What Is "High End" Audio?

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  • DarqueKnight
    DarqueKnight Posts: 6,640
    edited January 2010
    jaxwired wrote: »
    Any chance the owner might not think their gear is second rate? Ummm...welll....then it's offensive....

    I find that second or third rate items suffice in most cases. In fact, in this country, second or third rate items are usually very good. The fact that I own a second rate car, a second rate truck, wear second rate shoes most of the time, listen to second rate audio gear most of the time, eat second rate, yet nutritious, food most of the time, is no reflection on my worth as an individual. I am not the things that I own or eat or wear.
    jaxwired wrote: »
    Who exactly get's to decide what gear makes it into high end and what gear is relegated to mid-fi? I'd like to meet the king to put in a good word...

    No king was involved. High end means different things to different people. For a lot of people, being able to play music at very high levels with adequate clarity is "high end". I have already given what high end means to me.

    I arrived at my awareness of "high end audio" not through indulgences by a benevolent king, but through many years of listening to real live music and many years of careful comparison of those audio components that got me closer to the "magic" of that real live or "real life" (as some of my musician friends refer to it) musical experience.

    I love music.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • schwarcw
    schwarcw Posts: 7,288
    edited January 2010
    Lot's of good, interesting reading and discussion. High end will be different things to different people. I don't think the term is easily defined on a universal basis. I think the more satisfied that you are with your listening experience, you are in the high end place. I agree the more satisfied that you become, the more that you will spend time listening. Good stuff! Thanks for the writeup Raife, and everyone's perspective.
    Carl

  • cnh
    cnh Posts: 13,286
    edited January 2010
    Listening fatigue is a factor...but this assumes that the psychological state of the listener is always at a base state....if consciousness is agitated, anxious, or stressed...even the best of systems WILL fatigue the listener.

    Subjectivity also applies to the 'state' of the listener...and he/she does not have to be listening to something they dislike. Not really disagreeing here...but just adding personal experience...there are days when nothing sounds 'right' to me...and it has more to do with 'me' than not.

    In fact I would go as far as saying that things sound 'different' most of the time. And it is only on 'some' days that everything sounds OK!

    cnh
    Currently orbiting Bowie's Blackstar.!

    Polk Lsi-7s, Def Tech 8" sub, HK 3490, HK HD 990 (CDP/DAC), AKG Q701s
    [sig. changed on a monthly basis as I rotate in and out of my stash]
  • DarqueKnight
    DarqueKnight Posts: 6,640
    edited January 2010
    MANSKITO wrote: »
    I understand that there will always be people that will disagree with the findings of a objective study of the reproduction of sound but it would give a VERY good base line for the majority of people.

    Please explain how such an objective study would enhance anyone's enjoyment of reproduced music. I am a scientist and I obviously see the value in objective studies, but I really don't need one to tell me which flavor of ice cream tastes best to me.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • MANSKITO
    MANSKITO Posts: 295
    edited January 2010
    cnh wrote: »
    Listening fatigue is a factor...but this assumes that the psychological state of the listener is always at a base state....if consciousness is agitated, anxious, or stressed...even the best of systems WILL fatigue the listener.

    Subjectivity also applies to the 'state of the listener...and he/she does not have to be listening to something they dislike. Not really disagreeing here...but just adding personal experience...there are days when nothing sounds 'right' to me...and it has more to do with 'me' than not.


    cnh

    like always i agree with you more then i disagree but would you not also agree that if you averaged your experiences you could think of a sound that sounds best to you?

    And on top of that if you averaged every ones personal bests you would find a sound that while not perfect is very pleasing to most, most of the time.
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  • MANSKITO
    MANSKITO Posts: 295
    edited January 2010
    Please explain how such an objective study would enhance anyone's enjoyment of reproduced music. I am a scientist and I obviously see the value in objective studies, but I really don't need one to tell me which flavor of ice cream tastes best to me.

    lol not enjoyment but it would help say me who has very limited funds get an idea of what to spend them on. It would help me and others i m sure get an idea of where the High end is and how much it coast.

    Also it might help in designing future and better gear and speakers.
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  • mini-me
    mini-me Posts: 70
    edited January 2010
    MANSKITO wrote: »
    lol not enjoyment but it would help say me who has very limited funds get an idea of what to spend them on. It would help me and others i m sure get an idea of where the High end is and how much it coast.

    Also it might help in designing future and better gear and speakers.

    How much do you think is spent for the engineering, manufacturing, profiteering, marketing, B&M stores, advertising, middle-man, shipping, packaging, and professional reviews on the high end (high cost) products?

    Can you make up the ratio of these in 10K CD Player? All these costs of high end gears are usually paid by 1st and 2nd owner of such gear. So, if you buy a used gear, you may actually be getting closed to what it cost to make it.

    The downside is that the used can go South anytime.
  • MANSKITO
    MANSKITO Posts: 295
    edited January 2010
    mini-me wrote: »
    How much do you think is spent for the engineering, manufacturing, profiteering, marketing, B&M stores, advertising, middle-man, shipping, packaging, and professional reviews on the high end (high cost) products?

    Can you make up the ratio of these in 10K CD Player? All these costs of high end gears are usually paid by 1st and 2nd owner of such gear. So, if you buy a used gear, you may actually be getting closed to what it cost to make it.

    The downside is that the used can go South anytime.

    Good point, most of my gear is used I don't think any one would disagree with that.

    But there will come a time that i will want the latest and greatest and can afford such. Maybe By that point I like many on this forum will through personal experience no longer need an objective study to base my opinions on. However being a Noob I still wish there was such a thing. ATM i can't point to the high end if you paid me too, i know whats good relative to what i have heard, but i haven't heard a fraction of whats on the market.
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  • DarqueKnight
    DarqueKnight Posts: 6,640
    edited January 2010
    Sherardp wrote: »
    Excellent read DK. How have you been anyway? Any new toys as of late?

    I'm doing well Sherardp. How are things with you in the Far East?

    No new audio toys...and I don't expect any for a while...unless some spectacular deals come up on the speakers and power amps I have been eying for a while. In the meantime, I've been busy getting acquainted with my new camera toys:

    D700Set-s.jpg
    Bye bye film...at least small format (35mm) film. Left to right behind the Nikon D700 camera: Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VRII zoom lens,
    Nikon 105mm VR macro lens, Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 wide angle zoom lens, Nikon TC-20EII 2X teleconverter, Nikon 24-70mm f2.8
    zoom lens. A Nikon 50mm f1.4D prime lens is on the way. My next film camera with be a large format camera.


    D700-Screens-On2-s.jpg
    The D700 and SB-900 flash unit provide a lot of scene analysis and do a lot of the grunt work involved in setting up a shot. Now,
    more of my thinking can go toward composition...and ogling whatever I happen to be photographing at the time.


    D700Manual-s.jpg
    The D700's manual comprises 437 pages. It's like being back in photography school again.

    It may surprise some to know that audio is way down on list of my hobbies, in order of importance my leisure activities are:

    1. Investing.
    2. Saxophone.
    3. Photography.
    4. Audio
    5. Video

    I like hobbies 1-3 because they pay for themselves and they also pay for hobbies 4 & 5. In fact, I have a paying gig with the new photo gear on Thursday.:)
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • cnh
    cnh Posts: 13,286
    edited January 2010
    Don't sweat it! Even the Gurus don't know 'half' of what is available in that market because there is some 'rarefied' stuff out there that only a handful of people own. You already know a lot more than most people in your position.

    And that's what the elders here are for! How else to learn what to put on your short list, what to listen too..? How much to pay for something, etc.

    It's all cool..

    cnh
    Currently orbiting Bowie's Blackstar.!

    Polk Lsi-7s, Def Tech 8" sub, HK 3490, HK HD 990 (CDP/DAC), AKG Q701s
    [sig. changed on a monthly basis as I rotate in and out of my stash]
  • halo71
    halo71 Posts: 4,413
    edited January 2010
    "Hi-end".....guess it depends on who you talk to! To me, DK's gear is hi-end! To me anyways, higher end gear then I will probably ever own that is for sure. I was drooling over your pics in the system showcase earlier. ;)
    --Gary--
    Onkyo Integra M504, Bottlehead Foreplay III, Denon SACD, Thiel CS2.3, NHT VT-2, VT-3 and Evolution T6, Infinity RSIIIa, SDA1C and a few dozen other speakers around the house I change in and out.
  • DarqueKnight
    DarqueKnight Posts: 6,640
    edited January 2010
    MANSKITO wrote: »
    lol not enjoyment but it would help say me who has very limited funds get an idea of what to spend them on. It would help me and others i m sure get an idea of where the High end is and how much it coast.

    If you had the funds and you were in the market for a high end sports car, say $100,00+, how would you go about shopping for it?

    The first criterion for me would be how the thing looked.;)
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • Fongolio
    Fongolio Posts: 3,516
    edited January 2010
    It's "High-end" if it moves me. If it gives me goose bumps or tears. If it takes me away from the here and now and transports me to where nothing matters but the music. My current set up can do that. That's high end to me.
    SDA-1C (full mods)
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  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 46,272
    edited January 2010
    They ARE in fact saying the $1400 amp is in the same league as the 100k amp. That's exactly what they are saying.

    No, it's not. "Where we have found a product to perform much better than might be expected from its price we have drawn attention to it with a $$$ next to its listing."
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 46,272
    edited January 2010
    I recall someone posting what constitutes high end.....perhaps the perfect answer. High end is what I own, low end is what you own.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,356
    edited February 2010
    Interesting answers. I guess we can mostly agree that high end is different to different people, being the subjective medium that it is. What I really want to know, is for some of you to put up some examples of these so-called $200 cdp's that can compete with the $ 5,000 ones. The $1400 amps that take on the $10,000 ones.

    I think some here are identifying High end within the realm of what they have allready heard. Maybe they never heard 50,000 buck speakers driven by 30 g's worth of front end. So to them, that doesn't exist. See what I'm sayin' ?

    Because we all hear different,and that changes too with age, and because we all like our music with different flavors, is why the amount of different high end pieces exists. High end to me anyway, is like life, it's all about the journey, not so much as one piece of gear here and there. The enjoyment of the music your listening to without those voices in the back of your head telling you to change something because it sounds like crap.
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  • jaxwired
    jaxwired Posts: 201
    edited February 2010
    mini-me wrote: »
    Do you drive Toyota? It's 2nd Class coz I drive Lexus! Nah...I am just making example of what is high end (luxury) and what is economy means.

    Cars are not analagous because the value of a car is much more quantifiable than sound quality.
    mini-me wrote: »
    If you can't hear a difference in different gears, why bother discussing in this thread? It's obviously out of your ability to hear and know what is subjective and what is reality. You may do a lot of good to yourself by using TV speakers for movies and using portable mp3 players for hi-fi listening.

    If you have to resort to personal attacks, you have a weak argument and it's not very flattering to you.
    Face wrote: »
    Stereophile's Class list is far from gospel. I've tried some of their Class A components and walked away disappointed.

    You make my point for me. We all disagree about what equipment sounds great. Therefore:

    1. How can price and value be perfectly correlated. Nobody even agrees what value is.
    2. How can anybody classify any gear as "mid-fi" since there is not universal agreement on what equipment is inferior.
    mini-me wrote: »
    jaxwired wrote: »
    because cost and performance are not even close to perfectly correlated that a savy audiophile can exploit that fact to build a system that performs at levels typically associated with much more expensive gear.
    Are you saying this from your own experiences or just parroting what you've read from people in other forums?

    Are you kidding me. The idea that cost and performance are perfectly correlated is ridiculous and should not require proof. It is obvious to any thinking audio enthusiast and can easily be shown to have the full agreement of every major audio reviewer on the planet by simply perusing their recommended components list to see the large price fluctuations in gear. If you asked any audio magazine reviewer the question "Is it possible to find a piece of audio equipment that performs as a peer to more expensive gear?" POSSIBLE, MEANING NOT IMPOSSIBLE, they will say yes 100% of the time. Further, if you asked them if they know of any gear that fits this description, again 100% will say yes.
    MANSKITO wrote: »
    No trying to rock the boat but i see all this talk about subjectivity, there are documented and scientific approaches that can be put into place that remove subjectivity...

    All I can say to your long post is that if measured performance is the final arbiter of performance quality, then price and performance are not only NOT correlated, they aren't even close. Lots and lots of budget gear measures as good or better than lots of very expensive gear. Most people do not think that the way audio equipment measures on scientific devices is a reliable way to assess over all sound quality. Most people prefer listening for at least part of the assessment process and listening is usually weighted as far more important than scientific measurements.
    I find that second or third rate items suffice in most cases. In fact, in this country, second or third rate items are usually very good....No king was involved. High end means different things to different people. For a lot of people, being able to play music at very high levels with adequate clarity is "high end".

    My objection to classifying audio gear as "mid-fi" does not extend to all consumer goods. LOL. I'm just talking about audio equipment here. Why? Because audio equipment is classified as "mid-fi" based on sound quality and sound quality is mostly determined via subjective criteria. So there is no universal agreement about which equipment sounds best even among the so called experts. And if no one agrees, why should we label someone's gears second rate? If you want to call your own gear "mid-fi" go ahead. I really just meant to object when the term was applied to other people's gear.
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  • hearingimpared
    hearingimpared Banned Posts: 21,137
    edited February 2010
    Jax, it seems to me that you take it personally that by stating that your gear is "mid-fi" is akin to calling your baby ugly.

    I've owned Adcom, NAD, Parasound, Oppo, Dynavector, Denon etc. gear and would classify it as Mid-fi. I've since moved into the lower high-end and high end with my rig. Some of it used, some new. For example, I use an SME V tonearm, a ZYX cartridge, a tricked out VPI turntable, a Spectal preamp, a MF Trivista 300 integrated, a Raysonic CDP, MIT cable and speaker wires all the while using tricked out Polk Audio (mid-fi) SDA/SRS 1.2TLs. The point, my rig is complete and sounds leaps and bounds better than my previous mid-fi rigs but it did come at a price. I didn't start out with "high end" gear, I moved up the ladder from low end to mid-fi to high-fi and will probably get the upgrade bug and move further up. I don't get you being offended by the term mid-fi.

    Manskito; I will ask the age old question. How does one measure objectively, soundstage depth & width & height, imaging, inner detail, weight of music, bass slam, bass and drum speed, bass growl, air around instruments and vocals, the ability for a saxophone to rasp, etc, etc? You can have two completely different sets of gear measure objectively the same but produce completely different subjective sound as listed above. Science & objective measurements are not the be-all end-all in this subjective hobby, it is just a guideline.
  • MANSKITO
    MANSKITO Posts: 295
    edited February 2010
    hearingimpared, jaxwired

    I fully understand that if one used a microphone or SPL metter or any other device outside of the human ear to measure sound the results would be the results would be dubious, because those devices lack a brain to interpret the "sound" (movement of air) into "noise"(the meaning we assign to patterns of said movement.)

    An example of this would be if one tries to answer the question; If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it dose it make a sound? Well the answer is, it would make plenty of "sound" but it would NEVER make a "noise" even if we left 10 microphones on every trunk of every tree, of every forest if no one was around it would never in fact make a noise.

    I do not believe that you could build or use any object outside of a human ear in any meaningful way. Because the brain (and the ear for that matter) ATM is something we can not recreate, takes "sound" and shapes it into "noise" and because of this any attempt to measure sound are fruitless because we don't care about "sound" we care about "noise".

    With that said the question becomes is it still possible to be objective when the only tools of merit are subjective? The answer is yes.

    How this relates to audio gear is that if one where to take a large enough random sample of people in a double blind study and asked them is speaker A better then speaker B you WILL get different answers because of the subjective nature of our ears and our brains that ATM science has no control over, but if you where to average them out you would in fact (if the delta in performance is large enough to be audible to the human ear at least 51% of the time) objectively say that speaker A is better then speaker B for the majority of people.

    My point is that there are means to remove subjectivety(to a limited degree) even if your only viable instruments are subjective.

    A kind of example of this would be the highly subjective nature of the attractiveness of the female. One would think that this is COMPLETELY subjective based on personal and cultural differences. However Science has found that it is in fact not the case there are some universal truths when it comes to which girls are hot and which are not for the majority of people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waist-hip_ratio

    This is not to say that I don't think the most important view point is the subjective one, on the contrary I think what sounds (or looks ) best to each person is the most important view point, in the case of the girl I personally enjoy larger hips on a girl i m not going to marry a .7 when i think a .6 is better, still that is not to say that there is no value in an objective study of the reproduction of sound (or women).
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  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 23,043
    edited February 2010
    MANSKITO wrote: »
    A kind of example of this would be the highly subjective nature of the attractiveness of the female. One would think that this is COMPLETELY subjective based on personal and cultural differences. However Science has found that it is in fact not the case there are some universal truths when it comes to which girls are hot and which are not for the majority of people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waist-hip_ratio

    This is not to say that I don't think the most important view point is the subjective one, on the contrary I think what sounds (or looks ) best to each person is the most important view point, in the case of the girl I personally enjoy larger hips on a girl i m not going to marry a .7 when i think a .6 is better, still that is not to say that there is no value in an objective study of the reproduction of sound (or women).


    And this is to help my understanding of the topic in what way? My brain hurts from even trying to understand this.:confused:
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  • Hawkeye
    Hawkeye Posts: 1,313
    edited February 2010
    I frankly don't see why anybody would be offended by having their gear classified as low, mid, hi or uber. Don't think for a minute that I'm offended when people discuss Burmester, darTzeel, Boulder or MBL pieces.

    To argue the point is useless.

    Gordon
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  • concealer404
    concealer404 Posts: 7,441
    edited February 2010
    jaxwired wrote: »
    Well heiney, looks like we will disagree on quite a bit. Let me ask you a few questions:

    1. Do you think it's possible for a great 2k amp to sound as good as a great 10k amp?
    2. Do you think it's possible for a great 2k CD player to sound as good as a great 10k CDP?
    3. Do you think it's possible for a great $200 interconnect to sound as good as a great 2k interconnect?

    If you answer yes, yes, and yes, then you do agree with me.

    If you answer no to these questions, then you believe that cost and peformance are extremely consistently connected. With something as subject as sound quality, it's hard to understand that point of view.

    What exactly does cost have to do with anything?
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

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  • concealer404
    concealer404 Posts: 7,441
    edited February 2010
    Wow i'm way behind here.

    I have nothing but mid-fi in my rig. I'm 110% ok with that label. Anyone who thinks that a "mid-fi" branding is offensive is severely paranoid, and should take solace in the fact that the fact that they even HAVE mid-fi puts them above 99.5% of the world's population.

    Geez. Lighten up.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

    Living Room: B&K Reference 5 S2 / Parasound HCA-1000A / Emotiva XDA-2 / Pioneer BDP-51FD / Paradigm 11se MKiii

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  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,783
    edited February 2010
    High-end is like pornagraphy. You know it when you see (hear) it.
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • mini-me
    mini-me Posts: 70
    edited February 2010
    jaxwired wrote: »
    Cars are not analagous because the value of a car is much more quantifiable than sound quality.

    If you have to resort to personal attacks, you have a weak argument and it's not very flattering to you.

    Are you kidding me. The idea that cost and performance are perfectly correlated is ridiculous and should not require proof. It is obvious to any thinking audio enthusiast and can easily be shown to have the full agreement of every major audio reviewer on the planet by simply perusing their recommended components list to see the large price fluctuations in gear. If you asked any audio magazine reviewer the question "Is it possible to find a piece of audio equipment that performs as a peer to more expensive gear?" POSSIBLE, MEANING NOT IMPOSSIBLE, they will say yes 100% of the time. Further, if you asked them if they know of any gear that fits this description, again 100% will say yes.

    I did not make a personal attack on you before. It was also not an arugment but an attempt to make you aware that there are different things in life and people classified them as such. You failed to understand the basics and took an offense in words people generally classify as Mid-Fi or Hi-Fi gears.

    You mentioned repeatedly that Hi-Fi or Mid-Fi classification is based on sound quality and that is not valid coz is was not scientific or no solid proof. You also insisted Hi-Fi gears and Higher cost do not correlate (which sometimes hold true)! But it's not always the case and (Subjective) hearing is what makes this hobby possible. But since you said all the differences in sound quality and hearing are subjective and the $1400 mid-fi gear will makes no difference to $10000, it's absurd and insult to the very meaning of why we enjoy this hobby. But most of all, hearing and ability to hear the differences and appreciates these qualities totally depends on an individual. That's why I said you'll do yourself a lot of good by using TV speakers for movies and portable mp3 players for Hi-Fi listening. You may think it was a poor argument or an attack but I was just stating the solution for you. If you can't hear a difference to begin with, all the discussions here will not be able to make you hear anymore than you already can. But you should be glad that there is no difference in sound (since it's all subjective) between portable mp3 players, Mid-Fi gears and Hi-Fi gears for you so you don't need to spend extravaganza amount of money in this unquantifiable hobby!

    The bottom line - if you can't hear a difference between $300CD player and $3000CD player, I will agree that they may not make any difference. But if you can't hear a difference between $1000 speaker and $10000 speakers and keep saying there is no mid-fi or hi-fi classification based on cost and sound quality, you know the Subjective Quality you are seeking doesn't exist coz you never heard a difference in them.

    PS. I did not say anything such as Cost and Performance relates perfectly at all. There are still tons of over-priced Mid-Fi and Hi-Fi gears out there. You just need to know. But it doesn't mean Hi-Fi and Mid-Fi classification doesn't exist or sound quality doesn't make a difference between higher cost gears or lesser cost gears.
  • madmax
    madmax Posts: 12,435
    edited February 2010
    BlueFox wrote: »
    High-end is like pornagraphy. You know it when you see (hear) it.

    Finally, an explanation that truely makes sense!

    I wonder if anyone has put together a "class list" of audio components other than stereophiles Class A, B, C etc?
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • McLoki
    McLoki Posts: 5,232
    edited February 2010
    Jax - from a quick look through this thread - you seem to be the main one that is trying to bring price into the low mid hi fi aspect of our hobby.

    I would consider all of my gear as mid-fi except my amp which is starting to get into higher end (in my opinon - which is really all I care about for my gear.. :D)

    You seem to be confusing points to make your argument. Hiney and others are saying a well thought out lower price piece of gear MAY be better than a much higher price (but not as well thought out) piece of gear. That is not to say that a lower price well thought out piece of gear is as good as ANY higher price piece of gear (no matter how well it is thought out).

    For example - I have read many reviews stating that the LSi15's sound better than some speakers much more expensive than they are. It would be foolish to assume that there is no speaker that costs more than it does that sounds better though. (personally I think if you are going to make that claim - you should be required to say what more expensive item it sounds better than.....)

    anyway - your 2k to 10k comparison.... I am sure SOME 2k players sound better than SOME 10k players, but I am equally sure that SOME 2k players do not sound better than ALL 10k players. (or no one - or very very few people, would purchase the more expensive player)

    To the OP - great thread and very nice write up. Thank you for starting it.

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, [email protected])
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,424
    edited February 2010
    Hi-fi is a standard that is met when a piece of equipment is capable of meeting certain sound reproduction standards. High end is equipment that is arguably believed to be better, because it is built to a higher material standard.

    My 2 cents.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amp: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi
  • Gadabout
    Gadabout Posts: 1,072
    edited February 2010
    jaxwired wrote: »
    My objection to classifying audio gear as "mid-fi" does not extend to all consumer goods. LOL. I'm just talking about audio equipment here. Why? Because audio equipment is classified as "mid-fi" based on sound quality and sound quality is mostly determined via subjective criteria. So there is no universal agreement about which equipment sounds best even among the so called experts. And if no one agrees, why should we label someone's gears second rate? If you want to call your own gear "mid-fi" go ahead. I really just meant to object when the term was applied to other people's gear.

    Thought I would chime in on this. I have read most of the posts and DK's original post twice (very nicely said .... as usual).

    I spent the better part of my time wondering why mid-fi was offensive. After reading this part of your last post, I now understand your position. The terms of low, mid and hi - fi are always subjective to interpretation. I personally, call my equipment mid-fi. To me, the term "mid-fi" does involve price, but to me it is more about the quality of the sound.

    I'm pretty happy with the sound of my system. I tweak here and there trying to improve it, but the main reason I call it mid-fi, is that I have heard better sound from better equipment (albeit most higher priced too). For me, the hobby is about increasing the presence, sound stage and clarity. It is all subjective.

    My friend with a HT in a box system, rolls his eyes when I call my system mid-fi. My other friend who has amazing synergy in his system and has spent lots of time perfecting his system and room, nods in agreement. It's all subjective.

    So for me, Mid-Fi, is a statement of my quest for better audio. Will I get to Hi-Fi? Perhaps, maybe someday. The journey is the most important thing and having fun doing it. I certainly have no issues having my equipment called mid-fi by anyone, as I would agree.

    Scott
    Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. ..... Frank Zappa
  • hearingimpared
    hearingimpared Banned Posts: 21,137
    edited February 2010
    steveinaz wrote: »
    Hi-fi is a standard that is met when a piece of equipment is capable of meeting certain sound reproduction standards. High end is equipment that is arguably believed to be better, because it is built to a higher material standard.

    My 2 cents.

    I would like to add . . . and in most cases better circuit design and better quality materials.