Extreme Luxury Pricing in Audio

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microstrip

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I think you have to think of direction. It depends on which way you want things to go, for some there is advancement, whilst others may think it is regression or at best no real progress.

Surely. If all we want is just listening the old recordings in the same way we did fourty or more years ago, we can't see any real progress.

But if are ready to explore the capabilities of technological developments, such as top digital without vinyl colorations, or the great reduction of the vinyl artifacts of top current LP playing gear, you will see a continuous advancement along the years during the last decade.

Stereo is now an old, imperfect and limited sound reproduction standard. The high-end is part of an hobby that includes listener education to exceed these limitations, we choose how to carry it.
 

Audire

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Surely. If all we want is just listening the old recordings in the same way we did fourty or more years ago, we can't see any real progress.

But if are ready to explore the capabilities of technological developments, such as top digital without vinyl colorations, or the great reduction of the vinyl artifacts of top current LP playing gear, you will see a continuous advancement along the years during the last decade.

Stereo is now an old, imperfect and limited sound reproduction standard. The high-end is part of an hobby that includes listener education to exceed these limitations, we choose how to carry it.

Vinyl is awesome! You have to listen to the new technologies surrounding vinyl and you would agree. We have a new Vinyl Pre Amp on the way (Vitus MP-P201 MKIII - the first in the states) and I expect it to blow the socks off my digital which is very very good - new Albedo cables elevated it even more since yesterday! And new Albedo cables are coming for our Vinyl rig - their Signature interconnects are to die for. This said we also have a new Taiko Audio Extreme coming, so I’ll have to reserve final comment until I hear it + the Taiko Switch.
 

microstrip

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That is exactly the point.

The example of the million $ cart, among others, exemplify a total disconnect between price and performance. This type of bold luxury pricing, while at present is relatively rare, I believe does/can have a perverse effect on pricing/marketing at the high end of audio. I think that’s evident from some of the pricing we see that far outstrip inflation.

That’s not to say many companies at the high end don’t provide reasonable pricing for what’s provided. (like Taiko Audio and Areis Cerat being two I have personal experience with).

The fact that you need to focus on the one the million $ cart rumor/joke suggests that you do not want a proper discussion, just fireworks. Do you feel the same for the million $ speakers, such as the WAMM or the M9?

I own the Taiko and appreciate it - it is a mandatoty part of my enjoyment of top digital sound. But I feel uncomfortable paying such an high price for a device that just delivers the same bits as all others ...
 
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microstrip

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(...) David seems to convert about 25% of visitors? I think 25% is a big conversion rate. But I also think it's a small and self-selecting visitor pool/data set, and so probably not statistically valid. (...)

Since you are elaborating on this subject, I am curious. How did you get such statistic? For completeness do you have an idea of how many visitors he gets for year?
 

gleeds

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I feel like the Magicos are a good introduction to Hi End speakers but as Paul Harvey use to say “now for the rest of the story.”

I heard the Alsyvox and was blown away. And I’ve heard a lot of Maggie’s - and they relax me. Don’t get me wrong the Magicos sound really really good, but the Alsyvox sound like they are on a different level … That’s just me, others may have another opinion. Of course, I may change my mind 50 times before before our hopeful new home is built. I’m still looking to hear Lansche in my system.

And if we don‘t build the new home then we will hopefully be closing in our back porch area to make an audio room and will have to build another back porch area as well. It’s very difficult though in this area to find builders that will do such a small job - housing in booming here in FL, so builders go for the larger projects…

Thanks for the ideas on these other Acoustic ideas. I’ll research them out.
Joe, I totally get it since I am a panel guy from way back. The big Levinson HQD system was a right of passage for me. I worked at one of two high-end shops that had them. At time, I was 21 years young and the experience never left me!

Enjoy the journey and reach out on WBF anytime!
 
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microstrip

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Vinyl is awesome! You have to listen to the new technologies surrounding vinyl and you would agree. We have a new Vinyl Pre Amp on the way (Vitus MP-P201 MKIII - the first in the states) and I expect it to blow the socks off my digital which is very very good - new Albedo cables elevated it even more since yesterday! And new Albedo cables are coming for our Vinyl rig - their Signature interconnects are to die for. This said we also have a new Taiko Audio Extreme coming, so I’ll have to reserve final comment until I hear it + the Taiko Switch.

With so much bias expectation and enthusiasm we can be sure it will blow everything| ;)

I must say that I can't understand this mechanism of gear improvements in digital and analog that regularly reverse people perception of digital and analog.
 

Audire

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With so much bias expectation and enthusiasm we can be sure it will blow everything| ;)

I must say that I can't understand this mechanism of gear improvements in digital and analog that regularly reverse people perception of digital and analog.
When you pay 60k for a Phono Pre there‘s definitely some expectation! However, as I stated I’ll reserve final comment until I receive the Taiko Extreme + Switch.
 

wil

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The fact that you need to focus on the one the million $ cart rumor/joke suggests that you do not want a proper discussion, just fireworks. Do you feel the same for the million $ speakers, such as the WAMM or the M9?

I own the Taiko and appreciate it - it is a mandatoty part of my enjoyment of top digital sound. But I feel uncomfortable paying such an high price for a device that just delivers the same bits as all others ...
You’re comparing what goes into speakers like the M9 or WAMM to a phono cart?

I don’t know what to tell you if you don’t get the huge gulf in materials and complexity between them.

I think the Taiko Server is worth every penny you pay for it. I’m not the least bit
uncomfortable with that.
 
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microstrip

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You’re comparing what goes into speakers like the M9 or WAMM to a phono cart? (...)

No, I suggest we focus on reality, not rumors or jokes. The only expensive high-end gear around $1M I can immediately thing about are those speakers.
 

wil

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No, I suggest we focus on reality, not rumors or jokes. The only expensive high-end gear around $1M I can immediately thing about are those speakers.
Please share your inside information that is a rumor or joke.

It is detailed on a company website with specs and price. Until told otherwise, I’m assuming it’s for real. DartZeel knows people are talking about this. Wouldn’t you think they would take it down if it were not of their own making?
 
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adrianywu

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I have a theory about the price of luxury goods in general. I think it is simply a reflection of the social mood. People talk about the helm line index (the shorter the skirt, the more euphoric the mood), which correlates with stock market valuation etc. There is also a theory that whenever a tallest building is being built, a financial crisis cannot be far away (the Empire State Building was planned just before the 1929 Wall Street crash, the Petronas Tower was being building when the Asian Financial crisis hit, and the Burj Khalifa was being built when the 2007/8 financial crisis took place). Building the world's tallest tower is the ultimate hubris. The price of luxury goods during the past 3 years have been on a tear. Collectable Burgundy red wines, the latest fad, has increased more than 4-fold in prices since 2019, but prices have started to decline in the past three months. Whiskey prices have also gone berserk. When the next recession comes (and it maybe a depression, judging by how euphoric it has been since 2020 with meme stocks, SPACs, and now AI), we will see these ultra-expensive toys disappear.
 

thedudeabides

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OCD HiFi Guy posted this about a new $1M DarTZeel cartridge.

I don’t understand why anyone who doesn’t want to spend that much cares.

If someone does want to buy it, why is that anyone else’s business?
I strongly disagree.

Given the massive income disparity from a population percentage perspective, one can only hope that those who can afford to buy such things are equally generous to those at the opposite spectrum of the financial equation. Think Warren Buffet or the Gates Foundation.

I am by no means wealthy but after I am gone, I have committed to donate every penny I have left to worthwhile non profit organizations. I do not believe that monetary greed is good and does not make the planet a better place to be.
 
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wil

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OCD HiFi Guy posted this about a new $1M DarTZeel cartridge.

I don’t understand why anyone who doesn’t want to spend that much cares.

If someone does want to buy it, why is that anyone else’s business?
Of all the issues I care about, luxury Veblen commerce for Audio gear is nowhere near the top. And while I would not, and could not, spend this kind of “oligarch money” on an Uber-Luxury piece of audio jewelry, I have spent a lot of money on audio gear that I believe has a rational performance/cost ratio. To outsiders, my choices might look extravagant!

In this tiny world of high-end audio I do believe the kind of extreme pricing discussed in this thread is a negative for the industry and it’s consumers if it tilts pricing further towards Veblen territory and away from the rational.
 
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Lee

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Of all the issues I care about, luxury Veblen commerce for Audio gear is nowhere near the top. And while I would not, and could not, spend this kind of “oligarch money” on an Uber-Luxury piece of audio jewelry, I have spent a lot of money on audio gear that I believe has a rational performance/cost ratio. To outsiders, my choices might look extravagant!

In this tiny world of high-end audio I do believe the kind of extreme pricing discussed in this thread is a negative for the industry and it’s consumers if it tilts pricing further towards Veblen territory and away from the rational.
I think you first have to establish that it is luxury pricing. If you watch the build of an M9 or XVX, you quickly see all the cost and labor that goes into the production.
 
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Another Johnson

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i’m just trying to comment that perhaps it’s bad for the industry and more common audio consumers.
Got it. More choices and more resources supporting R&D, the less good for the industry and more common audio consumers.
 
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dminches

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Guys, this is getting off topic. The discussion of capitalism and related topics is off limits here.
 

Another Johnson

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Guys, this is getting off topic. The discussion of capitalism and related topics is off limits here.
I agree … and I would extend the policy to the whole thread since it is based on Veblen’s well known hatred of capitalism. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorstein_Veblen
You really can’t expect a topic that starts based on an anti-capitalist position to not lead to the defense of capitalism by those of contrary view.
 
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Lagonda

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Hmm seems like I had a post deleted. Does one get notice if something is removed?
Normally you get a nasty/rude remark from the "moderator the jour" in notification ! :rolleyes:
 
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