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Join Date: Aug 2004
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A speaker is mass market when it has cheapened models simply to fit a price point, rather than to offer a specific performance parameter for a different usage. It is mass market when it has made up "technologies" that are thrown out by the marketing department.
Paradigm may be "upper mass market", but they are mass market. You can even be mass market and be in a salon. B&W is mass market, PSB is mass market, Energy, Mirage, etc.
High-end manufacturers design each model as a specific product and have fewer models with far more space in price. Thiel is high-end, for instance. Even NHT, affordable as it is, would be "high-end" based on design. So price alone has nothing to do with whether a product is aimed at the masses or at more serious shoppers.
When you have a $2000 speaker with two or three cheapened derivatives of it, that's price point engineering, which is a hallmark of mass market design. Now, a smart, astute buyer may know that the top of each series is the only one to buy, and all the others buy the crippled versions, but still, it's mass market oriented because they know that the top of the series is mainly there to get people to buy the lesser models based on the reputation of the unaffordable top end model. A more disturbing trend in mass market is the use of "modules" that drop in several different modules woofer or mid/tweeter modules. You can't design a speaker like that and get maximum performance with the same major parts in multiple products.
No offense, it is what it is. Most people shop with a mass market attitude and that's where the money is. Not making mirror imaged dipoles is a way of saving.