@frankmc195 - I'm afraid all significant tax cuts have gone to those much wealthier than I am.
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Sounds to me like your cynical / lazy side has overwhelmed your rational senses.
I recommend doing some research into the founders and companies like Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, Pass, Wilson, Boulder, Magico… etc. leading high end companies were founded by men fanatically dedicated to pursuing the high end sound, Few, did not face bankruptcy at some point. These guys never had making a fortune remotely in their mind… only producing spectacular products, the very best possible.
I recommend instead of looking at a price tag and coming up with your own conspiracy theory completely devoid of facts or understanding, do some research and find the answer. It is easy to find. For instance try the Audio Research 50th Anniversary Book. It goes deeply into the endless dedication of the founder / lead designer… like almost any great high end companies. Learn about Wilson, Pass… etc.
4/5 times the cost? Good luck with that! It cost us $5K in parts alone to make custom mono block class A amps. The dealer wants 40% of the price. So if we sell them for $15K a pair we make $4K profit. WOW we are getting rich right? Selling 5 of them we get $20K. We are taking everyone to the cleaners right!
Now try selling a number of units to make $100K. Cannot make money as a company doing this. Pay some rent, a few employees, taxes, warranty if and when necessary. You get the point!
The OP seems very unfamiliar on how businesses work, how pricing is established, which market segments they compete in. He seems to ignores the costs of running a business, the R&D expenditures, and a markup enough to be net profitable/survive. If it were a larger market and thus able to sell more then maybe markups can be reduced offset by volume, but high-end audio is a small niche market.
Audiophiles are not “suckers” blindly paying more thinking that they will get a better sound. We generally are very careful and thoughtful on our choices.
Thinking that many speakers craftmanship designers are thieves who makes BIG money selling audiophile speakers is even if it was true a proof that they would be very bad thieves because one make money with vaccines or pharma drugs or banking or financials schemes , drugs and arms traffic, organ traffic etc not with audiophile speakers...😁
I dont even need to know the ratio of price parts cost versus the selling price to know that....
Most reputed speakers craftmanship is born of love not born from hubris...
The problem in audio is not the cost of ultra high end speakers; it is acoustic ignorance...
For sure some increase their price to sell luxury to rich people but it is not really crookery because these products overpriced are easy to spot...
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