According to Forbes, there are currently 2,043 billionaires in the world with about 250 new ones joining the list every year.
Show me someone with a billion dollars and I'll show you someone or some company that will design a product to sell in support of separating billionaires from their money, like showcasing private homes ($250M) or yachts ($200M). But how about items that used to be geared more toward people like us, like home stereo equipment--record players, amplifiers, CD players, speakers and speaker wire (cable).
Full disclosure: I own a fairly exotic home audio system that while south of a mil, still retails for about $70K, so I know from where I speak.
1. Record players (turntables)
You've read the news. Vinyl is back, big time. Putting aside for the moment that roughly 40 percent of vinyl buyers never even play the record, instead they're used more like pieces of art to look at. Several companies make perfectly good turntables in the $200 to $400 range.
But, if you really got the itch (and the green) you can buy a VPI Titan turntable for about $40K. And, if you don't think that's too expensive, there's Clearaudio Statement Turntable for a mere $150K. All just to play a piece of vinyl that costs about $.99 to manufacture!
2. Phono Cartridges (needles)
A needle (cartridge) can be bought for as little as $50, but not to be used for this kind of super high-end turntable. Instead the Goldfinger Statement will put you back about $15K.
3. You say you need a pair of speakers...
You can buy a Sonos setup for your home for about $1K, which can provide sound for four or five rooms. But if you really want the best, there is the Wilson Audio WAMM Master Chronosonic. A pair of these babies will set you back a mere $685K! Of course you will then need an amplifier to power them.
Many fine amplifiers start at around $750, but for Wilson speakers you'd best look into Swissmade darTZeel NHB-458 monoblock amplifiers. They come in at around $145K.
5. CD Players
CDs are dead. Best Buy's recent departure from selling them is indicative that now it's all about streaming. Or vinyl... (Talk about the dead coming back to life.)
For kicks and giggles, let's just say you come into a couple hundred million bucks and had a great collection of CD's. What would you do? You probably would buy a DCS Vivaldi One SACD Player which only costs about $55K (in black or silver), or if you really want to up the bling, $66K for 24-carat gold plating.
6. Speaker Wire (my favorite level of insanity)
I'll start by saying that if you owned a Rolls Royce, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't buy your spark plugs at Walmart. That logic extends to the technology of speaker wire (cable). Of course the wire is not made of gold, but the information it carries from the $145K amplifiers you just bought to your $685K speakers really makes a difference.
Over the past 30 years, exotic and the ever-more expensive speaker wire has been developed to complete this insane audio system. Yes, you could easily connect the amps and speakers with wire from your local hardware store that costs about $.10 a foot, but you could also consider Nordost Odin 2 Supreme Reference Speaker Cable that will run you only about $38K for a 12-foot pair.
If this isn't enough and you still feel the need to spend a little bit more try the MIT ACC 268, which will only set you back about $80K!
Of course, once you purchase all of this insanely priced stuff you'd need to build the right sound room in your mansion. Me? I'll just stick with my own home audio system for the time being and wait for a winning lottery ticket.
Enjoy the music folks!