at the bleeding edge

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I'm happy for my finances to say that, even if I could easily afford any of those amps, there isn't one of them that appeals to me. That's no commentary on anybody who they appeal to, that's just not my type of audio.

I think the most expensive amp I've heard, that I remember taking note of the price, was a Burmester 909 at around $75,000. It left me with a big shrug. It wasn't in any way noticeably better than many amps I've owned except for its ability to drive the types of complicated giant speakers I don't like.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I'm happy for my finances to say that, even if I could easily afford any of those amps, there isn't one of them that appeals to me. That's no commentary on anybody who they appeal to, that's just not my type of audio.

I think the most expensive amp I've heard, that I remember taking note of the price, was a Burmester 909 at around $75,000. It left me with a big shrug. It wasn't in any way noticeably better than many amps I've owned except for its ability to drive the types of complicated giant speakers I don't like.
In all honesty I understand the urge to build these amps more readily than to own one.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
The only ones I wouldn’t kick out of bed for their looks are those big Dynaudio towers.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
The Rike tube monos look nice too. But at around half a million I’d rather have a lake house.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
The Rike tube monos look nice too. But at around half a million I’d rather have a lake house.
If you are dropping half a million into amps, you'd already have the lake house. Plus the mountain lodge. The suburban mansion. The city apartment. Etc.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
If you are dropping half a million into amps, you'd already have the lake house. Plus the mountain lodge. The suburban mansion. The city apartment. Etc.
You’d have to get pretty far down my list before I got to half-million-dollar amps, and past half million dollar turntables first. Cars, boats, strippers, 250 pure bred Scottish terriers,,there’s a long line ahead of them. Not that I just like cheap things but I really don’t like showy things. Give me a half million dollar little tube integrated with a bauhaus aesthetic and we’ll talk.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
If you are dropping half a million into amps, you'd already have the lake house. Plus the mountain lodge. The suburban mansion. The city apartment. Etc.
You’d have to get pretty far down my list before I got to half-million/dollar amps, and past half million dollar turntables first. Cars, boats, strippers, 250 pure bred Scottish terriers,,there’s a long line ahead of them. Again, if somebody wants them knock themselves out. It goes back into the economy and keeps at least a few people employed. I
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
Sooooo, you're saying the LEAST EXPENSIVE of these start at a just under $150,000. Whew! I just can't get my head around this kind of audio.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Sooooo, you're saying the LEAST EXPENSIVE of these start at a just under $150,000. Whew! I just can't get my head around this kind of audio.
It's kinda like the difference between the average Havenite, and the average music listener who uses the ear buds that came with their phones. They also can't figure out why we would spend the time, effort and money that we do, on achieving the same goal.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
If what I've seen in the industry is anything to go by they're not actually after the same goal for the same reasons we are. Which isn't meant as an insult, but rather an observation. Yeah they're music fans and into the idea of audio gear on some level, but with gear like this it's as much about how much they spend as it is about what it actually sounds like. This gear is conspicuous consumption. Look at it. It's meant to yell that money has been spent. It appears in articles listing the most expensive amps. The price is a feature. That "the best" has been achieved in some manner is part of the appeal. Also, decisions at this level are often arrived at by a hired buyer/dealer instead of the person who is the actual end-user/listener. They pay somebody to outfit their listening room with the best of the best. I'm not saying that applies to all the buyers of this stuff but to say that the price isn't as much of a feature as the sound is to not understand this type of market at all. This stuff is the Veblen goods that other Veblen goods aspire to be.

And I'm not saying that any of it isn't worth whatever it costs to somebody. You get one very talented designer to spend a year designing a purposefully over the top amp that sells in the tens, and I could imagine the price very quickly getting up into six figures if the designer wants to make a living out of making tens of amps. I'm also not saying that any of this sounds better than, say, a Jeff Rowland amp. Which isn't cheap, either... but they sell in higher numbers that offset the price of very low scale, and aren't made specifically to be outrageous as part of their design.
 

John Frum

Secret Society Member
I’m no fan of bling for bling’s sake, but fortunately, these manufacturers don’t have to kowtow to my tastes. There’s some serious engineering and joy that went into the design of most of those amps, and I’m glad this stuff exists.

Gives me something to look for at the thrift store.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
One aspect to these "price no object" (ok, price is probably really part of the object, but anyway) exercises often comes in the form of the trickle-down of aspects of the technology involved. I actually rather enjoy seeing the designers exercising their muscles and pushing the limits.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
A few of these are lacking context for their scale. This is one of the amps on that list, weighing around 1000lbs and $650,000. I can really go to town imagining how I'd spend a billion dollars ...but for the life of me I don't get the appeal here and i LOVE audio gear. The guy in the photo doesn't seem convinced, either.

Pivetta-Opera-One-4.jpg
 

John Frum

Secret Society Member
A few of these are lacking context for their scale. This is one of the amps on that list, weighing around 1000lbs and $650,000. I can really go to town imagining how I'd spend a billion dollars ...but for the life of me I don't get the appeal here and i LOVE audio gear. The guy in the photo doesn't seem convinced, either.

View attachment 37019

If you think the cost of entry is rough, wait until you price out disposal of the spent fuel rods.
 
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