First of all what is high-end audio?
Wikipedia that evil encyclopedia made by crowd sourcing has this on the subject:
High-end audio is a class of consumer home audio equipment marketed to audiophiles on the basis of high price or quality, and esoteric or novel sound reproduction technologies. The term can refer simply to the price, to the build quality of the components, or to the subjective or objective quality of sound reproduction.
Stereotypes and points of view.
There was a time that I had to laugh at amplifiers with the price of a car or setups with the price of a new house, but these days I understand a little better some high-end buyers. Not all of them buy expensive gear because they can, some actually buy it because they really love music.
The typical stereotype of high-end buyers are rich people with too much money in their hands who want expensive toys, like soccer players or other so called stars. I’ll be sincere I still think most of the gear sold by high-end brands are for those types of “I’m the best so I want the best” kind of people but some who buy high-end worked very hard for their dream gear and those few should not be branded silly even if sometimes they fall under the pseudo-science crap and voodoo marketing BS. (Any opinion written by me without the BS word is not mine 😀 )
I’ll give you a nice example of people who buy high-end not because they enjoy expensive stuff but because they really enjoy the quality.
I’m talking about Moleskin buyers, we pay 15€ or more for a high-end notebook, most people will be happy with a cheap clone so why do people enjoy Moleskin’s so much?
Hype some say! I’m not a hype kind of guy and do try to be objective about the stuff I buy.
I would say build quality, I have a moleskin that sustained so much abuse you wouldn’t believe it if I told you. Any other clone would be in the trash by now.
I don’t feel silly for buying moleskin’s for myself and as gifts for friends and family because I know they are still using them.
Many audiophiles fall in to this category, they know they have amazing gear and it will last almost a lifetime if they don’t succumb to the upgrade virus.
Most expensive gear will take lots of abuse before going off spec.
I’m writing this not because I’ll buy high-end gear anytime soon but because I believe not all audiophiles who buy high-end gear are arrogant bastards.
People with other hobbies should not make fun of audiophiles, because car and motorcycle fanatics also spend a bucket load of money with new parts and restoring their gear.
Maybe I’m getting older but I believe people should follow their dreams, unless they want digital high-end cables! Yes, I’m evil! 😀