$2500 speaker threshold

Hello everyone,

Recently I was reading the latest edition of Robert Harley's The Complete Guide to High End Audio. In an early chapter he refers to a "significant" disparity in quality between speakers selling for just under $2500 & selling selling for just over $2500. I'd never heard of this before.

I realize that quality is supposed to improve with price, but Harley was clear in stating that the $2500 threshold marked a larger gap in quality than would be seen in other price-point differences. Unfortunately he didn't elaborate on just what made the >2500s better than the <$2500s.

Anyone know what that might be about?

My view is the really good stand mount monitor speakers sell for $2000 to $2500 new. Going to the same speaker in a floor stander doubles the price. Hence a big gap.

Although I have no idea what his reasons were for suggesting that particular price points +/- a few dollars.
I would be leary of such a quote given no elaboration on reason.
That's an really close margin to say there are significant differances from just a few hundred dollar slot limit.
Just my two cents worth.
It's a generalization. In general I can see his point, but, however, except, on the other hand, it's also a simplification. There are things that can't be done for less than a couple thousand, on the other hand, there could be an argument for an upper breakpoint too. After about seven to eight thousand, in most cases, you're throwing your money at finishing or bragging rights.
My guess is he is stating that once you hit the $2500 price point for every dollar you spend,the less value for the dollar beyond that point...Keep in mind the selling price vs. cost is probably 4 to 1 and the higher in cost the more you lose...Thats the reality of it...Maybe that what he was trying to say..
I can't say rather I agree or disagree with his statement that's probably got a little more context intended to go with it, but when I was looking at speakers my final choice was between the Focal Chorus 816v ($2,000) and 836v ($3,000) and the difference was significant. The 836v had better bass response that would be expected with the addition of two bass drivers (i.e. 3 vs. 1), but the 3-way design compared to the 2-1/2 way design also yielded much better instrument seperation. I have not heard the 826v ($2,500), but because it's a 2-1/2 way design I'd anticipate that it would sound like an 816v with a little more bass. In my opinion, the 836v speaker has an amazing sound in a way that the 816v, that is also excellent, isn't.
Robert and I were colleagues at the time he first published a 'Guide'...I tried to get Kathy Gornik to have this as a 'giveaway' in THIEL dealerships, as he used the THIEL's as his reference...that, and Robert's a REALLY GOOD GUY, and great listener.
I'm thinking that, and this is a maybe, time has changed 'pricing' jumping off points...IF, AND ONLY IF, this is from about '98.
I do agree emperically, that there is a 'jump off point' that occurs...though I'm not 'precisely aware' of where it happens.
For example...the LSA1 Statement (this is not a commercial)...takes any listener into the 'High End'...both texturally, and imaging wise...with a tonal balance (excluding deep bass) similar to Sound Labs A1....that's saying a lot, as they retail for about 9 times the price and are definitely MUCH better. Yet, it's the doorway to wonderful sound that we can all live with.
Bobby's, (my friend and colleague) Merlins, do the same thing. He's always offered textures 'out the wazooo' for prices that are based on real value, 'Good old American Sweat', and not what the market will bear.
So, while there's a 'jump off', I don't know what it is--but I agree in theory.

Love all audiophiles...
Man, all I can say is for that money you could get an upgraded VMPS 626R with a VMPS sub if you buy used, or the VMPS RM2 new. Either one is a great sounding speaker. Dynamics and clarity with excellent defined base and magnificent mids and highs, especially with the fst tweeter.
You might catch a used RM30 or RM40 at the high end of your price range. The last 2 would be extra nice sound. Serious air moved in the mids (both) and bass 40s. They are THE best sounding speakers for the money period. If you haven't heard a pair properly set up, you can't know what I'm saying about their sound.
What you really need to think about is an 'ear threshold', and your listening room. I've heard many $1K speakers sound much better then there $5K brothers. Best to ignore price points, settle on monitor vs floor stander, and then audition the hell out of many brands.
Interesting comments.

As I wrote in another thread, my system is nearfield--speakers on my desk about four feet apart w/some toe-in. Right now they're the Spendor SA1, which have been reviewed as being both excellent nearfield monitors & unfussy about placement--two essential qualities for any possible replacement.

And I'm really on the fence about upgrading. Before I read Mr. Harley's comment I would have thought that for my particular needs spending more money would lead to diminishing returns--I know there are many monitors out there no larger--& even smaller than mine--that cost more & probably outperform the Spendors. But given the limitations of placement I have to work with would their qualities necessarily shine through?

Everything equal my first choice for an upgrade would be a no-brainer: the Harbeth Compact 7. But I just don't see them on my desk. Comments elsewhere, however, lead me to believe that P3esr might be worth looking into--even though it doesn't really constitute an *upgrade* per se.

But again, I may just hang to & enjoy what I've got. I really have no complaints whatever. It's just that I spend nine hours every day working at my desk, so getting the best possible sound I can afford is pretty serious business for me.

Might be the ol' Vandy "2.X" Test.

This speaker has been a default recommendation by a lot of folks for (almost) full-range high end speaker value since its introduction app. 35 years ago. Whatever the "then current" 2.X version costs can habitually become shorthand for the value inflection point in high end speakers.

Obviously, there are other models that some would prefer (similarly priced Maggies come to mind), but the price tag on the Vandy 2.X almost seems to represent a rule of thumb over/under for a lot of people.

I don't know what that price was when Harley made the comment, but I bet it wasn't far off.

Disclaimer: No particular recommendation or criticism of Vandy 2 as a value proposition on my part, just an observation.

Ridiculous assertion.
Gems are found below 2500$ and clunkers above.

Than of course, personal opinion and means certainly come into play. The poor starving student will spend 2500$ or LESS on a complete system.

Everyone sets the cost / benefit bar where they will.

As a matter of fact Marty, the Vandy WAS compared in test to the than current Magnepan 1.6 different strokes for different folks. Both were around 2k at that time.