ARC Ref 5se inferior to LS28?

This is what a big dealer told me the other day. Dealer speak or right on the money? Would very much like to hear opinions of the many knowledgeable ARC users on Audiogon. Thanks

My guess would be dealer speak, though it may also go all the way back to ARC marketing.

I recall when ARC released the LS27 the dealers were all buzzing that it was better than the Ref 3. So it would seem that whatever the current LS step would be will be better than the no longer available Reference level.

I predict that the LS29 will sound better than the Ref 6. That just seems to be ARC’s marketing campaign for years now.

It’s all about moving new stock. Newer is ALWAYS better you know. ;^)
my guess too. keep the product moving with new and improved.
I've often heard that so&so newer LS series is as good as, nearly as good as, or better than Refx (older).

It could be self-serving dealer-speak (discussed in the novel 1984) but it could possibly also be that continued R&D improved the breed.

You'll have to listen yourself and match levels carefully too.

^^^^What they said.

IMHO what else would he say?  Unless he has a Ref 5SE you can compare and he gets a sale one way or the other.  Doesn't make him bad just a good  businessman.

IMHO what else would he say?  Unless he has a Ref 5SE you can compare and he gets a sale one way or the other.  Doesn't make him bad just a good  businessman. .

 If it is untrue, it makes him a liar. Which makes me wonder what else is he lying about? I want a dealer who will give me their honest opinion. Not someone who will say anything to make a sale. I would think twice about buying from such a dealer.

 I have heard this many times before. The LS27 was supposedly better than the Ref 3. The LS27 wasn't even better than the Ref 2 mk2. It is not even close.

 They are both built to a price point. The Ref series is much more expensive. It uses tubes in the power supply while the LS series does not. The Ref 5se is a truly superb preamp. One of the best preamps  ARC has ever made. It will be a long time before an LS preamp comes close.

I agree with the others that it seems like marketing. The LS is a hybrid preamp and is going to sound very different from the fully tubed Ref series. The power supplies just don't compare.

fwiw, the LS25mk2 was the least favorite preamp that I've owned. 
i agree. all tubes much different. as to the dealer i like him very much after doing much business. he is a salesman though and you just factor that in. maybe he really prefers a more solid state sound? 

Anyone who gets on the ARC train is going to be put through this until he jumps off. Why not instead buy from a designer/company who keeps a model in the line for many years, offering occasional upgrades to the basically "correct/finished" circuit?

As an example, if one had bought a, say, Atma-Sphere MP-3 pre-amp twenty-five years ago, one could still own it, having had the occasional factory improvement made to it. Total investment? Not that much more than the MP-3's original price. The ARC owner, in contrast, would have sold his LS2 to get the New! Improved! LS15, then sold it to get the LS16, then the LS25, then LS26 (or LS17?), then LS27, with Mk.2 iterations of each. Or, jumped up to a Reference model---1, then 2, then 3, then 5. And the Atma-Sphere MP-3 is STILL more transparent than all of them! Or at least some people think so.

ARC owners get very defensive when this is brought up, and who can blame them? I met Bill Johnson in 1973, and shortly thereafter bought a complete ARC system---SP3, D51 and D75, and Tympani I (ARC distributed Magneplanar at the time). Before the capacitors were even "broken in" there were new versions of all those models. Bill was a decent engineer, but an even better businessman. I have kept my LS1, solely for it's mode switch!

+1bdp24 my first piece from ARC was the ph5 when I got back into vinyl. I was interested in a CJ to match my linestage but my dealer convinced me the ph5 is the newest and greatest from ARC huge improvement over the ph3se.  He sold both CJ and ARC at the time.

i didn't even have it broken in before the Ph 6 came out.  No complaints as the ph 5 fit my needs at the time but it made me feel like I did not get their best or certainly most current.  

MIT is the same way but even worse.  

why was the LS25mk2 your least favorite preamp??

it does have a Mode switch BTW

The mode switch I am referring to is a rotary knob providing Stereo/Reverse/Mono/Left/Right, all sent to the pre-amps main outputs (not it's tape out jacks). Just what I need for those horrid 60's pseudo-stereo LP's!

I just don't agree with some of the sentiment expressed.  Some people really have a stone in their shoe regarding Audio Research.  I don't know if the LS28 is better than the REF 5SE.  I would say no, until I heard them side to side. 

Yes, Audio Research upgrades (SE) or replaces components all the time.  so do most larger companies with R&D departments.  I agree that companies do this for many reasons.

1.  They have to stay above or competitive with other like companies.

2.  They have to personnel and manpower to keep upgrading and producing new products.

Smaller companies simply can't afford to keep coming out with newer and better every four or five years.  It simply isn't cost effective for them. Parts storage, maintenance of equipment, etc.

It is also very unfair to compare how one company operates vs another. Unless you know the ins and outs of each company, the corporate directives, directions, etc. 

The real test is, are they producing very good to exceptional products? Yes or no?  Were you happy with your equipment when you bought it? 

There is no law that says companies can't keep innovating simply because you bought a product. so car companies are supposed to freeze innovation on cars simply because you bought a car from them?

Nope.  Volvo used to be the only company I know of that keep a production line for a particular model for long periods of time without change.  Even that doesn't happen anymore, because they have to complete with the nine million (exaggeration) other autos out there in that particular price point and class.

All I can say is that Audio Research makes quality equipment.  And they are one of the very few manufacturers that I can think of (Atmosphere, Pass Labs, Naim, Martin Logan) that will still repair their older equipment.

That really says something about these manufacturers.  That also means that they must have replacement parts available.  That also says something.

Simple answer. You won't know if the LS28 is better than the REF 5SE (doubt it) unless you hear them side by side in the same  system and changing nothing except the units.


Some people really have a stone in their shoe regarding Audio Research.
NOT bdp24!  LOL!!!

So time to revisit this subject AGAIN?

I have Ref250SE and is one of the best to my ear. When ARC introduces a replacement, it doesn't make it obsolete or diminishes my enthusiasm any less. Depending on the replacement, it's MY choice whether to replace or not. As a customer, I welcome the option for something superior or different.  MY choice!
Anyone who gets on the ARC train is going to be put through this until he jumps off. Why not instead buy from a designer/company who keeps a model in the line for many years, offering occasional upgrades to the basically "correct/finished" circuit?
What if I prefer the SQ and enjoy the train ride? Shouldn't one just buy what sounds best and not with least frequent updates? Totally illogical IMO!   

As a business, I applaud ARC for capitalizing on the customers constantly cycling and the need to have latest and greatest gear. As expected, blame ARC and not accept any personal responsibilities.
I love the ARC new model and upgrade strategy.  I've picked up serious gear at half price from people who had to have the latest and greatest and could afford it.  In my eyes, ARC is the Robin Hood of used audio!
I love the ARC new model and upgrade strategy.  I've picked up serious gear at half price from people who had to have the latest and greatest and could afford it.  In my eyes, ARC is the Robin Hood of used audio!
Excellent perspective.  Glass is not half empty but half full.  Love it!
I don't understand how ARC keeps improving their models so often. You would think a model from a few years ago would sound like crap comparatively. But the old models all were the best at one time according to the reviewers. Sounds like a lot of B.S. to me.

As my Mama useta say, "Each to her own, said the lady as she kissed the cow". ARC loves their customer base the same way Trump "loves the poorly educated". If the newest ARC pre-amp is sooo much better than the one it's replacing, and that one was sooo much better than the one before it, how bad was the one they sold you three, four, five generations back? And how much have you spent to get where you are now?

What I'm saying is that there are other companies making competitive products that don't suck nearly as much dough out of your wallet, products that haven't needed nearly as many changes to stay competitive as have the ARC's. And better built, ta boot. Talk to any experienced EE tech about the design and build of ARC products, particularly their power amps. Yup, I've said it before. Truth is timeless. I've owned ARC, and I've owned Atma-Sphere. I now own Music Reference. Roger spends years perfecting his designs before bringing them to market, not using his customers as unpaid design consultants.

It seems to me if ARCs engineers are so good they would have built the newest model first. But I suppose their marketing dept. is even better.

Darn it, I was sucked in again and got carried away, losing the point I had intended to make. Of course ARC makes great sounding gear, and deserves all the success and satisfied customers they have earned over the past forty-seven years. And they have indeed stayed at the top of the game by keeping their R & D an ongoing effort. The analogy to automobile development is an apt one, one with which I have no beef. There are a lot of companies that stagnated and eventually died because of a failure to continue to improve its products.

But looking at it from the perspective of a potential purchaser, I keep coming back to example, only one I could cite, of the Atma-Sphere products. If one accepts the premise that the current incarnation of the A-S MP-3 pre-amp and the ARC LS27 (or any other ARC pre-amp of roughly comparable price) are in the same ball park (even if each will be favored by different people), what has the owner of each had to spent in order to now have their quality?

The owner of the MP-3 has spent the cost of the original plus those of the infrequent factory updates. The updates have been relatively minor in nature (and cost), the basic circuit and design remaining the same---it was a "finished", fully realized design and execution.

For the ARC owner, the story is very different. If the current A-S MP-3 is only slightly improved from it's original version, how much better was it at the time of it's introduction in comparison to the same-period ARC? I mean, it has taken all the intervening ARC pre-amps to get to where the A-S MP-3 is now, assuming my premise for the sake of argument. All this time the A-S owner could have been enjoying the sound quality of the MP-3, while the ARC owner has either had to make due with the apparently sub-par sound of his LS-15/16/17/whatever, or send his current pre-amp to ARC for installation of the latest in the frequent updates, or even more costly, sell the old pre-amp and buy the new, completely redesigned model. It appears to me that the changes made to each ARC model---from the LS-16 to the LS-16 Mk.2 for instance, were repeated in every single model. It's as if Rich Larsen had to rediscover everything he learned on the improvements made in the previous model for the next. The ARC circuits keep getting more and more complicated, the circuit boards more cluttered. My EAR pre looks almost empty in comparison.

In the 50's/60's/70/s, American car companies offered completely-redesigned versions of their models every two years or so, while BMW improved their product line incrementally, building on the already "correct" platform of the 3-series, 5-series, and 7-series. I drove my 528e for fifteen years, getting 230,000 miles of driving pleasure out of it. The design and build quality was already fully developed at the time of it's introduction, no need to completely redo it and offer a replacement model two years down the road (no pun intended! :-).

The difference in design approach implies that Ralph Karsten knew way before the ARC team how to achieve a given level of sound quality at a given price. If one had bought an MP-3 twenty-five years ago, he all this time could have enjoyed the sound quality it provides. The ARC customer, in contrast, would only now have that sound quality, in effect investing in the ARC design teams education!

A comparable, though not exact, parallel could be made in the world of loudspeakers. An enthusiast could buy a pair of the original QUAD ESL's in the late 50's, owning them without needing to make any changes to them as other designers endeavored to equal their sound quality in their own designs. It took literally decades for other speakers to appear which equaled any of the QUADS abilities, some of which most other speakers still lack! Peter Walker spent years developing the original QUAD, not releasing it until it was a "finished" design. He spent even longer (almost two decades) getting it's follow-up, the QUAD 63, fully ready for market. That's my kind of designer, and my kind of product. The kicker is that buying this kind of product from this kind of designer and company not only gives you better sound at an earlier moment in time, but is cheaper in the long run---a win win!

bdp24: very well put but perhaps too logical for what is an emotional crowd, myself included. From a business model standpoint ARC has done a great job keeping the type of customer they have in pocket by tapping into the emotional element of their customer base.
One thing to keep in mind is that ARC may hold it’s value more than any high end brand so they are obviously doing a lot right. However I think it’s more from superior market positioning than tech breakthroughs which simply aren’t possible at the rate they introduce them.
A little blind testing would be very informative. No doubt differences would be heard between the new model and the one it replaced but could anyone truly say that the new model necessarily sounds better than the previous unit IF they were listening blind? In fact take the last 3 Ref models and compare this way. It would be fascinating and never done as far as I know. I think it unlikely the newest model would consistently come out on top. IMO only and certainly not applicable only to ARC. It seems like Wilson follows this model also, among others. It’s a good one.
Finally to be sure I’m not challenging ARC customers at all as nobody chases new and improved more than I. In my experience at a certain level it’s more about small differences than breakthroughs.
My apologies for being so verbose but damn high end audio is fun!

@bdp24 , the downside of a long running product, for folks who buy on the used market, is possibility of old age. For example, if one is looking at buying a ARC LS27 preamp, they have a pretty good idea how old it is.
Now if one is looking to buy a A-S MP-3, or Cary SLP-98, or similar, it is much harder to determine the actual age/condition of the unit.
Yes, the unit may have had some upgrades, but some of the caps (etc), may be 15-20 years old.

Personally, I am more comfortable having a more accurate account on the age of a unit when shopping for used audio components. So I do not mind ARC's marketing scheme. YMMV.
I'm an ARC fan. I own a ph8 phonostage and a Ref 3 pre. As we know, companies make products to different price points. That is another way of saying "consumer groups." I can shop above the ARC LS line, but far below their reference phonostages or newer reference preamps. I'll have to wait until their used prices come down drastically (years). So, that I can buy a used ref 3 pre for less than half of its new price is great, and I consider it a steal in the sense that most depreciation has already occurred and will be minimal for the rest of its life in my system. I can't argue with wlutke's characterization of ARC as the Robin Hood of used gear.
However, ARC degrades the meaning of the word "reference," which they use to characterize their uber-expensive gear, when they state that some new gear in the LS line surpasses the performance of older reference-line gear. In their defense, though, I'm sure the marketers know this and do it anyway because it has proven effective. I would also think their marketing decisions are based on hard data, stats, and an in-depth understanding of consumer psychology coupled with years of experience. This thread is an example of this marketing success.
My musings aside, when we compare new and old equipment, we have to change our almost total focus on engineering (as it relates to how the internal parts are put together), and spend more time thinking of the parts themselves (the SE stuff). Parts generally don't get cheaper over time, and while they too can evolve and become better, I can't imagine a company coming up with, say, a fantastic new capacitor, and then not pricing its "breakthrough" suitably; they are in business to make money, not get letters of thank you from appreciative audiophiles. And lets not forget the many other things associated with any new part that typically increase over time as well (shipping, packaging, wages, retooling machines, etc.) In my mind, this has to be discussed when comparing old and new equipment. Okay, enough of this, I'm gonna go and cue That summer feeling by Jonathan Richman.
I agree with minorl.   Besides Vovlo, Magneplanar (ARCs friends, neighbors, and sometimes collaborators) are very "slow" to upgrade or bring out new models.  Maggie also blind tests every modification and does not introduce anything until it passes those tests with some significant improvement.

I don't know if ARC uses blind testing or not, but they do a listening test on each individual unit before it leaves the factory.

I'd also modify the post above to read: "analog parts don't usually get cheaper over time"
Of the SP-2C, J. Gordon Holt wrote in Summer 1971 (Vol.3 No.1), Unquestionably the finest-sounding preamplifier we have tested to date, this [high-priced ($550) and all-tubed preamp] is the next best thing to the ideal "straight wire with gain." Sound is extremely lucid and detailed, but without a trace of the hardness or graininess that characterizes most other preamps. Control and switching facilities less versatile than on some competitively priced preamps. Phono equalization accurate to within 0.5dB.

If you were to compare the early model to the current version, by ARCs logic, it would sound terrible. But that is not the case according to more recent reviews.

That issue of Stereophile was my initiation into audiophiledom, and the ARC SP-3 my first serious pre-amp. My dearly departed pal Brooks Berdan sold ARC when he was at GNP in Pasadena, but by the time he opened his own shop (Brooks Berdan Ltd.) in nearby Monrovia, ARC designs had become hybrids, rather than purely tube. Brooks kept his tubed SP-10, finding the hybrid SP-11 somewhat "dry and white", as he put it. At that time I had an SP-6b that I bought from Steve McCormick, which I ended up selling to Brooks. Both the SP3 and SP-6, as well as the SP-10, are the classic ARC purely tube pre-amps.

Brooks became a dealer for Jadis, VTL, and Music Reference, all still making pure-tube electronics. He took in a lot of ARC from people who liked the pure tube sound of those companies products more than the hybrid sound of ARC. But Bill Johnson and Rich Larsen kept working at making their hybrid circuits sound more tubey and less solid state, and eventually got rid of the ss nasties that Brooks and some others (Harry Pearson at TAS) found objectionable. That was years ago, and ARC is still at the top of the heap. They are unquestionably the most influential high-end company of them all, but they did put out the occasional turkey! I agree with the comments above, that the way to buy ARC is used. But if you buy a power amp, you had better have a dealer who does repair work nearby. If you have an output tube go bad, you're gonna need him!

I honestly think a large percentage of the well to do audiophiles with brand loyalty do not "upgrade" their gear in search of better sound. Aside from pure curiosity, they upgrade because they want the latest models on their racks. The only semilogical explanation I got from a friend of mine who falls into this group, also an avid ARC fan, was he keeps his gear only while they are under warranty so he doesn't have to pay for any repairs. He literally trades them in for the new model. I have another friend who uses the same logic with cars. He turns them over at the end of the lease and gets the same exact model brand new. Amplifiers have hardly changed and there're no functional differences among the models over the past forty years. With a very few minor exceptions, almost all the line stage preamp also do the same thing. Some people just love that new tube smell...
Exactly kulali. We are talking tube electronics for gods sake!  For me I would be less inclined to buy a brand that continually offers new models as it shows they are more focused on the bottom line than on giving their customers good value. 
+1 kalali. If they only knew how much money they were really spending just to have that warranty...

However, I differ from analogluvr in that I would be more inclined to buy a brand that continually offers new models, because I buy used gear.
Hence, my used unit would probably be "newer" than the other brand.

I'll gladly take hand me downs from those that love that new tube smell...
Bdp24, it looks like what you are saying is ARC is finally getting as good as they were when they started.

Ha! It seems like progress is a circular phenomenon, coming back around to where you started, only slightly higher up the flagpole (as Donovan Leitch put it, "First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is".). The claims for improvements are wildly exaggerated imo, with promises of many veils removed in each new model. I’ve seen a statement from ARC that a lot of their customers replace their current model with every other new model, skipping one---Ref 1 to Ref 3, for instance. So ARC is very aware of the phenomenon, perhaps tailoring their product development and marketing to what they believe their customer base will accept and support.

Analogluvr put it perfectly with his "giving their customers good value" statement. That is exactly the point I was trying to make. My comparison of the cost of ownership between an ARC and an Atma-Sphere pre-amp---just one example---makes the contrast pretty clear. There are a lot of small high-end companies doing as Atma-Sphere does---offering updates to owners of long-running models, to keep them competitive with new models from ARC and others. Keith Herron does it, as does VPI, Eminent Technology, Rega, Tri-Planar, Pass Labs, CAT, and plenty of others. Whether or not any given ARC piece is better than it’s price-point competition is an individual assessment, but the ARC buyer should be aware that the model he is buying will be discontinued before too long, and all subsequent R & D will be put into it’s replacement model, the owners current model becoming a dead-end component, no improvement to it offered. To get an improvement, he must sell his current ARC piece and buy the new one---that’s the ARC business model. The other companies invest their time and energy into improving the already-existing model, offering updates for a nominal charge, maintaining the investment the owner has made in his component from that company.

In the end, the ARC customer has spent far more for the quality of sound he now enjoys than has the owner of the equivalent component providing comparable sound quality from another company. Is the ARC piece so good that it’s worth that price? We all get to decide that, but ARC certainly has it’s loyalists!
There is nothing wrong with Audio Research updating their products but more fool people if they feel obliged to sell & upgrade just because the company bring out a new model.

ARC rolling over their product line is nothing new, therefore, people who buy ARC products brand new are doing so with their eye's wide open.  In the end, its the consumers' choice.

This is actually funny.  Its like there is a dark back room with old gray haired  men conspiring to upgrade equipment one component at a time over the years to capitalize on the market.  Heck, that may actually have some truth to it. 

So, how does one purchase cars?  If you know the manufacturer is going to completely change the car, body style in the next model year, do you buy the current version? or wait until the new one comes out?

This is persona decision time.  How much of a discount will I get on the current model vs the new one?  I'm not big on cars depreciating immediately after I drive off the dealer's lot.  That sucks.

For, me, I could probably afford to buy new equipment, but I really don't like the ridiculously high audio equipment prices. So, I try to buy demo equipment or used.  That means I'm not getting the absolutely very new equipment anyway, or as I said, maybe I will, but it will be a discounted demonstration unit.

I couldn't care less if the company comes out with a newer piece.  As long as I can get my piece repaired by the company and as long as this piece sounds good enough for me to buy it in the first place.

As the level many of us are at, it takes a lot to make us think about upgrading. 

For example.  I purchased a REF 3 pre-amp years ago.  When the REF 5 came out, I listened to it and it was slightly better than the REF 3, but not better enough to justify (funny word) upgrading.  However, the REF 5SE was a much better sounding pre-amp, and I could see myself upgrading to a  REF 5SE.  Now the REF 6 is out and there is no way, I'm spending that amount on it.  I'll get a REF 5SE instead if the opportunity comes up.

When ones says that they are "there" with their system, noticeable improvements are stupidly expensive are typically not cost effective we are in the diminishing returns area.

Pass Labs comes out with new and improved all the time.  Any yes, they do very good work.

Bottom line, Audio Research equipment holds a pretty good resale value, so, not much harm there,. and 2) most importantly, no one is forcing anyone to buy anything. 

Come on everyone, enjoy the ride and the music

...yeah, what Minorl said...
I agree with some of what @minorl says, especially when he talks about ARC holding it's resale value, and no one being forced to buy them.

I do not think that Pass Labs is in the same turnover ballpark though.
Nelson Pass' .8 series is basically his third version this century.

Pass Labs first X and XA series came out when ARC Ref 2 mk II was ARC's top of the line preamp. Since then, Pass Labs has had two more revisions, the .5 and the .8 series, while ARC has had 4 (Ref 3/5/5SE/6), not including the Anniversary or Ref 10 preamps.

A new design every 6-8 years, as Pass Labs has been doing, is a bit less turnover than a new model every 2-4 years as has been the ARC model.
I agree with jmcgrogan2.

However, I will say that that the Anniversary and REF 10 are in a completely different world, cost wise and sound wise, than the REF3/5 and 5SE.

I would love to hear a REF 6 and REF 10 side by side.  That would be interesting.

I've heard a REF 10.  it was magical.  I thought it better than the Anniversary pre-amp.

But we are talking about two pre-amps that aren't in the same league as the others. 

They are almost cost no object devices.


For the consumer able to buy a REF 6 or 10 new, value may not be a concern! For the buyer of a cost-no-object, advancing-the-State-Of-The-Art product, future developments will be dealt with when they appear, the possibility of a new, even-higher level product that makes obsolete their current model to be expected at that elevation. By obsolete, I don’t mean no longer as good sounding as it had been, but rather that no further improvements to it will be offered, all further R & D being put into the new model that replaces it. More like a "dead" product than an obsolete one. As testpilot said, long-term ARC consumers know this to be ARC’s modus operandi. I wonder how many REF pre-amps ARC sells in a model run?
In 7 months, 300 REF 6 were sold.  300 x $12000 = $3,600,000

sales from 12/2015 to7/2016
There are not a few people that will buy something that costs 50K who would not touch exact same  item were it priced at 25K .
There are not a few people that will buy something that costs 50K who would not touch exact same item were it priced at 25K .

Very true. There are a LOT of folks out there with FU money.

VAC’s top of the line products were less than $20K each until they released the Statement line a couple years ago, now each chassis will cost you $50K a pop.
And guess what? Folks are lining up and offering to pay more $$$ to have their VAC Statements made in custom colors. Go figure.

VAC is not alone, look at ARC’s Anniversary and Ref 10.
Just about every single manufacturer has a top of the line item today that is at least 2-3 times the price of their top of the line 8-10 years ago.

The audio industry is simply a reflection of the global economy. The rich keep getting richer, and the poor poorer. The industry is just chasing the money, by giving their clients what they want.
So true, Schubert and JMC. Brooks Berdan had customers who bought Jadis or VTL pre's and amps instead of the Music Reference he also sold, and Wilsons instead of Vandersteens. At one CES in the late 90's, while eating steak and drinking wine (Vandersteen likes his meat and spirits), Richard told us of dealers who encouraged him to raise his prices, so that his speakers would be perceived as a more prestigious brand. Instead, he designed the higher priced but also higher performing models 5 an 7. The man has integrity.
So true, Schubert and JMC. Brooks Berdan had customers who bought Jadis or VTL pre's and amps instead of the Music Reference he also sold ...
Customers have good hearing and taste! 
Face it - most of us are trickle downers!

There are not a few people that will buy something that costs 50K who would not touch exact same  item were it priced at 25K
Do you have anything that supports this claim?

There are many mistaken notions about wealth and wealthy people. The researcher Thomas J. Stanley did some of the groundbreaking work in this area, and his data certainly conflicts with your claim.

Seen it happen a hundred times on everything from autos to audio ,watches to rings , shoes to suits .
So has everybody else who pays attention .
That is not written in stone is why I said "not a few" which is not everyone .
schubert04-05-2017 12:12pm
Seen it happen a hundred times on everything from autos to audio ,watches to rings , shoes to suits .
So has everybody else who pays attention
I pay attention, schubert ... I pay plenty of attention. So I don’t know who you refer to when you reference "everybody."

I trust Thomas J. Stanley’s hard data much more than your solitary claim. But, feel free to share some of your data with all of us here and maybe I’ll take you seriously. I'd surely like to see your data about $50,000 suits and shoes!

As I said, there are many mistaken notions about wealth. Researcher Stanley admits he harbored them, too ... until he did the actual research!

Of course there are humble rich like Buffet and ego-manics who need gold plated bathrooms , so elementary it doesn't need saying .
You need not take me seriously .
There are not a few people that will buy something that costs 50K who would not touch exact same  item were it priced at 25K
Do you have anything that supports this claim?"

I do.  There are many examples but the most famous is the price of BMWs during the 1980s.  In the 1970s and earlier they used ot cost about the same as a Buick; but sales actually increased greatly as prices rose steeply.

I forget what this phenomenon is called ("Inverse something or other") but the BMW example is frequently cited in econ texts.

You could also read Veblin's Theory of the Leisure Class
randy-1104-05-2017 4:18pm
...  the most famous is the price of BMWs during the 1980s.  In the 1970s and earlier they used ot cost about the same as a Buick; but sales actually increased greatly as prices rose steeply.
This isn't scientific, because you have multiple variables, including the infamous decline in quality of American cars during this same period. In fact, just as the sales of BMWs went up, almost all foreign auto manufacturers gained US market share during the same period, and for the same reason.

You could also read Veblin's Theory of the Leisure Class
That's a pretty old text, but still valid. What Robert J. Stanley did was develop current data on wealth. I encourage you to read some of it. A lot changed during the 20th century.

But, we are drifting far OT here.

A pretty smart scientist said," what you can measure doesn't matter, what matters you can't measure' .
Science is as much a religion as religion is .