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seeking reassurance over new speakers

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Leif

New member
May 11, 2014
26
1
0
davedotco said:
I understand exactly.

I often get criticised on here for 'blowing my own trumpet' when I point out some of the companies I have worked for/with and some of the people I have met. I have been involved in the hi-fi/pro-audio business since I worked saturdays in Tottenham Court Rd (for £5 a day!) when I was at university.

This is more than 45 years experience, so when you explain how parts of the industry actually works and get given a hard time by people with zero knowledge on the subject, it becomes a little tedious.

That said, if they want to believe that the modern hi-fi industry is full of enthusiasts working all hours in their labs and listening rooms in order to 'improve' their product for the discerning audiophile, then so be it.
Clearly you know far more than me about the audio industry, I've been in telecoms. defence, marine, document scanners etc.

It is curious that we (the English) excel at professions where image is all important. I'm thinking about sports/expensive cars (Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Bentley etc), banking, financial services, and other services, as obvious examples, but I think of hifi as being in that group as well. Whether or not that is the case, I don't know since I don't work in the audio industry. But I do get the impression that there is an awful lot of smoke and mirrors. Your own thoughts on that would be of interest. *smile*
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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0
In the UK and USA, markets of which I have some experience, hi-fi, like many consumer products, comes in two flavours.

The mainstream/mass market which can range from complete trash to decent, honest value for money products and the 'designer' market of high priced, aspirational items that most normal folk find absurdly expensive.

Strangely, when the 'industry' gets together at shows and other gatherings, this distinction virtually dissappears on a personal level and everyone puts on a front to the public, selling their wares in whatever way suits their profile. Trends tend to be widespread with the current lifestyle/integrated/multi-function setups being at the top of the tree.

The whole industry works very hard at maintaining the 'it's all about the music' front and it helps that some of the footsoldiers on the lower tiers seem to actually believe this. The 'punters' seem to suck this up though the only areas that this attitude is even remotely accurate is the handful of what I call enthusiast dealers and some of the cottage industry manufacturers that they support.

The real hardcore enthusiasts, the avid review readers and others fascinated by the minutiae of hi-fi are tolerated with a sort of mild distain, too 'difficult' for the mainstream market and too poor for the aspirational/designer produts, financially they are inconsequential.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Leif, The post is about someone seeking reassurances to buying a new model of speakers being better. Not the opposite.My first post was saying if they are better it's the posters decision to buy or not. I then backed this up in the next post saying it goes without saying they should be listened to, to work this out.

but you are being pessimistic to someone who has set this thread up for assurances.

Your point was a pessimistic one that speakers are all about marketing to sell but I said there is an underlying philosophy based on the tech and design philosophy, to achieving the sound they want. That could go into the new speaker. It seems on its review it does.

I am not sure what purpose is served in then asking me for evidence. Ie a closed ended argument that I have zero knowledge if I don't work in the industry. What I am doing is maintaining a line of respective debate which I enjoy doing on forums.

you then go back to saying that I am trying to convince the op the newer model is better actually isn't what I said in the first few posts. So your points are circular.

but then I don't need to supply evidence as it seems to be entirely rationale and reasonable and well considered to say that if pmc bring out a transmission line design it's not just for marketing reasons. There will be sound technical reasons to do that, just like an improved driver on a speaker or better damped cabinet etc, with monitor audio. Have you not thought that pmc and monitor audio have reasons to get the best out of their designs. You seem to think they don't and it's all marketing spin.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
davedotco said:
In the UK and USA, markets of which I have some experience, hi-fi, like many consumer products, comes in two flavours.

The mainstream/mass market which can range from complete trash to decent, honest value for money products and the 'designer' market of high priced, aspirational items that most normal folk find absurdly expensive.

Strangely, when the 'industry' gets together at shows and other gatherings, this distinction virtually dissappears on a personal level and everyone puts on a front to the public, selling their wares in whatever way suits their profile. Trends tend to be widespread with the current lifestyle/integrated/multi-function setups being at the top of the tree.

The whole industry works very hard at maintaining the 'it's all about the music' front and it helps that some of the footsoldiers on the lower tiers seem to actually believe this. The 'punters' seem to suck this up though the only areas that this attitude is even remotely accurate is the handful of what I call enthusiast dealers and some of the cottage industry manufacturers that they support.

The real hardcore enthusiasts, the avid review readers and others fascinated by the minutiae of hi-fi are tolerated with a sort of mild distain, too 'difficult' for the mainstream market and too poor for the aspirational/designer produts, financially they are inconsequential.
i think the real knowledgable hard core enthusiasts that know the technical ins and outs are few and far between on forums, profess to do so, but on forums people tend to run them down such that they go back and forward between eachother on technical debates with nobody winning the debate, or really convincing others, unless it's on more simpler concepts. And anyway who is going to accept what someone says on a forum when they don't know them, their technical ability etc, if anything other than basic knowledge or well understood stuff. I wouldn't.

Being me, I'd prefer to go and pick up a textbook and work it through myself, if I even had the remote interest of why say a transmission line works or not against a different design. But I don't because I find it a bit boring. I'd rather chat about what's available in hi fi, how good it sounds, new developments on functionality, music, value in hi fi. These are more interesting to me than some technical reason to do with a multimeter, I really could not care less about. I'm not critising anybody who does like that stuff, I'm just describing it's not for me. It almost seems anti hi fi for consumers who just buy it, because music is universally pleasing to all, much more interesting, and the hi fi does the music and why we have it. It's Like Roger federer scrutinising why he is so good in his technique. Why does he care if he is winning all the time. It's like the same with hi fi, why care if it's good to me.

But the people on forums who profess to know all the technical reasons, that is a speaker makers bread and butter. They have commercial reasons to maintain arguments which I buy more if others present more credible details. I just don't buy this attitude of 'it's not about music' and marketing. What I think it is, is jealousy. People who would like to be able to sell products for thousands.

But it's a bit like saying Porsche have no interest in the car, it's all a marketing exercise and it's not about the driving with carbon breaks etc. You just can't say it's all a marketing exercise if the manufacturers have knowledge they put into products that make a difference. And if it is more rudimentary knowledge than speaker makers make out, you should set your own speaker firm up and sell them and I'd wish you a lot of luck doing so. It's human behaviour to put people down selling stuff for thousands which appears simple to some, because they are not doing it. Much more credible.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
Part of the reason i made the posts above was to pont out that just because a new model comes out, it is not necessarily going to be better than the item it replaced.

There may be all kinds of reasons for the changes made and they may have little or nothing to do with the performance of the speaker. Naturally the sales and marketing guys are not going to say that, they will have all their 'stories' lined up, plenty of details on the 'improvements' for the reviewers to write about.

In reality, the new speaker will probably have a few small differences to distinquish it from the model it replaces and these will be touted as evidence of the improvements though overall, given that they are both models in the same range, I would expect the two speakers to be very similar in general terms.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
858
404
5,270
davedotco said:
Part of the reason i made the posts above was to pont out that just because a new model comes out, it is not necessarily going to be better than the item it replaced.

There may be all kinds of reasons for the changes made and they may have little or nothing to do with the performance of the speaker. Naturally the sales and marketing guys are not going to say that, they will have all their 'stories' lined up, plenty of details on the 'improvements' for the reviewers to write about.

In reality, the new speaker will probably have a few small differences to distinquish it from the model it replaces and these will be touted as evidence of the improvements though overall, given that they are both models in the same range, I would expect the two speakers to be very similar in general terms.
+1

And to OP, it may be that what distinguishes the new Silvers is not to your liking so wouldn't worry.

I've owned previous generation Monitor Audio speakers and if jumps were massive the 4/5 generations old speakers should really sound terrible by that assumption.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
insider9 said:
QuestForThe13thNote said:
Leif, The post is about someone seeking reassurances to buying a new model of speakers being better. Not the opposite.
I think you're the only one who interpreted it like this.
put it this way, having done lots of upgrades in the past and got amazing enjoyment out of my hi fi, I wouldn't desuade someone the opportunity of upgrading to get pleasing sonic improvements, not least of which when those people are skeptical. I think most would agree with me.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
davedotco said:
I understand exactly.

I often get criticised on here for 'blowing my own trumpet' when I point out some of the companies I have worked for/with and some of the people I have met. I have been involved in the hi-fi/pro-audio business since I worked saturdays in Tottenham Court Rd (for £5 a day!) when I was at university.

This is more than 45 years experience, so when you explain how parts of the industry actually works and get given a hard time by people with zero knowledge on the subject, it becomes a little tedious.

That said, if they want to believe that the modern hi-fi industry is full of enthusiasts working all hours in their labs and listening rooms in order to 'improve' their product for the discerning audiophile, then so be it.
davedotco, who are these people with zero knowledge on the subject that are giving you a hard time?

You said:

davedotco said:
It helps if you understand how mainstream product is manufactured.

A company like Monitor Audio will design a product and then decide how many they are going to sell, the marketing guys will have a big say in this.

With this decided, they can order in the parts and materials needed for this production run and allocate time on the production line. This will determine the factory price of the product and keep it as low as possible. The production run will be completed in it's entirety with the sales people simply required to sell the product at a profit.
Linn are a company like Monitor Audio. They organise their production in pretty much the opposite way to how you are saying that they do.

That's why I asked you if you have visited the factory of Monitor Audio, and which other hi-fi factories you have visited. Questions that you have not properly answered so far. From post #46 I can only infer that you have not visited the MA factory. You have not named the smaller audio company that you have visited. If it was Musical Fidelity, I would not hold them up as typical of the UK hi-fi industry in they way they - reportedly - organise their production.

I understand why you may feel that I am giving you a hard time on what you've said in the last 2 pages of this thread.

However, what you've said appears to be largely untrue.

If you have 45 years in the hi-fi industry you shouldn't be making statements that are as wide of the mark as the ones you made in post #32.

When combined with the other wide of the mark statements that you have made this indicates that you might be one of those people that has gone through a whole career and understood almost nothing of any importance. You wouldn't be the only person on the internet like this. I've come across other people - mainly ex Linn-Naim dealers - who spout a load of nonsense when it comes to hi-fi.

The other possibility is that you are a Walter Mitty fantasist.

Do you understand JIT - Just in Time manufacturing? Do you understand why so many companies aspire to JIT? Do you understand why the model you set out in post #32 is the opposite to JIT?

In post #35 you claimed that "mass market" manufacturers work according to the methods you outlined in post #32. Can you name any UK hi-fi manufacturers that are "mass market"? I can't. None that are "mass market" in the same way that for example, Crosslee tumble dryers are? Do you know how Crosslee organise their production?
 

Leif

New member
May 11, 2014
26
1
0
This is going off piste, however I work for an electronics goods company, and some stock is kept on the shelves so that when a small order comes in, we can test and ship at short notice. For large orders we usually have to order in components which means delayed shipping. I know that Nikon make some items such as SE binoculars in batches, then store them on shelves ready to satisfy orders. Clearly it is too expensive to keep a production line continually running for an item with a low sales volume. For high volume items, they will have production lines running full time.

Regarding aspirational hifi, I assume that stuff sells mainly to the very rich who want 'the best' and who don't care about the price. I am reliably told that some binoculars are designed to be the most expensive, and that rich buyers will buy them because they assume they are the best. The Swarovski 8x42 SV is an example.
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
3
18,545
davedotco said:
Part of the reason i made the posts above was to pont out that just because a new model comes out, it is not necessarily going to be better than the item it replaced.

There may be all kinds of reasons for the changes made and they may have little or nothing to do with the performance of the speaker. Naturally the sales and marketing guys are not going to say that, they will have all their 'stories' lined up, plenty of details on the 'improvements' for the reviewers to write about.

In reality, the new speaker will probably have a few small differences to distinquish it from the model it replaces and these will be touted as evidence of the improvements though overall, given that they are both models in the same range, I would expect the two speakers to be very similar in general terms.
Never has a truer word been spoken.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
A company may well vary their production depending on the product, the high value 'niche' product may well be made in small batches depending on sales but that will be very different from how a mass market compact/bridge camera is built.

Again the production of such a model will be very close to the methods I outlined earlier, all options are open.

For example, in the hi-fi industry, most Tannoy speakers are mass produced in China, their production cycle will be very much as described earlier with models being replaced my 'new' versions on a regular basis. On the other hand, their aspirational Prestige GR models are made in the Tannoy factory in Scotland.

It was never my intention to get involved in a debate on hi-fi production, but simply to explain the way the production cycle works when we are discussing high volume mainstream equipment. With production now often located in China the cycle is particularly tight where the 'name' companies simply contract out their production runs.

I thought it useful that enthusiasts had an idea (much simplified) of how much of the product they buy is concieved and produced.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
Yes be assured in the knowledge that your speakers still sound good and a new model would more likely be slightly(and i mean very slightly) different but not better.

Most manufacturers bring out new models to keep up with the competition and drive sales.

A company like atc are still making almost unchanged speaker designs year in, year out and still win awards for best speaker etc so dont let a review make you feel otherwise. Reviews in magazines are designed to sell copies and also drive sales of hifi equipment.

There is only one persons opinion that matters and thats yours not a reviewer
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Most of it you paid a lot for. My brother in law still has my tannoy mercury m3s, £240 in about 1995 and probably double in inflation. But a £500 speaker gets you a lot more now e.g. Q acoustics. My dad has some castle Kensington speakers I think they are, he paid around £1000 in 70s but you get loads more quality sound for your buck now.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
614
381
19,270
insider9 said:
davedotco said:
Part of the reason i made the posts above was to pont out that just because a new model comes out, it is not necessarily going to be better than the item it replaced.

There may be all kinds of reasons for the changes made and they may have little or nothing to do with the performance of the speaker. Naturally the sales and marketing guys are not going to say that, they will have all their 'stories' lined up, plenty of details on the 'improvements' for the reviewers to write about.

In reality, the new speaker will probably have a few small differences to distinquish it from the model it replaces and these will be touted as evidence of the improvements though overall, given that they are both models in the same range, I would expect the two speakers to be very similar in general terms.
+1

And to OP, it may be that what distinguishes the new Silvers is not to your liking so wouldn't worry.

I've owned previous generation Monitor Audio speakers and if jumps were massive the 4/5 generations old speakers should really sound terrible by that assumption.
That was pretty much my thought too. If every new model really was such a big advance, the gear of a few years ago must have been rubbish, which plainly it wasn't!
 

johnnyboy1950

Well-known member
May 27, 2013
25
0
18,540
Phew! did not expect so many replies.

I know listening to the 200s would be a good idea but I dont want to in case I like them more! If I like them more it will be bad news as I cant justify paying out £1000.

Thats why I wondered if anyone has compared the 2 and they can give me the news I want to hear.
 

mond

New member
Jan 11, 2011
10
0
0
In a year or so the price for the old and new model will probably be similar on the used market, so if you really want the newer model just sell yours used and buy the other ones used also and you probably won't lose much money and get the newer version . Then you can see if it sounds better or not :)
 

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