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  • Law Of Diminishing Returns

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    The above curve taken nicely illustrates a biphasic curve that might be applicable to an audio law of diminishing returns. But is there really a law of diminishing returns? Or is it something that has been repeated a million times and all of a sudden becomes fact? If there is a law of diminishing returns, at what point does it kick in? Is the first say 70% more important in finding the Holy Grail than the last 30%? Or is it the other way around? Or is comparing the initial and final part of the curve apples and oranges? Just some quick thoughts off the top of my head.

    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    LDR exists and is factored into most peoples reasoning. I'm pragmatic about how far to take things, my hobbies included I wasn't always that way maybe its old age creeping in. I see the opposite In some people that have been or feel deprived most of their life and suddenly - no matter the cost - they're on a quest to reach Everest (whatever that means to them).
    Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

    "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

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    • #3
      I too think the Law of Diminishing Returns is real, but damned if I could put a price tag on at what point it really kicks in. I used to say that after your system achieves a certain level of "goodness," it all becomes a variation on a theme. That was really a gross oversimplification. You can check off all sorts of audiophile check list boxes, but it doesn't mean you have a really good sounding system. Like everything in life, the devil is always in the details and music lives and breathes in those details.

      For those that love them some measurements, it's pretty easy and relatively cheap to put together a system made up of components that claim a response from 20Hz to 20kHz with low distortion and a high S/N ratio.. However, these same people who love them some measurements usually don't really have measurements, they have a spec sheet from the OEM which they consider the same as measurements. But neither a spec sheet or measurements will tell you how something sounds and therein lies the rub. How much do you have to spend to buy a really good sounding system? What if you want true 20Hz extension? Are you a one trick digital pony or do you have both analog and digital sources in your system?

      What if your system only contains small bookshelf speakers because you don't care about the bottom two octaves and you like to listen nearfield. at low levels? Your point of diminishing returns may kick in at a much lower dollar threshold than someone who is shooting for the stars in the performance they want from their system.

      In summary, I think the concept is real, but the dollar amount will vary widely depending on each person and their goals.
      Last edited by mep; 03-15-2016, 04:07 PM.
      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

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      • #4
        LDR in what, money, time or experience? I don't see a real measure for audio, every right move seems to be a worthwhile positive for most us and the wrong move is a net loss in time & money but it could be a gain in experience as is a side move...

        david
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        • #5
          Originally posted by david k View Post
          LDR in what, money, time or experience? I don't see a real measure for audio, every right move seems to be a worthwhile positive for most us and the wrong move is a net loss in time & money but it could be a gain in experience as is a side move...

          david
          I think the real intent of the OP was related to money spent vice time lost and experience gained. Your points are valid though.
          Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mep View Post

            I think the real intent of the OP was related to money spent vice time lost and experience gained. Your points are valid though.

            Yes I agree originally was thinking monetary investment but David made some very valid points. That's why he's here.

            In some ways, I think the improvements at the upper half of the curve seem more dramatic. Or one really starts to lock in those areas that are of real personal importance in the recreation of music eg. dynamics, soundstaging, tonality, resolution. Those improvement seems bigger than life.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #7
              One must separate value from price. Every piece of equipment I own had to prove it's value to me before final purchase. Every piece of equipment any of you own had to prove it's value before your final purchase.

              Throw in price and that's where things get cloudy and potentially contentious. Is that $150,000 set of monoblocks (not referring to any specific brand) better than my amplifier? Yes. Is it 100 times better? No. Is the value worth the price to some? Yes. Is the value worth the price to me? Irrelevant, I could never buy such a thing.

              And so it goes. As to the price to "performance" graph, my perception of the dollar amount of where that 70% knee occurs at is likely a wildly divergent point from the perception of others. Only useful as a general concept.

              I do consider the concept of diminishing returns valid though. I'll even go so far as to say it starts well above the price points I can afford.

              Comment


              • #8
                The law of diminishing returns expresses a logarithmic relation between investment and what? Equipment weight, signal to noise ratio, power, distortion or user satisfaction? How can we valuate in numbers perceived sound quality?

                IMHO as our personnel perception of small differences in well setup systems is exponential it can balance fairly well such generic thumb rule.
                My opinions rely on listening mainly to acoustical, non amplified music. I do not care about electronic music or listening to rock at stadium levels, but I enjoy Mahler and Shostakovitch.

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                • #9
                  I think LDR definitely exists. The really hard question for me is, how does one know when it has kicked in? When do I get off the merry go-round and stop trading up when I'm really just trading for different? With publications touting 'yet another advancement on SOTA' or the enabling forums like this invariably commit, I find it's really difficult to know if I've reached that magic inflection point. Expectation bias is no help either...
                  Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by microstrip View Post
                    The law of diminishing returns expresses a logarithmic relation between investment and what? Equipment weight, signal to noise ratio, power, distortion or user satisfaction? How can we valuate in numbers perceived sound quality?

                    IMHO as our personnel perception of small differences in well setup systems is exponential it can balance fairly well such generic thumb rule.
                    Thanks for putting my thoughts in a different context.
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mep View Post
                      .

                      For those that love them some measurements, it's pretty easy and relatively cheap to put together a system made up of components that claim a response from 20Hz to 20kHz with low distortion and a high S/N ratio.. However, these same people who love them some measurements usually don't really have measurements, they have a spec sheet from the OEM which they consider the same as measurements. But neither a spec sheet or measurements will tell you how something sounds and therein lies the rub. How much do you have to spend to buy a really good sounding system? What if you want true 20Hz extension? Are you a one trick digital pony or do you have both analog and digital sources in your system?

                      .
                      i tried to have the spec discussion on another forum.it ended in a flame war.about how stupid and uneducated i was.i even told this person i had owned the item they was talking about.i also pointed out how lifeless and dead it sounded.even though it had decent looking specs.they just couldn't understand.there is more to sound than a spec sheet.
                      digitalphile here yay

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pharoah View Post

                        i tried to have the spec discussion on another forum.it ended in a flame war.about how stupid and uneducated i was.i even told this person i had owned the item they was talking about.i also pointed out how lifeless and dead it sounded.even though it had decent looking specs.they just couldn't understand.there is more to sound than a spec sheet.
                        Yeah that's a whole 'nuth discussion for another day. I still want to see one of these flat earthers who buy their system based on measurements step forward. If anything, you know they buy their gear based on how cheap it is. I guess one has to ask, do they really know what real music sound like?
                        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                        ________________________________________

                        -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                        -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would assume not Myles.to each his own though hehe.
                          digitalphile here yay

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pharoah View Post
                            I would assume not Myles.to each his own though hehe.
                            Do they bring their test instruments to a concert too?
                            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                            ________________________________________

                            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              they probably try ‚Äč
                              digitalphile here yay

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