The main reason one does not see a stampede to review these is that:
(a) Megabuck speakers tend to be very big and very bulky .... not easy or willing to slog them across the country for a biased opinion.
(b) If you request $$$$ speakers to demo, you better have the electronics and cables already in place .... not generally in the reviewers hands necessarily
(c) (a)and (b) together form a chicken and egg scenario cuz reviewers generally don't have the other side of the gear requirement [ no hi-end manufacturer is going to willingly let somebody hook up their thoroughbred to a mule).
(d) Only a sliver of the general buying public can actually afford them, and dumb reviews won't influence them anyway in any way shape or form.
(e) Reviews are just heavily biased anecdotal value judgements at best anyway; and should not form any basis for buying other than to perk one's attention to do what is needed: go actually audition them in person.
(f) At that price point you know they are great already. The analogy would be which is better: top Mercedes Benz, Lexus, or BMW ? They are all great and it is only the esoteric fine details to differentiate preferences of one over the other; with an obvious conclusion that there is no "best"; ...just alternatives in the thin air level strata.
CONCLUSION IMO: What is there to review? They are great and there is no need to sensationalize the obvious and trivialise the important (i.e. go listen for yourself)
They are showcased at the audio shows: go listen!
No harm in doing so, so why not?
I don't understand your hypothetical question. You ask "should they?" What does it matter...they do. Stereophile, Absolute Sound as well as Dagogo and other online sites reach into the stratospheric range quite often.
Roxy54, there are many protests about reviews of costly components; there are many reviews of costly components; but that doesn't mean there should be such reviews.
I do suspect that most reviewers would rather review more expensive components.
With the top 1% now having a majority of our country's wealth, manufacturers might well only direct their products toward sales to the top 1%. Long ago Henry Ford realized that if his employees not afford to buy his cars, he would not sell many. Modern businesses may be making just that error.
Frankly, even though I can't afford such stuff, that's why I read Stereophile et al. Cheap stuff reviews can be found in mass market mags or even mags not devoted entirely to audio ( not to mention online). Hey, on the rare occasion I pick up an auto mag, I sure don't want to read about an affordable Ford.
I don't think it's a bad idea to review the cutting edge of high end stuff, but the only purpose that I see is to keep the writers informed of what is and isn't state of the art.
Often times, the bleeding edge bleeds down to the stuff I can afford.
With the top 1% now having a majority of our country's wealth, manufacturers might well only direct their products toward sales to the top 1%.
Haven't they already done that? I don't think any manufacturer out there hasn't at least doubled the price of their top of the line gear/cables in the last 5 years. The current model seems to be working for them, they won't change their business model until the economy forces them to do so. I expect to see prices continue to skyrocket into the stratosphere.
Long ago Henry Ford realized that if his employees not afford to buy his cars, he would not sell many. Modern businesses may be making just that error.
Modern businesses are making this error, but greed won't stop by itself. The pendulum won't start to swing back towards the middle until some movement stops the momentum of the direction it's currently headed. Gravity won't stop greed.
As for reviews, who really cares? Do people still read those fluff stories? Does anyone really take them seriously? If so, I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. ;^)
Do you think car mags should review Ferrari's, Lambo's, MacLaren's and other megabuck stuff, or just Chrysler 200's and Ford Fusions?
No disrespect intended, but this topic has become really threadbare. Like any other type of artwork, film or journalism that we may not like or agree with, we have the freedom to ignore it. I find that the printed and online sources of audio reviews give enough space to middle priced gear, although I agree that the middle prices are certainly becoming what was once considered very high prices; and not too long ago at that.
Still, I find entertainment in reading about some of it. It is more interesting than reading about the latest from Rotel for my taste.
As to the question of should they review these expensive items, I say sure, why not?
"Should" they? I'm guessing you're asking a moral question here. we can all have an opinion on the morality of $10k speakers wires but none of them matter. In our capitalist world the marketplace determines what gets reviewed, bought and sold. Morality be damned.
Roxy54, I take no offense at all. Basically I agree with what you say. Mine is mainly a curiosity about why this cost escalation. Certainly I know that parts quality is up and that so is their cost. Also, most of the innovative products seem to be one person's effort and ideas. I guess small quantities and quality parts can lead to high costs, but I do think "bells and whistles" can raise the prices.
I also think that reviewers are drawn to the exotic products and certainly by being first to do a review of it. I also wonder in the focus on expensive components, how do those who must stay with less expensive products learn of them.
So you weren't asking a question of morality. Although, I think it's a much more interesting question, never mind my rely.
I'm not sure that the top 1% gives 2 shites about high end audio. They're too busy having fun and getting laid. It's probably more of the poor saps that can't afford it that spend the time and energy reading about it and lusting after $10K ICs. There are probably a few wealthy customers that want "the best" and have their local high-end store set them up with a pair of Wilson XLFs and MIT cables, but I would guess most of them just have their mansions set up with expensive home theatre and in-wall bullshit wiring. IMO
I was under the impression The Amazing Randi already put this whole thing to bed, demonstrating with his Million Dollar Challege that hearing abilities are just so much paranormal ability.
If manufactures dont peruse state of the art (SOTA) how are we going to get advancements and ultimately trickle down technology into more affordable equipment?
Sometimes these SOTA pieces are merely a glimpse into future mainstream products. Just take a look at the advancement of 3D printing has made in recent years.
Timrhu, you have got to remember how long I've been at this hobby. When I started no one gave any thought to speaker wires, power cords, isolation from vibrations, racks etc. I still remember buying Bob Fulton's speaker wires that were a prescribed length and looked identical to welding cables, I had used. The length was determined by whether babbons at the zoo heeded a warning call. I thought they were ridiculously expensive. Also the Decca London was too expensive but good at $150@.
I do wonder if the top 1% having 61% of the wealth is at the root of all of this.
I do wonder if the top 1% having 61% of the wealth is at the root of all of this.
Absolutely! The audio market is not unique, it is just chasing the money trail like every other market out there. Do we really need $10,000 watches? Diamond studded dog collars? Gold toilet sets? The path the audio industry is following is the same path every industry is following. The prices go up as society continues to develop into a society of haves and have nots. The middle is vanishing.
I think reviewers don't do cables. They write reviews the way the 'hear' things.
Apparently, when it comes to cables of any kind, all phrases of reviewers are pretty much audiophile standard that is NOT completely understandable by anyone except audiophile such as 'warm' 'black background' 'musical'. Such phrases and words must be present for better audiophile marketability of product.
Given the fact that cables play only small part in audio playback, you can't guarantee ANY reviewer even with brilliant ears(forget the golden ones) will describe just 'this' particular cable. More likely the reviewer will describe the whole rig he'd mention with such and such cables.
Obviously you can't enjoy the system without cables, but given this fact, I've never seen reviewers mention what they can hear with 'this' particular cable vs. other cables including let's say $6 generic RCA run from Dollar General stores.
Without attractive looks, words and marketting pitches we's still be using mentioned simple generic cables.
Czarivey, yeah, I believe this. Try "realism," "black background," "sharp leading edge," " decay clearly audible," etc.
Jmcgrogan2, I agree but suspect that the middle-class will throw the Teas out and we will see what FDR did to stop the concentration in the 1% before, namely strengthen unions. Organization is the only way to beat organization. Of course, most union members are not the middle-class, but they do put the heat on management and maybe this time we will have middle-class unions of teachers, professors, and maybe doctors.
Tbg, I don't see that happening at all. Most expect the Republicans to take over the Senate when the midterms are run this year as well as hold onto the House. That's two more years of stalemate. No changes in sight, the pendulum will continue to swing in the same direction for the foreseeable future. Someday things will change and start the pendulum to swing back again, but not anytime soon.
Jmcgrogan2, I think it is the Teas that think they will win the Senate as they thought they would do in 2012, but lost six seats. Right now they are losing all four of the seats they thought were theirs to take.
As others have said, most reviewers don't seem keen on cable reviews. They seem far more subjective and system dependent than other components. Having said that, there do seem a few reviewers who seem to be trying to look at the subject systematically. I am thinking here, of positive feedback. There is a chap there, Levi is it? Who seems to try to grade cables he has used in his system and that I find, is useful.
Do really costly cables make a real difference? Absolutely, at least in my view. I still remember the manufacturer of Zensati cables, doing a demo in a UK show, which I found astonishing and confirmed at subsequent shows. Can I afford them? no. I do keep a look out for the entry level cables, that may come up, second hand. I could just about swing them
David12, I really don't think any component or wire is easy to evaluate, but cables are worse. All of them take breakin and most this may be erratic and to again be needed when moved. Isolation is another major variation. I have found that the StillPoints Ultra SSs work best with four under a component rather than three. But, of course, three points define a plane, so one of the four is likely to not be in contact with it. The Ultra SSs have a hard hat that must be loosened to work and this allows increasing it height to place it in contact with the component. Any moving of the component may loosen or tighten it and both removes its contribution to vibration control.
This happen again to me as I was evaluating my Koda K 10. The front right SS was locked but in contact. When I raised the other three and unlocked the tight one, the line stage was transformed.
There is nothing wrong to know what the references are in each category but if half of a popular magazine or website is dedicated to audio gear that serves only the 1% of the audiophile audience, we need to start asking ourselves if this adds any real value. Another indirect effect of the sota-centric approach is that some turn up on forums just to show off their newest bling (some even almost do hourly updates). My interest here on the Gon is to know how I get sonic wise close to cloud number nine whilst remaining with my feet (and head) on the ground.
Hi Everyone, My findings over the last two years of meeting people that are audiogon members that will not talk on the forums because of the caliber of equipment they have, most others slam them, so they do not talk, and there is members that talk that has esoteric exspensive cables, what I am saying, The 1% is actually much higher,I have my opinion based on my exsperience, The number of owners of the caliber of cables this thread is about is more like 30% out of a 100%, the true 1% is the audiophiles that have, what I call, stupid money, they have $53,000.00 retail 8-ft speaker cables and etc..., I have also witnessed that there is a huge difference with such cables and $10,000.00 8-ft speaker cables, There is a huge difference between $26,000.00 8-ft speaker cables and the $10,000.00 8-ft speaker cables as well, no, unless I was Bill Gates, I would never indulge in the $53,000.00 speaker cables, first off, nobody really pays full retail anyway, I do not!, the $26,000.00 8-ft speaker cables is my range, No, I do not pay that at all!, and it is not bling for me, very good cables have proved to be one of the biggest improvements to my systems over the years, my conclusion is that cables are a major componet in the system to, I have done many exsperiments at stores, and with friends the importance of cables, cheers.
1. You don't have to care.
2. You don't have to read the reviews.
3. You don't have to purchase the reviewed products.
4. You could set a dollar limit on reviews you read.
Total freedom, so what's not to like?
$10k cables or similar 'deals' is a definite scam from the very beginning. they all cost maximum $50 if not less.
Czarivey, I'm sure you would like to believe that, but do you have any proof? I have seen three manufacturers' assembly areas and know what goes into making them. You might be right when you see a cable with molded RCA jacks and simple three lead wires in a molded wire.
I guess for you nothing but the cheapest is the rule.
I just heard an Argento IC the other day. I wish I could say I didn't hear what it did better than the very good IC I was comparing it with.
My wires only cost a small % of that and I am happy so I am not qualified to say.
Mapman, nobody is qualified to say. I'm hearing realism that I've not heard before and love it, and I demonstrated it to four on Saturday. None, however, can afford what I have and I'm not even certain I can.
Tbg, your observations of assembly lines isn't a proof at all and isn't a reason for wires to be more than $50.
Was this assembly line similar to Mercedes Benz or BMW or RR(I've seen those in the past)? What should be SO special about assembling a darn wire?
I'm snob, dumb and stoopid and that's what I pay! If I seriously decide to buy $50 wire, it has to be darn great! That's why I use Mogami Silver series XLR IC's. I bet that Mogami assembly line is also one you should see just in case and speak out if you find any differences between line that normally assembles $50 wires vs. line that assembles $10k wires.
I'm also sure that BMW assembly line is much more interesting especially the way the factory arranges the tours.
You can get a big boost in SQ sometimes just by flipping the direction of the interconnects. Scout's honor.
My opinion is that one should not need such expensive gadgets in order to enjoy music fully.
On the flip side, the cutting edge of anything is bound to be disproportionately expensive and benefits likely to be more marginal as well, so it is grounds not often tread on by many except for scientists and engineers in their laboratories perhaps. But I get the impression most who would review this stuff are likely neither an unbiased scientist nor an electrical engineer, just another shlub like me with an opinion. Why not praise good stuff? I doubt the reviewers can afford such gadgets anyhow, so who are they to shoot it down, even if justified? They will never own it anyhow most likely, so that would come across as pretty petty.
So sure, review whatever one wants, even if just for entertainment purposes, but personally I would not expect the results to hold much water.
Czarivey, certainly if my observations don't prove you wrong, your statement without any proof is totally lacking in credibility.
Mapman, I have long understood what your believes were. I don't buy them, however, and see no reason why I should given my personal experiences.
So your position then is that these things are needed and nobody is qualified to say?
That would seem to dismiss the value of any kind of review then. People can and will make up their minds on their own.
I'll buy that. Like I said, the reviews have little value other than as entertainment.
I've seen assembly lines of cruise ships, BMW, MB in Germany. The industrial tours of Germany are FANTASTIC!
Obviously, I didn't have even partial thought about touring via audio wires assembly lines... Anyone else here did? Anyone else here seen audio-wire assembly lines?
Please share your thoughts. How can I get to see audio wire assembly line? I don't have many plans towards China travels, but would certainly look forward to it.
Mapman, I certainly am not saying as you and Czarivey are that they are unecessary. That is just your opinion.
Also while no self-respecting scientists would ever say that anyone is qualified to state that something is true without substantiation for this, I do have respect for some reviewers but only because I know how careful they are to optomize the piece being reviewed.
While there was a day when I would very seriously pursue listening to something that HP or JGH recommended, that day is gone. I have to hear it myself or have it recommended by a handful of people I know around the country and now abroad.
Incidently, I think written postings on Audiogon or AudioAsylum are virtually worthless. But some where everyone posting shares a preference can be useful. Unfortunately, those who don't share that preference often feel compelled to jump in a muck up the useful thread.
The reason of my strong beleif about scam is based on basics of Electronics and nearly 30 years of retailing business. I recognize quickly many kinds of schemas and chains. I know all values and what they should actually be and not only on audio merchendises weather they've been or haven't professionally or unprofessionally reviewed. That's what I do for living and at the same time share with you all so to bring cognitivity back to ones who left it somewhere let's say in audio-wire assembly plants.
I can tell you from the best of my knowledge I have too many proofs that my state of mind changed other people's state of mind(layer of society does not matter) by moving brainwash clouds outside of one's cognitivity. I tend and wish to drive the scam market down for good to benefit other people and certainly myself together.
Czarivey, I can certainly understand why some folks regard high priced cables as scams, but really, don't you think that ordinary folks, the ones with iPods and Best Buy all in one components, view everything in high end audio as a scam?
@ TbG, See, I told you others that do not have the caliber of cables and equipment of the best available will bash you, regardless of their, so called fanatical, I am right, and you are wrong mentality!, They , believe me, Have NEVER have had the exsperience with the cables you have or I have,Welcome to the club TBG, tune all others out!, LOL!, case closed!
You can believe anything you want, as I said Total Freedom. Cool isn't it? Conversely, others have the same freedom you have, why do you need them to think exactly like you do? If you believe cables over $50 are a scam, great, carry on. If others do not, that's their right. End of story.
You can strut around feeling superior because you've seen an assembly line.
BTW: My deduction from your previous statement is that you're full of crap. That's how I react when someone states they know everything about everything and they are doing it for the benefit of "the people".
Chayro, I think you are right, but an even more serious issue is why others would claim that they "know" there is no difference. At its root science is based on observation and seeking explanations, not based on our present understanding of the laws of physics, which are at root only partial.
After a career as a researching professor in of all things, political science, and publishing seven textbooks and research monographs, I have had many peer reviewed research publications and know that good data are the basis of making an case for a relationship, not saying stupid things like, "everyone knows," "it is common sense'" etc.
LOL I don't think, I just know, but in this world you can't say these things SHESHHH!
I would like to raise a question, of course not all 10k cables a scam, but lets pick for example purist dominus speaker cables. Purist just released new revision and 1,5m of the dominus model will retail for $12,500. Or latest V12 version of Stealth dream is about $12k for 2 meters, or Siltech royal line cost like half of my car.
I understand the R&D and some marketing need to be financed, but these companies dont have multimillion research labs and personnel.
How much those cables actually cost to make? The same goes to speakers. Like Sonus Faber, Marten, Tidal and many others.
I still haven't heard any positive responces about how cool and how interesting and how technologically advanced are the audio-wire assembly lines.
Siltech and Harmonic Tech assembly lines are all in China. Had anyone been there? I guess there should be something else to see when travel to China.
Ordering those mentioned for $12.500 directly from China you can get them $5...600 shipped and directly from factory bypassing all third parties that dictate their own scam rules. Ones brought onto our US local markets are SAME.
Each new precious cable like that is viciously looking for the foolish and naive at all times. ASK ANYONE.
Some of the audio components can fall onto that category, but with far less magnitude.
Czarivey, when I wanted to buy an Ikeda 407 tonearm, I found cheaper versions available from Hong Kong, China. They are fakes. China has a major problem even internally with fakes, such as high pressure pipes that fail, etc.
I still don't understand why you and Mapman bother to tell us your view, which many of us think is nonsense. Just enjoy your music.
Prices are also based on a price tag a company wants a cable for this high prices.
In my opinion there are cables who can give you more new information other cables can't give you. And even with more expensive amps or sources this cannot be achieved.
It need to be auditioned in your set. After this you can Judge what it does in your set. Then you can decide if it is worth the money for the upgrade.
I have proven in many blindtests that it is easier to get a higher endresult with more expensive cables compared to more expensive amps or sources.
Hearing is believing. This is what counts most. It is that simple!
"I still don't understand why you and Mapman bother to tell us your view, which many of us think is nonsense. Just enjoy your music. "
Well, at least not all then. :^)
I hear a lot of nonsense the other way as well.
There is something to be said about confronting nonsense rather than just accepting it.