• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Why expensive integrated amplifiers better than Topping...?

Krounder

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2022
Messages
5
Likes
0
So... as you know Topping la90 came out and in my brain born new question why expensive amplifiers are expensive? For what people are paying so much???Why should I buy mark levinson digital amp for 200000 czk instead of topping combo for about 30000 czk?
 

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
3,555
Likes
4,713
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
You may need extra inputs, far more power, dealers want their 40 - 50% margin and of course, VERY expensive casework! Nothing like the cachet of a high price tag too for those with too much money ;)
 

sjeesjie

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
238
Likes
133
Because they look pretty, have expensive parts and they’re probably more robust.
 

Loathecliff

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
377
Likes
490
Location
Iberia & UK
Nothing like the cachet of a high price tag too for those with too much money ;)
May I shove "little knowledge or taste" into there too, please?
......
 

Vacceo

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Messages
2,797
Likes
2,959
The interesting part here is performance. Raw performance seems to be relatively cheap to archive. I understand paying extra for a quality finish, better looking materials, industrial design and features. What does not make much sense is why all those elements cannot be combined with top performance (I´m looking at you, McIntosh).
 
D

Deleted member 46664

Guest
It's an interesting loop ... the seller charges what he can get, the buyer pays what he must... prices go up and very little of it has anything to do with the quality or utility of the product.

For my friends and clients I define three price points...

First is the Average Price ... derived by looking across multiple similar products and seeing where that mid point pricing is.
Second is the Crap Line ... that stupid low price where you know they aren't producing a quality product.
Finally the Bling Line ... that ludicrously high price where you are paying for the name, the case or the packaging.

If you eliminate the Crap and the Bling from your purchases you are almost always left with a group of Average priced products that are well enough made and actually perform as advertised. From there you can narrow it down even more by eliminating products that don't have the features you need. ... and at that point you can be reasonably sure you're making a good purchase.

In audio there is the extra step of a Listening Session ... but with the brick and mortar stores all closing up on us that final step usually happens post-purchase these days... so make sure what you buy has a return window, just in case.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
D

Deleted member 46664

Guest
Because they look pretty, have expensive parts and they’re probably more robust.

Don't be fooled by the "expensive parts" line. In electronics there are very few "audio specific" parts and no "audiophile specific" parts.

I used to get a kick out of a friend of mine who insisted that everything had to be "audiophile quality"... the salesmaker would then go into the warehouse and pick his parts from the same boxes as any other customer, then jack up the price and my friend payed it quite happily. Needless to say, he wasn't amused when he finally realized that the $10.00 fuse he just bought would sell to anyone else for $1.50 or so.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

muslhead

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
1,588
Likes
1,814
It's an interesting loop ... the seller charges what he can get, the buyer pays what he must... prices go up and very little of it has anything to do with the quality or utility of the product.

For my friends and clients I define three price points...

First is the Average Price ... derived by looking across multiple similar products and seeing where that mid point pricing is.
Second is the Crap Line ... that stupid low price where you know they aren't producing a quality product.
Finally the Bling Line ... that ludicrously high price where you are paying for the name, the case or the packaging.

If you eliminate the Crap and the Bling from your purchases you are almost always left with a group of Average priced products that are well enough made and actually perform as advertised. From there you can narrow it down even more by eliminating products that don't have the features you need. ... and at that point you can be reasonably sure you're making a good purchase.

In audio there is the extra step of a Listening Session ... but with the brick and mortar stores all closing up on us that final step usually happens post-purchase these days... so make sure what you buy has a return window, just in case.
Great response but, unfortunately, these cogent remarks are falling for the most part on the deaf. This forum is about objective science, not real life marketing and business.
 

DJ_Ohms

New Member
Joined
May 6, 2022
Messages
2
Likes
0
Needless to say, he wasn't amused when he finally realized that the $10.00 fuse he just bought would sell to anyone else for $1.50 or so.
So much truth in that...

There are some very fast fuses required for some dedicated equipment..
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 46664

Guest
Great response but, unfortunately, these cogent remarks are falling for the most part on the deaf. This forum is about objective science, not real life marketing and business.
The two should not be mutually exclusive...
What's the point of all the science if they price themselves off the market?
What's the point of building to a price if the science has to suffer?

Moreover ... isn't this forum about reviewing consumer products to help people make buying decisions?
 

muslhead

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
1,588
Likes
1,814
The two should not be mutually exclusive...
What's the point of all the science if they price themselves off the market?
What's the point of building to a price if the science has to suffer?

Moreover ... isn't this forum about reviewing consumer products to help people make buying decisions?
I agree 100%, they should not be exclusive. I am just stating the obvious that intellengence and expertise in objective audio science sometimes do not intesect with integllegence and expertise in objective marketing and business. This forum proves this point every. single. day
 

Ml2316

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2022
Messages
49
Likes
19
easy. because they last more than a month
If a product has serious reliability issues, that will usually manifest in amazon reviews as a 1-star rating proportion of greater than 6%. however, if the product is dying after like 2 years that doesn't seem to show up in amazon ratings. I've only seen reviews that refer to something dying up to a year later.
 
D

Deleted member 46664

Guest
I agree 100%, they should not be exclusive. I am just stating the obvious that intellengence and expertise in objective audio science sometimes do not intesect with integllegence and expertise in objective marketing and business. This forum proves this point every. single. day

Trust me ... that lead to considerable frustration when I first joined. I thought I would find an area where people were looking at products and examining them to death. Instead I found a bunch of people playing at science who were most often so detached from consumer reality that I actively questioned how their posts were allowed. Needless to say ... there was a lot of WTF going on at my place over this.

If you ask me even now, after a fair bit of backroom discussion, these forums are largely off course. Amir is reviewing consumer goods using a highly relevant testing scenario then everyone jumps in banging their favourite gongs. One conversation, in particular exemplifies this perfectly ... Someone mentioned the knuckle rap test for speakers... I suggested there was also value in simply pressing your hand against the cabinets as the speaker was playing to see how much it vibrated. The result was a major pissing contest with a guy bent on proving that vibrations don't matter, that got me put in the penalty box for a week... Yet, it has long been my experience that if you feel vibrations on the larger panels of a speaker it is likely to colour the sound when you get them home.

I still have questions about the goal of all this... but, FWIW, I'm here to help people decide which products make sense and which to avoid.
 

sq225917

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
1,392
Likes
1,665
There are audiophile parts, most definitely so, low noise jfets, opamps like the opa1611 and variants, many dac chips have audio only uses. Most everything else is designed for other markets.
 
D

Deleted member 46664

Guest
There are audiophile parts, most definitely so, low noise jfets, opamps like the opa1611 and variants, many dac chips have audio only uses. Most everything else is designed for other markets.
Audio parts ... yes. Audiophile parts ... Nope.

For example...
The data sheet mentions audio applications... but it is not made for "audiophiles".

There are companies dealing with audiophiles who are selling audio parts at ludicrous prices ... but there's nothing "audiophile" specific about them. I've seen opa1611 marketed to audiophiles for as much as $35.00 each ... I can get them from Mouser for $7.88
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Powerbench

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2022
Messages
79
Likes
69
Audio parts ... yes. Audiophile parts ... Nope.

For example...

There are companies dealing with audiophiles who are selling audio parts at ludicrous prices ... but there's nothing "audiophile" specific about them.
May be true but given the opportunity any manufacturer will become profit driven with pretty boxes, brand names and knobs. Advertising dollars for paid reviews to push products, increase sales, subsidize distribution and dealers all add cost to that little amp which now has a monstrous overhead margin to make hence the asking price and for even lesser volume audiophile prices.

So when a innovator designs, manufactures and world distributes a super high-end eco-friendly, scientifically tested reasonably compassionately priced piece of gear… I am all in, but I doubt it will happen before any greed sets in.
 
Top Bottom