There has to be a point where the $$ spent has no relation to the sound you get. I'm just questioning the point as to when does this get kind of silly..
Frankly speaking, I wouldn't know an absolute answer. It gets silly when the sonic result is trivial compared to the investment. In real world terms, this point is usually reached below ¬30k.
The reasons are many, not least because the products (spkrs) out there are often mediocre performers or plain abysmal -- however nice looking.
i'm being serious...get a couple of friends and just buy a speaker company thats for sale. beauhorn or castle for example.
Could you take the time to explain what you're trying to do? Are you going to change your entire system, or just place the new speakers into your existing setup? A new room? The reason I ask is that you seem to be concerned with the best bang for the buck. If that's the case, then you need to take a more holistic approach. You'll have to factor in the room and the amplifier in picking your speakers. If you don't plan along these lines whatever speakers you end up with will probably not achieve good sound per dollar spent.
It gets silly when you are new to the hobby and are thinking of spending 50-100K on speakers. Great systems come from experience - throwing money at building a system often ends up in very dissapointing results. I rememeber a fellow who knew nothing about audio, but made a killing in stocks in the early 80s computer boom - I went to his house to listen to his $200,000 system, I did not have the heart to tell him that it was all I could do to not run out of the room.
30k..See that to me still seems way up there. Even if I wanted to spend 30k AND had wifes approval I don't think my ears could tell differences enough to be cost effective..Maybe my ears are going. Not too sure.
Yoou can easily find SOTA speakers for 30k or considerably less; the rest is vanity.
Silliness or insanity in this hobby (as in most) is largely a matter of degree.
While to many of us $100k on speakers seems insane, how many of us have spent hundreds of dollars on interconnects or power cords? In the eyes of the average person, that's insane.
The person mentioned by the original poster is coming from the world of high-end cars. In that arena, $50k - $100k is probably entry-level.
You're definitely NOT getting $100,000 worth of sound. You're paying, maybe $10,000 worth of materials $60,000 in labor - and that's everything from R&D, craftsmanship, testing, etc. The rest is "Value to YOU" Rarity, Cutting Edge Technology, Exclusivity, Owning the Best, etc.
A variation on the point Audiokinesis makes seems to me important. Two of the reasons 100k speakers seem crazy are (i) we plain can't afford them, and (ii) even if we had a 100k nonrefundable gift certificate to a high end store that only sold speakers, we probably couldn't comfortably fit very many likely suspects in our real world listening rooms. By contrast, for many of us, dropping a thousand dollars on wire may garner funny looks at the office but the kids aren't eating cat food and it fits in the same holes that the Radio Shack specialty products fit in. I'll fess up: if I lived in a hedge fund manager's house, I'd probably own a hedge fund manager's pair of speakers (though I do hope that I'd spend some time figuring out which ones were worth owning). Let he who doesn't himself speak in tongues once in a while cast the first stone.
Thats kind of the point I'm trying to make. No offense intended to the person I mentioned. The thread just caught my attention as to in my opinion and maybe to others here how sometimes "pay" just for the sake of paying. I think there are 2 types of people in this hobby(again just an opinion and no offense to any). There are those who love music and build systems(albeit used, new, electronics, room acoustics etc) and love music as a true hobby. Then there are those that spend 100k on a system, throw it in a corner and go on and on how they are an audiophile. This is type is concerned more about the $3000 interconnect he purchased than he is with the actual sound. I'm sorry $3k for any cable is just ridiculous. I would have to bet that 80% of those in this category couldn't tell the difference between a 5k speaker and a 50k speaker.(again just my opinion).
You mention the high end car hobby...One has nothing to do with the other...Spending 150k on a high end car has no bearing on why that same person would spend 100k on speakers.
The only point I tried to make with this thread is there has to be a point where the prices on speakers and maybe any component for that matter reaches a stagnant point of return on investment...
Its about the same as these motorcycles.. A seat, handle bars and Wheels.. I mean they can cost you as much as a full blown advanced vehicle like a mercedes with everything in it, costing 100 times as much to build but they cost the same price as that chromed out loud 2 wheel ZERO technology machine.. People are born everyday that think they are getting good value, so it must be just in the eye of the beholder. There is no answer to this, you just need to pick your own battles as to what value is regardless how good a certain product is.
As soon as I get my letter from Ed McMann; Alexandrias will be at the top of my list. Presently I too am 'room-challenged' So; new digs--a must.Hey, what are dreams for??
hey, it's people like this who later sell their mint, not very used equipment for hefty discounts - it's part of the high end 'trickle down' economy.
Some of us have millions of dollars in the bank. As a friend recently said, "now that we're dealing with 'play money' what about doing this or that". At some point the number of zeroes loses relevance when considering expenditures.
Now the question comes to mind as you get into these regions of money and spending, "do I 'owe' it to others in any way to share my wealth." Does spending on oneself ever reach an immoral level? I'm not certain how to answer that. I'm sure that many people in the world think that my 2300 square foot apartment and $16k two-channel system seems extravagantly sinful spending. How can I question someone that lives two blocks away in a $4 million house with a $100,000+ stereo???
I think there are no absolutes in this question. Your context and frame of reference enter into the evaluation and you can't say with absolute authority that spending $100k on a speaker system is immoral any more than me spending $3500 for speakers in a $16,000 system.
I feel no guilt, but I do wonder if there's a point where I should. By the way, I DO share my wealth to a fairly high degree, beyond just what I owe in taxes.
I think your musical taste plays a big factor to the ROI.
Most budget of high $ speakers goes to improving the Bass and SPL performance. so if your favourite music doesn't contain lots of Bass and you don't need it loud (how big is your room?), then the ROI goes down the pipe very quickly.
OK, NOW IT ALL MAKES PERFECT SENSE!!!! THANKS...LOL..
I don't think there is anything wrong with spending 100K on speakers if you have the money and you get 100k sound - even in terms of diminishing returns; I just don't think you need to spend that to get the best sound available with variations for personal taste - if 30K in today's market can't do it for you in terms of sound quality, your not going to find better sound spending more IMHO.
Funny thing is most of us would have 6-7k of cd's if we could. Or lp's. That's in the ballpark of 100k. Not to mention past cassette tapes, 8 tracks, reel to reel. Kinda helps justify expensive gear doesn't it. There must be a reasonable ratio of software to hardware that makes sense.
I read the referenced post this morning and had the same reaction Musicslug had. When he sells his $100k speakers a fellow Agoner will get a bargain. The buyer can then sells his $50k speakers at a cut rate price. This can continue until they get down to speakers that interest me. Gotta love it.
The size and shape of your room, the type of music you listen to, and the level you listen to are more important than how much to spend. Once those are determined, go and listen to a lot of variables/speakers. I like the Maggie MG20.1, Revels, Jm Labs, Wilsons, B&W's, Martin Logans, and many more, all for different reasons. How much is to be spent on amp(s), preamp, front end, etc. Speakers are only the slave, the amp/speaker is the most important link, and you have to get it right or all is lost. Hold onto your money until you listen to at least 10 good speakers, then decide how much to spend.
From what I've heard you really need to work down from the Verity Sarastro. Good luck!
Give me 100k to spend on speakers alone, wow! I don't think the speaker I would chose is that much maybe 69k, but to power the Nautilus from B&W is an entirely differnt amount of money. so add the left-over money from the speaker to the amps and pre money pool. Obviously now, you have that kind of money for speakers, better have a big room to put them in. Deminishing returns, who cares if I had the money for this speaker and the power to push it, I'd own it. Maybe I'll own it some day, but for now have to settle on 802D's, but nice to dream anyway.
in the interest of really getting what you want, which requires alot of thought before you even begin, turn the question around a bit- "i want speakers that sound as realistic as the current technology allows on any/all types of music". then you have to choose the type you prefer of course- planar, dynamic, point-source, omnidirectional, HORNS, etc. THEN couple this with the capability to auto-calibrate to any room. certain JBL professional monitors already have an active microphone system built in which constantly feeds back information from the listening position and adjusts the frequency-response curve to achieve a flat response. AND/OR you could add into the criteria that they have to sound great in "an "XYZ" type of room (i.e. size, shape, ability to redecorate the room or not, etc).
after you narrow the field down using the criteria you prefer, the speakers you want might end up being the new MBL reference ($200k) or maggie 20.1's (1/20th as much), quads or ultra-refined horns, etc. OR, you could just pay a talented designer to come over, look at the room, and then build them to order.
Even if I wanted to spend 30k AND had wifes approval I don't think my ears could tell differences enough to be cost effective..
I'm suggesting that yr ears will tell an appreciable difference up to around that price level.
The answer to the question, "which" 100k speakers is easy, and given above ("frites")
pay a talented designer to come over, look at the room, and then build (speakers) to order.
I would think the 15-20k range would be the limit;but I have never heard a 20k pair of speakers; sure would be fun to listen though.
I would like to hear the big soundlabs that Dr.West has out now; I have m2's and think they are excellant.
if you spend 50k on speakers, you can spend the other 50k on a truckload of house cats. all things in moderation.
You can have a lot of money, but you still have to know what you're doing and have some semblance of an ear. Otherwise it's a crap shoot at best. He or she needs to do some research and some listening before plopping down a huge wad of cash. As most of us know, although there's a GENERAL relationship between increasing price and increasing performance, it's neither linear nor predictable, even within the same product line sometimes. It's good to figure that out BEFORE making a six figure investment in audio.