market saturation?? listeners finally finding nirvana with equiptment assembly? so far behind in bills that the next ultra thing is starting to seem less of a necessity?
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The last 3 months have been the slowest that I have seen in 10 years. You have to realize audio for most consumers is purchased with disposable income and that is tighter in this market. Soon it will go gang busters again but this is a great time for the consumer.
I know that I am very heavily overstocked in cables because that is what normally sells the best for me. At one time I was selling 40 - 60 highend powercords a month and now I am down to an average of 8 a month in the last 3 months.
I concur that these are tough times. The high-end, I believe is impacted more severely when the the stock market, more so than the economy, is in a slump. I can sympathise with dealers. As an audiogon buyer and seller, I have been affected both ways. I've had to curtail my buying, even though there are some terrific items out there at ridiculous asking prices, and I have been unable to sell likewise.
The only solace is that I can escape from the bad news by retreating to my listening room for some musical pleasure. Hopefully, things will return to a more favorable climate soon.
Audio recessions are a good way to convince yourself that the system you have isn't all that bad after all. Instead of constantly looking for that new piece that makes your system perfect, a lack of funds all of a sudden forces you to spend a little time with your system forcing you to hear things that you didn't know it could reveal. Of course this can work the opposite way as well but I more times thatn not you will find that your system isn't as bad as you may have thought.
It's a great time to be a buyer for any luxury item right now - there are definitely signs everywhere that luxury items, including audio gear, are in a buyer's market. There have been many pieces listed here and other places over the past six months that were very reasonably priced and never got listed as SOLD. Presumably some did and just never got updated, but it sure seems like a soft market. There have also definitely been a lot of ads that give financial-straits reasoning for selling. I agree with everyone who makes the point that during tough financial times, it's easier to convince yourself that what you have is good enough, at least for now. Very similar to the car you drive, the house you own, etc. Even though the deals are good, the money is hard to come by and it seems a lot riskier than in "good" times. -Kirk
After 10+ years in debt chasing the mythical "Absolute Sound" and recent run-ins with arrogant, unprofessional dealers. I've decided to save for the ultimate audiophile accesory -a house. The good part is: I have a great system to keep me company for the next year of saving (if my ARC tubes don't burn out!)
I have seen some PHENOMENAL deals lately. Needless to say, they are marked as "sold" pretty quickly. Evidently, there is still enough "pocket money" floating around for those "killer deals" when they do pop up. Otherwise, i do agree with the rest of you. Things have slowed down. Hopefully, sales will start to pick up again pretty soon. While i have not stopped buying or selling, i too have slowed down somewhat. I was literally "slammed" full tilt at work today though with customers backed out the door. Who knows, maybe it's already on the rebound... Sean
The biggest killer for the high end community is, HOME THEATER!! You alot of companys out there making home theater at a cheap price with high performance. And you have magazines writing colums on how two channel high end is dead, And why buy two channel if you can have seven. Well for me I will always have my two channel. I dont want to hear the drummer coming out of my left rear speaker. Thats not how it is live. Gino
My company builds high end toys for the rich, and we too have been affected. The sales are down but not gone. I feel that the consumer is in a position of strength, and we as sellers need to work harder to keep every deal alive. There is a difference between a few thousand for a component and a few hundred thousand for one of our products, but I think that the comparison is still valid. Myself, I have a new baby on the way and am now on one income ... but I think that the right deal would send me into my pocket. Times will get better, thay always do, but not until the market has purged itself of the weakest links in the money chain.
I don't see any signs of an audio recession whatsoever and sales have been very strong all year with the exception of September......We have sold fewer 10-20K preamps than expected, but think that is on account of the stock market the previous year more than 9-11.....I do keep a grocery basket in the garage just in case things get tough and have picked out a viaduct to camp under, but my retirement business is just doing great.....
TG Audio/CTC Builders/DDR Mfg