It seems like when I see comments on high end gear there is a lot of negativity. I have been an audiophile for the last 20 years. Honestly, if you know how to choose gear and match gear a lot of the high end gear is just better. When it comes to price people can charge what they want for what they create. If you don’t want it. Don’t pay for it. Look if you are blessed to afford the best bear and you can get it. It can be very sonically pleasing. Then do it. Now if you are also smart and knowledgeable you can get high end sound at mid-fi prices then do it. It’s the beauty of our our hobby. To build a system that competes with the better more expensive sounding systems out there. THOUGHTS?

deep_333: May I ask why not deal with a US based manufacturer that will sell directly to you, or are you so fond of TAD?  

@ellajeanelle , I had the original TAD Reference (Andrew Jones' cost no object design), which was bought used from a friend of mine and hence it wasn't too much a wallet abuser. When it was released back then, it was considered to be one of the best speakers ever made (sonically) in a few circles. Living with a speaker like that tends to raise the "point of reference",  could make one real nitpicky thereafter, i suppose. 

I wanted to fund a second speaker with some different strengths for the same room and the Schweikert 55 qualified, (not cheap again/German). I found a guy who was willing to trade the Schweikert and some cash in exchange for the TAD. I used that cash to fund the later released/trickledown lower TAD model (E1TX), which gets "close enough" to the Reference model after subs and sufficient tweaks are in place.

It just so happens that the speakers i've personally preferred (sonically) haven't been from local American manufacturers. The local bigger names are also again subject to this 50% markup by dealers (PS Audio being a recent exception). I am not quite the fan of the Magico/Wilson sound either.

More recently, i got a bit jaw dropped by Borresen speakers (made in Denmark, would have been nice if they were American instead). If i do buy the trickledown X3 model (relatively affordable 11k msrp), it wouldn't feel as bad perhaps forking out the "dealer's cut" in this instance, i.e., i could stomach it. It just starts to get plain obnoxious forking out the "dealer's cut" when the speakers exceed a certain price bracket (i.e. the high end price brackets).

Frankly, i am done dealing with that extortive price bracket! I know enough to make things sonically beat down all the extortive crap with what i already have. If other guys are willing to fork out a 100k for looks, bragging rights, etc, whatever, to each his own.


I wouldn't label particular audio products as a "farce" any more than many other types of commercial products.  In cases where key performance metrics are mostly subjective rather than measurable, then the value can only be judged by what a buyer is willing to spend.

Many of the arguments here originate from folks wanting to make absolute judgements (i.e., better or best) about components, speakers, or tweaks that are mostly judged based on subjective, not measurable, criteria.  The subjective nature of many audio products also opens the door for marketing departments to exercise their poetic license.

I've always assumed that pricing is determined to maximize profit...nothing subtle or tricky here