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liquidsquid
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Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:28 am

I went to Best Buy this past Tuesday, only to purchase a small camera drone for my son on his plane day (adoption). I came out with a open box TV along with the drone. It wasn't a horrible amount of money for it, but still, when I am in a "mood" I can make some pretty ridiculous purchases when it comes to technology. I didn't even need the damned thing as we had an old Sony Bravia 40" that was still kicking at 720p. This is an XBOX console and Netflix for streaming shows from crappy DSL service in the family room. A higher res monitor like the one I just got just shows us how bad our internet service is. We already have a main screen projector in the house which is awesome. Mad at myself for getting the dumb thing.

Many moons ago, my worst offense was when I was credit-card stupid and purchased an LCD projector for home theater for $3500. It may have been 320x240 but at the time, it was wonderful and worked great with my Laser Disk collection. I wound up paying more like $5000 (maybe more, who knows) for it after interest and late payments. I really didn't have that kind of money at the time. It is in pieces in the basement as I took it apart with the kiddo so he could see what is involved in designs like that.

What was your worst impulse buy I wonder?
 
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:51 am

A Schiit Fulla 2. My first and only experiment with a standalone DAC (or DAC/amp, in this case). A $100 volume knob.
 
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:02 am

Last year I decided to "treat myself" with my bonus and build a system with all the bells and whistles - giant gaming monitor, i7, and 1080Ti...about a month before I was hit by a car and out of work for months. Bad timing!
 
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:12 am

sconesy wrote:
A Schiit Fulla 2. My first and only experiment with a standalone DAC (or DAC/amp, in this case). A $100 volume knob.

$100 for a quality external DAC with flexible input and output options doesn't seem out of line to me. Depending on the quality of your previous DAC, the headphones/speakers you are using, the fidelity of the source material, and how good your hearing is, it is entirely possible that you did not upgrade the weakest link in the chain.
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:37 am

Regarding audio components: I purchased a pair of passive Klipsch R14 bookshelf speakers. They are nicely built and were on sale at the time but later realized they were not quite enough for low end with my TV and music preference. They could work well as desktop speakers and a good DAC so I may hold onto them for that. I replaced them with the coaxial KEF Q100's that work much better for my TV room. Another regrettable purchase was my first experience with planar magnetic headphones. I purchased a set of the Fostex T-X0 version from Massdrop which is a slightly modified Fostex T50RP mk2. They're meh-OK but the HiFiman HE4XX version from Massdrop sounds much better, equivalent price and is more comfortable.
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:27 am

Once every couple of years or so I get the "itch" and I have to buy the parts and build a cheapish computer for no reason at all. My most recent one is a Pentium Extreme Edition with a GTX 480 just because I wanted to build the ultimate Netburst architecture machine. The one before that I built a first-gen i7 860 machine (actually xeon equivalent, but semantics) just to prove that buying a first gen i7 is a much better option than buying a locked 2nd gen i7 for more money because the 1st gen can be overclocked without paying out the nose for a K chip. I ended up just giving that one to my best friend so that we can game together. It's still his main PC.

I've probably spent over $1000 so far on outdated PC parts to build these PCs I have no use for.

But at least it's very therapeutic to pick out the parts and aesthetics and putting it all together into a working machine.
 
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:08 pm

Kretschmer wrote:
Last year I decided to "treat myself" with my bonus and build a system with all the bells and whistles - giant gaming monitor, i7, and 1080Ti...about a month before I was hit by a car and out of work for months. Bad timing!


To be fair to you, I wouldn't put "bought something before an unforeseen event occurred" in the same bucket as "bought something on impulse I didn't really need".
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:13 pm

just brew it! wrote:
sconesy wrote:
A Schiit Fulla 2. My first and only experiment with a standalone DAC (or DAC/amp, in this case). A $100 volume knob.

$100 for a quality external DAC with flexible input and output options doesn't seem out of line to me. Depending on the quality of your previous DAC, the headphones/speakers you are using, the fidelity of the source material, and how good your hearing is, it is entirely possible that you did not upgrade the weakest link in the chain.


Meh, it's not a bad little unit, and it wasn't as much money as say, a $3500 projector, but I just got kind of carried away in the possibility I was missing something to my music. I still hear no difference today between the Fulla DAC and my Realtek motherboard out. FLAC audio, MDR-V6 and NAD HP50 headphones. Granted my hearing isn't the greatest so there could be something to that.
 
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:22 pm

3 years ago I bought an Acer XB280HK "on sale" because my old monitors were developing discoloration, I wanted a G-Sync monitor, and I thought I wanted 4K. The monitor did what it was supposed to do but...
* it was TN (with all that entails)
* 4k at that size required me to go to Windows font scaling to avoid eye strain
* in order to actually run anything at native rez I then needed to upgrade my 780 to a 980 TI... about 4 months before the 1080 and 1070 launched

In retrospect, shoulda waited for an IPS panel and not bothered with 4K (2560x1440 at 100% scaling would have been a better choice).
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:35 pm

It's been speakers for me this year. I think getting a little over the hill (at 47, I'm pretty sure I've expended more than half my lifespan) and inching closer to an empty nest has driven me towards my younger days when I listened to music a lot more often. Been having "music nights" pretty frequently when everyone else is at work.

After several bouts of buying and selling, I've settled on pair of Revel F30's that have been well taken care of for their years. These beasts are simply amazing, and it's going to be a long while before I buy something else (unless I win the lottery of course!).

Now that I have the speakers, it's time to get back into buying music!
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:36 pm

My spare parts box says I have a weakness for good sales on case fans that I don't need. I usually only bite when they're SUPER on sale, so it's a box full of case fans I've paid peanuts for, but...

I tend to over-analyze all my tech purchases and get hung up on minuscule price differences. So all-in-all I'd say I'm pretty thrifty and can't remember making any impulse buys that I outright regret, but I've definitely had some...ill-informed buying decisions along the way that I can look back on with better knowledge and shake my head at. Live and learn.
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:27 pm

DPete27 wrote:
My spare parts box says I have a weakness for good sales on case fans that I don't need. I usually only bite when they're SUPER on sale, so it's a box full of case fans I've paid peanuts for, but...

I have a weakness for good sales in general, and also tend to hang on to a lot of used but still functional stuff "just in case I need it". It's how I've ended up with an office, closet, and part of a crawlspace full of random parts. Unlike Starfalcon, I've been slowly reducing (instead of increasing) the size of the piles, mostly by selling or giving away parts at the annual BBQ (unsurprisingly, the oldest freebie giveaway stuff tends to go to Starfalcon).

There's still probably enough spare parts to build at least 3 fully functional AMD systems from the AM2 thru AM3+ generations. Pre-AM2 stuff has mostly been disposed of at this point.
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liquidsquid
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:29 pm

kvndoom wrote:
After several bouts of buying and selling, I've settled on pair of Revel F30's

WTH, these are listed at $10 a pair on that link! I may impulse buy these if that is true. I wonder if shipping is free? Dang. Dealer right down the road. This is not good.
 
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:38 pm

I don't have moments of weakness so much as I just lead a weak life. I see something, I have the money, so why not? Not a healthy way to live, but it's fun. Most recently it's been old gaming consoles. Fortunately it's not very expensive, and I've been paring back over the last couple months. Got it down to just stuff that can't be emulated very well and consoles that emulate older ones. The Saturn still lacks a really spot-on emulator, so it stays. The OG Xbox falls into both categories, so I've got one soft-modded with tons of emulators. The Genesis / CD / 32X don't, so off they went.
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:44 pm

liquidsquid wrote:
kvndoom wrote:
After several bouts of buying and selling, I've settled on pair of Revel F30's

WTH, these are listed at $10 a pair on that link! I may impulse buy these if that is true. I wonder if shipping is free? Dang. Dealer right down the road. This is not good.

Don't I wish! They always list discontinued stuff at $10. Who knows why...
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:04 pm

Last year. I was using a hackintosh based on an Intel 3770K as my desktop, dual-booting to Windows for games, and the family was using a 2009 Core 2 Mac Mini. The mini was getting a bit long in the tooth, so I decided I would give my Hackintosh to the family, and build a new system for me. The Zen chips were out, and they looked good and I'm not into heavy gaming, but I do need to do a lot of video encoding, so I bought a Gigabyte MB, Ryzen 1600 and 16 Gigs of DDR4, and while I was at it a 250 Gig NVMe drive. And things happened, so the parts sat on a shelf for a month, then two months. Then prices dropped, and it was past the return date, and the parts still sat on a shelf. So, by the time I got around to actually building it, about 5 months had passed, and prices had dropped further so that I actually ended up paying at least an $80 premium for stuff to take up space in my office for half a year.
 
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:17 pm

kvndoom wrote:
Now that I have the speakers, it's time to get back into buying music!


I've been having a lot of fun with the free Foobar2000 program for playing and managing music files. I especially like all the ways you can customize the Foobar player. Here's a screenshot of my setup:
Image

Built a NAS server recently mainly to digitally archive all my old CDs into lossless files and share across a home network. However, I've probably went a bit overboard on audiophile parts and purchased more headphones and amps than I really need.
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:55 pm

No impulse purchases here, I am quite the opposite.
I torture myself with months of agonizing research, scouring the web for every review and opinion I can find, before I finally make a purchase.

Sometimes I wish I had the ability (and the money) to just go out, buy sth that I deem cool and enjoy it w/o feeling guilty about it. ._.
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:59 pm

I tend not to impulse purchase things I haven't thought about before...but sometimes I'll spend 10 hours researching something, decide I don't really need it, and then buy it on a whim 3-4 months later. Generally not with computer hardware, but with car parts, audio gear, and gadgets. My ability to stop my impulse purchases has weakened as the wife unit's career and mine have taken off.
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:51 pm

My 8700K? Didn't really need this upgrade at all from a 4790K.

Only really bought it because: I was bored, I had pre-price gouged 32GB DDR4-3200 lying around for a year and there was a $70 bundle discount.

just brew it! wrote:
sconesy wrote:
A Schiit Fulla 2. My first and only experiment with a standalone DAC (or DAC/amp, in this case). A $100 volume knob.

$100 for a quality external DAC with flexible input and output options doesn't seem out of line to me. Depending on the quality of your previous DAC, the headphones/speakers you are using, the fidelity of the source material, and how good your hearing is, it is entirely possible that you did not upgrade the weakest link in the chain.


I don't want to be a downer but all their products are mediocre at best to $2500 of outright garbage under a professional audio analyzer .
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:14 pm

strangerguy wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
sconesy wrote:
A Schiit Fulla 2. My first and only experiment with a standalone DAC (or DAC/amp, in this case). A $100 volume knob.

$100 for a quality external DAC with flexible input and output options doesn't seem out of line to me. Depending on the quality of your previous DAC, the headphones/speakers you are using, the fidelity of the source material, and how good your hearing is, it is entirely possible that you did not upgrade the weakest link in the chain.

I don't want to be a downer but all their products are mediocre at best to $2500 of outright garbage under a professional audio analyzer .

I guess sconesy got off easy then, since he only spent $100!
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:36 pm

strangerguy wrote:
I don't want to be a downer but all their products are mediocre at best to $2500 of outright garbage under a professional audio analyzer .

Anything catering to "golden ears" is a waste of time and money to even consider. A $2500 DAC? Seriously? :lol:

Let's break out those directional CAT5 cables to ensure the best sound quality along with the rocks to elevate our speaker cables to ensure we don't get crosstalk with the floor...
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:02 am

Waco wrote:
strangerguy wrote:
I don't want to be a downer but all their products are mediocre at best to $2500 of outright garbage under a professional audio analyzer .

Anything catering to "golden ears" is a waste of time and money to even consider. A $2500 DAC? Seriously? :lol:

Let's break out those directional CAT5 cables to ensure the best sound quality along with the rocks to elevate our speaker cables to ensure we don't get crosstalk with the floor...


That is what happens when you let snake oil salesmen run unchecked in an entire industry.

Even if the $2500 DAC has truly superlative performance, the real world improvement over $0 Realtek is so little, it makes a $1200 Titan XP which the PC scene loves to hate so much looks like a complete bargain, much less when the DAC has terrible performance for the $$$.
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:50 am

I plunked down $7500 for a 37" Sharp LCD TV back in 2003. It all happened so fast. I saw a super cool, 2-inch thick TV displaying random nature scenes in HD. Suddenly, my credit card was lying dead on the floor.

I could've taken home a 34" HD CRT with far better motion resolution and contrast for a third of the price. :x
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:48 am

A 5-pack of BD-R. :)
 
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:12 am

strangerguy wrote:

I don't want to be a downer but all their products are mediocre at best to $2500 of outright garbage under a professional audio analyzer .


My favorite part is when the DAC owner suggests it might need to "warm up" before it reaches peak performance. 8)
 
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:25 am

meerkt wrote:
A 5-pack of BD-R. :)

The only reason I regret doing that is because the BD-R support in Linux is so half-baked. I intended to use them for archiving stuff long-term, but was only able to get a successful burn about half the time. I tried multiple burning applications, two different drives (an internal one and an external USB one), and multiple distros, and no matter what I did it would randomly error out or crash partway through the burn. :roll:

That was a couple of years ago. Maybe I'll try again with a newer distro.

sconesy wrote:
strangerguy wrote:
I don't want to be a downer but all their products are mediocre at best to $2500 of outright garbage under a professional audio analyzer .

My favorite part is when the DAC owner suggests it might need to "warm up" before it reaches peak performance. 8)

Yes... sadly, I got sucked into reading some of that stuff last night after it was mentioned here. Not only were there people claiming you need to let it warm up, there were people claiming you need to burn it in by playing music through it continuously for a week. We're not dealing with vacuum tubes here! If the sound changes measurably/audibly after an extended period of warm-up or burn-in, then there's something fundamentally wrong with the circuit design.

And I'm sorry, after reading more about what they're doing, the concept behind Schiit's "multibit" DAC variants is just plain silly. For audio, a multibit DAC designed for instrumentation applications isn't going to outperform a good delta-sigma DAC designed for audio use. The measurements showing the glitching at low signal levels is a perfect illustration of why. Sure, some people think it sounds subjectively "better"; but objectively, the fidelity is inferior as it is introducing additional noise and harmonic distortion.
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:38 am

just brew it! wrote:
BD-R support in Linux is so half-baked.

Shouldn't it be practically the same as CDs and DVDs?
 
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:10 pm

Optical discs are such a lousy tech, that from my own experience back in 2004 college people are willing to buy relatively expensive 64MB flashdrives over CD-R/DVD-Rs just for the convenience factor alone.

sconesy wrote:
strangerguy wrote:
I don't want to be a downer but all their products are mediocre at best to $2500 of outright garbage under a professional audio analyzer .

My favorite part is when the DAC owner suggests it might need to "warm up" before it reaches peak performance. 8)

Yes... sadly, I got sucked into reading some of that stuff last night after it was mentioned here. Not only were there people claiming you need to let it warm up, there were people claiming you need to burn it in by playing music through it continuously for a week. We're not dealing with vacuum tubes here! If the sound changes measurably/audibly after an extended period of warm-up or burn-in, then there's something fundamentally wrong with the circuit design.

And I'm sorry, after reading more about what they're doing, the concept behind Schiit's "multibit" DAC variants is just plain silly. For audio, a multibit DAC designed for instrumentation applications isn't going to outperform a good delta-sigma DAC designed for audio use. The measurements showing the glitching at low signal levels is a perfect illustration of why. Sure, some people think it sounds subjectively "better"; but objectively, the fidelity is inferior as it is introducing additional noise and harmonic distortion.[/quote]

Hah, wait till you see the flat earthers audiophiles claiming using different filesystems in a PC can somehow affect sound quality.
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Re: Technology purchasing and "moments of weakness"

Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:40 pm

strangerguy wrote:
Hah, wait till you see the flat earthers audiophiles claiming using different filesystems in a PC can somehow affect sound quality.

Now that would make me laugh. :lol:
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