I believe that, what really disgraces designers of the so called "Hi-End" stuff, is the usual lack of sensitivity as for the world's sensitive pockets. So stupidly blind about what's coming? The aforementioned three day show of 2009, or -to put it correctly- Audio & Video products 2009 exhibition, had some main characteristics, such as:
- Almost no modest systems playing and being proposed for visitors with prices written beside them.
- Reference systems covering at least half the number of the exhibitors' rooms, costing usually the price of 1-5 Mercedes-Benz cars together (plenty of them much above 100.000 euros...).
- Thousands of visitors getting around the 4 floors of a large hotel, more than 90% of them with an income -IMHO- less than half of the average American or European visitor's one. None of them seemed to be interested in buying. Just to spend a day, or two, killing time and boredom... So noisy almost all of them, when gathering in a room for auditioning...
- Most exhibitors would be absent during lunch or rest, leaving behind relatives, young dolls or helpers of minimum or not at all technical knowledge about their exhibits.
- The magazines, the dealers/distributors and the press stating the "Tremendous Success" of the show.
- The thousands of leaflets/prospects of various products, that almost ceased to exist towards the end of the first day, carried away by visitors. A very nice way to accompany your evening tea or coffee time at home...
- The -last but not least- hidden agony of "selling something" or of "..is he really interested" in the eyes of the exhibitors, trying to scan our intentions.
So much money and time wasted. So many new products exhibited, So many people coming in and going out, chit-chating and commenting. But no sales, no orders, no follow-up visits to stores, not a handful of results...
I do not wish to compliment Harbeth for what they do or how they do it. Nor I would like to defend them. I just know I can easily afford to buy from them (which of course I've already done), while I need to spend just a little more to drive their speakers to life more than well.
And certainly -at least for the time being- I would strongly disagree with any criticism against them, should anyone keep it for those who spend "Money for Nothing". Respect of the vast consumer society, cultured or not cultured, comes firstly from self-respect as a designer, a maker or a seller.
I'm sorry, I don't intend to pay a visit to the next year's show. If I want anything, I'll go myself to the local Harbeth dealer, or any other dealer, where I can face- to- face examine "what is what".
I thought that music reproduction should be an affordable door to every soul on this earth, not a privilege for Lords or Magisters of any kind... But seems like the "Magicians of quality equipment" have forgotten it...
Thanks for reading my point of view,