has BAT priced itself out of the market?

I'm a big fan of BAT equipment and have used and loved their equipment over the years. My concern is that with the introduction of their REX series they may have lost their position in the "sweet spot" for most realistic and accessible products. I owned VK60 at $4500 which was reasonable for performance/ fit and finish. Now new REX amps goin for $40k and are basically same 60w-75w amps with enhanced driver tubes and upgraded capacitors. The appeal of BAT to me was always the look and sound of the product. It seems with the introduction of REX the looks have changed slightly, the sound has improved relatively but the price has increased ASTRONOMICALY!!!?? Also, not seeing their products showcased at as many high end shows anymore?? Does anyone else feel the same??
Many audio manufacturers are putting more resources into über high end products because that's where the market growth is. US audio enthusiasts are a shrinking market. Newly minted Asian multimillionaires (or billionaires) are driving the only growing market segment and that's who these ultra expensive products are designed to appeal to. Talk to the manufacturers at the audio shows and that's the story I hear over and over.
Just so Photon.
Reminds me of Mercedes-Benz, when they first began selling cars in USA they sold them at what they were priced in Germany.Sold very few, only people who knew the brand were GI's who'd been in Germany and who thought they were just taxis.
Pulled out of US market and came back few years later and priced them at twice what they sold for in Germany and the rest is history.
Same thing can be sold to the wealthier consumer at higher dollar. Better profit, less labor. Just add more educated and professional BS to convince such as "Just listen and Trust Your Own Ears".
VK is about to retire so slowing down with this common strategy is quite natural for especially small manufacturer and retailer. It's much easier to support post-sale ONE unit instead of 10 also.
When I feel like I can't keep up with internet or retail sales, I increase prices of the product I sell to slow down and to keep income near-same.
Will ever Fruit of the Loom start manufacturing couture targetting rockstars instead of inmates who knows?
I think 19k for a stereo tube amp is a bit much. my 75SE was 8k 10 years ago. i know it should be higher now, but not that high.

disclosure: long time BAT owner/fan
"Just add more educated and professional BS to convince such as "Just listen and Trust Your Own Ears"."

Why would that be bad advice? Doing it that way lets the product stand on its own merits.

"has BAT priced itself out of the market?"

That's the beauty of the market. If BAT makes a mistake, they pay for it.
All points well taken. Is a Rolex President Really worth $32k based on price of gold and parts to mfg?? Its attractive because it's not accessible to everyone. Does a $5k bottle of wine really taste that much better than a good $100 bottle? The key is how would you know if you can't afford the buy in cost. I think the high end audio market is going in the same direction. Those that can afford the price of admission can convince themselves that they have the best money can buy without feeling the need to evaluate other lower cost options because like everything else, the more it costs the better it is right?? Wrong.....
Wwchange, the high end audio has picked up this direction decades ago if not earlier.
For same performance you can spend different amounts of money. There are marketting areas virtually for anything you want to sell or build.
My retired dad goes to the salon that discounts haircuts half-way to the senior citizens, retired and students/pupils. Public transportation is very often the same way.

Another words adjusting price to the specific market area is very common practice. By mega-uplifting price VK simply targets wealthier crowd or money-no-option as he grown confident to be in the list of 'best money-no-option products'. Those who will purchase it first off less-likely will pay MSRP can't you figure? Somwhere there will be one dealer or VK himself who will start promotional sale at certain discount percentage and this percentage can grow pretty high which is another marketting maneuver yet to be...
They are matching market pricing from their competitors for high-end tube amps. Maybe someday they may fill in the gap between the VK-55SE and the REX. With the increase in prices over the past few years, you can't even afford the better used mono blocks that are going for $15k now.
As far I know, BAT belongs to Music Direct. VK just works for them, and has nothing to do with their prices anymore.

agreed. I would like to get into the REX pre-amp. Trying to justify its cost. We (common folk) live in a world of millionaires which drives up the cost of everything. It is unprecedented how many millionaires are in the global market.

Are these guys buying this gear? Probably not.
Are the audio companies subscribing to this client? Yes.

Any one here own the REX pre-amp? If so, post your thoughts/impressions.
I'm just glad I bought my BAT shit when I did! Otherwise I'd still be Listening to my old Pass Aleph 0's which didn't sound bad by the way... Pass has gone in the same direction with XS line of amps and pre's... $85k for a pair of mono blocks is a far cry from the Aleph 0 mono's for $8k back in the mid 90's. I guess it's all relative as gas was $1.10 a gallon back then too! Its what ever the current market will bare. I ain't mad at'um...
Jafant, I own the BAT VK40 solid state pre but I've heard everything up the line including the REX II and I'll be quite honest, the air is so thin at that level that it's hard to really hear a discernable difference....I mean if you really listen carefully to the same song repeatedly for hours on end and then switch preamps you may notice the slightest bit of additional warmth or bloom coming from the REX but it's something that you'd have to condition yourself too over countless hours of listening. It's not something your wife or girlfriend will notice by walking into the room and. Saying "wow! That sounds so much better! What did you do!!?" If yourlooking for that type of response, take that $20k and buy her a nice diamond!! IMHO , the difference doesnt justify the cost and I happen to be a die hard BAT fan. As always listen for yourself but I dont feel the means justify the ends...
Good luck!

many thanks! for the honest reply. What other gear is in your system? Keep me posted and happy listening!
In the USA there is little supply and demand pricing in general, from real estate to food its a what the market will bear economy.
Jafant, I have had the REX 1 preamp for close to 7 years and love it. I am very glad I bought it when I did. Also, BAT's customer support is excellent.

Regarding BAT's prices, in comparison to similar products out there BAT products are fairly priced.
I sold all my BAT gear when you had to join the $7000.00 club to be a member. They are not unique in pricing. When the Italian company bought ARC there was an interview with the head designer and he stated that the market had moved into the "luxury" niche market. Astute from a survivalist perspective, certainly not supportive for those of us that enjoy good clean playback for less than the price of house. We either buy used, change to a brand that supports a less elite approach or keep what one has acquired and enjoy the music.
I'll stick with my factory modded Jolida...sounds great and sort of tells the rest of audio to "pound sand."
09-26-14: Schubert
In the USA there is little supply and demand pricing in general, from real estate to food its a what the market will bear economy.
What the market will bear is supply and demand.
Hello Jafant.

Yes, I owned the original REX preamp since the very beginning and had BAT upgrade it to the REX 2. I've had the biggest dumb smile on face now for almost a year now!

"09-26-14: Schubert
In the USA there is little supply and demand pricing in general, from real estate to food its a what the market will bear economy."

I don't see your point Schubert. What the market will bear is a function of a supply and demand market economy.
"09-26-14: Joman
I sold all my BAT gear when you had to join the $7000.00 club to be a member. They are not unique in pricing."

You're right about that. To be fair to BAT, prices on everything has gone up. Its not necessarily BAT, or whoever is just being greedy, the value of our money (US dollar) has been going down in recent years. A lot. A dollar today isn't worth what it used to be just a few years ago. With conditions like this, prices must go up.
You got it right Knghifi...
Thank You! Trcnetmsncom-

tell me more about the upgrade from REX to REX II.
Anyone else here using a REX/REX II ?
If so, feel free to describe the ways it transformed your system. Keep me posted & happy listening!