Based on just an uninformed gut feel, that number sounds about right. Even if it's all USA, high-end is still a niche market and I agree that there's a lot of manufacturers out there fighting it out for a small market. That's why I choose to buy my gear from established manufacturers. Who knows which ones will survive the audio wars.
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It would depend on how someone defines what a high end audiophile is? If you would define it as someone with a system with a value of over $100,000, then that number could be alittle high! If a $10,000 system was the benchmark, then that number would be alittle low. The statement is rather meaningless in and of itself!
I am pretty amazed at the 100,000 figure, to be honest- it would not surprise me if that number was 25,000. I live in a Northern California, we have a Club, we get about 30-40 people for a big event. I'd imagine in smaller towns/area-they may not a single person into high-end audio.
a bit off topic, but somewhat related. I was reading an article about a LP release--from a major rock band, the LP was 22 in the charts, but had sold only 27,000 copies in the US. Contrast that to a recent video came release (Call of Duty?), that sold over 20,000 copies in each store. It tells me, people have other priorities than music.
According to the November issue of Stereophile, they have Total paid distribution of about 65,000 copies.
IMHO, the only hope for the high end is server based digital and high-res downloads. If Apple decided to do something with this it could revitalize high end audio.
Kal, I can't understand why the high end magazines push vinyl and denigrate digital when this is the path to a slow death for the high end. Can you set me straight?
Tom and Griff, again just a guess, but I suspect that in light of current economic conditions and the uneven distribution of wealth, I would define "hi-end" as a complete system costing more than $10K, possibly even less. Hell, most people in this country have a tough time socking bucks away in an IRA or 401(k). In those cases, a family that can't even save for retirement would be absolutely nuts to drop even $1K on an audio system. IMHO.
Tom, you make a good point about digital and hi-rez downloads. But what about the cost of the rest of the system, e.g., pre, amp and speakers? Sure, low-fi or mid-fi might cost $5K or less, but here again, how many families can even afford that?
I realize that I am asking more questions than giving opinions, but when one looks at the amount of income the average family unit earns, it's a wonder how they even get by. So if making the mortgage payment and buying food is tough, how the hell would such a family go about dropping $5K, $4 or less on a music systme?
So yes, I suspect that the number of serious audiophile who wind up dropping $$ into audio systems could be low, perhaps 100,000 if not less. IMHO
That number seems to be a mite bit low, say by a factor of 10 or so, worldwide, IMHO. I believe it all depends on how the question is defined and what the folks asked perceive to be an 'audiophile'.
Way too many variables to consider.
My friends and family think I'm half in the tank with this hobby and I am, and always have been, doing this half heartedly: its just that I enjoy listening so much that it requires delving into the audiophile bog. It's become more of an academic adventure for the layman in me. Yet, I would answer in the affirmative.
Kal, I can't understand why the high end magazines push vinyl and denigrate digital when this is the path to a slow death for the high end. Can you set me straight?There are two issues. One is that a large proportion of our readership remains committed to vinyl and they want to read about it. The other is that we do not denigrate digital and have devoted much to digital reproduction and, more recently, to computer-based media. One might see all this as an imbalance but that depends on your perspective.
I do not speak for any other magazines nor do I speak officially for Stereophile.
If Stereophile has 65,000 subscribers I wonder what percentage of high-end audiophiles that actually represents. I have been a high-end audiophile for years and have not subscribed to Stereophile for at least a dozen years even with their $10/year special offers.
For me there's just too much information readily available on the Internet, and most of it is free.
As I write this I'm listening to hi-res files from my Lenovo laptop into my Home Theater multi-channel system via a Musical Fidelity V-Link USB to S/PDIF converter and a DH-Labs USB cable and I must say the sound is heavenly. But be that as it may, I'm still interested in buying another turntable...
i guess since the writer sends his blog out to anybody that subscribes it is ok for me to mention that my source was paul of ps audio. my opinion is that if he is accurate on this then high end audio is done or in serious trouble. and i agree with everyone who mentioned that defining "high end" and "audiophile" are very subjective and another topic thread that has been covered over and over. i enjoyed reading everyone's input. john
Here's the quote that the OP referred to:
"I figure theres perhaps 100,000 Audiophiles in the world. 700 or so of them read this daily post I write."
It's from Paul McGowan's daily blog that can be found here:
Paul is in a better position to estimate the number of audiophiles than we 'Goners. He runs PS Audio and is probably in regular contact with many people working in the high end audio industry.
However you define an audiophile and even if Paul is way off on his estimate, things are tough in the audio business.
i have a degree in statistics and have fairly strong analysis skills. i was attempting dialogue about a topic. i'm not really in need of your advice on the nature of blogs or doing my research according to your problems with what I am attempting to do mrtennis,. plus you can get a piece of paper and a short pencil stub and divide to get your percentage of the population 100,000 represents. or if challenged get a calculator. most people with some education can figure this one out in their head. i asked for a suggestion on demograpic site for data from the consumer electronics industry. good grief, some people....
plus you can get a piece of paper and a short pencil stub and divide to get your percentage of the population 100,000 represents. or if challenged get a calculator. most people with some education can figure this one out in their head.
Good one Hotmailjbc. I did the calculations in my head. The answer is, a pretty freakin insignificant percentage of the population. It didn't matter whether my starting number was US population or world population.
I think its higher, maybe 250,000. Consider many if not most dont post on internet and quietly enjoying their system. Consider the 65,000 number who read Stereophile, you honestly think 65% of a population subscribes? That would be astonishing so even at 1 in 4 thats incredible but there is your reasonable 250,000.
Now what price point? I dunno how to define it but at this small of a hobby we must be in the 1-2 degree of seperation area so in that spirit, hiwdy y'all!