Stratospheric audio gear prices

The more time I have under my belt pursuing quality audio, the more I realize that high audio gear prices have some basis in their quality. Yet there is a limit. When you buy a Ferrari the cost is high, but you can see the money involved in the design and parts. Many would argue that high quality audio gear is similar to the quality and design of a hyper-car. But when you look a the sheer quantity an complexity of this kind of car, there is no piece of audio gear that compares. To me, a piece of audio gear that costs as much as even an inexpensive car is just a manufacturer cashing in because they can. Can you imagine what audio manufacturers would want to charge for a piece of audio gear that was the size and weight of a car? Like $100 million.  I believe it just drives the whole market up and we end up getting a little bit suckered. This is all perhaps a little overstated. I guess I just want to shame audio manufacturers. I do understand that they are not charities, or here for the betterment of mankind. If you are not frustrated by this, good for you.  Here is a quote from a book about marketing. The reference is a victim of link rot. Nevertheless it has common information. 

"Premium Pricing

Premium pricing is the practice of keeping the price of a product or service artificially high in order to encourage favorable perceptions among buyers, based solely on the price. The practice is intended to exploit the (not necessarily justifiable) tendency for buyers to assume that expensive items enjoy an exceptional reputation or represent exceptional quality and distinction . A premium pricing strategy involves setting the price of a product higher than similar products . This strategy is sometimes also called skim pricing because it is an attempt to "skim the cream" off the top of the market. It is used to maximize profit in areas where customers are happy to pay more, where there are no substitutes for the product, where there are barriers to entering the market, or when the seller cannot save on costs by producing at a high volume. It is also called image pricing or prestige pricing.


Luxury has a psychological association with price premium pricing. The implication for marketing is that consumers are willing to pay more for certain goods and not for others. To the marketer, it means creating a brand equity or value for which the consumer is willing to pay extra. Marketers view luxury as the main factor differentiating a brand in a product category."

Source: Boundless. “Market Share.” Boundless Business Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 07 Feb. 2017 from

The prices do not follow the stock market except in the sense of the stock market is a hedge against inflation over the long term.  Using gold as the reference luxury items tend to maintain a constant price while consumer prices over the years have fallen- relative to the price of gold.  The real story is that wages are 10% of 1965 wages relative to gold prices.  Real wages have fallen for decades but so have costs although not as much.  The exceptions being luxury items, healthcare and education.  This is in general.  Of course some have profited more than others.  We have enjoyed very cheap gasoline for decades.  That is likely coming to an end as we are pushed into alternative vehicles which might mean less electricity to power our stereos. 
@alexatpos I believe technology has improved drastically in the last 30 years.  I can’t recall the last time a car didn’t start without warning or equipment just broke. 
I also think we are in a more materialistic times. And if you want to feel bad think about how much you pay in taxes and if you get any better services...  I am a low user of government services as a single person with no kids and my tax bill has increased by multiples but roads, department of motor vehicles and politicians have only gotten worse. 

"Be happy with what you have, or can reasonably obtain. Don't be upset over what somebody else chooses to do with their money, or charges for their goods or service"

Wise counsel for those who value peace of mind.

If, on the other hand,  you prefer an endless, never-satisfied "grail-quest", there's clearly no shortage of opportunity for that !