No price is too high for premium audio equipment if you’re an audiophile (pronounced “crazy person”). I appreciate expensive equipment but have no interest in spending lots of money for minimal improvements in sound quality. After a while, the features these folks lust after sound like ad executives playing Mad Libs. Gold-plated speaker connections? Vibration-proof turntables? Wooden, “tone-enhancing” volume knobs?
I once visited a man who had built an addition to his house solely for his stereo system. His speakers were taller than he was. From the floorboards to the ceiling, he had chosen all the structural materials based on their acoustic properties. He even had a separate electrical feed in order to isolate his power supply from any fluctuations caused by home appliances. All this overkill struck me as a bizarre fetish, but he loved his work. And overkill or not, I’ve never heard music sound better than it did at his house.
I doubt I’ll ever take my stereo that far, but I’ll keep upgrading my equipment on the cheap as opportunities arise. I stumbled across a tutorial at DIY Audio Projects on building audiophile-grade speaker cables and decided to try it out. The result: much better speaker cables than the thin RadioShack wires I’d been using since high school. These things are handsome and heavy-duty; you’ll never wish for a new set of speaker cables again (assuming that’s the sort of thing you wish for).