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

Thanks to Hilde45 for that great quote from Chen Xi. Here's another from the same paper:
A large body of empirical evidence finds that low socio-economic status and resulting feelings of relative deprivation diminish people’s well-being, indicated by lower happiness and health. When people respond to this condition by competing for higher status, they often divert resources from meeting basic needs to inefficient spending on status-seeking goods. The negative impact of relative deprivation on well-being can be reduced by curbing such spending among the poor. Possible methods include consumption taxes on status-marking goods . . .
Seems problematic enough just adjusting to the current wave of inflation, but the prospect of new "consumption taxes" on top gives me the willies. VAT? If then everyone asks for a raise so they can pay for their new $80,000 Corolla, $2M home and dad's $35,000 SP3A1, we will find out the truth about democracy and capitalism!

Sell 1,000 / year of "A" with $100 profit and your yearly salary is 100k.

Not too shabby 🤔

Taking a chicken or egg view, I think the customer already existed for the $5000 power cord and manufacturers use packaging and marketing to be the one that customer chooses.  It's like the $20,,000 engagement ring or the $500 perfume--someone wants those products to exist, so they do.

There's a subculture that wants the discards at half-price, and I'm that customer.

Sorry to tell you @electroslacker , but $20,000 isn’t all that much for an engagement ring anymore for a lot of people.