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Some OVERRATED High End Gear. - Page 3

post #31 of 330

That's odd about the transformers, since last time I checked I could buy a 'name brand' 50VA toroid for a shadow over £10. Hell, you can get specific-winding custom-made ones with extra treatments and twiddly bits for not much more than that. For me a trafo is a trafo: one voltage/current ration goes in, another comes out.

And on component quality: my main amp right now is was a kit from China, with a gorgeous, well made and laid-out PCB. All the resistors were brown Dale, all the capacitors were Nichicon Muses or Fine Gold or WIMA, and the transistors were worth a pretty penny too. How much did it cost me? £40. Getting those components separately in UK the would have cost me probably twice as much.

 

Yes, there's a lot of Chinese crap out there. Yes, a lot of it is using cheap, lowgrade components and being sold at knockdown prices to unsuspecting suckers. But there's still a hell of a lot of good stuff coming out of China audio-wise, and completely turning a blind eye to all of it is, in my opinion, stupid and nonsensical.

 

ON TOPIC, I wasn't that impressed by the Stax SR-007 I heard through a super cryo-treated uber amp at a meet. This was also linked up to some incredibly expensive CD player (£5000+), which also didn't seem to be doing much for me. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that most high-end digital sources aren't going to provide anything like the improvement some people say they give.

 

The least overrated headphone I know of has to be the HD 600. There can be flamewars left and right, but the HD 600 just keeps on plodding along, being fantastic in its own way. I've never seen anyone with anything really bad to say about it, unless it's to say that they prefer 'x' to the HD 600. Nobody hates on the treble presentation or the bass or the mids, because everything is balanced and works.

Cue HD 600 haters in 3... 2... 1...

post #32 of 330
Try finding a quality 350V transformer for £10.

Or output transformers.

If you do find them, please let me know. I would love to buy some.
post #33 of 330

I thought this discussion was about overrated gear?

 

I remember what I forgot to write about: Bowers and Wilkins speakers. I did demo some a few times and thought the 6-series were crap. The 8 series sound great to me, but, if anything, I found the prices disagreeable.

post #34 of 330

B&W are definitely a bit pricey relative to their sound quality. You have to realise that speakers are essentially a piece of furniture which means the looks do come into the equation for a lot of buyers. I've got no qualms in admitting that the build quality/design of the CM5s were a significant factor in my decision. The sound quality is great but alone probably not worth the price I paid for it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I thought this discussion was about overrated gear?

 

I remember what I forgot to write about: Bowers and Wilkins speakers. I did demo some a few times and thought the 6-series were crap. The 8 series sound great to me, but, if anything, I found the prices disagreeable.



 

post #35 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

 I do not understand why people buy a $300 amp, another $500 in tubes, then $400 in cables to dress it up. You're better off buying a $1,200 amp and running it stock. Or you could spend $1,200 on parts and build one of the finest amps around. But it seems that people are more comfortable buying accessories than figuring out how to build something.

Yep. Makes little sense but lots of people still believe it.
 

 

post #36 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoetheArachnid View Post

 

Yes, there's a lot of Chinese crap out there. Yes, a lot of it is using cheap, lowgrade components and being sold at knockdown prices to unsuspecting suckers. But there's still a hell of a lot of good stuff coming out of China audio-wise, and completely turning a blind eye to all of it is, in my opinion, stupid and nonsensical.


Slagging off an entire country's products is the lazy way out for a lot of people.  

 

post #37 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I remember what I forgot to write about: Bowers and Wilkins speakers. I did demo some a few times and thought the 6-series were crap. The 8 series sound great to me, but, if anything, I found the prices disagreeable.


B&W is like Wilson, they sell on brand, not sound quality. I've found the 8 series to be quite underwhelming - particularly the 805. I'm a huge two-way monitor fan, and I thought the 805 sounded like crap. The old 8 series tweeter (aluminum IIRC) also stunk. I've never heard an aluminum tweeter that's sounded good. As I understand it the diamond tweeter is better, but for 8 series money there are plenty of other speakers that are just way better. If I had $24K to spend I wouldn't even consider the 800D, I'd head straight to Egglestonworks and Rockport.

 


Edited by DaveBSC - 9/2/11 at 10:25pm
post #38 of 330
i would not agree on that statement about wilson but i would on b&w. to put a twist on this i'd like to say (imo) the high end cambridge audio stuff is highly underrated! go find stuff for that price that sounds like it does......
post #39 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post

 

The DAC-1 is harder for me to argue against, technically it is a fine DAC. I just found that it errs on the analytical side, that it for lack of a better term Lacks Soul. Ultimately I don't care how something measures, I care what it sounds like. The number of us who have sold off our DAC-1's after hearing DAC's that sound better than the Benchmark is legion, ask around.

 

 

With such a legion of detractors, perhaps we can no longer call it overrated?

 

 

Anyway, this thread is not going to end well, someone is going to get there toes stepped on here somewhere sometime, and it will lead to much fireworks. Rock on!

 

popcorn.gif

post #40 of 330

There's a local store I found that has Wilson speakers, so I'm planning to drop by when I have time and have a listen. They seem to be very polarising.

post #41 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

There's a local store I found that has Wilson speakers, so I'm planning to drop by when I have time and have a listen. They seem to be very polarising.

 

I'd be curious as to what you think of them. I've had two experiences with Wilson speakers - the Maxx and the Watt/Puppy. In both cases I found their response to be lumpy and uneven, unnatural, and tilted toward the sterile side. The highs were particularly unpleasant. Admittedly part of the reason the Maxx may have sounded so egregiously bad is that they were running on Krell monoblocks and all Krell source equipment. Yuck.
 

 

post #42 of 330
Ultrasone.

I have yet to hear one of their products that I enjoy.

*ducks, runs*
post #43 of 330

Here's to one for that! Down with Ultrasone.

 

Down with Grado too, haha! 

post #44 of 330
But Grado does have some good products. The SR-60i and iGrado are terrific for entry-level headphones. The SR-225i is good for a mid-level headphone, and I remember when people used to argue the RS-1 versus the HD-650. (Seems like an eternity ago.) i still think the RS-1 is the Grado flagship and am surprised that it barely gets mentioned any longer. Also, the old Joe Grado HP-1000s remain wonderful though rarely discussed, the PS-1 is a good headphone and the similarly ignored Alessandro line remains worthwhile, as does the HF-1 and HF-2, provided you can find a pair. The GS-1000 hype and backlash seemed to poison the brand. The PS-1000 hasn't helped. Shame, because Grado used to be one of the most popular brands here, but died off about two years ago.

Same thing happened to AKG. AKG made some of the best headphones, then canceled their good ones and went steadily downhill with a flawed flagship (there's a reason they allow it to be priced less than other flagships) and hit bottom with fluorescent celebriphones. I'd like to see AKG go back to world-class designs, but it seems unlikely. They've abandoned the field to Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, Stax, and some newcomers. What a shame.
post #45 of 330

HD 800 :(

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