Originally Posted by saprano
Knowing you're mostly paying for the cabinet and dealer mark up, is there really a point? *** Am i alone (or wrong) in this thinking?
Cabinets matter. A cabinet's shape, finish, etc. can add substantially to the cost, yes. But they can also add substantially to a speaker's acceptability in a room. Perhaps not for an audiophile bachelor, but for everyone else who doesn't fit that description.
Let me give you two examples of two corporate-sibling speakers that sound way more similar than different. (Both are standout loudspeakers in every possible way.)
First, the JBL LSR 6332, which costs maybe $3k the pair:
Second, the Revel Ultima Studio2, which is a lot more expensive:
The JBL "studio monitors" are in well-built cabinets, with attention to detail that serious audio buffs will notice, such as the edge roundovers to reduce diffraction. But they are finished to be hidden or used in a work environment: no veneer, no high gloss finishes, for that matter no grilles available. The Revels clearly have a lot more going on both in the shape of the cabinet, and in the quality of materials and labor used to finish them. They, simply speaking, look
I suspect that most people would rather look at the Revels. Most people who are not into audio would certainly prefer to look at the Revels!
Now, if you're putting them behind a screen, or otherwise hiding them, and are choosing between these two speakers, it makes a lot more sense to get the JBL's than the Revels. In that case, the cabinet aesthetic is of de minimis importance. So why pay for it?