What is high-end?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Oelewapper, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    A few here have alluded to hi-fi as a pleasure which has not yet come to fruition. My experiences from producing radio commercials and jingles suggests it is indeed possible to get tape recordings which are indistinguishable from a live performances.
     
    timind likes this.
  2. Bananajack

    Bananajack Phorum ... wat Phorum? Where am I?

    Location:
    Singapore
    High End is if it was insanely expensive due to the fresh virgin blood sprinkled over it,
    when production started at full moon. Especially valid for cables.

    Another characteristic is, that it never works fine the first time, needs 2000hrs of drive
    in time, but service after 1500hrs.

    If it’s tube gear it’s made following the highest specs on this planet and uses most likely
    rubbish OEM tubes from an old, shoddy St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida) factory

    Inbuilt is an uneasyness-factor, if that’s now the best ever or if you shouldn’t have spent
    these 5000 Bucks more for the set with 10Watts higher spec, which is certified that the
    founder and CEO has held his hands over it.

    Yaya, go high end :p
     
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  3. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    I did look at that after I read your first post and IMO you have an excellent system which appears to be well set-up (obviously some care involved in that). I would agree completely that when listening to a system like yours the illusion of listening to "live" can easily occur. My own experience, like that of many others, is simply that there are differences between that and the real thing. They may be a bit subtle at first, but once one becomes cognizant of them they are almost immediately recognizable. How important is that to one's own listening experience? Not necessarily of any importance unless you are trying to claim "high fidelity". Personally I just like to enjoy listening to music, and the better the system (on the same music) the more enjoyable is the experience. How much "better" and how much expense are obviously individual preferences that may have little to do with actually achieving high fidelity.
     
    timind likes this.
  4. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    High-end audio: losing the fight against the law of diminishing returns.
     
  5. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer

    Location:
    Netherlands
    High end is simply the right tail end of a bell shaped curve of increasing cost of equipment on x-axis and numbers sold on y-axis. It has nothing to do with high fidelity sound. It applies to any market segment.
     
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  6. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    You ALWAYS demonstrate your critical thinking skills to put things in a proper perspective. I mean that sincerely.
     
  7. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Nothing?
     
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  8. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Nothing in the sense that high end is a measure or qualifier for sound quality.
    Edits: The chance of finding good sound quality in high end increases, but there is no guarantee. And you can also find good sound quality in the middle of the bell curve, for example.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
    timind likes this.
  9. Juan Matus

    Juan Matus Reformed Audiophile

    I think the classic definition of high-end is something that is appealing to discerning and sophisticated customers and generally the most expensive of a class.
     
  10. carbonti

    carbonti Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I will differ with this statement as there is an erroneous premise applied: there is no losing of the fight because there is no fight. A high-end provider does not seek to provide value, in the case of pricing, or sound quality, in the case of qualitative return, to buck the diminishing returns aspect of any endeavor towards some interpretation of perfection.

    It is the pursuit of perfection that is the goal in priority of other considerations. “Other considerations” might be price of the unit, market appeal and the host of other things that come into play when a product is intended for public sale as a commercial endeavor. But high-end is not a mass market commercial endeavor - there is likely to always be customers that are insensitive to price that agree to partake in the experience of seeking perfection as a key aspect in their participation in the hobby of fine audio. Of course there are a multiplicity of other factors also with consumer behavior so this is but a simplistic example predicated on SQ to avoid a black hole of pop psychology. Yeah, we know the guy buying a white gold Rolex Daytona has got more goin’ on than simply just the desire for tellin’ time.
     
  11. ALAN SICHERMAN

    ALAN SICHERMAN Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY

    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    A friend gave me an old Sony Bluetooth powered speaker (SRS-X55) that I send music to from my laptop. I'm listening to Radio Swiss Classic and I'm very happy with the sound (and the music)! My main "rig" is set up in the basement and I still spend time listening to my CD's but my main listening is done with that speaker. If it works for me I'm sure it would work for many others.
     
    timind likes this.
  12. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Given that this is a music forum after all, I thought a music reference would be particularly apropos in this instance.

    And everyone knows that when you fight the law, the law wins.

    :)

    Jeff
     
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  13. carbonti

    carbonti Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    HAHa. Yeah ain't it the truth.

    I kinda forgot that the song went:

    I'm breakin' rocks in the hot sun
    I fought the law of diminishing returns and the law of diminishing returns won
    I fought the law of diminishing returns and the law of diminishing returns won

    I dunno, singin' it this way kinda dulls the rock 'n' rol outlaw vibe of the song. More tweed blazer with elbow patches.
     
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  14. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Nothing in the sense that high end is “NOT” a measure or qualifier for sound quality.
    Sorry, for that rather important omission of a word!
     
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  15. Tim Irvine

    Tim Irvine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    This thread is too long to read in its entirety, but if it has not already been said, high end stereo makes it seem as if the Beatles were still alive.
     
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  16. AP1

    AP1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    TX
  17. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    This is the most accurate answer yet. We just need to decide where the cut-off for high end begins.
     
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  18. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor. Thread Starter

    I know this thread has been inactive for a while, but I recently found this interesting article:
    White van speaker scam - Wikipedia

    Saying:
    "The speaker scam was common in the 1980s and is believed to be the origin of the use of the term "high-end""
     
  19. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    IMO, it's purely a financial reference.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
    mds likes this.
  20. Circuits clad in shiny chassis.
     
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  21. Equipment that provides performance and construction commensurate with their cost. I would think in today’s market 20k + per component if talking price. Should be approaching SOTA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
  22. I have been to way too many demos, at shows and society meetings, with gear that surpassed the $10k mark, and quite a number past the $20k mark. Way too many had underwhelming sound. I understand there are less than optimal rooms for these demos many times. That usually eats into the stereo separation mostly, if anything. I look past those problems. Yet even with that handicap taken into consideration, there’s way too much gear that’s priced vastly beyond the sonics it can deliver.
     
    rodentdog likes this.
  23. What you say is very true. I do believe though if performance and construction do match or exceed the price point your listening to its something special. Money doesn’t necessarily provide excellence but when it does it’s well worth it if you can afford it.
    I’d love to invest in a high end system but in my current location it wouldn’t make too much sense.
     
    morinix likes this.
  24. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Wikipedia article authors believe a lot of farcical things. That doesn't make them true.
    The source for that in the Wikipedia article is a Philadelphia Enquirer article from 1990. I don't consider that a good source.

    The use of high-end to describe audio is more likely to have come from Harry Pearson and The Absolute Sound back in the 1970s. Or some other small publication and audio writer back then. But I have no source for that. Still that's a better source than a Philadelphia Enquirer article by a general news reporter.
     
    Oelewapper likes this.
  25. Dick Gralton, GE audio Division, Billboard Feb 9th 1974. He uses the term but uses it as a second tier below audiophile.

    Upper left corner of page 33 "GE Exec Sees Banner Year..."
     

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