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Audiophile snobbery...?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Del monaco, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. Blurboy

    Blurboy pfm Member

    Snobbery exists in every single hobby/pastime etc. As does “willy waving” such as how many boxes does your system have. Best thing do is ignore everyone, go by your own ears and let those who spend endless thousands on their kit to get on with it too. Life’s too short.
    mega lord likes this.
  2. PJD

    PJD pfm Member

    My ears like/love my turntable, my eyes (looking at audio measurements in DAW on screen) not so much. Arguably (at least I will make this argument) fidelity is not just about purity of signal according to textbook standards, but a complete experience, which is idiosyncratic. I believe vinyl introduces a number of compromises, which can enhance the listener experience. Not just sonically either, there is a great investment in playing a record, which begets attention. So many things in the modern age are based on efficiencies which short circuit behaviours.. skip skip skip through tracks in your digital stream.. isn't so easy with vinyl.

    FWIW my first CD player was a budget Yamaha which I was quite smitten by, that joined an Arcam Alpha 1. Generally the brand does put out 'mass market' products, and that usually means 'common denominators'. Notice I didn't lunge for the word lowest? But if you look at a spectral plot of quality vs commodity, Yamaha are rarely providing the outlier 'giant killers' in any given category.. those will usually be the preserve of smaller operations, generally (exceptions too IMO, eg Focal), because of their business model. Speaking of which I've worked up top in a music instrument retailer, and Yamaha is one brand we do not tend to supply. This is partly due to build quality - Roland E-kits are just more robust for our demographic - but also the very tight, oftentime unworkable margins, for all but the biggest retail players who can presumably acquire more favourable terms on a trade account. I've noticed that Yamaha is less freely available than some other semi-equivalent brands, suspect this is the reason.

    WRT B&O I had the entire 8000 series I acquired used, original retail in excess of £10k on release. It was a marvel of a system, with technology that still blows my mind for it's release time. The design and function was indeed epic! It was not a high end system though - the sound was tailored warm. It also used the nasty DIN connectors, and was hideous to maintain - the 8000 receiver a nightmare to open up, a complicated mess of wires internally, with faults that would inevitably avail themselves.. I sold the system on around 2005 and everything besides the cassette deck needed a full service/repair/overhaul..

    Did go through a phase of monitoring everything through the record/playback of modified Revox A77 for a time, that was a streak of madness.. imagine respooling tapes every 20 minutes just to continue listening to CD? And a few months routing everything through a £10 Realistic DJ mixer which I was convinced had a sonic aura about it... I suppose this confirms I'm no snob

    But I'm better now... :D
    Del monaco likes this.
  3. delange

    delange pfm Member

    My experience with this is that I get very disappointed with the less known and exotic (usually very expensive) "high-end" brands.
    It is almost as if the more exotic the brand is, the less good it sounds. Especially when auditioning speakers.

    I remember a trip to Holland with a few friends where we visited the brand Kharma in Breda. The sales guy first gave us the sales talk. His pitch got us exited but that feeling left the building as soon as the speakers started playing music. I can't remember the exact model but those speakers costed around 30k Euro and they just sounded bad. When we told the sales guy we were not impressed he replied that it must be because one of the engineers fiddled with this pair. And probably he ran some tests on them but left the "mod" in them when he was finished. So, the sales guys installed another demo pair of these speakers... with the same bad result...
    The sales guy later let us audition a more expensive model (around 65k Euro), and granted, these sounded a lot better. But not nearly as good a pair "medium level" B&W 704 speakers that can be had for a fraction of that price.

    Bottom line, I usually stick to the "regular" audio brands and leave the exotic brands alone. Yamaha is one of those brands I trust. I don't care if they are labeled as a "mass production brand". Yamaha knowns how to create and built quality audio gear. Maybe less known but they have been very popular and well regarded in the professional audio world too.
    Jonboi likes this.
  4. seethroughyou

    seethroughyou pfm Member

    well I love classical music and it forms 99% of what I listen to and the BL90 outperformed what audiophiles consider to be top of the pack (which I’ve heard) with the likes of:
    Sonus Faber
    ATC including a factory visit
    Martin Logan
    Living Voice Vox
    Cessaro Liszt
    Jonboi likes this.
  5. seethroughyou

    seethroughyou pfm Member

    quite agree. Lampizator did a tear down of fancy CD players and some are just as you’ve described cheapest nasty components costing 50 cents wrapped in fancy plastic and cases. Audiophiles equate weight with quality so they are getting what they want. Where I don’t agree with Lampizator is his obsession with sticking a valve in everything.
    Mike P likes this.
  6. seethroughyou

    seethroughyou pfm Member

    chartz and Jonboi like this.
  7. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    Me neither. Especially when it means drilling dirty great big holes in the casework of a wonderful machine.
  8. Weiss-Man

    Weiss-Man pfm Member

    I have been lucky and owned some nice gear over the years and bought a pair of Focal Utopias this week, and am questioning my sanity. On the other end of the spectrum I loved my little Denon DM-41 that was my only hi fi piece a couple of years ago. I see more fun/value in the cheaper items than the more sophisticated (expensive) items.
  9. amazement

    amazement pfm Member

    I have a budget Denon Picollo that’s really very enjoyable, it images beautifully and great with detail only let down in the bass, lack of tightness and definition. While it won’t replace my Naim system it is equally enjoyable and if I had to sell everything else I could quite happily live with the Denon.

    I’m seriously looking at the mid and top end Yamaha integrateds.
  10. nn_in

    nn_in Member

    803 is a hidden gem . I run these with Xavian Bonbonus ver1.There are reviews for 803 from Poland hifi review that mention people may ignore this as its under the receiver category.The volume in this rx/amp can be increased in a very incremental manner.Its a higher end as701/801 amp with all the other features packed in properly.Many prefer to use it in direct mode.
  11. PJD

    PJD pfm Member

    Is it "fun" we are seeking.. or transcendental experiences !

    Enjoy your Focal Utopias, sublime

    I 'only' have Electra 905's.. but they bring me joy every single day... when they go to speaker heaven I will sob profusely...

    I do think some of the drooly monitors are TOO MUCH for lots of exposure.. spent a bit of time with the PMC MB2S XBD, the recording engineer had to exit console room regularly, for listener breaks
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020 at 3:31 PM
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  12. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer 432 Point5

    I personally find the biggest snobs in this hobby are those who think they are some Uber audio engineers, DIY gods, and those who have just got to have every aspect of there system made in the UK; In others words, the right-wing and deluded ;)
    fegs likes this.
  13. amazement

    amazement pfm Member

    sounds a bit snobbish!
    Tarzan and narabdela like this.
  14. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    Sounds a bit rubbish to me.
    As far as I'm aware our resident uber engineer is further left than Corbyn!
    Most of the people in the DIY room are rather modest IME.
    Some of them even know when to use "there" and when to use "their", as well. :D
    booja30 likes this.
  15. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer 432 Point5

    See, you couldn’t resist could you ;)
    There are many talented audio engineers on PFM. The most annoying is indeed a far lefty to the same extents as those on the right who still insist; British is best.
  16. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    With very few exceptions, Brit-fi is not what it used to be. There is a close parallel to the automotive world. Most of the British brands are made by another company elsewhere. Not sure if there is much snob value in that.

    Snobbery, if that is a thing, is more likely associated with price and, to a lesser extent, rarity. Most people who are snobs paid over the odds for their toys.
    Cereal Killer likes this.
  17. Subito

    Subito Well-Known Member

    Once people accept the axiom “you get what you pay for,” the results are entirely predictable. People believe the more something costs, the better it is. This opens up huge opportunities for exploitatively high prices, and more depressing, it actively discourages companies from developing high-quality products for reasonable prices...because many people seeking high quality won’t take those lower-priced products seriously.
  18. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    I guess that depends on how gullible they are.
  19. Subito

    Subito Well-Known Member

    Good point, I revised my phrasing slightly to clarify a bit.
  20. pocketkitchen

    pocketkitchen Registered User

    It's funny, hifi rarely saw Veblen goods 30 years ago. Even with a Krell or Levinson, whether you liked it or not, you could see where the money went, despite it being expensive. Casework and turntables can now be so blingy and over-built that there's no way the extravagant costs relate to what's in the box. Ken Kessler with his obsession with high end watches and the way he banged on for years that hifi should take a leaf out of that market did a great deal to set this trend up, sadly. Now, where's my credit card, I must away and buy a D'Agostino amp!

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