Complain all you like about the Power Plant 12 costing $5,000 in the USA. It now costs the equivalent of $6,800 in the UK and there are no discounts or trade-ins.
Even if PS Audio did a trade-in policy in the UK it wouldn’t make much difference. There are two big dealer/distributors that run sister used businesses so offer good trade-ins, and I’;ve had no problem selling used items. My old P3 went a chap in Germany, I’ve sent Quad amps to Norway, plus local collection sales.
I was seriously looking at the P12 earlier this year, but at £5,000 it just did not make sense, and that is before a recent 5% price increase. Part of the reason is I spoke to a couple of dealers and could not get a demo unit. Based on a review, I replaced by P3 with a Shunyata conditioner and three cables for a total of £3,700.
I got a slightly discount on the Shunyata, but the % differential between UK and USA pricing at retail price is much the same for PS Audio and Shunyata. The big difference is that PS Audio USA customers seem to be used to getting a discount of 30% or more.
In the UK, and I understand most of Europe, prices are largely fixed. You know where you stand. It makes decisions easier. You can also count of current items having a resale value of about 60%, older models about 40%, slightly more for popular brands and less for anything esoteric or containing tubes.
My guess is that overall PS audio is taking the right approach, but may have to rethink their pricing.
Hopefully the Octave software will kick-start a range of Stellar streaming DAC pre-amp products. I see the bigger problem is that streaming and Class D amplification obviates the need for multiple boxes, which only add to cost and distortion connecting them. There are some fantastic products out there already, like the NAD M32, which has modular phono and BluOS options. BluOs is a tough act to beat. This device, like Devialet, converts all inputs to PCM 24/192, keeping analogue signalling to the absolute minimum, making the unit more compact and reducing distortion.
I’m also of the view that if you have a display, it must be readable from 15 feet away, otherwise don’t bother.
There are great products from relative upstarts like Mytek, Auralic and iFi. Personally, I think hifi stacks will soon disappear from the mid-market.