Is the law of diminishing returns a BS concept?

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Is there more to it than that extra little bit performance for £XXX? Is a 1000k dac 10 times better than a 100quid one? Is the pride of ownership more important than sound? dose it all add up and go hand in hand? and so on

a topic by Steve
 

Gray

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If 'pride of ownership's is your criteria, then all bets are off.
But if it's a case of serving it's intended purpose (in terms of sound quality), then there's no question that the law of diminishing returns, far from being a 'BS concept', is an obvious fact.

My £100 Khadas Toneboard DAC wouldn't sound 10x worse than a £1000 DAC to most.....but it would look 1000x worse to many....and it's 'pride of ownership' would get zero rating from snobs (understandably).
 
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12th Monkey

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As Gray says, returns obviously diminish in empirical terms.

But there's another way of looking at this - I know you can't put a percentage on how a system sounds, but humour me as a way of illustrating my point. Let's say someone has a modest system, and we gauge it as sounding 60% of real (yes, I know this opens up more questions than it might answer...). Suppose a system based upon double the budget gets to 80%, that's obviously a diminishing return. But a doubling of budget has also halved the gap between what the system can deliver and 'reality'. In that respect, my rather contrived example does deliver. A doubling of budget halves the deficit to reality.

I think that sometimes relatively small improvements can be the things that maximise listening pleasure. It depends upon how demanding/picky (delete as applicable) the listener is.
 
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If 'pride of ownership's is your criteria, then all bets are off.
But if it's a case of serving it's intended purpose (in terms of sound quality), then there's no question that the law of diminishing returns, far from being a 'BS concept', is an obvious fact.

My £100 Khadas Toneboard DAC wouldn't sound 10x worse than a £1000 DAC to most.....but it would look 1000x worse to many....and it's 'pride of ownership' would get zero rating from snobs (understandably).
Not a criteria just an example of another factor that many seem to maybe overlook.

Is it an obvious fact? can you point at a component and say that's worth more because of such and such. leading to better sound/

Do you generally get what you pay for in this world?
 

Gray

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....and there's no doubt that spending many thousands brings pride of ownership.
To many such people the law works in reverse.....the less they spend, the worse it must necessarily be.
Today's value products mean that is not always true.
 
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Deleted member 116933

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As Gray says, returns obviously diminish in empirical terms.

But there's another way of looking at this - I know you can't put a percentage on how a system sounds, but humour me as a way of illustrating my point. Let's say someone has a modest system, and we gauge it as sounding 60% of real (yes, I know this opens up more questions than it might answer...). Suppose a system based upon double the budget gets to 80%, that's obviously a diminishing return. But a doubling of budget has also halved the gap between what the system can deliver and 'reality'. In that respect, my rather contrived example does deliver. A doubling of budget halves the deficit to reality.

I think that sometimes relatively small improvements can be the things that maximise listening pleasure. It depends upon how demanding/picky (delete as applicable) the listener is.
I get what your saying! as you say though it opens up many more questions

As we as a furom often get asked about that next "upgrade" all the time. And I struggle to give answers most of the time, the answers I give are more or less much of a muchness
 
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....and there's no doubt that spending many thousands brings pride of ownership.
To many such people the law works in reverse.....the less they spend, the worse it must necessarily be.
Today's value products mean that is not always true.
Very true

I think headphones are a great example of that observation
 
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Deleted member 116933

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Yes, very real, it is this that keeps the second hand market strong.

Could you please elaborate on that? I understand that someone can get yesteryears tech on the cheap and certainly end up with a system greater in value than they could otherwise afford. But don't get how it would affect a dimensioning return as for the second-hand market that would be the other way round as they will always be getting more for less.
 
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In my experience the law of diminishing returns is very real, and it sets in surprisingly early.
I don't disagree and in some ways I do.

I see you have upgraded to Metas maybe this would be a great example.

What did you see in the meta's that saw you upgrade? I believe you had the LS50 didn't you? has this been more of a side step for you or was there a tangible difference?

Have they given you more or have you and be honest been somewhat let down in any way by the promise?
 

abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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From the way the question is phrased you seem to indicate that it is unique to HI-Fi, whereas it applies to everything in life and has done so for centuries, so it is not BS. (You are not by any chance an avid viewer of the Steve Guttenberg Audiophiliac channel on YouTube are you?)

Bill
 
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matthewpiano

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I don't disagree and in some ways I do.

I see you have upgraded to Metas maybe this would be a great example.

What did you see in the meta's that saw you upgrade? I believe you had the LS50 didn't you? has this been more of a side step for you or was there a tangible difference?

Have they given you more or have you and be honest been somewhat let down in any way by the promise?
I never had the original LS50s, so I can't comment on the difference between those and the Metas.

Speakers are my biggest weakness and I currently have the following:
Dynaudio DM2/6
KEF LS50 Meta
Wharfedale Linton Heritage 85
B&W 606
Dali Spektor 2 (though these have a permanent place in our bedroom system).

I also have a choice of amps and CD players:
Marantz CD6007/PM6007
Musical Fidelity M2scd/M2si
NAD C568/C368

On paper, based on price, the Marantz/Dynaudio combination might be expected to fall short of the others, but at present I'm finding it the best. The Dyns are the speakers I've had the longest (7 years) and I've heard them with a wide variety of kit. They gel beautifully with the Marantz and, more than anything else, I find myself forgetting about the equipment and focusing on the music. I know with some confidence that going back to the Rega Apollo/Rega Elex-R/Spendor A1 system I had a couple of years ago wouldn't proportionally improve on this in hi-fi terms against the price difference, and it would actually reduce my enjoyment of the music.
 

plastic penguin

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Laws of diminishing returns is how one views their system. I purchased the Leema (brand new) for £750, reduced from around £1200. The PMCs with stands cost £800 (ex-dem) and the Exposure was £250, incl. original box. Originally it was £599. The combination is fantastic, so I never think or worry about depreciation.

It's like my Alfa Romeo. It cost me £800 but I've spent roughly around £2k over the 4 year period on MOTs, servicing, exhaust pipe, tyres etc etc. I won't ever see that money back but that's the joys of motoring - and I love the Alfa.

Exactly my thoughts with hi-fi.
 

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