How are Hig-End Speakers Priced?

I recently (early Feb 2012) purchased a pair of Model 61 Human Speakers, intending to build a small office system with them. I've been listening to them through my main system for a few days now, while breaking them in. These were purchased directly from the builder/designer; my cost was only $675, delivered to my door.

I am so very impressed with the build quality of these small speakers and the quality of the music emanating from them (even though they are not yet fully broken in). I'm honestly surprised they are as inexpensive as they are, and have begun wondering how high-end speakers are priced.

The speakers are manufactured in the Northeast US, and (so far as I know) the builder/designer doesn't advertise and doesn't attend trade shows. The speakers are built with only one pair of binding terminals, two hand-built drivers, and a very simple 1st-order crossover using a design I believe is refined from an 1970's-era design. I'm not sure how much the designer is actively pursuing R&D currently.

I'm wondering if there is a formula that speaker manufacturers generally use when designing/pricing their products. For example, does a manufacturer target a price point, and then decide to follow an "industry-standard" formula like (say) 15% for R&D, 15% for materials, 15% for manufacturing/assembly, 15% for marketing, 15% for distribution, 15% for manufacturer's profit, and balance for seller's profit? Certainly, eliminating (or reducing) one or more of the above categories could yield a speaker that is much less expensive than the price point it was designed for.

Any thoughts?
I didn't realize they made Genesis speakers. I bought a pair of Genesis 110 loudspeakers brand new back in 1981 and kept them for about 15 years and loved them. They were my very first speakers. This isn't the same Genesis a lot of you are probably thinking of. These were part of the New England design of speakers. They're responsible for my lack of good hearing all these years later.
Yes, I know how the price them! On top of mount chargawayatomucha in peru they all gather for what is known as the MOMP (meeting of marketing and pricing). Here they drink copious amounts of single malt scotch and boutique bourbon. Then then going around in a circle, they mention a new model, then they chant 43,000 and if no one laughs they chant 54,000, and then this goes on till someone breaks out in laughter. Then they all mount their asses(i mean burros) and travel down the mount to where working people live. If this ever moves over to other appliances just think they'll move the handle on a refrigerator call it the refrigagreater IIIb special edition and charge 123,000.00.
Thanks, all. It's been very enlightening to read your perspectives. Some of you have provided great insight—and hilarious entertainment! Thanks again.


the reputable speaker manufacurers price their speakers off parts cost plus marketing,distribution, research + profit. Its a hard go in the hiend industry these days. Companies without substance tend to fail eventually.
Here is my example to my preamp. To develop my preamp it cost me over 5,000 in various parts just to try them out to see how the preamp would sound. Along the way there were so many changes based upon parts availability and how they worked together. I had read up on resistors, capacitors, wire, etc., to use that so many others found to be better than the other ones someone else liked. I had to hear most of them myself to come up with what worked for me. Then there was the chassis. So far that will be the biggest expense in the entire design even with custom wound transformers made to my specifications. So for example, if the preamp comes in at actual parts costs around $2500 how much of a market up should I charge. That does not take into consideration cost of parts to get me there, over a year or two of time to develop the component, chassis designs, etc. Plus the cost to use a copper chassis which I wanted to use would add another $500 minimum to the cost of the chassis. Try and find companies to make a chassis or cabinet for you and then you can see what it takes to manufacturer a product. I have not even mentioned website, custom shipping box, marketing expenses, etc. It all adds up very quickly. Until you try to manufacturer a product yourself, you cannot really know the total expense.

Happy Listening.