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…

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I would agree that rock does seem to hold a certain challenge to many high end speakers, regardless of the price. Most of the time, I don’t hear it played back well on speakers that are great for jazz or classical. Question becomes as to whether there is truly a certain type of speaker that does all things best…including music like RAP? 
The JBL’s mentioned would be preferable to a lot of speakers for rock,at and above their price range, but for other types of music and specifically something that requires an intimate presentation, not so much. 
 

Can speakers that are great at dynamics and drive also excel at detail and nuance?

@mitch2 

Can speakers that are great at dynamics and drive also excel at detail and nuance?


That's an interesting question and one which even after some 30 years of experience in Hi-Fi, I'm not too sure of the answer.

I've certainly heard some very expensive speakers (£50k+) that definitely couldn't do both. They tended to be exotic designs where the designer wanted them to do certain things as best as they could even if it meant doing others far less well.

So, for some like-minded people they still might be reasonable value for money but for others they would be stupidly overpriced.

Ridiculously so.

@mitch2  An excellent question. I think it is possible that a speaker can do great dynamics and drive and, when called upon, can also excel at detail and nuance. I recently listened to a new pair of Wilson Alexx V’s, that seemed to fit that bill, albeit at a price.

@mitch2 wrote:

Can speakers that are great at dynamics and drive also excel at detail and nuance?

Why wouldn't they? Or is it that when excelling at "dynamics and drive," certainly among a range of speakers that fare well here, there are aspects of the reproduction, such like detail and nuance, that would seem less prominent in the face of prowess in other areas? Honestly I've never really felt detail and nuance to be lacking in speakers that excelled at dynamics, at least not as a general observation, but that there's instead a typical shift in the distribution of the presentation as a whole; with dynamically capable speakers, larger horn-loaded iterations in particular, the overall sonic imprinting veers towards that of a higher "density" of reproduction overall, with - in many cases - a more outspoken richness or energy in the "power region" (i.e.: ~150-400Hz) in addition to a fuller and more physical reproduction from the central mids on up. Conversely quite a few if not most direct radiating and lower eff. speakers sound leaner (i.e.: less meat on the bones) by comparison, which subjectively tends to heighten the sensation of detail and "airiness." There's also a higher ratio of direct sound vs. reflected ditto sound from larger horns, that may lead to a less "reverberative" presentation and only add to the sensation of a "thicker" and more robust sound.