Crazy Expensive Stuff From The New York High-End Audio Show

Every year, unbeknownst to most of the public, the most outrageous and amazing pieces of audio equipment are tossed (see: very carefully placed) into one hotel for The New York Audio & AV Show. This is not the kinda stuff you get at Best Buy or hook up to the turntable you bought from Urban Outfitters. This is the stuff for the hardcore audio fan who happens to have deep pockets. So we figured, “Hey, why don’t we go and make ourselves feel like crap?” So we did, and here’s some of the most insanely expensive (yet incredibly awesome) items we found:


YG Acoustics Anat III Professional Signature Loudspeakers in Custom Titanium Finish
If you have to make a decision between buying a pair of speakers and sending your child to college, you know you’re seriously considering top-of-the-line equipment. They’re one of the most accurate loudspeakers in the world, and they’re custom finished in titanium, cause why the hell not when you’re dropping six figures on speakers. More info


Brinkmann Balance Turntable
This isn’t the turntable covered in cobwebs resting in your parents’ attic, unless your parents are frickin’ awesome! The Brinkmann Balance is far more aesthetically pleasing than most old (and new for that matter) turntables. More info


Ayon Triton II Integrated Amplifier
Tube amps just look sweet. They add a nice focal point to your audio setup. With the Ayon Triton II, you can have that for the cost of an affordable new car. More info


Kaiser Vivace High Performance Loudspeaker in Lamborghini Orange
Reason with yourself this way: They’re far less expensive than an actual Lamborghini. Well, maybe not FAR less. More info


Transparent Reference XL Speaker Cables
Remember when you bought your last piece of home theater equipment and the sales guy tried to convince you to upgrade to Monster Cables for an extra 50 bucks? You probably stood there quickly debating the merits of laying out that kind of green for some cables, right? So, just to reiterate, these cost $12,000. More info


Dan D’Agostino Momentum Monoblock Amplifier
We thought these were car parts when we saw them. If they were, they’d be the most expensive part of your car (unless you had a diamond platted engine block). More info


Scaena Loudspeakers
If you’re in the market for crazy expensive speakers but you feel all the wooden cabinets are too stuffy and old for your pad, Scaena is your modern option. Of course, you could decide to purchase over a thousand Bose Jewel Cubes instead. More info


Kronos Turntable
The two platters on this turntable rotating in opposite directions made it one of the coolest sights at the show, and with only 250 being made, one gentleman said he thought it would cost far more than it does. He then put on his gold-rimmed monocle and walked away. More info


Cessaro Affascinate I SE Hi-Fi Loudspeakers
These are definitely not the little speakers you hide around a room to give off surprising sound. You have to move your couch back a few feet just to make room for the horns on these bad boys. Of course, unless you just won the lottery, you probably won’t have to worry about that. More info


Audio Note TT-2 Deluxe Turntable
We wouldn’t go so far as to say this turntable is “cheap,” but in comparison to the rest of the vinyl players at the show, its price tag leaves your eyeballs firmly planted in your skull.  More info


Woo Audio 234 Mono-block Headphone & Speaker Amp
Plug your headphones into this guy, and you’ll realize everything you’ve listened to on your Beats By Dre alone sounds like flaming hot garbage. If buying those cans stretched your budget though, you may want to skip this headphone amp. More info


Well Rounded Sound Speakers
Wait a second! Something we can almost afford?! If you’re looking for something to pick up that was on display at the show, these eco-friendly, wooden speakers are our pick. More info



  • Lars

    This constitutes a whole chapter in the book, “Wealth for Dummies”.

    I admire the craft and execution of these products. Likely, they even play music, musically.

    For speaker wire, I use RadioShack 18 gauge. (look it up)
    My interconnects are made from Mil Spec coax at $2.00 a foot. Does anyone think that recording studios use $11,000 interconnects? Think about it.

    Good sound is out there. It still costs money, just not that kind of money. A chipamp kit will run $100 and perform as well as ANY amp in its power range. Pay someone to make a product from the same parts and they will charge $1000, $2000, $3000 depending on how much worthless metal and marketing they employ.

  • Nelson

    More money than brains. This stuff would appeal to the Hollywood crowd.

  • Will L

    14 gauge is really the smallest wire you should use; but yeah, silly cables for silly people.

    And yes, the Tripath-chip amps by are Very good.

    You can even get a Lepai LP2020A+ and throw about $20 in mods at it, mostly caps.

  • Jeff D

    Hey, nice coverage! Glad you enjoy the show.

    I see the usual crop of grumps complaining about the price tag. Get over it. And remember, the people that CAN afford this stuff are usually pretty smart cookies.

  • TorresD30

    I wonder if any of those turntables will play 78 RPM records?

  • Lauch

    Shame you didn’t bother to comment on the sound.

    Expensive? Many spend this kind of dough on cars, boats, alcohol and drugs … why comment on how others spend their money? It only shows your own lack of depth.

    Differentiating among hi-end components requires a subjective opinion, not an engineering degree. There is good sound to be found at moderate price, too, but these components are the thoroughbreds of the industry.

    BTW: try some hi-end cables in a decent system, and you will hear the difference.

  • hudson

    “BTW: try some hi-end cables in a decent system, and you will hear the difference.”


  • Screen Paint HD

    Those Transparent Reference XL Speaker Cables are crazy! $12K? Seriously? For Cables?