Jump to content
sdolezalek

Is now the right time for "Extreme Week"?

Recommended Posts

This stuff is fun to read and may give others hints for things to try but for most it is just entertainment. It reminds me of a certain very slick audio mag that I no longer subscribe to. They have guys who can go on for pages about some mega dollar piece all with very glossy photos. It is as Chris said. The red Ferrari always gets the most looks. In the end analysis though it does give me the same sort of uneasy feeling the OP has. With all the very difficult things we have to see and hear about these days, it does leave me thinking more and more about "A Tale of Two Cities"; "It was the best of times and it was the worst of times". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think my Bluesound Node 2i ($549.00) is extreme.  Extremely good at what it does.  You push a button and you hear sound.

 

Keep up the good reviews!!

 


In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bluesman said:

This thread is really about a lot more than the wisdom, advisability and societal consequences of buying luxury goods (and I can only define a 5 figure piece of audio gear as a luxury - it’s neither a necessity nor mainstream entertainment).

 

First, it’s about personal codes of behavior.  Many who could afford high end living are comfortable and happy being down a rung or two.  One of my mentors when I was a resident and junior attending physician was a descendant of the founders of the Pennsylvania Railroad.  The family name is on everything from roads to skyscrapers.  He was a very nice and humble man (and a world class surgeon) who drove a Chevy, wore OTR suits, and never let a medical student or resident suffer because of a problem with which he could assist.  He and many of his colleagues (of whom he was not the only offspring of old money) were charitable because they were raised to be and thought it was the right thing to do.  Most were nice to everybody - they truly defined “gentleman” and “gentlewoman” (yes, I was educated by world class female physicians too).  Many of my friends and colleagues today are the same way.

 

There are many who feel that they earned their money and have a right to spend it however they wish, and for whatever reason they embrace.  They’re not wrong.  And many of those artists who design state of the art audio equipment that sells for 5 or 6 figures are just following their passions to an extreme.  There’s nothing wrong with that, either.
 

The cost of a pair of big Magicos would provide school lunches for much of the world’s starving children for days to weeks.  The excess caloric content ingested by the world’s obese population would cure those kids’ hunger permanently if redistributed to them.  But we also have the freedom to buy those speakers and eat twice as much as we need biologically.
 

This thread already demonstrates the difficulty of reconciling differences like these and assimilating them into a broad cultural context with which we could all live happily (even if not quite as satisfied in some aspects).  The closest we’re going to get to this is probably a balanced menu that has something for each “culture”.  We just have to be willing to let a few posted statements that may violate our personal code go unanswered.  
 

High end reviews are very interesting to me, even though I wouldn’t personally buy a $100,00+ component (or car).  I’ve bought many high end items used, just to experience them.  I later resold them with little or no loss (& not infrequently a bit of profit). But (as many of you know), value is my middle name - praise be to the Raspberry Pi!  So I’m lovin’ it all.  In the end, it shouldn’t be about any of us.  It’s about music and art and creativity and fun and adventure and learning.  
 

I think it should also be about the world in which we live and are leaving for our children.  But a healthy balance should be part of that, which to me means letting neither children nor artists go hungry.  If some of us help one group and some the other, it’s OK with me.  Stay the course, Chris.

Well said. 

In terms of audio, I'm fine with such reviews - I enjoy reading about other peoples journeys in audio  - even those on the "extreme" journey I'd never book. Chris seems to understand about the balance needed and reviewing components like the Parasound is a good counter - it's considered a "giant killer" - and it's important to also review items that give value for the dollar and allow SOTA (or something very close) for less.

Audiophile nervosa can be limited if articles are published showing how less expensive equipment can also give great results. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, bluesman said:

And I'm one of those trying to help Chris fill that gap.  He already has the next installment of The Value Proposition in Audio (an in depth evaluation and comparison of operating systems for SBCs for audiophiles) queued up.  And I'm on the last page of the following one about hot rodding SBCs for audio, with sequential performance data as I built up my cooled SuperPi4 to run at 2.2GHz with great mods like zram/zswap, reduced GPU memory etc.  The one after that is underway as well - it's on audio things you can build with a Pi, including a multitrack DAW, a portable music recorder, a CD/vinyl ripper, and a 3 way active crossover.

 

Ain't we got fun!!!

Right now I'm using a RPi4 as a Roon endpoint in a $20k system- and I think it sounds fine. I will probably replace it at some point with something more "audiophile" that gives me some additional HW or SW feature, but in the meantime I'm enjoying my music and have no complaints.


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, firedog said:

Right now I'm using a RPi4 as a Roon endpoint in a $20k system- and I think it sounds fine. I will probably replace it at some point with something more "audiophile" that gives me some additional HW or SW feature, but in the meantime I'm enjoying my music and have no complaints.

I'm with you!  Our living room system contains a bone stock 4 gig Pi 4 (running Roon Bridge) in a Flirc case driving an SMSL SU-8 into my trusty old Prima Luna Prologue+ (KT88s) making music through Focal 726 towers that flank our Yamaha grand ("we don't need no stinkin' Steinway").  I will probably not replace anything that doesn't fail or age out of its specs, except for technical breakthroughs, e.,g. my Emotiva Stealth was my main DAC until pushed to the test bench so I could listen to high res files in the living room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, sdolezalek said:

 

Ray:  Thank you for the Mary Oliver piece -- very fitting in these times.  The particular line that stuck out to me was: "Still, life has some possibility left." 

Perhaps that is also what Chris was getting at in terms of not wanting to be a downer in these times.  Those glimpses of a better future; of goodness we have not yet experienced, are an important part of what keeps us going in these times.  I must now go back and re-read your review with that frame of mind.  😉 Thanks

 

Thank you @sdolezalek that was precisely my hope in putting these write ups together. Posts like this make that effort worthwhile (and I would never wish reading it twice on anyone! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, christopher3393 said:

Forgive me, but I would like to directly address the elephant in the room:

 

If there is an Extreme Week for Equipment, isn't it only right and just that there be (drumroll...) an Extreme Week for Music?

 

What say you?

 

 

I could've kicked it off with my Three Blind Mice article! If only I had four other great musical discoveries to share!


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

Perhaps not to you and me, but I guarantee that there are people out there to whom $27,000 is chump change.

 

Money means different things to different people. 

 

A buddy of mine is thinking of spending $70K on the new 2021 Corvette. He gasped when I told I was thinking about spending $4K on a new stereo amplifier. (and he knows how good $10K+ equipment sounds) His other friend spent $150K recently on a new car. 

 

Of course, $150K to my buddy is outrageous, but $70K to him is totally worth it. To me, $4K is absolutely reasonable to get the best sound quality, especially something that will last me the rest of my life. (unlike a car, which will lose its value very rapidly and last only a few short years compared to a stereo component)

 

Either way, no one should feel guilty about purchasing what they want, when they want, as long as their family is provided for. The rest of the world is not your responsibility, nor should you feel pressured to not enjoy yourself just because someone else can't afford what you can. 

 

BTW, this is isn't the first time this has come up:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/in-the-middle-of-a-pandemic-stereophile-reviews-30k-equipment

 

Honestly, if one is concerned about spending "too much" on luxury items, you're probably in the wrong hobby in the wrong places. Nobody "needs" any of this stuff, when a pair of cheap speakers/headphones and a laptop PC will do "good enough". 

 

The audio hobby is supposed to be fun. I wouldn't drop $27K on an audio server (probably?) but that doesn't mean I don't like reading about them and having fun looking at all the new toys and technology in my hobby. I'm in the hobby to escape the world, not feel guilty or concerned about what I should be doing/reading instead. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

I guarantee that there are people out there to whom $27,000 is chump change.

Sadly, I guarantee you that there are more people out there who spend it when they shouldn't than there are who can spend it with impunity.  I'm especially amazed at the number who carry permanently high credit card balances or take out loans to buy audio, cameras, cars, clothes, travel, and even cosmetic surgery.  This is one reason for the active secondary market in everything from Pateks to Porsches - when the first big service is needed (or the roof has to be replaced), they're out of the game.

 

I've gotten more than a few great buys on "like new" items over the years from people who overextended themselves (or the dealers who bought back the items at a huge discount).  These are big boys and girls who are free to do as they wish, as long as they accept the consequences.  But many learn nothing from these experiences and do it over and over through the years. I know more than a few families that have suffered because one or both parents dug them into a deep hole.  Unfortunately, some are my relatives.

 

It's a tough world out there, and we each soften it for ourselves as best we can.  Reading about $100k speakers is one of the many balms available, but such remedies are not universally effective.  It's time to sip a wee dram and turn up the volume! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, bluesman said:

Sadly, I guarantee you that there are more people out there who spend it when they shouldn't than there are who can spend it with impunity.  I'm especially amazed at the number who carry permanently high credit card balances or take out loans to buy audio, cameras, cars, clothes, travel, and even cosmetic surgery.  This is one reason for the active secondary market in everything from Pateks to Porsches - when the first big service is needed (or the roof has to be replaced), they're out of the game.

 

I've gotten more than a few great buys on "like new" items over the years from people who overextended themselves (or the dealers who bought back the items at a huge discount).  These are big boys and girls who are free to do as they wish, as long as they accept the consequences.  But many learn nothing from these experiences and do it over and over through the years. I know more than a few families that have suffered because one or both parents dug them into a deep hole.  Unfortunately, some are my relatives.

 

It's a tough world out there, and we each soften it for ourselves as best we can.  Reading about $100k speakers is one of the many balms available, but such remedies are not universally effective.  It's time to sip a wee dram and turn up the volume! 

 

I don't disagree with you at all. I was able to purchase my Porsche used for just that reason...


No electron left behind...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...