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Congratulations to matthewpiano ...

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
Nice one.

Hope he will cope with his new found fame. We need to keep him grounded making sure he remembers his roots.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
276
162
19,070
Congratulations Matthew!

Definitely one of the best contributors to the forum, and always with a musically informed and perceptive opinion to share.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2011
236
0
18,790
Well done matthewpiano, this was the "kind" of forum i've found in 2011, and the kind of forum I would like it became in the future!

Thanks chebby for hi-light the mp winning and review!
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
Very interesting how Matthew says it takes his classic A400 to 'snap them into focus' whereas the Denon PMA720ae fails to do this. We keep being told hifi is improving, otherwise what's the point in launching new models every 18 months. The Denon is some 23 years younger than an A400, which is God knows how many generations, and should comfortably whip its ass, where are things going wrong?
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
301
5,270
MajorFubar said:
Very interesting how Matthew says it takes his classic A400 to 'snap them into focus' whereas the Denon PMA720ae fails to do this. We keep being told hifi is improving, otherwise what's the point in launching new models every 18 months. The Denon is some 23 years younger than an A400, which is God knows how many generations, and should comfortably whip its ass, where are things going wrong?
The reason why vintage amps are such good value for money is that in today's money most of them wouldn't be considered budget.

Yes, A400 was around £250 in 1991 but at the same time petrol was 40p a litre and average income £19k.

To have more like for like comparison A400 would need to go up against Arcam A19 or A29 even.

With lowering cost of electronics the budget end got so low price wise that there simply isn't a comparable vintage product.

I share your sentiment thought as exactly opposite happened in almost all other consumer electronics. Hifi enthusiasts are being milked beyond belief.

The only way for us to stop this discrimination would be to rally against this and perhaps stop buying new. That's until pricing regulates itself.
 

Al ears

Moderator
matthewpiano said:
Thanks for the kind words everyone! Glad my review is useful. :)
I believe all reviews are useful, but more so those that use the kit long-term and in 'real world' listening rooms. All the more relevant compared to most reviews seen in publications that are a one-time only listen.
 

tonky

New member
Jan 2, 2008
36
0
0
Matthews opinion are well known on the site and always well worth regarding. The A400 was/is a great amp and I preferred it to the Cyrus 2 and A and R cambridge A60 (and I've had all 3). It has a tendency to "harden up" at higher volumes. Not surprised it goes so well wilth those speakers - a good review.

cheers tonky
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
insider9 said:
MajorFubar said:
Very interesting how Matthew says it takes his classic A400 to 'snap them into focus' whereas the Denon PMA720ae fails to do this. We keep being told hifi is improving, otherwise what's the point in launching new models every 18 months. The Denon is some 23 years younger than an A400, which is God knows how many generations, and should comfortably whip its ass, where are things going wrong?
The reason why vintage amps are such good value for money is that in today's money most of them wouldn't be considered budget.

Yes, A400 was around £250 in 1991 but at the same time petrol was 40p a litre and average income £19k.

To have more like for like comparison A400 would need to go up against Arcam A19 or A29 even.

With lowering cost of electronics the budget end got so low price wise that there simply isn't a comparable vintage product.

I share your sentiment thought as exactly opposite happened in almost all other consumer electronics. Hifi enthusiasts are being milked beyond belief.

The only way for us to stop this discrimination would be to rally against this and perhaps stop buying new. That's until pricing regulates itself.
Hi

Doesn't volume sold affect pricing? With hifi since 20 years ago, having declined to a low plateau, then the cost reductions are much less proportionally. So equipment is expected to be more expensive.?

Regards,

Shadders.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
301
5,270
shadders said:
Doesn't volume sold affect pricing? With hifi since 20 years ago, having declined to a low plateau,  then the cost reductions are much less proportionally. So equipment is expected to be more expensive.?

Regards,

Shadders.
Yes, certainly higher volume in general means lower pricing.

My point is though that, with technological advances paired with savings thanks to streamlined manufacturing and distribution hifi is behind other fields. We've so far only seen benefits in ultra budget end. It looks as though this status quo is welcome by manufacturers who gladly keep their pricing at current levels.

Digital revolution that's taken place in music industry so far hasn't had much impact on hifi components pricing. Considering what happened to TV market along with advances such as HD, 3D, 4K, HDR and what it did to pricing we're way behind.

I applaud Chinese attempts at making cheap DACs, headphone amps etc. Long term we will all benefit as it's going to move up the market.

Hifi have all the appeal to move mainstream. People listen music and expect more in terms of quality. It's the industry's interests keeping the prices at current levels and portraying it as niche. After all if you call it audiophile you can charge twice as much.

I hope Matthew doesn't mind this in his thread but I only originally responded to Major's question.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
insider9 said:
shadders said:
Doesn't volume sold affect pricing? With hifi since 20 years ago, having declined to a low plateau, then the cost reductions are much less proportionally. So equipment is expected to be more expensive.?

Regards,

Shadders.
Yes, certainly higher volume in general means lower pricing.

My point is though that, with technological advances paired with savings thanks to streamlined manufacturing and distribution hifi is behind other fields. We've so far only seen benefits in ultra budget end. It looks as though this status quo is welcome by manufacturers who gladly keep their pricing at current levels.

Digital revolution that's taken place in music industry so far hasn't had much impact on hifi components pricing. Considering what happened to TV market along with advances such as HD, 3D, 4K, HDR and what it did to pricing we're way behind.

I applaud Chinese attempts at making cheap DACs, headphone amps etc. Long term we will all benefit as it's going to move up the market.

Hifi have all the appeal to move mainstream. People listen music and expect more in terms of quality. It's the industry's interests keeping the prices at current levels and portraying it as niche. After all if you call it audiophile you can charge twice as much.

I hope Matthew doesn't mind this in his thread but I only originally responded to Major's question.
Hi,

I used an online inflation calculator and the £250 23 years ago is worth £466 today. The Denon costs £180, so amplifiers are cheaper for the same or better performance. This omits any subjective assessment.

I think that equipment is cheaper today, but many people are not interested in Hifi, since publications I regularly subscribed to were taken over by hobbyist publishers. Hifi is in decline.

Overseas production has reduced costs considerably. So we are/have benefited from cheap hifi, and manufacturers have increased profit margins.

My approach on audiophile components is that any separate can be denoted audiophile. I cannot see a distinction between audiophile or run of the mill electronics for audio, if they are separate.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
insider9 said:
My point is though that, with technological advances paired with savings thanks to streamlined manufacturing and distribution hifi is behind other fields.
Mine too, and hopefully MP nor the OP don't mind this slight thread hijack because it seems relevant to me that speakers such as the Diamond 220 could well be paired with amps such as the Denon, which it would seem is not getting the best from them.

Every other aspect of consumer electronics is technologically leagues ahead of what it was in 1990 when the A400 was launched, and it is much much cheaper: computers, TVs, mobile phones (which back then were more 'transportable' than 'mobile'), even domestic appliances like microwave cookers. The cost of technology has fallen far more than inflation has pushed prices up, by an order of magnitude.

So accepting that it's only one person's opinion (but personally I don't doubt he's right) why is an A400 not laid to waste by a modern £200 amp like the Denon? Is it because amplifier technology had already plateaued by 1990 or is it because we're being screwed over...
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
MajorFubar said:
insider9 said:
My point is though that, with technological advances paired with savings thanks to streamlined manufacturing and distribution hifi is behind other fields.
Mine too, and hopefully MP nor the OP don't mind this slight thread hijack because it seems relevant to me that speakers such as the Diamond 220 could well be paired with amps such as the Denon, which it would seem is not getting the best from them.

Every other aspect of consumer electronics is technologically leagues ahead of what it was in 1990 when the A400 was launched, and it is much much cheaper: computers, TVs, mobile phones (which back then were more 'transportable' than 'mobile'), even domestic appliances like microwave cookers. The cost of technology has fallen far more than inflation has pushed prices up, by an order of magnitude.

So accepting that it's only one person's opinion (but personally I don't doubt he's right) why is an A400 not laid to waste by a modern £200 amp like the Denon? Is it because technology had already plateaued by 1990 or is it because we're being screwed over...
Hi,

The only technological changes to amplifiers now are the remote controls with either solid state volume controls, or the inbuilt DAC.

The topology of the circuit has not changed that much, and the transistor has only been improved with regards to higher current outputs and voltage capabilities for the same performance or even higher performance. This has allowed for higher power output, cheaper, and reduced component count.

Taking into account inflation, hifi is comparatively cheaper than it was 20 years ago, and you get more for your money too, with better performance.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

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