Does more money buy you better performance with home audio gear?

Which home audio product does price have the biggest influence of quality?

  • Amplifiers

    Votes: 2 4.9%
  • Cables and Interconnects

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Preamp/Processors and Receivers

    Votes: 4 9.8%
  • Loudspeakers and Subwoofers

    Votes: 33 80.5%
  • Source (ie. Blu-ray, CD Player, Turntable, etc

    Votes: 2 4.9%

  • Total voters
    41
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
People often think "you get what you pay" for is an absolute.

In consumer audio there is often more fluff than substance in terms of marketing claims. So, does this old adage still hold true when dealing with home theater equipment? In order to answer this we have broken the argument into categories (ie. cables, speakers, receivers, amplifiers and source components).



Read: Does Price Determine Quality in Home Theater Equipment?

Be sure to vote in our poll on which home audio products you think price matters most.

Share your thoughts below. WE want to hear from you!
 
Last edited:
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Slumlord
"Which home audio product does price have the biggest influence of quality?"
Quality of what? Quality of resulting sound ? or Quality of it self (aka product)

Answer - it depends.

You can buy high quality speaker for not too much money and you can spend fortune on speakers alone, without any guarantees of better quality or sound.

On other hand - most recent budget receivers are inherently crap, as this site has been saying all along - so spending a bit extra will pretty guarantee better product quality, but will it have noticeable improvement on sound reproduction - again it depends :)
 
P

Paul Lane

Audioholic Intern
Yes and no... I have been very happy with German designed/built in China equip.
Tube audio for under $1000.. that's cheap after looking at the McIntosh line..
 
S

Sachb

Full Audioholic
The highest impact on Money will obviousy be Loudspeakers and the least should be Cables for sure.

Now i have a feeling your source has a impact too on your output (that is sound) . I just recently replaced my old Samsung Blu ray with a Sony Blu ray .

There was big difference in sound , Samsung BLU ray was Bright in sound.
Sony tends to be more neutral and has a punchy bass to it.

Afcourse u cannot compare an Old blu ray with the new one but when it comes to sound , Sony always had an edge to it.

Samsung doesn't sound crap but it lacked refinement which the sony has.
 
S

Sachb

Full Audioholic
One more thing, i have the AVR X500 which is the entry line of Denon and also the cheapest, doesn't have the Room correction tool such Audessy , so it cannot be caibrated properly so obviously this thing sound a bit lacking and there is more to be desired. As you step up the price and model you can eq and better amplification quality.
 
B

BERNARD JUAN

Audiophyte
I feel its your amp/AV receiver that makes all the difference. The decoding done by the receiver is of prime importance and next comes the speakers and sub woofer. If your AV receiver is sub-standard then even if you have bose speakers they would be of no use as the source is bad
 
S

Sachb

Full Audioholic
I feel its your amp/AV receiver that makes all the difference. The decoding done by the receiver is of prime importance and next comes the speakers and sub woofer. If your AV receiver is sub-standard then even if you have bose speakers they would be of no use as the source is bad
Your partly correct, but the major impact on sound is Speaker, and not the amp/reciever. You may hear a difference but by a small margin.

Between Denon and Marantz , you may feel Marantz being more musical and accurate tonal production compared to denon.

And i saw somewhere that a person in his review mentioning denon having a dipped mids and so it has a V shaped sound (signature).
 
F

fmw

Audioholic Ninja
Sometimes and sometimes not. The correct answer in your list is speakers and subs. The rest is trivial by comparison.
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
Tough one. The nicest KEF Reference, B&W 800 Diamond or ____ speakers won't sound like much if you're feeding them with a boom box. Between source signal and loudspeakers it seems always a chicken & egg thing.
 
lsiberian

lsiberian

Audioholic Overlord
Tough one. The nicest KEF Reference, B&W 800 Diamond or ____ speakers won't sound like much if you're feeding them with a boom box. Between source signal and loudspeakers it seems always a chicken & egg thing.
I bet they'd actually sound fine assuming the boom box was operating correctly. Of course you won't have the full head room.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Your partly correct, but the major impact on sound is Speaker, and not the amp/reciever. You may hear a difference but by a small margin.

Between Denon and Marantz , you may feel Marantz being more musical and accurate tonal production compared to denon.

And i saw somewhere that a person in his review mentioning denon having a dipped mids and so it has a V shaped sound (signature).
That an old stereotype. Denon makes Marantz receivers and dollar for dollar the Denon cuter part is the higher end platform for each model. Ie a marantz SR7010 is about equivalent to a Denon 5200, not the 7200 flagship.
 
M

Mark of Cenla

Full Audioholic
I voted for speakers because it is not hard to buy a decent source or amp for little money. There are very good deals on speakers too though. Peace and goodwill.
 
A

AlainB

Audiophyte
I totally agree with the 3 important rules. Room treatment makes as much difference as speakers. I added some sound panels (about 25% coverage) to my home theater room. I never had a sound so clean not only for music but mostly movies where the dialog is now intelligible at all volume.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Can we vote for three things? The reason I ask is that turntables definately falls under the more money is better performance but I would not lump it in with BluRay players were the laws of diminishing return come much faster. My vote would subwoofer, speaker, and turntable. Those who are strictly HT most likely vote sub and speakers.
 
B

bonejob

Audioholic Intern
This question is too slippery to answer for certain. What does one mean, exactly, by "better"? What aspects of "performance" are most important? And to whom? Under what conditions?

In my opinion, there is always a price "sweet spot," below which involves more or less significant performance compromises and above which is past a point of diminishing returns.

I think speakers are important but not necessarily paramount. In my experience just about any decent speaker made by any of a plethora of reputable makers these days, as well as many speakers one might classify as "vintage classics," can almost always be made to sound better with an upgrade in either core electronics or source components. Whereas, upgrading speakers will often make a system sound WORSE, by exposing in greater relief the shortcomings in a mediocre amp/receiver, a crappy cd or record player.
 
K

kevon27

Annoying Poster
Another myth.. Home audio amplifiers are 'BETTER' pro audio amplifiers.. Crown's Xls, Macro-tech, I-tech amps kicks butt.
 
F

fmw

Audioholic Ninja
Yes but what we want them to do is to amplify alternating current, not kick butts.
 
H

Hobbit

Senior Audioholic
People often think "you get what you pay" for is an absolute.
Of course this adage holds true. However, as Bonejob points out, there's always a sweet spot that has the best price to performance ratio. Bellow that you lose valuable features (perhaps even reliability) and above that you're buying boutique. It doesn't matter if it's HT equipment, a computer, bike components, or a guitar.

Furthermore, this sweet spot varies for all of us depending on our needs. I'm not even sure it's worth pointing out that buying anything within the sweet spot and pairing it with something from the bottom end is ever a worthwhile endeavor.
 

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