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Are bel canto and Emotiva considered 'high-end' ? Peachtree Audio ? - Page 7

post #91 of 98

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

And based on this, brand affinity and price affinity are bunk imho. Not only because, for the most part, it's all the same soup with a different label, but because in some cases you end up paying 2-3 times as much for the experience. It's not even a matter of "well this amp is more expensive and more overbuilt, and we can debate if that has sonic benefits" because now you've gotta question "under that logo, is this even different than something I can pick up for $60 at K-Mart?"

 

When you're looking at $500 products, obviously nearly all of it will be produced in the far east. That's the nature of the beast. When we start getting into high-end though as opposed to commodity receivers or integrated amps, I think the better companies do actually care about their customers. Many of them don't for sure, but take Merlin for example. Have a question about setting up your TSM or choosing the right amp for it? Call Bobby Palkovic at the factory. The kind of genuinely personal service that Merlin offers, from the guy who designs the things, is not all that common, especially not for speakers that sell for $3K/pr. Try calling Yamaha and ask to have a chat with the guy who designed one of the 10 thousand products they make.

post #92 of 98

Yamaha CS is great to deal with - have you ever dealt with them? They respond incredibly quickly and are very informative; who cares if I'm talking to a design engineer or the guy who sweeps up shop, as long as they can answer the question? I'm not so self-important that I need to have Mitsuru Umemura on the phone to answer any question I can come up with at 2 AM. Like I said, it's all a matter of necessity and interest - it's in the boutique companies' interests to behave in that manner because they cannot compete in terms of scale so they offer their customers an "experience."

 

We can keep doing this back and forth, and I don't feel like we really disagree, except on the whole question of "equipment as status" and price. Would it be fair to say that you attach a value judgment to the status afforded by a given component (which correlates to the price)? Or is that unfair? (I'm asking this seriously) 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

 

 

When you're looking at $500 products, obviously nearly all of it will be produced in the far east. That's the nature of the beast. When we start getting into high-end though as opposed to commodity receivers or integrated amps, I think the better companies do actually care about their customers. Many of them don't for sure, but take Merlin for example. Have a question about setting up your TSM or choosing the right amp for it? Call Bobby Palkovic at the factory. The kind of genuinely personal service that Merlin offers, from the guy who designs the things, is not all that common, especially not for speakers that sell for $3K/pr. Try calling Yamaha and ask to have a chat with the guy who designed one of the 10 thousand products they make.

 

 

post #93 of 98
Thread Starter 

Didnt see this coming ....

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/602209/review-paradigm-shift-e3m

 

As P86 said earlier, you can prop up your high-end products by selling a few hundred thousand cheapies, but I thought Paradigm would aim a little higher than this - something around the Ortofon offerings would have been more my guess. 

post #94 of 98
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

 

 

When you're looking at $500 products, obviously nearly all of it will be produced in the far east. That's the nature of the beast. When we start getting into high-end though as opposed to commodity receivers or integrated amps, I think the better companies do actually care about their customers. Many of them don't for sure, but take Merlin for example. Have a question about setting up your TSM or choosing the right amp for it? Call Bobby Palkovic at the factory. The kind of genuinely personal service that Merlin offers, from the guy who designs the things, is not all that common, especially not for speakers that sell for $3K/pr. Try calling Yamaha and ask to have a chat with the guy who designed one of the 10 thousand products they make.

 

I just called Meridian, They asked for my credit card number. eek.gif

post #95 of 98
Quote:

Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

 

Like I said, it's all a matter of necessity and interest - it's in the boutique companies' interests to behave in that manner because they cannot compete in terms of scale so they offer their customers an "experience."

 

We can keep doing this back and forth, and I don't feel like we really disagree, except on the whole question of "equipment as status" and price. Would it be fair to say that you attach a value judgment to the status afforded by a given component (which correlates to the price)? Or is that unfair? (I'm asking this seriously) 

 

It may be in the interest of the companies, but many of them do not act that way, regardless. That was the point. I've had to deal with Muse CS to repair an old Muse preamp, and they were a bit of a PITA - very slow to respond. Yama's, the distributor for Stax in the US, has about the worst customer service one can imagine. It doesn't matter if you've just dropped $5200 on an SR-009, they still don't answer their phone.

 

What is value in status, if the equipment is a bad value? I've said many times on HF that the Merlin TSM is one of my favorites. That's not because of the Merlin badge, or because Bobby is such an approachable guy. It's because I think the TSM is a damn good monitor, and at a little over $3K for the latest TSM-MMi, it's a great performance value. It's been considerably upgraded and improved over the many years that it's been in production, and yet the price has increased slower than the rate of inflation. Used TSMs on Audiogon typically list for around $1700-2000, and for that amount you're getting a hell of a speaker. Other than the incredibly affordable Vapor Sound Breeze and maybe one or two others, there's not that much that can compete with the TSM for under $2K - including the Nola Boxer.

post #96 of 98

 The emotiva,peachtree,nad , cambridge and others like it are at least in my opinion high value brands.Bringing good performance to the masses for a reasonable cost.I myself have a peachtree decco 2 with emotiva active speakers from their pro sound division.I find they can deliver pretty good performance for very reasonable prices.

   These companies never claimed their products to be high end in nature but are largely marketed as high value offerings.

Some of these products such as nads 2020 integrated amp of yore have received many accolades for their performance in light of their very reasonable prices.
 I have found the peachtree and emotiva can offer performance beyond their modest costs.State of the art performance no but they can perform remarkably well when care is taken to using them with accesories like upgraded power cords and upgraded fuses.I have upgraded the stock fuse in mine to a hifi tuning supreme fuse and an emotiva power cord and the improvement in sound performance was noticeably better.It may not be elite but it certainly is not bad.

  As far as the emotiva powered speakers I have found them to be quite competative with far more costly offerings.In fact they can be a fair amount more resolute than many passive designs and as such much more honest at renduring the nature of the original recording.I have heard actives in the past in particular the offerings from atc.From what I can remember, though they were hardly inexpensive ,the performance they prduced was in a lot of ways ,way better sounding than a lot of highly touted high end speaker designs with much more expensive amplification.Of course atc is highly respected in the professional sound industry.The atc 100s I heard which were playing in a large loft type space, produced sound that was way more real sounding with respect to dynamics than most high end offerings including esoteric designs.

 I know a lot of audiophiles detest studio loudspeakers But Imho when you want to hear what is really on those cds, tapes, and records those active monitors are a lot closer to the real thing.I guess you can say that accuracy is their calling card.

  In high end audio a lot of products are designed to sound a certain way which might not be totally honest with respect to neutrality.

OOPs sorry for drifting off of the original point which is high value for modest cost.

post #97 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by buson160man View Post

 

   These companies never claimed their products to be high end in nature but are largely marketed as high value offerings.

 

Disagree.

 

Emotiva - they have even TRADEMARKED the phrase 'Rethink High End', and that tag appears on every page of their website

 

NAD - the Masters Series is clearly targetting those who aspire to 'high end audio'. The M2 cost something in the region of 7K USD when it was released - hardly Burmester money, but a long way from the 3020 ....

 

Cambridge Audio - CA have just released the 851C/851A combination at around 2K each - again, not particularly expensive, but a departure from the rest of their modestly priced range.  The reviews I've seen so far seem to vindicate the extra dollars. 

 

Peachtree - David Solomon has made no secret of the fact that the Grand Pre/Grand Integrated represent the direction that Peachtree want to take going forward. No question that they will need to keep selling shiploads of all-in-ones to fund the development of more expensive separates (they still haven't released a power amp to match the Grand Pre), but I suspect that their end game is to cover a range of budgets from entry-level to high-end. 

 

Ultimately, none of that makes these brands - or their products - 'high end', but I have little doubt that each has aspirations in that arena. 

 

post #98 of 98

Joining this thread late, but in response to the original post, as a Peachtree Audio owner (Peachtree Audio NovaPre & 220 Power Amp) I would say yes they are high-end, but I guess high-end is subjective. To me, coming from a NuForce Icon HDP-2 they are absolutely leaps and bounds above that amp in powering my speakers (KEF LS50's) but they certainly aren't the best in the world or anything. As far as value goes though I think they are great even if they are only mid-fi or whatever you want to call it.

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