And, all around the luxury, upscale, aspirational home, we find expensive furniture, lighting sconces, bathroom fixtures (nobody puts cheap toilets and sinks into a luxury home), etc., etc. And parked in the garage? It’s a Mercedes or BMW, plus toys like Porsches or, if you are more successful, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. That 200-mile-per-hour-capable Ferrari F 12 is certainly not purchased to drive at 200 mph, but to cruise over and show off to one’s friends at the golf club. All these status symbols exist not so much for their improved performance (that $387,000 Patek Phillipe is lucky if it keeps time as well as a $20 Timex), but for the status they convey to the owner’s friends and associates, as well as the personal pride of ownership, telling oneself that, ”I have really made it!”
Audio equipment, certainly more exciting than an $8,000 Rachiele Ultimate Kitchen Sink, has been left standing at the curb.
When we went apartment shopping a few years ago in Manhattan, we looked at over 60 luxury-priced apartments, all outfitted to the hilt with at least Viking ranges, if not La Cornues. There were exactly THREE that had what could be loosely described as an audio system: one with an entry-level luxury system, one with an inexpensive component system with floor-standing speakers (this belonged to a sports mega-star) and one with a Radio Shack subsat system. One apartment belonged to an art dealer that had very expensive paintings on the wall – and a JVC boombox.