Expensive amps sound better

Squigglefunk

Senior Member
Messages
3,276
this is something that I've known for years... it's the "placebo" effect...

"Brain scans also showed greater neural activity in the pleasure center when they were sampling those "pricey" wines(amps), indicating that the increased pleasure they reported was a real effect in the brain....

If you believe that the experience is better, even though it's the same wine(amp), the rewards center of the brain encodes it as feeling better."

your brain tricks you into thinking that uber expensive amp sounds so orgasmic when it really sounds just like any other amp. This is why I'm usually scatching my head when I hear these amps and wonder what the person is hearing that I'm not... because it's imaginary.
 

Guitar Josh

Resident Curmudgeon
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
19,705
I see this first hand all the time when the wife and I go wine tasting. They bring out the "ultra rare reserve from our best grapes of 2001" that requires a special fee and everyone goes "oh, that's just amazing!" when in fact, the vineyard's $10 table white destroys it.

Everyone at Opus One thought that it was the best wine they ever tasted too. At $25 a taste, I'm sure that they did.
 
Messages
2,931
I've ALWAYS thought this. And experienced it at Wine tastings, also several Whiskey tastings I've attended.

Now I'm NOT discounting all the expensive amps that DO sound great, but I'm a HUGE believer that people will legitimize a very large expense by saying 'worth every penny', but once you get them in a blind listen, we start to see very little difference between the $3000 amp and the $300 Ebay steal.

I still would have put my $1700 MOD50 up against many of the amps that cost twice as much...and won.

EP
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
Actually what sounds better is that amp you purchaed at the original '60's price that's now worth a small fortune! :)
 

PRNDL

Member
Messages
496
The entire industry is in a major shift.

We're now in a phase where most boutique amps and vintage replicas are mass produced and widely available in kits.

Major amp companies (i.e. Fender) now make their own vintage replicas and boutique amps.

It's actually pretty exciting.
 

Rosewood

Member
Messages
1,859
The entire industry is in a major shift.

We're now in a phase where most boutique amps and vintage replicas are mass produced and widely available in kits.

Major amp companies (i.e. Fender) now make their own vintage replicas and boutique amps.

It's actually pretty exciting.

That's absolutely true, we're actually pretty lucky to have so many choices, if I had some money my problem would be solved.:jo
 

NatDeroxL7

Member
Messages
972
Really, all that matters is the feeling, so who cares if its placebo or not. I quit caring long ago, I'll gladly indulge in my placebos.

perception is reality, and I'm okay with that.
 

3 Mile Stone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,990
I don't really think this concept works or translates to amps as well. Most people picked the more expemsive wines because most people don't know jack about wine, and therefore rely on someone elses suggetsion that it is pricier therefore better. I'm not saying that doesn't happen in the amp world, but come on ... most of us know a LOT about amps and can't be fooled that way. I have bought a few pricey amps and flipped them because well, they were not very good. I have owned some cheapy amps that I liked quite a bit and thought were killers despite there price tags. Just my $0.02. I think I'm trying to say it is relevant to how well educated you are about the subject as to whether you can distiguish the quality of said subject.
 

Telecaster62

Member
Messages
3,484
I like to use my ears and my tastebuds to make decisions. A lot of the time they save me money. I also find that the older and more experienced I become the less I'm influenced by hype. YMMV
 

tcaron

Member
Messages
437
Been through countless Peaveys, new production Fenders, etc. Now own a Carr Rambler and Goodsell Super 17. More money bought me better sounding amps. Tube swapping also allowed me to tweek my tone. Ended up with Telefunken, Mullards, etc. in each. Yes, it was even more money for these tubes and they are worth every penny. I finally got what I wanted for tone.

It makes me sick to think of all the money spent on the 30 or so amps I went through to get here but I enjoyed the trip and now am enjoying the ride!
 

rhythmeister

Member
Messages
87
I don't really think this concept works or translates to amps as well. Most people picked the more expemsive wines because most people don't know jack about wine, and therefore rely on someone elses suggetsion that it is pricier therefore better. I'm not saying that doesn't happen in the amp world, but come on ... most of us know a LOT about amps and can't be fooled that way. I have bought a few pricey amps and flipped them because well, they were not very good. I have owned some cheapy amps that I liked quite a bit and thought were killers despite there price tags. Just my $0.02. I think I'm trying to say it is relevant to how well educated you are about the subject as to whether you can distiguish the quality of said subject.

This is exactly right. The only thing that wine study shows is that the average citizen, who is not a wine expert or anything close to it, feels better about the experience of drinking expensive wine. This is based on an assumption that there is a direct price/quality correlation. I have no doubt that this study would not follow for people who have great experience with wine. The people I do tastings with are just as likely to tear down expensive wine than to enjoy it automatically, because they have vast experience upon which to base opinions.

Similarly, most participants on a forum like this would have enough experience and opinion to know what sounds they enjoy and not use a false indicator like amp price to deceive them.

Cheers,
Blair
 

Red Suede

Member
Messages
2,829
Most times for me it isn't just the tone. I have a friend that had a cheap tube amp that sounded great right up to the time the pcb cracked because the tubes were mounted to it. Sometimes things are cheap because of build quality, not tone.
 

trap

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,009
i played thru a rivera r-55 for 11 years before i got a two rock. all i can say is that after playing the tr for almost a year now , when i've gone back and a-b'ed them the tr blows the rivera far and away. cleans, od, everything! and thats not sipping wine with somebody over your shoulder suggesting to you what it is your drinking-hearing. thats objective listening over a period of time. is the rivera a good amp, yes! does it sound-feel as good as the tr? not in a million years. and for the record, i am not a rich guy. but i do appreciate and understand quality and have rarely been dissapointed when i purchase a quality item. lets stop the class warfare. it's based on false assumptions about people we don't even really know very well except thru an online forum.:)
 




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