Question Is expensive hifi worth it today?

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WayneKerr

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Jan 21, 2022
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All soundly run businesses will include the cost of product development / R&D into their product cost when figuring out a pricing strategy. That said, I suspect that the net margins of domestic hifi is quite high for the more popular products, if they don't sell in numbers you could easily lose a shirt or two in the process. Ultimately, the price of a product will be set as high as possible to generate maximum profit, at a level that enough people are prepared to pay. Some products are clearly a rip off, except people are prepared to pay £100s for cables for example that require little to no R&D for the intended application.
Agreed when I look at what was knocked-off my kit when I purchased it. Most of it was 40% off RRP, recent headphones were slightly different at only 10% off. They still make a good profit even at this level of discount.
 

AJM1981

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2021
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I’ve dipped in and out of here for years with no previous issues, this time I’ll dip out permanently.
He posted a general warning to all participants. Didn't quote you personally.

Apart from that. A forum is a house and since you are not hosting this forum, rules and preferences might apply in a different way compared to another forum. Feel free to fit in or not. It is our choice to stay or go.
 
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robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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In my experience the law of diminishing returns kicks in much earlier than many of us would like to admit. I've been as far as Quad Artera Stereo power amp and Play CD/pre-amp, and other kit of that level. It didn't give me any more musical enjoyment than the system I have now, and actually it mostly gave less. I've hit my magic spot with the system in my signature and I see no point whatsoever in venturing upwards again. Other opinions are available.
I know you had the Denon pma 1600ne. Can ask you how the sound of this compares to the other amps you've had? I think Denon is terrific and the 1600ne is something I covet but it is huge!
 
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SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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I know you had the Denon pma 1600ne. Can ask you how the sound of this compares to the other amps you've had? I think Denon is terrific and the 1600ne is something I covet but it is huge!
I'm toying with the idea 9f the 900hne, just got the 600ne and it's rather good, just need better connectivity and streaming options. The 1700ne is the successor to the 1600, and AV. Com has an open box in silver for just over a grand. Bargain.
 

npxavar

Well-known member
Nov 30, 2022
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The hifi industry is all smoke and mirrors.

(Accusation of payola deleted by moderation.) Also ignore all of the marketing BS unless it’s actually backed up by science and engineering and isn‘t just a word salad to try and make you believe in magic.

The truth is out there if you look for it and do some research. There is plenty online about double blind listening tests and which measurements actually matter etc.

The amount of money it costs to obtain true high fidelity does not cost the thousands of pounds some like to believe.
Musicians don't care that much about hi-fi gear. The ones who are actually trained to judge tonality, timing, instrument timbre etc. There is a video on youtube where Paul McGowan tries to explain why this happens. It may be temporary but I trully believe that my "mid-fi" Dali Oberon 3s driven by a Cambridge Audio CXA80 are enough to reproduce music correctly. The speakers are placed on wooden furniture, on the same surface as the amp, and the bass is attenuated through the amp's tone control.

For me things can get very expensive in hi-fi and still find an audience because some people treat hi-fi as watches, i.e. as a technological item that ties to their self-image.
 

podknocker

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Feb 5, 2021
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Totally agree. Musicians walk into recording studios and expect state of art equipment and would need to use similar gear to appreciate their own work and that of others. I doubt there are many rich and famous musicians out there, listening to music on old 8 track receivers, through crappy ITT speakers from decades ago.
 
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matthewpianist

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Feb 18, 2022
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I'm a musician myself, educated to Masters level and having played in both professional and amateur settings. My love for high quality hi-fi comes out of my passion for music.

I had a conversation with Anthony Michaelson a few years ago and he was a very nice man with a real passion for music. I think the clue is in the name of the company he founded.
 

npxavar

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Nov 30, 2022
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I'm a musician myself, educated to Masters level and having played in both professional and amateur settings. My love for high quality hi-fi comes out of my passion for music.

I had a conversation with Anthony Michaelson a few years ago and he was a very nice man with a real passion for music. I think the clue is in the name of the company he founded.
Your signature literally yells that you try to stick with a modest system. Which confirms the impression I gained from Paul McGowan's video. Would anyone call your setup "hi-end"?

 

matthewpianist

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Feb 18, 2022
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Your signature literally yells that you try to stick with a modest system. Which confirms the impression I gained from Paul McGowan's video. Would anyone call your setup "hi-end"?

It perhaps isn't high end, but it's not a dirt cheap setup either, and it has been very carefully put together after trying a vast range of kit - including some which was much more expensive.
 
What one person says on YouTube is utterly irrelevant. I know Cillian Murphy is best known as an actor, but he's a musician too. He has described his hifi as his one real indulgence. I have no doubt there are many other examples.
 
Your signature literally yells that you try to stick with a modest system. Which confirms the impression I gained from Paul McGowan's video. Would anyone call your setup "hi-end"?

Your signature literally yells that you try to stick with a modest system. Which confirms the impression I gained from Paul McGowan's video. Would anyone call your setup "hi-end"?

Keep it civil....
 

robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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I'm toying with the idea 9f the 900hne, just got the 600ne and it's rather good, just need better connectivity and streaming options. The 1700ne is the successor to the 1600, and AV. Com has an open box in silver for just over a grand. Bargain.
Don't know if you saw my post above about the 900hne. I would be a little wary of this as I tried the Denon 800ne network audio player and didn't think it was all that great. I thought the ifi Zen blue (which I previously owned) sounded better and I believe my ifi Zen One signature sounds significantly better.
 

Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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I'm a musician myself, educated to Masters level and having played in both professional and amateur settings. My love for high quality hi-fi comes out of my passion for music.
A similar background to yourself and the same motivation for enjoying high quality hi-fi, the clarity and being able to clearly hear each instruments voice in the way it's meant to sound and when you hear something that's say bright, harsh or distorted it kills the enjoyment of the music.

I do think there are levels though, I'd love to have access to loads of different systems across various budgets and be able to compare them, I'm sure if you could try 5 / 10 different amps with 5 / 10 different sets of speakers you could probably put together an amazing system without spending a fortune.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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Don't know if you saw my post above about the 900hne. I would be a little wary of this as I tried the Denon 800ne network audio player and didn't think it was all that great. I thought the ifi Zen blue (which I previously owned) sounded better and I believe my ifi Zen One signature sounds significantly better.
No, I missed it, can't see it in the thread either - I'm not having a good day today....
 

Deliriumbassist

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Apr 27, 2011
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"Is it worth it?"

It's a very interesting question.
I'm a musician myself, educated to Masters level and having played in both professional and amateur settings. My love for high quality hi-fi comes out of my passion for music.

I had a conversation with Anthony Michaelson a few years ago and he was a very nice man with a real passion for music. I think the clue is in the name of the company he founded.
I've dealt with many musicians over the years I was in hifi - including some big names that I will not drop (because I believe in privacy - not just because I had to sign NDAs for some of them). Even myself - I got into hifi as a musician, been playing since I was 7, now 34. Signed a recording contract out of university, which is not a 9-5 job, and if you ain't making money, you're spending it. So as I was interested in the creation of music, the performance of music - next logical step is the reproduction of music. Local hifi store was advertising for a part time position. Perfect.
 
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AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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Totally agree. Musicians walk into recording studios and expect state of art equipment and would need to use similar gear to appreciate their own work and that of others. I doubt there are many rich and famous musicians out there, listening to music on old 8 track receivers, through crappy ITT speakers from decades ago.
Nothing wrong with that.

In case of the brought up discussion here

Off course there is a link in music as one passion can kickstart another, but there are two completely different fields of expertise here and depending on what role a musician takes in this it mostly depends on its second set of skills. That one has affinity with playing an instrument is ok, but one sportsman doesn't automatically do well at another discipline. I bet that it must be good for marketing, but that is about it.
 

Symples

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Aug 12, 2021
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Is expensive hifi worth it today?

Good question.

Lately I have been spending much more on hifi than I had done for the past 5 years or so.

Originally £200 was my limit.
But I wanted more.

Is is worth it?
To me in some cases yes.
Take my Gyrodec:
I bought it second hand (I was not prepared to pay full new price) Bought primarily on looks, then sound quality. The arm and cartridge were bought on hifi review recommendations.
Does It sound better?
I hope so. Though I never did an A-B comparison.

The same with my CD. (Yamaha CD S2100 second hand)
Bought purely on looks and I love the construction. Built like a tank. I am not sure that it sounds better than my Marantz CD 63SE but I love it.

It's not just sound quality, but it is the quality of components used in construction, the look and of course exclusivity.

...not forgetting the jargon used to bolster brand :)

I think more expensive is worth it if the quality of sound AND the quality of components are evident.
 
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Mark Dunlop

Member
Nov 15, 2022
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Hi Rob
I'm not in a position to afford anything beyond what you might call "decent budget" gear at the moment. For clarity, that's a 2021 Rotel A11 Tribute, 2022 Rotel CD14 and Rega P2 with mid-2000s B&W DM 602 s3 speakers on Atacama 60 stands. Perfectly nice stuff, but no component over £500. I was replacing some 1990s gear - as I couldn't afford the more expensive stuff e.g. an A14 amp or P3 turntable, much less something like a separate power amp, I decided to try improving the system with things like home-made power leads, better speaker cable and home-made interconnects and was surprised at the improvement in sound for very little outlay. By that I mean power leads worked out at £15/metre, interconnects £25-£35/metre and AudioQuest Rocket 11 speaker cable at £12/metre. I got the speaker stands 2nd hand for £30 through Gumtree. Definite improvements for a cost that your wife wouldn't baulk at, plus the satisfaction of using something you've made yourself :)
 

Symples

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2021
137
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670
Hi Rob
I'm not in a position to afford anything beyond what you might call "decent budget" gear at the moment. For clarity, that's a 2021 Rotel A11 Tribute, 2022 Rotel CD14 and Rega P2 with mid-2000s B&W DM 602 s3 speakers on Atacama 60 stands. Perfectly nice stuff, but no component over £500. I was replacing some 1990s gear - as I couldn't afford the more expensive stuff e.g. an A14 amp or P3 turntable, much less something like a separate power amp, I decided to try improving the system with things like home-made power leads, better speaker cable and home-made interconnects and was surprised at the improvement in sound for very little outlay. By that I mean power leads worked out at £15/metre, interconnects £25-£35/metre and AudioQuest Rocket 11 speaker cable at £12/metre. I got the speaker stands 2nd hand for £30 through Gumtree. Definite improvements for a cost that your wife wouldn't baulk at, plus the satisfaction of using something you've made yourself :)
Now making your own leads. That's a great idea.

Many moons ago (80s) I did consider building my own speakers. (I had one attempt and it was rubbish)
I did then consider buying a speaker kit from Wimslow Audio, but never got around to it.
They seem expensive nowadays.

I wanted to build an RTL TDL3 equivalent. (Now nearly £1700 for a plain kit!!!)
But the way.... an TDL RTL3 can be bought on ebay for under £200

But I stiill want to build a speaker :)
 
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Now making your own leads. That's a great idea.

Many moons ago (80s) I did consider building my own speakers. (I had one attempt and it was rubbish)
I did then consider buying a speaker kit from Wimslow Audio, but never got around to it.
They seem expensive nowadays.

I wanted to build an RTL TDL3 equivalent. (Now nearly £1700 for a plain kit!!!)
But the way.... an TDL RTL3 can be bought on ebay for under £200

But I stiill want to build a speaker :)
me too, one day....
 

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