Opera Audio Consonance

Grant Fidelity's sign says "No Retail Mark-Up, Free Shipping, 1st Class Service," and "High End, Not High Prices." The products, as you might have guessed, are made in China, but what else is new? At previous shows, most of their products had the Grant Fidelity brand name; this time, it was Opera Audio Consonance. The pictured Consonance LP12.1 Die Walküre turntable can accommodate three tonearms, and, with a single W/T1288 tonearm, sells for $3200. That's not super-cheap—which actually gives me more confidence in the quality of the product. I was told that the turntable and arm are made in the same factory that manufactures the latest version of the Well Tempered turntable/tonearm.
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Comments
fy415's picture
What exactly is your job?

"That's not super-cheap—which actually gives me more confidence in the quality of the product."

Really?

Its build quality, design, and performance aren't enough for you to make a judgment? Must you rely on pricing, too? What if this company sells this exact table/arm setup for $13,200 instead of $3,200--would you be more confident then? Surely you know that prices can be inflated for reasons other than improved quality.

What you wrote above implicitly encourages manufacturers to keep prices high, because, you know, it makes people feel more confident in their products.

You diminish your credibility as a professional audio equipment reviewer/writer by writing this nonsense. On the positive side, you do sound like an industry shill.

Robert Deutsch's picture
What Price Audio?

In a review, the evaluation of a product is determined by its performance and the value it represents compared to its competition. I'm always on the lookout for products that represent an unusually high performance-to-price ratio, like the GoldenEar Triton Two that I reviewed in the February issue.

But a show report is not a review. For a product on static display, all you can do is give a brief description, provide a photo, and perhaps make some tentative observations. Grant Fidelity has always touted their ultra-low prices: at the 2010 SSI, their sign said "Nothing Over $2500," and most of their products were well below that price. So my first thought upon seeing that at $3200 the Opera Consonance turntable/tone arm combo was that this is not "super-cheap." Is the price reasonable? Does the Opera Consonance represent good performance for the price? That would be up to a review to determine.

And what about correlation between price and price/performance? I believe that when it comes to audio equipment--and, in fact, most products that people buy--you *generally* get what you pay for. This means that the average $2000 speaker is likely to sound better than the average $200 one. The correlation, while positive, is less than perfect, and some relatively inexpensive products may sound as good or better than some more expensive ones. These are the ones I'm always hoping to discover, and I don't assume that a higher price *necessarily* means higher quality. There are also products whose high price can only be justified by brand cachet or prestige. These are not products I'm interested in. What I meant by saying that the not-super-low price of the Opera Consonance gave me more confidence in the quality of the product is that, given that Grant Fidelity built its reputation on value, it's likely that the somewhat higher-than-expected price represented correspondingly higher product quality. But, again, that would be for a review to determine. (And, since I've never reviewed a turntable or a tone arm, the review is not likely to come from me!)

 

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