Top down or bottom up? Just asking...


This is a purely theoretical question that I’m tossing out just to learn what folks might say.

Consider, say, Magico and Wilson Audio. Their top speakers are in 6 figures, but their ‘bottom’ ones go as low as 10k. Consider, say, Monitor Audio and Paradigm. Their bottom is very low 4 figures or lower; their top in the low 30s.

Now, wouldn’t it stand to reason that other things being equal a 20-30k speaker from Wilson or Magico would be better than the same from the other firms? The upper firms have all that top level technology to scale down, while MA and Para would be at the top of their game in the 20-30 range.

Obviously, there are other issues—personal taste being the most important. And room size and other components.

But ‘all things being equal’ isn’t the answer clear? What am I missing?

P.s. I am a very happy owner of MA PL100II, which I got half price used here at less than a year old. And of B and W CM9 I got 10 years ago. I’m just wondering…


128x128rsgottlieb
'Other things' = first and foremost personal taste. I'm very fond of MA; some people really dislike Magico or Wilson. 
But also there is the size of the room, the kind of music you like to listen to, even the appearance or size of the speaker itself. 
Ah, now I understand your premise for using that expression. IF all those aspects were similar, what are our thoughts.
I’m sticking with my ’trickle down technology’ spiel.
It still all comes down to personal taste. I could easily see someone preferring Paradigm’s top offering to whatever Sonus Faber, for example, has at that same price point.

The bigger issue, I think, is that Paradigm has a much harder hill to climb scaling up than it is to scale down in large part due to brand perception. I shook my head when VW launched the $100,000 Phaeton and new it would fail from the get go. The Phaeton was actually an impressive car, but are you gonna drop 100 grand on a Volkswagen when you could have a BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, etc.? It’s precisely why Toyota, Nissan, and Honda created Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura — they knew perception matters, a lot.

The benefit to scaling up might be that as higher-volume manufacturers they can possibly leverage their cost advantages in creating higher-level products theoretically giving them even higher margins selling high-end products, but it doesn’t matter if people won’t buy them in sufficient numbers.

Case in point, MA’s top speakers are by all accounts fantastic and a great bargain for the performance they deliver, but they don’t get near the attention of the Wilsons, Magicos, etc. at their price points. I believe if MA launched a luxury division with a nice new name and raised their prices their top speakers would be getting a lot more interest and exposure. But, all else being equal and speaking from a manufacturer’s perspective, I’d certainly rather be in the position of scaling down as it’s a hugely easier path than going the other way.  Not sure this answers anything, but anyway...
Theoretically, all other things being equal, yes. When in fact all other things are never equal, so the answer is no.

Everything I loathe about these sorts of threads, distilled down into two concise sentences. Practice makes perfect. If only you guys would back off on the opportunities to practice.