Why Are Vintage Speakers So Expensive?

Audio equipment is priced differently for a number of different reasons. Taking time to gather enough Intel as to why something costs that much or that less is important when coming up with the final decision to buy something or not.

Vintage speakers are one thing that is usually talked about by most audiophiles and there are various reasons for this. One of the many things that audiophiles obsess about with regards to vintage speakers is their price.

One question that I usually come across from most new audio engineers is why vintage speakers cost more money to purchase as compared to some new modern speakers.

This post will therefore discuss this in order to provide some context around the topic and give you more information.

With that said, why are vintage speakers so expensive?

Vintage speakers are expensive because they’re pretty much antique. There was so much demand for them back in the old days, which made them expensive because they were in short supply. That high price effect and principle has simply maintained and the value has just been translated to current monetary terms. In addition most vintage speakers are pretty rare which makes them even more expensive nowadays.

Let’s get into more reasons as to why vintage speakers are so expensive than most speakers being produced today.

Good quality

We all know that a product is going to be highly priced if it is of good quality.

This is true for vintage speakers too.

One of the many reasons why vintage speakers are expensive is that they’re of high quality… the reason for this is that, most of them were manufactured in times when audio production was constantly trying to be improved.

Hence manufactures spent a lot of time perfecting the brand of speakers they offered in order to have a competitive advantage on the marketplace.

Granted demand for speakers was high back then but with that demand for the product also came the demand for quality.

Short supply

In this day and age you can’t simply walk into a store and buy a pair of vintage speakers because there just not alot of them floating around out there.

Most vintage speakers have to be bought pre-owned because there are in short supply.

Which is one of the reasons why they’re so expensive.

People that own them know their value and know that there’s a shortage of these speakers.

As you well know, when there’s a shortage of something, the demand for it will be high and so will its price.

This is basic economic theory.

Collectors items

Any piece of gear that is vintage and is no longer being made becomes a collectors item by default.

Because the only way to get it is from people that bought it back when it was still being manufactured.

The same goes for vintage speakers.

There are not a few of them out there and hence they’ve become collectors items.

Their antique nature makes them highly priced because sellers know that their offer is unique and pretty much scarce.

They weren’t cheap / value translation

Back in the old days speakers were technology just like spoon or folk once was.

Even back in the day, you weren’t going to buy speakers cheap. They were priced pretty high.

That value has simply been shifted to present economic situations. This is why vintage speakers seem to be massively over priced.

In real sense you’re paying what you would have paid back then, value wise.

Brand name value

We all know the power of branding and the effect that it has on how the value of a product is Perceived.

Just like you know the value of an iPhone because apple is so well branded.

Vintage speakers are also valued according to the brand name which manufactures or produces them.

Brand names like Klipsch, JBL, Harman Kardon, Bowers & Wilkins, Bose, Boston Acoustics, Acoustic Research, and Advent … are well known and their products are priced according to their brand value.

Therefore you’ll find that vintage speakers are highly priced because a specific brand made them.

They don’t make them like that anymore

We definitely have to address the elephant in the room which is that, as far as vintage speakers go? they don’t really make them like that anymore or at all.

People that sell vintage speakers know that the product they offer is one that is rare and won’t be found on the market.

Which is another reason why they won’t offer it to you at low price.

Inflation and loss of value.

Inflation is another factor that has contributed to vintage speakers being overly priced .

The power of the dollar has declined over the years which means that the value of old money and new money can’t be ratio’d out 1:1.

Harder to replicate

Vintage speakers are not easy to replicate and recreate because they used good quality parts and components that have either been phased out or cannot be found.

This is another reason why you’ll find vintage speakers to be highly priced.

The market is flooded with crap

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of low quality speakers that are floating all over the market.

The rise in product imitation and piracy has had a huge impact on the marketplace across the board.

You have to be careful when buying new gear because you could easily buy a knock off without knowing.

The fact that most modern speakers are being replicated and a lot of imitations are present in the marketplace..has made the demand for vintage speakers go even higher…making the cost of buying one equally high.