Can someone explain to me why : Accupahse Equipment is that expensive ?

…….I was recently looking into their Power Conditioners as well as their Amplifiers and for a company where there is very little reviews done on their products, along with a small ( here in the US anyway )  almost a cult following if someone could tell me why is their prices the way they are. I just don't understand it. I have listened to their equipment and is nice and the build quality is very good but ; I always said to myself ; '' Not for that price ". I do not mean to be in an any way inflammatory with this statement but is :  Accuphase the McIntosh of the East ?  McIntosh makes some nice stuff but is no way priced like Accuphase, however it seems to operate very much with the same business model ; you are paying for the name and the pride of ownership and the sound is very much dated. Maybe I am missing something here and the sound is very good and like Rolex you buy a piece and you are set for a lifetime. FM Acoustics is also another one of the those companies......Just looking for a really good amp and these companies come up in my search but I am just sitting here scratching my head ?           
I think it is overpriced in the US, but apparently more affordable in Japan and eastern countries. Every piece of gear has "a sound", but I don't  know what a "dated" sound is, although it seems to be a popular hang tag on Mac gear, which I think is unjustified.
Regarding Rolex, they are no more of a lifetime purchase than any other good watch, like Omega, etc. Just an overblown legend.   
Regarding Rolex, they are no more of a lifetime purchase than any other good watch, like Omega, etc. Just an overblown legend.  

  I have had my Rolex for over 25 years and it still works perfectly. I have my dad's 1952 Oyster and it still runs. A Rolex will last a lifetime if you take care of it.

  Accuphase like some other made in Japan brands is very expensive here in the states. It costs a lot to make stuff in Japan. It is similar to making stuff here in the US. But the quality and support of Accuphase is superb.

Marketing hype! No better or worse sounding than made in good old USA gear! Trophies for the high rollers!
That was my point. All good watches will last many years if properly maintained.
I'm not a fan of Rolex per se, but you cannot argue with their resale value over time. I don't know of any watch brand that keeps it as well. 

If I were to own one, I'd like one from the '60s though. :) 


I have a 15 year old Casio that I bought for 15$ at an Army Exchange
that loses 1 second a year , little less really .
+1, schubert,

I have a Timex that is doing pretty much the same thing as the Casio. My wife got it for me at our first Chrismas after we got married. That was 38 years ago, and it still works like new. It has a program date that  goes out to the year "2023". I remember laughing about it back then when I saw that future date capability. 38 years later, I don't think it is a joke anymore.....
Okay guys  - thanks but the post was not about watches, but about Accuphase. Got to bring you guys back on track here.... Thanks Ericsh - as I have been looking at Luxman who have straightened out their distributor issues here in the US and seem to make some really nice stuff. I never thought that the sound of Accuphase was all that special. Maybe as I noted ; they are like Rolex where any watch can tell time , but it is gear that sounds very good and will last you many , many years without any issues. So are they that good is still the question ?      
Gary, I don't know the answer to your question, but I note that your "Rolex" by analogy has sparked interest in watch comparisons! :-) This clearly doesn't help you since you are not watch shopping. FWIW I have stayed away from Accuphase for the very reasons you are facing now. I couldn't find enough US owners to speak with me about the products. I hope you find the answers you are looking for. And BTW my Cardas Clear Beyond XLs opened up a bit more since we last PM'd.
Thank you Al - and always nice to hear from you. I am really surprised as you noted  - that there does not seem to be a lot of interest here in the US for Accuphase. I truly enjoy my Esoteric - A03 amp which is 50 wats of pure class A power  - and ooooh is all so sweet but at times, it does lack a little push as I am driving Wilson Benesch speakers which are a tad inefficient. So looking at different amps and Accuphase was on my list and I came to s dead halt. Looking at the McIntosh 452 but do think it will have the resolution I am used to and I am looking into the Luxman M-900u and also  the top of the line Esoteric S-02. None of these are cheap and do not want to make a mistake. I really like the Cardas  XL's and have re-done my whole system with them. The Clear Beyond as you and I have talked about  - are not all that far beyond ( no pun intended ) are pretty darn good cords. Also looking ta Rowland but I think are out of my range. Stay well and thank you for your input as what you noted seems to be the issue.            
My experience with high end gear from Japan is that it may be much cheaper to buy it there, but the price here is often double (or more), due in part to the cost of maintaining a dealer network, mark-up and support. (There may also be tariffs but I’d defer to someone more knowledgeable on the subject).
Most of these companies will refuse to support or service gray market goods, so your only alternative is to pay the marked up price or buy used or gray market. (Used gray market may be the worst, so I’d be careful in verifying that any used product was authorized for sale here and will be supported, even if out of warranty).
I have no idea what their dealership network is like here in the States or how distribution is handled. My experience in buying equipment is that you can often get a dealer or distributor to work with you to some degree on price, but you aren’t going to change the basic pricing structure.
Japan is no longer considered a source for cheaply made goods, as you likely know. Have you looked at the prices in Japan, just for informational purposes? I suspect their products aren’t a bargain there either.
PS: I just looked AXISS is the US distributor. They also distribute Airtight, whose cartridges I use. Those are 1/2 price if you buy from Japan but you won't get any help here if you do. 
It’s quite simple.  The US importer has chosen to mark up Accuphase at a ridiculous rate.  He is more interested in funding his retirement than promoting the brand in the US.  I’ve owned the E470 and E600 integrated amps but they are twice the price of Luxman and they are just marginally better.  Resale is horrendous so if you are patient, you could score a gently used piece at a huge discount. 
I just checked. The gray market price for the big mono block amp is less than 1/2 the retail price in the US. I suspect there is some wiggle room there, but you are negotiating from a very high starting number.
There’s a piece in 6moons about this where the distributor was quizzed about a certain importer of gray goods. Their position was -not only is it unsupported, but using voltage adapters can affect SQ, can cause equipment failures, and the goods could even be subject to seizure at the border. In terrorem indeed!
I’m sure with a little research you can find they same things I did. I’m not going to diss AXiSS- I’ve bought through them via dealers, and I do know they need some profit to maintain the business here. As to whether they are taking too much, I guess that’s part of the consumer-distributor-manufacturer equation. I suspect if they wanted to, they could bring the stuff in at a lower price to broaden the market. But this is not the kind of gear that is going to benefit from a broad market- it’s pricey, niche stuff.
One thing worth checking is whether they will support used gear that was legitimately sold here. A thread about a year ago involving another manufacturer revealed that any used purchase, even of gear that was legitimately sold in the States, would not be supported by the manufacturer. Crazy.
…..thank you for this information and it all makes sense now and some of this through my travels has come up in the past. I think that I will continue my search and look at other amps. My concern is what Mr Whart has noted about not being able to service if it ever needed.    
Go with McIntosh, its American made and as good as the Japanese boutique brands.
I’ve you’ve got an omega speedmaster mark 2 1969 and a newer sea master. 
Love em both but the vintage one is the bomb. Accuphase is awesome stuff and better than luxman imo. Luxman not exactly cheap though. The new 509x integrated is 8500.00. Btw my vintage speed master has gone up 35% because they reissued it. It’s that cool. Thanks hipsters. 
garebearI have always wanted to audition Accuphase gear. My closest dealer/retailer is in Dallas TX. I would be interested in learning the exact number of U.S.A. representation?
Happy Listening!
Accuphase gear is also very tastefully designed. Good design does have it’s voodoo...
If you are looking for a good North American amp that will last for many years with excellent build quality and soundstage then try Bryston or Anthem both made in Canada, Bryston with a 20 year warranty and Anthem with all parts made in house.
Where can one even see and hear Accuphase? They are missing from the remaining physical stores. And Internet stores, for that matter. I was interested in comparing Accuphase and Luxman and almost had to abandon both as there are only so many days in the year I can dedicate to figuring out where to find them. Try to find a place that carries both. Now, try harder to find a place that has them in stock. I concluded that Accuphase is Nessie. The rumor is that some have seen it, but nobody I know has succeeded.

One of the reasons Accuphase can charge a lot is unusual design with high quality workmanship. That workmanship part is word on the Internet and not an actual observation. That would be good enough for a small group who care about it. Of course, along with acceptable sound. McIntosh is probably the same way except it is widely available, but not everybody is enamored by its looks.

If anyone is keeping a tally, I do not own a watch.
McIntosh made in USA, Accuphase made in Japan, but all parts made in China lol
I only buy used components, but will offer a slightly different perspective.

I have owned two different vintage Accuphase tuners, and they are outstanding. I currently also own an E-303x integrated amp, and, though it was manufactured in the '80s, have absolutely no incentive to replace it. Yes, I initially spent some additional money re-capping and tweaking it, but have no doubt that it can hold its own with, or even outperform many contemporary amps costing as much or more.

I have also heard high-end technicians marvel at the build-quality of older Accuphase components.

As for specific sound, that will, as always, depend on associated equipment, listening space, personal preferences, etc.
Post removed 
Many moons ago I’ve owned both Accuphase ( Kenwoods high end brand) and Luxman gear ( many repair problems) . They were both no ball of fire compared to Threshold. You should take a look at Pass Labs if you are looking for high end solid state within  the same ballpark price!

...thank you all again. I currently own the following ; Esoteric A-03 ( 50 watts pure class A design ) amp along with an Esoteric C-02x pre-amp and the Esoteric K-01xs player. I love the A-03 class A amp but at times …..I could use a little more head room. I am skeptical of going back to an AB design ( no...I will not do tubes ) so looking for an amp that is sweet and has a little more bottom end ; oooomph . The speakers are Wilson Benesch's.       
...and Mr Glupson you are absolutely correct. Luxman has got its distribution here in the US squared away and makes some really nice equipment. I will probably stay in the Esoteric line …..really nice stuff but can be a little analytical at times.    
I remember the gear in NY many moons ago- a guy (who passed away) had a loft space full of it for sale. Gorgeous. It is like classic ’70s era design, with wood, champagne gold finishes, but much higher build quality than the consumer grade stuff of the era. No doubt it is well built, also doesn’t seem to be very common here in the States. I suspect some of the vintage stuff is classic.

+1 alucard19, total agreement on Anthem. There are several Canadian high-end audio manufacturers, I believe NAD and PSB are also based out of Canada. Don’t forget PS Audio for high-quality amps; their BHK tube hybrid monos are outstanding (although not cheap). I have a pair and love them. Made right here in Boulder CO. 
….thank you dldennis but you are not answering the question. I am not interested in Canadian or PS Audio amps or what you have as amps. I am looking at buying Accupahse but trying to find out, which some have answered here on why they do not seem to have such a presence here, and why are they soo expensive is the question    
….and whipsaw you are correct. I wonder if Roxy54 nailed it....'' an overblown legend''. Seems about right.    
This is some promotional video I stumbled upon. It is in Japanese, but has snippets of the manufacturing environment interspersed. I found it interesting to see the actual place and people.

",,,and why are they soo expensive is the question..."  
The more I think of it, the more I come to the conclusion that appearance has a lot to do with it for many. I have never heard one, but have a hard time believing that the sound is crappy so I think that may be out of the question. Of course, someone may prefer a little bit different sound and so on, but that goes for any brand and any person. The looks however, may play a lot for someone satisfied with the sound and willing to spend for the appearance, too. It is all in the eyes of the beholder and importance that a buyer puts on certain aspects of her/his purchase. I am speaking from my own perspective on this. I like decent sound, but also want the machine to be pleasing in other ways. Accuphase looks like something that many could enjoy having in the room, or at least not feel like they are in an earthquake-resistance-testing facility. That would be good enough for me and, I suspect, a good number of people. Add some mystique, significantly augmented by very high prices, and you have a perfect combination and justification for keeping prices high. Good sound, pleasing unusual looks, and aura of something special and expensive. In that way, being expensive somehow becomes a motor for elevating prices further and making them justified. I guess that is what successful marketing is all about. Just look at car industry. I am not sure about watches.

"...why they do not seem to have such a presence here..."
I am baffled by that, too, but it seems to be an approach of these few companies with well-established names. They sell anyway and you have to work hard to be able to get them. Order, pay a lot, wait, etc. Again, kind of like cars. Adds the hype along the way.
Post removed 
From my own experience the Accuphase Class A amps (e.g. E-650 and up) are a significant step-up from Pass or Luxman: Much more refined and detailed with a more natural and realistic presentation. They also measure perfect. Besides amps, where Accuphase outshines Luxman and Pass is for the DAC (DC37) and the phono stage (C37).

Furthermore build quality for Accuphase is not matched - there is a reason it is legendary; especially in countries like Germany that are renowned for perfectionist equipment.

Pass is very good value in North America and features a warmer and relaxed (and sometimes slightly more veiled) presentation; unfortunately oversea the price for Pass also doubles, so this is not so dissimilar to Accuphase in the US.

Luxman is very good, especially for the competitive price in North America (with the reorganized direct distribution). The new series looks even better built than the previous. Soundwise they are good but did not bowl me over when I heard them last.

Esoteric has excellent built quality, closer to Accuphase, and a step above Luxman and Pass IMO; unfortunately, I have not fallen in love with the sound of Esoteric. Also worth noting: the future of Esoteric seems to be in questions with Esoteric/Teac's parent Company (Gibson) in bankruptcy.
I researched this about two years ago when I was looking for an integrated amp.  At that time, I could buy two Accuphase amps from Japan for less than the retail price in the US.  And that includes the shipping.
The distributor markup is exorbitant!  All reputable manufacturers maintain distribution and repair facilities whether their goods are imported or not so that is not an excuse for these prices.  Customs and shipping are also very little relative to value.
Plenty of companies (Leben is one) manage to bring their goods to the US market at prices very close to Japan.  Last time I checked Luxman's markup was about 35% over Japanese retail.  Can't help but feel that Accuphase must be indifferent to the US and European markets to have chosen such a distributor.
Luxman is only about 25% less than Accuphase in Japan.
In the end, I bought a Luxman 507UX demo here in the US and I have been very happy with it.  Wish it looked more like an Accuphase though.
Rolex is a charity.  That is why they are able to sell their watches at such giveaway prices!

Thank you Mr andysf - as I am now coming to that conclusion as a well and appreciate your response as their does appear to be some more heavy handiness involved here . 

Mr-retsock thank you as well but I checked into Esoteric as I have whole stack of that stuff and Esoteric / TEAC is fine as a subsidiary of The Gibson Company as it is they you are struggling and not Esoteric.   

If you want good stuff go with McIntosh. I have McIntosh pieces and they have a great solid "feel" to them. Every knob, switch has that same feel. And when they are turned on that "teal green" color and the blue meters is exquisite and sets them apart from everything else on the market.
if you have the space and budget, a second A-03 run in mono would likely solve you power deficit... 
Accuphase is founded in Tokyo by Mr. Nakaichi Kasuga and Mr. Jiro Kasuga on June 1, 1972. Before founding Accuphase, the two gentlemen were the founders of Trio-Kenwood in 1946. They have always felt very strongly that a manufacturer of high-quality audio products superior even to the high-quality products from abroad should exist in Japan. At that time, however, Japanese audio manufacturer produced only popular products using mass production techniques. Wanting to put that belief to the ultimate test, they left Trio -Kenwood to found Accuphase. A number of highly qualified staff members and executives also left Trio-Kenwood for Accuphase to share their vision.
Post removed 
1) Importers and retailers all adding their profit margin
2) It's extremely high quality product - very pure electronic engineering

I bough a P7100 off the brochure last year. Couldn't get to hear one. The unit weighted in at 124 pound and is twice as large as it looked in the brochure. Quality amazing. Performance amazing. Sound amazing. 

I looked at MacIntosh. Strange output transformer device circa 1960's thinking. Makes the output stage cheaper to build. 

Accuphase are in a different league. Parts made in China? Japan produce many electronic components, many never leave Japan.
I owned many brands before accuphase, I was thinking the same way like everyone, that it is way too expensive. But since I got it I became fun of it . And I realized I lost lots of money during that time because the price was the barrier. No one equipment is built like accuphase, functionality is exceptional, sound is depending who likes what. For me sound is great too. This is my last purchase, now if I got nothing else to do , I’m playing with cables turntables things like that. Audio is addiction and I like changes , that is like looking for hole in brand new pants.