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Is "High-End" audio a scam?  

post #1 of 995
Thread Starter 
Not trying to start a flame war,it's just that I have sold for a living and owned some VERY high end home gear and think most of it is a joke. The headphone world is a little better off but they still have some senseless products like magic cables and such. What's everyones opinion?
post #2 of 995

Everyone's perception and views on different things, are dependent on the person, that is saying, some people for example might be a watch collector, buying watches worth a house, now here's the question: Is it really worth buying a watch that is worth as much as a house?, to the person who bought it, it will most definitely be worth it, but to some others, they will assume they are 'crazy' and wasting their money
:) With that said, i reckon high-end audio is not a scam !

post #3 of 995

Most of it is, yes. Objective reviews are especially rare. You're better off sticking to whatever you think sounds good.

post #4 of 995

Problem is that placebo is pretty powerful , especially with audio.

If you say to someone that is sounds better with a particular cable, then most likely he would say he  hear an improvement  without lying.


I  recently bought the hd800, I've never burnt so fast so much cash for something not very useful.

I  went to the conclusion : the   sound is technically superior without doubt, but it doesn't make music  more enjoyable.

 

I think playing with dsp , might be a more efficient way to reach a pleasing sound, that forking out lot of money on a gear.

post #5 of 995
It's the opposite for mme. I find nnew equipment infinitely more enjoyable than dsp features. It's one of the many forms of cognitive bias, however. I have a compulsive impulse to buy new things. Firstly, the act of bbuying something new is downright euphoric to me, much like a drug. Secondly, listening through my library with a different sound signature is a drug, too.

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post #6 of 995

Just because there are scams falsely claiming themselves as "high-end audio" equipment, doesn't mean real high-end audio is a scam altogether. At least in headphone audiophile industry, there's usually a good correlation between cost and performance. Usually.

post #7 of 995
"Audiophile" cables are scams inherently.

After that, many sources venture in to that territory. A top of the line dac is only going to sound marginally better than a decent consumer-grade one, if at all. You're basically buying in to marketing fluff, and possibly a different featureset.

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post #8 of 995
How do you define "high end"?
post #9 of 995

I think that lot of brand are taking advantage of consumer ignorance in order to inflate price.
Snake oil is extreme, but you can have more "respectable" products, with dubious marketing claims.

For instance the late senn IE800 with a full frequency range of "5 – 46,500 Hz".

Also there's often a complete lack of objective specifications when talking of dac/ amp , this could help again to boost prices .

Perhaps a lot of the expensive market of audiophilia is based on ignorance: if the consumer has a doubt of what's better, you can milk it to the max.

post #10 of 995
When I'm in the market for something, I go for the featureset. What gives me the most flexibility, best options, etc for my price point? When it comes to a dap, for example, I'm likely to buy an android product over pretty much anything else.

Why buy a network streamer when an there's an app for that?

Amplifier? Voodoo hp out can drive up to 500ohms. At +2 DB it can function as a clean line out which I can have hp through an external amp IF NECESSARY.

When it comes to headphones, I'm a little more subjective in my selection, but I always base my purchases on two criteria: what is available in b-stock/second-hand/has a special deal going on, and what works for what music I'm listeng to at that time.

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post #11 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyhightech View Post

Not trying to start a flame war,it's just that I have sold for a living and owned some VERY high end home gear and think most of it is a joke. The headphone world is a little better off but they still have some senseless products like magic cables and such. What's everyones opinion?

 

wink_face.gif

post #12 of 995

So far there's no flame war,  so that's almost disappointing.
Any defender of little subjective changes, that are worth 1000$.?

post #13 of 995
Originally Posted by XanderTJ View Post

Amplifier? Voodoo hp out can drive up to 500ohms. At +2 DB it can function as a clean line out which I can have hp through an external amp IF NECESSARY.

 

Amplification has little to do with volume, I can drive the 600 ohm T1 with a smartphone, with the right dynamic range compression etc.  So?  It's about making the driver move properly, not how loudly it screams.

post #14 of 995
Originally Posted by billyhightech View Post

Not trying to start a flame war,it's just that I have sold for a living and owned some VERY high end home gear and think most of it is a joke. The headphone world is a little better off but they still have some senseless products like magic cables and such. What's everyones opinion?

 

Your question is a little vague.

 

There is a lot of good products and a lot of less good ones at ALL price levels, it's a minefield out there and you can't trust the reviews, the raw data, or even your own ears apparently!

 

Just buy the LCD-2 rev.2, a decent DAC/Amp like this one and run while you still have the chance, not kidding either. =)

post #15 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

Your question is a little vague.

There is a lot of good products and a lot of less good ones at ALL price levels, it's a minefield out there and you can't trust the reviews, the raw data, or even your own ears apparently!

Just buy the LCD-2 rev.2, a decent DAC/Amp like this one and run while you still have the chance, not kidding either. =)

The EF2A is okay, but its DAC isn't.

Bang for your buck: Audioengine D1 > Little Dot I+ > HiFiMAN HE-300 Rev.2 = ~$550. That combo will kick many $1000+ rigs into the weeds. Plus, you get the flexibility of hybrid or SS amps.
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