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07-27-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat

Boston, MA
Posts 10,074
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 21125
Reply to: 21125
Shall quality-price be reversed?
Ok, this article is about good thing in audio – the price. Yes, ironically nthere is ONE aspect of audio when price works very nicely.
During the last few years a lot of publicity in media was spent to the recent Stradivarius revelation. Search and you’ll find, it is literally everywhere. The nucleus of the revelation that a group of researcher conducted a few rounds of experiments where players were blindly played and compare expensive vintage Strads and better contemporary instruments and to everyone surprise the contemporary instruments always were preferred by players.

I personally do not invest a lot of trust into the research and the conclusions. However, I would like to note that the same satiation would be hardly possible in audio.  Audio has no equipment with Strad publicity but we have price.  I person who would listen $20K installation and $200K installation would not hear just different sound but the person would have different expectation to the heard.

Which bring me to the purpose of this article: can we “review” audio equipment by price undershooting and overshooting?  Let pretend that we hear Sound of playback and we do not informed what equipment or topology were responsible for it. Now instead of taking about sound we extend a monetary worth of this sound and then compare it with the actual price tag.

I very much assure you that if for a month the industry embraces the proposed reviewing method then everyone would be VERY surprised….

Romy 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
07-27-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree

Posts 441
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 2
Post ID: 21126
Reply to: 21125
There are a lot of people that use price already.....
I can't speak about the most expensive audio - I don't have the means or experience. I do play trumpet however and there is a similar situation:

My trumpet cost $13,500. Professional trumpets usually have prices between $3,000 and 6,000. Comments from those that have never played my brand of trumpet range from - "it must play itself" to "no trumpet could be possibly worth that money". Those that have experience with it have different responses - from "it didn't work for me" to "I wouldn't own anything else". I would have payed considerably more if necessary for what I got.

The perceived value in audio works the other way now. The Mike Fremers/Johnathan Valins place a "value" on what they heard and the rest are expected to believe it. Average listeners don't (can't) evaluate what they hear, so it remains with what they can afford and has the least guilty conscience.

Now if an eBay auction were the only way to buy this stuff, then we would have a dynamic view of what people think something is worth. We would have attempts at champagne taste on a beer budget.

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
07-29-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Posts 354
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 3
Post ID: 21132
Reply to: 21126
List vs actual price
Since audio purchases are not yet subsidized by governments AFAIK the prices in the audio biz are being supported at the current level. Now the list price is only relevant if people pay it so I would assume that for the most part the actual price is around 20% cheaper than the list. Also dealers will demo something for 10 minutes so they can reduce the price and sell it. In the used market, good condition components seem to sell for around 40-50% of the list price except digital which sells for about 33% of list.

Depending on point of view audio equipment is priceless or almost worthless. It is priceless when you hear the music of someone dead or otherwise unavailable that you love. It is almost worthless as a true record of how the music actually sounds when performed as intended. I am not concerned what someone else pays for an audio component; only what I have to pay to have an enjoyable experience listening to recordings that I want to listen to.
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