High End Audio – Can you justify the price? Part One


I have been thinking about this for a long time and feel I have to say something about it.

We have been in this business since 1975 and have dealt and are still dealing with a lot of High End equipment. Hopefully of most of it we could justify the price. But I also know -certainly now- it has not always been the case.

When we started our high end business we thought “the more expensive, the higher the quality and reliability”. Haha, how stupid we were. In most cases the highest priced products are sold (and produced) only in very limited numbers and despite the fact that the manufacturer wants to offer the best possible, he simply has hardly a way to find out if he has been doing things the best possible way. Producing a few hundred pieces of a model, is just a little bit more than a prototype serie.

Only when we started modifying existing main market product we found out that larger mass product manufacturers were much smarter. They changed every year the looks of the product, while inside nothing or almost nothing changed. The best way to keep or develop a most reliable product. Of course there is always press who writes that the new one is far better (looking maybe).

Personally I think that a lot of High End products can justify the price. As we are involved also in designing and manufacturing, the main issue for me is always the question: would I like to make such a product for the price asked or do I react that I am happy that I don’t have to make that product for that price because I am simply not able to. The Sonus faber products have always been that kind of product for me. Beautiful design, extreme good craftsmanship, good sound for an acceptable price. It has made me say many, many time: I am glad I don’t have to produce these speakers for that money. And that justifies (for me at least) the price. Next time, more about this.

Over hermanvandendungen

Almost 40 years of being with and in the world of high-end audio equipment. As distributor of Krell, Sonus Faber, Cello, Conrad-Johnnson and many more, initiator of brands like Kiseki, Cogelco, AH!, PrimaLuna, Mystère and maybe more to follow.
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