Law Of Diminishing Returns?

I'm curious about what you enthusiasts think of the product or price that eclipses your definition of "value".  

As an example I have a rich buddy that just spent 100K upgrading his (former) Pass 600s / Bryston / B&W Signature 800s / JL Fathom 8 speaker  system. I have a discerning ear and cannot hear the difference between the old system and his new S5M Perlistons (4) , Anthem AVN90, ,ATI amp AT6005 (4) and four subs.

This got me to thinking- 80% more money for maybe 20% more sound quality? 

Where is the sweet spot for the discerning ear and the affluent but not Billionaire (think Doctor/Lawyer/Indian Chief) budget?  Can you get 80% HiFi sound for 20K or do you need to spend 100K to get that HiFi sound?

-Asking for a friend :)

128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xyesiam_a_pirate

The expectations curve keeps rising. Where does your friend go after spending $100K, and the old restlessness returns? $500K for that next 20% of satisfaction?

Perhaps climbing the cost/benefit ladder rung by rung would be wiser.



Ok, on Wagyu beef. I was somewhat skeptical on how much better it could be… then I spent a lot of time in Japan… wow… only the Japanese could create something so over the top and incredibly delicious. Makes our best steaks tastes like “Sizzler steaks”.


Makes me think I should put together a Shinto system somewhere.

Agree with most above.

I built what I call a mid-fi room with a $15,000 budget (and was able to buybthriugh a local dealer at about 60% of internet retail which I think is normal).

Since that point my top end budget has changed. But I really have little interest in upgrading. It’s a great room for me. Instead I have scratched the upgradis itch by building two new setup in my office and in my formal living room against a WAF.

This is an industry of light assembly, tried and true engineering, and heavy markting.


As you can see there are many "opinions" related to your question.  Personally I think the best advise is never pay retail for something you can buy used.  It is true that the latest and greatest is hard to find used but that may not be an issue on certain components as you may not need the latest and greatest.  I have a combination of new and used for instance my Thorens TD-124 was built in 1961 and restored this year, I will never sell it.  My speakers are Klipsch Cornwall IV's that I purchased new and absolutely love (no listening fatigue ever) there are those on this forum who will speak critically of them but they are the perfect speakers "for me".  From someone who has always had issues finding balance, I simply suggest that you enjoy your journey and the love of music.

In the '70s I started with a Kenwood integrated (which I still have) and Large Advents.  In the '90s I moved up to a big Adcom amp and Proac 2.5s.  In the '10s it was McIntosh and used Avalon Eidolons.  And now I have a dedicated room with Esoteric electronics and Audio Physic Avanteras.  Most of these upgrades have made me happy.  And I can't wait for Axpona to begin exploring what my next moves will be.  I guess I'm just a dumb happy guy.