When someone tells you it's a $40,000 amp, does it sound better?

I've always been a little bit suspicious when gear costs more than $25,000 . At $25,000 all the components should be the finest, and allow room for designer Builder and the dealer to make some money.

I mean that seems fair, these boxes are not volume sellers no one's making a ton of money selling the stuff.

But if I'm listening to a $40,000 amplifier I imagine me Liking it a whole lot more just because it costs $40,000. How many people have actually experienced listening to a $40,000 amplifier.  It doesn't happen that often and usually when you do there's nothing else around to compare it to.  

I'm just saying expensive gear is absolutely ridiculous.  It's more of a head game I'm afraid. Some how if you have the money to spend, and a lot of people do, these individuals feel a lot better spending more money for something.  Now you own it, and while listening to it you will always be saying to yourself that thing cost $40,000 and somehow you'll enjoy it more.




Apparently, you haven't been the thread closely. It has been explained many times that amplifiers (or anything) that is made from expensive parts and materials by skilled labor in very small quantities is costly. Those who make these items want to make a good profit from their efforts, as do the distributors and retailers.

No one is "misleading" anyone, and just because some can afford and want to buy these products does not make them "gullible".

I don't anything that can be supported in your comments.


Huge design time. Painstakingly swapping many different kinds of capacitors, resisters. Remember break in of hundreds of hours. 

Higher tolerances on all materials and construction. You can’t just throw it over to China to a contract manufacturer. 

Far greater testing. Boulder has a big breakin room where they run their amps full power until too hot to touch, for days. 

Usually greater effort in aesthetics… something that requires some one with real talent, not a high school student.

Lower volume production. 

in other words huge investments… and it’s sound must be commiserate with the price… and match the sound and aesthetic requirements of their clientele. 

Hidely risky endeavor. 



Amortizing R&D cost, marketing cost, etc. is one way to set price, but price can be set on perceived value.  No matter the cost to build, if you make something that you think performs extremely well, you might set your price based on this perceived value; you will get your price if others agree, and if not, it won’t sell.  With high end audio, there are those who are willing to pay a very high premium for the particular sound they are after.  

The HiFi market (sorry Audiophile) market is so small nowadays, the manufacturers are small, they're generally a handful of guys who are putting this stuff together, there's one guy who started the company who knows a bit about circuits.   Their payroll is probably around $200K/month, and the owner needs to make a profit, and when you consider that you may only sell 10-20 units a month, you can see where the price comes from.


If you look in the mass-produced hifi gear from the 60's and 70's, those were relative bargains compared to today since they were selling volume.  HiFi was mainstream, and there was a lot of competition.   Look inside one some time.   They're built like tanks, transformers that weigh more than a small child, and many of them are still working 40-50 years later.


So no, the gearis overpriced from the standpoint of looking at the materials involved but you've got to face it that this is such a niche market anymore that in some ways it's amazing there are as many companies as there are.

Well, in many cases comparing apples to oranges. $40k may only be medium price in high wattage solid state high end amps. Watts cost money and the better those watts  the greater the cost.


Now I'm at other end of scale, prefer low wattage SET amps, very low parts count, circuits design long ago amortized, all the money goes into output and power transformers. Kondo Audio Note only SET I'm aware of that approaches $40k.


So, it depends on the context when one speaks of $40k amp, this only mid to upper grade compared to other high wattage SS amp, In world where $100K plus amps exist $40k is relatively low cost. Compared to SET where virtually no $40k amp exists this  out of this world price. $40K as an objective price to compare with all other amps is meaningless for me.