Originally Posted by kennyt
I think this is the biggest trend in audio today. The lower end is catching up to the high end, narrowing the gap every year. No, I'm not going to sell my reference rig for a receiver any time soon, or likely ever, but it think a good receiver is less of a compromise than it used to be.
Consumer electronics is one of the only categories I can think of where the products get both better AND cheaper as time marches on. A/V consumers get waaaay more performance and features today for just about any given budget than they did 5, 10, 15 or 20 years ago. The unfortunate side is that eroding profit margins are rapidly driving independent specialty shops out of business and the poor consumer is left with little assistance (outside of the Internet) when it comes time to make their selection among our somewhat dizzying array of possible technologies, features, performance, etc. I really feel for my friends at high-end companies these days as their dealer base is disappearing faster than honest politicians, particularly for those who haven't vigorously embraced the CEDIA channel.