In your CES report, "Super-Speakers Special," you stated, "Sometimes six figures won't even buy you good sound." I find that statement true based on my experience with some very expensive speakers. But I wonder if that fact is what is killing the high end. If an audiophile spends that amount of money on a set of speakers and then gets poor sound, why would they ever spend even more money to fix it? It is no wonder that high-end audio is dying. I did enjoy your honest reporting. If we had more of it the high end would be better for it.
One thing I've learned through the years is that products don’t exist in vacuums. Whether it's speakers, amplifiers, DACs, whatever, for each one there is a market it has to compete in. As a reviewer, it is incumbent on me to hear products of all sorts and at all price points -- and report honestly on what I hear. That's not the job of the audiophile, however. Audiophiles are consumers who only have to enjoy what they buy. As sad as it is, I know some audiophiles that really love what I know to be poor-performing products! Why? I think it is because they didn’t have the exposure to products that are genuinely better.
So I don't think that bad products are killing the high end. There are tons of great products out there. The encouraging thing is that some of the best products on the market today are priced less than many, many of the expensive statement-type products of yesteryear -- and some of these newer designs are actually much better! . . . Jeff Fritz