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Some OVERRATED High End Gear.

post #1 of 330
Thread Starter 

So what High End Equipment do you think of as being Overrated? and I don't mean just the wicked expensive cost no object items. how each of us "rates" an item is almost entirely subjective. So I would say that whether something is overrated has more to do with perceived performance than perceived value. If something is the very best then I would argue that it cannot be overrated, nor can it be overpriced. What price is appropriate for the best?

 

Some current or almost current products that I view as dramatically Overrated are:

 

The Berkeley Alpha DAC - I've listened to this DAC in several systems and every-time thought it was OK, but nothing special. With many pundits touting that it is one of the very best DAC's regardless of price I find it very overrated.

 

Benchmark DAC-1 - Four years ago I purchased one and ultimately found it wanting, now there are many DAC's in the sub $800 range that dramatically outperform it. Yet it is still touted as being top tier and a great value by many, way overrated.

 

Digital Amplifiers - I had the Bel Canto Reference 1000's and I've listened to others. Without fail I have found them all to be decidedly unengaging, and not especially good amplifiers. My back and I so wanted to like the Reference 1000's. To go from 90 lb. mono block amps to 13 lb monos would have been fantastic. Not to mention that the digital amps made a significant difference in my monthly electric bill, but alas they don't stand up to more conventional A/AB amplifiers. Overrated.

post #2 of 330

LCD2 Nice headphone but not the second coming of christ as its' thread might have you believe.

K1000 Highs too grainy and present for my liking, got fatigued very quickly.

Most Woo amps WA5 is nice but the rest I haven't really cared for.

John Grados Haven't liked any of them at all, but the old Joe Grado HP2 is fantastic.

DT48 The worst HF headphone I've ever heard.

Jade Probably the worst electrostat I've heard but I'd like to hear it again just to be sure, it's been a while now.

 

There's a lot more but these are off the top of my head.

post #3 of 330

I'm guessing that by the time this thread dies, every piece of gear ever mentioned on this site will be listed as overated. biggrin.gif

post #4 of 330

Anything that is rated as high-end that to your ear, is not.

post #5 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post

So what High End Equipment do you think of as being Overrated? and I don't mean just the wicked expensive cost no object items. how each of us "rates" an item is almost entirely subjective. So I would say that whether something is overrated has more to do with perceived performance than perceived value. If something is the very best then I would argue that it cannot be overrated, nor can it be overpriced. What price is appropriate for the best?

 

Some current or almost current products that I view as dramatically Overrated are:

 

The Berkeley Alpha DAC - I've listened to this DAC in several systems and every-time thought it was OK, but nothing special. With many pundits touting that it is one of the very best DAC's regardless of price I find it very overrated.

 

Benchmark DAC-1 - Four years ago I purchased one and ultimately found it wanting, now there are many DAC's in the sub $800 range that dramatically outperform it. Yet it is still touted as being top tier and a great value by many, way overrated.

 

Digital Amplifiers - I had the Bel Canto Reference 1000's and I've listened to others. Without fail I have found them all to be decidedly unengaging, and not especially good amplifiers. My back and I so wanted to like the Reference 1000's. To go from 90 lb. mono block amps to 13 lb monos would have been fantastic. Not to mention that the digital amps made a significant difference in my monthly electric bill, but alas they don't stand up to more conventional A/AB amplifiers. Overrated.


In what way do you find the DAC-1 wanting? What sub-$800 DACs "dramatically outperform" it?

 

ICEpower amps are superb in my experience, and they also measure extemely well throughout the frequency range under different loads.

 

If you like neutral and uncolored music reproduction, the DAC-1 and ICEpower amps are excellent choices. You must be looking for some particular sound or coloration...

 

 

post #6 of 330


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

LCD2 Nice headphone but not the second coming of christ as its' thread might have you believe.

 


The LCD-2 rev.1 was noticeably lacking in certain areas, but the rev. 2 is much better, and they may very well be the best you can get for $1K. Basically, the rev. 1 was indeed overrated in my opinion, but the rev. 2 isn't.

 

 

post #7 of 330
Thread Starter 

Obviously if someone likes something different than you they must be the one who's looking for coloration's

 

I hope that you enjoy listening to the measurements.

post #8 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post

Obviously if someone likes something different than you they must be the one who's looking for coloration's

 


If you are looking for a different sound from what you get from neutral equipment with practically perfect measurements (Benchmark DAC-1, ICEpower amps), then yes, you are absolutely looking for a coloration.

 

post #9 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatcat28037 View Post

I'm guessing that by the time this thread dies, every piece of gear ever mentioned on this site will be listed as overated. biggrin.gif



that's it. ^^

 

but this is a tough topic to discuss. i think the HD650 holds up very well to, and is even better in some respects than, the HD800 and the HD650 costs a 1/4 of the price, so is the HD800 overrated. for any source, amp, headphone that you like you are going to find something semi-comparable that costs much less, so does that make all of the former overrated. also, for sources, amps, headphones where one dislikes the sound, that equipment would automatically, it seems, fall into the category of overrated. would it not. overrated is very subjective and personal.

 

post #10 of 330

Probably everything north of the $50-100 price range is overrated.

post #11 of 330
Overrated or an outright sham? Cables and sacred audiophile religious items aside, there's a lot of stuff that's a bunch of cheap goods stuffed in a box and marked up like crazy. Like those repackaged consumer DVD players. Or putting a tube buffer on a $30 T-amp and pricing it into the stratosphere. Also common tubes on a PCB sold for thousands. Or repackaging inexpensive Chinese amps under a fancy label with a hefty price tag. It's almost harder to find a legitimate product than a phony, overpriced one.
post #12 of 330

All audio equipment is overrated. Silence is golden.

 

popcorn.gif

post #13 of 330

Anything made in China

post #14 of 330

I think otherwise. Some of the most discussed brands here are chinese (Audio GD, Little Dot, Darkvoice), mostly by their good price-performance ratio.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MosinNagantMan View Post

Anything made in China



 

post #15 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by aroldan View Post

I think otherwise. Some of the most discussed brands here are chinese (Audio GD, Little Dot, Darkvoice), mostly by their good price-performance ratio.

 



 


The fact that those brands are so often discussed and raved about (and defended as if its personal) in other portions of this site is a big hint that they are overrated.

 

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