Where are these expensive speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StevenK, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. StevenK

    StevenK Second Unit

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    This is meant to be a sarcastic thread...though I'm sure some important tidbits can come about this.

    But I was just reading the HT and Audio magazines at my local Borders today and noticed this phrase thrown about many, many times...regardless of the price of the product:

    "...outperforms speakers (or receiver/amp/pre-amp/whatever) costing 2 or 3 times more!"

    From $500 speakers up to $3000 speakers...they all pretty much have a similar review quote.

    Now, I want to know where these really expensive, underperforming speakers are so I can avoid them like the plague. Of course, they could just all be referring to Bose.
     
  2. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    This has been a pet peeve of mine for a while. I also regularly see comments about receivers and amps that have a decent binding posts as if that's the exception and not the rule. Once you get to a certain price point, not very many use those simple spring connectors. There's a few other things like this that I see, but I can't remember them off hand.

    p.s. 600 posts! woohoo!
     
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    I don't beleive sarcasm is needed. There are speakers out

    there that cost less and can perform "as well" if not better

    than certain "expensive" speakers.

    What does this mean? It means simply that you are not paying

    for a companies name but rather a good product that may not

    have the name of a nother company.

    A good case in point would be Swans or VPMS or Totem or many

    others. They can perform just as well as say a pair of pricey

    B&W's or some other very well known name's in the speaker

    biz.

    Does this mean B&W makes a bad speaker? Hell no! It just means

    that there are more afforable choices available.

    My vette cost me 50K a Porsche Boxster-S costs about 60K

    loaded. My Vette will outdo the Boxster in every measurable

    performance category that sports cars are judged by. Does

    that make the Porsche a bad car? No it just makes it more

    expensive. Some times you are just paying for the name. And

    for some people that's what they want.

    Thank god for choices!
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Brett, I think his point is that you often see comparisons like this without a comparison to a specific product, just implied ones. When you do read the reviews of the more expensive ones, they never compare it to the lesser ones and only state the same thing as above, or that no other speaker costing the same sounds as good. It happens far too often it seems.
     
  5. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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  6. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    YES! I'm glad you brought this up. I've been complaining about these "vague" reviewers' conclusions for a long time.

    How about this one: "If you are looking for 'xxx' and 'yyy' and your wife loves 'green leafy things', look no further than this product" or "you may want to drop by your local 'xyz' dealer to take a listen"....

    Most magazine publications WIMP out when it comes down to actually naming a clear cut leading product in a category. Instead, when they have to conclude a review of a product know is relatively weaker in performance, they try to recommend the product based on a particular feature or gimmick...

    In addition, you'll find that publications, especially Home Theater Magazine makes sure that the same reviewer DOES NOT REVIEW A COMPETING PRODUCT in the same category. Example, a reviewer writes an article on DENON's flagship receiver, he/she will DEFINITELY NOT REVIEW MARANTZ's flagship receiver, thereby avoiding any possibility of subjective comparison or having to make a recommendation of one over another. But then again, perhaps they are only catering to the first time reader...

    Elbert
     
  7. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Brett:

    Your car analogy is a reasonable one. However, as one car guy to another, I feel there's soemthing you overlooked. While the Vette betters the Boxster in many (if not all) measurable parameters, and it (the Vette) is clearly a better bang-for-the buck, the Porsche offers a certain road feel, and a certain connectedness, that the Vette doesn't. Whether or not one choses to pay for those qualitites is up to the individual, but they are both real and significant, albeit difficult to quantify. In other words, the price premium is not just for the Porsche name.

    Happy driving (and listening),

    Larry
     
  8. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Larry,
    Point taken. The Boxster is a very small sports car. The
    Corvette on the other hand is a GTS or Grand Touring Sport.
    The GTS cars are generaly speaking much larger and much
    faster. They may lack a certain "feeling" of nimbleness but
    the track numbers do not lie. No C5 Corvette is a slouch in
    road holding and slalom numbers and the Z06 just goes even
    further beyond!
    But a great point none the less! [​IMG]
     
  9. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Also Brett, as much as I love the Vette, I think you'd be hard pressed to ever find a glowing review of the interior. The Porsche on the other hand is pretty nice on the inside. So there are other issues to consider than pure numbers. I guess speakers have that sometimes. Some have style, some don't. But more manufacturers are trying harder these days.
     
  10. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

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    Speaking of Home Theater Magazine, is it worth the price of subscription?
     
  11. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I've gotten cheap offers for HTM, so I've subscribed. Its overall a decent magazine. I just think they, like others, sometimes fall short on accurate comparisons and criticizing things that need to be criticized. One nice thing is that they do cover items in different price ranges in each issue. In fact they just reviewed the Apex universal DVD player, and one of the Polk HTIBs, at least I think it was them, I get HTM and Stereophile Guide to HT.
     
  12. DougO

    DougO Stunt Coordinator

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    Many speakers list for 300%+ over the dealer's cost, so it never surprises me to think that a street price $500 pair could outperform another maker's $1500 list pair (that's 3 times the price -- they never say which prices they're comparing either do they?)....
     
  13. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I think most magazines list MSRP. It'd be unfair to do otherwise.
     
  14. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Keith,
    Actualy you couldn't be more incorrect. When the C5 was
    introduced in late 1996 and the world got the glimpse of
    the "next vette" I recall quite a few great observations.
    Then when the press (C&D MT AW ETC) got thier hands on one
    I recall many "glowing" reviews of the interior.
    I beleive the biggest drawback of the C5's interior is that
    GM doesn't offer us the option of Carbon Fiber or Aluminium
    Trim and or colored leather packages (other than Mod Red in
    the Z06 and Tomato Red in the standard C5). GM says that we
    need to prepare our selves 2003 is going to be the model
    year GM suprises us with some pleasant new interior changes
    (or so they say) I can't wait to see what they have in store.
    And to be honest other than colored leather, I love the
    interior of my C5. I especialy love the wicked technology
    employed in the gauge cluster.. All the gauges are iluminated
    by front pannel Black Light rather than the traditional
    "thru the back" incandescent.
    I now return you back to Speaker Talk! [​IMG]
     
  15. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Brett, all I can say is that about every review I've seen in the past several months, perhaps even the last few weeks, have all mentioned "plasticky". Regardless of how nice it is compared to prior vettes, it still doesn't compare to Porsche. I'm sure we could debate for hours over this, and its pointless really. We all have our preferences. And hey, I'm a vette lover, I just wish Chevy would try a bit harder to compete sometimes.
     
  16. DougO

    DougO Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith: You'd have to assume the magazines are alluding to list, and you know what happens when we assume?
     
  17. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Well, I think -my- speakers sound like others costing 5x as much. [​IMG]
    Really, though, many of those comments are exaggerated IMO. But there is a grain of truth in it, because for any $500 speaker that sounds like other good $500 speakers, there are $2000 speakers that someone might not like as much. Case in point: 'different' sound like planars or horns. ("I like my new $500 monitors better than my friend's new $2000 Klipsch towers.", etc).
    And yes, I believe in DIY as an extreme value (given plenty of work from your end). Lucky me.
    Good car analogy. There's a lot of the 'taste factor' in here.
     
  18. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    DougO, from what I've read, its a pretty safe assumption. Most reviews list MSRP, and sometimes mention street price. But considering that can vary so much, it wouldn't make sense to compare items based on street price.
     

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