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In Reply to: RE: If you do not plan posted by Stale on February 12, 2017 at 20:08:22
Stale is right, it is very expensive to run a business, stay in business and make a living or profit. There are speakers and all the other audio gear at all price points available, I don't understand why people get so worked up about expensive gear. Like everything else produced in the world, buy what you want and can afford.
There are many answers here from you all but one. How does Wharfedale do it? And a speaker system that uses a very high priced tweeter, and I know there are some real costly units most always will advertise that fact. Also it wouldn't hurt to boast Danish cabinetry as thats what I would want. I'm just wondering guys why things like that are not pointed out by Aerial. If they did I would not have reacted so about the price.
In all fairness check out Parts Express cabinets. Maybe it's a knock-off but you might see something that you might question yourself. Take it easy...Mark Korda
Five times cost is about the breakeven point for a manufacturer to stay in business. Even then, what a terrible business in which to invest. The failure rate is astronomical.
" How does Wharfedale do it?"
Simple. They have everything made in a third world country where they pay people a fraction of what they would receive in our respective western countries and do not have to bother with impediments like safety regulations etc.
As far as I am aware Aerial assemble their products by Americans in the USA and have their cabinets (thanks John Marks) and drive units made over here in expensive Europe.
Of course most jobs can be exported and thereby goods made cheaper. This is a great thing to do until the manufacturers discover that they have little market left as their customers have been made redundant and have no income.
This is exactly the issue - if they take all the decent paying jobs and move them to China the company's eventually stand around wondering why they can't sell anything in the west. So they have to focus on the rich - but the rich don't buy enough units to make up the differences.
It's a vicious circle and to be fair some of these companies don't have much choice if they want to stay in business for the long haul. I mean if seven companies selling $1k speakers and are already making pretty much as good as it gets speakers for around $1k all move to China and now retail the speakers for $450 - then speaker maker number 8 making the same or slightly worse sounding speakers is going to be in serious trouble. So they are forced to move to China or go out of business.
On the one hand people want "Made In America" or "Made in Europe" but then they see the prices and either won't pay triple or can't pay triple.
Sorry guys, the answer was right in the review by Herb Reichert. They are made in China now. I guess I skipped to fast over the history given to get to the listening part of the review.
Before I re read the review I went on Wharfedales web site to see where they were made and you had to do a Columbo search to find that out.When they said it was a certain economic zone with a Chinese name I got the picture.
I stand corrected and stand by American Made products.
On my coffee table beside Stereophile is a 2015 copy of the Parts Express catalog. I still need someone out there to check out the curved cabinets page, should be on the net, before the big guys in white suits take me away.
I'm sorry for creating such a stir because I was not up to snuff on the subject.....sincerely...Mark Korda
mark, many times i open up without knowing the whole story. we all do it.
Well I am pretty sure the standards are pretty low. Since no one wants to pay taxes it's not like there is any money to actually hire government officials to actually regulate and make sure that a company that sticks a "Made in the USA" label on something is making sure it's actually made in the USA. It's basically up to the honest and integrity of the company - see Theta Data Universal. They added SPDIF and upcharged it 10 times. And according to the guy that found this out - the Philips actually sounded better - so Theta Data made it sound WORSE and charged 10 times for the privilege. http://www.lampizator.eu/LAMPIZATOR/REFERENCES/THETA%20Universal/theta.html
Companies try to imply stuff is made in Europe - I have seen words like "designed in Italy" well maybe but that doesn't mean much other than the guy who runs the company was born in Italy - happened to BE in Italy when he phone up Shengya or Jungson or Spark in China and said "Hey can you send me 1000 CD players and stick my company label on the front and maybe paint Red instead of silver. Woohoo - that R&D is why you pay double over the Spark models.
I have nothing against Chinese made stuff owning Line Magnetic and Antique Sound Labs etc. There is good stuff being made there. I just wish companies would be upfront about it. Or if you copy or emulate something. Line Magnetic says when something is a Western Electric copy. Fair enough you can buy the original Western Electric or you can buy the LM copy at 1/5th price. And you can decide which is better or how it stacks up etc. Same with buying a fake Rolex in China - hey some of those look almost identical to the real ones for $50. It may even tell time properly too. But you might be irritated if you paid $5,000 and found out later that it is using cheap parts. Just like I would be irritated paying 10 times the price for a Theta Data when I could get the same thing (99.99% designed) from Philips Laser Disc Player for a small fraction of the price.
Words like "based on" means something different than "we took the ENTIRE machine case and all added one $20 part and charged 10 times more"
Don't mistake the brand with the model. Driver makers make a LOT of tweeters - it doesn't mean they are ALL expensive tweeters. You can buy a tweeter from a big name tweeter maker for $15 or $400+ - they both may say Scanspeak but the two are not created equal.
A long time dealer I know noted that you can pretty much take any product from any maker and divide the cost by 10. In other words if the product retails for $1500 it has $150 worth of actual parts in total. Pull apart the Wharfedale and it might have a total of $40. Add in the previously mentioned expenses on top of the importer and dealer cuts and Wharfedale may not be doing all that great - Since back in the day when I owned Wharfedale (when it was actually Wharfedale) they have been bought and sold at least twice/three times.
Also, don't forget that the price a driver may retail for at a Parts Express or direct from Manufacturer isn't the same price a Bigger outfit like Wharfedale pays when they order 500 tweeters. Wharfedale may build in China - another company may not want that image so they pay more to have them made in Europe.
Lastly I try and take these external issues out. Take the two and listen to the two and decide what is better for yourself. I would say a good 3/4 of everything that get rave recommendations by the industry to me is rather poor when I factor in factors that are important to my listening sessions. Although I agree with you in principal that the MORE money you pay the more expectations you should have. But also remember that while a $500 product may get you 80% the anal audiophile hobby is largely about people who are striving for 100%. And it may be a doubling to achieve the next 5% and a quadrupling to get the next 5%.
I just came back from several hours listening to two identically designed pre-amplifiers. The only difference was the parts quality inside the amp - the topology is identical.
I felt there was a rather substantial sonic improvement in the pricier model. But it's not like the lower model was a slouch - it did everything you'd hope and did it better than most but the upgraded model was just simply more "breath of life" into the presentation. But you're going from basically a $9k preamp to a $22k preamp. Sure they can tell me about silver transformers but it's kind of hard to see $22k in parts and they clearly make more money on the $22k preamp. So logic dictates that if you buy the latter they make more margin - then again because of the price they will sell less so they have to cover that somehow. OTOH the sound says it's a lot better and no one holds a gun to your head to buy it.
So is the pricier speaker better than the Wharfedale to you? Then only you can determine if the price is worth that difference - some people are willing to pay 10 times the price for a relatively nominal improvement.
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