For those with the cojones...and chequebook to match!

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,704
823
113
#41
I realise this is a can of worms. For every one Veyron that reputedly so breaks expectations, there are many more supercars today that maybe don't hold a candle to the McLaren from mid 90s, despite being multiples of the price.
wrong analogy.

more like a $50k or $75k race car with slicks lapping a race track easily faster than a $1m supercar.

where is the value in that supercar? in so many superfluous things that have little to do with lap times.

the right (not most expensive) pieces, in the right places, doing the right things. a few high cost bits here and there, but a harmonious whole greater than the sum of it's parts.
 
Likes: jazdoc

thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,281
42
48
Alto, NM
#43
For many of us, the emptiness of OUR souls is likely proportional to OUR conspicuous consumption. So. This site is called What's Best Forum- should we really shame audio manufacturers for trying to create whats best? Yes, there are multi-million dollar watches and multi 100 million dollar works of art and all manner of hideously expensive objects. I watched a documentary about F-1 racing which said to be competitive they must spend close to 400 million each year. Should they all not exist?
A thoughtful response and a very relevant question. One that each person should ask themselves. IMHO, a much more insightful response than the one above.
 

Blackmorec

Active Member
Feb 1, 2019
78
100
33
66
#44
Anyone stepping into the World of uberperforming hi-fi, who actually cares about getting the appropriate level of sound quality for their money should be sure they’re willing to put the effort into getting:

A properly sized room where the room’s own identity has been removed or neutralised by the judicious application of acoustic engineering measures.
Speakers that offer up the extended frequency spectrum, transparency and resolution of detail for the entire range of music, that are ideally matched to the room’s volume.
Amplifiers that provide the same frequency spectrum, transparency, resolution and detail and effortlessly drive the speakers
Neutral cabling that subtracts nor adds anything (or at least very little)
Mains power that is undistorted, with no noise and current capabilities far in excess of what the electronics demand
Sources that are fully isolated from external vibration and have their own vibration properly ‘grounded’ and converted to work or heat.
Sources that perform in the top 1% for information recovery from recordings.

So getting ‘value for money’ involves a lot of expertise and effort. Just spending lots of money won’t get you anything other that hi-if kit with a massive price tag.
 
Apr 14, 2018
214
124
43
#45
Dear Sir,

In order to respectfully disagree,one should understand the words employed.

Banality is as rife as your one line,out of context retort,is puerile.

Then again I must remember that everyone now preserves the right to be offended by praise of others.

Kindest regards,G.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,810
959
113
E. England
#46
Ok, let me ask things a different way. In what ways do we expect a $450k tt (AF0), or $50k arm (new SATs), or near $200k digital front end (MSB Select 2 three box w Select Reference transport and SGM Extreme) etc etc etc, to perform compared to the uber references of 3-5 years ago?

Are we expecting an absolute gap? And do we get it? Or is it just finer and finer margins? And is it then added bling and form factor, together w scarcity value, that drives these things?

What is the AF0 doing definitively differently, and immediately noticeable as superior to the next two SOTA contenders, the AS2000 and Vyger?

Ditto SAT at twice the price of already eye wateringly pricey out of reach arms like Durand Telos and Thales Statement.

I'm no stranger to buying items w crazy price tags, Stacore being the big one. So I'll hold my hands up.

And I can see the first $100k rack before soon.

How much of this bleeding edge really is this, ie unique and uncompromising tech that truly can't be realised for less than 3x current SOTA?
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,549
422
83
#47
For many of us, the emptiness of OUR souls is likely proportional to OUR conspicuous consumption. So. This site is called What's Best Forum- should we really shame audio manufacturers for trying to create whats best? Yes, there are multi-million dollar watches and multi 100 million dollar works of art and all manner of hideously expensive objects. I watched a documentary about F-1 racing which said to be competitive they must spend close to 400 million each year. Should they all not exist?
China under Mao would not even allow a lemonade stand for children but now has some of the wealthiest people on the planet. Is that evolution or a betrayal of China? You say that its just fine if the super rich are not selfish assholes but your comments betray your hostility. In Tibet or the Philippines or most African countries, a $5,000.00 dollar stereo could be 5 years wages, so to them the most bargain basement of audiophiles become the shameful conspicuous consumers. Hell, a pair of 70 dollar tennis shoes would be tantamount to insanity.
The truth is that if all the money was spent on the betterment of mankind, whatever that means, the world would likely be a better place. Or could the search for the sublime be what has allowed society to uncover some of the most life enhancing technology? If selfish farmers weren't seeking more profit through technology, we would have never figured out how to feed our country at reasonable prices. All I am saying is that its a complex issue and superficial judgments hardly reveal the truth. I for one don't want the the manufacturers to stop reaching for the stars no matter what the motives are. The trickle down is what makes life, in part, miraculous.
I own very expensive audio systems. I get tired of the apish attacks on my ethics as a de facto product of spending a lot of money. Or the even more trite, that i care nothing about the sound quality, its really all just for show. Seriously? Every single audiophile i know who has spent a LOT of money would love to get truly remarkable music at one tenth the price. Personally I support a lot of charities, have sponsored numerous loans to those less fortunate and worked in a charity clinic for 25 years. Who exactly is qualified to draw the line where consumption is appropriate-be the judge? Because God himself seems pretty objective.

I think the extremes of anything is off balance and ultimately unhealthy. Being too poor is not good for anyone, the person or community. Poverty also is a cause of population expansion, environmental degradation, disease, etc... so it's also bad for the entire planet. More advanced countries tend to have populations that stabilize over time, maybe even decrease. If we're going to preserve life as we know it on Earth, we need to eliminate poverty and stop expanding the population.

There are also issues with having too much, and this also is not really good for anyone either. An example might be the Davos summit where 1500 private jets flew in to discuss how to solve the world's problems. It's pretty plain to recognize the irony here, beginning with the existence of private jets and how many resources they consume, which is out of proportion in a massive way vs what others consume to the point of ridiculousness. I think it's just as ridiculous as some not being able to afford a pair of tennis shoes, it's the flip side of the same coin.

I don't think that my belief that both of these things are undesirable is unqualified and that nobody has the right to judge. You can objectively look at these issues without so much emotion and determine if they benefit the world or not. Historically, the concentration of wealth has lead to undesirable results when it becomes too extreme, like it is now. So yes, I think we CAN make the judgement that wealth inequality is actually a real problem that is causing harm, and in a logical, fact-base debate this is likely an extremely easy position to defend... up to a point. Communism is the other extreme and that doesn't work either for obvious reasons, and would be similarly indefensible. So maybe there is a kind of "middle road" here that is the healthiest way and would be ultimately best for society as a whole? I think there is and the topic is valid and should be discussed!

When it comes to audio in particular, the pros of wealth are the ability to push the boundaries of what's possible, and this is a huge plus imo. However, if you read my post on page 1 you'll find that in many ways the market dynamics have changed from pushing what's possible by manufacturers in a honest way to raising prices for the sake of having more "impressive" price tags, and making products simply to have something more expensive to sell. How is this desirable? The market is being pushed in an unhealthy direction in some ways due to this dynamic, this is not pushing the boundaries of what's possible in a honest, healthy way imo.
 

RogerD

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2010
3,440
99
48
BiggestLittleCity
#48
Most audiophiles have been conditioned to believe "most expensive" = What's Best....has never been true and never will be.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,810
959
113
E. England
#49
Imagine...creating an uber uber expensive piece to create illusion of trickle down to the merely stupidly expensive LOL.
 

thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,281
42
48
Alto, NM
#51
o yes, I think we CAN make the judgement that wealth inequality is actually a real problem that is causing harm, and in a logical, fact-base debate this is likely an extremely easy position to defend... up to a point.

So maybe there is a kind of "middle road" here that is the healthiest way and would be ultimately best for society as a whole? I think there is and the topic is valid and should be discussed!

When it comes to audio in particular, the pros of wealth are the ability to push the boundaries of what's possible, and this is a huge plus imo. However, if you read my post on page 1 you'll find that in many ways the market dynamics have changed from pushing what's possible by manufacturers in a honest way to raising prices for the sake of having more "impressive" price tags, and making products simply to have something more expensive to sell. How is this desirable? The market is being pushed in an unhealthy direction in some ways due to this dynamic, this is not pushing the boundaries of what's possible in a honest, healthy way imo.
Thank you Dave. An excellent summary of the current state of Hi End audio that is largely counter productive to the nexus of this very hobby. And to the General, my apologies for apparently misunderstanding the intent of your post.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,317
276
83
Manila, Philippines
#52
I think I get what you mean by overperforming Marc. Suppose item X really does do what it's creator sets out to do. A logical question would be.....but do I like it? The answer could very well be a big fat no. Does it mean however that we have the right to judge those that do in a negative light? I don't think so.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,810
959
113
E. England
#53
Hi Jack.

Case in point the very likely possibility that AF designer doesn't like the new flagship SAT as much as the old flagship one.

Maybe the more uncompromising a design, the more it becomes Marmite (ie love it or hate it).

Eg if SAT is known as a detail lover's resolution tool, maybe too much resolution in the new one is too uncompromising for some.

Would likely be for me.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,317
276
83
Manila, Philippines
#54
I'm not going to attempt to guess what's in Nishikawa-Sans head without talking to him. It's hard enough even when I AM talking to him, language barriers being what they are and all.

Let's just say, someone comes out and says hey, I'm going to make something and take an attribute and take it to the extreme. It will attract those that share those goals and perhaps alienate those that don't. For me it is that simple because this is a very personal pursuit. Not only do we have personal goal posts, we are just as likely to move those posts over time. I will assume that while we all feel that there are improvements to be made in our playback, by and large we are happy with the status quo in the sense that we do enjoy ourselves with what we have. We should! Call it a bias even. It is! So something comes along and challenges the paradigms we've built. Sometimes we see glimpses of potential and we might act on that accordingly but sometimes things can be too far out there that it will take time to appreciate.

I think the reason, I don't like the Veyron analogy in addition to what Mike said, is that yeah the Veyron does stuff uniquely but it is not something an owner has the skill to use and even if he does, a ready venue to take advantage of it. Top Speed to be specific. Anybody can use an audio system without fear of death. :D
 
Feb 8, 2011
21,640
522
113
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#56
Well, as gear gets crazy big, overperforming, and stellar performing, we have a collection of gear that could only have been dreamed about, just 5 years ago.

Just released Air Force Zero, hundreds of kilos and $hundreds. Let's add four tonearms btwn $25k-50k, the new SATs and Thales Statement LT.

In digital, the new $25k SGM Extreme w MSB Select 2, throw in an MSB Reference transport, $175k total.

Amps? Four monos Dagostino Relentless to cover Wilson Chronosonics and Thors Hammers, $1.5mill, 2000 kilos plus.

What's planned as cost no object, beyond measure phono and preamp, all that's left for the system beyond systems? Cartridges? Need 4 of 'em.

Throw in MasterBuilt cables, Tripoint NRG grounding, the costs are boggling. Will there be another level seriously beyond all this?
This fits perfectly our clientele.
 
Feb 8, 2011
21,640
522
113
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#57
I think the extremes of anything is off balance and ultimately unhealthy. Being too poor is not good for anyone, the person or community. Poverty also is a cause of population expansion, environmental degradation, disease, etc... so it's also bad for the entire planet. More advanced countries tend to have populations that stabilize over time, maybe even decrease. If we're going to preserve life as we know it on Earth, we need to eliminate poverty and stop expanding the population.

There are also issues with having too much, and this also is not really good for anyone either. An example might be the Davos summit where 1500 private jets flew in to discuss how to solve the world's problems. It's pretty plain to recognize the irony here, beginning with the existence of private jets and how many resources they consume, which is out of proportion in a massive way vs what others consume to the point of ridiculousness. I think it's just as ridiculous as some not being able to afford a pair of tennis shoes, it's the flip side of the same coin.

I don't think that my belief that both of these things are undesirable is unqualified and that nobody has the right to judge. You can objectively look at these issues without so much emotion and determine if they benefit the world or not. Historically, the concentration of wealth has lead to undesirable results when it becomes too extreme, like it is now. So yes, I think we CAN make the judgement that wealth inequality is actually a real problem that is causing harm, and in a logical, fact-base debate this is likely an extremely easy position to defend... up to a point. Communism is the other extreme and that doesn't work either for obvious reasons, and would be similarly indefensible. So maybe there is a kind of "middle road" here that is the healthiest way and would be ultimately best for society as a whole? I think there is and the topic is valid and should be discussed!

When it comes to audio in particular, the pros of wealth are the ability to push the boundaries of what's possible, and this is a huge plus imo. However, if you read my post on page 1 you'll find that in many ways the market dynamics have changed from pushing what's possible by manufacturers in a honest way to raising prices for the sake of having more "impressive" price tags, and making products simply to have something more expensive to sell. How is this desirable? The market is being pushed in an unhealthy direction in some ways due to this dynamic, this is not pushing the boundaries of what's possible in a honest, healthy way imo.
I agree, poverty is no good for the planet, we need diversification and balance.
We need a better system where the distance between the very rich and very poor is much narrower.

How do we do that?
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,680
1,476
113
London
#59
Feb 8, 2011
21,640
522
113
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#60
I'm listening to Blues music on the radio (Bose) right now and I am totally relaxed and dreaming of this moment on. I think it's about a $500-600 radio with CD player integrated.
If it was a $5-6 million hi-fi stereo sound system with the same Blues music playing inside a multi-billion yacht flying on the surface of the ocean going towards the coast of Gibraltar and with a bunch of party goers friends drinking the best wines and eating the best exotic food (professional French and Italian chefs aboard), it would be different relaxing and more participating.
It's best to have a balance of boat.
 

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