Robb Report

If anyone can take a look at this months issue....there are great pictures of a couple of very expensive  turntables and speakers.  I want everything advertised in this magazine.
THIS is EXACTLY the mentality in audio that needs to DIE!!!
So what some magazine that tries to con buyers into drinking the PRICE=Sound Quality coolaid that keeps mans.of so called HEA components & the B&M dealers,who rely on overpriced/over hyped products to turn a PROFIT,in business!
Lets see Robb whoever conduct a double blind listening challenge,anchored by ONLY end users & broadcast LIVE to the listening world using all the massively priced products they poopoo against the top models from SO CALLED mid level gear makers & let the world see the TRUTH of today’s audio products.What truth is that you may ask?The TRUTH that we live in a truly Golden Age of Reference Level sound quality at Beer Budget prices!!!
Maybe decaffeinated the next time.....
^^^ Truly memorable replies!
C'mon now Freediver.

That was quite the rant!

Amusing though.
Actually're exactly wrong. If you'd actually open the cover of the mag, you'll not hear any music....only see the highest level of artwork, either in fashion, in photography, in industrial design, etc.  It gives one a glimpse of what is attainable with the human mind, hands and the willingness to create - striving for the highest limits of endeavor and accomplishment.  Get the magazine and you'll see what I'm talking about.
I could not wait to check the Robb Report magazine so I tried it on the Internet. I did not find much about audio, they probably still keep it only in the print version, but I did read another interesting article...

These Glamorous Fertility Studios Are Changing the Egg-Freezing Conversation

Diversity rules at that magazine, that is for sure.

Freediver, lets look at a few bit of reality.

Robb report features really expensive things that the wealthy or ultra wealthy think are cool and yes there are items where the cost goes up for the performance that you get.

Is a Bugatti Veryon worth $3.3 million? Is it 10 times better than a Lamborgini? Could it also be that the price of the Bugatti has a lot to do with the rarity of the car and the expense to recoup some of their research and development costs?

The reality is that there are very expensive things that are really good and maybe woth the money and there are items that are outragously expensive are they worth the money that is for the buyer to decide.

There are always products that push the boundaries.

As Axpona heard a $600k system that was freaking amazing and worth the money while we heard a few that were just as expensive that weren’t anywhere as magical and a few that were $200k-300k that were just marginal for the price tag.

There will always be products that push the boundaries in both directions.

Part of the fun in any industry is the lunatic fringe products that are just so cool that somebody took a design to insane ends.

If you consider how rare some of these pieces are and how limited the production runs are, and the cost to build some of these products the high price tag starts to make sense.

Remember that a high end device that makes music can be a complicated device with lots of expensive parts, now consider that a Hermes leather bag is selling for $30k for a piece of nicely finished leather and you will start to see that a $225k, pair of speakers may not be that bad of a deal after all.

Live and let live, if you have the disposable income to afford such lovely luxury goods God Bless you and have fun.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

Best beer is said to be made by some Belgian monks. It is not the most expensive and it is not always easy to get. They control the prices and do not allow the stores where it is sold to raise them without their permission. Those damn fools do not maximize the profit, but again the beer is quite expensive, and people sometimes stand in line to buy it.
They pervert Yankee style capitalism, that's for sure, but I sympathize with their attitude.
No car is worth $3.3 million and no person earning his/her money will buy it.
I think Dave and Troy should buy the new $600,000 system they heard at Axpona, then sell it used and report back to us what proceeds were left. That would be very telling about margins of many high end manufacturers and dealers alike.  Because, after less than a year, the pricing typically  depreciates by about 50% of the original MSRP. regresses to the mean and is sold for 1/2 (or less) than the original MSRP.  
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Inna, nothing in life is "worth" anything. Worth is what we as humans subscribe to.

Is a diamond worth thousands of dollars or tens of thousands? Is a rare Patek Phillipe watch $100k or more?

The market determines what people will pay for. In the case of the Veryron the car's rarity and extreme performance drive up its price.

One of our clients let us drive his Lamborgini which was a $200k plus car and frankly it wasn't that great, way too low, felt like a go cart, the interior was amazing it was a fun toy but in our mind his fully tricked out fully loaded Cadillac Henissey twin tubro was a much more exciting car and that car was nearly a 1/3rd the price of the Lambo.

As per a person wealthy enough to afford a $3.3 million dollar car many o of those people made their fortunes themselves.

Micheal Bloomberg is  a multi billionare, he started from scratch, our client who is worth over a billion, came over to the US as an Immigrant and worked his way up the corporate ladder. Mark Cuban made it also through hard work, so these people would view themselves as both being rich, smart, hard working and having paid their dues to get where they are.

The surprising thing in high end audio is how some of the really expensive things are actually quite expensive to make and their high costs are actually more valid 

Liamowen, we wouldn't be buying a $600k system and selling it for 1/2 its price in a year that would be stupid. Resale value and cost have nothing to do with anything, and the truly rare ultra statement products like the Naim Statement amplifiers and a pair of Focal Grande Utopia Evo III are almost never seen on the used market. 

So if you have even $400k in your pocket you are not going to find these items, nor would a dealer sell such a system for that price, you are going to pay close to $600k and that is that the person who can afford such a system is going to find out that certain expensive and rare items actually do sell for and cost quite a lot to accquire.

Good luck finding a pair of the current Focal Grande Utopia Evo III or a pair of Naim Statment amplifiers used. Most of the people who are spending that kind of money don't move willy nilly in and out of such items. they do their research, hear such a system, pay the price and buy it.

If we had that kind of funds available we would have that system on display it was extraordinary

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

What has always seemed funny to me is that people who are massively wealthy need a magazine to know what they need to buy to, I guess, "impress" whoever people in that position need to impress.

Now, if you win the lotto and get $100 million overnight and you have been poor all your life and live in a shack, I can see where you might need some help spending it all, and evidently you will if the many reports of such things are true.

But, if you are a typically wealthy person, you probably fall into one of two categories:  inherited it over generations and you realize that great wealth brings both choices and responsibilities, or nouveau riche, which means you got it recently and are baffled by what to do with it, so you by a MAGAZINE(???) to help you acquire whatever you are told "rich" people need to acquire to do whatever it is you think they do:

"Hey, baby, we need to git onea these here million-dollar cars and eat dinner at this place that charges $5000 for lunch.  Grab your shawl and let's git a-movin'!)

Since I have lived in both Palm Beach and Boca Raton for the last 47 years, I can tell you a couple of truths:
1. (From Mom):  No matter how much YOU have, someone next door has a lot more.  Calm down.
2.  People who have massive inherited or new wealth are typically either working everyday to maintain their business(es) or working with charities to best support those less fortunate, which means pretty much everyone else on the planet. 

Finally, a story from my college roommate:  Driving down the street in Palm Beach one day on a visit, he saw Ted Kennedy coming out of their house in the North End.  My roommate could not get over the fact that he was driving a 5-year-old Ford station wagon--remember them?  I tried to explain to him that these people would no more buy a fancy foreign car or even a top-of-the-line American car than they would jump off a bridge.  They passed that phase 5 generations ago, and today are concerned with service and helping others.

I guess the Robb Report and Peak and so forth are read by "wanna-bees" and others like me who like to see nice stuff...and I am sure there are some mega-wealthy people who read them.  I doubt you would see such stuff in houses where the wealth is a responsibility and not a novelty.

Whoever doesn’t like to see super expensive turntables or speakers or doesn’t drool over super expensive Lamborghini’s or Ferrari’s or $5 million Alfa Romeos or Koenigsegg’s has no soul. 🧟‍♂️
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Ted Kennedy wind up in the drink again? An unfortunate choice of metaphor.
Special diamonds for special women are worth a lot. Patek is an interesting and complicated piece of engineering and craftsmanship, it isn't worth $100k, waist of funds.
Re: diamonds....there is a process for man-made  diamonds to be made large with highest grade of color and quality for very little money.
I am no expert but I haven't heard anywhere that man-made diamonds can compare to natural ones. Anyway, that's for women to decide, we just deliver.
The latest generation artificial diamonds are remarkable. Their only flaws are the lack of flaws, and they can be grown to arbitrarily large sizes, hence the latest generation of actual diamond drivers, not deposited diamond dust but gem quality cones.

However, that means nothing about sound superiority. I'm just saying, they're a genuine threat to the gem industry, as well as significantly advancing several areas of research.
THIS is EXACTLY the mentality in audio that needs to DIE!!!

This is exactly the mentality in audio that needs to die.

I kind of doubt man-made diamonds have the “fire” or intensity and variation of color of natural diamonds. But I could be wrong. All diamonds are not created equal, that’s why they are graded. Maybe man-made diamonds would look better than some natural diamonds. They should have better clarity, for example than many diamonds. But judging from artificial rubies and other precious stones I’ve seen and artificially colored stones I’ve seen I would prefer the real thing from an aesthetic point of view, even if it wasn’t perfect in all respects. 
Nope geof.....manmade ones can be made better than nature.....there is absolutely no way to tell natural from mademade.   Newly cut naturals, are trying to get around this by laser serial numbers on real ones....  its only a matter of time before the market will vote for manufactured product.
That’s what they said about CDs, as I recall.
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How much is subscription to Robb Report?

Glupson, if you have to ask, you can't afford it ;-)

I’ve been following Audiogon Forum for a few years now, but never jumped in before. The Forum is a guilty pleasure I enjoy a few times a week. It’s not unlike a cigar, where for a few brief minutes, I can forget about pressing issues of health, business, politics or global warming. Many of the folks who regularly post here are as brilliant as they are entertaining, so I’ve learned a lot. Sincere thanks for that. 

Robb Report is kind of like our forum, or that cigar. It’s a Mozart divertimento, not Bach’s B-minor mass. Which is why I always marvel that its subject matter often raises so much ire. The magazine is serious about its subject; it’s meant to inform and entertain—but it’s not a medical journal. 

I’m the guy who wrote about the high-end gear in the June issue, and regularly contribute to the magazine, mostly about cars, old and new. When the feeling moves me, I’ll do a little something on two-channel audio gear that I’ve purchased for my own use, and subsequently thought was worth sharing, or have heard, and that impressed me. It’s not my day job: I own a creative agency (think Mad Men, but much smaller, and regrettably without the booze and sex). Most of our clients are luxury brands, but whether automotive or audio, I never write about them in the magazine; that’d be a conflict of interest.

Many of us have heard $1m-plus systems, and some of those are as groundbreaking as that $3.3m Bugatti Chiron, which I’ve driven and admire. Why some people see this stuff as the spawn of Satan is lost on me. Most is created by serious minds with a vision of something great. As some here have explained, expensive gear reflects a lot of investment in R & D, materials, marketing and so forth. One of my clients makes $250k amps and another sells $299/pr speakers by the container-load. Neither rips-off their customers.

Please don’t judge Robb Report too hastily. I know many hundreds of the readers personally, and most are thoughtful, philanthropic and “self-made” men and women looking for a little diversion from a busy life. Maybe they’re even too busy to learn everything there is to know about diamonds, for instance, but want a little primer on what’s what. About which, one of my clients, a noted jeweler, explained—and showed—what distinguishes natural gemstones from artificial ones. My take is that they are to be preferred, in part from the feeling you get knowing that one is natural and the other is not. Think old Shelby Cobras or Mustangs. Replicas abound, and they are in no way inferior to the originals. I prefer the genuine article, but don’t disparage someone who can’t afford it, or chooses not to be burdened by the responsibility of ownership.

For me, it’s all good, and everybody can play in the sandbox, no matter which toys you own. Cheers!

—Robert Ross


P.S. about my music and gear:

Around 500 recordings (LPs and CDs) of stuff composed before 1650, almost as much through 1750, and mostly radio silence until we get to Miles and his cronies. Maybe a little classic rock—Hendrix, Roxy Music, whatever—when the mood strikes. The speakers won’t bring down the house: KLH Nines lovingly rebuilt by David Janszen; Quad 57s resurrected by Wayne Piquet, and Harbeth 40.2s—a nod to the 21st century. Stax SR-009S headphones are for drilling deep.

P.P.S.: A subscription to Robb Report is about $79 for 12 issues, and I understand that barely pays for printing and postage. Audiogon affords as much entertainment for free. Nothing to argue about there!


tapirtapir, well said.