He's called 2 buck chuck here in the land of milk and honey.Not sure if I trust the judgement of the judges in this case.The loudspeaker your looking for needs to be in YOUR room for the answer,good luck,Bob
20 responses Add your response
You may want to pickup some white van speakers as they are very similar to 2 buck chuck. I would pick up some lightly used speakers such a Infinity Intermezzo 2.6 or something like Triangles. All kidding aside Two Buck Chuck is terrible please at least upgrade to something that tastes good such as Yellow Tail.
I don't know much and am pretty much a newbie but I'll second the Large Advent vote.
Have a pair, love 'em.
Then got another, stacked 'em.
Then a customer gave me a pair of KLF 30s (Klipsch! Already had Heresys in the back on B...)
Now using the KLFs...gulp!
Oh and he also gave me a pair of...drumroll please...AR9s!
(Need all 4 woofs refoamed though.)
Man, some people!
Heh heh heh...
Life IS good!
The OP here. I appreciate and have enjoyed most of the posts. However, a few kind posters have misunderstood the nature of my question, so I would like to clarify it. I am not seeking a speaker for myself here. The post was inspired by a NY Times article I read about Charles Shaw wines. The point was, at $2-$3 these wines are truly inexpensive, yet they have beaten $50-$80 wines in blind tastes. This is different from merely "good value" which many $15-$20 wines might be said to represent.
As the analogy should make clear, the question was: Which truly inexpensive loudspeaker today would beat much, much more expensive ones in blind listening tests, when brand loyalty, snob appeal, and other psychological issues are not in the play?
(I am a great fan of the speaker that Advent was, but would like to focus on models that are currently in production, just like Charles Shaw wines are!)
Has the manufacturing of wines undergone as much technological development as the making of speakers? It seems on principle erroneous to expect one industry to precisely mirror another.
You are speaking of a situation where potentially a 4-6% investment might yield a similar result (perceptually) to a competing product that is approximately 25 times more costly. I cannot say that I know of many examples of this in audio speakers. Most vintage speakers I have heard have significant limitations (Man, most NEW models have severe limitations! Just look at how MANY floor standing speakers are not even close to true full range operation!). Most new ones have been built to a price point and as such will not yield the performance "bonus" that you seek - a case of "you get what you pay for."
The only speaker I encountered that may fit closer to this criteria of "2 Buck Chuck" sound is the Best Buy Insigina. Much hilarity and mocking has been seen regarding this speaker, but it's amazingly good for a "dirt cheap" pair. Is it true HiFi quality, not really as one can easily hear shortcomings in it. However, it is a great option for those wanting an inexpensive Mid-Fi rig. But even with this example, while on the one hand you might find outrageously priced monitors which don't easily outperform the Insiginia, on the other you can easily find offerings which trounce it at say 20-25 times the price.
Even the venerable Quads are not so close to the price quotient you are asking about. So, my answer would be "no", as the situation with audio, particularly speakers, is not transferable from vinters. I had spent many years privately looking for the "best of the least expensive" in audio and found the ratio of excellence and price performance of a low cost component compared to a higher priced one to be somewhere in the range of 30%-50% of the higher priced component's cost. In other words, it would take double or in extremely rare cases, triple the money to best the truly exceptional performance of an that speaker/component.
But investing only 4-6% and achieving similar results? I don't think so. Of course, we are dealing with a question of perception, similar to perceiving the taste of a wine. As a result, some may feel that vastly more economical speakers can sound "just as good" as contemporary offerings at a fraction of the price. This may be more the case with high efficiency speakers, but I'm definitely not seeing it with larger floor standing speakers. Trust me, if I could get anywhere near that kind of "return on my money" in this hobby, I'd be all over it! Factor in the time commitment (time is indeed worth plenty of money for many of us) needed for DIY and its potential advantage diminishes as well, in some cases for a crap shoot result.
BTW, you may be assuming similar speaker configurations, and that would indeed potentially benefit from blind testing. However, without such constraints the differences between speakers is so radical in many cases, and the resultant sound so different, that blind testing would be unnecessary to establish the performance advantages of one over the other - a very significant difference between wines and speakers.
With USblues here. In my estimation, any number of well chosen wines in the 10-15 dollar range easily best the (drinkable, but forgettable) Shaw. When we get to the 50 dollar range, even with the weak dollar, we are into nice samples of, say, very fine Rhones, such as Pegau. No doubt there are diminishing returns -- lots of 300 dollar wines might not best lots of 50 dollar wines -- but in the case you mention, you'd have to choose poorly, or be quite unlucky, to not notice an investment of 25x.
I know more about wine than speakers (which is too little in both cases), but I'd be surprised if something similar wasn't the case with speakers. At the same time, discussion here indicates that many would be happier, in some instances, with 1-2k speakers (especially used or home built) than with many samples of 2-4k speakers (especially new). (I like my 1700 dollar North Creek Eskas, from a kit, very well.) But that's a factor of 2-3x, something that does frequently happen in wine. Anyone want to make a case for getting the relevant sort of speaker bargain at 5-10x, let alone 25x, with any regularity?
By the way, anyone heard the Emerald Physics speakers? Claims being made that are not quite as bold as for Charles Shaw, but attention getting nonetheless.
I agree with Cleaneduphippy, the price/performance ratio you are looking for does not exist. That being said, and not what you were asking, the Vandersteen 2s at $2,200 are a lot of bang for the buck whether you think that is cheap or not - it is cheap compared with other speakers of comparable "full range" sound.