OK instead of individually quoting all the previos posts from my past statement, Ill group this up accordingly and just make some quick observations.
A. Speaker cost and markup. As I stated average cost markup can range from 20 times to over 100 times on cost markup. You think this is a joke?
Let me give you some examples:
I can go to Home Depot and buy a sheet of 3/4" 4x8' of MDF for about 20-25 bucks. This is RETAIL cost to me an end user. How much do you think Home depot marks up that sheet?
Now take a company like Boston Accoustic(WHere I did my internship many years ago), how much do you think THEY can buy a sheet of MDF for at wholesale cost and in SERIOUS BULK? LOL! Take a good guess..........not too many years back it was well under $6 bucks a sheet. And considering how efficiently they are able to cut and route their sheets....know how many speaker pairs they can rip out of a single sheet? Getting a better idea yet?
Now lets take xover parts and wiring. For an end user like myself at RETAIL COST, I can pick up decent quality caps,blocks, coils binding posts, wiring etc from anywhere from a few nickles and dimes to a few bucks, maybe a bit more. Now when your buying wiring, caps,coils, blocks etc in serious bulk at direct wholesale cost..........what do you think these numbers would really translate to?
Same for drivers..........even the "high end" ones, especially the ones that are built in house by certain mfg's.......you really think drivers cost much to mfg. or buy at wholesale? Do you even know what the most expensive component is of a driver? And can you guess average cost of that specific component for a large mfg?
Like I said, my "Speaker of the Year" Salon's at most have a few hundred bucks of materials and components, and that is probably a pretty big stretch. They cost how much at "retail" back in 99' $12-13k? At wholesale cost to a distributor/end retailer, slice that in half. Based on $250 cost in materials, components thats pretty heavy markup. Now obviously add some cost in for marketing/advertisement,electricity,R&D, and the number is going to be a bit higher depending on how many sets are sold etc etc.......but regardless, the costs are spread out over years and countless products in a line etc etc.
I mean, you can buy a brand new car with thousands of components for less money than some of these glorified high end speakers. Automobiles have thousands of components, miles of wiring, etc etc.......vs a pair of speakers with a few bucks worth of mdf,cheap xover parts and a few drivers.............so yes, speakers and may of these components are highly overpriced. But hey, why sell a speaker for a few hundred bucks when you can sell it for a few thousand or more right? Again, its marked up like jewelry, not because it has to be, but because it can be.
Again, as stated, the electricity ended up being more expensive to mfg. some of the products vs. the actual components and materials.
B. As for publications like Stereophile, or "take your pick" A/V magazine..........its a form of PAID ADVERTISEMENT. Has anyone ever seen a bad review done on ANYTHING audiowise? Especially if the said product being reviewed is a major advertiser at said publication?
And Nethawk: Your Mordant Carnival 2's........depending on volume..........your pretty darn close to actual component cost give or take a few bucks. Go ahead and take your speakers apart. Give me the square footage of your mdf cabinets, lay out the xover parts, 4 drivers, ports, binding posts etc........your not much more than $12 bucks at mass wholesale cost I bet, without question under $20 bucks........like I said, my Salon's have at most a few hundred bucks in components, AT MOST.......and I have 2 pairs of tweeters, a pair of upper midrange drivers, pair of lower midrange drivers, and 3 pairs of 8" bass drivers..........attenuation swtching, and a multiple xover boards.........