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  »  New  Expensive Audiophilism as a diagnosis...  The way from ignorance to moronity ...  Audio Discussions  Forum     3  20236  06-28-2005
  »  New  Audio Note new turntable and inflation..  When I see the crap like this thing…...  Analog Playback Forum     13  102107  01-03-2010
01-25-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 21
Post ID: 20491
Reply to: 20489
20% Market (at Best)
fiogf49gjkf0d
Yes, the reality of the Marketplace is stark: ~20% of the people have some money to spend after necessities are met, and 80% have little or no "extra" money. It seems obvious that more "free" money is available as one moves up the income slope, and in any case, this seems to be the preferred market for non-essentials that are offered at prices that will absorb start-up costs during the product life cycle. Business today has nothing to do with anything other than beating indexed stock trading returns. There is no "hi-fi business"; there is only business business. Good hi-fi is nothing more than navigating, assembling and developing a personalized system from parts that might or might not "work" in another context. IMO it is mostly dumb luck to find something that works, although the whole-system approach of Marantz, Meridian, Naim, et al, still "works" if you say it does.


Paul S
03-11-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 22
Post ID: 20648
Reply to: 1142
Roger Skoff’s Death Spiral
fiogf49gjkf0d
http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue71/skoff.htm


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-12-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 23
Post ID: 20649
Reply to: 20648
Show me where the money is?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Roger Skoff: “A cool half million dollars for a pair of speakers! Certainly impressive, but is it sustainable”

Well, the question about sustainability and reference to the Death Spiral is a good one. However I have more interesting question to ask: where is the money settle down in high-end audio?

Yes, we do have $150K turntables, $200K amplifiers and $300K loudspeakers but let remind to each other that no one pay those price tags and if they do then very few of those high price items are sold (with very minor exceptions)  Still, the prices are high, it means there are tone of cash change hands. Still, I do not think that the high-end audio makers here to blame as no one ever seen a reach high-end audio makers. Do not take me wrong- there are wealthy high-end audio makers but 1) they were mostly wealthy before they enter high-end audio scene 2) they do not necessary made money by selling high-end audio. Sure, there are some exceptions but generally if we take let say 100 high-end manufacturers and compare them with 100 business or professionals of the same vintage then it would be very obvious that high-end manufacturing is not so financially lucrative field.

The next state is dealers and distributors. They generally do much better then manufactures. This is true in any other business - salespeople do much better than the actual makers of the goods. Still, I did not see a lot of truly wealthy audio salespeople. They hustle for money but they in my view, dispute that they are leeches of the industry they do not accumulate or collect the industry dough.

The marketing folks, the reviewers, publishers, editors, web sites hosts and the rest industry dirt do not get any money at all. They skim some very immaterial favors from others. Some of them are some cheap, have so low self-respect and that they blow products trumpets for free or for buying discounts. For sure the damage that they inflict to the audio makers is factored into the product prices and eventually delegated to users but the marketing folks themselves do not touch any cash flow in the industry.

So, if the prices in high-end audio are so high then where all industry money eventually get settled?

I do not have an answer but I think I would propose an alternative version: the perpetual Roger Skoff’s Death Spiral. This would explain why the prices are high, why there are mostly no wealthy people in audio, why any product in audio has life-span of year or two and why industry keep entrenching in the audio consumers their brainless need to buy sub-mediocre products.

The Perpetual Sustaining Death Spiral – the PSDS… sound like a great name for $500 volume control knob.

Rgs, the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-13-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,157
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 24
Post ID: 20650
Reply to: 20649
Comfort Zone
fiogf49gjkf0d
One thing high-end audio may always have to offer is some sort of "ultimate solution". This might even be for a problem that is invented in order to address it; it doesn't matter, as long as the buyer thinks the solution and the sound are "the best" available, either at the price, or at any price. I also think that people who spend a lot are looking for the major problems to be already solved. That's what the money is for, right?

Perhaps the major problem for the high end today is convincing people that they need hi-fi at all. In fact, I think this is the major problem for the hi-fi industry, from top to bottom. Most people these days hardly consider sound quality; rather, it's all about features and convenience, portability, etc.

As far as pricing, who can afford to gear up, make an audio product, bring it to market, and then support the product? And of those who can do it, how long can they do it? Where and what is the market? The stupid prices may be initially tied to the idea of hanging in there, or they might be more of a quick hit approach, a get in , get the money, and get out business model. Hell, it works for banks, insurance companies, investment firms, etc, ad nauseum...


Paul S
03-13-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 229
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 25
Post ID: 20651
Reply to: 20648
Death implies life beforehand
fiogf49gjkf0d
In order for something to die, it must be alive! In the case of the spiral of death, those companies were dead at birth and only modern technology feigned life. There is no spiral - only a comedy of errors!

What I am missing most of the time is a real business plan that makes a company sustainable. Clearly defined market, financing and product ideas that allow the offeror to be there afterwards even if there are quality issues.

There are of course success stories: Bose, JBL, hell even Lamm. They know what their market will bear, they know what to do once their market is saturated and they can even afford to play the reviewers as they please.

A brilliant idea is not enough.


Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
03-16-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 174
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 26
Post ID: 20652
Reply to: 20651
The virus is spreading fast...
fiogf49gjkf0d

It's Art Dudley's turn, now:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/skin-deep

"I went to an audio show at which the average product price was astonishing—not just high, in the sense that a BMW is priced higher than a Subaru, but freakishly high. Yet the majority of the sound I heard there was unexceptional.

I'm grateful for the existence of companies such as AMR and VPI, who appear to have the ability and the will to make products that people of average means can aspire to own. So, too, do companies such as Conrad-Johnson, whose Classic 60 amplifier ($3750) combines quality, performance, and value in a manner that ought to be an example for all. So, too, do DeVore and Harbeth and Kimber and Peachtree and Quicksilver and Rega and Rogue and Spendor and Wavelength and others: companies whose sole focus is not always budget gear, per se, but who refuse to dress their BMW-quality products in Lamborghini cosmetics just so they can push them further upmarket. That practice has become far too common during perfectionist audio's last decade, and if it continues, we are doomed, with a capital F.

People who lack our enthusiasm for recorded music and exceptional playback gear delight in criticizing high-end audio as fraudulent. I don't share that point of view. We are crippled not so much by fraud as by a bit of greed, a bit of sloppy, cost-ineffective engineering, and a lack of willingness on the part of us all to speak up and say, I'm sorry, but an interconnect is not, under any conditions, worth as much as a new car. For me, that lack of willingness ends today."

R




"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
03-17-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 229
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 27
Post ID: 20653
Reply to: 20652
The equipment fills the desired purpose
fiogf49gjkf0d
I really don't get excited about the high priced stuff. They are building to a specific market and if that customer wants to spend 300K on cables, why not? I do not need to justify not being interested or even criticize the "business" plan. King Midas learned his lesson and gilded audio is just that - food without nutritional value for the newly rich.

I had a boss that drove a Porsche with carbon brake discs. You can tell the Porsche has the carbon brakes because the pad holders are yellow. He really needed to tell us about the yellow brakes. He really missed the truly wonderful things about that car - but he had his yellow brakes.


He also has a stereo - ACapella horns, the big ones. He knows that I am a musician and interested in audio and wanted to prove how good his stereo was. I asked him if he had PDQ Bachs "The Triumphs of Thusnelda". He told me how much he liked Bach - but didn't have anything to demonstrate. I said, "that's OK" and he played some girl with banjo stuff.


I think the term is decadence and that does not preceed a Picardie Third..................


Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
07-24-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
xandcg


Rio de Janeiro, BR.
Posts 162
Joined on 09-07-2014

Post #: 28
Post ID: 21800
Reply to: 20653
About the car comparation.
fiogf49gjkf0d
A bit side topic but someone made a comparation with car market but I think the best comparation would be more specificaly with sports/supercars. Indeed I feel those are the same type of clients.

People pay high prices for:

Ferraris: very well know to have the worse painting service of the all car industry. Almost each brand new Ferrari come with scratches and need to be take care by a spealist on paint revitalization in order to have a decent paint.

There are tons of issues (always the same) occurring with Ferraris for decades/models and never addressed. They simple don't care and the 'Ferrari Community' are proud to have those issues well cataloged by them with the proper workaround.

Lamborghini: very easy to find real horror stories from Lamborghini owners. Lamborghini is very know to put cheap clutchs which break around each 7500 miles in order to avoid a transmission break and then they have to pay for that due to warrant. Note: 650hp is not that big to easy break a transmisison if that had be made for that...

McLaren and Porsches usually are more realiable. Porsche issues are very consistent. The problem one car have all others of the same cars will have and they address the issues fast. McLaren being a fully robotized car every single issue need to be debugged by them in UK but they never have time to do it... Most McLarens issues are on the software side very little on the hardware side.

These clients are very happy about paying top money for unreliable cars, since those are nice to have and show - its a price to pay they say. Ferrari clients, more specificaly, love to be ignored by the crap and arrogant Ferrari client service and most still feel the need of Ferrari to go back the time when in order to buy a Ferrari one need to almost 'give a head' to the dealer.

Conclusion: I think the same happens with the 'high end' audio industry, people simple like to be stolen because they want to show they can afford it.



Think for yourself, do not be sheep.
Page 2 of 2 (28 items) Select Pages:  « 1 2
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Expensive Audiophilism as a diagnosis...  The way from ignorance to moronity ...  Audio Discussions  Forum     3  20236  06-28-2005
  »  New  Audio Note new turntable and inflation..  When I see the crap like this thing…...  Analog Playback Forum     13  102107  01-03-2010
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