One of the topics I get embroiled in often is the so-called dichotomy between budget and high-end gear. It seems that both camps are really looking for the same thing, quality music making. There are pieces out there that can make for a very enticing system for under several thousand dollars, speakers like Vandersteen 1's, electronics by Line Magnetic and Sugden and Arcam, sources by Consonance, Auralic, etc, and you can find those here at the Haven. And then there's the higher priced gear by the likes of Brinkmann, Ayre, DeVore, VTL, the list goes on, also on demo here. My point is that there is good gear out there, and a lot of not so, or gear that has some decent quality to it yet doesn't offer the best of its price point or class. Same goes on in every other hobby- cooking, cars, etc. Consumer Reports wouldn't exist if there weren't people out there looking for certain standards at various price points. The argument that comes in most is from the more budget minded of you out there, who often judge the higher priced goods with disdain, looking down your nose at it, if you will. I've heard you, a scoff here, a smug comment there. Yet one has to realize that on the whole, higher priced goods are aiming to be reference gear, and a reference of anything- food, booze, on down the line, means more money. Obviously not everything with a big price tag is good. Far from it. I also realize that not everyone can or would want to own a Brinkmann or WTL Royale 400 turntable, or the newest Devore Gibbon speaker (which I am truly in love with, btw). Yet they're there, and here, to show you what to look for in building a system, or what to aspire to if you are one of those who would like to achieve better sound.
I remember as a kid my dad would have decent cars, like Fords. Then when we got a big Pontiac we thought we were really living. Yet there was always someone in his buddy network who would show up with the latest sports car, something really fancy, and very sexy. And my dad and I would slide in one so he could drive it around the block, and you were transported to this other world, like you were 007 or something, and it was amazing. That's how reference audio gear should leave you feeling. It's not about how much it costs. It's about where it takes you to. It's about feeling.
I made a rather snarky comment in an earlier post about how my turntables here sound better than most of yours. And I got a couple of interesting emails over that. Yet again, I've done my homework. I've gone out and listened. I've chosen wisely for here at the Haven. I can tell some of you haven't, or haven't been allowed the chance to, given what our local and regional market has been. That's why I keep saying to come see me for a listen. Whether you're on a very tight budget, looking for reference pieces, or simply somewhere in the middle, the Haven has chosen with great care so you can hear what the hifi industry has to offer, at all price points.
Come have a listen, you'll be glad you did. After all, you could do worse!