What High End Manufacturers Could Learn From Bose

In the high end community Bose gets no respect. The fact is they don't deserve our respect - Bose does not make a particularly good sounding product and they're over priced. Yet at the same time, there is much the high end could learn from Bose. The concept is marketing. Bose knows how to sell hi-fi equipment. Open up a general interest national magazine and there's a prominent ad for Bose. How many high end manufacturers have ever run television ads? Bose has. Bose once sent me an unsolicited videotape ad thru the mail. Finally, Bose even has retail outlets. What a concept, actually spending money to make people awear of your product with the hope that they will buy it.

My question is why doesn't Martin-Logan, Krell or Harman (Revel, Levinson, etc) embark upon similar marketing efforts? The future of high fidelity sound reproduction will be for those companies that grab it. Right now, Bose is grabbing for that future. Will any high end companies step up to the plate and challenge?
I met the VP of marketing for Bose at a party once. I told him I was into audio, but didn't tell him to what degree. To my surprise he pretty much said what you have said. Bose is a marketing company--not an audio company. Mind you, this was the VP of marketing so he was blowing his own horn. But he readily admitted that Bose does not sound that good, but most people don't need something that sounds so good. What they need is simple, easy to use, and packaged in a way they can relate to it.

Can you imagine the guy that bought the one box surround system with 5 mini speakers and a subwoofer, that all neatly plugs into each other in a matter of 5 minutes being the least bit interested in cables that cost more than the whole system--and the fact that you need 20 pairs of cables to set up a really state of the art Levinson, bi-amped monster system?

Marketing efforts (this includes their design philosophy) from Bose target the mass market, which is why they can put ads in general interest magazines and run TV ads. High end audio would fail miserably with that type of marketing, unless they changed their design philosophy to something that "sounds good enough for most, and is very easy to use" thereby meeting the needs of the general public--but then it wouldn't be high end, would it?
Does any high-end company advertises itself on any general interest magazines???????

give me a break!
No, nor should they. Krell is never going to be a mass-market product, so following the Bose strategy would be ruinous. High-end is a niche product, and always will be.
A good post, as usual, Onhwy61. To some extent, I think those companies you mention are starting to move in that direction, particularly in the home theater area. I'm sure a large part of the reason more companies don't is, of course, the cost in dollars of doing that; at least Harman and probably Krell have enough funds to publicize themselves more, but many of the best high-end manufacturers can't afford the advertising spreads that a Bose can put out. Unfortunately for the high-end purists (and that probably includes me), I do think that the future of sound reproduction will be in the home theater area, and that may not exactly be the high fidelity we're hoping for. I will also note an observation, which may or may not be true, that the more a high-end company tries to increase its advertising and profile to the general public, the more it seems to lose some of the mystique that comes with being a high-end company. I'm thinking of a Krell, for example, which in my view makes good products but has received a good deal of bashing, far more now than in the earlier days when it was a small unknown company which was more admired for building no-compromise powerhouse amps (sort of reminds me of a quote from a little known pro basketball player, who thanked his agent when a fan yelled out he was overrated, as he thought no one even knew who he was!). Some of this undoubtedly comes with making more affordable components to attract a wider customer base, where corners invariably have to be cut and sound quality suffers in comparison to the products which may first have gotten the company on the map. But I do wonder if a company which does succeed at getting a large market presence will be viewed by the high end community as selling out, or no longer a high-end company (look, as another example, at some of the audiophile community's view of Stereophile as it has gone from a small underground publication to a larger media glossy). Curious to see what others in this forum think.
I do hope you are kidding? Bose is mass mid fi, they are in it for the money, and in actuality I see nothing wrong with that, it is what they chose to do. But in no way could a Krell, Martin Logan, Revel compete in that market or do I doubt they even want it. Highly unlikely they even have the means to produce the #'s it would take to capture a % of that market. Then there is the fact that simply put, who buys $3000 amps or speakers, hell who buys $3000 stereos? Less than 10% of the market. You may have 2 out 20 friends that walk into your house and are able to recognize the makes and brands of your audio equipment, people who don't ask you to turn the bass up or why are you still using that old tube amp when pointing at your Tube Innovations amp sitting on the floor. People who aren't internally smug when you tell them it puts out 100 wpc, thinking to themselves, that fool, my Pioneer from Sam's puts out way more than that, smaller too! High end audio is a very small market, and even then highly tiered. And then I feel many are trying to make the market smaller by not educating those who ask the most rudimentary questions about high end, choosing instead to ridicule them for wanting to basically know "Why?". I see too much of that on these pages and way too much of it on the unmoderated groups.
IF and I write IF in a major way, the high end manufactorers want,IMHO, an example to go by, I would send them Magnepan's way. Magnepan builds entry level high end gear, allows decent trade up policies, makes you feel good about yourself for "only" spending $550, and doesn't insult by telling people no way can you use a reciever with their products and expect good sound. It will be better than what they had, and it is a first step toward what I am sure is what they hope to be a budding audiophile. IMHO again, I think a lot of the high end companies are missing a huge market by not building more affordable entry level gear. Its as if they build for those of us that think nothing about spending more on an amp that will some day die than a wedding ring where at least the diamond lasts a lifetime if not the relationship. But most
people will not do that. Most purchasers are going to cap out at around $1500 to $2000(and actually I would love to see the average on this) on an ENTIRE system, not just one piece of gear.
None of the above is to say that there are many of the high end makers who don't build or advertise this way because they are truly intent and content with building the very best product they can, and marketing it knowing there will be only few buyers. I applaud them, it brings audio up to the next level when it finally trickles down. But many can't or choose not to afford their gear. And where I think there will never be a huge high end market, it would be nice to see some come down into the mid fi market and bring it up a notch or two more, as I believe Magnepan and a couple of others do. I applaud the Canadian gov. intheir efforts and in their providing the facilities to allow some very small and very good companies the ability to do just that. By the way, another thread kinda covers the subject with the demise of Sonic Frontier, a high end maker that is being either closed down or sent in a different direction by its parent company because of its limited demand in the market.
The Nature of the high-end market will always mean it is small. Any manufacturer that goes for mass market numbers, by definition, will no longer be high-end. For truly high-end stuff, there is no 'entry level' to it. Or, the level of entry required is just that - fairly high, due to the nature of the product (e.g. $2000 or whatever).

BTW Jvia - diamonds are a poor comparison. Personally I get way more life and pleasure out of a 2k amp than a 2k rock. Of course the girlfriend (wife to be) may not agree... But ultimately diamonds are the most over-valued commodity there is, propped up by an industry-controlling cartel (DeBeers) which is sitting on a huge hoard, that if ever released at one, would destroy the market. Intrinsically (e.g. based on scarcity) diamonds are worth at most 1/4 or less of what they sell for. If it was really an open market on them, prices would be much less. To wit: Rubies are much more scarce than diamonds, yet diamonds nearly equal them in price up to a given point in size. Wacky.

Actually, both Martin Logan (marked-and-bloated) and Krell (smell) DO market to the masses. About two years ago, both lines began to appear in the SoundTrack chain retail stores.

That confirmed what I had always thought about tonally inacurate equipment...people LOVE it...
Geeze, I would hate to think what my Revel speakers would cost if Madrigal spent as much on marketing as Bose!!!! Look at how expensive those pitiful sounding Bose systems are! I remember sitting in the Bose HT suite at CES a few years ago. They acted proud of those crappy tiny speakers.
interesting thread--reminds me of the case study i worked on Chivas Regal (the worst scotch around). Chivas was a marginal player in the low dollar blended scotch mkt, and meer fodder for jokes amongst single-malt scotch conniseurs..but then chivas did 2 things: new box / packaging, and raised their price. results go against economic theory (sales increased!), but testify as to the effect of a good marketing program.

this has a lot in common with audio. high end audio is the equivalent to the scotch conniseur--who knows what regions were known to produce good scotch, what labels / years to watch for, etc. point being, they're very educated about product, and as such have no problem paying $80 for a liter if they think its amongst the best. of all the people who own stereos, how many are very educated about product? only those on this board.

audio has a couple serious problems, financial aspects aside. in order to compete w/ mass mkt product, they have to educate the public as to how much better it can get. and to do so requires retail outlets for demonstrations (and we all know the difficulties for the highend retailer these days).

couple that with these factors: bose recognizes 3 things in serving the market: 1) product must have aura of high-end (face it, most people think its the best!), 2) product must be at a price point that is still discretionary, and 3) product must be small (i.e. households buy furniture, and when speakers are not in use, they're furniture---best to keep em small guys else the wives don't like it).

so what is one to do? madrigal has a good starting point w/ the multi-dimensional line (levinson in lexus), and would be well served to purchase the gallo speaker technology and begin w/ a new brand...

the rest of high end will always be a cult.

High-end audio is invisible - but it need not be so. Take Porsche as an example: how many people can afford one? How many people actually buy one? And how many WANT one?

Porsches are not cheap, they are not compromised (well, maybe their new cheapo ~$30-40K models). Hi-end audio can also remain expensive and uncompromised and be desired by the masses (is this not the definition of of being a target of desire in the materialistic world? :-).

So why are we not there yet? I am not a marketing maven, but it may have something to do with the fact that I never see anyone parading around the city with their brand new, bright red, Revel Salons (i.e. the 'show-off' factor is severely lacking ;-). In this way, high-end audio is like fine wine, fine furniture, (fine art does have somewhat a reputation amongst the masses, though, but only the very, VERY high-end)...
I hope someone from the other side of the fence (manufacturer) reads this thread as there are some intersting views being shared. I personally believe that largely due to technology it is becoming harder to build crap. not that technology alone makes good sound but the simple fact that in exemple 24bit Converters are now cheap, Op Amps are getting better all the time and higher tolerances are easier to achieve on passive components.
I think speakers are going to remain a chalenge because of their mechanical nature but there is little excuse for a manufacturer to build shitty CD players today.
Two words...niche market. The advertising money (even if the relatively small high end companies had it) would for the most part be wasted. The small percentage of the population that is willing and able to spend considerably larger amounts of money for a smaller and smaller increase in sound quality as prices go up (the law of diminishing returns is in effect here) is fairly constant. We are mostly dedicated hobbiests who will know all about the high end world regardless of their small advertising budgets. Bose can play on the ignorance of the masses, and therby increase their market share. They say they have good sound, and the ignorant believe. Also Bose has small and relativley cheap (compared to high end) products which increases the WAF (wife acceptance factor).
Ed, and please, I did not take this or very little personally(to manys dismay) , my point is more that the diamond or ruby or whatever precious stone or metal it might be, will last beyond many liftimes without maintenence and care and will be of some significant values, unlike many many pieces of high end audio gear.
Now I will take exception that it has to be expensive to be high end, I consider some of the lower line Magnepan, Adcom, Pioneer Elite, and actually there are many other high end bargains, though as I wrote earlier, high end is tiered. I am also always amazed by how a compnay can start out building an incredible value(B&K as an example)but suddenly become very expensive.
I really have enjoyed reading all the above posts because every single poster has added something thoughtful to this discussion. Let us audiophiles just face the facts, for what ever reason, the masses just don't find sitting in front of and attentively listening to music as important as we do. Why? Is it because they are not aware and if indeed they were, would it be important to them to travel down this road to the absolute sound, whatever that is?

Bose started out with a product that actually happened quite by chance. It wasn't "Better sound through research", that was the marketing ploy from the very beginning. My understanding is that the design was a haphazard garage experiment using multiple drivers because they were available. Amar Bose lent his name to it and Bose mushroomed from there. The 901 is probably the best known audio loudspeaker that has ever been manufactured and we audiophiles have a hard time dealing with that fact.

Lets also face the fact that even among ourselves we can't agree on what constitutes a great music making system. I have seen too many threads on this forum that berate excellent products. Why is this? Bose is the ultimate manifestation of this thought process among audiophiles. "I have chosen this so therefore this is the best". This is of course an exaggeration but there is in my observation much ego gratification and elitism among hi-end afficionados. Some of the above comments confirm this.

Bose makes their products accessible and affordable. It is indeed about marketing. They aren't exclusive and don't pretend to be. All they really pretend to be is better than they really are. Well what is wrong with that? There are many guilty of that. It is a business and marketing strategy that has been successful to a degree that most hi-end manufacturers can't grasp because

1) They don't have the resources of Bose
2) Most don't really know anything at all about marketing

Marketing is very complex. It is not always easy knowing how to reach the folks you want to let alone reaching them. The most EFFECTIVE marketing strategies create a NEED for their product and I really believe Bose falls into this category. How do you do it? Put your product out there in as many places as possible and MAKE people aware of it so its presence can't be escaped. This takes money and most hi-end manufacturers don't have the budget for this type of strategy.

The future of hi-end 2 channel audio is dubious indeed with all the aural stimuli that surrounds our culture. Listening to music for its own sake seems almost quaint to the masses that don't. These people buy products like Bose because of their most effective marketing strategy. Rhyno your analogy with scotch whiskey is a good one indeed and gets to the final point.

Hi-end is and always will be exclusive for the same reason that the best single malt scotch whiskies are and always will be. Most people just don't know, or even if they did, care enough to bother. Both are hobbies for enthusiasts. There must be enough enthusiasm otherwise it is just what many people ask after they listen to my system "Is it as good as Bose" or "Why don't you have Bose" or "Have you heard the Bose..." Damn I don't even know how to respond to such comments.

Well reproduced (hi-end) audio is about reproducing music that requires our attention because we WANT it to. Bose lifestyle systems are about low profile sound reproducing systems that fit into the way we live without bringing too much attention to themselves or for that matter our attention to anything remarkable that they do. The term "lifestyle" is appropo for this product, marketing strategy at its sublimal best, for the masses.

This is a great thread. I still remember reading that BOSE went after Thiel & actually stopped them from using the decimal point in their 2.2 speaker. Would anyone have dreamed BOSE could copyright the decimal point?! How would you like to work for, or purchase anything from a company that is that predatory!
They should just change their slogan to "The Microsoft of Audio".

It's Miller Time..
very enjoyable thread...the comment about the porsche deserves response.

yes, its a typical strategy to have a high price product as the intro to get snob appeal and status in the mkt (ala mercedes--used to start at $70k, now down to $30k), and then introduce lower price product that has substantially higher volume. some audio mfgs do this...not many though.


it is my sincere belief that the high end audio industry is an anomaly..what you have are a lot of hobbyists who are DIYers and ultimately tweak enough until they decide to start a company where there product is their best effort--and they're concerned about iterative product improvements, rather than a long term profitable go-to market strategy. lots have done it, and lots have failed. very few have the business discipline to do it properly--as a business. the most notable exception, to whom i give all the credit in the world, is mark at rogue audio. from what i gather, same boards used in every pre and every amp.

smart man.

there's way too many speaker manufacturers to serve this small, niche market. if it weren't for low overhead models (i.e. guys working at home and using the tax write-offs), you'd see far fewer companies. anyone out there want to be a speaker manufacturer, here's a hint: use the same drivers and cabinet base in every model, differ products by # of drivers and crossover parts (inexpensive relative to drivers). electronics mfgs--see rogue for an example how to do business.

and btw: be prepared for bankruptcy if the industry rags dont like you.

(exception: an alternative that may be viable is to go the ULTRA high end route, ala Rockport's $70k turntable and its low cost $30k entry level model--this assumes you have the knowledge to be the best engineer out there, and frankly, there's few guys with that capability...maybe 5. want names?)

all of this may or may not be a good thing. but it is what it is.

Justacoder's car analogy is most revealing. I for one have never driven a Ferrari, but I know know their mystique. I don't expect high end companies to battle for mid-fi market share, but I want high end companies to at least define in the public's mind what is high end audio. Harmon's deal with Lexus for Levinson car systems is an excellent example. I also think Red Rose's Whitney Museum store is an example of the type of marketing high end companies need to be doing. The audiophile world needs to look outward to the uncoverted if it is to avoid shrinking to the point of irrelevance. There will always be a state-of-the-art products that by definition have no mass market appeal. But that doesn't mean that reasonably priced, good sounding, easy to set up and great looking high end products cannot become made and sold in reasonably large numbers.
I do not believe your premise that Bose is grabbing (for the future) the "high fidelity sound reproduction market." There are two (or more) different market niches. As Ed pointed out "high-end" means small market (an entirely different market niche). Because, very few people actually sit down and listen to music, very few would even care about "Krell" sound. For those that do there is the high-end. Because this market is small the high-end will never employ similar Bose marketing strategies-it would simply cost too much.

Even assuming your premise is correct, I don't believe that the future of "high fidelity sound reproduction" belongs to companies like Bose because of their marketing efforts. In fact, I believe that Bose is good for the high-end. The high-end feeds off of Bose; It gives non-audiophiles a starting point and a basis for comparison. Both Bose and the "high end" can coexist as long as there are people like us who really care about high fidelity sound reproduction.
I think it's a matter of what the audio market is like.

I can listen to a new CD of the Goldberg Variations and quickly say a lot about the performance. On the other hand, I know very little about wine and usually ask the store clerk, "Which is better, X or Y?" I know nothing about what that store clerk's knowledge or tastes are but go with it. I don't have the depth of opinions about a wine as I do about a recording the Goldberg Variations.

I know there's good wine out there, but I just don't know enough to feel comfortable trusting my own tastes, and it's not that important for me to invest my time: I'm satisfied that I picked an $80 brand-name wine over a $40 wine, though a wine expert might easily pick some $40 wines that would be better than what I bought. I figure, so this is what $80 buys and don't really think much more about it. Maybe I note that it's sweet or not sweet.

Some people balk at my attitude towards wine, while I don't understand why they can't hear how my hissy mono recording is obviously better than their DDD version of the same piece.

Audiophiles read stereo magazines, study up on audio and take months to carefully choose and match components. A typical consumer goes to Circuit City and asks, "Which is beter, Yamaha or Sony?" instead of doing A/B/A listening tests. They buy stereos the way that I buy wine. People don't know enough to feel comfortable using their own ears, and it's not important enough to them to work on it.

My friends say that they just can't hear all these differences that auido magazines fuss over. They're not thinking about the 30 things that we do -- they just hear more or less bass. It also doesn't help that everything sounds same-same when you're working with what's available at Circuit City. More reason for people to just go with whatever they see put out there.
the robb report, arch digest, dupont registry and more carry ads for high end hifi companies. they will also contain ads for multi million buck boats, cigars you couldn't buy even if you had the money, and jewelery that
queen elizabeth would be embarassed to wear. placing high end audio ads in "people" magazine however is unlikely to
yield satisfactory return. Still, one would think blowing all your ad budget on audio rags, where readers are already aware of your product is backward too. seeding a new
patch of bare ground occasionally instead of the crowded garden seems logical.
as far as the 30 grand benz goes, it has a star on the hood, but thats about where the comparison to the 70 grand mercedes ends.
b**e seems apathetic towards any aspect of their business apart from marketing. if 10% of the annual ad budget went to actual r&d instead of herbie on t.v., that $0.23 cent 2 inch paper cone they cram in everything would be a distant memory. don't even bother commenting on the 4" "subwoofer". by the way, dr. bose was a gifted theorist and designer, it's just that his conclusions and results were wrong. invaild equations are hardly unusual in tech and engineering endeavors. (you'd think the odds that at least one idea would work were high though, wouldn't you?)
one more little slice of evil from that corp. is a rabid litigation team. Better Off Sueing 'Em than being a positive contributor and respected member of the industry. a recent example supporting "lawyercide" and the viewpoint of "them" towards this wonderful hobbie and all of us in it took place in boston. a new company formed by two of the industry's most regarded leaders built an amp that sent all but the very best scurrying. audiophile sonics, 5 mono channels, 1500 watts, bullet-proof,under 2k$. since the company was in boston and proudly so, they called it
Bostronics. after the expense of putting that name on everything from boxes to lit, and getting a national magazine review praising it as perhaps the best multichannel ever built, the B**e lawyers crawled from the brimstone and demanded the small company change it's name. the current one sounded too much like "bose electronics". the suit was weak as 4" subwoofers and very easy to beat in court. the problem? 3-4 years of battle and min.$50,000 in court costs. read this in a trade journal.
know what? B**e belongs in the outlet malls. next to the fridge magnets store. i sure hope they don't read this.
Thanks for some thoughtful and illuminative posts on this thread. Let me add another perspective.

It seems to me that two phenomena interact here: (1) Quest for the best possible sound WITHIN ONE'S OWN FRAME OF REFERENCE, and (2) pride of ownership/snob appeal/equipment-as-an-end-in-itself. That observation is nothing new. What occurs to me, though, is that these same variables interact all up and down the continuum from Aiwa boomboxes to Levinson et alia.

Examples: I have seen people in Best Buy arguing with just as much vehemence and sincerity over the sonic merits of this boomer versus that boomer as people on a-gon argue over the merits of Plinius versus Krell. I've also seen folks choose boomers on the basis of glitzy LED displays, futuristic extruded plastic cabinets, and "supermegawoofers." And, God knows, that same phenom goes on in the high end, if a bit more subtly.

I've noted the same phenomenon at the mid level, with some people listening earnestly to the musical merits of Bose versus Polk versus Cambridge Soundworks and others choosing from that group on the basis of perceived cachet.

My point is that the high end is a niche market primarily because of price rather than because of more esoteric phenomena. By that I mean that the factors of quest for sound and quest for ego-reinforcement operate just the same way at our level as they do at the Circuit City level. There just aren't many people who can play on the high end field, not matter how much they want to.

If we as a-file end users could get past the ego thing, we could exercise some clout with high end manufacturers to get them to price their gear reasonably. An EE/audiophile here in Orlando recently disassembled a >$20K amplifier from a well known and highly respected manufacturer. He then priced out EVERY SINGLE PART from the case screws to the capacitors to the hand-machined face plates. Even in one-each quantities, the total cost was well under $1,000. People like Brian Cheney can cite instances of speaker systems selling for $50,000 that contain $500 worth of parts and cabinetry.

Why does this apparent contradiction of Adam Smith persist? Because people are willing to pay those prices. Period. In fact, as y'all well know, inexpensive gear is instantly suspect among a great many audiophiles because of the belief that superb equipment is of necessity extremely costly to produce. This despite readily verifiable evidence to the contrary.

So why don't high end companies trade off selling price for volume? First because even at reasonable markups their gear would be out of the affordable range of the masses. Second, because their own egos are substantial. God help them, the Wilsons of the world really have convinced themselves that the stuff they sell is worth the absurd prices they charge for it.

That's the view from here. As always, YMMV.

good comment will, but one more thing--this industry NEEDS consolidation. how many speaker / amplifier manufacturers can a niche mkt support? well, it shouldn't support the amount that it does, but it does through the low overhead (working in my garage) model along w/ outrageous markups that are the norm for the industry...little more than collective unorganized collusion.

and another thing--a fool and his money are soon parted. the best gear is rarely the most expensive...i feel sorry for krell owners who never considered belles.

Learn from Bose? Well.. how to make small crappy speakers I guess.

Sincerely, I remain
Rhyno, you are a man of discernment, taste, and impeccable audio discrimination. I knew that the instant you revealed your fondness for Belles....

I don't particularly support consolidation in the high end. It would discourage innovation and rob the a-file community of grist for our conversation mills (and more than a little unintended humor). Market diversity also SHOULD (but does not for the reasons I cited above) control costs.

I say let the boys build their toys. Some of them are definite winners. Most, even the ones that receive the plaudits-of-the-moment, are nothing more than trivial variations on long-existing themes. I'm not a republican--quite the contrary--but this is an instance in which I'm quite content to let supply-side forces act at will. Let 'em come; let 'em go; my only concern is parts availability(!)

Don't think, though, that marketing doesn't work in the high end. Krell, for example, has managed to promote good components as though they were great components and price them accordingly. Why? Distribution through major chains and lots of advertising in the slicks. I bet that if someone researched matters, they would find that Krell spends darn near as large a percentage of its limited revenue on advertising as Bose does of its vast revenue.

If the high end really implodes, as so many think it will, perhaps we'll be left with the garage builders (imaginative but flakey and unreliable) the ego builders (niche suppliers to the conspicuous consumption community), and good-but-perhaps-not-great volume suppliers like PSB, NHT, Paradigm, Carver/Sunfire, Sony ES, and (dare I say it?) Mahhhhhhhhhhhnster Cable.

In the meantime, let's keep having fun.

Bose wins; most highly advertised speaker there is. He is
no dummy.
Since becomming interested in audio in the late Sixties, there have been a few examples of audio companies advertising in the mainstream media. I remember Marantz doing a tv commercial during the heyday of the receiver (mid-late 70's). AR (Acoustic Research) advertised in the Sunday New York Times Magazine and in other tony periodicals. KLH did likewise. I think JBL did a tv ad when its L-100 was a market leader. There's probably more. Can anyone offer examples?
Slightly off-topic, but have you seen this Bose announcement?

Ryyno is correct. Bose has established it position in the marketplace in the minds of many consumers. Most of the high end companies are continuing to serve ever smaller segments ie. German large format cameras. The reason is not a lack of a better product but simply because of arrogance and a lack of resources. Bose rules because they have figured out how to reach the consumer with their message.
This thread is like a bad odor, it just wont go away.
Regarding Bose, it just make me sick to think of it. It's a reflection of the degrading of cultural value in our society really. Just look at the latest TV schedule and Bilboard chart, nothing close to any artistic value. People prefer fast-food entertaiment these day. The tele is litter with so call "reality TV" but in reality there's nothing further from reality than those shows. Does your life or anybody you know has any resemblance to those shows, I doubt that. Music is not faring any better. Nothing but one hit-wonder, the top ten hits on the Billboard are nothing but dance track that belongs to some hip-hop clubs. Rock is even worst, most are what I call Angry White Man Yelling. These so call artist sometime say they are making a social statement, supposedly with their 6th grade education. Bose is following the same principal "If you hear it often enough it ought to be true". Thats why they throw out words like; Life-like, Direct-Reflecting, Accoutimass, Bass-Module, Stereo-Everywhere. To most people this sound damn good, but thats like Taco Bells say they serving authentic Mexican food. But hey if you have the dough to make people hear it often enough they'll think thats true. I may come off as a bitter man but actually I just feel sad that after thousands of years of cultural evolution and this is what we have to show for, quite pathetic. BTW I dare anyone to find the specs of Bose product anywhere on their website or brochure or User Maunual. If you do CIA has a job for you
off topic.

Rhyno, you are the man! I am not a whisky afficionado at all but once was impressed by the glossy duty-free catalog on an airplane to Asia, I got a bottle of Chivas and thought it must be near to top of whisky crowd. But when I tried it with my father-in-law, both agreed that it is not so good but I was blaming myself for not being able to appreciate such a 'high-end' liquor! Lately I got a bottle of Jack Daniels not as flashy as Chivas but tasted waaaaay better. I still have no clue of which are good whisky brands and how they taste like. I guess this must be what the 'mass market' is behaving in audio shopping. I can personally relate Bose to Chivas!

I think Martin Logan (Mr. Saunders) don’t really want to be like Bose, once things starts to be mass marketed they thrive and deteriorate in quality.
I guess what I am trying to say is you don’t see as many Jaguars compared to Hyundai’s.
These guys pay a fortune for adds like some in millions of dollars to a point that some think SONY is the best product in the world! That is provided you have tried all on the planet.

It’s a tough call for manufactures, like what Jason Bloom of Apogee and Aurnie Nudell of Genesis Technologies bailed out of Infinity, not for the money but the principal behind their product.
More does not mean better for all!
Bose has their name printed on a window of the new condo's at 59th and Broadway in NYC. This is right across from Trump tower and the entrance to Central park. Bruce Willis is said to have bought two units in this building.
Of course it helps that everyone already KNOWS Bose is the best. This merely reinforces the fact.