Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How influenced are you by price?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How influenced are you by price?

    In the very lengthy thread on head-fi about Schiit Audio, there is a running theme (pretty common elsewhere too) that audiophiles are more influenced by price and looks than actual sound. I don’t buy into that claim overall, and feel they are setting up a strawman to have to have someone to put down so they can feel better about their choices. However, I do believe there is some amount of influence as pertains to the claim.

    So here is the question – how influenced are you by a product’s price? Will you automatically not be interested in a product if it costs significantly less than what you already have? Is there a cognitive dissonance in the price/performance ratio that prevents some people from considering certain products if the price is too low?

    Would any of you upgrade sound quality in your system if someone came with a better sounding product for half the price of what you currently have? At a quarter of the price? A tenth?

    I’m not passing judgment, just curious. I had some folks question me when I upgraded my system switching from a $3000 set of speakers to a set that only cost $1000, and again when I swapped out cables that were a couple hundred dollars each for a set that were $49 each. Both did result in improvements in my system.

    Granted, part of my enjoyment and focus in this hobby is hunting down those high value bargains, and getting the best sound I can for least amount of money. I consider it a challenge. However, I certainly understand that the best gear is likely to cost a fairly high price. My question is about once you reach the “expensive stuff” how important the expense is in determining your perception of quality?
    Steve Lefkowicz
    Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
    -
    Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
    Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
    Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
    Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
    Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
    Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
    Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
    Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
    Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

  • #2
    There is a threshold for me that certain components/gear should be in the discussion of quality perception. I must admit, on some of those components, the gap is narrowing. Cartridges are good example. Cheaper moving coils are sounding far better and can compete with carts 2-3x their price IMHO. The major problem we will always have with being able to judge a component impartially is what it is paired with in an audition. Typically, components are put together at similar price points. You will never see a $3000 amp with $30000 speakers, etc. One never knows how well or how much a bargain something is in terms of its sonic performance because it is always a slave to the rest of the system it is auditioned with. I would love if more audio show events or demo rooms paired gear at different price points. But the margins are bigger for high price items, so it comes back to what will make dealers more money. This is a loaded topic for sure. I'm sure there are tons of great products that are cheaper that can outperform more expensive components, but the industry is not effectively set up for that to be realized. It is also requires more brick and mortar stores which are not in many cities or markets, and requires dealers/distributors to have multiple products and larger inventories on hand to do A/B demos. There is far more supply from worldwide manufactures than there are dealers to supply and purchase them. Just my two cents.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm not against someone spending huge sums of their money on awesome speakers,amps, TT's and cartridges or crazy DACS good for them and I'm happy for them, but when people make it a point to downplay someones system because it doesn't meet someone elses standards, those people are not in this hobby for the enjoyment of it, in my opinion that's is freaking out of control ego.

      Also, I love it when people ask for advice on equipment and provide a budget and 90% of the "advisers on a forum" seem to push the limit and go over the budget bringing up comments, like it will look better, and sound better (heck how do they know have they heard the OP's system in their room) . These days, it seems like price is a never ending topic on about every audio forum in existence..

      Heck the only thing I have paid full price for was my speakers that I bought a long time ago and a pair of headphones, everything else, I'm sorry it was used. .

      As Analog21 notes, "this is a loaded topic for sure "
      Chris
      ----------------------------------------------------------------
      Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Steve Lefkowicz View Post
        In the very lengthy thread on head-fi about Schiit Audio, there is a running theme (pretty common elsewhere too) that audiophiles are more influenced by price and looks than actual sound. I don’t buy into that claim overall, and feel they are setting up a strawman to have to have someone to put down so they can feel better about their choices. However, I do believe there is some amount of influence as pertains to the claim.

        So here is the question – how influenced are you by a product’s price? Will you automatically not be interested in a product if it costs significantly less than what you already have? Is there a cognitive dissonance in the price/performance ratio that prevents some people from considering certain products if the price is too low?

        Would any of you upgrade sound quality in your system if someone came with a better sounding product for half the price of what you currently have? At a quarter of the price? A tenth?

        I’m not passing judgment, just curious. I had some folks question me when I upgraded my system switching from a $3000 set of speakers to a set that only cost $1000, and again when I swapped out cables that were a couple hundred dollars each for a set that were $49 each. Both did result in improvements in my system.

        Granted, part of my enjoyment and focus in this hobby is hunting down those high value bargains, and getting the best sound I can for least amount of money. I consider it a challenge. However, I certainly understand that the best gear is likely to cost a fairly high price. My question is about once you reach the “expensive stuff” how important the expense is in determining your perception of quality?
        A very difficult answer. Of course I am influenced by prIce. I own an Msb dac hahahha a. I also own a lampi dac that is less then a 1/3 of its cost when new. Now what sounds better is my end game. My amps on my speakers are cheap old Aragon's so am I confused ? I too feel cheap is better and cost while tempting I think effects us all. I use Mogami gold mic bal interconnects not super cheap but not crazy neither.
        So my answer is an embarrassing yes. Stupid I know but yes to a point of course.
        analog stuff.
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

        Comment


        • #5
          Way back when The Mod squad was around, Joyce showed me a prototype signature line drive made specifically for the Asian market. same guts as the American version but in a upmarket chassis and more than twice the list price. Her Asian distributor demanded it because the reg version was "priced too modestly" for his customers. I think this is an example of the law of ostentatious consumption: not meant to fill any physical want, but to gratify the psychological craving for status and recognition from others.*

          *any resemblance to actual persons on this forum, is purely coincidental
          TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

          "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rob View Post
            Way back when The Mod squad was around, Joyce showed me a prototype signature line drive made specifically for the Asian market. same guts as the American version but in a upmarket chassis and more than twice the list price. Her Asian distributor demanded it because the reg version was "priced too modestly" for his customers. I think this is an example of the law of ostentatious consumption: not meant to fill any physical want, but to gratify the psychological craving for status and recognition from others.*

            *any resemblance to actual persons on this forum, is purely coincidental
            But now we are getting into another viewpoint which becomes world-wide in the perception of value. Most of us know by now there are people-many people in parts of Asia that have incredible sums of disposable income to spend on stereo gear and the reality of the market that caters to the wealthy there is that if components aren't priced high enough, they won't be taken seriously by the local cognoscenti.

            Let's face it, we can be delusional and think that if we spend "X" amount of money on our system, it will be as good as any system regardless of total system cost. The real truth is that there are real improvements to be made in the sound across the frequency spectrum as the cost of components goes up, but the cost vs. sound improvement is not linear.
            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


            • Guest's Avatar
              Guest commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, I suspect there's a lot of "my stylus is bigger than your stylus" in Asian markets just as found on certain on-line forums here.

            • Rob
              Rob commented
              Editing a comment
              that's why the 14" tonearm came about, it was inspired by John Holmes. I heard VPI is working on their 14 incher, perhaps Harry should name it the "Harry Holmes" Memorial 'arm or maybe "Hairy [sic] Palms"

            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              Or the Viagra version?

          • #7
            Originally posted by Steve Lefkowicz View Post
            In the very lengthy thread on head-fi about Schiit Audio, there is a running theme (pretty common elsewhere too) that audiophiles are more influenced by price and looks than actual sound. I don’t buy into that claim overall, and feel they are setting up a strawman to have to have someone to put down so they can feel better about their choices. However, I do believe there is some amount of influence as pertains to the claim.

            So here is the question – how influenced are you by a product’s price? Will you automatically not be interested in a product if it costs significantly less than what you already have? Is there a cognitive dissonance in the price/performance ratio that prevents some people from considering certain products if the price is too low?

            Would any of you upgrade sound quality in your system if someone came with a better sounding product for half the price of what you currently have? At a quarter of the price? A tenth?

            I’m not passing judgment, just curious. I had some folks question me when I upgraded my system switching from a $3000 set of speakers to a set that only cost $1000, and again when I swapped out cables that were a couple hundred dollars each for a set that were $49 each. Both did result in improvements in my system.

            Granted, part of my enjoyment and focus in this hobby is hunting down those high value bargains, and getting the best sound I can for least amount of money. I consider it a challenge. However, I certainly understand that the best gear is likely to cost a fairly high price. My question is about once you reach the “expensive stuff” how important the expense is in determining your perception of quality?
            I think this is an extremely complex question.

            I'm influenced by whether or not I can afford it.

            For instance, is it about price or really, value? You can have a 20k speaker with a 4x or 10x markup. Details that consumers are not always necessarily privy to.

            Price can certainly give the designer more options in parts selection and build quality.

            Then as things go up in price, the manufacturer often loses the advantage of buying parts in quantity.

            I also think we need to look at electronics, speakers, etc. separately. For instance, as David talks about, a cartridge may rival a more expensive cartridge. But in a specific area, rarely across the board. Maybe it rivals in tone but not in dynamics or bass or transparency. Same goes for electronics for one thing additional cost brings is a better/bigger power supply.

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

            -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
            -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 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 Mk. 2, 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. 6, 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

            Comment


            • Rob
              Rob commented
              Editing a comment
              "I'm influenced by whether or not I can afford it. " I don't care who you are, everyone's got a gag reflex when it comes to price. I hate paying more for gas when its 30 cents a gallon cheaper at a station a block away, it doesn't mean I can't afford the the higher price. I guess this falls under the law of substitution. The Bugatti Chiron is nearly $3 Mil, im a car guy and don't lament the fact for one second I'll never own one, i have no desire to even at $300K

          • #8
            Originally posted by Analog21 View Post
            There is a threshold for me that certain components/gear should be in the discussion of quality perception. I must admit, on some of those components, the gap is narrowing. Cartridges are good example. Cheaper moving coils are sounding far better and can compete with carts 2-3x their price IMHO. The major problem we will always have with being able to judge a component impartially is what it is paired with in an audition. Typically, components are put together at similar price points. You will never see a $3000 amp with $30000 speakers, etc. One never knows how well or how much a bargain something is in terms of its sonic performance because it is always a slave to the rest of the system it is auditioned with. I would love if more audio show events or demo rooms paired gear at different price points. But the margins are bigger for high price items, so it comes back to what will make dealers more money. This is a loaded topic for sure. I'm sure there are tons of great products that are cheaper that can outperform more expensive components, but the industry is not effectively set up for that to be realized. It is also requires more brick and mortar stores which are not in many cities or markets, and requires dealers/distributors to have multiple products and larger inventories on hand to do A/B demos. There is far more supply from worldwide manufactures than there are dealers to supply and purchase them. Just my two cents.
            Actually that makes sense to me because it would truly reveal the upside of the gear as opposed to auditioning the $3000 component in a system it would normally be used in. Same holds true for cartridges too. Like when I had the $1500 Charisma cartridge in my reference system. It truly didn't embarrass itself in a big system. Except in the case say of a $10K cartridge in a $1000 arm. There is makes no sense. It would help the consumer determine if the component is the real deal.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
            -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 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 Mk. 2, 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. 6, 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

            Comment


            • Guest's Avatar
              Guest commented
              Editing a comment
              Yep - a great cartridge won't make an arm great, but it can work the other way around.

          • #9
            Originally posted by Steve Lefkowicz View Post
            In the very lengthy thread on head-fi about Schiit Audio, there is a running theme (pretty common elsewhere too) that audiophiles are more influenced by price and looks than actual sound. I don’t buy into that claim overall, and feel they are setting up a strawman to have to have someone to put down so they can feel better about their choices. However, I do believe there is some amount of influence as pertains to the claim.

            So here is the question – how influenced are you by a product’s price? Will you automatically not be interested in a product if it costs significantly less than what you already have? Is there a cognitive dissonance in the price/performance ratio that prevents some people from considering certain products if the price is too low?c

            Would any of you upgrade sound quality in your system if someone came with a better sounding product for half the price of what you currently have? At a quarter of the price? A tenth?

            I’m not passing judgment, just curious. I had some folks question me when I upgraded my system switching from a $3000 set of speakers to a set that only cost $1000, and again when I swapped out cables that were a couple hundred dollars each for a set that were $49 each. Both did result in improvements in my system.

            Granted, part of my enjoyment and focus in this hobby is hunting down those high value bargains, and getting the best sound I can for least amount of money. I consider it a challenge. However, I certainly understand that the best gear is likely to cost a fairly high price. My question is about once you reach the “expensive stuff” how important the expense is in determining your perception of quality?
            There's no such thing as cost is too low Steve value is important and everyone knows that price doesn't guarantee quality, specially in high end where there's more expensive crap than there is cheap crap. I only care about sound quality favorable reviews cache or high cost don't influence my decision, it either sounds right or it doesn't but I do care about value and fantasy pricing is a negative.

            david
            Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
            Distribution: NEODIO

            Special Sales: van den Hul
            Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

            Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
            http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
            http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

            Comment


            • #10
              Originally posted by Steve Lefkowicz View Post
              ... Would any of you upgrade sound quality in your system if someone came with a better sounding product for half the price of what you currently have? At a quarter of the price? A tenth? ...
              Maybe. But I also want reliability, quality build, responsive customer service, and the liklihood the maker will be around in five years. Depends on how much better sounding, but yes its a big factor. There was a time I coulda bought more expensive amps and opted for the Quicksilver 8417s.

              Comment


              • MylesBAstor
                MylesBAstor commented
                Editing a comment
                Great points!

            • #11
              To be frank, in the past, yes, I was greatly influenced by price. I think it's a pretty natural and frequent occurrence in this hobby. Hell, if Component A costs $500 and Component B costs $10,000, the latter must be better, because the designers can stuff it with better parts and execute designs with fewer compromises. Right?

              Of course, as we know, the answer isn't nearly that simple, for a multitude of reasons, many of which have already been identified in this thread. As I've become more experienced (and, god forbid, mature), it's become clear to me that matching components is IMHO the most important aspect of system-building. And it's not always about matching the most expensive to the most expensive. I've been down the road enough times now to know better than that. Of course, it took a LOT of hard (and expensive) lessons before I realized it.

              My current system is far from the most elaborate or expensive I've built. Yet, in some key ways, it's the best I've put together. And that's because I put a lot of thought into it, and didn't always go for the most expensive this or that. I went with what made sense to me from a synergy perspective and a value perspective.

              Anyhoo, that's my rather rambling opinion on the matter.
              Source: Marantz SA-7S1 (modded); Amplifier: Coda S12.5 stereo amplifier (modded); Speakers: JENA Labs Studio Reference; Cabling and power conditioning: JENA Labs, Dussun; Subwoofer: Rythmik 15" with DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 EQ; Isolation: SRA Craz rack, SRA Ohio Class base under source, SRA VR bases under amplifier and Dussun regenerator

              Comment


              • MylesBAstor
                MylesBAstor commented
                Editing a comment
                Great points!

            • #12
              Americans in general do not believe that they are getting good value unless they pay enough for it. I proved my hypothesis with real estate.
              I had a house languish on the market for nearly two years at 1.25 million without a bid*, of course my RE agent said, 'WE" have to lower the price. I said, "you don't understand Americans. If, you want to remain my agent "WE" are raising the price to 1.5 million", 6 weeks later, I hit a 1.4 million dollar bid*.
              * Note: On Wall Street you bid to buy and offer to sell because your customer could be going in either direction.

              Comment


              • #13
                One of my dacs is a lampi dac that sounds way above its price point and although it's looks have improved just a couple of years ago it did not. Look much beyond diy and yet in just two years it completely surpassed and dac that cost me three times it's price
                cost is nkt tidied directly to performance but status is lol
                analog stuff.
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                Dacs lampi various

                Comment


                • #14
                  I'll bet that for most of us here, we simply want to get the best sound we can afford.
                  Tascam BR-20
                  Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod w/LPS
                  Euphony Summus server, EtherRegen, HDPLEX LPS
                  MSB Discrete DAC (dual PS, ISLPro, balanced out)
                  Pass Labs INT60
                  Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s
                  REL S3 (Kimber Kable connection)
                  Daedalus/Wywires, Audioquest, Acoustic Zen, DH cables
                  Torus IS5
                  Stillpoints and IsoPods, Tube Traps, GIK

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    The word best is alone part of the confusion on this topic.
                    Mid I were to consider to buy anything now. It would have to be heard in my setup after hesring it if possible Ina showroom first
                    analog stuff.
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                    Dacs lampi various

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X