Jeff's Getting a New Stereo System

jfrech

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Sep 3, 2012
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Good for you. While I immensely enjoy my system. It's not a investment...it's entertainment.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Ha!
I knew there was a(nother) good reason not to have kids LOL
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
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Ha!
I knew there was a(nother) good reason not to have kids LOL

Lol!

I can see his point though, I don't buy stereo gear to impress my friends or have enough money to only consider the most expensive gear. The value proposition for most luxury goods is reaching a point where most reasonable people will question it even if they're a billionaire.
 

KeithR

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Good luck on the new journey, Jeff. My guess is you will put together an even better sounding and more musical system.
 

rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
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Lol!

I can see his point though, I don't buy stereo gear to impress my friends or have enough money to only consider the most expensive gear. The value proposition for most luxury goods is reaching a point where most reasonable people will question it even if they're a billionaire.

When buying halo gear...especially speakers...buy them used. Let the first purchaser eat the 10's of thousands in depreciation. Same goes for cables.
 
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DaveyF

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Aug 1, 2010
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Jeff, that is one of the best articles I have seen in a VERY long time regarding this audio hobby! It should be required reading for all members, IMHO. There is, in my opinion, a much more difficult task to put together a system with 'sensible' funds than one that is put together wherein funds are of no consequence. ( as you shall see when your new journey begins). I suspect that Keith R's point above will be correct. Dave C also makes a great point with his billionaire comment.
The comment about priorities in your article is so very true....and I think it should be hats off to you for having the guts to state it.
Great article and at a time that is most appropriate!
 

DaveC

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When buying halo gear...especially speakers...buy them used. Let the first purchaser eat the 10's of thousands in depreciation. Same goes for cables.

That's a good strategy, especially since audio gear has less chances of breakdowns vs luxury cars.

Or, buy from companies offering high value although I know most believe a higher msrp means better. In a lot of cases it's true but not always these days, in audio and in other markets.
 

spiritofmusic

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I was speaking to Sean Casey of Zu, and he very much is insistent his company is a "blue collar" one
Ie enthusiast lead w excellent engineering principles, and never forgetting where their core customers are ie guys striving for excellent sound not necessarily in a budget, but certainly not " the sky is the limit"
A case in point is their new flagship to be released soon
It has the kind of tech and materials use that are used on spkrs like Vivid Giya and Rockport, w bleeding edge ideas, that he's striving to keep under $30k
I guarantee you any of the uber brands out there would double or treble the price tag
He resolutely won't
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Thanks for letting us know, Jeff. Will read with interest. In particular, it would be interesting to see what happens when an item half the price of another goes toe to toe or even wins the dogfight. No doubt there ARE some expensive items that are just awesome. Will be interesting to see if you are going for all-out best sound (cost no object)...but TOTALLY and relentlessly willing to call an overpriced spade an overpriced spade and take a pass on it in light of something less expensive but superior. Given your article's emphasis on NOT putting big budgets towards high end audio, i suspect not 'cost no object'...nevertheless, would love to see that level of scrutiny in a hobby where price inflation does certainly seem arbitrary in a number of cases.
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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Congratulations, Jeff! I'm sure it will be very interesting for you to start with a clean slate, and now assemble a new, more value-based system based on your 20 years of experience evaluating components!

You speak many unfortunate truths about our industry. I do not believe reviewers should demand or accept equipment on long term loans. The reviewers who operate on the basis of long term loans of expensive equipment generally have poor personnel and professional reputations commensurate with their poor ethics. Reviewers who buy their equipment generally are respected and highly-regarded.

High price has never necessarily equaled top-tier sound quality.
 

ack

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May 6, 2010
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The president of an electronics company confided in me that they’d created a particular model because an Asian distributor asked for it, but that it really didn’t do anything that their next model down, at half the price, couldn’t do.

Impressive state of affairs
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
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Impressive state of affairs

Very common too...

It's become a strange market for sure, the high end is becoming distorted because of demand for higher priced goods. In this market you can't compete on value so there's no room for folks coming in and offering similar products for less money, the products will be seen as inferior and they won't sell. OTOH, a company comes in with higher prices and the gear sells because it's seen as better because msrp is higher.

For me, I'm thinking of offering a lux speaker sold through dealers and a value speaker offered direct. These markets rarely overlap so it's like having 2 different businesses with similar but not identical products, mostly in terms of industrial design.
 

morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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Tubes and horns, here Jeff comes!! LOL
 

Joe Whip

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Feb 8, 2014
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Great piece and I agree with his sentiments exactly. I find the attitude that something has to cost a ton to be good is insane. Imagine if everything was like that. That $15 bottle of wine can't be any good. Price it at $100, then it will be good enough to buy. That is just dumb and is driving up prices for us all in this hobby. This attitude is why I support companies like Schiit.
 

adyc

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microstrip

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May 30, 2010
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(...) In particular, it would be interesting to see what happens when an item half the price of another goes toe to toe or even wins the dogfight. No doubt there ARE some expensive items that are just awesome. (...)

Well, we have been waiting for this precious information for a long time. IMHO there are no miracles in this industry. It is now fashionable to write against high price gear, lots of people do it. Surely there are a few overpriced items, that do not represent decent value, have poor reliability and are not worth their cost. Exposing them and explaining why we should avoid them would be a good service to the high-end.

IMHO this hobby is mainly the art of matching - equipment, room and owner preference. It is in this optimization we can get real gains in high-end. But in my experience, wisely used with expertise, more expensive gear gives overall better sound.

Some people will tell us that the more efficient gain is this hobby would be changing the user preference - perhaps they are correct, but it is not my current perspective! Perhaps some day I will also find another use for my hobby budgets, but I do not hope that my system will improve with such decision.
 

ack

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Very common too...

It's become a strange market for sure, the high end is becoming distorted because of demand for higher priced goods. In this market you can't compete on value so there's no room for folks coming in and offering similar products for less money, the products will be seen as inferior and they won't sell. OTOH, a company comes in with higher prices and the gear sells because it's seen as better because msrp is higher.

I have to agree with that, however sad it is. Goes to show how little some folks care about the music - or even know anything about it - over whatever sound they get for the top dollar they pay. Not unlike the other sad fact Jeff mentioned:

Even sadder are the guys on forums who are so invested in a particular brand that, at every turn, they find ways to promote that manufacturer’s wares. It’s as if they feel they have to build up the brand so that they can feel justified in having laid down the insane amounts of cash they’ve spent on the flagship model. I followed one such guy’s thread for two years: about once a week, he promoted the same company, posting quotes from reviews of its products, links to articles about it, hi-rez photos, and descriptions of listening experiences, etc. -- all to promote the brand he’d bought into. And no, he’s not a dealer.

I am willing to bet this person has not even attended a live unamplified event, ever.
 

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