AVS Addicted Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Home by the sea
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Ask and ye shall receive. Mark has uttered the death knell for the V3 thread which is "stay on topic", so here's a new one.
Lee asked why digital speakers haven't taken over yet. In addition to Frantz' good answer about audiophiles clinging to orthodoxy, I've heard the following -
1. "I can't choose the amps, the cables, the DACs, etc, etc, etc. "
2. "I can't *use* my [tens of $thousands of] current audiophile gear that I have accumulated."
3. "I don't trust digital"
4. "I'd have to convert my albums to digital and back and I don't like that idea, let alone the idea of bypassing the DACs in my $10K CD player
5. Limited selection - Too expensive, too inexpensive, not the right color, not the right form factor, where's the wood finish, I want ribbons, dipole, bipole, ported, sealed...... - kinda like finding the exotic hybrid or electric car that gets you hot and bothered. There's like one of those.
6. Confusing and or not the right sound - "No sir, we don't have DSP speakers in 'Chunky Monkey' or 'Cherry Cheesecake', but we have French Vanilla......"
7. Poor marketing and an intransigent dealer base who finds selling conventional gear more profitable and ongoing. "Sell the problem, then sell 10 solutions down the road". What do I sell the current $6K NHT Xd customer? Nothing. What do my competitors sell after selling a $15K or $20K speakers that doesn't match the show room experience at home? New amps, new preamps, new CD players, new cables, new power cords, new power conditioners...........DSP speakers are also lower profit margin for the dealer and typically requires a lot of trade-ins, so there's little incentive.
8. Stereo focus. Most DSP speakers, especially DEQX ones are totally focused on stereo while even most of the hardcore audiophiles are integrating home theater. I had one customer sell his Xds because he couldn't find a center channel to keep up, but then finally got two new pair and uses one half of one set as his center. Plus it's hard to wire for DSP rears if you don't have 4 or 6 conductor or power/ethernet to the right locations. Meridian does full DSP HT, but it's pricey and it's proprietary (and sounds mighty awesome).
9. Fear factor. I don't think a lot of people feel comfortable being the first on their block to abandon expensive old technology for expensive new technology, same reason why we had trouble selling Tivo and Sonos and Vudu for the first year of each product. People are naturally skeptical of paradigm shifts, but then sales snowball as more and more people report good experiences.