Fun reading piece on Ultra High-End audio systems

Grayson Dere

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I've been meaning to post this article for a couple days now. It's both amusing and down to earth regarding ultra-hifi systems.

https://www.13thnote.net/2020/07/29/ultra-audiophile-hifi-destroys-music/#:~:text='Ultra Audiophile HiFi' – a,music, rather than about music.&text=Music stripped bare, playing it,is essentially the same experience.

I get it. Spending what amounts to a house down payment for some components might seem ridiculous and not worth it in the sense of diminishing returns but I still find all that fun...just listening to what all the money can sound like.

What are all your thoughts on the mega HiFi systems out there? Do you enjoy their presence in our hobby? Or would you not blink an eye if it all disappeared tomorrow?
 

Sonnie

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I've heard systems supposedly valued at $200K... bunches at $100K and no telling how many at $50K+. Yes, many of them at audio shows with limited rooms to work with. However, most of the more expensive systems has very large rooms and went all out with treatments, etc. They sounded great... fabulous... etc. However, so does my system, and it did not cost anywhere near those systems. I can literally spend less than $10K and get the same great sound they get with $200K. Yep... that's listening with my ears, and that's the limitation... our ears. Perhaps others may listen to both and say the $200K sounds better, but I fail to hear it because my ears just can't hear it being any better. Nonetheless, I can't take away the fact that other ears believe these systems are superior... perhaps they are, but if I can't hear it, I can't fork out the cash for it... not that I could afford a $200K system anyway.
 

Grayson Dere

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I think it's fascinating how components work in the context of system synergy. Over the course of a year I've tried to get my 2-channel music system to sound more involving and to connect me more emotionally to the music. I've tried different streaming services, various amp/DAC combinations, even swapping out speakers to find that magic combination. After all the headache (it WAS fun though!) it turned out all I needed was a small $129.99 DAC made by ifi, called the 'Zen.' I don't know why and I'm attributing it to the system synergy but now my original system sounds more involving than anything else I've heard in recent memory. I actually don't desire to change anything anymore for my 2-channel : ) Interesting!
 

Coy Ramsey

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I've heard systems supposedly valued at $200K... bunches at $100K and no telling how many at $50K+. Yes, many of them at audio shows with limited rooms to work with. However, most of the more expensive systems has very large rooms and went all out with treatments, etc. They sounded great... fabulous... etc. However, so does my system, and it did not cost anywhere near those systems. I can literally spend less than $10K and get the same great sound they get with $200K. Yep... that's listening with my ears, and that's the limitation... our ears. Perhaps others may listen to both and say the $200K sounds better, but I fail to hear it because my ears just can't hear it being any better. Nonetheless, I can't take away the fact that other ears believe these systems are superior... perhaps they are, but if I can't hear it, I can't fork out the cash for it... not that I could afford a $200K system anyway.
I agree, fortunately the law of diminishing returns kicks in early for me with my old ears and damaged hearing ! At some point you just gotta say "good enuf" and enjoy your system. I'm finding that selecting better source material seems to give me more improvement than changing components. But there is something strangely satisfying about getting new hardware, whether it improves sound quality or not. BTW - I scanned through your system, looks very nice by my standards !
 

k7kz

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I agree, fortunately the law of diminishing returns kicks in early for me with my old ears and damaged hearing ! At some point you just gotta say "good enuf" and enjoy your system. I'm finding that selecting better source material seems to give me more improvement than changing components. But there is something strangely satisfying about getting new hardware, whether it improves sound quality or not. BTW - I scanned through your system, looks very nice by my standards !
You are certainly not alone. At 75 and with tinnitus, I still enjoy my music and movies but resign myself to the fact that I will never hear it all again.
 

AJ Soundfield

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...just listening to what all the money can sound like.
I took a $20 bill from my wallet and it made no sound at all. Maybe I should borrow a $10k note from Sonnie?
It appears many people do believe audio systems emit monetary notes and correlate this to ("sound") quality.
A well established factor (except to them of course) https://www.pnas.org/content/105/3/1050

What are all your thoughts on the mega HiFi systems out there?
They range from very good to downright terrible...Stereo.
Of which there is little "Fidelity", unless High. :)
https://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=9136

Btw, that was fun reading, I largely skipped thru article and went straight to comments, where the entertainment began. Thanks.

cheers
 
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