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In Reply to: RE: A waste of money... posted by John Elison on August 04, 2017 at 20:18:46
Interesting but not much to go on for the merits of +$1K cartridges.
Too many variables to account for with show conditions to be able to narrow things done to what is happening with any given phono cartridge.
I have had the great fortune of being able to spend a lot of time with many exotic, expensive cartridges comparing them side-by-side, etc. Some of them are great some of them not so great certainly not worth their asking price IMO. But opinions will vary.
But one need not spend massive $$$$ on a phono cartridge to get great results from vinyl. I am actually spending time on the lower end of the market, below $500. Lots of fun to be had at the other end of the spectrum as well.
$1K can get one an incredible cartridge but it certainly will not represent the best that is available. Most of us will never be able to afford the best that is possible be it cartridges or anything else in the reproduction chain.
I do however find it silly that one discounts the megabuck cartridges when they have not actually listened to such cartridges.
< > $1K can get one an incredible cartridge but it certainly will not represent the best that is available.
That's simply your opinion. My opinion is the opposite.
> I do however find it silly that one discounts the megabuck cartridges when they have not actually listened to such cartridges.
I've listened to many mega-buck cartridges and I've owned two. If you're suggesting that I have to listen to every single mega-buck cartridge in the world to form a valid opinion, then your opinion holds no more validity than mine. In fact, it's even more silly of you to discount lower priced cartridges since they are vastly more accessible to more audiophiles than mega-buck cartridges.
In my opinion, if you've never actually measured frequency response, crosstalk response, harmonic distortion and intermodulation of any mega-buck cartridge and compared it to your own measurements of any lower priced cartridges, you have no business talking about the performance of any phono cartridge. But, that's just my opinion.
Oh, well. To each his own! Such is life! YMMV
Far too many times those fascinated with measured performance miss the forest because of the trees.
Measured performance is meaningful but the only thing that ultimately matters is how does it sound.
Everyone is entitled to make broad statements on worth, value. Arbitrary price points of that worth or value are generally meaningless.
> Measured performance is meaningful but the only thing that ultimately matters is how does it sound.
This is only your opinion just like your other opinion suggesting that people who measure audio performance don't listen. All audio hobbyists listen. A small percentage of us make measurements, too. Additionally, some of us also copy vinyl records to digital. But all audio hobbyists listen. That's the whole point of having an audio system.
Check the link below. It shows the results of a listening test in which a $2500 vinyl front-end trounced a $250,000 vinyl front-end.
There's nothing wrong with mega-buck components other than the fact that they're a waste of money if you care to listen closely.
"...they're a waste of money if you care to listen closely."
If someone wants to spend a lot of money on stereo equipment that provides them with personal satisfaction, pride and, yes, perhaps even "bragging rights", who are you-or anyone else for that matter-to make such a bold generalization? It's your opinion, of course, and one to which you are clearly entitled, but what I don't think you're entitled to do, especially in the context of a hobby site like this one, is insult a person who chooses to believe otherwise, regardless of your thoughts on the matter. For them it's likely not a waste of money, but a source of pleasure.
I'm sorry! I forgot high-end audio was just a silly game that we all play to have fun. Therefore, you're right! I'll try to play it in a friendlier manner in the future.
"For them it's likely not a waste of money, but a source of pleasure"
I totally undestand that - looking at it from a business perspective, companies need to pitch products at all price levels in order to cement their reputation as a "serious" or "high-end" manufacturer. There is a lot to be said for pride of ownership.
I was auditioning speakers some 11 years ago and was looking at MartinLogan Summits. The dealer told me he got them in for a client who took one look at the (then) flagship model and said "Is that it???!" He refused to even listen to them and demanded that an order be placed direct with ML for a bespoke pair of the Statement E2 model. Evidently the client was extremely underwhelmed by the APPEARANCE and needed something visually more impressive! The fact that he paid about 6x more was not even an issue!!
Stanton Magnetics is one example I can think of which focussed on superb engineering and charged what I considered a very fair price for the performance back in the day (ignoring the quality issues that plagued them from the mid 80s onwards!!). Once the engineering challenges have been solved, their is actually very little more that can be done to "improve" the sound. Anyone familiar with Stanton products would know that the models in each series are virtually identical. The materials used are identical for the most part with the changes being "under the skin" in order to meet specific performance attributes.
Beyond this point, marketing takes over. Stanton backed themselves into a corner having charged prices for their top models that was much less than competing models for the same or even inferior performance, so that they weren't taken seriously as an audiophile company. A segment of the market exists for whom price DOES imply performance, status and pride of ownership. By all accounts, the CS100 was an attempt to tap into a different aspect of the market by providing a product marketed as a "Collectors" edition, but wasn't particularly successful except for those of us already convinced by the performance of Stanton products. This information is direct from a former Marketing Manager with Stanton.
"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats
Our dealer gladly accepts returns of any cart his customers are not totally impressed with, and he prefers to install them himself, at no additional charge.
I think the "expensive" cartridge market would have fallen apart by now if a significant number of buyers felt their new cart didn't sound better than their old one, when it was new.
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