Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

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Berty bass
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Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

Unread post by Berty bass » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:58 pm

I admit it, for years my perception of 'good' hi fi equipment has been based on a) reviews; b) cost (you get what you pay for as they say...don't you?!) and, c) (more latterly), users comments on forums. However, having joined the NVA fold fairly recently, encouraged mostly by the Doc's clear, unambiguous design philosophy and confidence inspiring adherence to the principles of simplicity, I have come to believe that value and and excellence do not go hand-in-hand in HI-Fi terms (don't knock me, I got there in the end). So, my question is - is there actually any equipment or manufacturer (NVA aside; we're all probably reading this because we already 'buy in' to aspects of the Doc's philosophy already) which can be said to represent 'value for money' in terms of cost vs performance?

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Classicrock
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Re: Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

Unread post by Classicrock » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:20 pm

Cambridge Audio ( at least some of their products and not necessarily the cheapest). Oppo Digital Universal players (unfortunately ceased production - perhaps the parent company thought they sold too cheap to make enough profit). Rega up to a point (considering dealer sales and UK production). Based on observation and prices (not heard) some other direct sell UK operations such as Kralk Audio (Speakers), Angle Audio (phono stage), Temple Audio (If you can live with Class T amps). Some Chinese imports - though a lottery knowing which are really good and don't fail on 240v. Schiit Audio USA based on price and reputation (direct sell). Also would include long established TT manufactures Michell and Notts Analogue - not budget but a lot of bang for your buck at this level of engineering. Audiomods pickup arm.

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Re: Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

Unread post by _D_S_J_R_ » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:36 pm

Schiit I'd be careful of. Too many signs of their cheaper stuff being cobbled together (too many compromises?) judging by reviews and subjective comments out there. Bring 'em over here and prices rise a bit... can't add much to classic's post above, so shan't muddy any further.

Berty bass
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Re: Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

Unread post by Berty bass » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:35 pm

I suppose, by extension, I'm also asking which companies have integrity. I've always had a soft spot for Rega myself on that basis - no glossy advertising, just seem to let the products do the talking for them.

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slinger
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Re: Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

Unread post by slinger » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:40 pm

SMSL, the Chinese manufacturer, put its prices up towards the end of 2018 but they still give good vfm in my opinion. Their Q5 Dac/Amp still outperforms its price. At the old price it was pretty much unbeatable, again, only in my opinion, obviously.
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savvypaul
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Re: Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

Unread post by savvypaul » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:20 pm

As a general rule, true value is away from the mainstream unless buying secondhand, imo.

A few exceptions, buying new, from my experience...

Denon 103 cartridge - not quite the world beater that some would suggest but does some bloody marvellous things for relatively little money.

Grado sr225e - I mention that model because it's the one I have, but I hear much the same enthusiasm about their other budget models.

The £5 chinese dac & £40 power supply

The SMSL Q5 dac / amp is crude but fun - mine got 'confiscated' by my daughter when she started Uni.

NVA - obvs!

There are potential treasures among vintage items but prices fluctuate wildly.

Haven't heard any Rega gear in a long time but did like the ELA Mk1s that I had for several years.
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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:46 pm

In the good old days cost plus was the rule, then the greedy bastards and slurpers arrived, starting with the control the flat earth Linn / Naim thing imposed on the hobby, and it has just got much worse since. Now it is what they can get away with.

Daniel Quinn
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Re: Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

Unread post by Daniel Quinn » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:39 pm

As long as there is transparency companies can charge what they like.

If after full disclosure you want to buy it, then that's up to you.

What we shouldn't have is price being subjected to so much irrelevant ephemera in an attempt to justify it.

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CN211276
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Re: Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

Unread post by CN211276 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:49 pm

I think the Audioquest Dragonfly DACs are good value, taking into account their versatility. Go along with Savvy on the Grado headphones which I also own and of course NVA.
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Sonore microRendu/McRU PS, AQ J-bug, Wirewold Ultraviolet, Chord Mscaler/Qutest, Geitnote Apogee, NVA BMU, P90SA, A80sMk2, Phono 1, SSP Mk 2, TSCS, TIS mk2, Cube 1s, Atacama stands, Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, Grado SR 325e, headphones.

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montechristo358
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Re: Value for money Hi Fi - does it exist

Unread post by montechristo358 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:33 pm

On the same note as the Dragonfly, Cyrus Soundkey, £99 is a bargain for the difference it males to audio quality on my phone, even makes the BOSE Noise Cancellers sound half decent.

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