@jmcgrogan2 , you've given me a new idea . . . I think that I might start writing a "scam of the week" based on what appears to be the most ridiculous snake oil being sold on AudioGullible that week! :)
@jond, you raise a very good point. It does have 3 pounds of brass and 9 carat gold plating. And let's not forget the "lignum vitae" wood -- the most dense wood from South America! Here is what some knucklehead reviewer (Norm Luttberg) stated in "Stereo Times" 2014 Most Wanted Components: "I have not heard anything that rivals it." I'm willing to bet good old Norm didn't pay for it either!
1) If you have a system that's in excess of $100k total cost, this represents a mere 5-6% of the system cost. If it yields a 5-6% improvement, it's worth the money.
2) tweaks like this make a bigger impact on higher quality gear. It's the same as a $10k Stillpoints ESS rack. That thing is the best bang for your buck in audio ...provided you've got a system that justifies it. Putting an Aiwa receiver on it would be a waste.
IME, the higher quality gear I get, the stronger it responds to minor tweaks.
I never thought cable risers would make a difference, for example, but with my recent reference system, the change was so obvious, even my incredulous roommate conceded it sounded "way better".
Yes, I have an advanced engineering degree and often have a difficult time with some of these so-called tweaks where someone waxes rhapsodic about how much more real the music is. We audiophiles are probably a gullible lot. However, I once owned a BMW M3 and regularly read the M3 Forum on the net, and there were others who would pay $20K to get 10 extra horsepower as evidenced by their butt-dynamometer, so audiophiles are not the only ones who will fall for snake oil salespeople. Some of these tweaks stretch credulity but I have tried some and often there really is a difference, at least to my ears. Maybe it is the power of suggestion, i.e. I paid big bucks for these and there darned well is a difference. The thing to do is to decide yourself whether you want to vote with your wallet for them, knowing there is most likely little if any measurable difference.
Wow, these things are beautiful; I just looked at the website. Someone should commission them to make chess pieces.
Moving on, I too am newer to this hi end scene and am still puzzled by many claims of products being sold for this hobby. For example, an isolation rack with help my solid state amp sound better??? The cable risers are another item, however, both of these aforementioned items seem to have a lot of believers on a-gon. I do plan to buy a modest Blinn stand for all my equipment soon. Most of you would probably laugh hysterically if you saw my newly acquired system currently splayed out on the floor of my listening room. I don't even have a crappy rack, it is all just sitting on an area rug. Based on everything I have read I will be "amazed at the sonic improvements" if I just get the stuff off the floor of my room. Time, and more money, will show me the path to enlightenment, I am sure.....
Do you guys not understand the mechanism of record weights and clamps. They change the resonance of the record altering the sound. They do make a difference. As far as the price if you have one of the top $200,000 turntables the cost of this item is small. At the 2015 CES I attended there was a system at $725,000 and one at $550,000. If I had the money I would buy. Come on guys, you are just jealous of people who can afford stuff like this. They have Yachts and drive Ferraris. Who cares. Why the anger. If you think it is stupid don't buy.
for @ebm , "A legendary Shun Mook product now being made in a very, very limited number. This record clamp is made from extremely rare pieces of dried ebony briar. This extra heavy century old ebony root which were immersed in the swamps of Africa has a unique power that no other wood possesses. . . . Thus when the musical energy produced by any Hi Fi system will excite to different degree of all materials within the space covered by the acoustic spectrum. Different materials will have a positive or negative effect on each other influencing the final music production. The secret is to control and tame such resonance to the advantage of the system. It is commonly known that many musical instruments uses Mpingo and other ebony wood to create the most natural musical tones and harmonics. Just like the clarinet, the violin and other wind and string instruments uses the ebony as the essential component to generate the sound. With many years of research and development we at Shun Mook have designed and brought forth several revolutionary devices in the technique of electronic audio enhancement."
I’m not sure what the price of a record clamp made from "extremely rare pieces of dried ebony briar" is but once again, I call BS. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a record clamp as much as the next guy that still uses a turntable -- I have a record clamp even. The point really is not whether a record clamp makes a difference, but whether someone can justify a $3600 (used) record clamp by cloaking it in so much nonsense. "A fool and his money are soon parted," as the saying goes, and as @ahendler points out, why not spend $3600 for a used brass record clamp with 9 carat plated gold if you’re blowing $725K on a stereo. OK, fair enough, why not light your cigars with $100 bills? Because it is stupid to do so, regardless of whether you can afford to light cigars with $100 bills. Just because you can blow money, doesn’t mean you should buy snake oil.
Now, if it doubled as a pepper mill, or maybe a weird nanny cam, or the wife could wear it as a pendent, it would make sense. If you could combine the "unique power that no other wood possesses" from the Shun Mook clamp with the 3 pounds of gold-plated brass of the Dalby, you might really have a winner!
@swampwalker, LOL! "The "ebony bullet chambers" will come in handy when your significant other finds the Visa bill and threatens to put a cap in your a$$!" You still let your wife see what you spend on stereo equipment?
@don_c55 , you're right. There are probably silly priced cables, fuses, whatever, that can be viewed as a rip-off. And if someone was marketing the Dalby D7 Vinyl Stabilizer as the most bitchin' nicest looking record clamp that money could buy, hey, its your money . . live it up. But its the idiotic claims that are made to justify the ridiculous price that burn my nuts. "sweeter high frequency extension while the mid and lower registers are beautifully controlled. The soundscape is wider, higher and deeper, allowing the music to breathe more naturally . . .?" Come on. Just say that you will be the envy of all of your neighbors and fellow audiophools with an amazing 9 carat gold plated piece of brass and "lignum vitae" because no one has ever seen such a hot looking record clamp, without the ridiculous claims targeted to the gullible. You want to sell a diamond-encrusted record clamp because its, well, a diamond-encrusted record clamp . . . fine. You want to sell a diamond-encrusted record clamp because it makes "the music breathe more naturally . . ." different story.
Flat records result in less noise and distortion so probably some truth to the potential benefits but obviously a device suited to do just that need not cost a fortune. But people do like their bling so whatever turns you on. There is more to high end audio than just good sound you know. Need not be truly high end just for that.
No one will argue the virtues of a good record clamp or weight. But, how much technology can one cram into a good record weight? There is nothing on earth that could justify the asking price. One could look up a local machinist and have him make you one that looked identical, send it to a plating shop for a real gold plating, and probably have it all done for under $300. So just because someone is wealthy enough to purchase such an item, doesn't make him any less foolish for buying into the hype.
Have you seen the plug strip that is not even a very good plug strip, supposedly cryogenically frozen, and sounds so amazing you'll throw out your power conditioner? For only $400! The very Definition of snake oil.
I’ll bet the Stillpoint folks are jealous! It is certainly a beautiful piece of audio jewelry for the most discerning audiophile. Love those ebony bullets, too bad you can’t see them.
As far as nothing justifies the price. One could say the same thing about many audio products including some of the absurd prices for amplifiers or speakers or name it. What justifies the price is that folks that don't care about nor are influenced by price can readily write a check for whatever reason. It's not a bad business model in today's world.
"No one will argue the virtues of a good record clamp or weight. But, how much technology can one cram into a good record weight? There is nothing on earth that could justify the asking price. One could look up a local machinist and have him make you one that looked identical, send it to a plating shop for a real gold plating, and probably have it all done for under $300. So just because someone is wealthy enough to purchase such an item, doesn't make him any less foolish for buying into the hype.
But whether nor not its snake oil is not the issue that was raised by the OP. That's a completely different issue from whether audiophiles are gullible or not.
I actually started this thread marveling at the combination of the audacity of the claims made by the people selling the snake oil, coupled with the gullibility of those willing to accept those claims and actually buy something based on them!
I haven't heard of the magical cryogenically frozen power strip -- which of course sounds so darn amazing, you'd think you were listening to a completely new sound system. I'm sure its backed by all kinds of glowing reviews about how the freezing process realigns the molecules in one direction which of course facilitates a more pure transmission of power. I may look into that for next week's Scam of the Week, LOL!
The existence of snake oil, and those gullible enough to believe it, are directly related. If no one were gullible enough to buy into it, then there would be no such products.
I think I saw the plug strip advertised on The Cable Company's web site. My question is, what proof is there that the $6 plug strip you bought was ever cryogenically frozen? I guess the proof is in the listening! Anyone remember the Tice Clock?
I forget which magazine reviewer it was that argued that as long as you BELIEVE it has made a difference in the sound then it was worth the money.
I once had been in Epicure grocery "ultra natural and organic and super duper healthy yadadada" store in South Beach where one apple as an example would worth about $10(looked kinda shiny and covered with glaze) and a bar of soap $250. In my past days I was a servant and chauffeur for very rich family that occasionally was sending me for shopping in Epicure he..he... There are lots of interesting ways to earn money on gullible indeed! Than I went to family owned grocery store in Northern Jersey up in the mountains close to Milford PA where 2lb bag of apples was $3. They tasted substantially better and did not have any glaze on'em. $3 and $100 is the same for upper class with over few$M of annual profits so the prices are marked accordingly. The point is that there's the same or even better quality among affordable units. Just do your own research and learn.
Yes some people are gullible and some are not. Some are Audiophiles. Some products offer good value and some not. Some are expensive and some not.
Move on people.....there’s nothing new to see here....
I personally would not buy A $3600 record stabilizer but I’m sure others would. I’d rather invest that money in the best ultrasonic record cleaner I could find, if I were to invest that much in my records.
But that’s just me. I’m sure some all have only perfectly clean records and now need a better stabilizer.
@czarivey , I live in South Beach, sometimes shop at that Epicure, and you're right about some of those prices .. . unbelievable!
@mapman , your comments about gullibility and good value are certainly true. What I object to are the ridiculous marketing claims made to justify outlandish prices and are targeted to the audiophile. Like I said, if someone wants a diamond-encrusted record clamp, power to 'em. But don't claim that the diamonds resonate at a special frequency that cancels out the negative electrons emanating from the cartridge, which makes the music sound like its being played in the living room. If we didn't gobble up those types of marketing hypes, they probably wouldn't be made. But you can only sell snake oil with silly claims, or else no one would buy it,
I'd bet that in a true double-blind study, where the reviewer cannot see whether a regular record clamp is being used or the Dalby D7, he wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Marketers do what marketers do and get played to do. Almost always involves a spin of some sort, never the complete story.
I agree its wrong but what’s one to do except learn to take all marketing claims with a few grains of salt.
I’ve worked in product development and worked with marketers. They are usually not as technically savvy as the engineers. If there are no real engineers involved to start with, then the result may be total nonsense that many actually believe.
Good engineers are expensive. Its a lot easier to make a profit of nonsense sometimes. Lower overhead and higher profit margins. Nobody forces anyone to buy anything (except insurance maybe).
That's why I feel happy(or even orgasm) when able to 'bend over' the insurance company for my own benefit because any kind of sex(intercourse) is much better and makes more sense when mutual :-)
@mapman, I'm not sure that we'll ever be able to sort out all of the nonsense. The reason is simple -- I and most people don't have access to some of the egregious snake oil like the $5800 (new) Dalby D7 to be able to run it through a double-blind test. I can only say that logically, the claims are seriously overblown to justify a ridiculously expensive product.