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voxxonline 5th January 2013 08:05 AM

Hi-fi boss slams 'rip-off' industry: Article in Techradar
Just wanted to share tis article in online Techradar about quality and pricing in modern hi fi world.

Read in on Techradar.

cotdt 5th January 2013 08:32 AM

The guy seems to value specs very highly and use that to judge the value of equipment. I disagree with the statement he made that "you would need 500 watt peaks for most modern recordings at normal listening levels".

There exist people who are willing to pay 5x more for a 10W amp over a 500W amp because they prefer the sound of the 10W amp. There is no need to call these people stupid.

voxxonline 5th January 2013 08:34 AM

But another part of the statement is a psu for 4000 and 80 $ In Parts.

cotdt 5th January 2013 08:42 AM


Originally Posted by voxxonline (
But another part of the statement is a psu for 4000 and 80 $ In Parts.

Having been to several audiophile gatherings in California, I just don't see people buying such things. Most of the expensive equipment people buy, would cost me about half as much to make myself. Most audiophiles I meet are technically-minded and have done their research on what they buy.

I agree that hi-fi equipment is expensive, but it doesn't have to be. A lot of people just buy a T-amp and there are cheap bookself speakers that sound rather good.

voxxonline 5th January 2013 08:56 AM

I started (not long ago) diy with custom build speakers- to be able to afford something better. And without having so simple b1 buffer I would not be even thinking of soldering any pcb. 7 Months later and I forgot about cost to value part of the business and just enjoy it.
still a lot to learn, but I do become as you say more technically minded.
Just a big thank you to this community.

qusp 5th January 2013 09:03 AM

James is a bit of an idiot looking to sell a story, anyone who spends that sort of money without making it their business to know what sort of technology is used, is a fool.

500W peaks needed for normal listening levels? I think its this guy thats uninformed. maybe he means PMPO ;)

there are a lot of charlatans in the industry and many things cost far more than they should, but isnt that for the people that have the money to spend to fix by voting with their dollars? if gullible nincompoops continue to support a market for fairy dust, it will just push the prices further and further up.

but that can be said for many industries. to suggest that its the norm for people to buy 4000 dollar power supplies at all, let alone for it to not be unusual for it to consist of a transformer and chip regulator is just sensationalism.

SY 5th January 2013 10:26 AM


Originally Posted by qusp (

500W peaks needed for normal listening levels? I think its this guy thats uninformed. maybe he means PMPO ;)

Suppose your speakers have an efficiency of 87dB/W/1M (a fairly typical number for cones in a box). You sit 3 meters away, so now that watt gives you about 77dB. That's not terribly loud. If you're listening to compressed commercial source material (10dB peak to average), you indeed won't need more than 10-20W to hit the peaks with 77dB average.

If you have dynamic material, more likely you'll need at least another 10-20dB for peaks, possibly more. Being conservative, let's use the 10dB number. So at very moderate volumes with moderately dynamic material, we're up to 100W for peaks. Crank it up a little bit or play some dynamic recordings and that 500W doesn't seem too farfetched. After all, a mere 80dB average SPL with the same moderately dynamic material means you'll need 200W.

We tend to forget the consequences of log relationships!

madtecchy 5th January 2013 10:50 AM

Hi Voxonline..
It is busines.. Somthing is only worth what someone will pay..... People still buy snake oil .....

chris661 5th January 2013 10:53 AM

He's also never listened to anything at Richer Sounds.
I listened to a pair of 800 speakers with a 1000 amp at RS, and then came home and listened to a pair of 250 Behringer active monitors. Guess which was better.

Studio grade equipment seems more immune from the HiFi ripoff world: see below.

Here's some 1500 floorstanders*.

Here's the woofer they use.
830656 - Peerless SDS-134-THP 5.5 inch woofer coated paper - Europe Audio

Here's a ~300 Behringer monitor speaker

I'm fairly sure this is the woofer they use:
The Madisound Speaker Store

Note that the Behringers are active speakers, so I couldn't build these myself any cheaper, whereas it'd be easy to spend ~1500 and annihilate the commercial speakers.

The difference seems to be that one of them is veneered.


*I'm not picking on this manufacturer specifically, there are other examples. The obviously-Peerless frame makes it easier to spot.

voxxonline 5th January 2013 11:01 AM

My background is marketing, so believe me I can see the ways companies position audio equipment.
My decision was to start from the very low end of hi fi just to learn myself such things like cables and interconnects influence on sound quality. And lets see in which camp will I fall - the one claiming they can hear difference in cables, or the ones who do not hear any..

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