Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

Return to Speaker Asylum


Message Sort: Post Order or Asylum Reverse Threaded

Page: [ 1 ] [ 2 ]

And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker

68.2.225.56

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 12:32:03
mbnx01
Audiophile

Posts: 5761
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Joined: October 22, 2004
Look, I love Harbeths. I own a pair. But their prices have been crazy for years and getting crazier.

I see the new 30.1 is almost six grand in nice finishes like ebony.

SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS.

This is an 18" tall monitor with a tweeter and a woofer.

What can possibly justify these prices? Performance? Status? Certainly there is not six grand physically there.

This is 'what the market will bear' pricing and I think it's unfortunate that companies do this.





"The problem with quotes from the internet is that many of them are just made up."
-Abraham Lincoln

 

Hide full thread outline!
    ...
Insane?, posted on July 24, 2012 at 13:28:17
You sure seem to have something stuck in your craw when it comes to the price of Harbeth & Spendor speakers.

A couple of thoughts.

1. Unlike many of their competitors, they haven't switched manufacturing to Asia.

2. At $6K, they aren't cheap, but are certainly priced nowhere near the dozens upon dozens of speakers that cost in excess of $10K or even $100K and more. "Insane" is a speaker that costs hundreds of thousands, not six.

3. Parts are only a portion of the production and distribution cost of a product.

4. If you want maximum cheapness in a consumer product, you need high volume or cut corners. Not every manufacturer chooses that route.

5. Things cost what they cost, in spite of what we otherwise wish. We always have the option to buy something else if we don't approve of a particular manufacturer's approach.

6. Perhaps you need to write Alan Shaw and explain to him what he's doing wrong.

 

Let's analyze if you have time..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 14:04:41
Iron Knee
Audiophile

Posts: 955
Location: Middle Florida
Joined: May 17, 2009
Answer these questions if you can or just guess..

How many hours of labor does it take to build and finish the enclosures?

How much does the packaging material to ship the finished product cost?

What in your estimate does the drivers cost them? How much shipping was involved to make the raw components? Labor hours?

Does the company have a legal staff? How much do you feel it adds to the retail pricing?

Is the company leasing the manufacturing buildings? How much do you feel this matters to the end cost?

Company insurance?

Local taxes?

Hazardous waste disposal costs? Scrap disposal? Dust disposal? Containment?

Marketing? Advertising? Transportation expenses and insurance? Brochures?

Warrantee replacement costs? Returns? Duds?

I skirted over about half of the "hidden costs" not pertaining to the actual product of running a manufacturing facility.

Then you have markup. 4 to 5X the actual cost of the product to retail. (after all expenses are paid to bring to the market.)



 

I agree..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 14:15:31
rlw
Audiophile

Posts: 2674
Location: Near West Palm Bch, FL
Joined: August 29, 2006
It's *very* hard to justify that price considering the parts used to build it. Now, if the cabinet was CNC machined from solid blocks of aluminum, and it had berrylium tweeters and carbon fiber woofers, I *might* see where they got that price from.

But there are a *ton* of speakers in that price range that obviously have more and better parts and even sound better. Like the Gallo Ref. 3.5s for example...

-RW-

 

RE: I agree..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 14:24:06
>> But there are a *ton* of speakers in that price range
>> that obviously have more and better parts and even sound
>> better. Like the Gallo Ref. 3.5s for example...

Seems pretty simple, then. If everyone else agrees with you, then Harbeth will not sell any speakers and they'll go out of business. Then their pricing won't need to bother you ever again.

Problem solved!

;-)

 

I think the real question is..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 14:49:41
DAVID
Audiophile

Posts: 594
Joined: September 26, 1999
...who's more insane, the one asking the price or the one paying the price?

 

They have no choice ..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 15:24:48
reelsmith.
Audiophile

Posts: 7925
Location: CT
Joined: June 7, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
January 19, 2010
With fewer folks able to spend big money, prices on high-end items of all kinds are rising. Makers can't lower prices because they would not make it up in volume, so they have no choice but to raise prices.

Dean.


reelsmith's axiom: Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.


 

RE: I agree..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 15:45:58
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
At least Harbeth speakers are made in England. Unlike the Gallo 3.5's that are made in China.

 

What difference would that make if ..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 16:11:53
reelsmith.
Audiophile

Posts: 7925
Location: CT
Joined: June 7, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
January 19, 2010
...you like the Gallos better ?

Dean.


reelsmith's axiom: Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.


 

Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 24, 2012 at 16:20:25
John Marks
Industry Professional

Posts: 4396
Joined: April 23, 2000
Harbeth has to own or rent capital assets that allow it to build the loudspeakers, it has to stock raw materials, pay employees, and comply with local and national government requirements, and pay insurance and taxes, as well provide sales support materials and corporate communications.

OK, let's say a certain loudspeaker has a US retail MSRP of $6000. How much of that does Harbeth get? By standard metrics, $2,400. And out of that $2400, they have to pay all their bills, their taxes, and take home a profit, and then pay taxes on that.

So, from Harbeth's standpoint, it is not a $6000 transaction, it is a $2400 transaction.

I challenge you to build a loudspeaker that good, and do as good a job of nurturing a classic brand's heritage, on $2400.

And before you yell Ripoff, please remember that the US importer has to pay for half a dozen trade shows, its own overhead, national advertising, handholding retailers and customers, etc.

And dealers earn their margin, what with non-buying customers who should be in therapy instead of stereo stores, and even better, the ones who borrow the dealer's investment to decide what to buy, and the disappear and use the internet.

If that speaker isn't worth $6000 to you, don't buy it.

I myself have not heard that one, but I think that the P3ESR is one of the true bargains in audio today.

JM

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 24, 2012 at 16:37:30
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
From what you are saying it seems like Harbeth is leaving a lot of money on the table. They are doing all the work and only getting 2400.00. Maybe they should change their business plan and sell direct to the consumer. This way they cut out the middleman and can offer a better deal to the consumer. Let's say they charge 3500.00 to the end user and make an 1100.00 profit over what they are making now. The customer is happy saving 2500.00 and Harbeth increases their profits. Sound like a win-win situation to me.

 

Love the way..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 17:31:20
...that people around here know exactly how business owners should run their company!

Maybe you should tell them directly and they can finally get themselves straightened out after 35 years.

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 24, 2012 at 17:42:39
3db
Audiophile

Posts: 851
Joined: July 22, 2003

Bull!! Either you are somehow associated with the company or rampant fan boy. Either way wake up and smell the coffee. There are speakers as good or better than these for 1/3 the price.

 

Never have understood why..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 17:47:50
...anyone would get upset about the price of a product they don't want to buy.

Odd.

 

It's great for resale value..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 17:53:06
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 8979
Joined: August 8, 2001
When a company keeps the same product model number in the fold and doesn't replace it like most of the big players do and you keep it awhile the cost to the customer is smaller than you might think.

I have Audio Note J speakers, a TT2 turntable and OTO Phono SE. I can sell each today for what I paid for them or MORE than what I paid for them because the prices of each model has risen and risen over the years.

Those $4k SS amps that companies have replaced 3 times in the last 6 years you'd be lucky to get 1/3 of what you paid (regardless of the name) and receivers - I've seen $4k receivers that I can buy for $300 now.

I think the major problem with prices is that through normal inflation things get more expensive to make - prices go up. The problem is not just in audio but virtually everything that salaries have NOT gone up to meet inflation.

I can't speaker for all workers but I can tell you that as a teacher in Canada my buying power today is less than HALF what it was in the 1980s and probably much worse in the United States.

If Prices went up 3 times since 1995 and you're salary tripled then these arguments would not be made.

But things have tripled and salaries have went up 20% then everything seems ridiculous. Companies like AN and Harbeth though can now sell to NEW Super-Power which is China and their millions of millionaires. Their salaries have probably gone up 30 times. That is where the market is and if North Americans can't afford it - who cares. The Asian market has far more money. And they're not going to give Americans a deal - why should they - if you want it you will pay the price. If you can't afford it - get a better job or buy something cheaper.


 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 24, 2012 at 18:37:56
P.C.
Audiophile

Posts: 60
Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: October 27, 2007
Ah stop whinging! The Magico Q1 is smaller, is not imported into the US like the Harbeths.
But still cost $25,000 .Which is better value?

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 24, 2012 at 19:08:41
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
When it comes to overpriced speakers Magico is #1.

 

RE: Ok I'll bite, posted on July 24, 2012 at 19:13:12
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
What speakers are you talking about?

 

Well, posted on July 24, 2012 at 19:28:26
lancelot
Audiophile

Posts: 1487
Joined: March 23, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
You seem to be saying that the quality of sound the Harbeth produces requires a $6000 (retail) price tag to be profitable( the I challenge you part of your response.)

I tend to think many might disagree and could find loudspeakers for less that they find comparable.

The "heritage" issue often means that some will pay a premium for a particular brand for any number of reasons. Harbeth certainly knows this.

 

i suppose that the..., posted on July 24, 2012 at 19:44:15
hifitommy
Audiophile

Posts: 12817
Location: shaky sylmar calif, orig from buffalo ny
Joined: June 9, 2000
wilsons are all overpriced as well? or the rockports and YGs? realize the construction quality alone, and the driver quality plus what it sounds like due to extensive development.

the costliest speakers and equipment arent for everyman and they arent built or priced that way. nobody is twisting arms to make you buy them.
...regards...tr

 

RE: Well, posted on July 24, 2012 at 20:03:15
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
People will always pay a premium for the name. Whether it is Harbeth, Wilson, etc, etc. I haven't heard every speaker out there but I'm sure there are speakers being made from some small companies than can compete with the big names at a lower price point. The problem is most people want name brand products and would rather pay more money for them vs buying from
an unknown company.

 

Any of those expenses qualify,,,, posted on July 24, 2012 at 20:19:30
ear-mite
Audiophile

Posts: 92
Location: Plano, Texas
Joined: May 1, 2000
qualify as a write-off as a business expense? Thanks. Ken

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 24, 2012 at 20:47:52
hahax@verizon.net
Audiophile

Posts: 2035
Location: New Jersey
Joined: March 22, 2006
Perhaps all these people who think they know how to build, design and price products should go into business making speakers for 1/3 the money that sound better than whatever they are railing about. Their bargain speakers should easily be a great success and make them wealthy.

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 24, 2012 at 21:24:45
Bill the K
Audiophile

Posts: 5378
Joined: June 3, 2006
I was always told it was Bose.

Cheers
Bill

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 24, 2012 at 21:43:39
Bill the K
Audiophile

Posts: 5378
Joined: June 3, 2006
I totally disagree about Harbeth P3ESR. I listened to it and Monitor Audio RX6 on the same day. I would pick MA anyday. There is no comparison. If you ask RJR to compare, I am sure he would prefer MA even though he may diplomatically avoid saying it in no uncertain terms. Reading JA's review of the Harbeth I got the impression he did not like it THAT much. The MA RX6 is much lower priced too.

I would very much like to compare the Harbeth with Tekton Lore next.

Cheers
Bill

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 24, 2012 at 23:23:32
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
Who is RJR?

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 24, 2012 at 23:28:12
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
Isn't Monitor speakers made in China?

 

Maybe Bobby Palkovic can enlighten you? n/t, posted on July 24, 2012 at 23:43:25
MikeCh
Audiophile

Posts: 606
Joined: November 16, 2002
*

 

Maybe John, but that doesn't mean its money well spent by Harbeth, posted on July 25, 2012 at 01:10:07
morricab
Audiophile

Posts: 6782
Location: switzerland
Joined: April 1, 2005
If other companies can make comparably good or better speakers for less money then Harbeth is somehow inefficient in the marketplace.

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 25, 2012 at 01:12:47
morricab
Audiophile

Posts: 6782
Location: switzerland
Joined: April 1, 2005
Neither is a really good value. The Magicos, if they sound significantly better are then arguably AS good a value if not better depending on priorities and percentage of ones income (its all relative in terms of value). For a Bill Gates type the price of these two speakers is essentially equal and so performance and looks would be the deciding criteria.

 

is the price insane or the purchaser that pays that price?, posted on July 25, 2012 at 03:16:33
jimmyjames
Audiophile

Posts: 4277
Location: Raleighwood
Joined: February 20, 2001
I agree their prices are insane. The $ vs the E has something to do with it as does importation costs. I'm sure it is not cheap to manufacture anything in socialist England. On the other hand if a dealer in the US sells a Harbeth speaker for $6000 and is getting $2400 gross profit, more power to them but that is insane as well and my cheap butt would negotiate the hell out of that transaction especially since the Harb dealers I know do not stock the speaker and are just shuffling paper to sell one. I called my only local high end salon the other day trying to buy a $1000 item and they didn't even have that in stock. I work for an electrical mfr in operations. The company I work for sells to wholesale distributors. They don't stock anything much anymore either so all their big $ transactions are paper shuffling, no warehousing costs. They do business every day at 5% margin. They have bricks and mortar infrastructure too and they make money and stay in business.

 

RE: is the price insane or the purchaser that pays that price?, posted on July 25, 2012 at 04:01:46
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
Even though the dealers are making 40% on the Harbeths you would be lucky to get 10% off. There are a limited supply of Harbeth speakers coming into the U.S. and the dealers are not giving them away.

 

What's yoour point with speakers made in China?, posted on July 25, 2012 at 04:15:51
3db
Audiophile

Posts: 851
Joined: July 22, 2003

I don't get the hangup you seem to be stuck on.

 

Or the one whining about it?., posted on July 25, 2012 at 04:42:20
Jack G
Audiophile

Posts: 8362
Joined: September 24, 1999
If you don't like the price, don't buy it.
Jack

 

RE: They have no choice ..., posted on July 25, 2012 at 04:55:50
middleground
Audiophile

Posts: 23043
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec
Joined: December 23, 2001
And you think that your logic justifies the totally insane prices?

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 25, 2012 at 05:06:50
middleground
Audiophile

Posts: 23043
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec
Joined: December 23, 2001
And why should you be considered a reliable source on such questions?

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 25, 2012 at 05:14:11
middleground
Audiophile

Posts: 23043
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec
Joined: December 23, 2001
Ooooooooooh China!

 

Business expenses, posted on July 25, 2012 at 05:19:49
Huh? A company still has to pay those businesses expenses.

The only thing a "write off" accomplishes is it reduces the taxable income.

 

RE: Never have understood why..., posted on July 25, 2012 at 05:30:10
middleground
Audiophile

Posts: 23043
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec
Joined: December 23, 2001
The whole crazy insane price thing pulls up the price of other products.

This is all aided by the mags. I could waste time by getting quotes from TAS and Stereophile were the "reviewer" opines that, let's say, a $26,000 pair of small monitor speakers are so reasonably priced because brand "X" monitors are $52,000 a pair.

It will eventually affect YOU in the pocketbook if you buy any audio equipment, but for some reason your rugged American individualism prevents you from accepting the fact.



 

Few here have any idea about how anything is costed., posted on July 25, 2012 at 05:52:35
Timbo in Oz
Audiophile

Posts: 16305
Location: Canberra - in the ACT - SE Australia
Joined: January 30, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 25, 2014
BTA I'd be real surprised if this iteration of the 30 has a noticeably quieter enclosure than the 30's I've heard.





Warmest

Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger


 

RE: is the price insane or the purchaser that pays that price?, posted on July 25, 2012 at 06:03:57
plugmein
Audiophile

Posts: 225
Location: mother-earth
Joined: March 4, 2007
Anyone that pays retail has more money than brains. Most dealers I've worked with give 20-30% off and they are happy to still be in business.

 

Unfair, posted on July 25, 2012 at 06:08:01
layman
Audiophile

Posts: 448
Location: Washington, D.C.
Joined: August 8, 2007
I think its a little unfair to single Harbeth out, because I see the same massive inflation across the board in the industry.

Speakers that cost $100,000? Come on now. No amount of drivers and particle board should cost that much (even if the marketing people make the speakers out to be created from jewels and precious metals...diamonds, gold, beryllium, platinum, alnico etc.).

I have tried to get my head around why the industry should have such massive inflation of product pricing over such a short time.

Does it reflect massive inflation in the ecomomy as a whole? The price of a bar of soap has only increased a few cents, the price of cars seems to be stable (and most are cheaper than many speakers now), the price of homes also seems to be either declining or remaining the same (how do you justify a loudspeaker that costs more than a house?).... I don't get it.

In comparison to what's going on with many of the other brands, the Harbeths (even after inflation) seem downright cheap.

 

So, in other words ..., posted on July 25, 2012 at 06:43:34
reelsmith.
Audiophile

Posts: 7925
Location: CT
Joined: June 7, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
January 19, 2010
...its no diferent for Harbeth than any other maker of anything.

Dean.


reelsmith's axiom: Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.


 

A few years ago I paid $350 ea for water heaters now, posted on July 25, 2012 at 07:01:58
Kloss
Manufacturer

Posts: 1185
Location: WI
Joined: January 25, 2012
Having just installed 2 the equivalents are $650ea. I think a bit of what the posters complaining about is the reduction in purchasing power of our US $.

 

I think ..., posted on July 25, 2012 at 07:02:41
reelsmith.
Audiophile

Posts: 7925
Location: CT
Joined: June 7, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
January 19, 2010
I have tried to get my head around why the industry should have such massive inflation of product pricing over such a short time.

I think it is because business is so poor. Volume is way off. So, to remain viable they have to raise prices.

The high-end wristwatch industry is suffering as well and prices are climbing every year.

Dean.




reelsmith's axiom: Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.


 

RE: is the price insane or the purchaser that pays that price?, posted on July 25, 2012 at 07:25:06
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
Most dealers that give 20 to 30 percent off are already out of business.

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 25, 2012 at 07:28:12
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
Have fun with you're Chinese built speakers. Maybe one day when all the brick and mortar stores are gone you can buy them at Wal-Mart really cheap.

 

RE: What difference would that make if ..., posted on July 25, 2012 at 07:36:21
geraldm121
Audiophile

Posts: 673
Location: connecticut
Joined: January 9, 2007
The China Boogeymen would get Sudz while he sleeps :<}.
On a more topical note. If you cannot afford a speaker (or any product) don't buy it. As to mark-up or profit margin that is no ones business but the manufacturer or importers. How would you like someone with no experience in your job telling you what you should be paid for your labors? If enough people don't purchase an item the open market will take care of the issue either by the company going away or the price being reduced. That's the whole idea of a free market. A manufacturer can set any price they choose and either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences. You vote by your choice to purchase or not.
Also there are some excellent "value" product lines in the speaker category such a Zu and Tekton and probably many more I cannot think of at the moment. Imported speakers are by necessity (shipping, duty, packaging, country of destination distribution etc) always going to be higher priced than those domestically produced. Again it comes down to the perceived value to the prospective purchaser.

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 25, 2012 at 07:43:49
b.l.zeebub
Audiophile

Posts: 3979
Location: 52deg 28'N,1deg56'W
Joined: April 17, 2006
One wonders how the likes of Quested Audio, PMC and ATC manage to sell similar sized active speakers for less $ than Harbeth despite UK-based production, the inclusion of high-quality amplification and using some of the best and most expensive drivers available.

Not to mention ME Geithain and K&H/Neumann which are made in Germany with the worlds highest labour cost (excl. Switzerland).


Btw I'd choose any of the aforementioned companies products over Harbeth at the drop of a hat.

 

Fallacy, posted on July 25, 2012 at 08:16:17
>> The whole crazy insane price thing pulls up the price
>> of other products.... It will eventually affect YOU
>> in the pocketbook...

Sounds like you're of the opinion the world should run according to your rules. Good luck with that.

Your comment on pricing has never been a universal truth. We have plenty of products -- particularly electronics -- that used to be very expensive that are now cheap. My first computer with floppy drives cost $2,000 at a time when an IBM XT was $5,000. IBM did not pull up the price of other computers.

The first RCA Victor color TV cost $1,000 in 1954 and was down to $500 ten years later. Today you can buy a 25" flat screen (larger picture) with high definition for prices that start under $150.

This history of retail prices is that if someone can still make a profit while undercutting someone else's price, they'll do it.

While it's sad that, IMO, some companies in the "high end" of audio are more into exclusivity and status than performance, that only works for a small percentage of buyers.

If people think Harbeth is too expensive for what they're getting, then the market will eventually take care of that problem.

I did a rough check of the number of speaker models on the market a few years back and quit counting at 1,000. If you're telling me that a person can't find a speaker they like at a price they want to pay from among the currently available models, then nothing will ever make that person happy.

 

Let's see... Emotion ($2000), Musicality ($2000), Toe-tapping PRaT[tle] ($2000) -- there's your $6000!, posted on July 25, 2012 at 08:16:51
willkayakforfood
Audiophile

Posts: 858
Joined: November 30, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
December 24, 2011
Hmmm... I've seen many here insist on paying much more for components that deliver these things that music/performance obviously can't offer. ;)

But don't mind me, I'm just a musician. I have a lousy system, and I'm a poor judge of sound. :)

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 25, 2012 at 09:09:30
3db
Audiophile

Posts: 851
Joined: July 22, 2003
What's your point to Chinese made speakers? You keep yacking about it but present no POV.

 

Under $10K range is insane?, posted on July 25, 2012 at 10:20:00
Presto
Audiophile

Posts: 5380
Location: Canada
Joined: November 10, 2004
There are lots of $5K to $10K speakers that are worth their salt. And $6K is closer to $5K than $10K!

If you dropped $5K on a source, $5K on an integrated amp and $5K on a pair of speakers you'd have a nice $15K system that is still cheaper than many hobbies including rebuilding sports cars, boating/yachting, world travelling, art collecting. That equipment could last 10 years too. So $15K over 10 years is $1500 per year. Ask a sports fan with season tickets how much they paid.

It's all how you look at the hobby. If music is THE most important thing to someone, I think $6K for a noteworthy speaker is not insane at all.

What's insane is expecting a company to build audiophile-level speakers in this market for $1500 - unless one gets cardboard speaker boxes and stamped frame old-world drivers made in China. And by old-world I mean no copper in the motor, no lower distortion, no controlled break-up...

Cheers,
Presto

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 25, 2012 at 10:30:17
hahax@verizon.net
Audiophile

Posts: 2035
Location: New Jersey
Joined: March 22, 2006
You also have to take into account mass production versus low production. One way to judge profitability is the return per year on a dollar invested. In mass production you can sell an item and take your profits multiple times per year. In high end audio the turn over is much less. Let's say you need to make 40 cents per year on a dollar. If you turn that dollar 10 times that's just 4 cents per sale. If you turn it once per year like often occurs in high end audio you need to make 40 cents per sale.

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 25, 2012 at 10:34:37
Bill the K
Audiophile

Posts: 5378
Joined: June 3, 2006
Yes, and perhaps thats why MA is so well put together, is less expensive and other manufacturers rush to China including Sonus Faber.

Cheers
Bill

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on July 25, 2012 at 10:38:54
Bill the K
Audiophile

Posts: 5378
Joined: June 3, 2006
Robert R Reina, the popular musician and audio reviewer of Stereophile.

Cheers
Bill

 

Maybe ..., posted on July 25, 2012 at 10:40:04
reelsmith.
Audiophile

Posts: 7925
Location: CT
Joined: June 7, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
January 19, 2010
How many people do you know who think $5K for any given speaker is insane, but $4K for the same speaker is a bargain?

If they need to charge "insane" prices in order to keep the doors open, then that is what they have to do. Thankfully, no one will shoot you if you don't buy a pair.

Maybe they are mismanaged, inefficient or have other troubles. Only they know what they need in revenue to keep from going under given the circumstances of their operation.

Perhaps they are just nuts and want to see how far they can push the price envelope before sales plummet.

Who knows ?

Dean.



reelsmith's axiom: Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.


 

Good analogy, posted on July 25, 2012 at 11:02:46
badman
Reviewer

Posts: 8792
Location: Tustin, CA (Orange County)
Joined: March 10, 2001
and add to it increasing wealth concentration in fewer hands, the companies have fewer, richer, people to recoup fixed costs on.



Bass is supposed to sound big. 6.5" is not a woofer size.


 

Agree 100%, Jerry. (nt), posted on July 25, 2012 at 11:20:02
reelsmith.
Audiophile

Posts: 7925
Location: CT
Joined: June 7, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
January 19, 2010
.


reelsmith's axiom: Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.


 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 25, 2012 at 11:40:32
Hazel
Audiophile

Posts: 55
Joined: April 28, 2012
You are perfectly right...

In most cases, high-end gear pricing is completely insane, or simply high-end...

There s nothing, really nothing, that could justify those pricings except the high-end factor...

And all those pseudo-arguments, uuh...

Hazel

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 25, 2012 at 11:46:37
mdavis


 
"But their prices have been crazy for years and getting crazier."

I have had that same thought for several years now. Some of the comments make some valid points but many are just excuses for Harbeths insane prices. I will not even consider them anymore.

 

Luxury item vs. commodity marketing, posted on July 25, 2012 at 11:58:27
caspian@peak.org
Audiophile

Posts: 1043
Location: Oregon
Joined: January 12, 2008
In addition to the other factors already mentioned -- Made in England with associated costs, relatively limited quantity production, distributor and dealer markups -- an element of "prestige pricing" certainly comes into play. Harbeth is not marketing their products to your average headbanger: they aim at a "discerning" clientele with "refined" musical tastes, which is to say an "upscale" clientele ready and willing to pay the higher price associated with the perceived "exclusive status" of the product. If these sort of customers paid less for exactly the same product, they would presumably feel they were not getting the same level of performance.

And as others have mentioned, Harbeth prices are high but not astronomical like some other brands. Of course, some of those astronomically priced brands (Wilson, Magico, YGA in particular) put great effort into "heroic" cabinet construction, which obviously raises production costs significantly. Harbeths just have thin veneered MDF boxes lined with roofing tar paper -- classic monkey coffins, essentially.

 

Manolo Blahnik and John Lobb have their 'value' defenders, as well., posted on July 25, 2012 at 13:53:03
Enophile
Audiophile

Posts: 25268
Location: Northern Californistan
Joined: October 15, 2005
A fashion premium is fine.

Louis Moinet makes a lovely watch, no need to get defensive about it.





 

I suggest you give the original Monitor 30 a listen, posted on July 25, 2012 at 14:11:30
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 13916
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
I think you will be delighted. I'm sure the new model is even better.
Observe, before you think. Think before you open your yap. Act on the basis of experience.

 

"There are speakers as good or better than these for 1/3 the price.", posted on July 25, 2012 at 15:18:05
hifitommy
Audiophile

Posts: 12817
Location: shaky sylmar calif, orig from buffalo ny
Joined: June 9, 2000
then YOU buy them. someone else will buy the harbeths as $6k and feel like he got his money's worth.
...regards...tr

 

Really? Not imported here? But..., posted on July 25, 2012 at 15:57:33
QuadTodd
Audiophile

Posts: 541
Location: Midwest
Joined: October 22, 2004




yet other models from this US company say this. Are the Q1s made in China or elsewhere?

 

RE: I agree..., posted on July 25, 2012 at 16:26:00
JNS
The problem is that if they had berrylium tweeters and carbon fiber woofers (not so much) they would sound like ass which is exactly the way most speakers with these type of drivers sound. I do have a problem with the "active" cabinets of Harbeths and think that this is the major shortcoming. I think the Gallos haev always sounded terrible when I have heard them at the various shows. Another inmate likes the Monitor Audios which I think are really bad. But if there was one truly best speaker or best design this would be a really boring hobby. I applaud any high-end manufacturer who manages to earn a living during these tight economic times.

Oh and by the way, I dont care in which country products are made.

 

RE: Fallacy, posted on July 25, 2012 at 16:41:52
middleground
Audiophile

Posts: 23043
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec
Joined: December 23, 2001
I ain't telling you anything as you have it all figured out.

Good luck with that!

 

Actually, what I've figured out..., posted on July 25, 2012 at 17:02:42
>> I ain't telling you anything as you have it all figured out.
>>
>> Good luck with that!

... is the world doesn't run according to my rules. If someone wants to make a product and charge more than I'm willing to pay, that's fine by me. I don't buy it.

That's worked out wonderfully for me -- I have no complaints whatsoever.

 

what HE said..nt, posted on July 25, 2012 at 17:22:32
hifitommy
Audiophile

Posts: 12817
Location: shaky sylmar calif, orig from buffalo ny
Joined: June 9, 2000
entee
...regards...tr

 

They may be expensive, but I'll bet they're real good *, posted on July 25, 2012 at 20:08:46
Mike K
Audiophile

Posts: 11787
Joined: September 23, 1999

 

RE: Insane?, posted on July 26, 2012 at 04:56:27
triamp
Audiophile

Posts: 357
Location: USA
Joined: August 6, 2008
They likely do a fair amount of development to make a speaker. All those folks making $50k a year, amortized across the 3,000 pairs they'll sell... it adds up.

And, yes, there's good profit built in to that price. Profit for Harbeth and also for the local dealer.

If you could get the drivers, crossover parts and woodworking plans, these materials would possibly cost you $600 wholesale. Add R&D, marketing, manufacturing, and profit for the factory and local shop, and you arrive at $6,000.

I point out that people are buying these speakers. Not a great many, but enough that they Harbeth are still in business. So, someone out there likes their sound. WORTH $6,000? Well, value is a relative thing. If you have "$6,000 worth" of love for the way these things sound, then, yeah, they are worth it.

Remember, for a wealthy person something like $6,000 is what you'd spend on a good dinner party for your friends. From that perspective, these speakers aren't such a big deal. To someone making $15,000 a year as a McDonald's cashier*, no, these would not provide as much utility value as, say, $6,000 worth of RENT.

*That's what they make. It's $7.25 an hour, the minimum wage. See http://www.careerleak.com/salaries/mcdonalds/cashier/

 

RE: I agree..., posted on July 26, 2012 at 05:48:32
BCR
Audiophile

Posts: 814
Location: connecticut
Joined: April 7, 2009
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
Hi Mr.Sudz,
Can you please refrain from putting my great country of China down? We are very proud of our low cost in production by keeping our wages at minimum and our people living in poverty. At least your junk yards will flourish with the garbage you buy from us.
Thank you so much and rots of ruck
Mr.Won Hung Lo

 

"$1500 - unless one gets cardboard speaker boxes and stamped frame old-world drivers made in China.", posted on July 26, 2012 at 07:52:28
Enophile
Audiophile

Posts: 25268
Location: Northern Californistan
Joined: October 15, 2005
This hobby (and I admit to being a member) is so nuts, Harbeth could slap a 30,000 price tag on the same speaker and have John Marks pimp for it and other audiophiles would lapse rhapsodic about the justifiable cost of its fine Corinthian leather.

Audiophile Stockholm Syndrome is so rampant, manufacturers have to upcharge to price points to get action.

Asylum is right!

;D








 

RE: "$1500 - unless one gets cardboard speaker boxes and stamped frame old-world drivers made in China.", posted on July 26, 2012 at 09:44:45
Presto
Audiophile

Posts: 5380
Location: Canada
Joined: November 10, 2004
If you saw what kind of drivers and box construction went into most $1000-$1500 speaker boxes, you'd see my point.

CHeers,
Presto

 

I used to own a pair, they are very nice, posted on July 26, 2012 at 09:45:26
mbnx01
Audiophile

Posts: 5761
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Joined: October 22, 2004
But six grand?

I know it's getting hard to find good cabinet makers in the U.K. anymore. Even so...













"The problem with quotes from the internet is that many of them are just made up."
-Abraham Lincoln

 

Ha, Just like us, - I'm sure they'd be very happy to hear, posted on July 26, 2012 at 10:00:18
Sordidman
Audiophile

Posts: 12008
Location: San Francisco
Joined: May 14, 2001
from Mr. Sudz.....




"Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist.'"

 

RE: Fallacy, posted on July 26, 2012 at 10:01:17
Sordidman
Audiophile

Posts: 12008
Location: San Francisco
Joined: May 14, 2001
Yes,

Forget about reason: we can't let that get in the way of the truth, or your sour grapes.....




"Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist.'"

 

RE: Love you're Chinese food, posted on July 26, 2012 at 11:48:06
sudz1234@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 2649
Joined: February 20, 2011
I eat it for lunch twice a week.

 

Direct marketed speakers, posted on July 26, 2012 at 11:49:57
petertg
Audiophile

Posts: 368
Location: Maryland
Joined: April 6, 2007
That's why I prefer to buy speakers that are directly marketed by smaller manufactures such as Tyler Acoustics, Fritz Speakers and Gallo to name a few. The value/performance ratio off the scale and having heard some of them, I believe they sound every bit as good as the more expensive name brands.

 

RE: Direct marketed speakers, posted on July 26, 2012 at 12:42:14
layman
Audiophile

Posts: 448
Location: Washington, D.C.
Joined: August 8, 2007
I really like your tubed system.

Hold on to those Electa Amators because if you have to replace them with the current equivalent (Amati?)...I shudder to think of the markup.

 

Strong exceptions to your price point vs quality, posted on July 26, 2012 at 12:44:28
Edp
Audiophile

Posts: 3849
Joined: September 23, 1999
Of course large majority are as you say, but there are still some that offer quality enclosures, and quality drivers for that near $1500 point you mention.

Joseph Audio RM7 (XL now), all SEAS drivers and quality enclosures. See it a bit more than 1500 now with XL



Fritz carbon 7 Fine enclosures and Scan Speak drivers



Couple more, but not as many as just 3 years ago.

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 26, 2012 at 14:42:07
Lot 64 Plan 5


 
Hey Mbnx:

I can see why it may seem prices are getting a bit crazy on Harbeths.

However, have you heard the 30.1? I have, and it was really, really impressive.

I see hear a bunch of posters saying you can do as well or better for a lot less money...I really don't think so.

And the Compact 7 is still $3500 I went over to a buddy of mine who has them and we played some jazz for a few hours and I have to tell you what I heard was so natural sounding, so fatigue free, so tonally pure. Amplification was McIntosh, cables were QED and Kimber.

And as many posters here have pointed out, this is hand crafted, low volume product.

Also, Harbeth is one of the rare companies that design and produce their own drivers. They don't churn models.

Lastly, the 30 and 40 series are used in recording studios all around the world.

 

RE: and Gallo to name a few., posted on July 26, 2012 at 15:03:44
David S.
Audiophile

Posts: 2413
Location: Mountains of WNC
Joined: August 31, 2000
Wait, what?

Gallo direct markets these days?

Maybe I just wasn't aware.

Krikey! (sp?) Apparently they DO have direct marketing...

I'm an owner of a pair of their Nucleus Reference 3s (late model just before 3.1), and am a pretty big fan of some aspects of their designs, but also pretty set against them for lack of support for owners of the earlier models with the 360 degree CDT...

 

MIT Oracle MA-X2 HD 8ft speaker cables $17,500.00 (used), posted on July 26, 2012 at 19:22:17
Eldragon@gmx.com
Audiophile

Posts: 3347
Location: Gulf Coast
Joined: December 26, 2010
New Retail Price: $39,999.00


Enough said!
nothing is more boring than the truth - bukowski

 

Okay, but..., posted on July 26, 2012 at 19:31:29
Presto
Audiophile

Posts: 5380
Location: Canada
Joined: November 10, 2004
...both are examples of small 2-ways with very simply cabinet geometry (rectangular MDF box) with veneer on it.

But you're right, they are speakers and they are in that price range.

If you include KITS, well, that's a whole different ball game. You can get a really sweet kit for $1500, designed by guys like John Krutke and other top DIY designers...

Cheers,
Presto

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 26, 2012 at 22:06:55
the old school
Audiophile

Posts: 739
Location: marin county
Joined: April 9, 2011
I've never liked any Harbeth speaker. Too much mid bass and a rolled off high end. Oh yes, HORRIBLY inefficient! If they were not made in England, no one would pay any attention to them!

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 26, 2012 at 23:34:41
Old Grey Dog
Audiophile

Posts: 6
Location: South of England
Joined: July 19, 2012
In the UK a standard model cost 2,400.

That's about $3,766

They would sound no different, would they?

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 27, 2012 at 10:23:26
Lot 64 Plan 5


 
Absolute and utter nonsense.

 

Not a Harbeth owner - but I strongly suspect that they..., posted on July 27, 2012 at 11:26:55
carcass93
Audiophile

Posts: 6345
Location: NJ
Joined: September 20, 2006
... wouldn't touch any of the brands you listed with a 10-foot pole.

Some points (I'm using ATC as an example):

- priorities are totally different - Harbeths' strengths and weaknesses are most likely not the same as those of ATC's;

- they are not cheap by any means, either. $6,000 list price will only buy you something like SCM20A model;

- quality of drivers doesn't always translate into quality of sound;

- their amplification is high-quality in their, and their speakers owners', minds - but not necessarily in anyone else's. Class AB, not even high-bias (regardless of what they say - heat dissipation precludes anything else), with lightweight power supply, placed in a speaker cabinet that's subject to sound quality-killing vibrations;

- lack of ability to taylor amplification to your taste;

- not terribly impressive aesthetically (neither is Harbeth, of course).

 

Nuts!--How about 39in for $42K, posted on July 27, 2012 at 16:01:30
Des
Audiophile

Posts: 1472
Location: Great Barrier Reef
Joined: August 3, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
August 2, 2000


PSC Audio flagship product The AG Monolith Interconnect cable.

Component retail: $42.000 USD/1m/pr.

Cough!

Des

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 29, 2012 at 04:17:08
avole
Audiophile

Posts: 2
Joined: October 16, 2008
Insanely priced? How so? Sonus Faber and Magico are insanely priced, Harbeth are bargain basement compared to them!

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on July 29, 2012 at 12:10:52
zutroye
Audiophile

Posts: 197
Joined: June 15, 2012

"These are the tree fundamental..."

Well, attention to detail isn't a high priority for their marketing depertment.


"Lost my shape - trying to act casual."

 

RE: Direct marketed speakers, posted on July 30, 2012 at 15:24:20
jambalaya
Audiophile

Posts: 38
Location: Dallas, USA
Joined: July 29, 2012
I'm new to this forum and have just spent $4000 on a pair of Spendor A6 which are not too much less than the Harbeth. I'm replacing a 20 year old pair of KEF's which weren't cheap but if I get another 20 years out of this pair I figure it's worth $200 a year.
I'll buy electronics direct from the manufacturer based on reviews but would never consider buying speakers without listening first. I drove five hours to audition after listening to several contenders locally. The shop I bought the Spendors from stocks inventory, keeps the lights on, provides outstanding service so I don't begrudge him making 40% on the speakers.
My two cents and I'm looking forward to browsing the forum but couldn't restrain myself from this comment.

 

RE: And another insanely priced Harbeth speaker, posted on August 2, 2012 at 08:24:08
EagleRocker
Audiophile

Posts: 167
Location: So Cal
Joined: January 21, 2009
Odyssey Audio will sell you two full-range speakers, a tube preamp, two SS mono block amps, and all the cables for $5,500. All made in the USA. And with a 20 year warranty. No, I don't own any of it, but it would seem to give the lie to the notion that it can't be reasonably priced unless it's made in China.

 

looking through the wrong end of the telescope, posted on August 7, 2012 at 16:02:27
Bruce from DC
Bored Member

Posts: 18504
Location: U.S. Capital
Joined: October 13, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
March 1, 1999
as are a lot of people in this thread. Except for lawyers and the local public utility power company, nobody should measure price (i.e. "value") based on the cost of inputs.

The relevant question is what else is available for this price, and does that "else" sound better than the new Harbeth. If there's nothing else that sounds as good (and don't make me define "good" in this usage), then the new Harbeths are fairly priced. And if there are speakers out there at 1/2 the price that sound as good, or better, then the new Harbeths are overpriced, even if their gross margin is only 10%.

One thing I've noticed is a tendency in this business to try and justify the price of a product by reference to its exotic and expensive inputs: rare metals!, gold wiring!, handmade! with the implicit assumption that there's a direct correlation between the cost of the inputs and the output. In some cases, there certainly is, but I refuse to believe that is always the case. I have heard some awful sounding speakers that featured lovely cabinetry, expensive parts, the trendiest design (first-order crossovers, yeah!). Most reviews of them -- and they were widely reviewed -- were, in my opinion, "kind." But the company has been out of business for a number of years. My point here is that these speakers may have been fairly priced, based on the cost of their inputs; but since they were not a good value, they failed in the marketplace.


 

RE: looking through the wrong end of the telescope, posted on August 7, 2012 at 20:52:41
rebbi
Audiophile

Posts: 177
Location: Austin, TX
Joined: September 4, 2008
I think Bruce From DC has a good point here.

I was recently at the first day of the California Audio Show in Burlingame and finally got to hear some speakers I'd read about but never heard in person.

I heard some humongous Wilsons (I think) and THEY WERE VERY LOUD (and not much else).

I heard the small Magico's and they were nice, but $27,000 worth of "nice?" Not to my taste, no. And what's the use of all that proprietary tech and overbuilt cabinetry if what comes out isn't moving you?

Then I wandered into the Audio Note room, which was squirreled away around a corner at the end of the 2nd floor of the hotel.

They were featuring the E/SPe HE. $9600/pair, plus an additional $650/pair for the stands.

Attractive? Not especially, just a couple of biggish boxes.

Exotic materials? Nope. "Just" a 1" silk dome tweeter and an 8" hemp cone mid-bass driver, with some fancy-pants silver wire and high-end crossover parts on the inside.

Machined, military grade, aluminum cabinetry? Uh-uh. Plywood all around, minimally braced.

The sound in that room... sublime... I mean, jaw-droppingly gorgeous and musical, so much so that as limited as my time was, I made it my business to get back to that room one more time to be sure I'd heard what I thought I'd heard.

Now, 10K for speakers is beyond my budget, and corner placement is out in my room. But I think this experience supports Bruce's contention that it's not about the physical components that go into the speaker that determines its value. It's more about what comes out than what goes in.

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on November 16, 2012 at 07:00:29
Ian Mackenzie
Audiophile

Posts: 1416
Location: Chicago
Joined: January 27, 2002
Wow, I have not posted here in over 3 years, but the debates continue.

I own a pair of Harbeths (Compact 7 ES3) with an LFD Zero mark III amp and am looking to upgrade to the new 30.1s. Yup, they are spendy for sure and close to $6,400 for a pair in Rosewood.

I own a business that does substantial revenue in US and Mexico and Europe and could disect margins, COGS and revenue ratios until your head spins. What I simply do not grasp is the:

1. Price in the UK (3,000 pounds or $3,800) versus:
2. Price in US @ ~$6,000.

Shipping I undrstand, but the rest must be used as distributor margin before it gets to the reseller and that's the disconnect for me. Asuming Harbeth has a transfer price (from factory to US distributor) at equal to what the trasfer price is from factory to UK reseller, then the metrics here are clearly off base and Fidelis is making a healthy margin and I would imagine Harbeth still covers much of the advertising and marketing spend.

These speakers should be around $5,000 in US tops.

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on November 18, 2012 at 17:42:04
Submariner


 
They are $4200 in Canada.

 

RE: Do you know anything at all about how the industry works? It sure seems not!, posted on November 19, 2012 at 06:50:52
Ian Mackenzie
Audiophile

Posts: 1416
Location: Chicago
Joined: January 27, 2002
Holy Sh*t!
As there is basically parity between US and CDN $, then something is off here. Either the US is out of whack or your pricing is not applicable.

$3,800 in UK, $4,200 in CA (if you are, in fact, correct) and then $5,900 in US!! Something is disconnected here.

 

Yes its called the decline of the US $$$, posted on November 19, 2012 at 07:14:39
fin1bxn@msn.com
Audiophile

Posts: 1736
Location: new jersey
Joined: November 15, 2005
Because of all our dept and stimulus the us vs uk is 1.57 and I think us vs canada is about 1.1

 

Page: [ 1 ] [ 2 ]

Page processed in 0.087 seconds.