I think it is important, too, to consider the passion of the designer... some have the success and resources to indulge their latest ideas, think about them, design them, refine them, scrap that idea for a better one that comes along. Ultimately they put a price tag on it they think will result in some degree of compensation for their efforts. Some of these products are not where the mfg makes money, but the products do perform wrt marketing and name recognition. There are likely designers out there who would beat the snot out of Alon Wolf or (Dave) Darrell Wilson who haven't the business acumen to have built successful companies allowing for the indulgence of their design passions.
And although an excellent designer may create a well-engineered product, will it match the learned taste of Wison and Magico that so many audiophiles consider as a "legitimate audiophile sound" as they do with Wilson and Magico?
Stereophile under John Wilson - Atkinson has been cultivating the Wilson sound as authentic for a generation. TAS has been calling the magico sound REAL, ABSOLUTE Sound, for the last decade. As a result, the stereophile reviewers mostly use wilsons as references while tAS guys primarily use magicos.
Ultimately, if a brand can't create traction with the fans and reviewers to ultimately get peopleto jump on the "bandwagon", the design is doomed to failure.
Alsyvox is an interesting experiment - seems like a fresh design and sounds excellent at shows.Will it catch fire?