Manufacturers past their heyday

There are many companies that we all recall from years gone by that are gone. There are some companies that while still around, seem be be past their glory days. For instant, while Conrad Johnson is still around, they just don’t seem to be nearly as relevant as they used to be. Of course, my thought on CJ are purely subjective. And yet other companies seem to be as relevant today as they were 20 of more years ago. VPI perhaps? Definitely McIntosh. 

Who are the other former high flyers that seem to be operating on an altogether different level these days? 
CJ is here in my home town of Fairfax va and still making some remarkable produts. I have seen so many different audio companies come out in the last 30 years that still can't hold a candle to some of the original design pieces of audio equipment.  Cheaper products cheaper parts and snake oil
zavato  I have a concrete example of how something begins to lose relevance:  When the revolutionary B&W 800 was released, it was the pinnacle of speaker sound design.  Many recording studios immediately bought them, including Abbey Road and Decca.  Revierwers were awestruck. When the 801 series 2 was released, it was perceived to not be as good.  It actually was better, mainly due to its lack of speaker box resonance from its internal matrix design;  Unfortunately, it was released with the first, gigantic 800.  There had been nothing universally considered to be finer than the first 800, but the Series 2  had the 800 as its competitive ideal, as well as some competition from other speaker companies.
It's a lack of depth and understanding. Most of the companies listed as relevant, are sold and re-sold, and maybe still good, but as said before here it's marketing. Question- "why has marketing influenced/formed  your opinions". Some equipment casings are pure eye candy. Sound is, or should be the one thing on trial here and each one of us are entitled to that opinion, our impressions and what we like. My opinion is that many companies can make an amp or preamp or speaker. Some do a better job for my ears than others. CJ- Well Conrad Johnson is still extremely relevant. Their many decades long employee and  designer,  Jeff Fischel, has put his fingerprint on again, decades worth of equipment. They still take calls, emails and they still service equipment made 30+ years ago. They are a boutique provider, and that's their model of business. The model is high value, high dollar, at a limited production. The other manufacturers are what they are, same or different. I doubt CJ is selling 20+Million in products. This also means they don't have the marketing budget of some more well marketed/relevant companies. 
a year. Imagine a much smaller staff, high value in part quality and true to their house sound. Relevance- it fades, is fickle, means what to whom? If something is so relevant, do I need others to make me feel like my purchase is justifiable and therefore reinforce me making it? I'd take a CJ Premier 350sa, a solid state amp over a newer and better advertised product any day. I'd take a CJ Premier 12 Monoblock tube amp set over anything close to the price of a used pair (of which there are quite a few great buys on the market). Why? The presentation of sound, the imaging, sound stage, that these monoblocks have is incredible to my ears either with KT88, 6550's, or KT120's. I do get impressed by my Pass Labs XA amps or my PrimaLuna EVO' 400's and my LTA Preamp, but none of them are as pleasing.  The OP did mot mention what he/she owns? What do you own? 
tomic601  Your comment misses the point.  The post does not ask why absolutely all older companies are passe.  It asks why some are.  I think that McIntosh is better than ever, but I am still not a fan.  I really lost interest when Bob Carver, Julius Siksnius, John Curl, Nelson Pass, David Hafler, and James Bongiorno, etc. entered the fray.