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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 12:43 pm   #761
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by ekjdm14 View Post
If someone wants to blow thousands on equipment and bits of stone, that's their choice too but I sincerely wish they could take a moment to stop chasing rainbows and as quoted above, just listen
Of course the corollary of the "Just Listen" quote is "If you cant hear a difference then don't spend the money".

Most listeners seem to be more than happy with MP3 quality audio but some of us are somewhat "cursed" by a preference for higher quality such as 24/96 FLAC or, dare I say it, vinyl records!

Somewhat compelling that "Audiophoolery" has now reached Post #761!
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 3:23 pm   #762
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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You can now spend a whole lot of money on an LP12, and whole rafts of upgrade options, so it is far less affordable in real terms than it was in the 70's

Craig
Not sure about that Craig. In 1981 a new Linn Sondek LP12 without arm cost 340 which is about 1280 in today's terms. Lots of used Sondeks with arms have sold for much less on eBay during the last few weeks.

Alan
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 3:49 pm   #763
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Currently an LP12 without arm, cartridge, lid, motor, power supply or baseboard is 1770.

Motor and power supply 1450
Base board 140
Lid 150

So the equivalent of the 1280 is now 3510. So 2.7 times more expensive in real terms than 1981.

And that is before you get into the upgrade shenanigans https://www.linn.co.uk/sources/turntables#build

Plus an arm and cartridge

An all up LP12, with all the bells and whistles can easily set you back 10k and then some.

Craig
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 3:49 pm   #764
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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1985/6?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesperrett View Post

The Juno 106 synth makes it post 1984. Looks like a Soundtracs desk with a Soundcraft multitrack in the corner but they were around from the early 80's onwards if I remember right. Not sure when those ATC monitors were introduced but something very similar is still available today (at a price). The BBC computer in the foreground makes me think that it is probably earlier than 1990 as most people were using Ataris or Macs by then (though we went straight for a PC in our studio). So I couldn't be more specific than late 80's.
Well spotted, both of you. Actually 1987/88, and in use until around five years later.

The BBC Micro was running a UMI sequencer, and you missed the Commodore 64 which was controlling the auto-muting on the CM4400 console (so the 24 track was really 23 plus timecode).

I *really* wish I could have kept the SCM200's. I built them from scratch, and acquired the prototype triamplifier packs (not the SCM100 ones in the picture which were a temporary measure) from the original designer. Too big to keep for domestic hi-fi, so I ended up with SCM20's which I still have.

The room was designed to have a large "early reflection free zone" in the main listening area, and the accuracy of reproduction was quite amazing (and of course one could directly compare what was heard in the studio with what it sounded like in the control room, so that wasn't wishful thinking). The acoustic performance was verified with an original TEF analyser which I borrowed from work, cutting edge technology in those days.

But enough of that - the point to be made is that improving the room acoustics makes a bigger difference than any amount of 'phooolery. Unfortunately it's one of those things you can't understand unless you have experienced it for yourself...
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 4:37 pm   #765
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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An all up LP12, with all the bells and whistles can easily set you back 10k and then some.

Craig
A fully specced LP12 with Ekos SE arm is around 18,000 IIRC. For comparison, this would buy you a new Technics SL-1000R and 4000 worth of LPs.

I know where my money would go...
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 5:36 pm   #766
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Blimey. Had no idea you could bury 18k into an LP12. Yeesh.

The SL1000R really is a thing of beauty. And you're right, with sufficiently deep pockets that would be my choice too.

Craig

PS for the outer limits of stupid money, but superb engineering, the long obsolete Rockport Sirius took a lot of beating https://www.stereophile.com/turntables/258/index.html
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 11:32 pm   #767
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

18k! Crazy! I hadn't suspected that much. The 1700 I'd heard was the base price I thought at least got you enough of a turntable to add an arm and cartridge and play a record. I was wrong if there's no motor, lid or even a baseplate.

So if it ever suffers wear, I think I'll stump up to get the cartridge in my B&O 4000 re-tipped.

If the B&O ever gives problems, I'll go on the hunt for a fixable TD125

David
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 1:05 pm   #768
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
Currently an LP12 without arm, cartridge, lid, motor, power supply or baseboard is 1770.

Motor and power supply 1450
Base board 140
Lid 150

So the equivalent of the 1280 is now 3510. So 2.7 times more expensive in real terms than 1981.

And that is before you get into the upgrade shenanigans https://www.linn.co.uk/sources/turntables#build

Plus an arm and cartridge

An all up LP12, with all the bells and whistles can easily set you back 10k and then some.

Craig
Is it really valid to compare today's bespoke LP12s with the original Sondek? Apart from anything else Linn has very successfully added considerable 'brand value' to its products. Personally I dislike the idea of paying a large premium for something of much smaller intrinsic worth. For me this is a principle which can be applied to a wide range of products including trainers, corn flakes and toothpaste.

Alan
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 1:27 pm   #769
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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... Personally I dislike the idea of paying a large premium for something of much smaller intrinsic worth ...
I'm currently reading Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (publ 1776). In Book 1, chapter 7, entitled Of the Natural and Market Price of Commodities he defines these two terms - the natural price being what it actually costs a seller to bring a product to market (he includes a reasonable profit in that), and the market price being that set by the balance between supply and demand. He then explains in some detail how a free market will generally bring these two prices together, and in doing so he tells you how to resolve an excess of market price over natural price. As a seller you have to set up in competition with the man who is overcharging and undercut him, thereby raising the supply and bringing the market price down. And as a buyer, which is where you and I come in, if you think something is overpriced then you have to not buy it. This reduction in demand will also bring the market price down. If the market price stays stubbornly where it is then I'm afraid that that means that not enough people agree with you about the worth of the goods .

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 3:37 pm   #770
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Assuming that Adam Smith's 18th century proposition holds true for today's supposedly high end audio equipment I'm quite happy to be part of a minority grouping. If nothing else it benefits the bank balance!

Alan
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 4:17 pm   #771
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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... Personally I dislike the idea of paying a large premium for something of much smaller intrinsic worth ...
I'm currently reading Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (publ 1776). In Book 1, chapter 7, entitled Of the Natural and Market Price of Commodities he defines these two terms - the natural price being what it actually costs a seller to bring a product to market (he includes a reasonable profit in that), and the market price being that set by the balance between supply and demand. He then explains in some detail how a free market will generally bring these two prices together, and in doing so he tells you how to resolve an excess of market price over natural price. As a seller you have to set up in competition with the man who is overcharging and undercut him, thereby raising the supply and bringing the market price down. And as a buyer, which is where you and I come in, if you think something is overpriced then you have to not buy it. This reduction in demand will also bring the market price down. If the market price stays stubbornly where it is then I'm afraid that that means that not enough people agree with you about the worth of the goods .

Cheers,

GJ
It's not that simple as you have to take into account perception of quality as an intrinsic part of the buying process, not just finite quality. Some people 'buy into' that, and others don't. When I was working at Crabtree as publicity officer I provided said services for Crabtree, Marbo, Britmac, Appleby, Volex and Wylex and one other that I can't recall. Some products, eg Crabtree and Wylex were sold as 'premium products' and received all the bells and whistles that went with it including expensive advertising, PR, glossy catalogues and brochures, product launches with entertainment for customers, invites to customers for football matches, brand marked novelty 'desk gifts' and so on. On the other hand, Volex was seen pretty much as a commodity product that was sold cheaply with lower margins through the 'sheds' and received no promotion, it sold on its low price. So demonstrably, prices do not always migrate or unite via a supply and demand process, there's other factors in place that oppose that. A high price will often entice people to buy something, never mind put them off. There are countless examples of this, as is evident on this audiophoolery thread. I've not read his book but from what you say I suspect there's probably a tad of 'politics' in what Adam Smith is saying, and a bit less marketing knowledge. Just like the subject of chance and odds, people often think that marketing is a relatively simple subject and will often wax freely and seemingly knowledgeably about it, applying 'logic' when in truth it is far more complex than mere logic.
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 8:50 pm   #772
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

StevenH, not just a perception when you compare Wylex and Volex. When I moved into my first new house (1966, April 1st!) all the sockets were Volex. Somehow I found a spare (maybe replaced cooker stand-in or something). It was a good job, because during the 5 years I was there, I changed it many times with different sockets as the brass contacts lost connection. It was always ready, carefully re-tensioned for the next failure. A Wylex would not have done that!
GJ, if you listened to tonight's 6:30pm comedy on R4, you would have had an amusing intro to A.S's ideas and story.
Next week, Marx.
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 10:38 pm   #773
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Quote:
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... If the market price stays stubbornly where it is then I'm afraid that that means that not enough people agree with you about the worth of the goods .
It's not that simple as you have to take into account perception of quality as an intrinsic part of the buying process, not just finite quality ... in truth it is far more complex than mere logic.
Actually it is that simple. My last sentence describes what happens when there is a heightened perception of quality. People think those goods are worth more, and so they will be prepared to pay more for them and the market price will stay high.

In general Adam Smith is addressing what we'd expect to happen when markets reach a steady state. He gives lots of examples of circumstances when market price can sit above natural price. He also says that those circumstances can persist for surprisingly long times, especially if protected by law. But in a free market, where people act rationally, they will eventually fade away.

To be fair on Smith, he was inventing (or was it discovering, or was it just codifying ?) economics for almost the first time. His axiom of rational actions on the part of the market participants has not, since, gone unchallenged (as mentioned in passing here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoclassical_economics).

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 11:18 pm   #774
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I fear that some may be missing the wood for the trees in this interesting discourse.
Ok my username gives the game away in that as well as my interest in radio, which was my initial introduction to the hobby as a curious 11 year old with a ****** good Physics teacher, I have and have always held a keen interest in good quality music reproduction right from the days when our neighbour and good friend of my father had a garrard 401/SME3009/V15/leak valve pre-power/home built corner speakers and it was amazing to the then 12 year old me. We subsequently had a modest by todays standards MP60/G850 with rogers ravensbrook amp and Wharfedale denton speakers, later supplemented with an Armstrong 524 FM tuner. It sounded amazing after the old dansette junior! And I imagine would still sound good today. The Amp and speakers are still in the family and one day I will find a good MP60 and recreate that first experience.
Anyway, good as it was and it was very good, father and i clubbed together, I was working by then, and we bought a Pioneer PL12D which was wowing the press at the time and that too was a revelation in reproduction. The PL12D still works although I can hear it rumbling like an empty belly i suspect the motor mountings are perished so hopefully an easy fix as 88 year old Dad still loves it.
Anyway, the point is this, since when were those who desire good quality reproduction some sort of source of fun and entertainment for otherwise sane individuals?
Sure there's a whole well of snake lubricant and more to be tapped, but to tar with the same brush all audio enthusiasts and mere music lovers who only want to experience a pleasurable auditory entertainment that connects them to their favourite pieces is surely more than a bit unfair?
We can all chuckle at the carved wooden chopstick rests that decouple your speaker wires from floor sourced vibrations, these are obvious p*sstakes and other somewhat wacky ideas. My own personal giggle was reading a review that suggested a set of 4 inch wire links to replace the wee bits of bent brass joining the HF and LF inputs of biwireable speakers would somehow lift their performance rather than just a couple of bits of the no doubt bog ordinary multistrand off a roll wire that was inside the speakers.
But there are out there still a fair few manufacturers and designers of honest equipment of integrity, the fact that a lot of it seems expensive is I think a symptom of a modern society that seems to appreciate the price of everything and the value of nothing, a saying much loved by my mother of all people although in a different perspective to this.
Good gear is well made, will last longer, and ethical manufacturers will as far as they are able in view of their own supply chains, give long term back up and servicing even to the point of equipment long out of production. A couple of British (at least in name for one of them) manufacturers spring to mind as i write this. Their gear is and never was "bargain basement" but as second hand buys they hold a good value and with reason.
I enjoy my "affliction", I take great pleasure from the restoration of a classic, or even just old, piece of audio reproduction equipment and am impressed with the restorations I have seen here by people who are concerned with preservation, power to them. I have for my sins dabbled with DIY audio and along the way learned much about what works and what doesn't, even to the point of experimenting within my budget with some of the more arguable, possibly wacky, theories. But how does one learn if not by experience and trying?
I confess now, I recently achieved a lifetimes aspiration, that of the purchase of a pair of Quad electrostatic speakers model 989, something I have hankered after since seeing and hearing my Physics teachers pair of ESL57. he was no mean performer on the French Horn so knew a thing or two about music as well as amateur radio and radio astronomy. These things cost me the sort of money that would make some here blanch, even though they were less than a quarter of the price when new. Partnered with a tatty but perfectly functioning 405-2 they did not disappoint. Maybe the psychology of spending serious (for me) money has coloured my judgement. Who knows, but i am happy and it was a lot less than a replacement motorcycle for my much loved Triumph Sprint, the sale of which financed these purchases.
But please gentlemen, know the difference between Audiophile (whatever one of those is) and Audiophool. And Audio Enthusiast and/or music lover, because from here the lines seem to be getting blurred.

Andy.

Last edited by bikerhifinut; 24th Apr 2019 at 11:34 pm. Reason: a bit of bad grammar and I will have missed loads more.
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Old 24th Apr 2019, 11:55 pm   #775
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

What Andy just said!!

Joe <---- another hifinut
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 4:28 am   #776
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

An interesting question is "What is phoolishness?"

I suppose we all have different views. It's one of those things like "I can't define what art is, but I can recognise it when I see it"

David
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 6:55 am   #777
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Most standard dictionaries seem to be in accord regarding the definition of an audiophile. For example:

A person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction.

On the other hand the term audiophool has not as yet been elevated to dictionary status which is partly why forum members have such fun discussing possible definitions along with related matters. In this spirit I rather like the following description of a condition called Audiophilia Nervosa which is drawn from the humour section of the on-line Urban Dictionary:

Audiophilia nervosa describes the anxiety resulting from the never-ending quest to obtain the ultimate performance from one's stereo system by means of employing state-of-the-art components, cables, and the use of certain "tweaks".

Although the goal is supposedly to achieve maximum appreciation of the music, those afflicted with this condition are merely obsessed with their electronics.

Todd had spent well over $100,000 in speakers,monoblock amplifiers, fiber optic cables, Shakti stones, pre-amolifiers, and other equipment and tweaks. And yet he still wasn't convinced that Diana Krall's voice sounded "silky" enough.

Todd was in deep denial concerning his audiophilia nervosa, and his wife was on the verge of calling a divorce lawyer.


Apologies if this quote has been mentioned before.

Alan
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 9:46 am   #778
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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An interesting question is "What is phoolishness?"

I suppose we all have different views. It's one of those things like "I can't define what art is, but I can recognise it when I see it"

David
I'll tell you what it is for me, to give an example.
It's when someone, quite often with even less practical electronics experience than even me, a self confessed utter amateur, decides to chuck exotic or supposedly "better" capacitors, (it's usually capacitors I find) more or less at random at an at best average performing design that has no chance of really getting any better as an unavoidable function of its basic design either in circuit topology or wiring layout, or frequently both, in the belief that it will somehow "transform" the performance of the item.
I had a bit of an animated exchange on another hi fi related forum over this sort of thing. A few seemed to be on my side of the fence but a couple just could not seem to understand that fiddling with a bit of wire etc does not necessarily improve matters. I believe my comment was along the lines of "It doesn't matter how much you varnish a t*rd, all you'll get is a shiny t*rd."
So it is possible to be an Audiophile, music lover, and still have a sensible amount of scepticism on certain aspects. I try to keep an open mind, and I have tried using different wires etc to see what I personally could hear, but obviously not to the extent of silly money stuff, most of which on visual examination looks very ordinary in a fancy sleeve.
There are, however I believe, some things that are unavoidably expensive but worth the money. The Quad Electrostatic Loudspeaker is one, it's been honed and developed over the last 60 years but fundamentally it's the same technology and I just love the way they lay the music bare. It's a pity they are so large and need space to work in but that's how it is with them. Another for me is the Quad 405, in particular the later 405-2 which I think is a brilliant design that even now is difficult to better. And well constructed and serviceable should it need work. There are a lot of other items from other makers too both from the past and some in current production. The hard part is identifying it.
I don't subscribe to the belief that certain combinations of equipment are necessary in order to get themost from a particular musical genre, if its good then it should be able to handle and reproduce anything thats chucked at it.
Another thing that needs to be borne in mind is that everyones perception will differ and given that a good well balanced system should sound acceptably pleasant to everyone, some will inevitably prefer a slightly different emphasis to the sound they hear. I also often think my stereo sounds better on some days than others, my personal thinking is that its probably got as much to do with my state of mind at the time as any other possible factor, especially given that music is meant to be an emotional experience and perhaps there are times when I am more receptive to that stimulus?

Andy.
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 9:49 am   #779
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Most standard dictionaries seem to be in accord regarding the definition of an audiophile. For example:

A person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction.

On the other hand the term audiophool has not as yet been elevated to dictionary status which is partly why forum members have such fun discussing possible definitions along with related matters. In this spirit I rather like the following description of a condition called Audiophilia Nervosa which is drawn from the humour section of the on-line Urban Dictionary:

Audiophilia nervosa describes the anxiety resulting from the never-ending quest to obtain the ultimate performance from one's stereo system by means of employing state-of-the-art components, cables, and the use of certain "tweaks".

Although the goal is supposedly to achieve maximum appreciation of the music, those afflicted with this condition are merely obsessed with their electronics.

Todd had spent well over $100,000 in speakers,monoblock amplifiers, fiber optic cables, Shakti stones, pre-amolifiers, and other equipment and tweaks. And yet he still wasn't convinced that Diana Krall's voice sounded "silky" enough.

Todd was in deep denial concerning his audiophilia nervosa, and his wife was on the verge of calling a divorce lawyer.


Apologies if this quote has been mentioned before.

Alan
At that point the sufferer should be prescribed a trip to his local music store and buy some music, and then use a bit of the brass to buy a decent bottle of wine/beer/single malt scotch or according to taste some nice coffee or tea to savour whilst simply enjoying his music or as sometimes enjoy, a poetry recitation or audio play.

A.
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 10:01 am   #780
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

I think the dictionaries are wrong. I distinguish between an audiophile (someone who likes to listen to audio equipment, and in most cases look at it too) and a hi-fi enthusiast (someone who likes to listen to music reproduced reasonably accurately). The former will keep changing his equipment and in many cases is easy prey for the snake oil merchants. The latter will only do an occasional upgrade, perhaps when his income or the state of the art in technology make this possible.

Audiophiles like singe-ended amps with big valves and no feedback; they will display them. Hi-fi enthusiasts prefer push-pull amps with feedback, and are not too bothered what the active device is; they will hide them in a corner.
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