Hi-Fi Hype !!

Snooker

Well-known member
Aug 5, 2011
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This is all my opinion, just my view

Some people worry about speaker cables and some whether the connectors are of type banana or spade and if they are even straight or rounded, most people probably think the more you spend on a system the better it will noticeably sound

Well after spending say £5 to £10 on cables and connectors that should be fine, no further real noticeable improvement to the sound after this price point

I think you could spend as little as £2000 on a complete well matched system and that any further money spent would make no real noticeable sound difference, and that many members on this site already have systems within this price range which they have said sound outstanding

I believe the most important part of a hi-fi is the actual source recording in the first place, then speakers and then the combined dac & amplifier, even with an outstanding system some tracks which are not recorded as good as others will not sound as good, so you are always limited to the source recording

A system like the following is an example of how much you could spend and where for £2000:-

Dac Chord Mojo £400 + Amp £600 + Speakers £500 + Cd/Internet Radio/Network Player £300 + Headphones £200 (Just a rough example)

Its not rocket science, at the end of the day your overall system is probably going to sound:-

Average

Very Good

Excellent

Superb

Outstanding

I believe overall that my little Denon Ceol N8 sounds excellent to superb, and that a system like the one above for £2000 would sound overall outstanding, and that after this point sound performance would exponentially decline very quickly, but that does not stop people to imagine that a dearer system still noteably sounds better, thats why I beleive in blind tests !!
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
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Snooker said:
Hi-Fi Hype !!

This is all my opinion, just my view

Some people worry about speaker cables and some whether the connectors are of type banana or spade and if they are even straight or rounded, most people probably think the more you spend on a system the better it will noticeably sound

Well after spending say £5 to £10 on cables and connectors that should be fine, no further real noticeable improvement to the sound after this price point

I think you could spend as little as £2000 on a complete well matched system and that any further money spent would make no real noticeable sound difference, and that many members on this site already have systems within this price range which they have said sound outstanding

I believe the most important part of a hi-fi is the actual source recording in the first place, then speakers and then the combined dac & amplifier, even with an outstanding system some tracks which are not recorded as good as others will not sound as good, so you are always limited to the source recording

A system like the following is an example of how much you could spend and where for £2000:-

Dac Chord Mojo £400 + Amp £600 + Speakers £500 + Cd/Internet Radio/Network Player £300 + Headphones £200 (Just a rough example)

Its not rocket science, at the end of the day your overall system is probably going to sound:-

Average

Very Good

Excellent

Superb

Outstanding

I believe overall that my little Denon Ceol N8 sounds excellent to superb, and that a system like the one above for £2000 would sound overall outstanding, and that after this point sound performance would exponentially decline very quickly, but that does not stop people to imagine that a dearer system still noteably sounds better, thats why I beleive in blind tests !!
well I am not sure everyone is going to agree with you . I personally think you get what you pay for in Hifi and do believe that the more you spend on the most important things which in my case is speakers , amp , CD player , or record player in that order then your on to a winner it's about the best you can afford at the time and not everyone can spend £10000 or more on a Hifi . My setup has set me close to £3000 which I no is the best I can afford at the time but I also no that top end Hifi will make my £3000 Hifi look stupid but who cares ! But if I won the lottery I would be buying the best that I could get because I am that mad to do that but hay that's just me . There are some very good budget Hifi around and I have never knocked it
 
Feb 18, 2015
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Yep, we all have to start somewhere and my first separates was Cambridge audio a500, marantz cd player (can't remember which, reduced from £150 to £90 richer sounds) and a pair of mission 701's,I believed it to be very good at the time and gradually moved on the upgrade ladder. It was in August I heard that same system again, I had sold it to a friend and let's just say it sounded a bit agricultural. You gets what you pay for in this hobby and very rarely an absolute bargain comes along.
 

bigfish786

Moderator
Jan 29, 2013
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Thes things alone could save you a lot of money.

you could spend a grand or a hundred grand, but if it is set up badly it will sound crap.

With a grand you can buy a very decent system. What you do with that system will tell you whether or not you have wasted your money.

If you get the optimum performance from each component you will not be disappointed.
 

Ajani

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Apr 9, 2008
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Snooker said:
This is all my opinion, just my view

...........................................................

I think you could spend as little as £2000 on a complete well matched system and that any further money spent would make no real noticeable sound difference, and that many members on this site already have systems within this price range which they have said sound outstanding

.........................................................

I believe overall that my little Denon Ceol N8 sounds excellent to superb, and that a system like the one above for £2000 would sound overall outstanding, and that after this point sound performance would exponentially decline very quickly, but that does not stop people to imagine that a dearer system still noteably sounds better, thats why I beleive in blind tests !!

I think it's more complicated than that.

I have no doubt you can put together a good sounding system for £2000 or even £1000. But it's never a good idea to let the setup you have determine where you think diminishing returns sets in. Unless you've actually done significant blind testing/measurements of your system and the various other options, then it's just guesswork based on how happy you are with your setup.

Even manufacturers that are all about the science (avoiding the trap of treating HiFi like Witchcraft or Art) make components and systems well beyond £2000. The reason isn't simply to rip off the gullible, it's because those systems produce measurable improvements. Now whether those improvements are worth your cash is a completely personal decision.
 

pyrrhon

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May 9, 2013
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Its true !

Given a few weeks to tweek the speaker at the sweet spot and angle, sitting at the right place then all you have to do is wait for a good mood, sit right in the middle, close you eyes and the music will do the magic. This can happen with a 100$ vintage kit. It doesnt have to be an expensive hobby.
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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It's difficult to argue the last 30 years has seen the playing field levelled an awful lot, especially at the source end of the job. You don't need to spend even nearly the same money to get 90% the same result. You can thank digital sources like CD players for that, The difference between a cheap digital source and an expensive one is nothing near the difference between a cheaply-made turntable and a well-made one, which cost a lot of money to make well.

Pulling a percentage clean out the air, a £25 DVD player from Tesco is maybe 75% as good as a £1,000 CD player, so it's easy to see how these days the money from e.g.: a £2k budget can be better allocated to components in the chain which really do benefit from the additional expenditure, such as speakers, whereas pre-digital you'd spend maybe half your budget on the turntable.
 

ID.

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Feb 22, 2010
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While it would sound good, I think you have very little experience of hi fi components.

I am relatively inexperienced but even just a change from 500 pound speakers to 2000 pound speakers makes a massive difference. I believe there is a law of diminishing returns, but it doesn't mean there is no difference.

different people set different budgets for where they claim there is no longer a difference or no worthwhile improvement. I remember another member claiming it is around 2000 pounds per component. Personally I think that where one sets that limit depends very much on one's personal values and discretionary income and is only slightly influenced by sound quality.
 

manicm

Well-known member
MajorFubar said:
It's difficult to argue the last 30 years has seen the playing field levelled an awful lot, especially at the source end of the job. You don't need to spend even nearly the same money to get 90% the same result. You can thank digital sources like CD players for that, The difference between a cheap digital source and an expensive one is nothing near the difference between a cheaply-made turntable and a well-made one, which cost a lot of money to make well.?

Pulling a percentage clean out the air, a £25 DVD player from Tesco is maybe 75% as good as a £1,000 CD player, so it's easy to see how these days the money from e.g.: a £2k budget can be better allocated to components in the chain which really do benefit from the additional expenditure, such as speakers, whereas pre-digital you'd spend maybe half your budget on the turntable.

You're stretching the truth to breaking point, I heard a budget Cambridge Audio cdp, it was heavily sibilant and sounded like what it was. In a cdp the transport makes a big difference too. And in this example the cdp was the culprit, changing for another one made a difference. I also thought my Sony bdp 360 was only an ok player nothing great.
 

Jota180

Well-known member
May 14, 2010
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pyrrhon said:
Ajani said:
blind testing/measurements

Please stop that science thing. We are in the subjective world here, your not goint to put a number everywhere.

What Hi-Fi. Hi-Fi = High Fidelity.

High Fidelity - Oxford English

!The reproduction of sound with little distortion, giving a result very similar to the original:"

All your equipment and how it works is based on science, physics and maths. Whether you like high fidelity or prefer lower fidelity is really your choice but you can't argue the science of high fidelity.
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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manicm said:
You're stretching the truth to breaking point, I heard a budget Cambridge Audio cdp, it was heavily sibilant and sounded like what it was. In a cdp the transport makes a big difference too. And in this example the cdp was the culprit, changing for another one made a difference. I also thought my Sony bdp 360 was only an ok player nothing great.

To exaggerate the point, yes, even the percentage I quoted was academic and completely unquantifiable, but it doesn't change the truth that even e.g.: a cheap MP3 player is closer to the sound of the best digital player known to man than a cheap turntable is to the best turntable.

Case in point, the OP stated early on in the thread that he's perfectly happy with the sound of his Denon Ceol N8. Three decades ago its equivalent was a midi system and a system at that end of the price spectrum would have had a plastic turntable wth a paper-thin plastic wobbly platter and quite probably a ceramic cartridge. It would have sounded goddam bloody awful.
 

Daz B

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Mar 10, 2010
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The op made an excellent point in that the source ie the recording being played is probably the most important component in the chain. A bad recording whether it is analogue or digital will sound poor on what ever system you play it on. You can spend as much money as you can afford but a poor recorded record or CD will never sound good. The more money you spend often highlights the deficiencies in any poor recording / mastering this is certainly the case with high end turntables.
 

George

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Nov 20, 2014
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[font="ProximaNova-Semibold, arial, verdana, sans-serif"]People are always talking about the equipment but the most important part of any hi-fi system is often overlooked. ROOM ACOUSTICS. I've seen many videos on Youtube of people showing off their new speakers in a large echoey room with wooden laminate flooring and little in the way of soft furnishings. Even the best Hi-Fi in the world is going to sound horrible with bad room acoustics in my humble opinion.[/font]
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Back in 2007 I had huge enjoyment from a system of NAD C521BEE CD player, C325BEE amplifier, and Mordaunt-Short MS902i Avant speakers. It was massively involving, with plenty of detail, depth, and musical cogency. I listened to so much music on that system and then I got the whole upgrade thing in my head and the box-swapping years started.

Along the way I've had Arcam, Rega, Naim, Creek, Exposure, Roksan, Cambridge Audio, Marantz, Harman-Kardon, B&W, KEF, Epos, Quad, Audiolab etc. etc. some of it substantially more expensive than that NAD system, but very little of it as musically satisfying. A couple of times in-between I've gone back to budget NAD (C545BEE and C326BEE) and then started believing all the reviews and hype again and been bitten by the quest for more despite my enjoyment.

I've generally found that with more expensive and reputedly 'better' equipment you can easily end up with a system that impresses in certain areas but which leaves you thinking more about the hi-fi than the music. You can easily get into a never ending cycle and hi-fi can easily become a money pit.

About 2 months ago I finally saw sense. To me, the only point in hi-fi is to serve the music and if it distracts me from the music I'm never going to be happy. Unable to afford the more expensive NAD models, I bit the bullet and went for their entry-level models - C316BEE and C516BEE. The outcome is that I'm using them with my Dynaudio DM2/6 speakers (which I've had for nearly 2 years now and used most of that time) and I'm properly focused on the music again. The system is doing exactly what it should be doing - serving the music, bringing it to life in my lounge, and without distracting from it. Preversely, the budget amp is getting more from the Dyns than I've heard them deliver before, because it is making the most of their superb balance and musicality.

There are some truly stupendous higher-end systems out there, but my experience is that when you get too involved with the equipment it starts to dominate the whole listening experience, and you can also fall into the trap of only listening to the recordings that sound good rather than enjoying the music you want to hear.
 

Snooker

Well-known member
Aug 5, 2011
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mathewpiano, I know we have spoken before and again I think your speakers with my system would probably make it sound as good as it possible could (as I have heard your speakers before), and I am also interested in the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Headphones, I think with this upgrade I would be extremly happy with my system as I am already happy and really like the sound and find it very musical

I went to a Hi-Fi exhibition and honestly found my Denon Ceol N8 sounded better than some much more expensive gear, and the best system I heard was probably around £2000, a small chord amp with built in dac, and separate power supply with your speakers, streamimg from an ipad

I genuinely still believe there is a cost cut off point in Hi-Fi for sound quality, and possibly around the £2000 mark based on systems I have heard and from other peoples reviews on this site
 

Daz B

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Mar 10, 2010
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My sytem consists of a 20 year old Kenwood KA3020se amp, 12 year old Mission M71 speakers, 22 year old Marantz CD63 CD player and a 8 year old Rega P1 turntable. I am more than happy with this setup, however do wonder what benefits I would hear if I upgraded any component. I do enjoy the sound my system produces but do have the urge to audition more expensive equipment to see if there is such a large increase in performance.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
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I would say the people who spend seriously big money on high end Hifi would say something differently to this thread but as I have not seen that kind of person on this site it's a bit one sided thread as most on here are budget to midrange but if there is someone on here who has what they class as top end Hifi let us no what make your Hifi better then a £2000 one . But I still think you get what you pay for in Hifi even if in high end even if they are small gains but they are still gains even if they are small ones plus if you can afford the very best that Hifi can give then the chances are that they would have a room just for Hifi and built for Hifi too as this people do not cut corners they do it right and then the components in top Hifi will be far better then our richer sound Hifi any day of the week it's just a different would that the normal person on the street does not live on but When it comes down to the format there is always going to be rubbish and very good recordings there is not much you can do about that it's just life you have a choice But yes I do Agee that the music is important that always comes first in my book and most people who are on this site do too or why bother being members of this site if it did not matter
 

tino

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Sep 29, 2011
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matthewpiano said:
I listened to so much music on that system and then I got the whole upgrade thing in my head and the box-swapping years started.

You can easily get into a never ending cycle and hi-fi can easily become a money pit.

Sometimes box swapping isn't about getting better performance / quality. It's about downsizing / additional features and functionality / change of scene etc. but still achieving an enjoyable musical experience. This business of chasing small percentage points of performance doesn't do it for me, but I like to buy decent quality gear within a certain price limit. If I strayed beyond those limits it would lead to financial ruin and I don't think I would get much satisfaction from it. Some days I am quite happy to listen to a cheap radio, and leave the hifi switched off.
 

Snooker

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Aug 5, 2011
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Daz B said:
My sytem consists of a 20 year old Kenwood KA3020se amp, 12 year old Mission M71 speakers, 22 year old Marantz CD63 CD player and a 8 year old Rega P1 turntable. I am more than happy with this setup, however do wonder what benefits I would hear if I upgraded any component. I do enjoy the sound my system produces but do have the urge to audition more expensive equipment to see if there is such a large increase in performance.

You could try an all in one system like mine, the new Denon Ceol N9 or new Marantz MCR611, with some good speakers like the Dali Zensor 1's or Dali Zensor 3's or any other good speakers which match well, and see what you think, unless of course you want to go the separates route instead *smile*
 

Vladimir

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Price is the most important thing a consumer understands, it is the universal language of the consumer in every country. Tell people performance is in watts, dB, ampere, volts, graphs... they will not understand, get confused and even angry. But give them structured prices and anecdotal product descriptions, now we are talking. Though anecdotes are important, the most dominant indicator about value to the consumer is the price. If you sell high quality too cheap, people won't buy it, the price speakes to them something is not right with it.

If you line up 7 jars full of air, write labels with structured prices going from cheapest to most expensive, then write some anecdote about each jar, say each air is from different parts of the Earth and add some testimonials, people will distribute different value in coordinance with prices and ancdotes. They will actually buy your jars of air, and economic theory tells us the second one from the cheapest options will be the biggest seller.

Now replace 7 jars of air with 7 audiophile power cords... :D
 

tino

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Sep 29, 2011
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Vladimir said:
If you line up 7 jars full of air, write labels with structured prices going from cheapest to most expensive, then write some anecdote about each jar, say each air is from different parts of the Earth and add some testimonials, people will distribute different value in coordinance with prices and ancdotes.

Which is why subjective and anecdotal reviews are to be taken with a huge pinch of salt. Measure the quality and chemical composition of the air in each jar then make this information available to the consumer - that they are so similar as makes no difference - then I bet the consumer would change their mind. Put some of the same air inside an aluminium engraved jar ... now we're talking *acute*
 

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