you thought those $600 speakers for your iPod were
expensive, you ain't seen nothing yet. Hammacher Schlemmer has released the Studio-Quality Triode-Tube iPod Speakers at
a mere $3999.95. No, that's not a typo, they want you to spend four thousand dollars on a speaker set for your iPod.
Okay, take a minute and breathe. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. Better?
Now, at least for the $4000 you get a nice device. From the product description:
"...the system consists of an aluminum-encased amplifier housing four powerful Class-A tubes which glow gently as they generate warm, low-octave sound that is virtually distortion-free, considered by audiophiles to be the most pleasing to the human ear. The tube amplifier smoothes over distortions found in modern digital recordings while helping to compensate and minimize the quality loss inherent in compressed audio such as MP3s."
So it's not like it's a $100 "antique" chair marked up to $5000 and being sold in some Upper East Side furniture store. There's some real tech involved.
If there's one thing I've learned living in NYC (and consulting for the rich and famous), it's that some people will buy anything if it's marked up high enough and perceived as a "luxury" item. I have to believe that this falls clearly in that category.