Comments invited: Trying to define ‘The High End’

Hi, and thanks for stopping here. Re the post below, we’d really, really like to know what you think. Have you got time to leave a comment? Thank you.

Howard Popeck / Features Editor

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This is a conundrum that we've been chewing over for some time. 'The High End' is a term that appears to have drifted over the Atlantic and is now used commonly in our circle of activity. But what does it actually mean with reference to hi-fi? For some people it seems to denote a high standard of performance and for others (perhaps more commonly) it seems to be more related to the very high price of some equipment.

Our own feelings here in the office are that it's entirely a matter of perspective. High End audio gear to someone whose sole source of music is a £50 mp3 player would probably be viewed as rather mundane kit to the likes of the average AoS member. However, in the hi-fi fraternity, the high end might be something that those people don't have an inkling even exists. So it's probably really just what we used to call 'hi-fi'!

2 thoughts on “Comments invited: Trying to define ‘The High End’

  1. In all seriousness, I would suggest that the High End is where the most coherent and complete ‘aspirational’ marketing and promotion has occurred. I think that, at a certain level, audiophiles actually know that what they are buying is a placebo, and are subconsciously really looking for the best marketing story to purchase.

    1. Hello Ray – and thank you. As usual in our communications I find I’m in agreement. Moreover you sum these things so cogently that I do feel slightly humbled. Placebos and the contrasting audiophile nocebos ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocebo ) which many audiophile ‘civilians’ don’t know about are an interest of mine. I remain convinced that in the late 1970s and early 1980s Linn’s enforcers were highly skilled in applying a suite of nocebos with both care and expertise to considerable albeit inconsistent effect. That’s a story for another time though. Kind regards ¬– Howard

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