Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

    Perhaps not so much a divide as a difference in priorities and philosophies.
    A DIYer can also create something unique/personalized/adapted to their needs and desires ( or whims ). Instead of a purchasing a more generic commercial offering. ( custom clothes vs off the rack )
    "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
    “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
    "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

      Originally posted by lunchmoney View Post
      DIY speakers are cheap only if you don't put a dollar amount to the labor that went into them.
      Not true, they can still be expensive depending on the components used. I'm glad I bought all the drivers for my next project before the recent price hikes. :eek:

      A better way to put it, DIY speakers can be a better value compared to their retail equivalent, especially if the time and labor is excluded.
      "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

      http://www.diy-ny.com/

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

        Originally posted by Face View Post
        Not true, they can still be expensive depending on the components used.
        Well yeah, of course they can... I was more referring to the cabinets.

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

          If audiophile includes the pursuit of great sound, then in all honesty I do not consider this an audiophile forum, or at least it hasn't been for a while now. I do not see many threads that involve pursuit of 'sound quality'. Instead there are mostly process-oriented threads be it construction, measurement, components. Not that this is a bad thing, but it is what it is. The fact anyone would associate the word audiophile with money shows how much sound quality is not paramount in their priorities: you don't need to spend a lot of money, you just need to be bitten with the bug to continuously strive for an ever-improving aural experience. Look at how many inexpensive diy amps, preamps, dacs, non-monopolar speaker designs etc. builds are out there. On this forum those threads die within a day for the most part but $20 amp mod threads and ultra-budget speaker builds thrive and thrive. Again, it's not a judgement, it is what it is. I don't see posts where people talk about striving for better sound quality, I read posts of people trying to solve one problem or another or 'a solution in search of a problem'. I don't see many threads (except from the veterans) of people experimenting with different things, just variations on the same theme. It's funny because at times I can read where some people have reached a turning point, a precipice and it's either take a leap and start exploring different things or just continue with the same kinds of builds, only cheaper.

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

            Originally posted by Interlochen2 View Post
            And the sheer weight of numbers of guys who can suggests something's going on.
            If this were true where is an accredited study? If you have the numbers like you say then a properly designed study should have followed.

            The sheer numbers of kid's that believe in Santa Clause doesn't mean he exists.

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

              Originally posted by generic View Post
              Aside from audio forums, I've never really seen the word audiophile used in a negative way, aside from a few snake oil products that use audiophile in advertisement. At the end of the day, audiophile doesn't = sucker.
              In order to use audiophile in a negative way you first have to know what audiophiles believe. This means being familiar with the relatively closed audiophile world which, of course, the vast majority of the population is not. So yes I would agree that audiophiles are rarely discussed in a negative light outside the audiophile world. But then nor are they discussed in a positive light either.

              Whether an audiophile is a sucker or not depends on, to return to the OPs question, whether the person doing the judging considers audiophiles are getting value for money for their 'audiophile' amps. Since many expensive 'audiophile' amplifiers will be indistinguishable from cheap consumer or pro amplifiers in blind tests some are going to say he is a sucker, others are going to hold audiophile beliefs and consider him a sophisticated and discerning purchaser, some may say it doesn't matter what he believes if the possession of 'audiophile' amplifiers brings pleasure, etc...

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

                Originally posted by jinjuku View Post
                If this were true where is an accredited study? If you have the numbers like you say then a properly designed study should have followed.

                The sheer numbers of kid's that believe in Santa Clause doesn't mean he exists.
                "Studies" are always based on the knowledge and understanding that exists surrounding the phenomenon at the time of the study. The fact that a study has been done doesn't necessarily make the results of the study true, unless the study is done on a tangible phenomenon (tangible being relative to the study).

                There will always be people that hear a difference and those that don't. As someone said, "I can't tell the difference between black and navy socks, but my wife can." The difference between navy and black is tangible. The opinion that navy is better than black is not tangible. A study can be done on whether navy or black is better, but that study would clearly be a waste of time - black is obviously better ;). Seriously though, this is a matter of subjectivity...

                I think we'd all get along a lot better in the audiophile community if we just acknowledged the subjectivity - and more importantly, respected the subjectivity of others.

                The "worth" of an upgrade is always going to spawn these crazy, long threads - because everyone has an opinion. In effect, a thread is a study in itself - you essentially create an open-ended poll within a given sample group.

                There are certainly amps that place more investment into aesthetics than others. Likewise, there are amps that place more investment in perceived sound quality. Some put a lot of effort into measured performance. It is in the eye of the beholder.

                I don't know a single tube lover that would make the case that his/her SET amp has less harmonic distortion than your average NFB Class A/B SS. Some SS lovers will condemn the tube lover for ludicrously high distortion in the SET. But the SET lover feels that the SET provides additional benefits that far outweigh the high THD that is plainly audible. The SET lover can hear (or perhaps its a matter of willpower and focus rather than ability??) past the THD.

                The original question was in reference to the "class" of "audiophile" that is in all the big magazines. And really, in that case, I think it depends on the amp. I have heard some "audiophile" amps that are a total waste of money, and I have heard some that sound fabulous.

                I think most of the people on this forum are more interested in how things sound than what the MSRP is or in how the "audiophiles" would rate it. BUT - worth is still very subjective here. To some here, it's not worth it to get a used Parasound HCA1000 and nice preamp on eBay for $800... the $199 receiver they have is good enough. There are other's that probably think that person is smoking crack. And another that built a DIY chip-amp for $200 that blows away their $500 receiver. And there's probably someone else that thought it was worth every penny to spend $2000 on the pair of Emotiva XPA-1's they just bought to replace their pair of Parasound HCA1500's run in bridged mode.

                Worth is often tied to the person's funds very closely. Occasionally, there are some that can put themselves outside the box and ask "If I had the money to invest, would this be worth it?" Few people put themselves here when answering a question of "worth."

                OK, I digress...
                SEC DIY 2014 Speaker Show is on! *November 8th*
                Wanna win a set of Newform Research R30 ribbons?!?!
                SEC DIY 2014 Thread

                SEC DIY 2012 Speaker Show
                SEC DIY 2011 Speaker Show

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

                  Originally posted by andy19191 View Post
                  In order to use audiophile in a negative way you first have to know what audiophiles believe. This means being familiar with the relatively closed audiophile world which, of course, the vast majority of the population is not. So yes I would agree that audiophiles are rarely discussed in a negative light outside the audiophile world. But then nor are they discussed in a positive light either.

                  Whether an audiophile is a sucker or not depends on, to return to the OPs question, whether the person doing the judging considers audiophiles are getting value for money for their 'audiophile' amps. Since many expensive 'audiophile' amplifiers will be indistinguishable from cheap consumer or pro amplifiers in blind tests some are going to say he is a sucker, others are going to hold audiophile beliefs and consider him a sophisticated and discerning purchaser, some may say it doesn't matter what he believes if the possession of 'audiophile' amplifiers brings pleasure, etc...
                  IMO you are assuming everything that a audiophile believes and overall making a negative assumption and statement.

                  While it is true that some people have more money then sense and they will spend a silly amount of money on items that they will think give them the best system, even if it is set up wrong/poorly. Just because someone calls them self a audiophile, or just because they buy brand X doesn't really make them a audiophile. Just because someone can buy a Porsche GT2 RS doesn't make them a race car driver, or even a good driver. Just because some one can afford to buy the top of the line Kitchen Aid mixer doesn't make them a chef or even a good cook.

                  Some people have more disposable money then others. While their are a few unknown brands that have really high price tags on them that I'd never trust. Denon, Marantz are good brands and they have items that cost thousands. I'm not personally going to raise the BS flag and say it isn't worth it at all, because a pro amp can sound really good. I wish I could have this instead of my pro amp. http://emotiva.com/xpa2.shtm Not because I think I will get an upgrade in sound quality, but because it looks way better and I wouldn't have any fan noise. At the end of the day, I'm not in the position to spend an extra $600 to get a prettier amp(that's half the cost of my much wanted projector), but others are and I'm not going to talk badly about them, or group them together and assume what I think they think they know.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

                    It's cute how a small community can make up a new definition for a word based on stereotypes.

                    How many here actually know someone who's spent $10k, $20k, $250k, or even over a million dollars on a home stereo system or even spent time with such systems? Not all of them believe in magic pebbles or that room treatments aren't needed. Some of the few that I know have had Rives Audio design rooms for them, hired professionals to voice their systems, and don't buy awfully designed gear such as Wilson, etc...

                    Such attitudes and stereotypes are not productive and reflect poorly. It's just as bad as someone who believe all pro gear is junk or cheap drivers=cheap sound.
                    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

                    http://www.diy-ny.com/

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

                      Originally posted by Face View Post
                      It's cute how a small community can make up a new definition for a word based on stereotypes.

                      How many here actually know someone who's spent $10k, $20k, $250k, or even over a million dollars on a home stereo system or even spent time with such systems? Not all of them believe in magic pebbles or that room treatments aren't needed. Some of the few that I know have had Rives Audio design rooms for them, hired professionals to voice their systems, and don't buy awfully designed gear such as Wilson, etc...

                      Such attitudes and stereotypes are not productive and reflect poorly. It's just as bad as someone who believe all pro gear is junk or cheap drivers=cheap sound.
                      +1 - I wanted to go here, but my post was already too long...
                      SEC DIY 2014 Speaker Show is on! *November 8th*
                      Wanna win a set of Newform Research R30 ribbons?!?!
                      SEC DIY 2014 Thread

                      SEC DIY 2012 Speaker Show
                      SEC DIY 2011 Speaker Show

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

                        I get the feeling I've read this thread before... Unless you want to hear the amp, it's unnecessary. Not all designs created equal. 'What's in a name?'

                        blah,

                        Dan
                        "guitar polygamy is a satisfying and socially acceptable alternative lifestyle."~Tony Woolley
                        http://dtmblabber.blogspot.com/
                        http://soundcloud.com/dantheman-10

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

                          Originally posted by generic View Post
                          IMO you are assuming everything that a audiophile believes and overall making a negative assumption and statement.
                          I am not aware of making any assumptions but simply pointing out that the term audiophile means different things to different people. You call yourself an audiophile and, not surprisingly, consider it a positive term and would like everyone to consider it a positive term. I have pointed why others, including myself and my peers, use the term differently to refer to the 'audiophile' home audio segment that grew after the end of the stereo boom. When referring to those that hold audiophile beliefs it can be a negative term but for the audiophile sector as a business I am not sure it is negative. What was achieved by a non/anti-technical marketing approach to home audio has been successful in making a profit from products that are uncompetitive in terms of price versus technical performance.

                          Originally posted by generic View Post
                          Denon, Marantz are good brands and they have items that cost thousands.
                          I own a Denon product but the brand took a big hit after this:

                          http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AKDL1-De.../dp/B000I1X6PM

                          and I would think twice before buying another.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

                            Originally posted by Face View Post
                            It's cute how a small community can make up a new definition for a word based on stereotypes.

                            How many here actually know someone who's spent $10k, $20k, $250k, or even over a million dollars on a home stereo system or even spent time with such systems? Not all of them believe in magic pebbles or that room treatments aren't needed. Some of the few that I know have had Rives Audio design rooms for them, hired professionals to voice their systems, and don't buy awfully designed gear such as Wilson, etc...

                            Such attitudes and stereotypes are not productive and reflect poorly. It's just as bad as someone who believe all pro gear is junk or cheap drivers=cheap sound.
                            +2
                            Some of my audio projects:http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

                              Originally posted by scottq View Post
                              "Studies" are always based on the knowledge and understanding that exists surrounding the phenomenon at the time of the study. The fact that a study has been done doesn't necessarily make the results of the study true, unless the study is done on a tangible phenomenon (tangible being relative to the study).

                              There will always be people that hear a difference and those that don't. As someone said, "I can't tell the difference between black and navy socks, but my wife can." Seriously though, this is a matter of subjectivity...

                              I think we'd all get along a lot better in the audiophile community if we just acknowledged the subjectivity - and more importantly, respected the subjectivity of others.
                              Actually I think we'd all get along better by administering subjectivity to the rigors of study. When did audio become somehow immune to the rigors of scientific fact finding?

                              Why aren't there $30K HDMI cables? Component? Video is a much more demanding application. Video is just as measurable as audio.

                              I have no problem putting people that 'hear' these sweeping differences to their word. You are asking the crowd to trust the word of someone that will refuse to wear a blindfold where their ears are concerned. Why should anyone trust the subjectivist when they don't even trust their own ears?

                              No it's not a matter of subjectivity:

                              If you can't statistically pick out your brand of amp blind then you CAN NOT BE subjective about the difference. What is there to be even subjective about at this point?

                              Now if you CAN pick your amp out in statistically meaningful way then yes subjectivity (preference) indeed comes into play. And it should.

                              To bring this back around and close the circle: You can't have a preference for something you can't pick out. No more than you can have a preference for Navy Blue or Black socks if you can't tell them apart color wise everything else being the same.

                              Keeping in the same vein: If you are going to pick out a pair of socks, at least make sure you can tell the difference in color.

                              And No: "Studies" are NOT based on the knowledge and understanding that exists surrounding the phenomenon.

                              Studies attempt to gain knowledge and understanding of said phenomenon. This is the type of critical misunderstanding that a lot of subjectivists operate on. It's a tough row to hoe because we have to go back to the basics of understanding this type of definition correctly in order to move on.

                              Studies aren't even out there to make something true or not true. Simply a finding of fact. Whether positive or in the negative.

                              Originally posted by scottq View Post
                              Worth is often tied to the person's funds very closely. Occasionally, there are some that can put themselves outside the box and ask "If I had the money to invest, would this be worth it?" Few people put themselves here when answering a question of "worth."

                              OK, I digress...
                              The only question to ask is: Can I get a product in house for XX days and can I hear a discernible difference that rises above my sighted bias? If I hear such difference is it favorable or not (this is the subjective part).

                              I'm not here to tell anybody what they should be hearing. But a little education goes a long way and understanding how your hearing works is going to help with critical evaluation of something like a SET amp vs a SS amp.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: a bit OT. Is an 'audiophile' amp a waste of money?

                                Originally posted by Interlochen2 View Post
                                You're talking about amp AB or ABX tests.
                                No, I'm not. I'm talking about matching levels. One can match levels in any sort of comparison. Any comparison with no successful attempt to level-match is a priori worthless.

                                Originally posted by Interlochen2 View Post
                                Old debate, I know. I'm convinced there is a genetic element involved. Some people can't here the difference between good, properly functioning amps while others can. And the sheer weight of numbers of guys who can suggests something's going on.
                                Ah, the audiophool snob argument: you can't hear a difference, so you have genetically inferior hearing.

                                I believe it is more likely that defects in critical listening skills are present in those who imagine sonic differences everywhere they turn.

                                And the fact of the matter is, if one has in fact determined the existence of a given sonic difference between any two DUT's, one ought to be able to repeatably and reliably identify that specific sonic difference. Otherwise, it's just an overactive imagination.

                                Originally posted by generic View Post
                                So does no one here have any McIntosh equipment? Are they still flying solo? Not part of the Harman group?

                                Are they really good, or over priced? Just curious more then anything, but I don't think I've ever read about anyone comparing anything to them.
                                Fine stuff. I personally love the way they look. (That's why I have a McIntosh head-unit in my car - it looks like a piece for adults, as opposed to most car-fi headunits, which look like something designed by 15 year-olds with xbox addictions.) But you're certainly paying for the aesthetic. Nothing wrong with that.

                                Originally posted by Wushuliu View Post
                                If audiophile includes the pursuit of great sound, then in all honesty I do not consider this an audiophile forum, or at least it hasn't been for a while now. I do not see many threads that involve pursuit of 'sound quality'. Instead there are mostly process-oriented threads be it construction, measurement, components.
                                One can determine the "sound quality" of a given piece of audio gear by looking at the right measurements. It's science, not the mysticism that less-technically-competent audio gear sellers would like one to believe it is.

                                Originally posted by andy19191 View Post
                                Whether an audiophile is a sucker or not depends on, to return to the OPs question, whether the person doing the judging considers audiophiles are getting value for money for their 'audiophile' amps..
                                I disagree. It depends on what aspect of the thing they consider gives them value.

                                If it's the looks, cachet, resale value, or some other legitimate factor, not a sucker.

                                If it's the "sound" of a box designed as a signal processor due to the box's signal-processing function, not a sucker.
                                (For instance, a SET amp generally is intended to color the signal by rounding off the frequency extremes and adding low-order distortion. One can argue whether or not one can get the same colorations by other means, but that's a separate issue. If something measures such that it is obvious no attempt was made to make it a high-fidelity component, then it's different, and with actual differences come reasonable variances as to preference. The same applies to the target curves of Audyssey and other "room correction" software.)

                                If it's the "sound," and we're talking about a box designed to accurately reproduce the input signal, and it actually does so ("designed to accurately reproduce the input signal, and actually does so" being the usual case for audio boxes), then sucker.
                                --
                                "Based on my library and laboratory research, I have concluded, as have others, that the best measures of speaker quality are frequency response and dispersion pattern. I have not found any credible research showing that most of the differences we hear among loudspeakers cannot be explained by examining these two variables." -Alvin Foster, 22 BAS Speaker 2 (May, 1999)

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X