Is it possible for a high end manufacturer to overprice their goods?

Having just read the interesting and hyperbole laden review by RH of the new Rockport Orion speakers in the latest issue of The Absolute Sound, one thing struck me..

is it possible in the high end for a manufacturer to overprice their product ( doesn’t have to be a speaker, but this example comes to mind)? I ask this, as the Orion is priced at $133k! Yes,a price that would probably make 99% of hobbyists squirm. Yet, the speaker now joins a number of competitors that are in the $100k realm. 
To that, this particular speaker stands just 50.3” tall and is just 14.3” wide…with one 13” woofer, one 7” midrange and a 1.25” beryllium dome ( which these days is nothing special at all…and could potentially lead to the nasties of beryllium bite).

The question is…given this speakers design and parts, which may or may not be SOTA, is it possible that this is just another overpriced product that will not sell, or is it like others, correctly priced for its target market? Thoughts…


@curtdr  The question is not whether a marketing plan exists that banks on 'over pricing' gear to sell at the high end, but rather if it is possible that such a plan might ultimately cause buyer ' exhaustion'? Resulting in a major reduction in sales to a final conclusion of zero sales? This would seem to me to be highly probable, since the upward spiral in pricing is getting more aggressive. But, perhaps we have just seen the tip of the iceberg here, who knows? 

certainly Rockport has been highly successful selling very high priced speakers for decades, while others not successful... I think their speakers sound incredibly good, though have never had the chance to compare them to similarly priced speakers...not sure how much buyers in that price range care about resale value...


1) Lot of noise in the internet. You are right. Coming from "innocent" people with a secret agenda, whether from the manufacturers' side, or themselves profit motif. The key is to get to know the people online or personally that you learn to trust, both integrity wise, and from the perspective of matching their taste with your own. This takes years (if not decades) and constant exposure to what goes on in the hobby, user forums and publications / reviewers.


You're right, when it comes to opinions in audio, it can take years to find people who you can trust.

The same thing applies to cars, electrics, plumbing, health etc.

I still have fond memories of Derek Whittington who ran Sound Advice from Loughborough. I bought my first system from him and I'll always be grateful for his honesty and patience.

He was big on Linn and Naim, like so many were back then, but neither Derek nor anyone in his shop ever pushed anything on me.

I remember one difficult listening session where I couldn't find a single well reviewed loudspeaker I liked more than what I had already until someone there suggested listening to the Rega Kytes.

That was a classic case of using your own ears to make a purchasing decision. 

As you say, trying a product at home would be best but listening at a dealers is still far better than taking a gamble on what you've read or heard.

Howard Popeck is another name that comes to mind. Years ago my sister fancied some new speakers and auditioned some Harbeths at home.  She was unimpressed until Howard suggested listening to some vintage JBL L100s which she still loves to this day.

@cd318  Quite a difference between Harbeth's and JBL L100's!! Presumably your sister was primarily into rock, which might explain the preference for JBL's.


@jl35  You ask a good question, how much do consumers in the very high price range for some of this audio gear concern themselves about re-sale value? I suspect little, because most of this gear drops heavily in value once used. There are numerous examples of high $$ speakers that are not easy to sell at 70% of new- once hitting the used market, regardless of age! 

OTOH, while this is an interesting point, i am not sure at what price point this relates to my OP, because there are also examples of far less expensive gear that also fails to hold value, and naturally, there are a few examples of gear that has actually risen in value ( although a much much smaller category).Albeit, I can't think of a ultra pricey speaker system that has risen in value.



@cd318 Quite a difference between Harbeth’s and JBL L100’s!! Presumably your sister was primarily into rock, which might explain the preference for JBL’s.


Your presumption is correct.

If I remember correctly from what she told me, Howard demonstrated both the SLH5s and the C7ES3s which she thought were better but neither were to her taste.

Apparently Howard had been into rock himself and was familiar with what the JBLs could do.

It sometimes pays to have a dealer that has a wide range of tastes and experience in music.

Perhaps every good dealer or reviewer should have that?