Originally Posted by jsound
Thanx, Dave. I always wondered how anyone could actually ask thousands of dollars for a 1M stereo cable. I guess if the market will bear it...that's capitalism for you...or greed. On the same track (since you brought up Mr. Carver & his products),
I was always curious when I saw exorbitantly-priced components: I saw a set of speakers that retailed for $107,000.00, or a $100,000.00 amplifier, & that seemed way out there, even with the highest-quality parts & construction. Somewhere in between "cheap crap" & "way out there" are high-quality, great sounding components.
Someone posted that the actual improvement in sound quality is not related to increase in price: after a certain point, you may get a certain amount of (perceived) improvement in sound, but whether or not it's worth the extra money is the question.
You may get a small increase in performance for twice or three times the price. (Again, after a certain point.)
Maybe I'm not really qualified to expound on this, having just gotten back into the audio thing after a while, but the whole cable discussion kinda brought it out.
People can fool themselves better than anyone else can fool them. Just like the guy who said he didn't like any vodka other than Grey Goose, then, in a double blind test that was conducted pretty well, he had Grey Goose as the least favorite of the vodkas he sampled. Shows the power of suggestion of money, elitism, insecurity, etc., and that psychology trumps reality with many people, as P.T. Barnum and the cable promoters know and have in common. Also, these are characteristics of false values and foolishness, and, after all "fools and their money are soon parted!"
As far as $100,000.00 speakers go, I have found that, after a certain point, what is gained is mainly the ability to fill larger spaces with sound, and that is assuming the speakers are large, with lots of transducers, like the Genesis high end ones, not just ripoffs.
I still have my Infinity Kappa 9s and have not heard any that motivate me to change. Even after I auditioned the $135,000.00 Genesis speakers, which can fill an auditorium with sound. The actual quality of the sound approximated my Kappas. And were designed by Arnie Nudell, the same guy.
I did substitute the Kappa 3" dome midrange speakers with Dynaudio 3" dome midrange domes. The improvement was slight, but they are also physically better built.
As far as amps go, I would agree that they "gild the lily" at the extreme limit, while relying on claims that stretch physics to justify the cost. Well designed amplifiers of about the same power and distortion levels sound very much alike compared to other elements of the audio "chain". Preamplifiers sound less alike, each tends to have its own characteristic sound, besides the myriad features nowadays, and speakers sound much less alike. So, speakers have my attention first, then preamplifiers, then amplifiers. As I have said, cables don't even enter that equation, since they all sound alike, as proven in double blind tests, and I have challenged anyone's opinion against a them taking a real, properly conducted double blind test on any cables. One group added welded coat hangers to the selection of expensive speaker cables in a true double blind test and, even then, no one could reliable tell the difference between any of them. Save your money for upgrading other equipment, especially speakers!