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If the dollar is stronger and the Pound and the Euro went down, why has the price of Harbeths gone up. I just saw an ad for HL5 for $6,900.
Is it my imagination or lack of the financial world.
In the last year the Pound went from over $1.50 to about $1.23 and the Euro from 1.30 to 1.05.
Just my observation.
The fact is Canadian/US dollar has gone to $1 US is $1.32 Canadian SHOULD mean a Bryston amplifier say used to be $4,950 SHOULD have dropped by at LEAST $1000.
They even prefaced it here, and pretend it's due to Brexit:
So, don't blame the US importer - it's definitely coming from the UK.
Alan Shaw states, 'progressive cost increases...' and you buy it hook, line and sinker? Usually the manufacturer purchases materials with a fixed cost for a period over a 12 month period. He has long term contracts with suppliers which will eventually increase his prices due to a host of reasons. But those are negotiated. I suggest you negotiate with Alan Shaw for better pricing.
Sorry, but I have to know: How did you conclude that Sawyer bought the spin hook, line, and sinker when it's very clear that he didn't buy into anything? I'm just trying to understand why Internet communication is breaking down so profoundly.
Mr Lee, please read my response to Mr. Sawyer. I choose to write with a critical eye. Neither antagonistic nor churlish. The word 'pretend' used by Mr Sawyer invited a response. Also, he failed to address the importers part in the price increases. Taken as a whole, I don't believe I have taken the internet to another 'angry' level. A discussion took place, that's it.
I don't buy his spin, just pointing it out. Frankly, knowing how harbeth seems to live hand-to-mouth and refuses to stock anything (made-to-order only), it wouldn't surprise me if they were caught short without hedged supplier contracts with fixed costs. Mostly they do assembly there, not real manufacturing, so they are at the mercy of vendors, but indeed their distributors need to squeeze them to hold the line on pricing, I agree. They are really a shoestring operation, I think maybe 4-6 people work there, if that, everything else is contracted out including cabinets and whatnot. A more serious 'manufacturer' would of course do things better, on a more industrial scale, and automate, hedge currency and supplier contracts and all sorts of other things but harbeth is not at that level.
Thanks for the information about Harbeth's manufacturing. Did not realize it was so small....well now we know why they are at the mercy of outside forces. I auditioned their line, but went with ATC Monitors.
I do stand corrected about their ability to hedge their manufacturing costs.
Brexit may do them in....taxes and duties could crush their small operation.
Because idiots will pay them. That's why!
A speaker like the the Harbeth 30.1 is very reasonably priced-in Britain.
In America it costs $5600. In England they are about $3300. This has very little to do with currency rates, shipping or duties. Or Harbeth. Prices are set by the US distributor based on what he thinks he can get. If someone feels comfortable with that here, then they buy the speakers. Personally, I don't.
(Check out Accuphase Japan vs US prices. Unbelievable!)
Could not agree more. Accuphase in Japan is affordable. The distributor for Accuphase USA (Axiss Audio) is just plain greedy. I purchased an integrated unit 100 volt for less than half the price of an American 120 volt unit. It's a global economy.....start using it for your own benefit. Have your Harbeth's shipped from England. The British Pound is trading at an all time low against the dollar.....take advantage of the exchange rate.
It's called: Disruptive Economy. Jeff Bezos is a prime example.
Consumers need to find an edge too!
Sometimes that works. But sometimes it doesn't. Some companies will not honor warranties or offer support when purchases are made as you suggest.
Your are right. Accuphase USA Axiss will not touch an imported model.
I would not be concerned about a speaker so much as electronic piece of
equipment. There are always work arounds to servicing equipment.
'There are always work arounds to servicing equipment.'
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. If the company will not provide schematics or parts sometimes a piece cannot be serviced.
I do not disagree with the assertion that some importers do some price gouging especially with something that is well known and regarded. And sometimes one can go to the home country purchase and export saving themselves some money. Most of the time the pricing is correct and potential buyers that complain about the higher price in their country are simply being cheap looking for a deal they do not deserve.
One should always confirm that the maker of the gear is happy with this sort of arrangement will honor warranties and provide continuing support. If not then one is better off buying something else or paying the premium to get if from an authorized source.
Nothing unusual or nefarious about the pricing.
Products are always less inexpensive in their home country. Look at what Magnepans or ARC cost in the UK/Europe. Ridiculous!
Jeez, can anyone spell?!
Seriously?! That's your best effort?!
My guess is greed based on demand and perceived value AND what people are willing to spend. It is hard to imagine that rising raw materials and labor costs reflect these price increases IMHO. Harbeth are considered premium and desirable products and worth the price of admission for those that are taken by their presentation.
"Harbeth are considered premium and desirable products and worth the price of admission for those that are taken by their presentation. "
And,, so, currency valuation isn't the problem, correct?
Brit speaker manufactures have to pay MORE for stuff they import to use in manufacturing (if any?) so they raise the price to compensate for the increase in price of the imported parts, etc....
Works for me.
Understand Tannoy is moving off-shore?
The pound dropping should make things more expensive in the UK but it should make british goods bought in other countries cheaper if anything.
That is what economists tell us all the time: A low pound makes british exports more competitive ie cheaper.
They have to IMPORT all of the parts that go into the speakers, then their cost of goods goes UP. Then they may eventually have to pay their workers MORE because everything their workers buy is also imported and costs MORE.
So they raise prices to compensate and its a wash.
Labour is at least 90% of product cost and Harbeth claim to make their own drivers.
The Pound dropped by 20% and wages are stagnating here.
There is no economic reason whatsoever why prices of british goods abroad should go up.
Simple truth is someone in the retail chain got very greedy indeed.
No, to the contrary. The dollar is strong relative to the Euro and Pound as has been mentioned in this thread.
Oil, wheat, corn, cocoa beans and frozen concentrated orange juice are internationally traded commodities. Their prices are partially dependent upon currency valuations.
Loudspeakers, clothing, magic rocks, etc. are not internationally traded commodities, and their prices are determined by the whims of the manufacturer, the importer, and what people are willing to pay. If people on the Audio Asylum and other forums would stop talking about Harbeth, may the price would come down. ;)
I remember when the U.S. dollar was at something like 5 French Francs (when there was a French Franc) and I could buy a bottle of Mouton Cadet Bordeaux wine for about $9. Even though the dollar is now in the toilet, I can still buy a bottle of Mouton Cadet Bordeaux for about $9.
If the pound went from 1,50 to 1,23 then a US dealer that previously paid 1,500 for a speaker that is valued at 1K pounds.They now pay 1,230. Lower revenue for the same goods means raise prices right?
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936
Well the British manufacturer I have bought from in the past has dropped their US prices. Can't blame Harbeth - charge what the market will bear. Why sell something for $5000 if people are willing to spend $7,000 for the same thing - you just pocketed $2,000. No one holds a gun to your head to pay the premium. You have to decide if the speaker is worth the $6,900. To me they are not because if they were they would be sitting in my room right now. But a lot of other folks must feel they're worth the money.
Because audiofools are willing to pay the price.
A couple of observations:
1.The HL5 is no longer available and the current equivalent is the HL5 Plus. That change amy have resulted in a more costly speaker. Was that speaker you saw advertised just an HL5 or the new model?
2. Although the pound v. dollar is in the favour of the latter the price of goods in the UK is inflating because the cost of imported materials has increased for UK manufactures for the same reason. We ( I am British) will experience big inflation this year as the increases work through the retail chain.
3. Even taking he above into account the current pre-tax price for the HL5 Plus in the UK is 2623 gbp. Draw your own conclusions.
Every time I got to the UK it's a bank breaker! Between cabs, food and general expenses it's expensive to live there.
"Every time I got to the UK"
For many years, I've been reluctant to say "the last time I was in Switzerland, ..."
If you were to buy a pair of speakers here and take them back to the USA then, as you are not an EU citizen, you can reclaim the VAT when you leave.
However for day to day items VAT is indeed often charged. It isn't charged on travel or food (i.e. food ingredients). However you will pay it on restaurant meals.
Expensive? Well I had a cheeseburger and a cup of coffee in trendy Bermondsey Street a couple of weeks ago and that was only 30 gbp or about $37 :-). Depends where you eat of course. Outside of the trendy parts it gets a lot cheaper but, yes, it isn't a bargain country and London is very costly. How some people manage to live here I do not understand when housing is so eye wateringly expensive.
Cabs? Why use them? Public transport is excellent in most UK cities and most of the tourist sites in London's West End and City are really within walking distance of each other or at worst only need a quick hop on a bus (buy a pre-paid Oyster card). Black cabs are really the province of the business expense account. I have not used one since I retired. Minicabs are cheaper but have to be pre-booked.
Wonder if a British dealer would export a pair to the U.S. Loving my non consecutive serial number SCM40s v2 from Audio Affair. ;^)
" Wonder if a British dealer would export a pair to the U.S"
Officially probably not, as they would risk losing their Harbeth dealership for the the UK. However if the price differential is sufficient it could fund a nice little holiday over here in Blighty with a return to the USA with a pair of speakers (I have known someone to do this).
Did you ever resolve your non-consecutive serial number issue? I do remember this from last year or the year before either here or on another forum.
I did Peter. The nice folks at ATC said not to worry and Audio Affair refunded me $120 for the issue. Enjoying them as I type.
at one point harbeth 40's were thousands cheaper in Canada... US importer got greedy
In 2005 according to prices listed in a Stereophile review EAR 834p phono stages ranged from $895-$1295. Needle Doctor now lists them from $1695-2595 despite the British Pound decreasing in value vs. the Dollar.
If ya just compensate for inflation the top priced 834p ($1295) in 2005 should cost $1615 today, so there is now an additional premium of about $900 added! There's lottsa examples of this in hifi pricing.
Funny how the hifi mags never mention it :-)
Increases in hifi prices can be caused by many factors including greed on the part of distributors. However inflation is measured in a number of ways but usually by a government agency comparing what is known as a "basket of goods" with that of the previous year. The goods in that basket changes over time as they are chosen to reflect what most people are buying or otherwise spending (mortages etc). Hifi probably has never been in the basket or if it features at all is subsumed within a broad category like "electrical goods" or " home entertainment". So it can be misleading to apply a general inflation figure against a specific item or group of items if they are not generally consumed by the populace e.g. kobe beef, yachts, old master paintings, tube phono stages.
One reason that the top of the line 834P has gone up may be that the chrome fascia, which I believe is plated in Germany, has incurred an increase in price due to the reduced value of the pound v. euro meaning that Tim de P has to pay more for it. In additon the price of raw chromium has increased significantly this year which may work through to another increase.
That, and a lack of suitable, equally celebrated alternatives. I have seen people default to 'the usual choices' time and again, and pay through the nose as a result of not being robust enough in their decision making process.
Being part of a club has its costs.
"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."
Because Harbeth raised the UK price?
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