Expensive Speakers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Ron Scubadiver, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Houston TX
    Check this first:

    CES 2017 Loudspeakers $20k and Up »

    Who buys these things? Consider the risk of these small companies disappearing and then a driver goes bad. What would a car cost if it was built this way? Millions. The handmade Confederate Motorcycle is $125k.

    One of those is a 2 way with DSP for $50k, yikes!
     
  2. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Prescott, AZ, USA
    For someone that can afford and want them - I see little risk.
     
  3. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    'Here's your $40,000 Christmas bonus.'

    That's who.
     
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  4. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    Anything that can break can be fixed and the chances of something going bad on a new speaker is about the same as getting hit by lightening and winning the lottery in the same day.

    v I know a guy that dropped 40K on a pontoon boat and a jet ski, another guy that put 100K into an RV that he takes to football games and there are plenty of folks that like to buy fancy cars just to look at. Only in this hobby do we get so offended by the high end of the spectrum.
     
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  5. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    That would be amazing.
     
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  6. dchang81

    dchang81 Active Member

    most people are appalled at 1k stereo equipment.
     
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  7. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    There seems to be some sort of odd psychology at work with this. It's either an inferiority complex or a defensiveness towards their own gear that they like. The "you're stupid for spending money" vibe is not prevalent in any other hobby that I can think of. I'm into wood working and you would never hear, "How could you buy a new table saw for $3,000 when you can get a used one for $300?".
     
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  8. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    I knew a dealer in Phoenix, 'Celestial Audio'. Nice guy. He told me his business was kept afloat by about half a dozen guys who would come in once a year and say, 'I just got a forty thousand dollar bonus, what should I buy'?
     
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  9. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Houston TX
    I had tweeters blow out on new speakers. Fortunately they were in warranty and the manufacturer has been around a long time. I also had foam surrounds fall apart on two pairs of speakers which were just out of warranty. Compared to electronics, speakers are delicate. Transportation assets have an active used market. I don't consider the analogy to be valid. What is the resale value on a 3 year old pair of $100k speakers which are manufactured at the rate of one or two pairs a month? It has to be much worse than the loss on any transportation asset.
     
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  10. bamaaudio

    bamaaudio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    I've definitely observed this. My family works with doctors and I've come to know quite a few over the years and have regularly been invited to their homes. These guys aren't exactly hurting in the money department (~$200k-500k/yr salaries) in the deep south. But it's not uncommon at all to see these guys driving beater cars and having very few material possessions/collections on display in the house. Never have seen >$1k speakers in any of their homes. From what I've noticed most about the higher earning individuals I've come into contact with, they'll drop huge money on things like vacations or restaurant dining but are among the most frugal folks I've ever known in nearly other aspect of life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  11. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Houston TX
    People like that value experiences over owning things.
     
  12. Kyhl

    Kyhl formerly known as Strabo

    Location:
    Savage
    $40k on a boat is not that far off and is not the high end. A sparkly 21 foot bass boat all decked out can push $80k. In a resort I frequent there is a visitor with a 300hp outboard on a pontoon. The list price of motor alone is north of $20k. He had to have the lower unit rebuilt and the repair cost him almost as much as my 150hp outboard cost new.

    Expensive is a relative term.

    Btw, that 300hp pontoon can outrun my fishing boat by about 15mph which is significant when the lake we are on is 10 miles wide by 20 miles long.
     
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  13. bamaaudio

    bamaaudio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    Good point. I'll admit that I regret being somewhat the opposite and always saving up for "things" as exposed to traveling the world for example. Not too long ago I was binging on YT videos of young minimalists living out of their van or RV and it was actually pretty interesting. They're basically living like rockstars in the free spirited nomad sense but without the luxury and amenities. I'm sure they'll have some amazing stories to tell their kids and grandkids.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  14. RiCat

    RiCat Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT, USA
    Tom Cruise, Jimmy Fallon, a huge number of audiophiles and may other persons who have made large amounts of money. When perhaps 90% of the wealth is controlled by approximately 10% of the population that still leaves a considerable number of people who can and do afford to purchase these and other high end items. There is no issue finding a Subaru in stock but you have to stand in line for a Ferrari.
     
  15. Claus

    Claus Foodie

    Location:
    Germany
    Funny article.... different speakers for different music! A loudspeaker over 30K or more should play every kind of music.
     
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  16. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Dang...I fell for the click bait....
     
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  17. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I have a pair of Dahlquist that came to me used in about 1990 from a recording studio that went out of business. I blew the tweeter in about 96 listening to live recording of Miles Davis really loud with than amp that didn't have enough power. I also had one re foamed about 17 years ago. To this day I put about ten hours on them every week. I have a pair of Paradigm studio 40's that I bought new in 2007 have run very, very hard and never had a problem. I gave them to a friend of mine that is a reggae freak and easily puts 30 t 40 hours on them each week. In my experience I have found speakers to be very durable and when something happens, it is generally the result of excessive volume or user error.

    that said, I don't disagree with your point. IF I was 100K deep in a pair of speakers, something went wrong and the company was no longer in existence, that would really suck.

    As for the car analogy.... Those Studio 40's cost about $1,600 in 2007 and averaged about 20 to 30 hours a week for nearly ten years. They bring $800 on eBay every time I've seen them listed. A new $50,000 car bought in 2013 with 82,000 miles might trade in for $15,000. It seems that most audio gear reduces to 50% of retail value and stays there forever. The brand in question is a big factor. In both cases a car nor audio equipment can ever be thought of as an investment. You are paying for the task that it performs, if you wind up with any money on the back end it is only a bonus.
     
  18. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark New Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I'd like to just hear them play Back in Black in person :cool:
     
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  19. JBStephens

    JBStephens I am not a "peep", thank you very much.

    Location:
    South Mountain, NC
    My best friend is a multimillionare. Yet he will buy the large economy-sized hand cleaner and refills his smaller dispensers with it. He has a milllon-dollar home, but goes to surplus outlet to buy the stuff to clean it. He has multiple Porsches, but will drive 15 miles to save two cents a gallon on gas. The thing with rich people isn't making their million dollars, it's keeping it. And that's how they do.
     
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  20. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    A lot of these are guys who work 60+ hours/week and don't have time for toys and possessions. And when vacation time comes, they want to get AWAY.
     
  21. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Houston TX
    The key here is those speakers were $1600 new and leveled out at 50%. Does that hold true for speakers which cost $50,000 or $100,000 new? Anyone want to do some research? I wouldn't be surprised if values for something like B&W 800 series hold up but exotic stuff produced in tiny quantities was directed at a much smaller market.

    One other thing bothering me is where do these small companies get their engineering expertise? They can't hire Andrew Jones like TAD did. Companies like B&W, Monitor Audio, Revel and Focal have years of collective engineering expertise. I recognize test gear is fairly affordable because of computers; speakers which test well usually sound good. When something as good as the LS50 is out there for $1,500 who needs a $15,000 pair of stand mounts?
     
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  22. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Houston TX
    The wealthy see money as security rather than something to exchange for goods or services. I saw a piece on a business site the other day which said $5 million is now what $1 million used to be. It's enough that a single mistake or stock market slide will not knock you out of the wealthy category.
     
  23. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    They don't, from what I see listed on audiogon it looks like 35% of retail is common in the 30k and above speakers.
     
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  24. wwaldmanfan

    wwaldmanfan Forum Resident

    These speakers may sound awesome, but they sure are ugly. There's only one out of that entire group that I would even consider putting in my house, regardless of price or sound. How about the one that looks like a robot with a giant glass-tulip head? Who designs these things?
     
  25. dchang81

    dchang81 Active Member

    In general I wonder how most speaker or cable etc designs are made. Considering how wavetouch speakers get good reviews, and i cant imagine much engineering went into those...
     

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