example, you can buy an HP laptop computer from walmart for $400 that is 95% as good as the $2500 Gamer Deluxe. Or you could buy a Polk speaker for $400 that is 95% as good as the $2500 Sympantic Deluxe. How far past mainstream you wish to go depends upon your enthusiasm and wallet. Most people will not hear much difference between the inexpensive Polks and the deluxe studio monitors - or, if they do hear it, they don't really care.

                              As a designer, it would be your job to identify a price point and design a product that competes favorably in that segment. Which may or may not be past the point of diminishing returns. However, the further past DR you go then the more expensive your product will be to prototype and the less likely it is to succeed.
                              The point of diminishing returns is not just 'something'. It's been called a law by many; much like a law of physics. Visually the LODR can easily be depicted by an XY graph with the Y axis return and the X axis $ spent. The line starts out at XY= 0 and rises sharply in a rather liner fashion for awhile, then gradually begins to level off. In other words, it's not a truly linear effect. In fact it's quite non-linear.
                              You did a good job of relating LODR to consumer goods. IMO, the law is particularly applicable to hobbies and leisure time activities where one has extra cash to spend.
                              Live in Southern N.E.? check out the CT Audio Society web site.

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