Why pay so much for super high end?


Most speakers costing $50,000+ use Seas, Scan Speak or Accuton.

In DIY forums most speakers designed use bargain drivers and usually are only 2.0 designs not bookshelf or center speakers to complete a surround system.

I’d love to have a Scan Speak 11 speaker system for atmos with 3 way bookshelves, center and floorstanders.

Why aren’t the designs out there and why are you guys pissing away all your money.

Personally I won’t get an upgrade from my speakers unless it’s of this caliber and neither can I afford nor want to donate money to these thieves.

A 3rd party 11 speaker atmos scan Speak system would be nice but I’m not spending $250,000.

Why on earth aren’t there designs out there for this and why do you all piss away your money?

I don’t get why hi fi isn’t all DIY even honest factory direct companies mark up 300%.

Unless you pull in $1+ million a year and don’t have any time I don’t get it.

Are you guys lazy?

Someone easily could design a great crossover and cabinets for everyone and the days of paying over $3,500 for a pair of loud speakers if you got some time or know a friend who could build cabinets would be over. I know of people who could design cabinets that rival $100,000 speakers and cost less than 1% than that.  Someone with some experience could easily design a diamond, beryllium and soft dome and various versions for various tastes.

I don’t get it. Speakers are so simple.  Crossovers cabinets and drivers.

You guys just throw your money away I don’t understand it why?


funaudiofun
I could spend what’s left of my night and give you the hard answer, or I could finish this post in 2 minutes and give you the easy answer. So here goes..

Yes I am pissing away all my money.
Yes I like to donate money to thieves.
Yes all hifi should be DIY
Yes continue to not get it, as you’re right
Yes I am lazy
Yes anyone with "some" experience anyone could design a beryllium tweeter or cabinet to rival a $100k speaker (such as the Magico M3)
Yes I throw my money away.
Nice- melbguy1

I always buy used and/or demo and save a few pennies along the way.
Happy Listening!
2nd note;
like melbguy1, I spare no expense on Cabling.
There is an art to building crossovers and designing cabinets I agree but there are a few expert, brilliant people who did it online for free as a hobby.  I know of a guy who even advises other speaker companies who makes his own.  Paying an upcharge of 95% parts and labor doesn't merit the work that goes in the process.
 Many super high end speakers don't even use drivers as good as high end scan Speak, Seas or Accuton they use cheaper ones or raal is good too if you're in to ribbons not naming all of them.
Basically if you can buy the drivers and crossover components yourself for a couple grand in a speaker like then you can call yourself a cabinet enthusiast and are paying top dollar for them to build you cabinets.  You're spending $98,000 on cabinets.
The von schweikert VR-9SE Mk2 $120,000 is basically just using madisound drivers and I'm assuming crossover components...you're paying what, $116,000 to build cabinets?
They are ripping you off.
Also designing a cabinet and crossover isn't terribly hard they say they're doing all this fancy stuff but they kid you with technical language. They have computer programs.  Building the drivers are hard which is why most companies use 3rd party drivers.  YG anat reference II greatest speakers of all time $125,000 just scan Speak Illuminator and fancy crossovers in cabinets.

I'd never design my own speakers but there are definitely people out there on the forums capable of designing some high end stuff that should.

Until that day arrives everyone in the high end game is cabinet enthusiasts since that's all you're paying them for.

It sometimes costs a lot and has a lot of engineering to build tvs, cars and computer components and and you don't see them with 9500% profit margins...

What makes something that people do in their basement deserve these huge mark ups?

I guess there are a lot of easy marks out there.
They only upcharge the IPhone like 175% over cost to make yet it is one of the most sophisticated pieces of technology in the world only a a hand full of companies make smart phones because Joe shmo can't just go in to his basement and design them and build them...it's incredible....yet Joe shmo buys some bulk third party drivers designs some cabinets use fancy jargon like ferro cooling and a passive crossover and feels a 10000% mark up is ok.
Biggest...conspiracy...ever.
What makes me question people's sanity is that people are OK with this.  It doesn't bother them.  I don't understand home audio enthusiasts.  They must know their amplifiers and processors and cd players and cables are all marked up to the extremes of up to 50000% over parts and labor yet they're ok with it.  I feel like mugato in zoolander and screaming "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills".
I can't think of a single industry other than home audio that is this insane besides Starbucks and mattresses but they aren't this crazy.  Those are the big 3.  Maybe expensive LCDS they make me laugh too.
Hey buddy,my name is Joe Schmo not Joe Shmo!!
I wonder what it’s like to constantly upgrade components and claim that banana plug made my speakers smoother and this processor opened up the sound stage and this amplifier made my bass tighter and thus cd player increased air when they are all 99.9% the same in 2016 this isn’t 1980. That is like cult brain washing style stuff. Many experiments have been done with placebo and stuff like this where lIke people were given corn syrup pills and told were pain meds with lots of side effects and fake acupuncture highly effective with no side effects. what a surprise people couldn’t even get out of the bed on fake pain meds and fake acupuncture patients were the best they felt in years. have fun with your cult just like the people who actually think the world.is still flat...like arguing.with one of those people who actually exist. this is a cult. it just frustrates me so much. well I’m done posting I’ve said my 2 cents bye now. maybe one day you guys will figure it out.
There are plenty of small  bouquet speakers company's that build and design high quality speakers using drivers you have mentioned. I would suggest that you check them out for youself. 
funaudiofun 11-19-2016 6:51am
I wonder what it’s like to constantly upgrade components and claim that banana plug made my speakers smoother and this processor opened up the sound stage and this amplifier made my bass tighter and thus cd player increased air when they are all 99.9% the same in 2016 this isn’t 1980. That is like cult brain washing style stuff
Classic troll.

It's pretty simple, if you think it's stupid, don't do it. I really don't get why people are so concerned about how others spend their money. I submit there are differences and I can describe them in three systems that I'm familiar with.

1) my friend's system consists of Dynaudio Focus 340, ATI amp, Marantz preamp and CD player

2) another friend's system consists of Raidho C 3.1, Absolare amp and preamp, Burmester CD player

3) third system consists of Monitor Audio PL500's, Jeff Rowland amp, preamp, and DAC, Bryston BDP-2 digital player 

Systems 2 and 3 are significantly better than system 1...both are more musical-meaning instruments and voices are more realistic and they sound like performers are in the room, as opposed to a recording; the details, both micro and macro are night and day better than system 1, when system 1 is pushed it becomes bright and loud

System 2 and 3 are just different as opposed to one being better than the other; I submit room size, the type of music, and how loud one listens will determine the best fit for the individual

Is system 2 and 3 worth the money compared to system 1? to some no! my friend that owns system 1 has heard system 3 and absolutely hates listening to his system right after hearing it. To me system 2 and 3 are worth every penny, at least compared to system 1!
A trolling we will go, a trolling we will go, hi ho the dairy o, a trolling we will go.
Troll just needs to start argument. 

In my case I can’t afford a quarter million dollar plus system nor do I have the knowledge, patience and desire to do-it-myself. This is why I chose a middle ground which was to seek great value (i.e. not spend a fortune or do it myself). In this context great value means high quality sound, design, etc. with reasonable costs. Specifically, I chose Musical Fidelity, Golden Ear Technologies, Emotive and Oppo. The "value" these (and certain other) manufacturers offer is a major reason why they are successful and their customers can still enjoy audio/videophile experiences.
@funtrollfun, yes, all audio gear sounds the same.
Everything in audio is a ripoff.
Audiophiles are such fools!
Same troll with new moniker.  Soon rest of them will jump in ... what I can't afford is over priced.   What's fair is what I can afford.
Logic on a par with Darwinian theory. :(
I guess people think it's worth it.   Also margins must be high to make profit in boutique industry.   It's that simple. 
How nice.  He joined today to save us from ourselves.  I don't want to be saved.  The phrase "don't throw me in the briar patch" comes to mind!
Like maxboy00 said, and before this all went sideways, there are small makes out there that make great speakers using the same drivers as the "overpriced" stuff mentioned. One that comes to mind is Clearwave Speakers. I own a pair and they are great. Check out this latest review and see if they’re what you’re after.

All the best,
Nonoise
I like MAGICO all there high end lines Q,M3 etc use there own drivers which are much better than Seas,Scan Speak or Accuton they sound much better as well.In the end you get what you pay for.

I love audio and I'm clueless on how to build any of the equipment.
Being that I am in my mid 60's, lets look at the big picture.
How nice. He joined today to save us from ourselves. I don't want to be saved. The phrase "don't throw me in the briar patch" comes to mind!
Probably one of the troll's in Raidho thread with a new moniker.    Padding each other on the back so SMART all they can afford is a receiver or boombox.

Like maxboy00 said, and before this all went sideways, there are small makes out there that make great speakers using the same drivers as the "overpriced" stuff mentioned. One that comes to mind is Clearwave Speakers. I own a pair and they are great. Check out this latest review and see if they’re what you’re after.

All the best,
Nonoise
The fact that there is enough demand to support these "overpriced" speakers for companies to stay in business is not  "overpriced".    It might be "overpriced" for you but that's a different story.
Because it’s super high end? 🤔 You were expecting?

Sound aside that infers a high degree of unique craftmanship as well as technical execution. It’s the whole package that matters.  Service and support as well.   Not just the sound.
Very true, you get what you pay for!

 However, to state that Magico drivers are much better then Seas, Scan Speak or  Accuton, just because they are made in house,  is a matter of opinion and taste in sound. Some people love Wilson....but I would never own one. The same could be said for virtually any speaker brand. Isn't that what makes this hobby so crazy!
Where else can you buy super high end bed springs for less than the cost of a high end fuse?
However, to state that Magico drivers are much better then Seas, Scan Speak or Accuton, just because they are made in house, is a matter of opinion and taste in sound. Some people love Wilson....but I would never own one. The same could be said for virtually any speaker brand.

BINGO! we have BINGO here. Of course it’s a matter of opinion.and personal preferences. One chooses to buy what they like the best.

Isn’t that what makes this hobby so crazy!

Isn’t this TRUE with every commoditiy? Do we all drive the same car, same TV, brand of ice-cream, lawn mower ...?

I like MAGICO all there high end lines Q,M3 etc use there own drivers which are much better than Seas,Scan Speak or Accuton they sound much better as well.In the end you get what you pay for.

It's all about the implementation. It's the same tune of the advantages inherent to a manufacturer making its own drivers, yet going by auditions I've never found compelling reasons to favor the speakers of such manufacturers (the one exception perhaps being ATC, but being an exception may as well be a coincidence). 

What's the point really in calling drivers to be "much better" just to continue saying "they sound much better as well"? I'm guessing that's the give-away: components being much "better" is so for being more expensive (or of a more expensive whole), but whether they actually sound better is not the apparent conclusion.

You don't necessarily get what you pay for; it's just a bollocks story the marketing people wishes to be sold as consistently true.
knghifi, the reason I put "overpriced" in quotes was to point out that the term itself is not relative to what one can or cannot afford, that it is besides the point, and not a knock on those who can afford it.

All the best,
Nonoise
If these people are thieves, why don't they charge double their retail price? Simple economics: the price of anything is what people are willing to pay for it and what they are willing to pay goes up if the product is scarce and down if the demand is not high enough. No manufacturer would invest in the machinery and labor to make a $250,000 speaker system if there was no market for it.

Gullibility is not a factor.
If people had the skill, time and willingness to experiment, modify and test, a lot of money could be saved, no doubt. And there is a robust DIY community- I give huge props to those folks that are skilled and can produce good sounding gear, some of which actually gets made into commercial products. For many of us, it isn’t a realistic option.
I remember building a few kits back in the day- it was fun, and I was figuratively shocked (not literally), that they worked!
One of the nice things about hi-fi is that it is something the "shade tree mechanic" can do, circuit designs are readily available, lot’s of stuff is "known" about acoustics and design and parts are available. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
There’s a pretty good biography about the Wright Brothers that was published a year or so ago. They didn’t just "invent" the airplane- there were lot’s of people around the world working on the same problem- manned heavier than air, controllable, powered flight. Their success came not just from their mechanical skills as bicycle makers, but from their willingness to learn the science of flight, which was still a mystery at that time. Wing shape, control surfaces, etc. Apparently, Dayton Ohio at that time had more patents than any other place in the U.S.
Unlike rocket science (which is a slightly more ambitious endeavor), DIY hi fi is fully within the reach of those who have the skill, time, etc. For the rest of us, we read fora like this one. :)
enjoy~
bill hart
My wife has enough shoes and bras to open her own store. What's the markup on those items?.
A cousin has watches displayed on pedestals, some costing over $100K each. Fabulous timepieces, what's the markup?.
I used to own the Jaguar XK8 convertible. Worth every penny, markup?.
An Aunt has a custom staircase from Europe. Final total exceeded $100K.
I know people that have multiple penthouse condos, and wear jeans every day. What do you make of those people?. Which has the bigger markup?

It appears a once great website, with informative threads, has been taken over by ............? Get a job, find a hobby, enjoy life.

Oh ya, and get those teeth fixed.

if you buy the most expensive Maggies you will have a hard time getting much improvement on that

OTOH, they may not fit your room


@cousinbillyl

relax, this site is still a great - I mean GRATE, to which I'm GRATEFUL -
- website
If you guys haven't figured it out yet, the OP could care less about the questions he's asking. He just wants to get everyone pissed off, and start heated arguments. Beyond that, he has no other goal. I would just ignore his posts.  
Post removed 
" Money, it's a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash..."

*S*  And all that and more is why I'll just continue f'n around building my little clones.  Like a parent with a child with 'difficulties', they may not be Perfect, but they occasionally amaze.  And I'm patient, they're definitely inexpensive, and I'm enjoying working on how to make them Better.

...and if they break, I can fix them. ;)  I know the manufacturer. *L*
DIY is the way to go if one has the time knowledge and desire.

Of course most people do not. More power to those that do but not fair to condemn the rest.

I seriously hope narrow mindedness is not becoming too much of an epidemic these days.   It's amazing the things some people will condemn others for sometimes. 
Fun, because it's supposed to be fun. Ever tried to make your own electrostatic speakers? Get the membrane tension right, get the tension uniform, keep it that way. Lots of trial and error - too much for my taste. Then there's the electronics. Too much time to save $20,000. YMMD.

Just retired from making high end watches? Then try building a good cartridge. Not for me. YMMD.

Electronics? Turntable? Different matter, but still time consuming. That's my bag. YMMD.
Troll!

I spend my money how I want to.  I don't have time to develop my own speaker, build it, and test it.  I can barely assemble a shelf.

And cuz I make more per hour than I would ever get back building my own speakers.
......what is with this member and anger ? If you do not like the hobby take up knitting and find a site where you go off on your rants about the price of wool and the quality of the threads and if they make a difference. This site is getting filled up and getting old with these type of posts. Just enjoy the music and hobby and relax.    
he,he...very interesting thread...always entertaining.
Plenty of well made less expensive things are out there, and I enjoy finding those things, keeping the stuff that sounds great, and generally leaving my system alone unless something starts to bug me (maybe due to crossover cap degeneration or my imagination, I had some well regarded speakers that started to bug me…sold 'em on Ebay, bought a new-ish used pair of something that a friend owned and I had listened to and liked, and they're still playing beautifully after 4 or 5 years). Get used cables…amps that are on sale as a new model arrives…or just take the bucks you inherited from Uncle Bob and let your local Gear Salon (!) have their way with you….
plenty of DIY people can make anything audio and make something very special  making them for commercial sale is entirely difficult.  I know, my friends all ask me to make them audio gear.  Building something takes time and trial and error research.

You also have to have the gear (source, preamp and amp) to hear and appreciate the differences in designs.  To my ears, most of the manufactured stuff most people have listened to is nothing special.  You get different flavors from your components but not much in sound improvement (generally speaking), such as resolution, dynamics, sound stage, tone, etc.  Most people have never heard that from their system so they buy and sell components, cables, etc. to find what they think they are looking for.  For example I build a preamp with no caps in the signal path.  Every cap has a sound so what works in your system may not please someone in their system.  I don't use caps in the signal path so that is one area that most people have never experienced to explain my point. So until you have the gear where you can really hear the differences, your comparisons of higher priced gear to what you have heard or how the higher priced gear sounds can be misleading.  Happy Listening.       
Seriously Doug Schroeder, this is where you want to start an anti-Darwinism discussion? You really want to hitch your wagon to this thread, and this particular individual’s post, for that purpose? I’ve talked to you before - I strongly suspect that you're better than that.
Skilled engineers with a penchant for audio spend lots of time and money doing research and development to deliver a product that few among us can approach with a DIY method.  Of the available gear we choose the ones which work for our ears and our budget.  We pay more this way (whether mid or hifi) but we get more as well.
What I don't understand is why people like the OP don't start a speaker company and make a fortune putting all the frauds out of business.
bcgator, thanks for bringing up the topic. I appreciate your thoughts. You are correct; I normally would not respond to such a thread. I have found that it is often a waste of time to challenge someone who is so delcarative. My rude post was due to a different motivation, and I anticipated a response which would allow me to state why I made such a flatly derisive comment. So, thank you for challenging me and giving me the opportunity to explain...

You're right, normally I would not bother to join in a thread like this. I also normally would attempt not to make such a dismissive, offensive remark. I prefer to discuss and enjoin in friendly debates rather than belittle. I'm glad that you felt it was out of character for me, because it WAS out of character, intentionally so. I thought it a good opportunity to demonstrate how rude it is to without justification condemn someone else's worldview while engaged in a discussion of audio. We have a regular occurrence here where individuals feel they need to slam religion and faith when discussing audio. Some regularly offend and marginalize people of faith. It often takes the form of using a thread on the topic of skepticism of an audio product and turning it toward skepticism and dismissal of faith/religion. 

After decades of study on the topic I have concluded that Darwinism is poor science, but I am well aware of the fact that my post had no pertinence to the discussion and that it was likely offensive to many. In the same way inflammatory comments deriding religion/faith in other threads usually have no pertinence to audio, and offends many. I believe it is brought into the discussion for purposes of marginalizing others and belittling their worldview. 

Often when I see pitifully poor logic the thought, "Just like Darwinian theory," enters my mind. So, my post was not bereft of any connection to the OP.  I saw it as an opportunity to let people feel how it is when someone rudely dispenses with another's worldview without pertinence to the topic at hand. If people were offended, maybe they will stop to consider in the future how inconsiderate it is to take a blindside swipe at others just because you can.  


The word ’highend’ is not based on parameters(as it should be). This means it it more based on price.

Does it garantee you a higher quality? No, it does not.

When people have no idea about how music sounds in real, you have no idea how you can create it.

When you are not able to understand what the properties are of each part in your set you don’t know why the sound and stage is what you hear.

Take a look at audio shows, distributers and shops. Most sets sounds poor, incomplete and are based on nothing. When you would have know the properties you would never have made the combination we are listening at.

In 2015 we visited the Munic Highend show. Over 90% were 2 dimensional demos. This means that the stage depth is between 0 and 1 metre maximum. This has nothing to do with highend audio.

No depth and maximum 1 metre is in real a hifi stereo parameter. But people use the word ’highend’ so they think will will believe it is highend.

The music they used was very poor in Munic. I asked many people what they were playing. Most didn’t know. So I asked; why would you play music you don’t know?

Audio and highend these days is more about surviving and money. And what it creates is that customers get less for their money.

Take a look at reviews and most do not give you a view of the ’real’ quality. Reviews have a big influence on what people buy. These days you can buy reviews.

You can ask yourself: What do you want to hear? The truth or the thing you would like to hear......

Music is all about emotion. The emotion is inside the music. You need to understand how the emotion works of us humans. Take a look again at audio shows, shops, distributers and manufacturers and you see that most demos do have diversity at all.

Diversity in sound is the main part to create and feel emotion. In the last big audio show we visited, all sets had almost no diversity. Here you see is that people have no idea how to create it.

There are always people who have the money to spend a lot of money on audio. Wheter they are rich or are prepared to pay it. But you can ask the question if they get value for the money they spend?

Each ’highend’ product what only can create a 2 dimensional stage will never be able to satisfy a person for a longer period of time. This is based on our emotion.

When there is almost no depth the distance between you and the music is bigger. It feels more from a distance. I have spoken to many people in the last 2 years who spend a lot of money on audio and were not happy.

They had one thing in common; They all owned a 2 dimensional system.

For many people who work in audio or have knowledge and insight in audio know how important stage depth and width is. It sets instruments and voices free in space. And brings you closer to the music.

A 3 dimensional stage has a huge impact on how we humans experience music. Beside this diversity in sound is needed to create a higher level of emotion during listening to an audio system.

Highend with a 2 dimensional stage does not make sense at all. It does not give you a view of how music is being projected in real. The same when there is no diversity. Richness in sound does not garantee you emotion in music. When the whole frequency has rather the same kind of sound, there is still no diversity.

Because diversity creates the most emotional feeling during listening.

I think ’highend’ needs to be judged on ’real’ parameters. This is the only way to give people an honest idea if it is highend or not.

Highend should be based on a quality. In real it is more based on the price. Money does not garantee you a higher quality.


bo1972

What do you think of multichannel/surround for audio? I see a lot of people trying it, and they like the results. For me, I haven't heard a music surround system that I liked. It doesn't sound real. In truth, I find it annoying. To be fair, I don't like surround sound in movies either. Maybe its just me.