Does the mere fact there are $100K plus turntables and $250K plus power amplifiers available as serious products, featured and reviewed by the magazines, hurt or help the high-end?
Of course an argument can be made for both sides – mine would be it hurts the high-end.
Why? Because it turns many potential high-end customers off to the entire genre. Whenever I see the high-end criticized by the mainstream press it’s either that we’re selling snake oil or stupidly expensive products.
I could understand if a single craftsman wanted to sell a $100K turntable or $250K power amplifier – hand machined by himself and then charge for it. Even if he had a few elves working out of the Black Forrest it’d make sense. He builds one a month and sells them to a waiting audience. That actually makes sense, builds respect and adds a hand-crafted one-of-a-kind aspect that can easily justify the price. The way they are sold now it’s more like a circus act – the greatest show in the world.
Of course there’s no regulations, no rules and manufacturers do what they want. Heck, Arnie and I sold a $100K pair of loudspeakers in our day – but these were hand built 1.2 ton beauties that people felt like bowing down to when in their presence.
As an industry we need to be mindful of coming off like a circus act. It hurts us all.