This article will appear on the homepage on Thursday:http://www.stereophile.com/news/hovland_calls_it_quits/
jason victor serinus
Unfortunately, this is probably going to be a regular subject for the next few years. Consumer discretionary items aren't exactly the sweet spot when the economy takes a dump.
Quote:While we wouldn't put out anything that didn't sound good, our sales figures were an acknowledgment that people who are affluent want something that is good-looking in their homes.
Now there's a company who knew what high-end audio is all about - making sure that people who are affluent have something that is good-looking in their homes.
Maybe some exotic handbag company will buy them out?
Clearly a company who was well practiced in "Voice of the Customer" and was exceptional at creating compelling value propositions.
IMHO, high-end audio is exceptionally poor when it comes to the value-proposition end of things. The ridiculous margins and over-pricing for the performance obtained really kill the value proposition, and the fact of the matter is, customers don't buy things they don't value.
I had the pleasure of hearing quite a bit of their kit and great though it was it wasn't competitive enough in terms of pricing . Heard the reference mono's last time out and was glad i'd left my credit card at home . Wonderful
Sad to hear. But I think in these recessionary times people will return to best value and names they know. Our local McIntosh, Bryston and Krell dealers are doing good business but I have noticed they have dropped some of the newer brands from their line up.
By the way - great avatar. I am huge David Sylvian/Japan fan.
I'm sorry to hear this - I probably could never afford their products but, I admire what many reviewers praised and their looks were very nice indeed. I hope someone takes up the complete line from the creditors.
There is no crime in thinking deeply and long about the aesthetics of a given piece of gear (during the design cycle).
No matter what anyone may say, aesthetics in all of it's ramifications can and usually is the #1 point in consideration of the possibility of sales in the given piece of gear. Anyone who does not pay serious attention to aesthetics -in the audio business- is either a fool, or throwing away about 50% of their potential sales.
The trick has always been combining the 110% NECESSARY aesthetics with good industrial design that serves the original electronic design package in a complementary way. That is the difficult part.