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The Great Wall of Better Audio

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37 minutes ago, JezQ said:

So what are the lowest price products that make it to the right side of the wall GUTB?

 

I'd like to think my ProAc D30Rs are among the better values.

 

But the point is, why can't someone make something like the ProAc but at a quarter of the price? 

 

EDIT: The latest version, the D30RS, is up to $7.8k, so I don't know if I'd still call them a better value. ProAc dealers do not offer price cuts either.

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If you have experience of them, how would you rank the Harbeth  SHL5+ alongside the ProAcs? They are stand mounts but roughly in the same price bracket.

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2 hours ago, PeterSt said:

 

Is it Class D ?

 

I don't know, but what's the point of ported speakers if they don't suck?


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes

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maybe they blow


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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No, the ProAcs are superb speakers and I'm very happy with them. I probably won't upgrade until/if I get something TADs, Magico, Raihdo, etc. Or if I end up doing the radial speaker thing.

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glad you are happy with them

 

I would not say they are suburb tho - "decent" or very decent maybe


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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8 hours ago, semente said:

 

I don't know, but what's the point of ported speakers if they don't suck?

 

Sharply inhale.  

 

Considerably.

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On 8/1/2019 at 10:33 AM, GUTB said:

You can offer advice based on years or decades of audiophile experience to get great sound at a very decent price, but that "decent price" is still going to be in the thousands of dollars range. There's no way around this and there is no one in the market that wants to do "good audio for a low price". Everyone just has to have their big markups so they put out compromised crap.

 

I'm continuing my research into what's currently available for creating a media centre system, and it's trivially obvious, from reading between the lines, that it will be quite straightforward to assemble a rig, with the right knowledge and DIY skills applied, that would blow the majority of audiophile setups into the weeds as far as presenting highly convincing sound - for well under $1,000 for all the boxes, etc.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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1 minute ago, fas42 said:

 

I'm continuing my research into what's currently available for creating a media centre system, and it's trivially obvious, from reading between the lines, that it will be quite straightforward to assemble a rig, with the right knowledge and DIY skills applied, that would blow the majority of audiophile setups into the weeds as far as presenting highly convincing sound - for well under $1,000 for all the boxes, etc.

 

Yes, but will it play MQA reel-to-reel tapes?

 

According to Gumby, that's what all the cool audiophiles are into these days.


“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone listening to music.”

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The only thing I would add to that post is that I would need to evaluate what the resulting sound was like, and then strengthen and sort all the relatively minor weaknesses which prevent full blown competent sound being realised - the huge gain in what can be achieved if one goes that extra distance makes such 'annoying' fiddling worthwhile, and hence what I would always do.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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On 7/31/2019 at 7:42 PM, GUTB said:

 

$200 seems like a reasonable price. Please be aware that they are very low-end. Cheap metal dome tweeter, 13 lbs, these just aren't good speakers.

Says he who knows nothing about said speakers. He hasn’t (presumably) heard them, does not know what brand or model they are - and here’s the kicker - he doesn’t even know whether the speakers were bought new or used because the OP didn’t say! For all he knows, those $200 speakers might have been a pair of older WATT/Puppies, or maybe a recently overhauled pair of AR3-AXs. While I seriously doubt the former, the latter is very possible and even today, a pair of AR3-AXs in good nick are very musical - the point being that once again, GUTB is making pronouncements about things which he has no knowledge other than price!


George

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14 hours ago, bluesman said:

 

You're speaking my language!  It's not only possible, it's simple - there are now so many great products out there that the only reason to spend a lot more is to gratify the desire (or the need, if you suffer from that pathology) to spend a lot more. 

 

I'm just finishing up the next article in my Audio Value Proposition series.  This one's about the front end, featuring my 6+ month comparison of 30 open source players on Win10, MacOS Mojave, and multiple Linux distros.  I installed each on every box I have that would take it, including a 2018 full tilt boogie HP PC, simpler current PCs (i3, Ryzen, Celeron), multiple SBCs (including Pis, Beagles, and an Asus Chromebox), and a few of my legacies (e.g. a 2006 Toshiba Satellite U205 and a 2007 Athlon X2 64 Gateway "media" laptop).  You can pump fine music into your electronics from pretty much any half decent computer made in the last decade, and I'm still amazed at how easy it is to get great sound from a bit perfect player running on a capable machine that costs under $100.

 

Electronics & speakers are also falling in line.  Excellent DACs with proper gain control and high res capability can be had for under $300, some with balanced outs and/or very nice remotes.  My SMSL SU8 is great, and (apart from issues with a few design problems and the manufacturer's abysmal customer support) my iFi iDSD nano LE does everything well.  A very nice pair of powered monitors like JBL 305s or KRK 5s will set you back about $250 when on sale (which is every other week at one of the big retailers), and a nice 8" sub like my Yamaha is regularly $150. 

 

Emotiva and similar contemporary makers offer a never-ending stream of better and better products at bargain prices compared to top names offering little or no marginal advantage.  And many of the current crop of innovators offer great customer service, e.g. I've had fantastic interaction with Emotiva on everything from timely delivery of promised future products to a waranteed repair with 5 day turnaround on my Stealth DAC 5 years after purchase (USB on the C-Audio chip died).

 

I'll be adding an article about each category of product above over the next few months to help those searching for such prizes.  And although I'm not writing about video, I'm playing with it a bit and it's just as accessible from a lot of the players and devices I'm evaluating.  As I type this, I'm watching an HD video of my blues band's gig from yesterday on a Pi 3b+ running VLC player with no compromises in what I see or what I hear.  It's a wonderful world for audiophiles!!

 

Here's a sample of what I've been looking at since January...

 

collage1scaled.jpg.630f895b524268647e8ec36c9eec53d8.jpg

 

It is great that good sounding audio gear can be bought cheap today, but that a budget gear would sound as good as good high end gear is not my experience.  In other word with a bigger wallet you can get better sounding gear. You will need to choose well and get electrical and sonically matching gear. The outcome of upgrading to better gear is kind of cumulative and bottlenecks in the audio chain can prevent you from perceiving the difference.   

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On 7/31/2019 at 7:27 PM, AudioDoctor said:

Would you consider B&W DM601 speakers to be good enough?

 

On 7/31/2019 at 7:34 PM, GUTB said:

Aluminum dome tweeters, 13 lbs...not good! In fact even $600 seems like too much.

 

On 7/31/2019 at 7:38 PM, AudioDoctor said:

I guess I should have known better than to ask you anything...

 

I bought a pair for $200 bucks years ago, they're great.

 

https://www.whathifi.com/us/features/17-of-the-best-bandw-products-of-all-time

 

On 7/31/2019 at 7:42 PM, GUTB said:

$200 seems like a reasonable price. Please be aware that they are very low-end. Cheap metal dome tweeter, 13 lbs, these just aren't good speakers.

 

10 hours ago, gmgraves said:

Says he who knows nothing about said speakers. He hasn’t (presumably) heard them, does not know what brand or model they are - and here’s the kicker - he doesn’t even know whether the speakers were bought new or used because the OP didn’t say! For all he knows, those $200 speakers might have been a pair of older WATT/Puppies, or maybe a recently overhauled pair of AR3-AXs. While I seriously doubt the former, the latter is very possible and even today, a pair of AR3-AXs in good nick are very musical - the point being that once again, GUTB is making pronouncements about things which he has no knowledge other than price!

 

@gmgraves I think you missed a couple of posts from Page 1, they are above. @AudioDoctor told  @GUTB that they were B&W DM601 speakers so he does know what brand and model they are. 

 

@AudioDoctor also gave a link to 17 of the best B&W products of all time in which the B&W DM601 series 3 are listed, one third down the page. Hope this helps.


I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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3 hours ago, gmgraves said:

Mea Culpa. You're right, I did miss that previous post. Still GUTB's rant is without any real value because his premise is wrong. In audio as in so many things, price dos not always equate to quality.

(I cut some of your quote.)

I agree 150% with your statement.  Adding my opinion -- when claiming that setup A is better than setup B because of higher price, that is almost like an appeal to authority like:  'my setup is better than your setup' (my daddy can beat up your daddy) or j.random.expert agrees with my position, while not actually being in the argument.

 

Price does not equal quality -- many times, it does purchase more elegant packaging, sometimes better irrelevant specs, and sometimes actually slightly better quality in some ways.   Audio *electronics* is pretty much perfected WRT what perfect human hearing really needs, and transducers aren't too far behind, but there are still probably some marginally superior (but very esoteric) transducer/mechanical devices like turntables for a lot of money.  Most differences seem now to be a matter of preference/taste -- for example, absolutely 'flat' headphones would probably not sound really good to most people.

 

Some of the hobby enthusiasts go off-the-rails because they don't know where to go, and are influenced by snake-oil.  Sometimes, where there can be MAJOR improvement, it is relatively ignored because the real/actual improvements are not elegant.

 

My opinion is that too often, elegance (and associated hucksterism/snakeoil/etc) wins out over quality from the standpoint of the audio hobbiest.   Flashy adds win, sophistry/fake-misleading technical claims -- those also win.

 

This 'problem' isnt' all bad -- in a perverse way, it shows that the available audio equipment quality is actually pretty good.  How does it get better?  That answer is less a matter of 'equipment', but more of the quality of the consumer material itself (I tend to focus on the older stuff -- like 1965-1990 timeframe material.)

 

John

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On 8/1/2019 at 9:40 AM, GUTB said:

 

You make this $2k claim, yet you have more than that in power and signal conditioning alone. Do you just like spending money? Or perhaps you like getting upvotes for supplying emotional support for non-audiophiles? Did you ever think about the hypocrisy of that position?

 

So let's see:

Topping D50s DAC $250

Elac Debut Speakers six inch $280

Emotiva A-100 Amp $250

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13 minutes ago, Rt66indierock said:

 

So let's see:

Topping D50s DAC $250

Elac Debut Speakers six inch $280

Emotiva A-100 Amp $250

How much do you want to bet me that GUTB will tell you that stuff is junk and can’t be any good?


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 hour ago, firedog said:

How much do you want to bet me that GUTB will tell you that stuff is junk and can’t be any good?

 

In the case of the Topping D50s DAC and the Elac speakers any protest by GUTB will show he hears with his eyes. The amp is the best I can do at the moment new. 

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Always on the hunt for DACs that punch above their price, the Topping D50 did not disappoint!  It's the centerpiece of my desktop system with a Lake People G109-A headphone amp and a pair of HD600s (circa 2006).

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