I have the Boulder 2060 and I use a 20 amp 110v outlet. Are these 2150 requiring a 240v outlet standard? Or just the review samples? I believe standard 2150 is just like my 2060 and can utilize the usual 110v outlets but preferably a 20 amp dedicated one.
i believe it's just the review samples.
And btw, the 2060 sounds like a phenom. I would assume the 2150 is better. Though when I spoke to Boulder they recommended against the 2150 and just go with the 3060 instead for the same price.
The article states that the power cord is stock and an be used in a standard AC plug at the wall. However, Mr. Fremer did have Audioquest make a Hurricane power cord with the 32 amp IEC for comparison.
I'm digging the binding posts also. They mimic my Levinson's, however mine and are red and black. Spades only, very very tight.
It's a funny thing about "Audiophiles", they are so obsessed over their hobby, that they are totally unaware of anything else going on. Before now, the wealthiest audiophiles seemed to be in the "upper middle class", Doctors, Lawyers... and other professional people; but now, we seem to have been invaded by people who are so rich, they have no idea how to spend all of that "excess" cash; hence, all of these unheard of high prices.
Now we seem to have an abundance of 20K tonearms, and 10K cartridges, plus speakers and amps costing over 100K. Personally, I don't believe their systems sound any better than a long time audiophile's rig who has spent a lifetime obtaining the knowledge required to have a good sounding rig, while those who purchase 10K cartridges, and 100K amps are only involved in the most expensive, not necessarily the best.
The rich have gotten richer, so rich they have no idea how to spend it, and the poor have gotten poorer; but most of us are "programmed" to never even think such thoughts.
It is sad to see. But, I see the same thing in my field.
People with so much to spend, but absolutely no idea of what to buy. -And then buy the most expensive/famous because it 'must be better'.
People with some money who think they know more than I do, and end up going with the 'cheaper route', getting burned and then whining that everyone is a cheat.
I currently have many areas of concern about the world and some of the individuals in it. How wisely or foolishly the wealthy ones spend there money is, fortunately, not one of them.
Being against the the wealthy spending their money foolishly reminds me of being anti-war or anti-iceberg. Certain things are going to occur whether or not it's any of our business and whether we approve or not.
Personally, I refuse to spend any mental energy on issues I have no control over, especially those issues that have no affect on my life.
Semi-deep thoughts from Tim and his 'Duh! Files'.
Dave I wasn't speaking of the rich, but the 1% who run this country because that's who the politicians work for, both Democrat and Republican. There is absolutely nothing imaginary about that.
Although I fully realize this is not the place for such a conversation, I occasionally test to see if audiophiles know about anything other than "audiophileia", but I am always disappointed; meaning, this should be the last time.
If I'm not mistaken, "everybody" is supposed to run a Democracy, but that requires a well informed populace, since it's apparent that "audiophiles" as a group are well educated, it would seem they would also be well informed, "my bad".
Peace be with you.
My response was not aimed at or limited to your post, my friend. The fervent ire I described is occurring across this forum with increased regularity. Look beyond this thread to the others regarding Wilson speakers, SR fuses, speaker cables, power cords, power conditioners, and on and on.
Many whom have never tried or even heard these products are foaming at the mouth to proclaim their ridicule of the products themselves and, more disturbing still, those that have and found success in their implementation. Why would that be if not for a manifestation of something other than audio interests from deep within?
I don't have a problem with an amplifier company offering a $99,000 amp, or a loudspeaker company offering a $685,000 speaker. What I don't like is a hi-fi mag reviewing them as if they're a product just like any other, only "somewhat" more expensive. It can be, and has been, argued that a hi-fi mag reviewing very expensive products which are intended to advance the state of the art is no different than an automotive mag reviewing very expensive, high-end, high-performance cars. A valid point, I admit. But if I see a Ferrari in a guys driveway, I develop a certain perception about the guy; no offense intended, Ferrari owners! My pal Brooks Berdan had (R.I.P.) one (as well as bunch of other high-performance autos), and he was a swell guy. He just loved excellence, whatever the field.
Yes, marketing a $99,000 amplifier or a $685,000 speaker can be viewed as vulgar, but I'm not amongst those who feel that way. It's all relative; non-audiophiles view a $10,000 speaker as ridiculous. Lots of people view the Trump Tower as vulgar, but it's not because of the amount of money involved. There comes a point when conspicuous consumption becomes tasteless---vulgar, if you will. Where that point is, is a matter of opinion.
Yes, I realize I am contracting myself, and sending a mixed message. I admit it---I'm conflicted on the subject.
Dave, I know exactly where you are coming from, and I both agree and understand your point; top of the line has always been what most can not afford, but what I'm speaking of goes way past that.
bdp24, you and Dave both have valid points of view; but what I'm speaking of is the increase in the number of buyers, and why now?
To me it seems that those who purchase for the sole point of status have wandered in our direction; think about a 20K tone arm, and all that goes with it; have they gotten bored with sports cars and wandered into our domain. I'm speaking of people who have so much money they don't have a clue how to spend it, and I'm thinking about carrying that a step further into drugs that people can not live without, and raising the price 200%; I'm talking about "oligarchs" and politicians; that is also our domain whether we want it to be or not.
I've got stereophiles from 1990 to the present; that's an awful lot of magazines, and only the most current are filled with totally absurdly priced items, like 5K interconnects. What I'm saying is that they may not even listen to the stuff, and it will be gathering dust next year.
Excuse me for getting so far off track, but many things that may not seem to be related, can be related to the biggest and most important picture.
No doubt there are those buyers out there. The folks with resources to afford the best that participate on this forum seem to me to have a solid understanding of audio and are usually helpful, approachable and well-intentioned audio enthusiast seeking the next rung on their own audio ladder.
Stereophile’s recent review choices are indeed fair game for scrutiny. I haven’t read one for years. Since I tend toward the past gems of audio, I do greatly appreciate their archives of past reviews and tests. The key is to know which reviewers to trust.
Today’s excellent yet ultra-expensive equipment usually becomes tomorrow’s upgrade path for me at a fraction of the cost when new, given enough time.
I believe the article stated the OEM and a custom made Audioquest power cable were used to power the amplifiers-. Both cables had a "standard" male plug which was plugged into the reviewers dedicated 20 amp circuit and the 30 amp connector at the amplifier end. Unlike the reviewer a customer dropping this much bank on amplification won't blink at the few hundred dollars it takes to have dedicated 30amp circuits installed.
Manufactures that offer high dollar products need only sell a few units to offset cost of development that usually trickles down in some way to their entire line therefor benefiting us all. Unlike some companies that offer incredibly minor changes with almost indistinguishable sonic changes and declare it the latest and greatest model Boulder seems to have done a substantial redesign over their previous nine year old design not to mention the designs ability to run such high output in class A at such a low temperature.
I didn't find it took to long to read between the lines of most of the more seasoned audio reviewers to tell when a product is average or below without it ruining the company. In my opinion there is a far greater selection of well functioning entry level products than ever before. I like to think the audio press had some positive input to that end.
My last post has been percolating in my mind since I made it. I was uncomfortable with it’s tone, and knew it didn’t express what I was trying to. But as I was watching A Few Good Men on TV, my thoughts on the subject of hi-fi pricing crystalized.
Brooks Berdan was a dealer of both Wilson Audio and Vandersteen in the 1990’s. I accompanied him to the Vegas CES for a number of years, sitting in at a meeting with the Wilson sales manager during one of them. Brooks’ Wilson Audio purchasing history for the past year was reviewed---the dollar amount of his purchases of Wilson product, where he ranked amongst Wilson dealers, what Wilson expected of him the following year, etc. At that time, The Watt/Puppy was the entry-level Wilson speaker.
Brooks’ other main line of speakers at the time was Vandersteen, and back then Richard had only the Models 1, 2, and 3. They were all priced below the Watt/Puppy, so Brooks could demo and sell Vandersteen to one strata of customer, and Wilson to another---the more financially affluent. Of interest is that some of those more affluent preferred and purchased Vandersteen instead of Wilson, even though they could afford the latter.
At CES I learned how the more of a companys product a dealer buys, the more valued they are as a dealer. Well no duh! The company partners with the dealer in paying for advertising, the company splitting with the dealer the cost of promoting its products (and the dealer). Sometimes the dealer is given better wholesale prices if its purchase volume reaches a certain level. What this arrangement does is reward a dealer who sells a lot of one companys product, rather than a little of many companys products. This is basic Retail 101, of course.
Brooks relationship with both Wilson and Vandersteen worked very well for all concerned, Brooks becoming one of each companys highest selling dealers. But with the introduction of a new, higher-priced, higher-performing model Vandersteen, that situation changed. I think it was the Model 5 which caused a problem between Brooks and Richard; Brooks wanted to continue to sell the Watt/Puppy at its price point, and Vandersteen 1, 2, and 3 at theirs. Richard naturally wanted Brooks to sell the new Model 5 as well. I believe the Model 5 and the Watt/Puppy were in direct competition with each other at their price points, but I could have the Vandersteen model wrong. I don’t know if it was that Brooks felt the W/P was the better speaker, and that he therefore could not in good conscience sell the Model 5, or if he wanted to continue selling as many W/P as he had been, to maintain his dealer status with Wilson. Either way, that was not acceptable to Richard---he expected his dealers to demo and sell his entire line---and he and Brooks ended their relationship. I couldn’t believe it! Brooks, baby, whatta ya doin’? Vandersteen is one of the two highest price-to-performance loudspeakers on the market (the other being Magnepan, of course).
The contrast between David Wilson and Richard Vandersteen is an interesting and instructive one. Wilson is always in suit and tie in public, looking very much the patrician. Richard is more apt to be found wearing a short sleeved shirt and windbreaker. Blue collar, to the core. Dave aspires to achieve the highest level of quality, including fit & finish---for pride of ownership---possible, cost be damned. If it costs $1000 more per speaker to create a BMW-quality paint job, so be it.
Richard is more of a bang-for-buck kinda guy. He will spare no expense to create the best sounding speaker at a given price point he is able to, but endeavors to offer it to consumers at as low a price as possible. Jim Winey of Magnepan is the same kind of designer and manufacturer, perhaps to a fault---his x/o parts are pretty bad, and considerably compromise his speakers’ ultimate potential, imo.
So back to the 2150. How close to it’s sound quality could Boulder get if the amps price point was $49,000? Or $29,000? And to what degree are they offering it out of a belief that if it’s priced high enough, it will appeal and sell to consumers desiring not just great sound, but bragging rights, or membership in an exclusive club, or whatever? Pride of ownership is one thing, vanity another.
To my original post, I don’t like seeing products like the Boulder 2150 reviewed because I am more interested in high bang-for-the-buck products, those which punch way above their weight class. For every page spent on a review of a product such as the Boulder 2150, a page of the review of a product offering a higher price-to-performance ratio remains unpublished. That’s bad not just for us already audiophiles, but for the cause of promoting better sound amongst music lovers; the poor price-to-performance ratio is off-putting to potential enthusiasts.
The best quality audio products have always been expensive. When introduced in 1957 the JBL Paragon cost $1,850 and big spenders such as Frank Sinatra owned them. The Paragons were expensive, but as someone pointed out earlier in this thread. they would be within the reach of a professional class person. Today the inflation adjusted price of the Paragons would be around $16,000, which is an order of magnitude less than what current SOTA loudspeakers designs are priced. I believe Wilson was the first US audio manufacturer to price his products as luxury goods with Boulder being quick to follow. Since both companies are seen as very successful I can only conclude that there is a real market for their luxury offerings. I'm in no position to say whether the buyers are making wise, prudent or sensible decisions when they purchase Wilson of Boulder.
I once read that for an average family $500 was the limit of unplanned discretionary planning which was roughly 1% of the family's annual income. So if you made $500,000 you could drop $5,000 without batting eye. If you made $5 million the amount increases to $50,000. The math is straightforward. We live in a world where any number of people can buy the Boulder amp without even thinking about the cost. As a person of normal means I cannot really imagine what that is like.
I have no problem with extreme wealth, except with how it is corrupting our democracy.
"I have no problem with extreme wealth, except with how it is corrupting our democracy."
Has it not been so for at least 100 years in the US and even to the beginnings of civilization worldwide. Nothing new under the Sun.
Relevancy to audio? Not much. Plenty of great gear out there at affordable prices.
" So back to the 2150. How close to it’s sound quality could Boulder get if the amps price point was $49,000? Or $29,000? And to what degree are they offering it out of a belief that if it’s priced high enough, it will appeal and sell to consumers desiring not just great sound, but bragging rights, or membership in an exclusive club, or whatever? Pride of ownership is one thing, vanity another."
Technically if you're looking at 49K, then you're pretty close to the 2160 stereo amp which is basically 1 monoblock. At the 29K mark,youre about 20% above what the 1060 stereo amp retails.
Boulder sells at a few price points, but I believe they are very expensive regardless. It took me a lot of months to really decide if I were serious enough to make the jump to the 2060.
Just to be as clear as possible, I have no problem with companies designing, making, and selling cost-no-object products, or with those who can afford and buy them. You go, boy! I just don’t like to see them reviewed as if they are real-world products, no different than "affordable" ones. Of course it’s all relative---enthusiasts may consider a $10,000 loudspeaker or $5,000 amplifier affordable, but non-enthusiasts sure don’t.
It has been argued that the work devoted to cost-no-object products allows the development and improvement of lower-priced products---trickle-down engineering. If true---and I have no reason to doubt the veracity of that claim, great. That might be the best justification of all---for those needing one---for such products.
TAS is much worse in regard to the prices of the products they review than is Stereophile, covering almost exclusively the highest of high-end. The price of the products they review could cause one to consider the question of morality, though I don’t care to open that can of worms. But there comes a point where things can appear to be somewhat amorally gluttonous. Lifestyles of the rich & famous. Yuck.
I am attempting to resist the temptation to be judgmental, but attending CES sure affords one the opportunity to get a glimpse into the character of the people involved in the industry---designer/manufactures, retail dealers, and reviewers. Hearing people speak, seeing how they comport themselves, how they talk to others, what kind of products they are interested in selling. Over-hearing how they talk about each other, and their customers/clients---it’s really interesting to see how that relates to the products each makes or sells.
I’ve witnessed major retailers acting like they are Rock stars, while others are humble and modest. The same with designer/manufactures. I have found the relationship between products and character to be very much evident. We are all free to support the manufactures, products, and dealers we choose. Our choices are revealing of OUR character.
"I have no problem with extreme wealth, except with how it is corrupting our democracy."
Dave, that's where I was coming from, and I apologize to "audiophiles" for getting so far off track. My thoughts are not about one 100K amp, but about this sudden increase in the number of audiophile products in that price range; I suspect those buyers aren't even audiophiles, but people with so much excess wealth they're having trouble finding some entertaining way to spend it.
Once upon a time, while you went about your business of working, and entertaining yourself with our hobby of enjoying good sound, there were many people who worked in government agencies protecting all of us; not from some alien enemy, but criminal exploitation by "billionaires"; some of those agencies have been "hijacked" by politicians for their own personal gain.
Since audiophiles are accustomed to reading charts and graphs, they know what information is conveyed by them. These charts and graphs convey what you paid for food and gasoline over this period of time. Imagine how much you would make if you could sell gasoline for $2.00 a gallon more than what you paid for it without ever even smelling one gallon of gas.
That's what you could do if you were part of the 1% who run the politicians, and therefore this country. The CFTC is the government agency that prevents such exploitation. What if politicians could force the CFTC to look the other way while you conducted your nefarious business?
There are factors in those charts that confirm what I have stated. Those charts are part of public record, they can not be erased.
Now we seem to have an abundance of 20K tonearms, and 10K cartridges, plus speakers and amps costing over 100K. Personally, I don't believe their systems sound any better than a long time audiophile's rig who has spent a lifetime obtaining the knowledge required to have a good sounding rig, while those who purchase 10K cartridges, and 100K amps are only involved in the most expensive, not necessarily the best.If you repeat it enough, it will be TRUE!
The rich has the talent to generate wealth but can't assemble a high fidelity system. Are you serious? Is it brain surgery?
I've been helping a local audiophile with deep pockets assembling his 1st high end system and it sounds excellent. He buys everything new from one local BM. He's already planning to upgrade his 6 months brand new VAC SigMKIIa SE to a VAC Master.
The richest have the talent to be born that way.
When I was in real estate I came in contact with quite a few wealthy people, but none as wealthy as the 1%, and none who were audiophiles, and even if they were, I guarantee none of them would pay 100K for an amp; think about it.
What sensible audiophile would pay 100K for an amp, even if he could afford it? Or maybe that's the wrong question. I don't have any idea who would pay 100K for an amp, do you?
Does that deep pocket audiophile plan to buy a 100K amp when he upgrades?
Also, let's not forget that not all the folks with the means to drop this kind of cash live in the U.S. I would not be surprised if a large percentage of these super high end (and U.S. made) components are shipped overseas. The largest market for very high end automobiles, e.g., Bentley, Ferrari, etc., are China and Middle East. I have seen some audio components on display during my travels to parts of Middle East that simply blew my mind. At those levels, most of the manufacturers send factory techs, from Europe or U.S., to set up the equipment in the customer homes. Crazy stuff.
@orpheus10 I personally share the political opinions you've expressed or implied in this thread. I think, though, that the lack of response or sympathy to your indignation is less about the fact that the members of this forum are not politically or philosophically aware and more about the fact that many don't want to deal with all that crap here. Audiogon is like a refuge where we focus on this strange obsession we share and ignore almost everything else. It doesn't mean we're ignorant of anything other than audio. It's just that there are plenty of places to have those discussions other than here..
To put spending $100K for an audio component into perspective, it was reported today that a "Russian billionaire" hired Mariah Carey, Elton John, the DJ Mark Ronson and Antonio Banderas to perform at his granddaughter's wedding. The cost of flying Carey and her band to Russia and the hotel cost alone probably exceeded $100K.
The idea that the mega rich don't know how to put together and setup a high end audio system is irrelevant -- they simply hire someone who does. It actually sounds like the dream job for an audiophile. Traveling around the world auditioning, selecting and setting up cost no object systems.
What sensible audiophile would pay 100K for an amp, even if he could afford it? Or maybe that's the wrong question. I don't have any idea who would pay 100K for an amp, do you?Rob, an audiophile lives ~2 miles from me is a CEO. Last time I heard his system was Rockport Altair 2, full loom of Stage 3 cables, VTL Siegfried II mono and remaining is Ypsilon. Last summer he upgraded Altair to Arrakis. He demoed Ypsilon AELIUS II but was under power so he ordered Hyperion mono. It was ~$90K but with a strong $ today, ~ $69K.
He has a nice home, travel all summer, fleet of fancy cars ... good for him!
The new audiophile caught the upgrade bug big time. He's remodeling his basement to a sound room, adding dedicated outlets ... It's his $$ so why do I care?
To label rich audiophiles lack the knowledge to build a high fidelity system is just ignorant. They simply have more disposable income to build a SOTA system.
The simple economic explanation for high prices, there is demand otherwise company would got bankrupt. The problem is you are not keeping up with the Jones and getting priced out of the market. You have 2 options, enjoy what you can afford or improve your financial situation. All the whining is pathetic!!!
Even seen the palace of a Russian Czar or other European King or royal? Or the penthouse of certain buildings even in NYC?
This stuff would fit in well there though if it were me I would invest in improving the acoustics of those huge echoing exotically adorned rooms first. Or better yet just build a very nice custom listening room.
I think most people like nice stuff. ALone that’s not necessarily a reliable basis for moral judgements though I think. Good taste is a good thing. At what point does it turn bad? More to it than just what hifi one owns, right?
A good rhetorical polling question would at what point does one cross the threshold from good into bad or gaudy tastes or "extravagant"? I’d wonder what the results would be? Where would the US rank? What would different demographic groups think?
My comments went far beyond "audiophilia"; they went to the heart of this present day "Democracy", that's not a democracy, but everyone believes what they desire to believe; hence "Santa Claus" and The Easter Bunny.
Maybe this will enlighten some of you, but not many;
Its a republic technically I think. The interesting thing is that based on voting it appears parts of the country that produce less and have lower standards of living think its a good idea to empower the most wealthy individuals (Clintons not one of those) even further in government. With no clear separation to avoid conflicts of interest. Based on social media posts, some fervently propose that these people not even be questioned on their actions, that they know best what’s best for everyone because they are the king bees.
Even further the more the free media is suppressed the better in the minds of some.
Lots of warning signs for sure.
Putin is loving it and so are IS leaders and other extremeists who use all this to forward their own selfish and violent agendas.