Inflation has increased over five years. Shipping costs around the world have increased dramatically over the past year. The cost of materials has also increased dramatically over the past year. Inflation at 3% on 15k from five years ago would come out to about $17,300.
That's not gouging, that is the world marketplace at the moment. Sucks for us, including myself, who couldn't afford $15k back then, but could probably swing it now.
I'd say, look at the materials being used in the Sopra line and see what has increased from five years ago. That's probably the major difference.
The manufacturers don't want to increase prices, especially in this super-competitive hobby like audio equipment, so they know that they are losing customers because of the higher costs. Sucks for everyone, really.
I read an article or comment online so take that for what it is…. That they were priced cheaper over here to compete with domestic US brands.
I think once they got a good reputation they adjusted that price to cover international costs and keep their profits roughly the same between regions.
Keep in mind that different brands are very differently priced in different countries. Wilsons and Magicos are almost double the US price in Europe.
Buy used or take a look (assuming you are in the us) to north American brands for a better deal. Revel, paradigm, legacy audio etc. Just as good 1/2 the price.
Supply & demand. They were $15k when they came to mkt. Now after they have sold their target #, they understand its popularity and peoples desire to own it. So, they raise the price.
Plus consider this. Sell 5 pr @ $15k= $75k. Sell 4 pr @ $19k =$76k. IOW, more profit. But they also have saved parts & labor on a pr of speakers. When people quit paying the price they will lower it. But they aren't in the business to lose $$$ either. It HAS TO make a profit to survive. So, it becomes a balancing act.
Because they could. I understand the points some are making here, but a near 25% price hike?
Agree with mtrot. Because they could. Harbeth did the same thing repeatedly because people still bought them. Materials don't go up THAT much.
Do not buy them. That’s why capitalism exists. Competitive marketplace.
roxy544,278 posts07-14-2021 3:24pm........ Materials don't go up THAT much.
Wow. Have you bought a single thing of any kind this year, lol. The entire world seems to have had supply chain issues, which have resulted in the price of most manufactured goods to skyrocket. Might be worse here in the U.S., not sure. A year ago, a sheet of 1/2" plywood was about $25. A few weeks ago, it seemed to have finally peaked, at about $110. Lumber has done the same. Home appliances are very difficult to get, plumbing fixtures have doubled. Etc, etc.
I'm well aware of the current supply chain issues, but that has nothing to do with what has happened to Harbeth prices over the last 12 years. I can't speak for Focal.
They are all gouging when you get to that level of price you can find a much better product for a lot less money on the used or vintage speaker market, no question.
Our area has a real shortage in base paint material. With any luck this will remain so until my wife loses interest in repainting the living room.
Good reason to buy them used. Great speaker otherwise.
Not so sir … materials and related costs CAN cost that much more !
My HARBETH dealer lamented the the perfect storm of BREXIT and COVID introduced a recent 2021 large price hike.
why ? Some examples, inter Alia:
(1) Post-BREXIT: the shipping costs have skyrocketed exponentially due to post-BREXIT divorce being an available container space total FUHBAR to actually get product container shipped. There is a huge backlog of all stripes to clear post COVID AND post BREXIT catchup that horribly delay most stock to be shipped into NA, forcing audio distributors to now use $$$$ expensive airfreight at many many multiples of their prior ship laden containers
(2) Simple shipping pallets for airfreight and container are in huge short supply post COVID … he quoted me a distress price of $1500+ for ones that used to be sub $100 for late orders of audio components ordered.
(3) Many audio product materials just to make the audio components are up 25-50 percent due to similar shortages post COVID and post-BREXIT.
(4) For the latter, the tax treaties permitting fast and EZ transport have now been scrapped and ground the paperwork requirements clearance to a glacier speed AND introduced new tax and duties unilaterally until the new tax treaties can be renegotiated at some time in the future,
It’s an excuse for all of them, to raise the price on a really bloated market to begin with..
Decware hasn’t raised prices in 5 years. They just re-source, like they should, to keep cost down and quality high. They produce Hardware faster NOW than they ever did 15 years ago.. They pass that same decrease/increase via faster production and the cost savings of better resourced parts on to you.. It’s a high value product for the price point..
Just because people had to pay more doesn’t mean the product is worth more, I’m pretty sure actual RD PLUS was recovered a long time ago and 25% for total parts and finish is probably a push.. A LOT of mark up WAY to much..
I can't think of a single speaker in production now I'd want to buy.. NOT ONE..
roxy54, I assumed we were still speaking mostly of Focal. Obviously, very little of my reply relates to a 12 year time span with any maker, sorry.
A pair of Aria 906 speakers is $1,990 in the U.S., the same as four months ago. A French website just now lists the pair at 790 Euros. That is approximately equivalent to what I paid in a private craigslist transaction for a pristine three-year old pair four months ago.
See if you can find a clean pair of used JM Lab/Focal Mezzo Utopia's.
You'll save a ton of dough and they sound just as good if not better than the Sopra 2's.
I understand everything that you said, and I'm sure that it's true, but a pair of Monitor 40's that cost less than 7k a dozen years ago are now about 16k. That price went crazy long before covid.
I have both, the Wilson Sophia’s and the Focal Sopra #3’s... there is no way my Sophia’s sound better than the Sopra’s, not even close. The Wilson’s are not as fast, or as detailed, articulate, or as musical. They go a bit lower, but that is it... but this advantage has been taken away by dual subs.
In my experience, the sopras are far better and obviously worth the money.
Sopra 2s sound very good. Poor value to me. There was a used white pair with a center here for months in Vegas I think they wanted10 grand. No takers for a long time. New way over priced in my opinion. Prices are spiking on goods world wide right now , now is not the time to buy .
odds are most of you have good systems already
New speakers are wants not needs. Exercise your power as a consumer a sale cannot take place with out you. Something better may be just around the corner. I always wonder who the people are who buy stuff for full list price on the internet.
Sopra's price increased before covid, for all you justifying their actions with your "shipping" and "material costs" theories, which isn't remotely true. They bought a distribution company and as a corporation, instead of saddling the costs and innovating their way out of it, they want the people to pay for it. Buy used, people haven't been gouging bad yet and you can still find deals. They're good speakers, but not worth 20k.
Also, lumber spiked and has been steadily getting crushed the last two weeks. Futures down from 1600 highs to 650s yesterday. So the prices for gear will equalize.
Supply and Demand.
COGS are increasing daily.
Wait the fun has just begun. .
Focal raised their prices dramatically soon after former President Trump put 25% tariffs on goods imported from the EU. So did many other European suppliers. The UK was granted exceptions as the administration liked Boris Johnson’s politics, so UK goods didn’t go up in most cases. Rega just put in some modest increases, nothing like Focal’s.What I don’t know is whether the Biden trade policy will remove the tariffs and if prices will drop in consequence.
Fasten your seatbelt. This is going to be a regular thing in the coming year or two. There are a whole list of cost increases that manufacturers have had to cover and the latest one is shipping. Container rates have gone up over 400% in some shipping lanes. Speakers are particularly sensitive to shipping costs because they are large and heavy. I just ordered a DAC and shortly after my order I saw that the retailer increased the price 12% in one jump.
Another factor is exchange rates. The dollar has significantly weakened compared to the Euro in the last several months which means that it takes more dollars to buy a product made in Europe.
My advice is that if you've been planning a purchase and you have the funds you should pull the trigger quickly. I'm old enough so that I've seen this movie before and I think we are going to have stiff inflation over the next couple years.
Lastly, there is no such thing as "price gouging" on a luxury item like a high end speaker. In that price range you have well over 100 choices of excellent quality speakers to choose from so simply move on to another brand unless you can't live without the Sopras. US made speakers should be somewhat less prone to large price hikes but I'll probably have to eat these words in the next few months.
With increased government spending comes inflation. It depends upon where the money comes from.
I do think we need to update our infrastructure. They either will increase taxes or print more money. Either way we will all witness less net income to spend.
if you have the money pull the trigger.
On the other hand, Larry, one way to look at it is, if it turns out as you say and some people's finances get squeezed either by inflation or taxes, they may find themselves needing to sell off some gear! Maybe there will be some good deals.
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Market is the market.
If you don't want to buy them, don't buy them.
Don't complain of gouging, there is no such thing.
No manufacturer will price himself out of the market. Clearly there are sufficient customers at this price level.
OP presumably doesn't value this product as highly as the market does.
Of course if you really want to shoot yourself in both feet you can buy Moabs much more cheaply.
1- Because they can.
2- It is cheaper than building a new factory and advertising the product.
I will have to see my options , maybe a open baffle like the
spatial audio X3 or x5 it does everything well with vh audio Odam capacitor
upgrades better still. ? Maybe the used market. The Wilson Sabrina X are a exceptional upgrade in trickle down technologies
but these dealers suck , no discounts, and sales tax
I will never pay sales tax ,and always get 15-20% off ,
as an ex dealer I just can’t do it otherwise .
@mesonto thanks for setting the record straight.
@audioman58 its because they make a good product and the market allows for it. No amount of whining is going to change it. You’ve dredged up Focal threads from 5 years ago. Reminds me of a dude who won’t stop talking about an ex. It’s desperate and sad all at once. Move on.
I am just speaking my piece ,if people don’t like it that’s on them .
I just personally wanted to see if the product was upgraded over the last 5 years, since it has not time to move on .
I am just going to buy the New Wilson Sabrina X it is loaded with
excellent trickle down technology ,and overall a more cohesive loudspeaker. I have heard them both .the only reason I was considering the Sopra is because their resale value was not That good vs Wilson and Wilson don’t discount much if any ,that’s the only down side.
must be sales are good economists 101 Big Dog
Classic, The Me,Me,Aditude I am just speaking my piece ,if people don’t like it that’s on them .
I prefer Wilson speakers more than Focals for sound quality, looks and value for money.
That’s why I bought a used pair for 10,500 in a discontinued finish African Zebrawood
We're more like soviet russia now, it's not what you want, it's what you can get. I recently bought a small boat to take the kids on and went looking for an outboard. I'm in Northeastern IL and I couldn't find a 20hp outboard. I found a single 15 hp motor at a store about 1/2 hour away. They told me a guy ordered a 25hp last November and still hasn't got it. I went into Bass Pro Shop to get an anchor and was told they didn't have any and didn't know when they'd get some. They were out of tons of stuff, kind of amazing.
Its definitely taking advantage of the U.S. market.
There have been price increases everywhere....but nothing like Focals.
They are dealing with the same problems everyone else is dealing with yet they keep their prices relatively the same everywhere except the U.S.
There are always going to be people who defend these actions but your not crazy. It’s definitely price gouging and it’s on U.S. customer’s
There are a lot of great speakers out there
..Focal is far from the only one..
I just feel bad for the dealers in the U.S. There’s no explaining 12k to 22k price jump. Or 8k to 12k price jump. People who want or can spend good money on speakers aren’t dumb. They are not falling with that boiler plate supply chain, inflation etc excuse. We all have been living in this new world. Focal isn’t special.
Grand Utopia bookshelf is a great speaker...but 22k... lol
The amount of options that opens up for you at 12k will make your head spin and face grin.
P.S. The Sopra 2 is now 21k ;)
..and as far as I know...there have be no upgrades to the speaker(s)
Because they can ,they used the virus and shortages to raise 20% for others did
they had to follow suit.that’s why you are far better off to buy used .
totally unlike used cars That went up 35% ,used speakers have been stable
and plenty of used gems out there .just be patient ,with summer coming soon
that is always best time to get your best deals when Audio is slower.
My friend bough5 the Sopra2 with a couple cables WWorld ,and AQ
and Perrotta consulting gave him a very attractive deal. If you want New then
Anthony is a very good dealer I have even dojng business with him for years.
+1 clearthinker The market really is the market. Period. IMHO there is no other explanation for a 120K DeRanged Rover or a 1m diamond. Neither is particularly rare,...certainly not needed.
The very best toward achieving your audio goals.