The State of High End Audio

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,464
5
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#1
Hi

I didn't know where to begin on this. This thread can quickly die or burst in Flames. It is about the price of Audio Equipment nad the state of affairs in High End Audio.

After a long hiatus during which I have been using only headphones with great pleasure I must add and frankly an education in tonal purity. I am ready to jump back into speaker-based systems. I simply don't like to throw money at a problem expecting a solution to raise from the ashes of burnt currency. I am an engineer by profession and prefer the approach of having a schedule and cost limit in building a system. It is my strong belief that such approach leads to rewarding and sustainable results. I hate to tweak constantly and to change equipment on a constant basis. I buy, optimize and just enjoy what I have if I can... This not about me but rather of the state of things in High End Audio. A luxury sector let's not fool ourselves in believing it is not that.

The idea of this thread came to me when Lee asked on his thread for a 12~14 K$ speakers and I could only come with a few perhaps 2 and of just one brand: Magnepan. I, then , noticed that most of the speakers I am considering at this point for my next system are over $20 K MSRP : Giya G3, G2 , G1, Magico Q3, Q5 and S7 with 2 exceptions Magnepan 3.7i and 20.7 i at respectively 5K and 15K ... Woah! This is a disconnect. Would "normal" folks who love music, care about a >20 K pair of speakers, let alone a $20,000 music system?
Then I noticed on Lee's thread that few unusual brand came up aside from Vapor Audio whose systems look like a Good deal but I saw no mention of, for the lack of a better words, outside of the box manufacturers such as Salk, Legacy, Emerald Physics, etc... Are they completely absent from the Audiophile psyche?
I believe some things bad happened between the birth of what we come to call High End Audio, late 70’s, early 80's and now, 30 years later. We may have lost our way. Once upon a time the Wilson Audio and the Lamm, et all, were garage affairs. Audio Magazines would go and listen to these garage affairs and give them the necessary exposure. Is it being done these days? Have we become so averse to risk as to go for what we consider the current day status quo? How will those other small, definitely unknown manufacturers ever come to the forefront? Are we getting so old as to become entirely risk-adverse and "orthodox"? Go with the conventional, the admitted? The agreed-upon? How we moving forward? Are we progressing? Will we come up with a better way to measure progress? One that is a consensus? Not a world of preferences of the very same brands, telling us they are making progress when it is simply a variation on an old theme? Will High End Audio grow to include younger people not the >50 that populate this board? Can this industry of ours grow?
And while we are on the them can we come up with a full range system for less than $30K… Digital , analogue, Digital and analogue? Would like to see some examples…
As usual full participation is welcomed even from you Blizz …. Just joking :D
 

Joe Whip

Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2014
1,168
57
118
Wayne, PA
#2
I am with you Frantz. My stuff is all long in the tooth but still sounds fantastic. i don't leave shows thinking that I just have to have that. I will do very modest tweaking just have damped the board on my DAC. I have upgraded my digital. That is about it. I can't say I have been impressed by some of the megabuck speakers or systems I have head, either at shows or in homes. The industry would be out of business if everyone was like me!
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
8,350
1,862
400
#3
Hi

I didn't know where to begin on this. This thread can quickly die or burst in Flames. It is about the price of Audio Equipment nad the state of affairs in High End Audio.

After a long hiatus during which I have been using only headphones with great pleasure I must add and frankly an education in tonal purity. I am ready to jump back into speaker-based systems. I simply don't like to throw money at a problem expecting a solution to raise from the ashes of burnt currency. I am an engineer by profession and prefer the approach of having a schedule and cost limit in building a system. It is my strong belief that such approach leads to rewarding and sustainable results. I hate to tweak constantly and to change equipment on a constant basis. I buy, optimize and just enjoy what I have if I can... This not about me but rather of the state of things in High End Audio. A luxury sector let's not fool ourselves in believing it is not that.

The idea of this thread came to me when Lee asked on his thread for a 12~14 K$ speakers and I could only come with a few perhaps 2 and of just one brand: Magnepan. I, then , noticed that most of the speakers I am considering at this point for my next system are over $20 K MSRP : Giya G3, G2 , G1, Magico Q3, Q5 and S7 with 2 exceptions Magnepan 3.7i and 20.7 i at respectively 5K and 15K ... Woah! This is a disconnect. Would "normal" folks who love music, care about a >20 K pair of speakers, let alone a $20,000 music system?
Then I noticed on Lee's thread that few unusual brand came up aside from Vapor Audio whose systems look like a Good deal but I saw no mention of, for the lack of a better words, outside of the box manufacturers such as Salk, Legacy, Emerald Physics, etc... Are they completely absent from the Audiophile psyche?
I believe some things bad happened between the birth of what we come to call High End Audio, late 70’s, early 80's and now, 30 years later. We may have lost our way. Once upon a time the Wilson Audio and the Lamm, et all, were garage affairs. Audio Magazines would go and listen to these garage affairs and give them the necessary exposure. Is it being done these days? Have we become so averse to risk as to go for what we consider the current day status quo? How will those other small, definitely unknown manufacturers ever come to the forefront? Are we getting so old as to become entirely risk-adverse and "orthodox"? Go with the conventional, the admitted? The agreed-upon? How we moving forward? Are we progressing? Will we come up with a better way to measure progress? One that is a consensus? Not a world of preferences of the very same brands, telling us they are making progress when it is simply a variation on an old theme? Will High End Audio grow to include younger people not the >50 that populate this board? Can this industry of ours grow?
And while we are on the them can we come up with a full range system for less than $30K… Digital , analogue, Digital and analogue? Would like to see some examples…
As usual full participation is welcomed even from you Blizz …. Just joking :D
I think there are great opportunities for an under $30k (at retail) total high end system.

consider the Evolution Acoustics Micro Ones, $4k plus the darTZeel LHC-208 "danalog" dac-pre-amplifier; around $15k leaving $10k for any number of $3k phono stages and $7k tt/arm/carts. in a few months there will be the Micro Two's (around $10k) which will be more full range than the Micro One's.

the dart 208 hits waaay above it's price point as a dac and as an amplifier. I view it as sounding much like my 458's. this little box gets you far into the heart of high end performance yet still includes a great (darTZeel) analog preamp.

you would need your own server.

I've spent hours listening to this exact system (with a Mac Pro as the server) at multiple audio shows. it's real world right now and killer.

or you could add a JL113 or other subwoofer instead of the upgrade to the speakers.
 

beaur

Well-Known Member
Oct 12, 2011
276
13
95
56
Brooklyn
#4
What I see is a maturing industry. There are lots of Chicken Littles out there telling everyone that the sky is falling all the time, I just don't see it. Now I live in NYC so that warps my perspective a bit. Yes the days a a hifi designer having a garage full of Lambos may be over but there are now many more companies vying for our business. Just as in any other industry if they don't catch hold they may wither and die. Some good companies will be lost but that's normal. There are also many more outlets for exposure that are available at the click of a button instead of just 2 monthlies.. Whether or not you "trust" them or believe is besides the point. All these outlets are a source of information about these new products. I tend to scan many of the publications and read about new companies/products. Most I will never even have a chance to listen to but I know they are out there. There's plenty of room under the tent for the straight 2ch, HT as a part of the system, vintage, horn, SET etc groups to exist and for the most part we tend to. My preference would be for big horns and low power tubes with a TT but to be honest I can find joy with just about any type of high quality playback.

System under $30K at retail as we are trying to support the industry will come when I have a chance to get the prices together.

Beau
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
8,350
1,862
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#5
I think there are great opportunities for an under $30k (at retail) total high end system.

consider the Evolution Acoustics Micro Ones, $4k plus the darTZeel LHC-208 "danalog" dac-pre-amplifier; around $15k leaving $10k for any number of $3k phono stages and $7k tt/arm/carts. in a few months there will be the Micro Two's (around $10k) which will be more full range than the Micro One's.

the dart 208 hits waaay above it's price point as a dac and as an amplifier. I view it as sounding much like my 458's. this little box gets you far into the heart of high end performance yet still includes a great (darTZeel) analog preamp.

you would need your own server.

I've spent hours listening to this exact system (with a Mac Pro as the server) at multiple audio shows. it's real world right now and killer.

or you could add a JL113 or other subwoofer instead of the upgrade to the speakers.
i'll add that the LHC-208 is 'good enough' to support steps up in speakers when that is desired. to me the issue with a $30k at retail full digital-analog system is the temptation to spend $20k of it on speakers and compromise everywhere else. then every link in the chain is ordinary. when you have the dac-pre-amplifier all high performance, upgrading the other pieces gives you true performance upgrades.

and then as far as the $4k Micro One's; sure some $20k 'at retail' speakers are a little better, but still not by that much. the Micro's get you most of the way.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
6,115
1,097
310
North Shore of Boston
#6
It's an interesting topic, Frantz. I tend to agree with Mike. With the advent or return of high quality integrated electronics and high quality small speakers and the abundance of mid level turntables/arms/cartridges, one can assemble a very musical/enjoyable system for under $30K. Or go the digital file route and get lots of cheap music and very good sound and convenience. I think one needs to do more homework on line and listen to many alternatives before selecting the right gear. Used equipment also opens up opportunities.

If I were to start again, I would begin with a great room and proper set up as they can cost less and contribute much more to the final result. From there go speakers than electronics then source. But I now have a small bit of experience. Someone starting out in his 20s or 30s would be well served to learn from an audio mentor or great dealer as well as lots of research before spending much money. Exposure to what is possible from a moderate system is very important for future growth. This is where Mike's example and a guy like Jonathan Tinn could come in.

I think it can be done, especially if one hears examples of great sound in other people's houses and does not become overly discouraged by the incredible prices and marketing that seem to be an ever increasing aspect of our hobby. But I do think success is challenging with all of the influences trying to grab our attention. Guidance from someone who has experience and is willing to help is probably required to get started and not fall into the trap of constant spending and upgrading.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
10,285
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E. England
#7
I do believe you have to look outside the box to get real world value, price/performance ratio. And go beyond/beneath the usual suspects of SME, DCS, Krell, Magico, D'Agostino, Wilson etc
My tt/arm is an exceptional performer at bargain entry ticket, at $7k really outperforms a lot of the competition, and only when I go to $30k SME 30, GP Monaco, TW Acustic AC3 do I get anxious to change. At the top end of tt choice, there are some amazing SOTA examples at excellent prices, the Kuzma Stabi M comes to mind, at c.half the cost of commensurate SME, TW, Brinkmann.
In the digital world, the Eera at $10k in my auditions regularly trumped cdp's 2x the price, incl my old Emm Labs CDSA SE/X upgrade. Only the long discontinued Marantz CD12/DA12, and current Lampi Big 7/GG compares.
In the amp world, there are some amazing units that just sit under the radar, again holding their heads up against competition 3x+ the price, my Nats being such an example, but certainly also Audion and now defunct Hovland.
In the spkrs world, my Zus really do an awful lot for comparatively modest outlay.
And I can't leave this thread w/out mentioning what I consider to be the biggest giant killer in all of audio atm, the Andrew Jones-designed Elac B6, at $300 it really trumps spkrs 10-20x the price, NO KIDDING!

So, to get true vfm w/out sacrificing ultimate performance, amazing bargains are to be had out there, but you have to be brave, and go off the usual freeways, and take a spin along some winding country roads in the dark, until you find a totally new destination.
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
10
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Calgary, AB
#8
I think it's absolutely possible and for less as well, but this requires IMO buying gently used gear or a combo of new/used, which is exactly what I've done. Combine this with a good sounding room and you'll assemble a system that can bring much joy and pleasure. It's easier to attain such a goal if one is digital only, then analog and lastly both. I've had many opportunities to buy very good used gear, but I relented most times as they did not meet all of my criteria or multiple reviews I read didn't speak to me. Having patience is extremely important and I would think no different when moving up the ladder as well. Research, research and research is essential as well. Eventually you'll find the right piece. Trust me, I did.

An example was my quest for an Integrated Amplifier. I had heard the Marantz Reference line and the 30th Anniversary Ken Ishiwata designed products on several occasions when they were first released. I knew immediately that these were products I could easily live with. Unfortunately I couldn't afford to buy them brand new, so I forgot about them, but still lusted after one. Years go by and I find an ad on CAM for a PM-KI-Pearl. The gentleman lived about an hour from me, so I went over to audition the unit and we listened for about 2 hours. I walked out the door with the unit under my arm and for a price that was less than half of the original MSRP. And although not the same, I had a similar experience with my Genesis G7.1f speakers.

$30,000 should buy you an outstanding system. Combine this with great and well cared for media, and you'll have something that gives your ears tremendous satisfaction and a smile that touches both lobes.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
10,285
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E. England
#9
Spaz, not claiming any special insight. I've heard a lot of expensive stuff, which although undeniably impressive, makes no emotional connection w/me. Magico springs to mind. There's a current cost no object amp that I've heard 100% reliable rumours is a total mess inside, the price tag doesn't quite realise this. Other stuff like the Koda K10 preamp totally justifies it's £25k pricetag.
IMHO, there's a lot more fun to go w.boutique/leftfield choices. I've also got lucky randomly coming upon gear, which had I relied on fellow a'philes/show reports/reviews, I would never have heard of (Trans Fi, Eera, Nat), and others where a certain characteristic in a review appealed to me, but I could have easily not investigated further (Soundsmith, Zu).
And now I coming to rely on tweaks to round out my sound - here the Web really is useful. But again, many prob aren't receptive to what might appear risky purchases based on lack of profile online.

$2k will get you an amazing system centered around the Elac B6's/Elac electronics.
They were the sound of the show at Windsor, roundly spanking the tbh tired sounding Kef Muons 2/Levinson stack, at less than 5% of the price.
 
Last edited:

nc42acc

Member Sponsor
Nov 10, 2015
556
1
16
North Carolina
#10
I agree with Johnny as I have assembled my system with primarily used equipment too. I have probably spent more money than I should reaching my goals but it has been a fun journey. As a side note I listened to the Odyssey room several times at the Capitol Audio Fest this past year and what I heard was at or on the edge of SOTA. And the price of admission was well under $20k.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,975
834
180
#11
Spaz, not claiming any special insight. I've heard a lot of expensive stuff, which although undeniably impressive, makes no emotional connection w/me. Magico springs to mind. There's a current cost no object amp that I've heard 100% reliable rumours is a total mess inside, the price tag doesn't quite realise this. Other stuff like the Koda K10 preamp totally justifies it's £25k pricetag.
IMHO, there's a lot more fun to go w.boutique/leftfield choices. I've also got lucky randomly coming upon gear, which had I relied on fellow a'philes/show reports/reviews, I would never have heard of (Trans Fi, Eera, Nat), and others where a certain characteristic in a review appealed to me, but I could have easily not investigated further (Soundsmith, Zu).
And now I coming to rely on tweaks to round out my sound - here the Web really is useful. But again, many prob aren't receptive to what might appear risky purchases based on lack of profile online.

$2k will get you an amazing system centered around the Elac B6's/Elac electronics.
They were the sound of the show at Windsor, roundly spanking the tbh tired sounding Kef Muons 2/Levinson stack, at less than 5% of the price.
The ELACs speakers are great for the money but let's not kid ourselves... the drivers just aren't that great, especially the tweeter and it sounds like a speaker with a cheap dome tweeter. For $300 that fine but if you're going to spend $1k you can find way better speakers.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,975
834
180
#12
Hi

I didn't know where to begin on this. This thread can quickly die or burst in Flames. It is about the price of Audio Equipment nad the state of affairs in High End Audio.

After a long hiatus during which I have been using only headphones with great pleasure I must add and frankly an education in tonal purity. I am ready to jump back into speaker-based systems. I simply don't like to throw money at a problem expecting a solution to raise from the ashes of burnt currency. I am an engineer by profession and prefer the approach of having a schedule and cost limit in building a system. It is my strong belief that such approach leads to rewarding and sustainable results. I hate to tweak constantly and to change equipment on a constant basis. I buy, optimize and just enjoy what I have if I can... This not about me but rather of the state of things in High End Audio. A luxury sector let's not fool ourselves in believing it is not that.

The idea of this thread came to me when Lee asked on his thread for a 12~14 K$ speakers and I could only come with a few perhaps 2 and of just one brand: Magnepan. I, then , noticed that most of the speakers I am considering at this point for my next system are over $20 K MSRP : Giya G3, G2 , G1, Magico Q3, Q5 and S7 with 2 exceptions Magnepan 3.7i and 20.7 i at respectively 5K and 15K ... Woah! This is a disconnect. Would "normal" folks who love music, care about a >20 K pair of speakers, let alone a $20,000 music system?
Then I noticed on Lee's thread that few unusual brand came up aside from Vapor Audio whose systems look like a Good deal but I saw no mention of, for the lack of a better words, outside of the box manufacturers such as Salk, Legacy, Emerald Physics, etc... Are they completely absent from the Audiophile psyche?
I believe some things bad happened between the birth of what we come to call High End Audio, late 70’s, early 80's and now, 30 years later. We may have lost our way. Once upon a time the Wilson Audio and the Lamm, et all, were garage affairs. Audio Magazines would go and listen to these garage affairs and give them the necessary exposure. Is it being done these days? Have we become so averse to risk as to go for what we consider the current day status quo? How will those other small, definitely unknown manufacturers ever come to the forefront? Are we getting so old as to become entirely risk-adverse and "orthodox"? Go with the conventional, the admitted? The agreed-upon? How we moving forward? Are we progressing? Will we come up with a better way to measure progress? One that is a consensus? Not a world of preferences of the very same brands, telling us they are making progress when it is simply a variation on an old theme? Will High End Audio grow to include younger people not the >50 that populate this board? Can this industry of ours grow?
And while we are on the them can we come up with a full range system for less than $30K… Digital , analogue, Digital and analogue? Would like to see some examples…
As usual full participation is welcomed even from you Blizz …. Just joking :D
I'm fully aware of the other value companies you mentioned but I don't like them and so didn't recommend them.

Another to look at that is a bargain is the new Golden Ear Triton One at $5k pair. I haven't heard them but the reviews are stellar and it looks like you get a lot for the money:

http://www.goldenear.com/products/triton-series

And also PranaFidelity, their vayu at $6.5k is a ridiculously good deal. These sound great.

http://www.pranafidelity.com/page/482681650

And the new Odyssey Liquid is int he same range, the Liquid is a floorstanding version of the Kismet and has 2 woofers for around $7k or so. These also sound great.

http://www.odysseyaudio.com/products-kismet-reference-monitors.html
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,516
468
360
Manila, Philippines
#13
There are definitely gems out there worth investigating. What I see as a stumbling block is resale value. I'm not knocking this just to be clear. My thinking however is that if you buy something you really, really like the probability of you selling it down the road is much smaller than if you got something popular and easy to resell that you bought only because you got a good deal. Any company can go under or get sold to others that have chosen to abandon the mission statement of the founder. History is full of these stories after all. For me this choice of mind set is key. What's more important, satisfaction from the transaction or ultimately how much you enjoy the fruits of the same?

The same goes for the cache factor. If one is more concerned about fitting in, having "cred", being forever poised at the cutting edge, well that's fine. Its a choice but in my mind its one you'll end up giving up on one day. At some point it's no longer going to be any fun and fun is what every hobby is about. I sure hope our mileage doesn't vary!
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
5,459
36
200
Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#14
I thought that two visitors coming in yesterday perfectly exemplified my own thinking about the State of High End. It is there, just that many of us see things from two completely different angles - glass half full with the opportunity to get it filled, and glass half empty and draining fast.

Older audiophile comes in and asks how much my speakers cost ($140,000) and responds with "Interesting and spectacular sound, but I won't live long enough to save up for them."

Young, well-dressed reporter comes in with the same question..... and her response was, "GREAT!!! Some of my readers work at start-ups and are entrepreneurs, and one day may be able to afford these" and then stays for the next half hour to ask me questions and takes pictures.

It is impossible to turn back the clock and get prices and volume back to the 1980's or 1990's. But there is a market out there, and as long as we keep doing the same thing, the result is going to be the same. We need to look to the future and figure out what new things we need to do and move forward.

When I was a kid living in Singapore, my aspiration was to drink French wines, wear a Swiss watch, drive a German car, and own an American stereo. We just need to work together to make that last aspiration true again - it doesn't even need to be American. But there is no longer any aspiration to own a "stereo".
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,975
834
180
#16
if your going to make things in small numbers with bespoke elements its going to cost, thats ok but and its a big but

a. your creating a brand from nothing and thats expensive plus the price of your product is linked to how its perceived. cheap is cheap and shiny and expensive is good. it reassures people that they are special.

b. the old problem of how to price a item ie if your 5k retail amp beats 15k retail amps why not spend a bit on marketing and sell it for 20k?

c. the dealers and distrobuters of hi end audio are filth with thier outragous mark ups... or are they? people want that exspensive feel and bespoke service and that cost money and lots of it. plus you dont sell 30k speakers in high volume. jo blogs who wants to impress him mates with his 100k hifi install may well be paying a lot for the neat install the kit may well be less than you think plus he will know nothing because all he wants is to impress his mates who also know nothing.


NEWS FLASH your typical big spending hifi guy wont be reading forums.. at most he will buy a few mags.

so who makes hi end audio high priced beyond its physical earthly worth? better still what is hi end? and what does it mean to us, the forum people the music lovers and the audiophiles.


are there people out there making great hifi componants and selling them direct? answer yes.
so look out for them and support them..
thats until their wife gets hold of them and says " we should not be living in this house, your a genius and you should earn like one, and you better start quick if you want to go near me with THAT again".

then the cycle starts all over again.

dont blame the manufactuers its the nature of the end user that sets the price plus the demands he makes that feed the greed of the distrobution network with the dealers picking over the remains.


there is more to be said in regard to true inervation and wether we the customer are stiffleing this with our buying habbits or are the big hifi companys to blame.

of course like all things, human nature is to blame and we are all human so we are all to blame. and thats true for every thing you can think of.
It would be nice but the truth is us direct sales companies only sell to serious hobbyists who have taken the time to research and are concerned about value for money... unfortunately this is a very small segment of the market. There is no doubt I'm offering the best deal in cables out there but plenty of folks still buy very similar cables for many multiples the price of my cables. Hey, at least they get a display box and maybe some machined bling.

The truth is a lot of folks just aren't concerned with value, they think you get the best by spending big $$ on ridiculous stuff like top end Tara Labs, Siltech , etc. This stuff only exists for people who need to spend money to feel good about what they bought and unfortunately, that is a defining aspect of luxury markets and audio is no exception, even for the enthusiasts, as spending whatever a high end system costs just isn't a financial concern. Many designers who have "uber" products didn't actually feel like they were a good idea but they make them because the market demanded them.

The audio market is a reflection of our economy and the death of the middle class means the death of the middle market for audio. There is no market for the kind of system Frantz is talking about anymore compared to the bottom and top ends of the audio market. The days when the middle class could afford a $20k system if that's what floated their boat are OVER. They are not spending that kind of money on luxuries anymore, they keyword for the middle class is "downsizing" and speaker companies who sell speakers well under $10k are doing ok but the middle from $12-40k is probably the deadest part of the audio market. One of my friends who sells speakers direct in the $500-$4k range is doing great, he sells to folks that are experienced audiophiles who are downsizing and to younger folks just getting into high end audio. Other friends in higher price ranges are not doing so well right now even though their products are great.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,516
468
360
Manila, Philippines
#17
Just by pass the 'Hi-End ' all together and investigate pro audio, cutting edge products at relatively reasonable prices.
Keith.
Live what you preach man.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
10,285
1,641
358
E. England
#18
The ELACs speakers are great for the money but let's not kid ourselves... the drivers just aren't that great, especially the tweeter and it sounds like a speaker with a cheap dome tweeter. For $300 that fine but if you're going to spend $1k you can find way better speakers.
I beg to differ Dave. Don't want this thread to get derailed promoting a particular model.
Just to say as me and my 3 friends traipsed around the show, only attracted by 2 or 3 rooms, experiencing acute jadedness, we came across the Elac room, and stayed there for a good 40 mins.
Give me a free choice btwn the Elacs and the Muons, the Elacs in a flash.
 
May 28, 2013
417
0
0
www.puriteaudio.co.uk
#19
like he is the first human to contradict himself....please!
Grimm LS1's pro audio ,Weiss Pro audio , Bruno Putzeys new Kii loudspeakers pro audio , in the past we have used/sold Lynx Prismsound Metric Halo, Genelec.
Let's be honest most HiEnd is the same old design in larger and larger aluminium boxes.
Keith
 
Sep 30, 2015
3,049
1
0
#20
It would be nice but the truth is us direct sales companies only sell to serious hobbyists who have taken the time to research and are concerned about value for money... unfortunately this is a very small segment of the market. There is no doubt I'm offering the best deal in cables out there but plenty of folks still buy very similar cables for many multiples the price of my cables. Hey, at least they get a display box and maybe some machined bling.

The truth is a lot of folks just aren't concerned with value, they think you get the best by spending big $$ on ridiculous stuff like top end Tara Labs, Siltech , etc. This stuff only exists for people who need to spend money to feel good about what they bought and unfortunately, that is a defining aspect of luxury markets and audio is no exception, even for the enthusiasts, as spending whatever a high end system costs just isn't a financial concern. Many designers who have "uber" products didn't actually feel like they were a good idea but they make them because the market demanded them.

The audio market is a reflection of our economy and the death of the middle class means the death of the middle market for audio. There is no market for the kind of system Frantz is talking about anymore compared to the bottom and top ends of the audio market. The days when the middle class could afford a $20k system if that's what floated their boat are OVER. They are not spending that kind of money on luxuries anymore, they keyword for the middle class is "downsizing" and speaker companies who sell speakers well under $10k are doing ok but the middle from $12-40k is probably the deadest part of the audio market. One of my friends who sells speakers direct in the $500-$4k range is doing great, he sells to folks that are experienced audiophiles who are downsizing and to younger folks just getting into high end audio. Other friends in higher price ranges are not doing so well right now even though their products are great.

What you're saying is way too true for anyone to take seriously. What we really need is more fluoride in the water supply. This way sales will increase for the guys selling products competitive to yours at 4-5x the price :)
 
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