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February 2011
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Quality Has Its Price
"Cheap" is not the same as "value for money".

 

HIGH END 2011The highest possible quality in rendering sound and image. This is the aim uniting the exhibitors at the HIGH END, the meeting point for aficionados of high-quality entertainment electronics.

 

  "It is unwise to pay too much, but it‘s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money; that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The laws of economics prohibit paying a little and getting a lot. If you accept the lowest bid, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough money to pay for something better." -- John Ruskin (1819–1900), English social reformer

 

Cheap Is The Motto!
Every day, consumers are bombarded with the scrooge's slogan. Prominent advertising icons show us how to shop shrewdly and sharply. The bargain hunter sees himself reaping the rewards. He is the hard-boiled, sly fox; the wheeler-dealer who can smell savings from a mile away! His imaginary crest becomes a peacock's fan, and his soul basks in pleasure. After all, he's not stupid, and now he can show it off for everyone to see. Less glamorous, however, are the consequences of this low-budget buzz. Eggs and cheap meat from industrial factory farming are contaminated with dioxins. Workers from low-wage countries produce houses which barely hold up the roof. Cheap furniture is saturated with formaldehyde, and tankers sailing under flags of convenience jeopardize marine life in oceans everywhere.

Attention-seeking, shrill advertisements, and general insecurity, have produced a consumer mentality which has made the price the sole measure of all things. Discount retailers are booming, something which is making our urban shopping centers a sad experience. According to an online survey conducted by Dialego, a market research institute from Aachen, four out of five Germans have already shopped at discount retailers. Long distances, bad buys due to amateurish advice, and a dearth of service are all endured in the assumption a bargain is being made. Alongside low-income households, bargain hunters from all social strata can be found among such consumers. When shopping, many consumers still get their biggest kick from the low price.

Over the last few years, it often seemed that low prices dominated in the audio and video markets. The competition for customers has been overshadowed by a dubious claim: cheap is cheerful is running rife. However, there are still any number of specialists and consumers not looking to buy cheap, but rather better. Not everyone has forgotten that better products are preferable, and that it is worth the search for premium-quality components for rendering sounds and images, because these types of products provide their owners with even more pleasure.

Spending money on "art" in the form of paintings, sculptures etc has become a matter of course and an inherent part of our cultural life. Good wine and good food, attending concerts and plays – we can be proud of this standard of living! In contrast, the owner of a stereo system costing several thousand Euros has often been pitifully derided as a poseur by friends and family, even though this stereo system made it possible to tune out of everyday life any time. Depreciation in value, as is the case with many other "luxury items", is nothing to worry about. The money has been invested well. Of course, "luxury" like this is also a matter of personal taste. If someone needs to categorize it, then they're not ready for it. And if someone asks where they can buy it cheaper, they won't want to afford it anyway. If it doesn't suit the lifestyle and ambience, it can occasionally go wrong, becoming embarrassing, flashy, or even technically over-the-top pomp.

Sociologically speaking, it is of great interest why those people in our society who call themselves "culture vultures", who visit socially "relevant" concerts, who are owner/occupiers and drive high-end automobiles, often keep an – at best – substandard, ten-year old stereo system with loudspeakers hidden behind the curtains. The average German's stereo system is 10 years old. A representative survey by TNSInfratest on behalf of High End Society could reveal the following facts:

• 15.8 percent of those interviewed declared that their current stereo was from 11 to 19 years old, and 13.1 percent had a stereo that was more than 20 years old.

• This makes two conclusions possible: in the entertainment electronics sector, many people obviously don‘t feel the need to own the latest technology, and many systems are obviously still fully functional even after decades of use.

• "A good stereo system sometimes stays in the house longer than your own children" comments Kurt W. Hecker, Chairman of the Committee of the HIGH END SOCIETY e.V. (Association for High-Quality Entertainment Electronics), on the results.

 

Somewhere in the world, there's always someone making even poorer quality, and selling it a little cheaper, and those people who only focus on the price deserve to be the prey of such manipulation.

Real quality counts. That is certainly true of people who appreciate genuine high-quality sound and pictures. High-end products greatly benefit from positive associations of quality, precision, reliability and exclusivity. This is why the exhibition is named "HIGH END". It offers an ideal forum for presenting products from home entertainment electronics. A love of music often moves you to look for products that are of a particular quality, rather than being content with something more ordinary. If you enjoy music consciously rather than merely listening to it without much thought, you develop a special appreciation of high-quality home entertainment electronics. If you are looking for better sounds and images, HIGH END cannot fail to be a source of inspiration for you. The exhibition has everything to make the heart of the most discerning listener miss a beat – because only the best quality can make a lasting impression. When better is just not good enough. "While the world very much needs the average, it is the exceptional which teaches us what we should treasure." This philosophy defines what the HIGH END is all about.

The meeting place for all those who appreciate quality in entertainment electronics is HIGH END.

The HIGH END in Munich is for lovers of premium entertainment electronics what the Swiss car showroom is for fans of four-wheeled bolides.

 

About The HIGH END Show
Germany's High End Society will be celebrating 30 years of their HIGH END show in 2011! As Europe's largest and most famous trade fair for high-quality consumer electronics, connoisseurs of high-quality consumer electronics have the opportunity to admire the industry's latest developments at the High End show in Munich. The Munich Operation Center (M.O.C.) in the North of Munich has played host to the show since 2004 and this year will take place from May 19th through the 22nd. This once exclusive yet limited show for sound enthusiasts, which took place in a hotel within Frankfurt, has greatly expanded and developed into a large multimedia event. While the High End show is an important platform for manufacturers and distributors to meet, visitors can experience first-hand the finest and most spectacular equipment on the market. Approximately 800 brands will be on display in Munich, represented from more than 250 exhibitors from all over the world.

Where: Munich Operation Center (M.O.C.) in Germany
When: May 19th through the 22nd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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