Audio quality per source components' cost comparison

twitch

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
364
80
435
SE Pa
#81
IMO with a little bit of DIY you can spend circa $1k in vinyl that can’t be touched at any price digitally
all well and good but as you stated, 'in your opinion' , to which IMO you are safely in the minority ......
 

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
246
131
50
#82
My R2R machine is only ok. Tape cost are astronomical. Most of the new production material I dont like. It also has an odd sound to me. The new small ensemble stuff that is. Too small. Not the studio sound I am use too. Some of the bootleg is decent. Some not so much. $300 an album is wallet crushing. And after 200 play you are damaging the tape. Or so I hear.

A member on AN called me out about classical saying modern classical on digital is often excelent. I was saying how much I like my vinyl. He is right. There is an abundance of really good large scale, and smalller ensamble digital classical works out there. Material that was mic very well and engineered very well. I find a lot more of it on digital than vinyl.

The rub with digital is the dac and server pairing. And the digital backbone if you stream. The Mojo Audio Mystique V3 took digital to the next level for me. It punched well above the 3 dac in the $5k range that proceeded it. The dac gives the lips on the reed and natural you are there pluck and vibration of strings. But the server has to be excellent to get the clarity, tone, body, air and soundstage. Digital is a pairing of the dac and server. Don't think you can get it all with just one of them. The two need to be thought of as a one. Like a TT and phono preamp. $3500 for my dac used. Get the server new. Mojo Audio Deja Vu server for $5k. Then you get all the service and the latest software that is a vaulting of performance over the windows stuff, and older linux. If you want to spend $9k Mojo Audio has upped their dac game. My V3 is entry level now. They have an EVO dac that stands for evolution. You can continue to upgrade as you like by having internal parts swapped out for better. Ben with Mojo was telling me some of the chokes on top tier models are $2,000 hard cost to him. Dac can be expensive to build right. $9k is a sweet spot performance wise.

You could also just get an Apple Orchard, Sonore Rendu, Schiit or other budget unit thats good. Even a Dragonfly is good.

My take is you need $8500 to step into excellent digital. That is with some used gear. Lesser priced is good but surely wont rival your well thought out Vinyl done right. My digital still tops my vinyl sometimes on the right album. But the best vinyl I have, which is limited (20 or so album) is better all around than any digital I can find.
But, I have maybe a few hundred excellent rips and as many streams I play often.
 

sbo6

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2014
1,049
139
285
Round Rock, TX
#83
Thanks, what kind of R2R do you have? It looks like the holy grail is a Studer A820 or 8xx variant and what looks to cost about $10K for one in reconditioned condition. so for me the question is - what TT or digital completes with a Studer A-820 with a high quality head preamp out?
 

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
246
131
50
#84
Thanks, what kind of R2R do you have? It looks like the holy grail is a Studer A820 or 8xx variant and what looks to cost about $10K for one in reconditioned condition. so for me the question is - what TT or digital completes with a Studer A-820 with a high quality head preamp out?
20200705_091049.jpg
 

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
246
131
50
#85
I thought having 7.5 + 15 ips Otari 5050 would be an inexpensive alternative to 15 ips. You need to spend an additional $1200 for a decent dolby B decoder. The 7.5 ips tapes are not better then vinyl. Just a little different.

The Otari does not have as quiet a motor as other decks. The heads are nothing special. The internal preamp is yea, ok. It can be rebuilt for about $500.
I have no idea what machines are better. Just reasons why mine is not doing a whole lot better than my other sources.

And the tapes. The best tape I have is one given to me as a gift. It absolutely crushes the digital copy I have.

Owe yea, tape reels. They warp. At least all the plastic ones I have. Metal are like $45 to $60. Just for a reel. So now your album may be $420. Anyhow, see all the blue tape dots on the bottom of my machine. They are all differnt thickness and act as shims. There is nothing more annoying and bad for your tape than squeek, squeek, squeek.

Also note the machine sits to the side of my gear unused since maybe November.

FWIW. I have a big house in an excellent neighborhood in Seattle. For all intents its paid for. I have a shit pot of investments. Enought to be very comfortable forever. And a hefty income. And still, I can't afford tape. I'm not willing to sacrifice a good stable retirement to have it.
 
Likes: sbo6

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
246
131
50
#86
all well and good but as you stated, 'in your opinion' , to which IMO you are safely in the minority ......
I didn't say that. That is a quote from Folsom. I agree with you.
 

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
246
131
50
#87
Even though Folsoms and my content had been a bit testy, I will admonish there are a lot of people praising the JVC turn tables. I have not seen any comparisons to other vinyl machines. But a lot of people use the 5s and 7s with mods and find them excellent. If I were in the $1000 or less for a TT, I would build up one of those players.
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,407
1,250
525
Denmark
#88
Even though Folsoms and my content had been a bit testy, I will admonish there are a lot of people praising the JVC turn tables. I have not seen any comparisons to other vinyl machines. But a lot of people use the 5s and 7s with mods and find them excellent. If I were in the $1000 or less for a TT, I would build up one of those players.
If you are in the 1000$ or less category, find another hobby ;)
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Dec 25, 2011
4,849
61
470
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#89
There is one thing I have found in this hobby. Money does NOT always equate to better sound.

Tom
 

sbo6

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2014
1,049
139
285
Round Rock, TX
#90
I thought having 7.5 + 15 ips Otari 5050 would be an inexpensive alternative to 15 ips. You need to spend an additional $1200 for a decent dolby B decoder. The 7.5 ips tapes are not better then vinyl. Just a little different.

The Otari does not have as quiet a motor as other decks. The heads are nothing special. The internal preamp is yea, ok. It can be rebuilt for about $500.
I have no idea what machines are better. Just reasons why mine is not doing a whole lot better than my other sources.

And the tapes. The best tape I have is one given to me as a gift. It absolutely crushes the digital copy I have.

Owe yea, tape reels. They warp. At least all the plastic ones I have. Metal are like $45 to $60. Just for a reel. So now your album may be $420. Anyhow, see all the blue tape dots on the bottom of my machine. They are all differnt thickness and act as shims. There is nothing more annoying and bad for your tape than squeek, squeek, squeek.

Also note the machine sits to the side of my gear unused since maybe November.

FWIW. I have a big house in an excellent neighborhood in Seattle. For all intents its paid for. I have a shit pot of investments. Enought to be very comfortable forever. And a hefty income. And still, I can't afford tape. I'm not willing to sacrifice a good stable retirement to have it.
Thanks for the info. I saw the Otari and Technics I think were rated very high pro-sumer decks.
 

sbo6

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2014
1,049
139
285
Round Rock, TX
#91
There is one thing I have found in this hobby. Money does NOT always equate to better sound.

Tom
Agreed but IME there is a strong correlation.
 
Likes: Lagonda

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
246
131
50
#92
I feel like there are thresholds. $2k and less dac, TT, phono stages, amps and preamps are nice entry level pieces. They sound great to any guest and sensible owners.

My sense, with my experience and equipment is, somewhere in the $5k to $7k per item you step into another level. You get a higher level of realism. Better accuracy. It starts being more true to the source. You start being aware of the venue the media was recorded in.

I'm not wealthy enough to know the next levels.
 

sbo6

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2014
1,049
139
285
Round Rock, TX
#93
I agree. I'd say the next level up is about $10K - $15K where better pace, effortless, dynamics / lower noise floor, tighter bass and better spacial cues and further detail retrieval come into play. That's been my experience over the past 10 years with DACs. But I do think the less expensive DACs are closing in on moderate priced ones as you get more performance for your $ over time. Engineers have narrowed down the sonic challenges with digital primarily to jitter and clean power.
 

twitch

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
364
80
435
SE Pa
#94
Even though Folsoms and my content had been a bit testy, I will admonish there are a lot of people praising the JVC turn tables. I have not seen any comparisons to other vinyl machines. But a lot of people use the 5s and 7s with mods and find them excellent. If I were in the $1000 or less for a TT, I would build up one of those players.
agreed, some of my fondest 'analog memories' are with my KD-500 table, Premier MMT arm and the Grace F93 super that rode upon it. 'Moving magnet' magic IMO !
 
Likes: Solypsa

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
246
131
50
#95
When I listen to really expensive systems , they all seem to be large. That scale adds a lot to the overall impression. It makes it harder to assess whether its better or just bigger more enveloping and impactfull.

Being a Jazdocs place, I can say his vinyl is just superb via his Found Music, Daedalus and Einstein music equipment. The detail and realism is unreal. Better than pretry much anything I have heard at a show.

I still always remember Rocky Mountain 4 or 5 years ago and hearing the little Raidho x5 fronted by $80k or so SS Ss monoblocks of some sort. Stunning.

Pretty much always the best sounding systems are in rooms that are dedicated to audio and the system is set up correct in it. A poor room and setup easily drag a system down. In my room, if I don't pull my speakers an additional 14" out from where they normaly sit in my living room, my sound stage collapses, bass looses punch and there must be some sort of smear as decay is much better and individual instruments have better separation.

Power to your rack is often overlooked. Its another place that needs a $4000 more or less investment. I am biased because it is a fractional part of my overall electrical contracting business. But every dedicated power supply I bring to an audio rack has unanimous praise for the sonic benefits it brings. Dynamics, noise floor, hum. It all gets much better. If you have a stereo, before buying more power cords, update your panel, grounding and banch circuits to your rack. It easily moves everything you have up a factor of a threshold.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing