Where the heck are all these manufacturers coming from!

After being out of the HiFi hobby for about 15 years, covid lock down found me playing with some of my stored equipment. After being in the HiFi business for over 40 years, I though I knew who all the players were. A few forums, such as this, and a subscription to Stereoplile has me scratching my head over the plethora of super highend HiFi manufactures that I've never heard of and the unlimited number of inexpensive Chinese HiFi products. Near every day that I peruse these forums or YouTube channels I'm introduced to yet another amp, preamp, DAC, speaker manufacturer I never heard of.

And the prices.....Folks throw around recommendations for $10,000 and much more products with abandon. I just recently saw a 3.5" jumper cable for $39,000 and an 8' piece of speaker wire for $59,000.........I guess I should have stayed in the business instead of retiring!


It's crazy and maybe crazier than ever, but I remember picking up 10 year old mags in the 90's and 00's and seeing that probably more than half the ads were from companies no longer around. It makes you appreciate the longevity of folks like McIntosh, Audio Research and Linn.  Nothing sux more than investing your money in a company that folds up a couple of years later. Cheers,


I recently heard there are 17 million millionaires in the U.S. alone. Plenty of people have money (just not everyone).

I think a lot of these "new manufacturers" are from other countries that haven't been distributed in the U.S. before. It's funny because 10 years ago the magazines were full of stories about the demise of the high-end. Looks healthy to me.

The pandemic has been very good for the audio industry as a whole, they are getting record sales. So many popping up taking advantage of this or the ones that were smaller are now larger due to larger sales etc. i suspect it will deflate soon enough as the pandemic come to and end and people start doing more out side their homes.

The vintage market has been especially crazy with silly prices and that's going to crash soon enough. I suspect. Hopefully not as I've got a bunch of stuff I'm going to be unloading soon lol. 

Digital streaming has created new category of products, manufacturers. Headphones another area of great growth.

On the other hand, LS3/5As which you probably remember from over 40 years ago are still being sold today by like 5 companies from over $3K to knockoffs for less.

A millionaire? LOL Buy and sell a house in CA. Work like an animal for 49 years and then get treated like one too. I was 13 years old kicking rocks down the tracks walking between my 3 jobs..

I like the sound of Billionaire better. If I started counting out loud I'd doubt I'd get to 750,000,000 before I fell over dead.. Can you imaging counting a billion dollars in ones.

I've got 350 lbs of pennies nickels and dimes and another 200 lbs of quarters.

I was going to cash in all the coins but I'm to lazy to cart it to a bank. About 50 lb of quarters is 1000 dollars. I say there is a really nice piece of gear there if I'd cash in. OR save it. I'm pretty good at that too. 

OP I suppose it depended on what you collect too. I have a few pure silver door stops.. I wear bib overalls or double chap canvas pants and leather work boots that I've had fixed and resoled 2 times. 

I don't change wives either, to darn expensive. Same one for 48 years..

Money has never made me happy nor the love of it. The pursuit of wealth use to be my primary goal in life. MAN did that get old.. It paid great dividends in the long run for just a few years of really hard work (about 19 years) @ 80+ hour a week.

I don't drink, I don't use tobacco, BUT I smoke and have grown cannabis.:-)

I've been a Mcintosh fan and collector for 50 years. Thoren, Russco/QRK/Sparts, TTs. Every now and then I add or remove a vendor from the list. Just added a 2030 Thoren, # 36. 7 that are real peaches..

BE FRUGAL, pay attention to what you buy. NEW? Very seldom.. at my home..

Gotta go by some rabbit food..


BTW There are no 59K or 29K or 15K or or or.. I don't pay nutso money for gear when 50% of the sound is the room alone. ALL Speakers 25%, gear 20% and cables 5-15% depends on DIY and what you actually pay for cabling.

A lot of amps can do the job for me from 400.00 to about 3K. Nothing fancy.
Preamp? That's different, I spend a few quid..

I have ZERO issues with others paying 59k for cables.. 100% their business and absolutely none of mine.. I'm glad they are happy. So am I. :-)



I know that it would be a long, tedious task if you've not checked, but I bet in that 550 lbs of coins there are a lot of them worth a heck of a lot more than a penny, nickel, dime or quarter!


You better wait till the close out sales coming in January.....you will save plenty. 

Somehow I suspect the majority of ppl (almost exclusively men and some of it bought for them) that buy the super expensive stuff aren't on this forum and don't know if their stuff sounds found. All a bragging and d*** measuring contest. 

Heavy, listen to thecarpathian the numismatist and take them to a coin dealer. One bag at a time, every two days for however many years. Among those million coins you could probably assemble a valuable collection of rarities on top of face value. Geeky kids will gladly inventory coin bags all day long.

Heavy, TheCarpathian is 100%. I note that each year you are "too lazy" to cash in those coins, you lose %/points on inflation.

Now back to the program...

@oldhvymec ...+, got your back..I'll buy new only if it's not insane for the benefit it taunts 'n teases...otherwise, broke in and hung up wet.  Or not at all...

Gotta watch that rabid rabbit food....hard to tell what's in it, unless you're a paranoid chemist on a rant 'n rave...*s*  Don't seem the sort....

Agree with your %ages....my space is my worst issue, only saving grate for me is surrounding self with Walsh.  Playing with the space within is my deviate behaviour for the time being.

Coin vs. chance....how much is 'x' worth vs. a lotto tix.  Place your bet. ;)

Spouses with longevity are hard to find I find...they're happy to note when you're boring, biased, blase', and have told that joke enough to waste the stone you thought you carved in it...  Keeps the chassis grounded and the shorts down.

Did lamb vs. the basic bird, has more 'legs' and shorter in the rotter.
Don't think I could cope with turkey ice cream, even the thought of...

17m$aires...audiostyles and those who create them are on the same path as too many of 'us' populace in general.  Pick your pleasure and preference at the price you want to apply to itch with your scratch. *g*
I amuse my muse with that does at the dose I determine.  Happy with the solution most of the while, Listening to what it does...

...until the wild hare offs me off to somewhere Else. ;)

Oh, here...have some 'fun'...


....feel free to sing along...dancing optional...

You got a great car
Yeah, what's wrong with it today?
I used to have one too
Maybe I'll come and have a look

I really love
Your hairdo, yeah
I'm glad you like mine too
See we're looking pretty cool, I'll get ya

So, what do you do?
Oh yeah, I wait tables too
No, I haven't heard your band
'Cause you guys are pretty new

But if you dig on vegan food
Well come over to my work
I'll have them cook you something
That you'll really love

'Cause I like you
Yeah, I like you
And I'm feeling so bohemian like you
Yeah I like you, yeah I like you
And I feel whoa, woo!


Who's that guy?
Just hanging at your pad
He's looking kinda (bummed)
Yeah, you broke up, that's too bad

I guess it's fair
If he always pays the rent
And he doesn't get bent
About sleeping on the couch when I'm there

'Cause I like you
Yeah, I like you
And I'm feeling so bohemian like you
Yeah, I like you
Yeah, I like you
And I feel whoa, woo!


I'm getting wise and
I'm feeling so bohemian like you
It's you that I want, so please
Just a casual, casual easy thing
Is it? It is for me

And I like you
Yeah I like you
And I like you, I like you, I like you
I like you, I like you, I like you, I like you
And I feel whoa, woo!


If the coins are pre 1965 there 90% silver not counting collectabillity.Way more than face value.     

@oldhvymec I work in the 925 area, I'm going to come see you sometime to check out your green thumb lol. 

I prefer to buy from domestic manufacturers that sell direct to the consumer. I have found a few of the manufacturers in this forum and a few others by just doing the research on my own. 

A lot of wonderful, relatively new manufacturers are coming out of Eastern European countries - Serbia, Slovenia, Poland, etc etc... I've got an Auris Nirvana tube headphone amp from Serbia...

A lot of wonderful, relatively new manufacturers are coming out of Eastern European countries - Serbia, Slovenia, Poland, etc

Yup. Couldn't be happier (though it's early yet) with my Circle Labs integrated amp. Small Polish company.

Obviously only a percentage of the newer companies will survive, but with good research, it's possible to find some under-the-radar gems that are extremely well designed and built.

Audiomica Labs out of Poland has been around for over 10 years, wonderful sounding cables.

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Well I guess it's great that we have so many new companies in hi end audio but the only thing that haven't change is the human ears ( hearing ) with that said what happened to the good old days when things were so simple in buying fantastic sounding audio equipment. Example  pair of jbl -100 pioneer hpm 100 or advent speakers.  Hafler amps and preamps. Audio cables cost more than my damm chevy high country 6.2.  Unbelievable.  Even if I had Michael Jordan money it's no way in hell I would spend 40.000 thousand on cables. I'm scared as hell how much money I would need to spend on the rest of my audio gear to complete my system 😫 😩 😪 


Lots of people with money, but not a lot of people with happiness. Companies selling $59,000 cables, are not selling audio products, no matter what they may convince an audio magazine / reviewer to say about them. They are selling the promise of happiness. It does not take much time on an audio forum to realize that the happiness is at best short lived.

Its "just" supply and demand, and whatever that causes by way of consequences. In this particular case, the cycle of diversity might be at play.

Although, anecdotal evidence would suggest that this is nothing particularly novel in the audio landscape.

Prices are all relative to general price levels and peoples incomes and wealth. A reasonably affordable yet kinda swish Sansui amp in about 1972 (when the Dow Jones was about 900) was perhaps a few hundred bucks.

How does that translate to today’s environment?


@oldhvymec - if some of your hundred of pounds of coins are indeed rare you may actually be making money by holding on to them and not losing out to inflation.

I would recommend going through them to pick out the potentially valuable ones and bring them to a coin dealer. The "regular" ones are costing you to hold them every day. Even if you don't care about money, you must have heirs or a charity you can give it to. 

I hate wasting money, but love enjoying it. As I get older, there are less things I like or like to do or need, so I just figure my kids will get it when they like more things than I do now. My stereo investing is very sensitive to the law of diminishing returns. The $59,000 cable buyers are living in a Monopoly money world. There has got to be better uses of $59K in the world than buying some cable. The law of diminishing returns was true for that many many thousands of dollars ago regardless of how great sounding a system is.

I’d query whether people who buy cables priced at 59K even ask or care about their price.

I query, because I don’t personally know any people even remotely in that socio-economic bracket.

Edit - I was recently reading about Warren Buffet.  In 2014 he traded in his 8 year old car for a brand new $44,600 Cadillac.  I'm not sure if that has any relevance, but just sayin' anyway.