Originally Posted by pp312
Argyris, I won't quote your whole post but I just want to compliment you on it. One rarely reads such common sense so well expressed on the Net, and I would urge those who merely skimmed it to go back and read more carefully. If you're not now spending much time here I'd urge you to spend more, even at the risk of listening to music less. We need more rationality like yours in these threads.
My warmest thanks, pp312! I'm glad my point resonated with somebody. I've found that when I first started on Head-Fi, the more time I spent here the more doubt and buyer's remorse I tended to feel. The more time I spent just listening to music, however, the more I came to appreciate the kit I already had. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with wanting to upgrade, or even just wanting to hear another set or a different amp. Sometimes, though, that slippery slope of diminishing returns makes you feel like your equipment is somehow inadequate just because something newer and shinier has come out.
I actually came across this on another audio form (Audio Karma), and I can't remember who posted it or I would credit them, but this always stuck with me: Perfection is not when nothing can be added but when nothing can be taken away. If your equipment is clearly lacking, or else it's clearly inferior to something you've already experienced, that will probably bother you every day until you upgrade. But if you're perfectly happy with what you've got and can't imagine what might be better, then you should probably take a step back and ask yourself why you feel the need to get something different at all. If you've never known better, then why are you suddenly so convinced that better exists? If you're happy, and your current gear checks all the boxes and makes your music sing, then you'd do well to remember what Currawong said earlier: it's not the sound but the music that's coming out of your headphones that's important.
Saying all this, I think I might take up your request, pp312, and come around these parts a little more often.
Originally Posted by estreeter
This thread is starting to resemble many of the Sound Science threads - circular arguments and navel gazing on a grand scale.
Whether you and I like it or not, the 'latest, greatest and most expensive' gear will always get the lion's share of interest from those with the requisite bank balance. That's called 'life' .
I think this is pretty much spot on. Shiny always gets the majority of people's attention because, well, it's shiny. There's a certain part of all of us that finds excess amusing. We'll all bash on a $30,000 tone arm, as I believe you mentioned, but lord we want to hear it, too! Manufacturers are not blind to this effect. You call it life. I call it social psychology. Marketing people and boutique firms know all about this sort of tendency, and they capitalize on it every day. If that tone arm was $300, we might judge it (unseen and unheard) as a solid product and move on. If the same product is priced at $30k, all of a sudden we expect the moon and the stars, and the price makes us automatically assume it's super-uber-high end, and that makes us want it that much more. Trouble is, most of us can't afford it. But for those who can, the wallets come open. And now we have an exclusive club who get to tell us how much better it is, and we can only dream of having it.
The people with the fat wallets are not buying gear. They're buying the notion that they have the best. And they arguably overpaid by $29,700 for the privilege, but they don't want to hear that or they don't care, because it makes them exclusive. When the $40k tone arm comes out, they'll buy that, too.
All the rest of us can't know for certain whether or not that tone arm is worth the extra $$$$$ because we'll never have one. But we can still knock it down or debate whether or not it's worth it (whether we've heard it or not) or swear that my one friend has a rich friend who has one, and I heard it, and maaaaaaaan was it great, and on and on and on. Circular arguments, indeed.