On Mono & Stereo systems

I follow Mono & Stereo magazine on Instagram for hifi porn thrills, but have noticed that virtually every photo is of kit I’ve never heard of before. There seem to be an awful lot of expensive boutique hifi manufacturers.

Is there really such a big market for these things? It must be expensive producing this equipment and there can’t be that many buyers surely?

I admit I’m a hifi ignoramus so it may well be that many of the makes aren’t as obscure as I think they are, but I don’t think I ever see the names mentioned anywhere else or even twice by M&S.

Probably a small one

Hence the boutique pricing…

I’m certainly aware of the vast majority of the names, in part from having done Munich. I think Asia is a big target market for a lot of these firms, where serious Hifi is more widely considered aspirational.

I also suspect that some of the really high end brands have a pricing structure built around selling fewer than 10-20 units per year. Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were firms out there who arrange their break even point on just their dealer network buying demo stock.


I was surprised at how many Kondo Ginga’s were actually made / sold (I heard 30). For the real micro high end, the stakes are high.

Yeah, I wonder how many of those £192,000 CD players that Audio Note had were actually sold.

Many, many, many.

What you fail to understand…



Marketing 101. Flagship products are designed to be aspirational ’ baited hooks’ for the ‘brand’. The cash cows are often lower value volume sellers. The micro brands selling ultra high end only, really need to have some backing / connections / exceptional quality to reach the often mystical white whale punter.
The time + R&D (Money bonfire) that goes into some of these products is really not for the faint of heart (Unless they have an external revenue stream that is looking for a tax write off)