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rmeyer52
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So when is the investment diminished?

As someone who is relatively new to upscale hi-fi and loving my new system, I have to ask when is the amount of $$ invested payback with less returns.

I just received my latest copy of Stereophile and went to the web and looked at some speakers that were over $20K (Martin Logan's), a CD player $17K and an integrated amplifier for $30K. I guess if you have the money more power to you but is it worth investing that much money for hi-fi, I mean does it make you music sound THAT much better?

For me it's about enjoyment of music and right now I am enjoying my measily $5K investment in the Solo and Paradigm speakers. It's like purchasing a luxury car..they will all get you to point a from point B, but maybe one will do it in a nicer environment than the other?

$7,500 for speaker cables just seems over the top to me as does $20,000 for speakers. Even if I had the money (here that God?) I don't know that I could justify that type of dollars.

Jeff Wong
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Re: So when is the investment diminished?

While I wouldn't recommend going into debt or sacrificing a child's college fund for upgrading a system, I would say that in those diminishing returns is often where the nuance and subtlety live. Granted some prices are insane, but, sometimes you get what you pay for and extracting that last little bit of information can push the music from the realm of the ordinary to the magical. You just have to try it and see for yourself.

Colnmary
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Re: So when is the investment diminished?

Good question and its up to each individual to sort out for
her/himself.

Personally on a conscience level, I couldn't justify spendingsay $50,000 on speakers. Even if the $50,000 was an insignificant amount of my income.

The Law of Diminishing Returns to Scale which is a principal of economics comes into effect in audio, and again, when the point of expenditure/pleaure is at its highest ebb and at most reasonable cost, is again up to the individual.

I recommend you build a system not based on expense, but on pleasure given. One constant I have gotten in reading Hifi and audio magazines since 1973, is often those who have spent HUGE BUCKS for a system are those who are those most
dissatified and contantly looking for the next high end fix.

One interesting thing I have also noted is classic budget gear from the 70's and early 80's, goes for more on online auction sites second hand,than it cost new retail at the time it was released.

The LP12, Selected NAD amps, Certain Loudspeakers. I am not recommending buying these old classics, but saying even good
'budget' priced hifi gear, to medium priced classic gear can give you audio nirvana.

Your choice of gear, I am enjoying my measily $5K investment in the Solo and Paradigm speakers. is a great one, maybe a future classic.

Thats not to say, a more expensive seperates only system won't give you more, it may and perhaps will, but at a cost. And the extra investment may not be worth while to you.

tandy
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Re: So when is the investment diminished?

As Jeff mentions, more live sounding. And it doesn't have to be the most expensive. Value varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Jeff Wong
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Re: So when is the investment diminished?

Um, I didn't say anything about things sounding live.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: So when is the investment diminished?

Rich

That type of money goes with a room to put it in that costs that type of money. Without the room you might as well take the cost minus what your would have spent at Circuit City and set it on fire. Because in the typical living room it isn't going to sound that much different. The high cost items are for those that know what they are doing and can afford it. What do I mean by afford it? Cash is King.

tandy
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Re: So when is the investment diminished?

I may have misunderstood what you said. My apologies if so.
I went by your comment: "sometimes you get what you pay for and extracting that last little bit of information can push the music from the realm of the ordinary to the magical."

To me it meant that the instruments might sound closer to accurate, more realism if you will.

rmeyer52
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Re: So when is the investment diminished?


Quote:
Good question and its up to each individual to sort out for
her/himself.

Personally on a conscience level, I couldn't justify spendingsay $50,000 on speakers. Even if the $50,000 was an insignificant amount of my income.

The Law of Diminishing Returns to Scale which is a principal of economics comes into effect in audio, and again, when the point of expenditure/pleaure is at its highest ebb and at most reasonable cost, is again up to the individual.

I recommend you build a system not based on expense, but on pleasure given. One constant I have gotten in reading Hifi and audio magazines since 1973, is often those who have spent HUGE BUCKS for a system are those who are those most
dissatified and contantly looking for the next high end fix.

One interesting thing I have also noted is classic budget gear from the 70's and early 80's, goes for more on online auction sites second hand,than it cost new retail at the time it was released.

The LP12, Selected NAD amps, Certain Loudspeakers. I am not recommending buying these old classics, but saying even good
'budget' priced hifi gear, to medium priced classic gear can give you audio nirvana.

Your choice of gear, I am enjoying my measily $5K investment in the Solo and Paradigm speakers. is a great one, maybe a future classic.

Thats not to say, a more expensive seperates only system won't give you more, it may and perhaps will, but at a cost. And the extra investment may not be worth while to you.

Colin:

Thank you I could not agree more. There are some people who shop by price (i.e. higher price=the best) I see this all the time in the wine world as I love to collect and drink wine. To me it's about my ears...what sounds good to me is what drives the bottom line. I may upgrade sometime but for now I am enjoying my system too much to even think about upgrading. Hi Fi to me is part of being able to enjoy the fruits of my labor..there is nothing as nice as coming home from a long day at work pouring a glass of wine and listening to some hi-fi..it's the little pleasures that make it all worthwhile not your bank account.

ohfourohnine
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Re: So when is the investment diminished?

" I may upgrade sometime but for now I am enjoying my system too much to even think about upgrading. "

You, good sir, have found the secret to our hobby. Don't forget it. The purpose of the gear is to enhance our enjoyment of the music. If you're a sane adult, that is its only purpose.

I've been pursuing great sounding music for more than forty years. I've never seen a time better than now in terms of opportunity to enjoy excellent sound for a modest - if careful - investment, and your choice of gear is a good example.

Like you, I love the way music sounds on my current set-up - which could be duplicated for a little less than $15K. Despite the attention we audiophiles pay to gear with stratospheric prices, I suspect my system's cost is not significantly less than the average of those of Stereophile subscribers - and it took years of what becomes increasingly picky listening to reach that level.

Are likely to tweak your system and augment it over time? Almost certainly, but take your time and use the rule of thumb you've stated so succinctly. That may not be the universal key to happiness, but it has served me pretty well in one respect for a long time.

Happy listening,

dormston
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Re: So when is the investment diminished?

Great question with some fantastic replies!

I am a boring child of the 60's (mainly) and early 70's who left the 'listening to music' hobby sometime around early to mid 90's and have now returned to spend mega bucks ( to me anyway!) in the past couple of months on various bits and I am having a wonderful time with no end in sight...cash is king and credit cards are queen...but guess what...

I have a serious problem with massive spends on items such as SACD machines and the likes where my biggest difficulty in the UK is going into normal average high street retailers and asking to buy the darn music!!! If they do have any, it is usually some remastered reshuffled rejigged rehybridded classic from...yup, the 60's or 70's...which even when I buy them, still often sound quite lame when compared to the original vinyl or even tape...so off I go again to chase the next step up in SACD machines because it must be me that has the problem...after all...these folks who do reviews for machines costing upwards of $30 each cannot be wrong...or can they???

For example, I used to think (and listen) to old cassette tapes on machines which I thought the absolute ultimate high end such as the Nakamichi Dragon - I could name drop in any social company with no worries whatever at the time - now after a wee break of a few decades I discover that the Nak CR7 was the one that true Audiophiles would probably have held in more esteem...so off I go chasing one to see if that was true...and the silly machines are still fetching top dollars even supposing the media itself itself is supposedly dead - I can buy maybe 200 top quality old tapes at car boot sales for

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