Originally Posted by DrJRapp
There is no sane way to describe how people with disposable income act.
I do not think that is a fair statement but it is certainly one that I hear often enough. It seems to be based on a fundamental dislike (and, perhaps, jealousy) of wealthy people. One can make analogies to cars, watches, jewelry, multiple homes, etc., and criticize the spending but, surely, others who are living a hand-to-mouth existence can make a similar criticism of any and all of our expenditures, even of a $300 AVR.
I faced this issue early in my reviewing experience (1999) when I was faced with a stack of Burmester, mbl and Levinson DACs. My first reaction was that none of them could be worth the money because, at the time, I could not see myself spending anything close to what was asked for these pieces, no matter how good they might be. What I had to do was to (1) put the prices out of mind for the basic assessment of the products and (2) realize that there are people for whom such expenditures are no more significant than was my purchase of McCormack DNA-1 power amp (~$1500 in 1994).
Since then, I have tried to avoid reviewing products that I could not afford to buy (in an effort to avoid that sticky mental bias) and to let the reader decide for himself if the DUT was affordable or not.
(BTW, when I say affordable, it includes consideration of whether one has the money as well as whether one's personal biases about such purchases. I know some extremely wealthy folks for whom the purchase of more than an HTIB is a waste of money.)