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Old 02-03-2009   #8
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1
Default Re: Are we reaching the end of High End Audio?

I agree with the OP and others that it's getting harder and harder for dealers to survive.

BUT, I disagree with the claim that hi-end is dying. True high-end hi-fi has always been a small niche segment and will continue to remain that way probably's more of a hobby than anything. Just take a look at the used market at and there are tons of forums like ones on audiogon,,, and there are plenty more that are *only* audio. You'll realize there are a ton of hi-end enthusiasts. There are a lot of other huge forums that are AV and home theater related, like - but there is still definitely a market for 2-channel.

I have seen numerous posts like the one above on varying forums over many years, but what I think you're missing is that the younger generation can't afford $10K+ systems at age 18. They can only afford iPods with maybe nicer-than-earbud headphones. A lot of the younger folks that are actual audiophiles just can't afford big systems yet. You will find all the young audiophiles (that care about more than MP3) at because they can only afford hi-end headphone rigs right now...but when they get older and start making real $, they'll move on up to the speaker rigs and get the continuous upgrade bug like a lot of you have! (Obviously, not everyone that has an iPod appreciates good sound...but an extremely small percentage will go on to invest in hi-end audio equipment.)

I live in the DC area and we are lucky here as there are at least 4 very high-end retailers here:

There are a couple other dealers that don't have a webpage, too.

The "recession" will hit a lot of businesses hard and it's very sad, but it's my belief that hi-end enthusiasts will live on and find a way - even if it is DIY...(and you can find that at

Also, OP, you discredit yourself by mentioning Sony and Pioneer in the same sentence as Theta and Wadia - even if you're talking about the ES/Elite lines. I mean...for serious? That is like comparing a Toyota (or let's even say Lexus, since you're talking ES/Elite) with the Rolls-Royce echelon of digital audio...

(Hopefully the mods don't kill off too many of my links here, I'm only using them to prove a point.)
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