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Diminishing returns.


sloper
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Goodaye all

 

Found l am satisfied with the sound of 3 Hifi systems, struggling to see how it could get better, but????

So now l think l have to apply the law of diminishing return's

 

l have a great sounding systems that havent broken the budget, so lets say l am 95% there.

To get that extra 5% l would have to spend big bucks on, room treatment, trying different speakers ect.

So unless something blows up l cant see anymore changes.

 

So are you a 5%?

 

regards Bruce

 

 

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1 hour ago, sloper said:

 

Goodaye all

 

Found l am satisfied with the sound of 3 Hifi systems, struggling to see how it could get better, but????

So now l think l have to apply the law of diminishing return's

 

l have a great sounding systems that havent broken the budget, so lets say l am 95% there.

To get that extra 5% l would have to spend big bucks on, room treatment, trying different speakers ect.

So unless something blows up l cant see anymore changes.

 

So are you a 5%?

 

regards Bruce

 

 

Hate to be the harbinger of bad news,  but it ain't only 5% improvement being possible! 😄

People use a vague theory that you can double the price of a system , and only achieve a modest lift in performance .

 

Sorry,but it is possible to elevate things incrementally, with changes large and small  and end up with a huge climb up the "totem pole" - and right when you pat yourself on the head that you have climbed to the top of the mountain realise there's another mountain range ahead!,😂

 

If you're happy with the level of your system(s), then by all means enjoy it and the fact you're saving money. 

But this is a bad site to regularly frequent! 😬

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The 95% point is a very personal position.  Everyone will be different.  How much you will need to spend on that extra 5% will depend on what you already have.  In general, the amount to spend on that 5% is directly correlated to the 95% investment that already has been made. 

 

I'm reasonably happy with what I have.  I would like to improve it, but for the last few years have concentrated on tweaks to extract that bit extra from the system.  Excluding component failures, I'm not anticipating any more upgrades.  But every component I've bought has been a careful decision, with the intention of keeping it for the longer-term. 

 

There is one aspect that I would most desire to be able to invest in my stereo system.  And that is more time to be able to enjoy it!

 

 

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2 minutes ago, evil c said:

Hate to be the harbinger of bad news,  but it ain't only 5% improvement being possible! 😄

People use a vague theory that you can double the price of a system , and only achieve a modest lift in performance .

 

Sorry,but it is possible to elevate things incrementally, with changes large and small  and end up with a huge climb up the "totem pole" - and right when you pat yourself on the head that you have climbed to the top of the mountain realise there's another mountain range ahead!,😂

 

If you're happy with the level of your system(s), then by all means enjoy it and the fact you're saving money. 

But this is a bad site to regularly frequent! 😬


Complete agreement :)

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The 'law of diminishing returns' is, IMO, very real. IMO again: Upgrading anything needs to take into account inflation, progress, and worth. (Ask: Is the upgrade worth it to me considering what it will cost and what it will give me, and can I afford it?)

 

I've just upgraded DAC, phono pre, pre, active speakers, and interconnects (yikes:rolleyes:) for a spend of about 3.5 times the (inflated to current date) cost of the previous system. Was it worth it to me? Yes—most of my friends think I'm crazy anyway but then they don't listen to music the way I do either!

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20 hours ago, sloper said:

Found l am satisfied with the sound of 3 Hifi systems, struggling to see how it could get better, but????

You have three systems.  What if you only had one and spent equivalent on the one system as to what you spent on the three?  If you spent wisely on the one you definitely would not have three times the gain.  The law of diminishing returns will always prevail.    What if it was at least  third or only 20% better than one of what you have now.  You would be a much better off than the 5% that you are talking about now.  You can only listen to one system at a time.  Put all your eggs in one basket as the saying goes.

 

Depending on affordability I chase 2% and 3% return for my one system which can soon collectively become 10%.

 

John

 

 

Edited by Assisi
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This chestnut... It's very real and can be a disheartening slog if you let it. It is all too easy to set oneself on a path where each subsequent upgrade and tweak provides some perception of improvement, but the gratification period of each one becomes shorter and shorter.

 

I go through cycles where I have done a number of upgrades in short succession and find myself a victim of my own bread-crumbing. Then I sit down and have a long, hard chat with myself and reset for a few months and spend on vinyl instead. Then rinse-and-repeat as you inadvertently trip and fall onto another upgrade roller-coaster.

 

Cursed is our path.

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For me, the visceral impact of music on my soul means I tend to not think about price versus performance. Music consumes so much of my life that I measure it in how much more emotional impact and engagement will I get with this potential addition(s) to the system. Of course, I base this on what I can afford, but sometimes you're exposed to higher levels of equipment that become the aspiration. I dont have many other "expensive" hobbies, but I certainly dont have any other interests outside of audio that reach right into the essence of who I am and move me the way music does.

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Agreed with a lot of the sentiments expressed here , music/hifi  was my first passion  and is now back to being my primary passion. 
 

at 54 I found myself in a position to spend lots of stereo gear and probably would if I was 20- 30 years younger, but I’ve also herniated to my parents trait of being careful with money. Over the years, I have bought, traded various items of gear ( and yep spent plenty of money) and I’m sure if I had all that money available to me as a lump sum, I could buy a really awesome system 😎

 

like @Hydrology said, we buy our gear to hear our music which in itself is a very person choice , and sometimes when you are listening to the right piece of music at the right time and it catches your ear more than usual, it all makes perfect sense .

 

enjoy your gear , enjoy your music , that’s all that matters. 
 

ps As a bonus I’ve met and made some really good friends with people into hifi and had my ears opened to all sorts of new to music, win-win 😊

Edited by cafe67
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3 hours ago, Assisi said:

You have three systems.  What if you only had one and spent equivalent on the one system as to what you spent on the three?  If you spent wisely on the one you definitely would not have three times the gain.  The law of diminishing returns will always prevail.    What if it was at least  third or only 20% better than one of what you have now.  You would be a much better off than the 5% that you are talking about now.  You can only listen to one system at a time.  Put all your eggs in one basket as the saying goes.

 

Depending on affordability I chase 2% and 3% return for my one system which can soon collectively become 10%.

 

John

 

 

I am glad to have only one system which I can focus on - had considered a second one but then decided to put the money in the main one instead. 

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5 minutes ago, April Snow said:

I am glad to have only one system which I can focus on - had considered a second one but then decided to put the money in the main one instead. 

 

 

I have multiple systems throughout the house, but all but the main one,  are special purpose.  For example, one is a purely mono system.  Another is purely Akai for playing reel to reel tapes.  Anyway, that leaves the main system, to concentrate on.  Although this system has 3  turntables connected to it,  as well as a media player / streamer (I left FM tuners, CD and DVD behind ages ago).     My comment on the main topic is that the old 80/20 rule should be the starting point,  not 95/5 %

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12 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

 

I have multiple systems throughout the house, but all but the main one,  are special purpose.  For example, one is a purely mono system.  Another is purely Akai for playing reel to reel tapes.  Anyway, that leaves the main system, to concentrate on.  Although this system has 3  turntables connected to it,  as well as a media player / streamer (I left FM tuners, CD and DVD behind ages ago).     My comment on the main topic is that the old 80/20 rule should be the starting point,  not 95/5 %

That makes sense if you have specific purposes for the systems...............and likely more space than me too 😊

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I just can’t figure out percentages so I don’t try. I’ll keep gunning for improvements but don’t put a metric next to it other than my gut feel of $ vs improvement and if I feel happy about what I’m hearing. 
Sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not. 🤷🏼‍♂️

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In my opinion there are no diminishing returns - more likely potential over capitalisation and a % of reference against something we use as a measuring stick.

 

I don't think any of us would realistically know what 100% would look like regardless of what we bought or how much we had to spend. Its like what Evilc said, we get to what we think is the top to find another mountain range to explore.

 

Sometimes we encounter an unforeseen rope bridge along the way that takes us to a new height, sometimes we think we have to buy a helicopter. Interestingly, the rope bridge for me has provided pleasant results this year and has questioned whether we have really progressed at all.

 

Edited by ENIGMA
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5 minutes ago, ENIGMA said:

... sometimes we think we have to buy a helicopter.

 

 

Sometimes. Then sensibility prevails. Hopefully. The fuel bill for those things is eye watering (I've turned about 2.5M liters of kerosene into hot air and noise in those things).

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It would be interesting to give 20 people $20k each to put a system together and then have a panel blind test to see which one sounds 'best'. The point being - does how you apply the funds have an effect? Or will all $20k systems sound the 'same'?

 

A bit like F1 racing where there are design rules and budgets to work within but the teams need to milk the last drop of performance staying within that matrix - Mercedes vs Red Bull atm as an example.

 

Does the skill of the audiophile determine the performance outcome haha!

 

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On 24/11/2021 at 8:58 AM, DET said:

It would be interesting to give 20 people $20k each to put a system together and then have a panel blind test to see which one sounds 'best'. The point being - does how you apply the funds have an effect? Or will all $20k systems sound the 'same'?

 

A bit like F1 racing where there are design rules and budgets to work within but the teams need to milk the last drop of performance staying within that matrix - Mercedes vs Red Bull atm as an example.

 

Does the skill of the audiophile determine the performance outcome haha!

 

 

How about having a group of significant manufacturers each make a complete system for$20k only  and compare that. No limit on technology or design, just the ultimate sounding they believe they could put together.

 

That would be more like F1 racing - bigger budget teams limited in their spend and lower budget teams able to compete. 

 

Putting aside for the moment whether or not someone can afford it and lets assume for argument sake we have no limit on affordability. If you have to decide whether a system is good because of how much it costs in components or price then it is your wallet that is choosing the system and not the real purpose of why you are intending to buy it for in the first place.  

 

Pick a system by how it sounds to you. If you can't afford it then remember what it was that was so captivating and search for a system within your budget that has the same effect. You'll find it when you are clear on the objective.

 

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