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…


@kokakolia While my thread was asking about the very top end pricing in audio, I am interested in your points about the area below high end...commonly called mid-fi, or even mass produced low end gear. I think today, unlike in years past, there are some quite good low priced components that do give one a ’taste’ of what high end can accomplish, ( which is what i think you are pointing out). However, while this is encouraging for folk who cannot budget for what is now becoming very serious $$ for a lot of this gear, the reality of the situation is...and I hate to say this, that one typically does get what one pays for in this hobby in SQ ( in most instances). IF..again IF, you have a chance to listen to what some of this gear can sound like, particularly when set up properly in a proper dedicated acoustic space, I feel certain that you will hear what it is that the top high end companies provide from a SQ perspective. Now my question of whether the $$ asked can be raised to such a point that even the most well-heeled audiophile says...sorry, too expensive and I pass regardless of the ability, still applies.

@daveyf Yes, I went off tangent. You are right.

I’ll conclude that the very high end is bogus. The prices are astronomical to inflate the perceived value. You can cite extreme examples with 1 million dollar speakers. Maybe you should define high end in terms of performance. I believe that you can achieve that for tens of thousands of dollars if you’re smart. The very best Yamaha system is « only » $50k. You get all of the electronics (amp, preamp, cd player, turntable, full range speakers). Perhaps I am moving goal posts. I trust Yamaha more than a small boutique manufacturer selling $300k speakers and might go out of business soon. 

So yeah, a step below the very high end could be the sweet spot. Going entry level was never your intention. 


Anyone who could remember the 'sound, the qualities' of even most of the various speakers and/or the equipment would be considered to be a savant of sorts....


I guess not, but at the least you should be aware of the strengths of various loudspeakers etc.

In that particular example Howard Popeck was familiar with both the Harbeths and the JBLs. I probably wouldn't pick the JBL L100 if I listened to mainly classical, they're good but there's probably better out there.

However for rock they're amongst the best speakers I've ever heard. It's hard to describe just why but they do have amazing transients and dynamics plus clean mids. They also have good bass but it's not the kind that's artificially boosted and then suddenly falls off a cliff.

Every dealer and reviewer should be familiar with a speaker like that just in case a listener strongly favours one particular genre over others.

As for modern equivalents, I've never heard any of the Zu speakers but I'd expect them to be also extremely good with rock. Maybe PMC too as both Sean Casey and Peter Thomas look as if they might enjoy some hard rock now and then.



That stuff is either overpriced, overhyped, over-engineered with exotic hard-to-find parts, or all of the above. Everyone is trying to re-invent the wheel in the high-end market. Because the wheel is too basic, convenient and affordable. You're swimming with the sharks in a high-end market. The sharks are the salesmen. Furthermore, high-end equipment can be experimental and unreliable at times. 

Good argument, one that applies across the board.

I remember seeing one of the earliest large screen LCD TVs at a show in London when they were first coming out.

This one had a mediocre picture at best and cost £29,000!

We were told that Buckingham Palace had ordered one.

Who'd have thought the Queen would be at the cutting edge when it came to TVs?

Or perhaps it was the Queen mum, she was said to have enjoyed her horse racing on TV.

There's almost always a risk attached to cutting edge technology as well as a hefty premium to pay.


@cd318 ...*S*  I can agree with that sentiment; any and all salespersons should have a breath of experience with some 'classics' as well as the new & any offerings at hand....but that's a tall order, since (I'd suspect) most that can fill that muse are pending on my age and/or have gone onto the Great Auditoriums In The Sky... ;)

I liked the L1hun....out of my $zone at the time, and the grille would be a tease even my cat, well behaved as Grace was, would have sorely been tempted by...

As to what I had at the time?  I suspect my 901s', in a small studio apartment that I opted to show restraint with regards to my neighbors...and the aged window panes...*g*