For those with the cojones...and chequebook to match!

Jan 4, 2019
41
8
8
Toronto, Canada
#21
I don't begrudge anyone who has the means to spend stupid money on anything they want and even though my my values might differ, I would not wish to impose them on anyone else.

Assembling great sounding systems is the real fun part of this hobby. I've always been fascinated by how others go about upgrading their systems and compare it my own behaviour. I've come to conclude that building systems is like an audio IQ test where simply inserting a super expensive component or tweak is not necessarily going to give you the uptick that you might expect. The high audio IQ person might change his system in a more modest way that results in a higher level of satisfaction. I'm not suggesting that my audio IQ is all that great...there are certainly members here who have very high audio IQ's from whom we can learn.
 
Nov 23, 2015
47
75
18
#22
For many of us, the emptiness of OUR souls is likely proportional to OUR conspicuous consumption. So. This site is called What's Best Forum- should we really shame audio manufacturers for trying to create whats best? Yes, there are multi-million dollar watches and multi 100 million dollar works of art and all manner of hideously expensive objects. I watched a documentary about F-1 racing which said to be competitive they must spend close to 400 million each year. Should they all not exist?
China under Mao would not even allow a lemonade stand for children but now has some of the wealthiest people on the planet. Is that evolution or a betrayal of China? You say that its just fine if the super rich are not selfish assholes but your comments betray your hostility. In Tibet or the Philippines or most African countries, a $5,000.00 dollar stereo could be 5 years wages, so to them the most bargain basement of audiophiles become the shameful conspicuous consumers. Hell, a pair of 70 dollar tennis shoes would be tantamount to insanity.
The truth is that if all the money was spent on the betterment of mankind, whatever that means, the world would likely be a better place. Or could the search for the sublime be what has allowed society to uncover some of the most life enhancing technology? If selfish farmers weren't seeking more profit through technology, we would have never figured out how to feed our country at reasonable prices. All I am saying is that its a complex issue and superficial judgments hardly reveal the truth. I for one don't want the the manufacturers to stop reaching for the stars no matter what the motives are. The trickle down is what makes life, in part, miraculous.
I own very expensive audio systems. I get tired of the apish attacks on my ethics as a de facto product of spending a lot of money. Or the even more trite, that i care nothing about the sound quality, its really all just for show. Seriously? Every single audiophile i know who has spent a LOT of money would love to get truly remarkable music at one tenth the price. Personally I support a lot of charities, have sponsored numerous loans to those less fortunate and worked in a charity clinic for 25 years. Who exactly is qualified to draw the line where consumption is appropriate-be the judge? Because God himself seems pretty objective.
 
Apr 14, 2018
209
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#23
Dear Billy,

Your words have resonated very strongly with my path.The attacks are apish and banal.
Anyone of us that exists above the breadline should feel morally obligated to help where possible as opposed to moaning for the sake of it.

Your path is one of enlightenment and appreciation,people like you are an inspiration to those that search regardless of cost.Bravo to you.

Kindest regards,G.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,265
708
113
#24
There is I believe an oversimplification in understanding values that doesn’t translate to any one simple absolute.

There is waste. There is value. There is conspicuous consumption and there is genuine happiness. What I don’t think there is is a one size fits all evaluation on the absolute rightness of things.

It would be too easy if there was just one rule, one way. We are here to learn about developing our own compass and not to just be given an Uber pass and told that there is only one directed ride allowed and that is all we need to understand.

If this seems a cop out it actually isn’t but perhaps rather each developing a sense of personal responsibility and a guide to discover what is purposeful and meaningful and valuable is actually the opportunity and the journey.

It is easy to sit and judge other’s pathways. But is that actually what we are here for. I feel it is imperative now more than ever that we learn about what is truly sustainable and change our expectations about what this planet can bare but to think this is about black and white directives is just a failure to take up personal development and to become empowered to personally determine what is ultimately bearable, and equitable and viable for all. To contribute in the development of awareness and appropriate free will.
 
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spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,470
866
113
E. England
#25
Tao, if we're REALLY considering sustainable, we'd probably stick to streaming, wind down all new production of vinyl and esp cds (Aluminium not being at all environmentally friendly, fossil fuel based lps not far behind).

Let's stick to streaming, existing stock of lps and cds out there.

Let's eliminate highly inefficient tube amps, Class A/AB high power SS.

Indeed let's all go headphones.

Etc etc.

My thread may have looked like a dig at excess. It actually wasn't anything beyond head scratching at the exponential pricing out there, and the fact some products seem to be obviously designed, and sized, to be priced as end point statement products.

In the course of less than 3-5 years, we've gone from SOTA tonearms costing $10-15k, to a whole slew at $25k, now several at $50k.

My inclination is there is nowhere else to go, but will the early 2020s see the first $100k arm?

And what will make it significantly better than the ones costing $10-25k today?
 
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the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,265
708
113
#26
Marc, I very much get where you are coming from yes but sustainability is just more than just about costs or budgets, or just purely environmental, it is also about social value and balanced by economic performance.

I may be the last person here to suggest that we do more than the planet can bare but I also believe that there is a potential to throw the baby out with the bath water when we act without precaution or overlook the value of including the potential for personal discovery in terms of what and where our values are at and how life can be meaningful by also embracing the needs of others rather than just our own. Ultimately easy prescriptions for behaviour aren’t available and by not attempting to educate to right behaviour is to lose the value of this moment. Enforced social behaviour can be necessary but also inefficient. Allowing discovery for the development of true and lasting values is both empowerment and an efficiency. It may be what is ultimately required for us to actually get to be sustainable as a species at any rate. Ultimately I believe we are on our way to discover what is truly valuable and bearable and viable and equitable for all ... or bust.
 
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JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,291
260
83
Manila, Philippines
#27

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,867
1,584
113
Bangkok
#28

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,470
866
113
E. England
#29
Tao, there's nothing like 2 years of Brexit to make you reconsider EVERYTHING in life.

Zero exaggeration for me, I kid you not.

My bit to offset the brutal cynicism in politics and the way this country is run, is to contribute to a couple of hugely vital local charities.

I'm more selfish, but in a good way. Selfish to protect local businesses by shopping more locally. Amazon and EBay are now a last resort, not a first.

Keeping the chapel going here, shopping locally, investing in local charities, "slow" living outside the maelstrom of London.

Hey, it's not much. But if we're to survive Brexit here, it'll be thru local shops, services, charities, basically going local and as micro as possible.

Brexit has really been cathartic for me, I've really had a bit of a personal epiphany, and am determined to maintain my sanity and my local community in face of the incoming storm.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,291
260
83
Manila, Philippines
#30
Happy to see you Jack.

Grumpy is ok. Just dont get too farty.

Tang :)
I promise not to eat too many bean dishes Khun Tang!
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,470
866
113
E. England
#31
I'm back! :D

Okay, no longer as grumpy.

That's small fry Marc. Let's all get off the internet.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes...rowing-problem-for-data-centers/#5cf72e9b5a30
Jack, I've always wondered about this.

Those teens on the Climate Change marches, demanding action. What if that action included vastly less access to the Web to cut the costs of producing data. Anyone think they'd go for it?

As much chance of a teen giving up Instagram and Facebook, as a stockbroker giving up his performance car.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,291
260
83
Manila, Philippines
#32
Ironic right? I shudder to think what percentage of data is made up of selfies. vines, memes, and videos of people setting their cojones' on fire.

The article says that global data center consumption is 40% higher than your country's total average consumption. That is A LOT of coal!

Well, unless there's some kind of global cataclysm I don't think we as a race are ever going back to real harmony with nature. That is unless we find really effective energy alternatives real soon. All we can do in the meantime is to really try to not be wasteful.

I was hanging out with my buddies last weekend and we were all talking about how everything seemed so much easier when we were younger. It dawned on me that it wasn't any easier for my dad or my grandpa. The difference is when we were younger, we were taken care of. These days we are the ones with the responsibility to do the caring. Stewardship and all that comes with it is in our hands now.

Wear sunscreen. Enjoy.

 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,265
708
113
#33
Tao, there's nothing like 2 years of Brexit to make you reconsider EVERYTHING in life.

Zero exaggeration for me, I kid you not.

My bit to offset the brutal cynicism in politics and the way this country is run, is to contribute to a couple of hugely vital local charities.

I'm more selfish, but in a good way. Selfish to protect local businesses by shopping more locally. Amazon and EBay are now a last resort, not a first.

Keeping the chapel going here, shopping locally, investing in local charities, "slow" living outside the maelstrom of London.

Hey, it's not much. But if we're to survive Brexit here, it'll be thru local shops, services, charities, basically going local and as micro as possible.

Brexit has really been cathartic for me, I've really had a bit of a personal epiphany, and am determined to maintain my sanity and my local community in face of the incoming storm.
Maintaining sanity is the very best start towards a much more sustainable life... crazy dudes are also usually very expensive dudes. The notion of having a future is the biggest carrot in the world for us as a species and a world without hope is already doomed. So giving up hope just isn’t an option.

Faith and optimism are the essential base ingredients for the elevation of human kind. Compassion is a salve along with comedy and everyone just sitting around and blaming their condition on others is the guarantee of an inevitable social breakdown for all. Brexit be damned... you dudes are British and you will survive this! I know as I have far reaching crystal balls! But what a handful of people pay for cost no object sound systems has no real impact on any of this at all in the big picture.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,265
708
113
#34
Jack, I've always wondered about this.

Those teens on the Climate Change marches, demanding action. What if that action included vastly less access to the Web to cut the costs of producing data. Anyone think they'd go for it?

As much chance of a teen giving up Instagram and Facebook, as a stockbroker giving up his performance car.
Next gen are the ones who will have to face up to our mess. The reason they are protesting is because they know their future depends on this. The world turns very hard by 2050 and that gen will only have to choose about survival or not... so I wouldn’t be too concerned about them being fatuous and having petty choices on their radar. They will turn on to this task and they will be more than up to it.
 
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the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,265
708
113
#35
Ironic right? I shudder to think what percentage of data is made up of selfies. vines, memes, and videos of people setting their cojones' on fire.

The article says that global data center consumption is 40% higher than your country's total average consumption. That is A LOT of coal!

Well, unless there's some kind of global cataclysm I don't think we as a race are ever going back to real harmony with nature. That is unless we find really effective energy alternatives real soon. All we can do in the meantime is to really try to not be wasteful.

I was hanging out with my buddies last weekend and we were all talking about how everything seemed so much easier when we were younger. It dawned on me that it wasn't any easier for my dad or my grandpa. The difference is when we were younger, we were taken care of. These days we are the ones with the responsibility to do the caring. Stewardship and all that comes with it is in our hands now.

Wear sunscreen. Enjoy.

Jack, we have left the Holocene epoch and are now in the Anthropocene. The world is to all intense purposes no longer a natural environment but dominantly now a human sculpted sphere and as you say there is really just no going back... only accepting responsibility and developing a stewardship that allows for going forwards. We left the garden of Eden and we are out on our own now. Creating survivable urban ecology is actually what we need to direct ourselves towards now.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,551
977
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#36
Tao, there's nothing like 2 years of Brexit to make you reconsider EVERYTHING in life.

Zero exaggeration for me, I kid you not.

My bit to offset the brutal cynicism in politics and the way this country is run, is to contribute to a couple of hugely vital local charities.

I'm more selfish, but in a good way. Selfish to protect local businesses by shopping more locally. Amazon and EBay are now a last resort, not a first.

Keeping the chapel going here, shopping locally, investing in local charities, "slow" living outside the maelstrom of London.

Hey, it's not much. But if we're to survive Brexit here, it'll be thru local shops, services, charities, basically going local and as micro as possible.

Brexit has really been cathartic for me, I've really had a bit of a personal epiphany, and am determined to maintain my sanity and my local community in face of the incoming storm.

“Brexit” is politics! NO POLITICS, PLEASE!
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,553
448
83
North Shore of Boston
#37
Peter, no way can AF0, latest SAT arms, Relentless amps, TOTL Wilsons, bleeding edge MSB w SGM Extreme, be allowed to be merely "overperforming". They must "outperform".

In the same way Bugatti Veyron or La Ferrari, or the McLaren from the mid 90s represented.
Marc, I was just trying to understand what you meant by this sentence in your OP:

"Well, as gear gets crazy big, overperforming, and stellar performing, we have a collection of gear that could only have been dreamed about, just 5 years ago."

Never mind.
 
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spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,470
866
113
E. England
#38
Peter, do you consider Bugatti Veyron as "overperforming" or "outperforming"?
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,470
866
113
E. England
#39
I realise this is a can of worms. For every one Veyron that reputedly so breaks expectations, there are many more supercars today that maybe don't hold a candle to the McLaren from mid 90s, despite being multiples of the price.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,553
448
83
North Shore of Boston
#40
Peter, do you consider Bugatti Veyron as "overperforming" or "outperforming"?
Marc, I had given up asking you to explain the first sentence of your OP. But now, rather than answering my question, you are asking me what I think about some car, so I will try one again to ask you about the OP.

To me, these expressions or words only have meaning in relative terms. We are not talking about cars here, we are talking about expensive audio components as described in your own original post.

"Outperforming" is given meaning when the subject is compared to something else meant to do something similar. So, one turntable outperforms another turntable, or not, based on a direct comparison of the two turntables with an agreed upon set of criteria.

"Overperforming" is given meaning when the subject is compared to one's expectations of what it is supposed to do. For example, one may have certain expectations about the performance of a turntable based on price, execution of a design, the materials, the design itself, the reputation of the designer, or any other number of things that form a set of expectations in the person's mind. One can then listen to the turntable and conclude whether or not it is "over" performing relative to the expectations the listener has created for the turntable.

In my opinion, and expressed here rather ineloquently I'm afraid, the examples you give in your OP can only be said to be overperforming if they exceed whatever expectations you or I or anyone else has set out for them. Otherwise, it makes no sense to me to describe them as overperforming.

I have not heard any of those components, so regardless of what my expectations are, I can not know whether or not they are "overperforming". Actually, I did hear one of the new SAT arms recently in an excellent system. It did not exceed my expectations. I had expected it to perform well, so it did not over perform for me.

You seem to suggest that these expensive components are "overperforming" from your very first sentence. I am asking you what you mean by that, that's all. I am just trying to understand the OP. To me, it is a bit confusing.
 
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