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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: The Shelter 90X: mystery or mastery
Post Subject: High-End or High Art?Posted by starboy on: 5/19/2005

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Okay, my point was not really the cost and not really even the magnets. (though I was surprised they were that cheap) Just the justification, but hey when has the 'high-end' needed any justification.

When I was a dreamy youth there was exotica out there at a price that made a kids jaw hit the floor. i.e. the Kiseki Lapis Lazuli, a cartridge built in some rare earth mineral stone or whatever but these were few and far between.

Now there is a onslaught of ultra high-end, high-art and high-priced cartridges that are supposed to stir the soul musically as well as visually. The visuals and sales talk of materials found only in a forest full of indigenous pygmies help the audio muppets credit-card to reach from his wallet to the counter.

Recently I heard in my system a Bluenote Baldinotti made by some Italian I have no intention of remembering. Basically it was a standard 103 that was 'tweaked' and made to look more exotic in his cross-eyed opinion. It actually sounded and looked worse and cost maybe 10x more.

Yep, your last paragraph was on the money. Poor suckerz have to buy these jewels armed with no more than a review of it in some other Audio Joes system or dem room situation. I can imagine the panic when after the running-in period it still sounds cr4p in his set-up.

So audio muppet logs onto Audiogon to dispose of it only to find that the same cart' is going for 60% less than purchase price, now on page 3 and no one still wants it. (The 901 on the other hand will lose 33% of its list price and you better log on/refresh every 30 minutes or it'll be gone before you left click. Go figure?)

Rant over, you may have guessed I rarely go near a dealer and if I do it's an in/out situation. They have done no more than help fuel a now over-priced industry. Who can say 'not' that in a couple of decades from now when all the Grumpy Old Audio Joes in this niche market drop dead that it won't go the way of the Dodo bird or that of the Panda Bear at the top end.


The term audio muppet is seen from the eyes of the dealer who must be laughing when Gonzo parts with that amount of loot.

Starboy aka The Grinch

All the above IMO......

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