$100,000 line stage


I know this level of product is not aimed at me. However, im sure it sounds great. The reviewer purchased the unit he reviewed. 
https://www.dagogo.com/audio-note-m10-signature-preamplifier-review

aberyclark
I am sure he got it with the industry accomidation discount which usually is between 40-50% off retail price.  Still he paid 50-60K for it. Personally, I would rather have the car he mentioned.
Give me a break. Only super speakers have the right to cost that much. Complete BS.
Why is it that we cannot resist starting and commenting on these types of threads? Never goes anywhere good...

Dave
inna,
I'm surprised at your comment. It is silly. Why would only one type of component justify a high price? 




Post removed 
W.S.Fields said "There's a sucker born every minute". Don't blame me!
In Old Yiddish: "0y Veh!" 
$100,000 line stage

Odd isn’t it, that so long as the source and amp impedance is a good match, that a $49 passive such as the Schiit Sys could sound more transparent and dynamic than this $100k line stage.

http://www.schiit.com/products/sys

Cheers George
It's hard for me to fatham so much $$ for a pre amp. However, its all relative. For those who can only shop at the low end of the spectrum (there is some really great low cost gear BTW), a $3000 component may seem a bit over the top. I do, however, think it's great that companies like Schiit, Peachtree, Pro-Ject plus many big names offer high quality items at a lower cost. 

Back in MY day (late 70's), I could get a 30 watt Pioneer receiver, Pioneer Belt driven TT with Empire cartridge, Teac Cassette deck, Realistic EQ, and a pair of Fisher speakers and be blown away how well it sounded. I believe those times are with us again with all the new companies and lower cost gear.
Dave (dicockrum),
+1 yours is a wise observation.  Why be concerned regarding what another person chooses to do with their own money? Each and everyone of us has our own individual budget limit for a variety of diverse reasons. To each their own is a good philosophical stance IMO. 
Charles 
I'm not concerned with others. I was shopping preamp reviews and came across the one in initial post. I was taken back by the price for a preamp which is technically a simple configuration. Thats all. No envy or concern on my end. If one found a Billion dollar car for sale somewhere, many would post the same on another forum. If I had the money, I would probably buy such things myself (I am a sucker for high priced cameras and vehicles currently).
For  that price, Audio Note should have put the electronics in a nice case. It looks like a unit with a retail cost of $2k! Doesn't appear to have fancy feet either. For the price, it should have the BEST Stillpoints or equivalent.

There is a thread about what a case makes up in the cost equation of gear. This unit looks cheap, relatively speaking. Big FAIL!

There's  nothing wrong with buying gear at this level, I just think a manufacturer would also make a product that "looks" the part, along with performing at the highest level.

I suppose, if you're at this level of decadence, you just don't care if you're not getting everything (including appearance) in a product?


For me, the only interesting aspects of reading about these uber gear, be it electronics, cars, yachts, etc., is to learn about the technology and the workmanship used in creating these objects of desire. And in some cases, they are truly works of art. Was just reading about the Aston Martin Valkyrie super car priced at $3.5M and the entire production run is already sold out even before the first one made. Calling folks who appreciate the best of the best suckers is a disservice and a sign of ignorance.
Do you really think the reviewer bought the review unit at 50% off retail? Mark-ups on some of these uber priced gear can be unbelievable. When I was importing Kondo gear (Audio Note Japan) and selling Ongaku amps they had a retail of $89,000. I sold them to  customers for 24-26k depending on the value of the Yen and still made a profit! I bet the reviewer didn't pay more than 20k for the pre-amp.

aberyclark: "I am not concerned with others." Why solicit their opinions?

Dave
The review is weak. No technical  breakdown of construction. 

Can anyone explain the circuit board that appears to be plywood? Are the components mounted on this, and point to point wiring is employed on the backside?

Looks like stock from my Jr. High woodworking class, with a coat of clear finish.
My instructor would have given me a C for lack of attention to detail.

This is  British product,  I don't see "bespoke" finish work  here for the price.

It may perform like no other,  but still a FAIL for not passing the aesthetic test.
Dave: Please return to your "troll cave" Just pass the thread by. The world will go on....just trying to get some conversation like 90% of threads on AG. Just resist the urge Dave....resist.....you can do it. 
Do you really think the reviewer bought the review unit at 50% off retail? Mark-ups on some of these uber priced gear can be unbelievable. When I was importing Kondo gear (Audio Note Japan) and selling Ongaku amps they had a retail of $89,000. I sold them to  customers for 24-26k depending on the value of the Yen and still made a profit! I bet the reviewer didn't pay more than 20k for the pre-amp.
That may be accurate in this case. I'm not going to question any reviewer's ethics or practices since I do not know them personally or follow their work. I know some reviewers in major stereo rags purchase equipment as well. 

Do you think reviewers should disclose their "discount"? I know that would not look good for a company that is selling a $100,000 piece of gear for $20,000 to the reviewer. However, knowing that huge discount is available, could that have influence the review itself? A reviewer is not going to "pretend" to like a component and shell over $20k. However, a reviewer could be "over" excited about talking up the value of the equipment at MSRP (knowing he's going to get at 25% of the price). Without directly saying, the reviewer of the preamp in this thread does give the impression that he is paying full price (at least to me).
The transformers they use were buried underneath the base of Mount Fuji for 10 years prior to being installed, allowing them to project that very organic sound.  
It is good that 90% of the threads here are NOT like yours and that 90% of the members are NOT like you.

You can call me more names now.

Dave


The transformers they use were buried underneath the base of Mount Fuji for 10
years prior to being installed, allowing them to project that very organic sound.


One of my goals is to attend one of the major audio shows next year. It will be exciting to hear the components at ultra high price levels. I know hotel rooms are not always optimal listening conditions, however, probably the closest ill get to such pricey stereo equipment

Do you really think the reviewer bought the review unit at 50% off retail? Mark-ups on some of these uber priced gear can be unbelievable. When I was importing Kondo gear (Audio Note Japan) and selling Ongaku amps they had a retail of $89,000. I sold them to  customers for 24-26k depending on the value of the Yen and still made a profit! I bet the reviewer didn't pay more than 20k for the pre-amp.
That may be accurate in this case. I'm not going to question any reviewer's ethics or practices since I do not know them personally or follow their work. I know some reviewers in major stereo rags purchase equipment as well.
~~~~~~~~~~

As someone who's been in and around the business for a long time, I don't think those numbers are accurate at all.

That bit of information, if true, would have hit the streets long ago.
Why be concerned regarding what another person chooses to do with their own money?

I don't see it that way Charles, I see it as a money grabbing whore taking advantage of a rich fool and his money.

Cheers George  
The transformers they use were buried underneath the base of Mount Fuji for 10 years prior to being installed, allowing them to project that very organic sound.
As a soil scientist, I can advise them of the best place for an even more organic sound.  Hell, for those kind of $, they can bury them under my house for as long as they want ;-).  I wouldn't even demand accommodation pricing; my pre-amp is just fine. 

Roberjerman,

The actor your referring to was W.C. Fields,  the phrase you reference "There's a sucker born every minute"  is associated with PT Barnum not Fields  :-)


Good Listening


Peter

There's always a market for exclusivity. It's the measurement that measures the owner. 
I recently sold my Audio Note Zero linestage for a mere $300. Remote included! Maybe I should have asked for more?!!!
Sorry about confusing the W.C.Fields/P.T.Barnum quote! But it's appropo, no?
Ignorance is bliss. The build and parts quality justifies the price tag. The internal wiring is all liquid metal and all those zip ties receive quantum treatment. The high quality fuses are also directional. This stuff is not cheap ya’ll. Sure, my buddy's Z06 costs less but it does not have the bespoke plywood and zip ties.
Back in the late Seventies The Audio Critic tested the Mark Levinson ML6 mono preamps. And thought they were the best sounding units of that time. But the cost - $6000 for the pair! The most expensive preamps at that moment! Peter Aczel (TAC) recommended buying instead the ML7 preamp (single chassis) for a mere $4700 - if one couldn't afford the ML6's.
If I could have afforded it then, I would have bought the $6K pair of ML6's! Now in the present day I had the cash but had forgotten about them (and the ML7). Oy Veh!
Anybody remember a short-lived magazine called Ultra Hi Fi? I bought a few issues and then it disappeared! This was about 1990. Today there would be plenty of pricey components to fill those pages!
" I see it as a money grabbing whore"... Is there any other kind George? Still not sure why you care how grown up's spend there money though. Just sayin', it is there money.  
Still not sure why you care how grown up's spend there money though. Just sayin', it is there money.  

I care because there's just too many of these money  grabbing manufacturers in this industry, just look at a mains fuse that costs over $100 with no proof that it performs any better than a 50c one. They just pray on the gullible that have an expectation bias once they receive it.

Cheers George   
Yes the internal parts level and build quality are a work of art. Even the chokes use pure silver wire! Have any you priced a silver foil capacitor of late? We Aphiles regularly pay $5,000 to $10,000 for preamps with parts quality costing 1/10 of this unit. I don’t see folks getting as worked up about this fact. Yet based on the quality and cost of what’s inside this unit, it is most certainly priced inline with our modest gear containing a sea of $ .25 to $4 parts. It is NO different then the pricing model used in our rigs.

Based on this fact some posters here would call 50% of us music loving audiophiles fools and idiots. That is quite an elitist and judgmental additude that I would find embarrassing to own.

In an age where diversity and understanding is touted as paramount, it is clear we are behaving in the polar opposite manner. Interesting times for sure.
Dave (dicockrum),
How prophetic your initial post turned out to be 😊
Charles 
georgehifi
I see it as a money grabbing whore taking advantage of a rich fool and his money.
You're free to see it anyway you like, of course. But why so angry? Why so judgmental of how other people choose to spend their money? Why assume that because the people who would buy this have different values than you, that they must be foolish?

You make a lot of assumptions about people  you don't seem to have even met.

+++ grannyring. Well said. I have friends who have no problem paying $300-$400 for a bottle of wine but question my $1500 amplifier. We have figured a compromise; they bring the wine and I provide the music and all is good. 
Here's the thing. If someone built a 10 million dollar passenger car, someone would buy it. I am not knocking anybody buying this level of stereo. In fact, I think in Asia countries, Audio gets really high. I was just taken aback by the price. Many knock the audio rags for reviewing high priced components. Personally, I like the reviews plus many of those makers produce affordable gear as well. But, $100 k for a preamp is high end that one does not see everyday. 
The philosophy and business model of AudioNote UK is interesting and is well illustrated by this recent profile
https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2017/08/12/audio-note-uk-factory-tours-and-life-in-the-fast-lane-with...

I think of them more as in the tradition of bespoke hand made artisanship and they are by no means the most expensive or exclusive, consider Dalby Audio Design, an even more extreme and expensive outfit
Thanks for the link. If I were a high paid athlete, I would be all over this stuff
Well perhaps the take away from that review is, how important a good preamplifier is. This piece is often just an afterthought. 
The Audio note from Japan is better and costs less not cheap though but a wonderful sounding preamp probably one of the best out there.
Why so judgmental of how other people choose to spend their money?
Because 99% of them are just "glitz queens", who have no idea of what good sound is and how to achieve it. They think because it looks a million dollars it must sound good and argue the point without any merit..

Cheers George.
Funny, I always said that the hand made units I make would be $50K if a well known audio manufacturer made them!  Looks like a point-to-point wired unit.  Chassis is subpar for a $100K unit and so it the volume control.  Power supplies are robust.  Chokes and transformers look to be quite expensive.  The $100K is a suggested price.  Cost to build without labor maybe $10K???   Selling only to people with very high end systems who can afford these toys.  BUT it all comes down to how it will perform in a system and what that person values for sound.  What if it was just all out 50% to 100% change in a system.  What would that person pay for that improvement.  Most of you know that I build DHT DAC and Preamp.  Recently compared my R2R discrete to a Chinese knockoff.  While at first listen the Chinese sounded good, in comparison there was a significant improvement in space, vocals, texture, tone, etc.  What is that worth if the Chinese unit costs $2500?

Happy Listening. 
I agree, for $100,000 + MSRP, The chassis looks unattractive. I guess you have to compare it to a street legal race car. Very plain, just enough safety-emissions to be legal. Nothing pretty compared to a typical "dealership" exotic car.. You could compare the basic volume control to having to use actual keys to start the car instead of button, plus probably no air conditioning or power windows.
It's all under the hood

I was surprised how much an improvement this Destination Audio preamp was over my passive preamp (which was better than the Schiit SYS, which I still keep in a drawer as a backup).  

Since this review, I became friends with Destination Audio owner, Sam Wisniewski, and ended up demoing their Horn Loudspeakers from my room.  Crazy!

http://ayllonmedia.com/news/destination-audios-preamp-shines-enhances-performance-of-the-lampizator-lite-7-dac

A thought for those of you that would love to experience a preamplifier that sounds that good. Well you might want to check out the deHavilland HiFi Merury 3. Having been to many many audio shows and rooms in those shows you will be hard pressed to find a better preamplifier. All hand wired big tubes big sound. Simply wonderful full bodied, high resolution, class A single ended. No baggage. 

$130,000 it is not. $4,995 it is. 

http://www.dehavillandhifi.com/MERCURY_PRE.htm

Talk to Kara. 
Those are some nice pre's.