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The price of hi quality audio


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25 minutes ago, Bubo said:

 

I was fortunate to have a Friend who managed a successful stereo store, back in the 70s-80s when there were plenty of chains and stand alone operations competing for the business.

 

After a few months of listening on and off, I purchased Heresy 1s and a Yamaha CR20202 Receiver.  By comparing blind to the Mc gear and Klipsch entire product line.

 

Six months later I got a call from my friend telling me if I wanted a totl Mac stack, bring $1,200 and hurry over. So I took my money saved for a car and hurried over. A customer wanted to sell his 6 month old gear for less than half, so I bought it. The store didn't take trade ins.

 

Few months later my friend was the top Klipsch store either on the East Coast or US

Either way Klispch sold him a pair of LaScalas at cost, I got them new.

 

I have never looked back no matter how many systems I sample.

 

The matched totl for the store was Klipsch and McIntosh, they had done the work for me. Sadly, big box stores killed the business along with surround. Without the value of the stores competing by adding integration value, it's much harder for new buyers IMHO.

 

McIntosh and Klipsch are still both stodgy and effective solutions.

 

Baring an total collapse of civilization, I may begin playing with some simple tube solutions in a few months, something to tinker with. I have around 20 solid state rebuilds to do first.

 

I salute the Apple I-Pod and I-phone with $2 ear buds for binging: stereo, headphones and vinyl with large speakers back from the brink of extinction...

 

Yeah, sadly we can no longer walk into a hifi shop and have a listen. I miss those days.  We used to have 4 high end hifi stores here, one sold Klipsch products.

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2 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

If you want an option that doesn’t break the bank look at Aric Audio. I just bought his Super KT88/120 SE and it is one of the best sounding amps I have owned. Made in the USA with premium parts and PTP wiring, no circuit boards. Aric Kimball is very accessible and always eager to help. Highly recommended.

 

Shakey

I bought one of his custom made line stages about 4 years ago. Was a great tube product. Highly recommend

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1 hour ago, mopardave said:

Those look to be nice as well.  They kind of remind me of the NOSvalves amp craig used to build.  He used to live near me and an old friend. He might be able to build me a pair if i wanted that style/design.

I had the stereo version of Craig’s amp when I bought the Aric and it was very good too.  But the Aric beat it at transparency, bass articulation and tone. 14 watts vs 40 watts and 14 wins the day this time.

 

Shakey

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19 hours ago, mopardave said:

Allnic has something that costs $54,000 and Ayon $10,000, Cary $3000+.   Are these amps really worth that kind of money?    

Try a Quarter Million for D'Agostinos to with Wilsons! Heard them both. Great sound and with a $600,000 turntable, the Grand Award Winners of Diminishing Returns! Oh, and the direct radiator sub is 100 Grand.

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31 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:

I had the stereo version of Craig’s amp when I bought the Aric and it was very good too.  But the Aric beat it at transparency, bass articulation and tone. 14 watts vs 40 watts and 14 wins the day this time.

 

Shakey

That says a lot.  I know Craig had good reviews on his amps.

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26 minutes ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

Try a Quarter Million for D'Agostinos to with Wilsons! Heard them both. Great sound and with a $600,000 turntable, the Grand Award Winners of Diminishing Returns! Oh, and the direct radiator sub is 100 Grand.

Hahah, that’s crazy money.  Something I will never have, but a $6000 amp would not break the bank.   You only live once and can’t take the money with you.

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I am pretty sure my income and tastes do not belong in the Truly High End AUDIO World. My hearing is not that trained or good to hear the difference. Same for food - I like my favorite local family style Italian Bistro - and a great rigatoni dish or thin crust pizza.Dinner for two less than $50 and that is fantastic. I have zero interest in going to a fancy restaurant I have to get dressed up to go to and having some exotic French cuisine where a dinner runs well over $1,000 before the bar bill. 

 

I like records and a good turntable is nice but I have zero interest in a $90,000 TT or $50,000 tonearm or a $25,000 phono preamp etc etc

 

Buying Amplifiers for over $100K appears crazy to me and no matter how much $$$ I had I would not pay that sort of $$$$$. You could buy many amps for under $5,000 that would sound better than I could even hear.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Fido said:

Buying Amplifiers for over $100K appears crazy to me and no matter how much $$$ I had I would not pay that sort of $$$$$. You could buy many amps for under $5,000 that would sound better than I could even hear.

 

I took my daughter everywhere with me when she was small.

Occasionally to a "high end" restaurant

I would always get the bill then have her check the math on it, and let her pay with my money.

 

One time, we left the nice restaurant, and my daughter said "Dad, our food at home is much better, we got ripped off",

"did you see what they charged us" ?

 

The local Greek run diners and restaurants always scored the highest on the truth from babes scale.

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42 minutes ago, mopardave said:

Hahah, that’s crazy money.  Something I will never have, but a $6000 amp would not break the bank.   You only live once and can’t take the money with you.

Dave ,  I know you dont like SS amps , but  Yamaha AS  3200 -2200-1200 series are very high quality-

 

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio_visual/hifi_components/a-s3200/index.html

 

 

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Again, hi-fi audio is subjective.  Price may, or may not, play a factor in a persons subjective view of what hi-fi is.  A $40,000 amp that sounds the same as a $500 Chi-fi amp isnt going to qualify as hi-fi in my book.  BUT someone with more refined hearing or younger ears may think that it does.  Or some rich person may feel the need to own something that most people cant and it therefore qualifies as hi-fi to them.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Fido said:

I am pretty sure my income and tastes do not belong in the Truly High End AUDIO World. My hearing is not that trained or good to hear the difference. Same for food - I like my favorite local family style Italian Bistro - and a great rigatoni dish or thin crust pizza.Dinner for two less than $50 and that is fantastic. I have zero interest in going to a fancy restaurant I have to get dressed up to go to and having some exotic French cuisine where a dinner runs well over $1,000 before the bar bill. 

 

I like records and a good turntable is nice but I have zero interest in a $90,000 TT or $50,000 tonearm or a $25,000 phono preamp etc etc

 

Buying Amplifiers for over $100K appears crazy to me and no matter how much $$$ I had I would not pay that sort of $$$$$. You could buy many amps for under $5,000 that would sound better than I could even hear.

 

 

Great point.

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1 hour ago, RandyH000 said:

Dave ,  I know you dont like SS amps , but  Yamaha AS  3200 -2200-1200 series are very high quality-

 

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio_visual/hifi_components/a-s3200/index.html

 

 

Yes, Yamaha does make some nice stuff. I currently have one of their AV receivers. RX-V2092 about 20 years old now.   The natural sound really does sound simular to my Chinese tube amps and its a real thumper.

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1 hour ago, Kalifornian said:

Again, hi-fi audio is subjective.  Price may, or may not, play a factor in a persons subjective view of what hi-fi is.  A $40,000 amp that sounds the same as a $500 Chi-fi amp isnt going to qualify as hi-fi in my book.  BUT someone with more refined hearing or younger ears may think that it does.  Or some rich person may feel the need to own something that most people cant and it therefore qualifies as hi-fi to them.  

 

 

I agree. Tha'ts where i'm at.

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24 minutes ago, JGT914 said:

Set of two Western Electric WE97A = $124,999.00 per pair

 

https://www.westernelectric.com/97a-monoblock-amplifiers

 

 

 

 

 

That's just crazy to me.   Here's something else that looks promising, Primaluna EVO 400 for $4700.  Anyone have any experience with this or any of the Toolshed amps?  Still liking the Ayon spirit v as well.   

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1 hour ago, Deang said:

Diminishing returns is a thing. Also ...

 

”Okay, it sounds different, but is it really better?” - Bob Crites

 

 

Diminishing returns is a thing, but when played on the audio magnifiers that are Heritage and similar type speakers the "how far is far enough" thing can be a slippery slope.While it may be true that the best things in life are free, I find that not to be true in the realm of audio components, which admittedly has it's share of "overprice" but yet also has a number of areas where there is no "free ride". Power amplifiers seem to have an aspect to this, especially solid state, the good stuff costs buuuuuuuuuxxxxxx....

 

One thing that helps is a breadth of listening experience. The trick is to take it far enough that you don't much re-evaluate/rehash the question over and over again, but know that you're not likely to gain much from the swap - in fact one might be as apt to screw up good synergy as anything else. Cap rolling alone can drive a guy nuts, just as well as bring ultimate joy when the right combo is found......just like later gears/components/equipments. I got there with my 2 channel kit by and large, that setup is an accumulation of what I learned here and am rather pleased with what it is.

 

It's been mentioned about listening in.shops and system matching. That's the hell to pay here, short of a very select group of known knowns (like McIntosh/Klipsch usually fit really well together) it's really hard to figure out those synergies when just asking for "what amp/preamp/HT processor sounds best for X $$$ price point" becomes becomes more difficult to ask as we don't have that shared experience of going into shops and listening to popular combinations that are "normal" to be seen in the business. Absent audio meetings in recent months, even more so.

 

It makes that "how far/much" more difficult to ask and answer, especially when one subscribes to the "not all amps/gears sound the same" as well as things like synergy being a critical component. Hell, I have a hard enough time even finding people who get stuff like "Classe/Mac/Nelson Pass match Klipsch well, what's lower cost that gets me in this direction" oft gets weird looks these days.

 

I'm drilling my own brain on a prepare/amp core for my now-in-renovation HT/multimedia system and this stuff is running my brain.

 

"Hey, you know Mac will suit your kit just wonderfully, you know it for a fact"

 

"Yeah, but to get what you want is between 8 and 15K" (5 channel amp plus appropriate pre-pro)

 

"OK, so what puts me in that direction while only spending 7 grand", etc........

 

:: cues up scene in Jaws where the fish takes off with the line and reel ::

 

:: thinks also of devil/angel scene in Animal House ::

 

 

.....and here we go again.....

 

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I gave up on the high end pricing a long time ago. I had a good friend that was a designer manufacturer back in the 1980's and early 1990.

Sold me a pair of SS mono blocks that put out 1200 watts a piece and use a 25 amp circuit breaker. I paid $6000 for the pair.  They sound and image probably the

best I have ever heard from SS amps. The only thing that sounds better is a VAC 70/70 and my pair of VAC140's which I paid about 16K for in the 1990's....they use 8 300B's in PP configuration per side.

 

Now  expect to pay 10X the price....for anything close to being made today and such a amp is no longer made,

 

If I by anything now I buy either tube McIntosh or older Accuphase and send it out to get refurbished. I have two P300 amps and 2 C200 preamps....beautiful stuff,

Audio Classics has my C20 preamp which I supplied all the parts and will cost me about 4K when finished. Should be a wonderful tube preamp. 

YMMV

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Some of you folks have strange notions. 

 

For the prices you guys are talking about you can get a pair of Jubilees (No, it won't have the over-priced veneer), a DSP unit (No, it won't be the best but it will be good enough) and a second amplifier (Again, not the best but good enough). Add it all up and it will be less than 10 grand. Believe me, you will have exceptional sound. Hands down! Period ! etc ....

Quite possibly the best sound you have ever heard. 

 

That is something to consider

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