Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: mid-atlantic region of US
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I can't help but interject here and do a bit of devil's advocacy. ..It seems like the ID proponents have run wild with this thread and no one has spoken up for the maligned big brands.
Now I don't know the Philharmonic or the Salk speaker folks so I mean them no disrespect when I suggest that it should not be accepted as uncontested fact that buying direct from a manufacturer guarantees that one is getting better performance for their money. Building speakers involves quite a bit of raw material, and sophisticated machinery (unless building simple slab-sided box speakers). As such, larger speaker companies such as Revel, Dynaudio, Vandersteen, PSB, B&W, Paradigm, etc... have a huge cost advantage over small guy-in-a-garage type outfits. And what about R&D? These larger brands have full-time engineers with sophisticated research tools and facilities at their disposal.
Yes, larger brands do rely on a intermediary retailer. ..But this is not necessarily a bad thing. ..Because of area retailers I was able to spend many hours listening to various brands of speakers before making a decision. ..Also, these larger speakers companies have been around for awhile and seem likely to be around for many years to come, which is helpful should your speakers ever need servicing or should you need to order a driver, etc... ..As for marketing expensive... Well, NONE of these brands spend much at all on marketing. An ad in Stereophile is not terribly expensive and does NOT add much of anything to the cost of a pair of speakers.
McIntosh MA6600 Integrated amp (for 2-ch) | Onkyo TX-NR1030 AVR (TV/ Movies) | Paradigm Sig S8 v2's (front) | Paradigm Prestige 55C (Center) | Boston Acoustics Bravo 20 speakers (rear) | 2010 Technics SL-1200mk2 Turntable w/ AudioTechnica 440mla cartridge | Mac Mini Music Server | Emotiva XDA-2 DAC | Logitech Touch SB | Samsung PN58B860 Plasma TV