McGowan waxes philosophic about exorbitant prices

The article w/comments. The last line in the article proper is quite telling -

From the folksy and avuncular McGowan -

Quote -
“When I judge value I look at a lot of factors: importance of the product to me, other models in the market, need, scarcity or abundance, the company story and its founder’s philosophies.”
Translation -
We charge what we do because we can get away with it.

Quote -
“What a product is worth is up to each buyer and its value to them, not what’s necessarily fair or equitable to charge.”
Translation -
F**k you. We’ll charge what we like.

The telling part is the admission that his prices are neither “fair” nor “equitable”.


It is just a justification of the market forces principle. And to be honest what he is doing is placing the responsibility at the door of the consumer. So it might seem like a f**k you to those of us who can’t spring for the more expensive stuff but it can also be seen as a thank you to those of us who can!

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Cool down guys, it’s an interesting conversation particularly the comments section.

I’m constantly amazed on the Naim forum the complaints about the cost of Roon from people who have paid more than the lifetime subscription on a power chord or 1/5 of the price of one of their interconnects (yes you read that correctly).

Naim provide most of my musical pleasure and as a company wouldn’t they be stupid not to sell items for £2400 when there are willing buyers. As customers we can decide whether to buy or not (NOT in my case).

It then amazes me that to people who do decide to spend such amounts find Roon expensive! There are a lot of nuances to why we buy what we buy and what makes us perceive value.



This is only the 2nd post I’ve made about McGowan.

You don’t have to read the post nor respond to it.

I can tell from your emotional response you must be a PSAudio consumer.

Once again, I think you’re assuming I can’t afford such equipment.

Sorry, I don’t get this logic.

I assume nothing. Try to take yourself out of the response and just read it as a straight statement. It seems one way to some, it might seem another way to others! And for the record I certainly can’t afford their stuff at RRP.


If PS Audio sold as many DACs as Apple sells iPhones they could lower the price of their DAC. Higher volume production and sales numbers leads to lower prices. R & D costs gets a bite of each unit sold.

Disclosure: I happen to own both products.

Sorry, but I must disagree.

If boutique arguments were valid then all DACs would be overpriced.

I think he chose the wrong example here. Apple has margins of 20-30x on their phones; the highest in the industry. Still people buy them as they think they are worth it. So, by the same thinking, a $100k dCS stack is bought by people who think it’s worth it (not me by the way) and I doubt if dCS makes a bigger margin than Apple.

He is a fantastic salesman. I have watched two or three of his videos. Kind of motherhood and apple pie nonsense. The Martha Stewart of Audio. I have nothing against him and only praise for his style which works. I don’t watch his stuff anymore because he really doesn’t say anything at all - at least not technically - all touchy-feely nonsense.

Great products but rather overpriced for what they are, IMHO. At least those PS Audio products that I have seen tested are really good. In many ways I prefer high priced but performs well (PS Audio) to the Schiit philosophy which is to sell rather mediocre performance at moderately high price.

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Tell us about your system. If you consider PS Audio and Schiit overpriced and/or mediocre quality, please tell us about what you consider high quality (and a good value). I own, or have owned both brands. I’ve been an enthusiast for over forty years, so I have some experience in what’s good, and what’s mediocre.

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Can you, please, tell me what your 40 years experience is telling you about what’s overpriced? (I’m just curious).
I do not have (or had) anything from PS audio or Schiit, yet my (long alike) experience rises some serious red flags about PS Audio (and many other companies for that matter) prices.

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Things I can’t afford are overpriced. Brands I use are PS Audio, Anthem, Wyred4Sound, Oppo, Bryston, Martin Logan, Meridian, Sonore, and Monitor Audio,

I have multiple PS Audio components. I find them to be an acceptable value.

OK… :grinning::grinning::grinning:

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Just an opinion, two cents if you will.

PS Audio quality is beyond reproach. You can however find some products that are equally good for less than one third the cost.

I have yet to see a Schiit product that measures competitively. They are at Gen 5 USB which says a lot about the original product quality. They have released the Schiit Eiitr that can help with older generation models. This is not encouraging. Given the quality they are IMHO moderately expensive. You can do a lot better for the same expenditure.

PS Audio is beyond reproach. I would be happy to own any of their products. I think you can equal their performance for much less but hard to find anything significantly better.

I haven’t seen good competitive measurements on any Schiit products. I would not want to own any of their products.

I reiterate. PS Audio make great components. Nothing better. Just two cents. Just a comment.

John, you should delete your post. It is the old adage if you cannot do it (or own it, in this case), then you have no business criticizing it. That is flawed argumentation.

One does not need to have owned or even to have listened to PS Audio or Schiit equipment – that is beside the point – in order to point out comparative value pricing or objective measurement shortcomings. And that is what Jeremy did.

Really, some of you need to unbunch your panties. Your carefully chosen man toys are not impervious to objective criticisms – no matter how much you like the components or brands. And they should not be simulacra for your egos.



Never buy products by measurements. How products actually sound is more important in my book. I had owned a Schiit Gumby awhile back and it was a fine DAC. Buy what you like and what you can reasonably afford.