Hi,I have had the new Avalon Isis for about a week now and put about 125 hours on them and I believe this is Avalon finest moment to date.The speaker is big but not a huge footprint 60x14x17 and it is actually more transparent and detailed than the diamond and it has the slam and bass that has never been heard thru a avalon speaker,and to top it off it is 90 db efficient.Mine is still breaking in but I believe you will hear a lot about this speaker before to long.
Funny thing,Strapper.I have always felt there was not enough offered from Avalon,to make me want to upgrade from my Avalon Ascents/Rel Stentor.Loved the Eidolons,but STILL not enough.

Well,now I have to take these ISIS very seriously,as they seem to really push the envelope.Glad you are happy.

BTW--They are SO gorgeous,I'd have little trouble convincing my wife to live with them.Only problem,I'm probably moving in two years(Won't have my dedicated room,then),but will have to carefully assess the size of anything new.

Also,glad to see you're running tubed amps.I have no problems w/SS(and have Rowland),but I can't see getting the best from the ISIS without a really powerful tube setup.I'm thinking I'd consider the VTL 400(300 wpc,in one chassis).What do you think?

Best of luck!
Good luck with the Iis. I owned a pair of the Osiris speakers for about 4 years, and they truly lacked the slam that you are describing. They were what my dealer characterized as "polite" and what I characterized as "boring". I currently have Dynaudio Temptations, but I am very intrigued by the new Avalons.

Hi Strapper,

Wishing you all the best with them. I would love to hear them sometime. I think I live only 15-20 minutes away from you.

Hi sir speedy,I am sure the VTL would make a super match for the Isis,the 3 db more efficiency really makes it easier on the amp and the VTLs are really powerful.I personally like the Cat jl3s,ken stevens said they are putting out about 270 into the Isis and the CATs are very powerful watts.And Tom as soon as they are broken in I would be glad to have you over to listen,they are really something to behold.
the best avalon? for 60k you could buy a set of 'reference' hales and the inventory of an entire record store.
I'm surprised these Isis haven't been more widely recognized as of yet, but I'm darned sure they will take a new spotlight in the midst of Von Schweikert VR-9's, Wilson Maxx 2's & Kharma Midis (all very nice)
The best sound I ever heard was with Avalon Ascent Mk.2's, Rowland Model 9's, Basis, Cardas, I'll never forget it.
I should have snagged the pair that was on the GoN last year.
Sirspeedy, if you make the upgrade to the Isis, I'd be more than glad to take those Ascents off your hands !!
No WAF problems here, she already knows !!
Rx8man,as of now everything I contemplate is still,only,speculation.The Isis does seem to be a superb design,but will need a large room.Also,the nominal impedence of four ohms/90 db sensitivity can still impact amp choice,so as with any previous choice I actually must take a good bit of time to decide.I'm still some time away from any move,and the room will determine ultimate choices.As of now,based on room it's Isis/large tube amp(which will be HOT in summer,and must be considered),Kharma Mini Exquisite/Lamm 2.1(if the room is of modest size),or keeping my Ascent,which to be candid is FAR better than any old reviewer/owner who no longer owns them,could ever imagine.

The Ascent was/is a supremely easy load,a superb sealed design,with a very capable external crossover,allowing for each driver to see it's own amp(from one).

It may actually be the best product in my system,which is quite up to date.Allowing for the most minute detail,of a mod or tweak,to clearly stand out.They are so revealing,that I honestly believe the older owners,no longer having them,actually put the speakers at fault,for sonic problems elsewhere in the chain.THIS I HAVE LEARNED FROM YEARS OF OWNERSHIP!They truly are that good.

Also they are far more dynamic than I formerly ever thought,now that I have learned to feed them with a clean line,and correct componentry.Especially,with the addition of a high quality sub(for me,ONLY to come in at about 25 hz,and with just a tiny bit of gain).This adds real ambience,and slam.It was that additional depth and "slam factor",that many of the original owners had trouble with,though they easily go down to about 38hz,in my room.Technology,and progress can be a wonderful thing.In this case,a good sub,and there are plenty,but they really have to be voiced super carefully,to match the Ascents!

Most newer Avalon owners(all of the newer stuff is superb,btw,based on what I've heard),don't realize that the Ascents were actually 230 lbs,per channel,including crossovers.Mass IS a good thing in speakers!

Also,sorry for the length,but maybe you can appreciate my experiences,these Ascents have a superb sense of harmonic correctness,along with incredible detail!It took me a long time,in voicing my room/set-up,to get this,but the vast majority of the new "darlings of the industry" are still not there.

Now that you have read this you may ask why I'd ever consider moving away from them.The answer being that it has taken me years of voicing the room/speaker/set-up interface to get to this point,and I have a home too big for my self and wife to stay in much longer.So,essentially I'll be starting from scratch.I'd love to take a shot(I love the challenge) at going with the potential of the ISIS,and MAN is the ISIS nice ROOM CANDY.Just the shape,to me,inspires a sort of sculpted art look!I know I could sell my spouse on it,but it really will depend on the room.Tough to obtain a room to do it justice,but I love the pondering possibilities.

The small SET amp/Kharma route would be the opposite for me.Of course it would be considered only in a small environment.Yet,there is a very palpable flowing,organic presence to that combo.Oppisite to ISIS,but quite a valid alternative!

Back to the Ascent.----I cannot bear the thought of repacking these gorgeous pieces of cabinetry(really incredible craftsmenship).One of the four guys who built,and signed the manual for my pair, is now in charge of ALL cabinetry from Avalon.My pair has a distinguished lineage,and I'm fanatical with care,and humidity/temp in my room,so they are flawless.Just can't see moving them,and keeping them to my standard,but it CAN be rationalized.BTW-I AM aware that I'm nuts.My wife reminds me of this weekly!

As to the used market pricing on the Ascents.The pricing is a STEAL,for the level of craftsmanship,and still easily SOTA performance to be had,so long as they are maintained correctly.Meaning,not too much RAP music,at 110 db,using a four hundred watt receiver!!

BUT,BUT,BUT---The ISIS is,in a good sized room,from an "object d'art"and potential performance standpoint a product that really can be considered of heirloom standard.I hope that it is not too hard on it's mated amp,as this can destry the magic that looks to be had in them.A really easy load(not just a spec),is clearly audible in the listening.Time will tell.

BTW--the next time you see an Ascent on the used mkt,provided the owner wasn't into MTV,you may not want to sit on your hands.They really are that good!I know this because every time I have ever been unhappy with my system's performance I "had" placed the blame on my pair.What I have finally come to realize,is that all they were guilty of,was to tell me to look elsewhere in the chain.It still amazes me.Now if the ISIS can do that into a larger listening area,and don't stress the amplifying chain,then we may have reached Nirvana!!I look forward to semi retirement!

BTW--the OSIRIS was NOT polite.I have been quite familiar with it.Avalon did NOT provide a seperate bass amp with it,as they do with the Sentinals.So you really had to get the right match.Much easier to get rid of something,than go through the lengths to voice it,and I can't blame those owners,as they had the bucks to move on,since the OSIRIS was not cheap!

Anyway,sorry for this lenghtly rant!!

Best of luck!!
Congratulations, Strapper! Glad to hear your report; I'd love to hear a pair some day.
HI, thought I would chime in. I must tell you guys the possibility of an Avalon apeaker with an increase in bottom and midbass presentation has reawakened my appetite. I now own the Diamonds, with some of the best highs and mids I've heard, but occassionally I am reminded of how emotional the midbass and below can be. Don't misunderstand, I find the Diamond's bass accurate...but depending on the material, a tad midbass shy.

A thought on the Ascents. I owned a pair of Ascents in the mid nineties for nearly two years. Amplifiers were Jadis Defy 7 and Jadis JA 200. My experience of tweaking the most out of a component was lacking, but I did find this speaker required lots of power. I first heard them with high powered Gryphon electronics at the Chicago CES in the mid nineties. I was in a large deep vacant hotel room with these two beautiful speakers situated in the center. The music, a jazz trio on vinyl, was simply the most realistic representation of recorded material I had heard. Timing being as it can be, I found a used pair, tried a few amps, a few cords, and eventually found I wanted more. The guy who purchased them from me continues to believe the Ascents may be the most magical speakers he has owned. His knowledge and patience proved to be what these Avalons needed. My wife, who shares no interest in audio, considers the Ascent/Jadis system to be the easiest to listen to.

Compared to the Ascents the Diamonds in my system, which are driven by Joule Rite Of Passages, the bass, speed and overall extension are better received. The midrange is another story. The Jadis/Ascent combo was delicious. I can still remember the delicate timber and fullness of vocals, strings, and cymbals.

Sirspeedy, what sub have you found fast enough to keep up with the Ascents? Do you experience any hump as the frequencies cross?

Thanks and good luck, Strapper211. I am truly itching to hear the Isis.
sirspeedy, my due respect to you. Enjoy reading your post and appreciate the passion you have towards good sounds. I share with you fully on how good the Avalons are and the fun of getting the best out from them.
Hi Sir speedy,
I went through Rowland 9Tis', Pass 600's, krell 750 Mcx' and finally a Boulder 2060 to get close to the sound that I liked. I didn't have the time/energy/patience to audition separate bass amps and bi-amp. I've spoken extensively over the years to the man at Avalon who was in charge of the project. They voiced them in part with Rolwand's and in part with ARC Ref 300's. I find that the Temptations really appreciate my Rel studio 3 sub, and that the Osiris' really liked the 2 Stentor subs that I had set up. So, i really did try.

David,don't feel so bad(I'm sure you don't-:).Up until three years ago,I was about to do a MAJOR revamping of my system,due to not getting what I had hoped my room/system was capable of.I really did not want to go through anymore component changes,as I've owned a ton of previous stuff,but was quite dissatisfied with my ultimate results.I have a large music collection,of many original,and superb "classic",and classical LP's.I was really not able to coax,from these gems,what I thought I might have gotten,when building a dedicated room.

So,one day,I was describing to a dear(and very experienced)hobbyist/friend how dissappointed I was,in myself.Truly!!

Fortunately,he has been in this hobby,at every level,almost.We agreed we would basically break down all set-up parameters,unfortunately I did all the legwork,and still bear the aches.So,by committee,my loyal friends came over to give a big assist.This took multiple listening sessions,over a LONG time.Talk about patience!

If not for the patience of my little audio group(it helped that there was a superb restaurant nearby),I might be an aquarium hobbyist,or photo buff at this point,instead of sticking with audio.A hobby I've been at for 38 years.SO frustrated was I,at that point.

Well,thank GOD for my pals,particularly the "GREAT" Sid Marks.A good ear,and budget is a wonderful thing to have,in this hobby.Yet It's clear to me that having some friends who "really" know what music sounds like,and how to set up a system,independently of suppositions is of far greater importance!Lucky me!!

I'm serious when I state that everything I've come to learn,about the "art of music reproduction,in the home",has come by committee.

It's great to have a group of fellow "music first",hobbyists,who know what they are doing.Now instead of recycling the water in a fish tank,I can listen to "La Mer",instead,and you don't have to worry about your speakers leaking on the floors!!

BTW-With all due respect,the Osiris' I was privy to were bi-amped.Though,for you,this should be of little consequence,as you moved to a STUNNING speaker in the Dyna Audios anyway!!

I also moved to a dedicated room a few months ago and this has helped tremendously.

Thank You for all your good wishes.I listened for about 5 hours yesterday and I realize that you are hearing much further into the recording,if that makes sense.It has tremendous depth of field and a huge soundstage to go along with the transparency and detail.I am told it takes about 500 hours to fully break-in,I have about 140 on them.I am very impressed now,I really do not know what more it can do.Well i'm just dying to find out.
Strapper,you are a lucky guy!Nothing like a large room,and a speaker to do it justice.

Vincent,et al--I'm happy I didn't bore any of you with the long post,as this is Strappers time to really shine!!He started the thread,and he spent the bucks,for the ISIS.

BTW,Strapper,I just got an E-mail offering me Brand New Isis,boxed and from an authorized dealer,for 42 thousand U.S. dollars.I never inquired,yet I guess the guy follows Audiogon posts.He,also had nice discounts on CAT stuff,as well as a bunch of others.HMM,maybe I DO have something to look forward to,down the road!

Hi Sir Speedy,At that price they are a absolute steal.I talk to Lucien often at Avalon and the first production run of 7 are sold,the next run of 12 have 6 of them sold.That will take them to about sept.,they want to make about 3 a month.Hope this helps.
Regards Robert
Strapper,based upon your comments,I'm suspicious of that low a price.If I were in the market,at present,I'd move very cautiously!Thanks!!

Vincent--Thanks,and I hope you have continued good listening!!

Siddh--VERY,VERY interesting post,for me!The Ascent speakers I refer to are the last modded version,which I hope yours were.I'm not sure if you were aware,at the time of your used purchase,but they had a greatly enhanced tweeter mod incorporated at some point which was a huge leap in performance.Also,not as big an improvement as the tweeter mod,but audible,was the woofer mod,which firmed up the bass response.
At the time you owned the speakers,there was a common trend to drive them with Jadis(the exact models you had).I had a friend who had that exact configuration,of JA-200's,and knew of another hobbyist using the Defy 7.Both admitted to never being totally satisfied with the bass/mid bass.The problem was definitely the Jadis amplification,which was not strong in these areas.They both admitted to this.
That being said,I have driven my pair with Audio Research Classic 150's/Krell MD-300 mono blocks/Rowland 8t,with battery power supply/and my latest-Specially modded Rowland 8t,with a Rowland switch mode power supply,instead of the battery,in the second chassis.This last version,which was never offered as a standard product,was done for me by Jeff Rowland,himself,as he knew I wanted to keep the low noise of the battery,but needed more power.The new P/S doubled my power,yet unbelieveably proved to be quieter,more dynamic,and MUCH better at the frequency extremes than the battery.Go figure!I never would have thought it would be this quiet,as the battery was,already dead quiet!

The difference was absolutely amazing to me,and allowed the cabinet mass,and crossover design to really show off a dynamic envelope I'd not had in my big Infinity designs,of the past.
I must state that I DID build my dedicated room around the preferred spec that Avalon told me would be "nearly ideal"!22.5x13x8 Concrete flooring.Not really large,but the original owner's manual was/is dead right about virtually every aspect of performance.Provided one actually follows it's directions.

Except the deep bass!!! Midbass is absolutely stunning,impactful,real,dynamic and pitch perfect.Something NO port can duplicate,though many are fine,but no cigar,as you found out with the Eidolon.(remember Avalon wants to sell speakers,and would sell alot more by eliminating the big crossovers,in the Ascent(even though they are far superior),and extending low response a bit more,through porting,but at a price,in the midbass!!Can't say I blamed them.

SO here is how I saw my situation,at that point.I was at an audio show,listening to the wonderful Sonus Faber Guarnieri Homage monitors,when I looked down at this beautifully crafted smallish(compared to the Wilson design I had pondered)black cabinet.The distributer was Sumiko who told me these were the REL STENTOR SERIES TWO's.After getting a demo,and realizing they run off the amp(a good thing),I got hot to trot,about the idea of really getting the lowest octave.BUT,BUT,BUT--ALL MY FRIENDS thought I was nuts(which I already know I am).They didn't feel it would mate seamlessly,as the Ascents are bullet fast,and REALLY DO have a midbass to die for,in every parameter.If you did not get this,you missed something.Big time!

Well I waited about a year and a half,until a dealer offered me a money back guarantee,as to my being satisfied.The way I saw it,the bass driver,in the REL,was only 10 inches,and down firing.I read as much as I could,and figured it would be quick enough to keep up with the Ascent.So I went for it.

Well,being a typical audiophile,I was thrilled with the combo,but it was really the fact that I was getting off on having really deep bass.It was NOT really a great blend.NOT end of story!Everyone I know,having bought a sub,first goes through this.I guess it's the joy of deep powerful bass.Yet my original intent was to match the laser speed of my midbass.It was not happening,at first.Until my pal,and ruthless in his criticism,if MUSIC is not accurate,Sid showed up.

Well he literally knocked me off my pedestal,of joy,and he was right!So I decided to really integrate the sub,correctly.DON'T ANYONE ASK how long it took me!He did the same to a fairly well known reviewer,who had bought a sub to integrate with his beloved JM Labs Micros(superb little speakers,btw).Same results.

Finally,after giving into music,and not feel good bass,I have gotten a PERFECT blend of midbass/bass/mids/highs,to answer your original question.The sub rolls off gradually,so a bottom of 25 hz is best in my room.NO seams,at all.ONE BIG AVALON SOUND,with the virtue of being able to move the sub around,to find the best placement for proper reinforcement.HARD,TIMELY,WORTH IT!!!

So,I di reiterate that those giving up on these,gave up too soon!

Hello Strapper,

I meant to ask you... what finish did you decide to go with? They all are beautiful! When I broke in my Eidolon Diamonds it took a little over 500hrs before they really started to show their stuff. They actually kept on improving (although more subtle) 500 to 1000 hrs. I hope you are loving every second of it as I did with my Diamonds.

All the best!
Hi Tom,I went with the Maple finish,out of the 3 standard finishes Maple-Walnut-Cherry,I liked it the best.As I put more hours on them they seem to be getting a little more relaxed.Incredible effort by Avalon.
So what is the component cost of these speakers?More Accuton drivers thrown in a box with about 500% mark up!
This sort of stuff should not be encouraged.

As far as I can figure the driver cost alone in the Isis is about 13000.00 not counting the crossover and the wiring.Compare that to the driver cost in a wilson max about 2000.00 to 3000.00 depending on the model they choose.
Strapper,you should not feel,even the least bit defensive,regarding any aspect of your wonderful ISIS acquisitions.Driver costs,or any other factor.The research,and decision to bring a product,like that to market,alone,adds to the final cost of a product.

Forget even Wilson.Take a look at the pricing on the Kharma stuff(which I love,btw)!A little,well made design,like the Midi-Exquisite,at 75k!!!!????Now,does your ISIS really look that expensive?

jtdesigns@westnet.com.au - not a good deal for you in Australia. The locally-made Whatmough's are pretty damn fine.

Hello Robert,

My orginal pair of Eidolon speakers (non-diamond) were in the curly maple finish. At that time it was a premium finish. I bet they are gorgeous.

Sorry guys but paying anything like this much for dynamic speakers seems crazy to me.
These speakers are inherently flawed devices in that they only radiate sound forwards.Go and listen to an acoustic band.Things like violins and guitars radiate sound in all directions.
For even half this sort of money you can buy some mighty fine electrostats or planar speakers that at least come much closer to the real thing.And they are better value because they contain electrical components and have a high labour content[stats]

Sir Speedy I think you are right,the cost of parts in a speaker is a non-factor.Weather it be Wilson,Kharma or Avalon,the proof is in the performance and the buyers freedom of choice.Is the speaker worth the asking price and in my case the answer is a big YES!
Agree with sirspeedy but with different reasons. I don't care how much things costs per se in that each to his own. The value is the sound quality and there can be different judgments that, let alone the value of the marginal dollar spent by each individual. There is really no point in dicussing whether something is justifiable in cost: each to his own, period.
Avalon speakers have very high labor content, too. Have you looked at the

But it's the cabinetry that contributes a large share of the cost to dynamic
speakers, which is why planars can seem like a bargain. Likewise minimal-
cabinet designs like the venerable Vandersteen 1,2 and 3 series.
for a fraction of the 60k you can channel henry kloss through john edwards to explain why spending 60k on any pair of speakers may not be a good idea. with the money left over by a pair of dunlavy sclV's, a split window vette, and a harley.....just a reasonable 2nd choice.
Jaybo - the future owner of Isis, probably already has a vette and harley ...
Why try to diminish someone else's pleasure,and pride of ownership,by knocking their new possession?Regardless of cost!I assume anyone doing so will not "spring" for an expensive bottle of wine,or any other object that does not seem to easily justify a lofty price tag.BTW--ever see the prices on the "latest" yearly model of golf driver?Or ski products?Not to mention wrist watches,or my daughter's addiction,pricey handbags!!Whew,a friggin pocketbook,for six hundred bucks.

Suddenly it becomes obvious that there are the cache products,in almost any area of human interest."MAN",I used to find "Indian Head Pennies" in pocket change!Ever take a look at the prices of "not too old" coins?How about "Baseball cards"!!Give me a break!My first car was 1500 bucks!!!!Yet my OLD, long forgotten, Lionel Trains,are worth thousands!!!!Even the stupid prizes found in the old cereal boxes command megabucks from maniacal collectors.Not to mention the "Original Star Wars" dreck,that my 25 year old son still has.It can easily pay for a year or two of his current med school!!

To me,since I do love audio products,and those items that interest me,soley,if I can afford my passion,it "IS" worth it!!The ISIS SURELY falls into that category!!Just ask Strapper!

Best to all,and btw---"Jindalee"(australian)Shiraz,and Merlot are bargains,at about 7 bucks a bottle!Though the Chardonnay is no big deal.Hey,if you find a good substitute I'm interested.Don't know of a cheap way to get the ISIS though!
Well marketing companies would love you.
Imagine what the retail margin must be on these if their retail price is $60000 and somebody is selling them for $42000 and obviously still making a healthy profit.Of course dealers are going to want to sell speakers like this!These sorts of margins are a disgrace for manufactured products.Would you buy a car from a dealer or manufacturer with this sort of pricing policy[well you probably would actually]
I remember when Duntech were the latest hyped up speaker[They sounded perfect according to "experts"]Their top models were also absurdly expensive.And what are they worth now?And how do they sound now?And how foolish do the people who paid these prices feel now?
There are a lot of people who still think that Bose speakers are the best sounding things on earth.And why?-Very clever marketing.
A lot of people who buy these things are wealthy and nobody really cares how they spend their money.But Hi Fi can also be an addiction and people who can't really afford to be ripped off often are.It is for these people that us HiFi skeptics speak up.

jtgoFish,you're not telling me anything that is not obvious.Try following some of my earlier posts,if you want my take on the hobby.I appreciate your sentiments,but why should I not be genuinely happy for a fellow audiophile who has already committed money to a product?I'm truly happy that someone like Strapper is enthused about his wonderful speaker!What would I gain from diminishing his desire to buy said product,other than to look like an envious person.Which I am,btw!!

jtgofish,as for that 42000.00 quote I think the person that gave it is full of s--t.There are seven pairs in the first production run,I got the first one,the next 3 are going out of the U.S.A. and the last 3 are being sold to audiophiles in the U.S. for personal use,not to a dealer to sell.So that price is false,Also I believe Avalon gives you a lot of performance and craftmenship for the money.Look at some of the other speakers for sale and see what is in them and what they are made of and the fit and finish of them,very poor and for a pretty price tag.If you believe a dealer when he tells you that there isn't much mark-up in a product,any product well I got a got a bridge to sell you.They all have roughly the same mark-up weather it be speakers,amp,turntables and especially cables and cartridges.
Sirspeedy sez
why should I not be genuinely happy for a fellow audiophile who has already committed money to a product?I'm truly happy that someone like Strapper is enthused about his wonderful speaker!
Bravo, Sirspeedy! A commendable if rare attitude, IMO.
What would I gain from diminishing his desire to buy said product
I would add, "...from diminishing his..." enthusiasm/ glee/ pride/ happiness (after all)...

Very well said, thank you!
My post was not made to diminish any particular persons enjoyment of a recently selected item.It was just a caution to prospective buyers not to be "sheep" when it comes to such a purchase and to consider the alternatives.It was intended to be taken in a general way not specific to this person or product.
My apologies if I have stepped on any toes.

i can just picture the face on the dealer if someone returns a pair because they are unhappy....the restocking charge would be 6k.....intervention from real friends is in order......
Would you buy a car from a dealer or manufacturer with this sort of pricing policy?
I imagine Ferraris and Maseratis have exactly these sorts of margins. As does expensive jewelry and most other luxury goods.

Most speakers have margins of between 33% and 50% (which is a markup of 50% - 100% over the dealer's cost), whether the MSRP is $2,000 or $20,000. At $60,000, the margin might be lower, but it will still be very healthy. It has to be. That's how businesses (manufacturers and retailers) have to operate if they are to keep their doors open.
the industry average in audio for the actual 'cost of goods' is 20% of the whsle cost, which is 40 to 60% of the msl price. in the automobile industry, even in the exotic end of the industry, the margins are much lower. mercedes would have to sell several 60k vehicles to make the same dollar amount as 60k speakers. Given any sinle figured limited production run, an educated guess would be that the actual 'cost of goods' on 60k loudspeakers would be close to 10%. to make more would also dilute the worth of each pair in the eye of the consumer unless selling more were a certainty. limiting the supply of anything to less than the demand is a very affective marketing tool in an already high margin business. if this sounds like the high end liquor,firearms , or even the model train business trade, it's because they are very similar.
My take ... though again I am more of each to his own camp. The Cost of Goods sold plus margin approach is not a good way to go about thinking about this. Its not just a matter putting together metals sheets, wood and some components together after all. What you are ingoring is the cost of intangible goods & property, namely engineering & design.

Another aspect to consider is that high end audio, especially models like such the Isis lack economies of scale production due the addressable market's size in the first place. Autos on the hand do....the equivalent would have to be say collector antique cars or the equivalent where the tailor made, individual labor (as opposed to coming of automated production line) is intensive.

The analogy the luxury goods is a good one. High fashion, jewelry (not just any diamond stud but well cut, designed one) etc etc all have these high mark ups due to a) engineering/design costs and b) lack of economies of scale production.

At the end of the day, the very highest end is just is as other such niche industries are. That should not mean there should not be pricing points that allow the purse challenged enthusiast to have a quality system. And indeed we all know there are wonderful products out there (and many duds too).

So at the end of the day as consumers, I really don;t think there is much point in discussing margins or cost of production....at the end of the day that is not what we are purchasing. We are buying the delivery of sound quality and the latter is subjective. If the Isis does that for you, congrats!
My perspective is one of a hobbyist speaker builder.
Over the last 25 years I have owned and built all sorts of speakers.
Before people spend $60000 on a pair of speakers they do need consider value for money.
All speakers are flawed.Once you reach a certain point they just start sounding different,not necessarily better.They all have their colourations and I am yet to hear one that comes close to the real thing.The Accuton mid/bass drivers as used by Avalon and others are good,but they also have a definite clanging crockery type tonal signature.Personaly I don't like them because they remind me too much of a noisy restaurant.I prefer the tonal signature of light paper cones which to me sounds more organic.
If you like the Accuton sound I'm sure you can put together a very similar sounding speaker using the same drivers,a digital equaliser/crossover like a DBX driverack and have boxs custom made in a finish of your choice.Or you can buy Accuton based kits from the likes of W.A.R..And by doing so you can save a small fortune that would be better spent on something like acoustic room treatments,or even building a dedicated listening room,which in ten years time will be worth a lot more than a pair of Avalon Isis speakers!
Or you can buy Accuton based kits from the likes of W.A.R.
Using a kit would be a pre-requisite first step, for anyone wishing to build an Accuton based speaker (unless one is very experienced. I, for one, am not).
They are very difficult drivers and designing a system from scratch (even with the help of a dsp) would be extremely difficult IMO.
And expensive, too. At the price level of Accuton, one may find happiness with the likes of Supravox, Phy, Lowther, Fostex... (many others)
U do have a pt Jtgofish. If I knew how and do it well at that, then yes your'e right. But the problems is most of us and certainly I do not have ability to what you are suggesting.
Buy a kit based on a tried design by a confirmed engineer (often the same engineers who design spkrs for commercial manufacturers). You'll get the mechanical design for the cabinet, the electronic parts, matls... Spend a WE assembling it -- and you'll nejoy yourself immensely!
Getting back to thw ISIS,for a moment,as I just spoke to the folks at Avalon,it seems that the ISIS is a ported design.Though I'm sure it IS superb,the porting(regardless of mfgr claims)is NOT as accurate in the midbass and bass as a sealed enclosure.I have never heard a ported box that did not have a signature sound.I have heard ALL contenders,like the big JM Labs,biggest NOLA Exotica(deep bass,discontinuous),Wilsons etc.If you have heard a really great sealed enclosure you know what I mean(provided it does the rest of the musical spectrum well).

I have a friend who has held onto his old Infinity RS-1b's,and "mega modded" them.These are sealed box speakers,and when you hear the pitch definition in the lower octaves,that they possess,you are simply bowled over.I really believe,due to the shift in the speaker design industry,to ports which satisfy the average consumer,that it will be an educational experience for any of us to hear a great sealed box design.Sorry for the run-on sentence!

BTW-If I ever own the ISIS,Id happily rationalize these comments!!

I want to confirm Sirspeedy about adding subwoofer to Avalon speakers. It is an awesome system. I use Avalon Avatar with Martin Logan Depth sub-woofer. It takes me year to make them seamless blend together. But when you achieve this stage, you got big reward. One key is to use inconnection cable of subwoofer as same quality as your main interconnection cable. Most people just use inferior interconnection cable because it is for subwoofer, it is not full bandwidth. I went to listen to Avalon Indra. I still prefer my Avalon Avatar with subwoofer. The mid base is died for. However when I listened to Avalon Eidolon Diamond. It is different story. It made me paid deposit to dealer at those day. Now I'm waiting for Eidolon Diamonds to be delivered to my house and be played with my system.

I know the Eidolon Diamond certainly made music here year after year. Hope you enjoy them as much as I have

Hi Tom,

My Avalon Eidolon Diamond was arrived and replaced Avalon Avatar. Now the Martin Logan Depth sub-woofer is not used any more. There is enough bass and it is very high quality bass with pitch, texture, clean and control bass, no any boated or boomy bass. What you get more from Avalon Avatar is that music has much more weight and body. It is like music band is playing in your room, you listen to music band, not hifi reproduction system. The dynamics is effortless, no any compression or stress sound. The music can play loud with very clear instruments, no blur, no congest. I use MIT Oracle IC and MIT Oracle speaker wire. There is palpable singer and superb holographic image of all instruments. The Avalon Eidolon Diamond is very accurate and neutral speakers. It will show any fault in previous system chain, if there is. And it is very sensitive of speakers location placing in room and toe in set up of speakers. If anything wrong, its sound will be just ordinary speakers. If toe in is not enough, no focus image and no soul sound or you will feel not involve in music, lifeless music. But if you set up correct, its sound will be superb excellent sound which you cannot imagine that it reach to this excellent level. I am very happy and plan to add Stealth Audio Indra IC to my system to further improve my hifi system. The Stealth Audio Indra IC is most neutral, accurate, fast and ultra-detail sound IC. I hope that it will lift up my system to next level again!
Perhaps : )