HP Strawman on 'bargains'

JIMV -- Wed, 02/09/2011 - 19:22

Just got the march issue and read a letter by Ron Levine. While I did not agree with a lot of it, I was surprised by the response from RH. It was a strawman pure and simple. Where Mr. Levine tries to make the point that a $45K speaker that arguabley does not sound any better than a $20K speaker cannot be called a 'Bargain', RH creates a different argument to demolish, that a more expensive speaker can indeed be better than a less expensive one...
Ok, but that is not the point Mr. Levine made...He said clearly that other speakers costing half as much as the subject speaker could and do sound as or about as good so the label 'bargain' applied to the higher price spread was a misuse of the term.
I have to agree, though Stereophile is far more guilty of such misuse of words like 'bargain, budget, and modest' when discussing gear that costs as much as a year of Juniors education in a very good university.
If one is going to rebut an argument, it is best to stick to the argument actually made and not make up a new one to refute.

Sam -- Thu, 02/10/2011 - 17:03

What amazes me is Juniors one year education cost at what u call a good university and what sounds like something acceptable to you. What is a good university? The hype? A fancy product that the rich who have so much money to waste spend on when an equally good education can be had at another place but ofcourse without the label. These great schools and amazing medical care will bankrupt this country to the ground. Just like u being ok with 45k a year as a bargain for 1 year tuition. RH thinks the 45k speakers r a bargain. If u have the money and are willing to spend that much for anything bargain becomes a relative term. The good thing is that someone buying 45k speakers will generally be well healed and buy it from disposable income. The sad thing with average Americans paying 100k plus on colleges and medical care is that while they go bankrupt or forever be wrapped in debt someone is surely laughing at them and having a good time. It's what the market will hold. The price can sound as crazy as u want but the wheel will keep turning. I think the 45k vandersteens can surely be considered a bargain.

JIMV -- Thu, 02/10/2011 - 18:41

If the $45K product sounded as good as some other speaker at $90K then the term might apply. In the comparison produced, Instead the letter writer noted that other gear at half the cost of the $45K spread was available and that those were the bargains...
That is an argument that makes sense to me...It is like comparing a Taurus and a Mercedes and then saying the three times as expensive Mercedes is the bargain???

Sam -- Thu, 02/10/2011 - 23:37

Yes, But in Roberts mind I think the $45K speakers sound as good or better than the $150K speakers...that's why he calls them a bargain. R.H. and J.V. also like a lot of Ultra expensive stuff and audio Jewelery. Their points of references are very different from common audiophiles. So part of their calling things bargain....ex. JV calling the Q5 a $30K cheaper than the $90K M5 a super duper bargain....is what is in his mind a bargain. They are not saying that a Mercedes is a Bargain compared to a Taurus....they are saying a Mercedes is a bargain compared to a Ferrari or Aston Martin.

JIMV -- Fri, 02/11/2011 - 00:05

I do not disagree...My problem was with HP's stawman where he took what the letter writer said, discounted those arguments, wrote a new one and then demolished that. It is easy to defeat anothers argument when you do not address it but instead produce another from whole cloth. The writer did not say a $45K set of speakers was not a bargain compared to $100K gear, but instead said that $20K gear was as good as the higher priced speaker. If those lesser priced speakers are not as good, then that is the argument to make.

TheArt (not verified) -- Thu, 04/14/2011 - 12:23

This is pretty silly.  It's all relative.  A 'bargain' is when something out-performs its price class - regardless of what that price class is, or whether you & I can afford it.  Whe a reviewer says that a $45K speaker is a bargain, he means that it competes with speakers costing more and betters others costing as much.
If you find a $20K speaker that sounds as good as the $45K Vandersteen, then it surely is a bargain.  If you are saying that there are MANY $20K speakers that sound as good as the Vandersteen, or even many other $45K speakers that sound as good... THEN you have an argument.

All content, design, and layout are Copyright © 1999 - 2011 NextScreen. All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction in whole or part in any form or medium without specific written permission is prohibited.