Budget V High End

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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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I agree and disagree. There is snakeoil in this business but on the other hand it takes a very expensive speaker to find decent build and crossover parts in it. And i wonder why. Better crossover parts are slightly more costly but most of the time you can only find them in very expensive speakers. Vintage amplifiers have a big power supply, big heatsinks and premium finish. To get a modern version of this is is out of reach for most people.
Yes and if you’ve watched any GR Research videos then even some expensive speakers have cheap crossover parts! Fortunately budget or ‘entry level’ products are much better these days than they were 10 or 20 years ago.
 
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Gray

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I agree and disagree. There is snakeoil in this business but on the other hand it takes a very expensive speaker to find decent build and crossover parts in it. And i wonder why. Better crossover parts are slightly more costly but most of the time you can only find them in very expensive speakers. Vintage amplifiers have a big power supply, big heatsinks and premium finish. To get a modern version of this is is out of reach for most people.
It's true that quality components don't come cheap - but some brands charge way more than they need to .....supported (and encouraged by) snobbery.
 

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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The dismissive nature of people in regards to budget systems or midi systems is pure snobbery, or anxiety that there must be something better.
I don't think anyone here is saying that - I interpret it as a good system with a higher price tag should be better than a good system with a lower one. There's no snobbery there.
 

shadders

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Nov 19, 2009
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I don't think anyone here is saying that - I interpret it as a good system with a higher price tag should be better than a good system with a lower one. There's no snobbery there.
Hi,
If you exclude the extreme cases where an amplifier has to drive a low impedance load, such as 2ohms, then it is subjective preferences.

A budget system, or midi system will still sound very good, but "very good" is subjective.

Same for AVR implementations. It is the thought that how can an AVR that costs less than £1k sound better than a dedicated stereo amplifier of the same cost ? It is perception that causes people to believe that an AVR solution cannot be as good as a stereo solution. Sighted tests will lead to expectation bias.

High end systems are really just bling. The majority of solid state amplifiers all have the same basic topology. Class D amplifiers use ICE, Hypex or Purifi modules, unless the manufacturer chooses to use an Infineon or Texas Instruments solution.

There was a report in Hifi News, in late 2000's, there a Teac CD player sound (from memory) slightly thin. The same CD player was presented to people where they saw the unit, very robust construction, and immediately the terms relevant to the construction defined the sound that they heard.

There is snobbery. The looks define to a significant extent the perception, and the more you pay, the greater the expense on the casework etc. Again, on forums, you can see how people with very expensive equipment back handedly deride cheaper equipment.

One would hope that the more you spend then the better the sound, but then, if i paid a lot of money for something, i am sure i would be looking (hearing) for the "benefits".

Is there such a marked difference in the sound between budget and high end ? Or is it perception ?

Regards,
Shadders.
 

12th Monkey

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Is there such a marked difference in the sound between budget and high end ?
Yes in my experience*, and allowing for the fact that components have been chosen with a degree of care. Snobbery undoubtedly exists, as does the law of diminishing returns, but a more realistic reproduction of music is possible with greater (and well-judged) expenditure.

*Now, how big a difference counts as 'marked' is very much in the ear of the beholder!
 
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AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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I detest the attitude of those who say that lower cost necessarily means poorer performance.
The best thing about this particular forum is that there are (currently) far fewer misguided snobs.
True. Differences might occur in details, material wise, the design department, cost of a production method to achieve an effect, verneer etc.

It might even be connected to having the security of a much sought after brand on the second hand market that has less loss of value and can become a collectors item after decades.

I know speakers are nowhere near an investment. But I would also not buy gear from a highly obscure brand. The risk of buying a speaker that sounds brilliant but is impossible to trade in the future without 99% loss of value is high. Then losing 50% is still not ideal, but it is the difference between the bin and the market.

Some high end brands have doubtful sound quality, but are kind of being traded as works of art.
 

RCduck7

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Aug 18, 2007
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I believe Johan Peter Lyngdorf once said that 20% of the sound comes from the components and for 80% the room is responsible. The best system i heard on a music show came from the steinway lyngdorf model D system. It uses dsp technology to compensate for shortcomings in the room.
I believe room measurements and acoustic treatment where it counts will give you the most bang for your buck. But that's easier said then done to do this in a living room where you have to live with other people's needs.
 

shadders

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Nov 19, 2009
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Yes in my experience, and allowing for the fact that components have been chosen with a degree of care. Snobbery undoubtedly exists, as does the law of diminishing returns, but a more realistic reproduction of music is possible with greater (and well-judged) expenditure.
Hi,
Did you complete the review under blind conditions ?

The budget amplifiers will use the same components as per high end amplifiers. The best output transistors are used in £1k amplifiers as they are in £10k amplifiers.

The Benchmark AHB2 amplifier for £3.5k is one of the best performing amplifiers available for the money, and i would expect that this is mid-fi costs. The performance of the budget amplifiers at £1k are close, but have a slightly lower performance, for the same power output.

The point here, is that people may not like performance, and so choose an amplifier whose performance is lower than the budget amplifiers, yet cost so much more if high end.

The subjectivity aspect means that looks matter, and cost matters significantly.

High end does not mean better components. High end is essentially paying a lot of money for something that looks good, with the relevant marketing that is comes with. High end does not use components that are not used in budget systems. There is no specialist high end electronic components outlet that only high end manufacturers know about. They may use exotic components, but they will not sound any different, unless they introduce distortion.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

RCduck7

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Aug 18, 2007
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I know speakers are nowhere near an investment. But I would also not buy gear from a highly obscure brand. The risk of buying a speaker that sounds brilliant but is impossible to trade in the future without 99% loss of value is high. Then losing 50% is still not ideal, but it is the difference between the bin and the market.
But what if you can audition this obscure speaker and it sounds brilliant? I have when i bought my Hyperionsound HPS-938 (demo) speakers 10 years ago and they're not going anywhere. best dicision i ever made.
 

AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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But what if you can audition this obscure speaker and it sounds brilliant? I have when i bought my Hyperionsound HPS-938 (demo) speakers 10 years ago and they're not going anywhere. best dicision i ever made.
Good to hear that

I have a second pair of Madison speakers for 75 euros new that definitely provide high end sound. But in visible details they are not great, with binding posts that have an almost impossible wire entrance angle. That is that devil in details which can make a product experience better for certain brands.

I only know that it would be nearly impossible to get even 10 euros for it after a few days of use because no one knows them and giving them away for free would probably be a threshold in terms of doubts in quality.

Given your speakers, it could well be that communities recognise their performance and making it a fairly tradeable speaker.
 

12th Monkey

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Did you complete the review under blind conditions ?
Of course not - it had to be at home and no-one else was going to install kit bought off eBay for me, were they? You have stated that you believe differences are largely illusory, I think the opposite can be (but isn't necessarily always) true. So let's agree to disagree.

But let's not derail this into speculations about anyone's capacity for self-delusion, please.
 

AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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About the Hyperionsound Hps 938 mentioned earlier as an obscure speaker. It might be obscure as different from the mainstream but google shows it is not an unknown one. Plenty of reviews and user reviews to maintain a solid trade value on the second hand market.

Speakers that show barely no results in any reviews at all will be a different game. In that case discovering something great on a high price will be a head scratcher on the second hand market later on.
 
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RCduck7

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Aug 18, 2007
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Danny Ritchie from GR research finally recommended a speaker about 20 hours ago on youtube that was not DIY and most important a very good one with high quality crossover parts right out of the box. Not exactly budget at 2400$ a pair but the price/quality ratio is very high with that one.
 

abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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Danny Ritchie from GR research finally recommended a speaker about 20 hours ago on youtube that was not DIY and most important a very good one with high quality crossover parts right out of the box. Not exactly budget at 2400$ a pair but the price/quality ratio is very high with that one.
If you go back through his videos you will find many speakers that have been highly recommended by him at a wide range of price points, with ATC and Wharfdale being just 2.

Bill
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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Danny Ritchie from GR research finally recommended a speaker about 20 hours ago on youtube that was not DIY and most important a very good one with high quality crossover parts right out of the box. Not exactly budget at 2400$ a pair but the price/quality ratio is very high with that one.
Interesting. So it’s this..

But he designed it, so he’s not in review mode but sales. Nowt wrong with that, but let’s not imagine he found it independently and likes it. No sign of it being in the UK unfortunately.
 

RCduck7

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Aug 18, 2007
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Take my word for it Danny's speakers or the ones he have worked on are very good to say the least. I did got a Carnegie Acoustic CSB-1 from Danny that he upgraded. Amazing speaker with a planar tweeter that was very detailed but at the same time relaxed. He still uses that tweeter in his line up. Nevertheless even without upgrades a very good speaker. When i moved to a bigger room i decided to sell it. I still wonder to this day why i sold it.:confused: And why don't they use these planar tweeters in speakers from other brands? The positives of this technology outweigh the negatives in dome vs ribbon. Or is it just me hearing that?
 
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RCduck7

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Aug 18, 2007
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Maybe one issue to come back on the planar tweeters. For a small to medium room these are very good, reflections in the room are lesser then domes. But for big scale you need more of those planar tweeters. That's why they are frequently used in line arrays.
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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Take my word for it Danny's speakers or the ones he have worked are very good to say the least. I did got a Carnegie Acoustic CSB-1 from Danny that he upgraded. Amazing speaker with a planar tweeter that was very detailed but at the same time relaxed. He still uses that tweeter in his line up. Nevertheless even without upgrades a very good speaker. When i moved to a bigger room i decided to sell it. I still wonder to this day why i sold it.:confused: And why don't they use these planar tweeters in speakers from other brands? The positives of this technology outweigh the negatives in dome vs ribbon. Or is it just me hearing that?
I don’t doubt he knows what he’s up to, that’s pretty clear. Sometimes it’s a bit odd that he rarely seems to audition them. The Tyler Acoustics he recommends were mostly his design, so it’s not quite as impartial as he usually seems.

Mind you, he appreciates ATC, which has my approval too, and he liked some GoldenEar speakers recently. At least we can buy them here in Blighty!
 

RCduck7

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Aug 18, 2007
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Mind you, he appreciates ATC, which has my approval too, and he liked some GoldenEar speakers recently. At least we can buy them here in Blighty!
Blightly, i' m from Belgium. When i really like something other then Bowers and Wilkins or Dynaudio to name just a few i have to go the long mile. That's why i ordered these Carnegies by getting to know him on the audiocircle forum.
 

AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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Not sure that's my experience - even at conversational background listening levels a good system should deliver audible benefits.
There is a little science into the midrange.

Car noise hum covers the midrange. Most of the daily noise (humans speaking, hoover noise, noise in the streets, shops etc) is in midrange. That is why probably the best speaker system for an average consumer is a system that kind of ignores the midrange . In restaurants they use amps that are able to cut away a significant part of the midrange in order to create a more comfortable dialog atmosphere for the guest. In shops those tuned systems stand out and in an average household in which music is not more important than people, those systems are truly best in my opinion.

I am not part of that group of listeners but if I would have a place for meeting I would definitely go for that over a full range system which I would normally choose :)
 

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