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Is "High-End" audio a scam? - Page 2  

post #16 of 995
We don't have the same points of reference so any subjective opinion should be taken as such. Since there is such little information to go on but cables, I can only see this as a flame starter for which you fail.
post #17 of 995

I haven't seen, heard, or read anything that suggests it isn't a scam. Headphones are worth their price up to a point, but anything after $300 or so is going to overpriced for the differences provided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

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.

Amplification has everything to do with volume. That's exactly an amplifier's job. Increase the signal's power, which increases the volume. A smartphone and a $1,000 amp, at the same volume, will be producing the same power. One may have more noise and distortion, or some other problems, but that's all.

post #18 of 995

i would like to find out,lol...if i ever get the gear.but if there is a placebo effect who will notice it more ppl who start with lower end equipment and move up or vice versa?

post #19 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

Amplification has everything to do with volume. That's exactly an amplifier's job. Increase the signal's power, which increases the volume. A smartphone and a $1,000 amp, at the same volume, will be producing the same power. One may have more noise and distortion, or some other problems, but that's all.

 

This is what is known as deliberately misreading a post. I think the quoted poster clearly meant that the quality of amplification has little to do with volume, which is true.

 

As for the question: Is 'High-End' Audio a scam? In a broad sense, no. Is it worth it? For most people, the answer is also no. A scam is when the product being offered is known to be false by those offering it; while I think most high-end products are overpriced and overhyped and that those offering them know this, I do believe that the manufacturers (most of them, at least) honestly believe that their product is superior to those available among the lower-end offerings.

 

The differences are often very slight and many feel that they're not worth the price tag - I agree, actually. Between my DT770 and my T1 - both Beyerdynamic products with a somewhat similar sound - the T1 is certainly the technical superior between the two; however, I don't think it offers enough of an improvement to be worth it to me, had I bought it with my own money. Now, my T1 was a present for my birthday, so I didn't, but my point remains. However, to a person of more wealth than I, it could easily be worth the difference, which to that person is quite slight. To me a thousand dollars is a decent chunk of money - to some people it's an entirely reasonable amount to pay for a minor improvement, and to them it is worth it.

 

Basically, to sum up my point: High-End Audio is not inherently a scam, but the slight tangible improvements it offers over a decent middling system are not worth it to many people. However, to those who can easily afford the cost, it is worth it because the cost is relatively slight to them and the improvement is there.

post #20 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exediron View Post

 

This is what is known as deliberately misreading a post. I think the quoted poster clearly meant that the quality of amplification has little to do with volume, which is true.

I didn't misread it at all, actually.

 

I should have added that smartphones will typically have pretty good distortion specs, especially into 600 ohms. If you're getting enough volume from one with a T1, it's probably all you need. Noise might be a problem with some smartphones, I wouldn't know because I don't own one. If so, maybe a Clip+ or something would serve one better.

post #21 of 995
The love for the clip+ will never cease to amaze me. The clips song management is **** in comparison to the fuze. No complaints from the gym guys. I worked out constantly lugging around a Samsung galaxy s. You can lug around a fuze.

Sent from my LG-VM670 using Tapatalk 2
post #22 of 995

speaking about smartphones, i see a lot of head-fiers using ipod nano's, touch and classics, i wonder how is the sound quality of them compared to other phones like the Samsung's Galaxy and the Sony's Walkman phones, if there is any difference

post #23 of 995
I would suppose it would depend on if you are typically a pessimist or an optimist.
post #24 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by XanderTJ View Post

The love for the clip+ will never cease to amaze me. The clips song management is **** in comparison to the fuze. No complaints from the gym guys. I worked out constantly lugging around a Samsung galaxy s. You can lug around a fuze.
Sent from my LG-VM670 using Tapatalk 2

It's a cheap little player that sounds good and measures good. I always like to use it as an example of how far a little bit of money can get you. Nothing to do with interface. I use Rockbox anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

speaking about smartphones, i see a lot of head-fiers using ipod nano's, touch and classics, i wonder how is the sound quality of them compared to other phones like the Samsung's Galaxy and the Sony's Walkman phones, if there is any difference

The iPods probably perform better, since the priority's on audio. How much better is up for grabs, I don't know if there's been any in-depth comparisons (subjective or objective).

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post

I would suppose it would depend on if you are typically a pessimist or an optimist.

I'm an optimistic pessimist. Everything's guaranteed to go wrong, but it'll all work out in the end. I wonder what that means for audio.

post #25 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?

I think it's like most other things in life - if whatever you want to buy (I don't care if it's audio related, or car related, or even food) and it claims to violate at least one of the fundamental laws of thermodynamics, it's probably a bit fishy. There's a lot of "high end" (however you want to define it, but let's say "super expensive" or "from a premium brand") equipment that is measurably better, or some other "better" that you can show on paper. But then the question is, does this matter to a user? Is this something that *any* human could notice? And if so, does the person who it needs to matter for, notice it?

I'm not trying to smash on legitimate high performance manufacturers here, but it's something you have to consider. And usually the "extreme performance segment" has high prices both because of the nature of the segment, and because they aren't exactly dealing in commodity/COTS hardware. Take Boulder and Mark Levinson as examples (with no value judgment either way - I don't think either of them are "scams" in the sense that the owners are sitting there going "look at how many suckers we've ripped!").

Of course there's the other segment that really *is* just trying to snag a few dollars at the door. But I don't think that's unique to audio or hi-fi or any of that. Ever been to a ballgame? You can't seriously tell me that beer is worth $15. tongue.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatboyMac View Post

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

+1. And I like your avatar.

Head Injury,

Just saw the iPod question. I know a few years ago the Sony Walkman MP3s were regarded as "really good" for driving hps, but they seem to have fallen off the face of the Earth recently. I like mine because it gets insane battery life. Golden Ears has done some tests on PDPs, but it isn't by any means exhaustive:
http://www.goldenears.net/GR_Mobile (they have Zout measurements for more devices than those listed).
Edited by obobskivich - 6/20/12 at 2:41pm
post #26 of 995
Thread Starter 

The headphone world isnt as bad,imo as the home audio world for scams. Selling VERY high-end home audio products (like Wilson Audio Grand Slams, a mere $80,000 a pair) showwd me alot,the raw drivers used in them cost about $2500! The law of diminishing returns applys well to audio products,once you get past a certain point,you get VERY little in return for alot more money. IMO,you can build a headphone rig for $500 that will give you the sound quality of anything in the world. My $79 Gradosr60s sound better to me then many $10,000+ speakers I sold like Revel and Martin Logan.

post #27 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyhightech View Post

The headphone world isnt as bad,imo as the home audio world for scams. Selling VERY high-end home audio products (like Wilson Audio Grand Slams, a mere $80,000 a pair) showwd me alot,the raw drivers used in them cost about $2500! The law of diminishing returns applys well to audio products,once you get past a certain point,you get VERY little in return for alot more money. IMO,you can build a headphone rig for $500 that will give you the sound quality of anything in the world. My $79 Gradosr60s sound better to me then many $10,000+ speakers I sold like Revel and Martin Logan.

I would agree but also advise you to consider the cost of labor and R&D, as well as volume (I'm sure you probably understand all of this though). For example the engine in my car is like $5000 in a crate, but the car itself is about ten-fold that. Is that a scam? (I'd like to believe not, but then again...).

On the headphones bit - yeah I'd agree that $500-$750 range should be the ideal sweetspot. Recent price inflation has started to erode that, and move that bar up higher, but especially a few years ago that was true. STAX have always sort of stood on the side as really expensive (I think this might be because I'm in the US and see some huge importer mark-up though; I don't know what they cost in Japan, but I know that Grado and Koss headphones (which are made in the US) become VERY expensive in Japan, it isn't that absurd to assume).
post #28 of 995

I still think the top dynamic cans of 5-10 years ago are amazing bargains today. The Beyer DT880's, Sennheiser HD600, etc are great values at the cost of $200-300 or so. DIY or a high value all in one and you can probably have a good system in that 500-750 price range. However with today's top dynamic cans and even orthodynamic cans going for $1k or so and up I find the headphones to be better (where some are better than others) but very overpriced. I've owned the HD600, HD650 and HD800 and it is my opinion that the HD800 is the best headphone of the three but in no way do I find it worth the difference but it does sound amazing to me so I have it as one of my headphones.

 

Do I find the hi-fi world a scam? No however I do consider it ridiculously overpriced for what it is and that as you go higher the increments of increased resolution gets smaller and smaller. The law of diminishing returns applies as you go from the level of the DT880, HD600, etc to the HD800 and the law applies even harder as you go to something like an O2 or the 009. While they may sound very good the worth of the headphones and associated gear at higher and higher price points varies from one person to another.

post #29 of 995
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

. However with today's top dynamic cans and even orthodynamic cans going for $1k or so and up I find the headphones to be better (where some are better than others) but very overpriced. I've owned the HD600, HD650 and HD800 and it is my opinion that the HD800 is the best headphone of the three but in no way do I find it worth the difference but it does sound amazing to me so I have it as one of my headphones.

Perhaps overpriced, but sennheiser is surpassing itself with the new hdvd 800 amp. Guess which is the most expensive, the headphone or the amp.

post #30 of 995

Geeeeezy Weeeezy This is as old as it gets... Im a 40 year old son of a 75 year old audiophile.. I grew up with reel to reels nakamichi dragon decks and Mcintosh equipment and lots of vinyl... I really believe like a musician when your trained to hear quality playback and discern at a young age.. you can tell many differences... Its not a scam... the problem is most people don't even know what to listen for... and yes its fun as hell to buy new equipment... 

like a previous poster said... I have 15 panerai watches is it needed no... is it enjoyable... YES... 

In every pleasurable endeavor there will be someone saying its scam... When I'm smoking a Partagas Series D or Fuente OPUS X and paying 20-50 a stick.... its just tobacco right? its LEAVES... is it a scam... to me NO... because I enjoy it.... 

 

Sure I can smoke philly blunts and drink budweiser and listen to a pair of Beats...

 

BUT I enjoy smoking a Opus X.. drinking a Guinness and listening to my stax head-fi ... SO I guess Im just being scammed all around :)

 

Life is short... ENJOY IT!


Edited by ericpwiseguy - 6/20/12 at 6:56pm
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