Why hi-end speakers are so expensive? Only Bill Gate$ has hi-end at home?

Why high-end speakers are so expensive? I can not understand. Magico mini, for ex. costs $20,000 and uses a $500 scan speaker tweeter and a 6,5"midbass that maybe is less than $600,00 for the pair. What about wilson audio maxx II? that costs around $45,000???
Can a DIY speaker compete with these speakers spending 1/10 of the money?
 
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Why are they so expensive? The combination of interest in building something so special along with the talents to do so are rare.

DIY speakers can be better than "hi-end" commercial offerings. The Wilson Audio Maxx has flaws which have been identified. Though there are some speakers with technology which isn't available to diyers, even this of itself doesn't mean they are "best".

Then, there are the personal tastes of the listener, which certainly factors into determining "best".
 
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To run a company, you have to pay the overhead and the taxes and the advertising expenses. This ads to the costs and increases the product's cost. You also have to include the cost of making the finished product look good. If the company has a dealer network there is a mark-up between the factory and the dealer, the dealer to the customer.

Even so, some products are greatly over priced.

My assumption is that many of these very expensive products are intended for ego gratification and as indicators of personal wealth. Sort of like a Bentley or Rolls Royce, maybe a Maybach?

Diy speakers can indeed compete, and certainly will cost less.
 

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
To run a company, you have to pay the overhead and the taxes and the advertising expenses. This ads to the costs and increases the product's cost. You also have to include the cost of making the finished product look good. If the company has a dealer network there is a mark-up between the factory and the dealer, the dealer to the customer.

Even so, some products are greatly over priced.

My assumption is that many of these very expensive products are intended for ego gratification and as indicators of personal wealth. Sort of like a Bentley or Rolls Royce, maybe a Maybach?

Diy speakers can indeed compete, and certainly will cost less.

The strange thing is though, you rarely see any DIY'er that's creating AND implementing a design that (for its size/volume) pushes that boundary into what might be considered a "status" loudspeaker. (..I've often thought there is a DIY'er market there somewhere.)

On the other hand, if it happens on any forum (and obviously it does on occasion) - then it's this one. :)

I should note that Dealer markup often accounts for almost 50% of the cost, though some of the expenses may be covered by the Dealer (..like perhaps service on a warranty).
 
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Almost nothing is sold at a price that is based on the actual cost of producing it. They usually sell things at the highest price that enough people are willing to pay. For example, many luxury cars are sold for about 6X their actual cost. (Maybe we should take up DIY car-building.) Specialty items, or those with much narrower markets, could be expected to have even larger factors. No one should have any problem with that. We should want them to make as much money as they can, so they can stay in business, and also figure out how to make even-better stuff that we might want. Anyway, we are all free to compete with them, if we think we can make and sell something as good for less.

If you are just looking for some to-die-for speakers, check out the "used" market. You can get something that is equivalent to a new speaker that would cost at least 5X what you pay for used. A good example of that are the used Magnepan speakers, such as MG 3.6/R and the little MG-12/QR (and others), especially now and in the last year, when they finally released new models and a lot of people are upgrading. Spend $500 to $2000 for used and get something that sounds like it cost $2500 to $10000.
 

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
DIY does push the limit from time to time, like DIY plasma speakers, DIY AMT tweeters, line arrays, that gigantic subwoofer that destroyed minivans, etc.

True, but it's by far the exception.

Even then, it's often not a fully "realized" result.

There are plenty of examples that push boundaries, but not many that are *finished* to the level of a "status loudspeaker".

Ex. several high eff. enthusiasts take their horn system to an extreme, but often enough the materials are not chosen for maximum performance, nor is the overall finish "dialed-down" to that ultra-detailed result. Heck, even the overall aesthetic of the system is often something that just isn't fully "finished". Altec A7 derivatives are truly a classic example.
 

Pano

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-10-07 6:05 am
Panama
Owning an ugly pair of Altec A5 (that started life as A7) I too, fully agree. :D

However, there are from time to time some amazingly well built and beautiful speakers on these pages. I've been lucky enough to see and hear a few. Truly high class.
 

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
Owning an ugly pair of Altec A5 (that started life as A7) I too, fully agree. :D

And in the right circumstance they can sound fantastic.. but DAMN, they *aspire* to ugly most of the time. :eek:

Two wardrobe-sized loudspeakers in Battleship grey :eek: , it's what every woman wants in their living room this season. :p

-considering Murphy's law, if you did really try hard to use better materials, a much better aesthetic, etc.. it would probably end-up sounding like sh!t. :D
 
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well.


maybe like this -


People often forget that the designers,
themselves, have to make something,
and the person who sells it, let's say, retail,
has to make something,
and then there are the company costs like the manufacturing building, storage, etc.,
telephone, building alarm service, electricity, etc. etc.
This drives the cost of a lot of audio components up, and/or profits down.
This is where 'promotion' even selling a story, much like Mark Levenson often does, helps to get the extra sales that can make a company a success.
I KNOW that just making the best product I can make and trying to sell it at a reasonable price does not 'cut it' and that is why I never returned to manufacturing products after I closed down Vendetta Research.
I KNOW that making a world class audio component can become outrageously expensive, just because we want it to be as 'perfect' as possible, both sonically and visually.
We fight it every project.
Now many of you might think that all you need to do is a circuit sim to design it, and a little time to build a prototype, well that will get you a 'hoopty' but NOT a race car. '-)




http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/lounge/200865-sound-quality-vs-measurements-109.html#post3021255
 
I should note that Dealer markup often accounts for almost 50% of the cost,
It's much worse: there is a *long* chain between actual/real/original (pick your label) maker, the one that gets grease in his hands, or paint, or gets covered in sanding wood dust, etc. , and yourself.
Plus, every stage pays taxes.
I commercially make amps and speakers from scratch (as in starting with sheet metal :eek:) and know that original parts and materials cost may be 10% :eek: of what the end user pays.
Sound real unfair, but it's the way it is. :(
Now Internet is helping skip some steps of that long unefficient chain.
As in: directly selling through EBay.
 
What is the highest profit making car company? Porsche..
You do not do high end for the sake of making things look nice, or glorify beauty, it's a business plan, with it's own strategies. I am no high end specialist, but it seems to me that often these monsters are based on overengineered principles, overpriced and wasted materials. The problem is that nowadays, you have to overdo it otherwise you are commercially dead.

One thing to remember is that sound is made only of variations of pressure at the eardrum.. :rolleyes:

People buy with their eyes, and unfortunately, they often also listen with them. And yes, over 50% of the cost goes in the distribution process. Often ignorant sellers take as much as the maker, how fair is that?
 
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Of course there are more than plenty of loudspeakers which are DIY and also "world class" finish! example:

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