Podcast 53: Steve Guttenberg

Audio reviewer Steve Guttenberg, aka The Audiophiliac (not the actor!), explains why he thinks non-audiophiles don't really listen to music any more, the resurgence of vinyl LPs, high-res music downloads, 2-channel vs. multichannel music, bringing young people into the audiophile fold, what good sound sounds like, the difficulty of acoustic treatment, the value of headphones, and answers to chat-room questions.

Run Time: 52:07

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uavK.Reid's picture

Those individuals that listen to Bose are not naive or ignorant. If the 901 or 301 speakers are what you like and they sound good to you, then enjoy them. Keep in mind that in the podcast Steve was expressing his own opinion and experience with Bose products. Speaker selection is a subjective process as the product you choose must sound good to your ears.

That said, I would encourage you to listen to a variety of speakers with a music source that you are very familiar with and compare them with your Bose model. You might or might not find that there is something out there that is affordable and may sound even better. Paradigm, Energy, Definitive Technology, NHT, Epos, Klipsch, JBL, Phase Technology, Boston Acoustics, Polk ...just to name a few are great companies that make good sounding products at various price points.

If there is a Borders/Barnes and Nobles bookstore in your area, pick up an issue of Stereophile. In January, they started a new section called "The Entry Level" for those that cannot afford high 4, 5, and 6 figure speakers. That section of the mag is rapidly becoming my fav.

WazNeeni's picture

I still don't understand what's so bad about Bose. Scott, if you read this, I've always wanted to ask you what you thought about Bose products, because I just don't understand the hate. "If there are no highs, and there are no lows, it must be Bose," or however it goes. What?! I love my 301s, and have ever since I got them 14 years ago. And Leo always talks about how great the 901s are, and about other Bose awesomeness w/ Dickie D. I've always considered myself an audiophile, but I admit, I've never had the money to do it right. Am I just naive, or plain ignorant?

Scott Wilkinson's picture
Yes, there are a surprising number of 6-figure speakers and even higher. The Cabasse La Sphere is $165,000 and L'Ocean is $124,000, Focal Grand Utopia EM is $180,000, Hansen Grand Master is $239,000, KEF Muon is $165,000, Living Voice Vox Olympian is around $300,000, Magico Ultimate II is $394,000, Marten Coltrane Supreme is $350,000, MBL 101 X-Treme is $250,000, Nola Grand Reference is $189,000, NttAudioLab Model 101 MkII is $175,000, Perfect8 Force is about $372,000, Rockport Arrakis is $165,000. Even more amazing, the Transmission Audio Ultimate is a cool $2,000,000!

I've covered all these speakers and much more in my Ultimate Gear blog on this site, which is just for the fun of seeing and reading about extreme products most of us will never be able to afford. Check it out!

WazNeeni's picture

6 figure speakers? Someone actually makes such a thing?! Are they made from crystallized angel tears and unicorn hair?

You just blew my mind!

David Vaughn's picture

They actually come with the model you see in the advertisement to dust them off every day and to constantly be on the arm of the new owner. You do get what you pay for :D

dakmart's picture

Regarding Steve's comment that he doesn't understand how Netflix would want to charge customers less for streaming-only service, remember that the disc-based business model required Netflix to maintain a huge physical inventory (which requires a warehouse and shipping clerks), and to pay shipping costs to and from the customer.

By going to a streaming only service, Netflix not only eliminates its physical expenses, but makes customers pay their own delivery fees in the form of bandwidth fees from their ISPs -- if you watch a lot of movies, streaming may well end up costing you more than renting discs.

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