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Scandinavian moderation versus Bang & Olufsen

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seethroughyou
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seethroughyou Posted: Wed, May 31 2017 1:04 PM
Graemeben quote from another thread:

"My conclusion was while I liked just about everything in the store, I didn't actually want anything. The whole price structure was, to me, simply far above what even a keen B&O client would expect. I suspect anyone unfamiliar with the brand would probably feel the same. The extreme example of this was the Avant 85 and Beolab 90 on display, together total cost around £72k. All beautiful pieces of kit but totally beyond most people's reach. Further down the range the pricing, to me anyway, is so out of touch for most people on the high street, given there is so much choice with the competitors."

This sums up my feeling about my beloved B&O. As I said before, you could by a top B&O TV 15-20 years ago (some still operational today) for 2-3 times the price of a Sony/Panasonic etc... or a pair top speakers or a audio system that competed with the best out there for 2-3 times more but we now find ourselves in the land of gold plated speakers, TVs costing 10-15 times that of their usual competitors and loudspeakers costing 5-6 times the best studio monitors out there. I always took B&O as being instilled with Scandinavian modesty and moderation. You could be a multi-milllionaire in Scandinavia but you'd still cycle to work, sit in the same office as your juniors, eat in the same canteen, send your kids to the same school and drive a Volvo but instead B&O has gone all 1980s oil Sheikh or Donald Trump on us. In 2004, I bought a Beolab 5 for £10,000 and this took my breath away; i never even envisaged spending that amount of money. I've spoken to some studio chaps and they think I'm barking mad and say you can spend less to get just as good if not better sound from some monitors but I want the industrial design and form not some massive black monitors in my delicate living room so willing to pay abbot more for the aesthetics but what on earth are B&O thinking when they ask £60,000 for some BL90s or £25,000 for BL50s...where is is the Scandinavian ethos of modesty, moderation, quality without diamond encrusted pricing and design?
andy_js
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andy_js replied on Wed, May 31 2017 1:49 PM

There is a lot of choice but it's mostly the same.  B&O are really the only company offering something different.  Who else makes anything even remotely close to the Beovision 11 or 14?

Things are getting out of hand though.  I was quoted £650 for delivery and installation of new Beovision 14.  I think that's a bit over the top.  You could buy a TV for that.

seethroughyou
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That's the first I've heard a dealer charging for delivery. Delivery and plug and play only installation is free of charge and included. Greed, pure greed.
Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Wed, May 31 2017 2:45 PM

while i agree with these price evolutions, i think this does represent a broader shift in retail, as the middle market retailers / brands have suffered, while low end and high end have generally done quite well.....you only need to look at two markets i know quiet well, watches and high end fashion.....while catwalk pieces would always have cost 1000GBP+ and not been on the radar of the vast majority, now there are plenty of high end fashion brands who sell to the public through normal channels who charge over 1000 GBP for a jumper or somesuch (look at Thom Browne, Dior, Tom Ford and a host of others)....in watches something similar, where while Rolex prices may not have increased as severely, it very easy to find swiss brands who start their range at 20K and go up to 50+, and its not hard to find production (non-vintage) pieces close to 100K......

there are risks involved in ultra high end marketing, it can work.......the European fashion brands have been well served by Asian buyers, where there isn't much competition....the risk for B&O is that there is competition, so ultimately i agree, that Play products aside, the truer B&O experience shouldn't be priced for the uber wealthy alone......

StUrrock
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StUrrock replied on Wed, May 31 2017 2:47 PM
seethroughyou:

That's the first I've heard a dealer charging for delivery. Delivery and plug and play only installation is free of charge and included. Greed, pure greed.

That is from the "good" old days, B&O tom my knowledge actively encourage dealers to charge for installation.

Quite frankly with the reduced product margins these days, if your dealer isn't charging for delivery and installation they will probably go bust.

It's certainly not greed in the part of the dealer, i can assure you.
Mike
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Mike replied on Wed, May 31 2017 5:45 PM

i totally agree with the first post.

just look at the price rise from one year to the other (for one and the same product, without any improovement)....

Duels
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Duels replied on Wed, May 31 2017 6:34 PM
Mike:

i totally agree with the first post.

just look at the price rise from one year to the other (for one and the same product, without any improovement)....

I know U.K. prices have increased but that is at least in part due to exchange rates. Have prices elsewhere gone up too?
Millemissen
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seethroughyou:

I always took B&O as being instilled with Scandinavian modesty and moderation. You could be a multi-milllionaire in Scandinavia but you'd still cycle to work, sit in the same office as your juniors, eat in the same canteen, send your kids to the same school and drive a Volvo but instead B&O has gone all 1980s oil Sheikh or Donald Trump on us.

I am sorry, but you don't seem to know Denmark/Scandinavia very well.

On the other hand that is the impression, that many (official) danes seems to want you to have - so you might be excused ;-(

personally I would like to question how true that is in real life.

---

By the way - 5 years ago the BV7-55 did cost way more than the rumoured (?) price of the coming OLED-BV.

I paid quite a bit more for my BV8-40 as I would have to pay for a Horizon 40" today.

A set of the BL18's cost roundabout 15 % more than the BL8002 did 6 years - by increased SQ and functionallity (and inflation).

Maybe your trouble/problem is, that you don't like (or need), what B&O makes today?

 

MM

 

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

seethroughyou
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Yes, aside from everything else which you've said which I disagree on, we are agreed that I don't like a lot of what B&O make now. I also find that you lack any attempt at neutral thought. Even B&O staff will admit to faults or problems with their approach or products by at every turn you seem to defend the indefensible. It's like having TripEnglish version 2 on the forum. Still, this makes the forum more varied, challenging and stimulating.
elephant
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elephant replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 10:36 AM
I miss TripEnglish Sad

BeoNut since '75

Duels
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Duels replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 11:49 AM
What or who is TripEnglish?
Puncher
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Puncher replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 12:39 PM

Duels:
What or who is TripEnglish?

He was a US store employee who strongly maintained that the company's future lay in multi-hundred thousand dollar installations for the megarich and that we, the great unwashed, were an unfortunate stain on the company's history but were no more.

Guess what happened to him!!!

Ban boring signatures!

elephant
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elephant replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 12:41 PM
Puncher:

He was a US store employee who strongly maintained that the companies future lay in multi-hundred thousand dollar installations for the megarich and we, the great unwashed, were an unfortunate stain on the companies history but were no more.

Guess what happened to him!!!

Ban boring signatures!

And he was knowledgeable with a wicked sense of humour

BeoNut since '75

Puncher
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Puncher replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 12:43 PM

elephant:
I miss TripEnglish Sad

I can supply a shotgun, it's much harder to!

Ban boring signatures!

Duels
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Duels replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 12:57 PM
Thank you puncher and elephant.

Maybe he's off surfing with PaulW. Wink
seethroughyou
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In a way I miss him as well. I like the diversity of opinion even if it challenges me. Millemissen helps and supports the forum a great deal and unlike me is one of the busiest contributors here.
Millemissen
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seethroughyou:
I like the diversity of opinion even if it challenges me. Millemissen helps and supports the forum a great deal and unlike me is one of the busiest contributors here.

Thanks for your kind words.

I will not deny, that I prefer wearing this hat - even if it is out of date nowadays on Beoworld Whistle

MM

 


There is a tv - and there is a BV.

davidr
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davidr replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 6:31 PM

Duels:

I know U.K. prices have increased but that is at least in part due to exchange rates. Have prices elsewhere gone up too?

Not sure about US but Canadian prices border on absurd.

BL5 are around 50K w/ tax, BL18 13K, BL20 25K, Avant 75 30k, Moment 5k each cable is minimum 50$.

No wonder b&o mainline retail operations are not exactly flying off the floor. Seriously I can and do save >50% by buying directly from EU, shipping and taxes in! Why buy locally when the local guy doesn't do trades, charges for 'delivery and installation' and basically adds no value?

Like stated, I barely have an interest in their current offerings, Shape being at least interesting. Again who are they marketing to?

  • Audiophools dismiss b&o because they're stuck in the 1960s with tube monoblock amps, lots of boxes, big rectangles and vinyl. b&o has nothing for them.
  • "hifi" folks like myself, find idiosyncratic offerings for a very premium price. b&o somewhat addressed with current line up however there's no 'real' music system. BeoSound shape being as close to a complete system for once in a long time.
  • Casual 'lifestyle' who don't happen to drive up in a Bentley will find b&o simply so far our of reach. b&o play = Sonos/Bose or another 'traditional' brand 10x less.

Anyway I am not trying to hammer on them just trying to understand what kind of customer they're looking for?

Duels
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Duels replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 7:39 PM
That's crazy. That is almost double the UK sterling price. Wow. Just wow!
Dillen
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Dillen replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 7:58 PM

davidr:

  • Casual 'lifestyle' who don't happen to drive up in a Bentley will find b&o simply so far our of reach. b&o play = Sonos/Bose or another 'traditional' brand 10x less.

... just trying to understand what kind of customer they're looking for?

 

The guy who drives up in a Bentley?
The guy who bought a Bentley, not because he needed a car?

Martin

kallasr
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kallasr replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 9:08 PM
As long as it helps B&O to survive it makes it a valid strategy, doesn't it?

Maybe it is their niche? Wish it was bigger and more affordable...

Sure B&O is not as "mainstream" Big Smile as before, but fast moving technology makes it very difficult to keep up with the pace as a small company. Especially if design is more and more about GUIs and software.

The premium to pay vs. other brands is just too high for me. Still like the speakers, AVR (Beosystem 3/4) and the PUC idea using their great remotes.

The idea about motorized stands with intelligent speakers to add a screen of your choice sounds great!

Ralf

Living Room: Beosystem 4, Beolab 7-6 (Center), Beolab 8000 (Fronts and Rears) and Beolab 2. Screen: Panasonic TX-P65STW60
Home Cinema: Beosystem 4, Beolab 7-2 (Center), Beolab Penta 2 (Fronts), Beolab 4000 (Rears) and Beolab 2. Projector: Sony VPL-HW55
Home Office: Beovision 10-40 on STB Bracket wall mount masterlinked to Beosound 9000 MK3 on horizontal wall bracket driving Beolab 5000 Speakers
Bedroom: Loewe TV with Beolab 6002 and Beolab 11 (all White)
In storage: Beolab 5000/Beomaster 5000 (1960s). 

StUrrock
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Millemissen:

Thanks for your kind words.

I will not deny, that I prefer wearing this hat - even if it is out of date nowadays on Beoworld

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

MM

keep on being.......

just you.

Your are one of the reasons I still return to Beoworld.
Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Thu, Jun 1 2017 9:35 PM

+1

some members are sensitive to others being too defensive of B&O, many members though are perhaps too critical of the brand at the same time (they've clearly made some poor mistakes), but still.........deep breath and perspective.....

StUrrock
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Puncher:

He was a US store employee who strongly maintained that the company's future lay in multi-hundred thousand dollar installations for the megarich and that we, the great unwashed, were an unfortunate stain on the company's history but were no more.

Guess what happened to him!!!

Ban boring signatures!

Always enjoyed reading TripEnglish's contributions but if his opinions/advice were followed, is it true that business bankruptcy might ensue.

Was he brainwashed by a Scandinavian audio manufacturer?
Sl3ipner
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Sl3ipner replied on Tue, Jun 6 2017 12:02 PM

"In 2004, I bought a Beolab 5 for £10,000 and this took my breath away; i never even envisaged spending that amount of money. I've spoken to some studio chaps and they think I'm barking mad and say you can spend less to get just as good if not better sound from some monitors.."

Just proves that "studio chaps" are fully capable of making sh** music really. You might want to refere to "Loudness War" and "Dynamic Range". The Beolab 5 surpasses any studio monitors by a large margin.

seethroughyou
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Sl3ipner:

"Just proves that "studio chaps" are fully capable of making sh** music really. You might want to refere to "Loudness War" and "Dynamic Range". The Beolab 5 surpasses any studio monitors by a large margin.

This comment just reflects little about the recording industry. The loudness war and dynamic range is driven by record companies primarily wanting their recordings to a) sound louder than others b) sound loud in cars/headphones where there's high ambient noise. The recording engineers have little say on this matter and are treated like mere minions. Thankfully some studios are fighting back and trying their best to reverse the loudness war but it is an uphill struggle in the world of Justin Bieber played on iPhones and in cars. As for Beolab 5, they are phenomenal speakers but even Geoff Martin would admit when pressed that they weren't sound engineered for neutral monitoring.
Sl3ipner
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Very soon we will be at risk of discussing what "correct" sound is hehe. Lets avoid that :)

There are a bunch of parameters that defines (or at least can be discussed as defining) good loudspeakers. Flat response curves (neutrality) (in a near field) is but one of them.

The Beolabs has so much more than the studio monitors I can think of. Anyway mood point really, as we both hare happy with the Beolabs :) 

 

Sl3ipner
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Very soon we will be at risk of discussing what "correct" sound is hehe. Lets avoid that :)

There are a bunch of parameters that defines (or at least can be discussed as defining) good loudspeakers. Flat response curves (neutrality) (in a near field) is but one of them.

The Beolabs has so much more than the studio monitors I can think of. Anyway mood point really, as we both hare happy with the Beolabs :) 

 

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