Originally Posted by Maxvla
I guarantee if Sony made an effort to bring back the R10, or something similar (less reliant on specific things like the bio drivers and a specific wood, please) that actually sounded good they would easily sell every unit they made.
If Ultrasone can sell out a production run of Edition 10s at $2700 and sound like complete crap, Sony can sell a good sounding headphone for $3000+. The kicker is that most of the research is already done, they just need to adapt to new materials and production methods.
By the way, it's not just 50 year olds buying high end headphones. The meets and tradeshows I've been to show high end headphones are mostly purchased by 20-40 year olds. Speakers still hold true to the high end being mostly for older people, but then again, a high end headphone rig is a mere $10k at most, usually, where a high end speaker rig starts at more than double that.
There's a few things that stand out from your post:
1. If it sounds good that is, but no one's here judging that good sounding headphones aren't a profitable asset in return back to the manufacturer, everybody loves a good product.
2. Moar expensive doesn't equal better. The Abyss is a prime candidate as an example.
3. Although the research has been done, but it's completely different to one of the cycles in product deployment and that is implementation. Who says Sony doesn't have there old design papers still for the design of the R10? Look at Stax, the second time the company was brought back to life, most of there old stuff was junked and lost, I mean they don't even know if the SR-2 was an actual e-stat model as it isn't even listed in there history timeline. New materials and production methods means different sound (not always necessary), the CD3k I use own were never the best headphones even in this modern day, they don't excel in detail retrieval that even my HD600's capable of producing better, no... but what stands out about them is the unique sound signature and certain entities of it's sound that make's it a legend of a headphone and still sought after those that are collectors, ex-owners or those curious, no modern headphone I have owned/heard has been able to reproduce or replace the sound I very much liked from them. Properties of materials have a bigger affect then just simple tuning you were taught in class 101.
4. I know it's not just 50 year old's buying headphones it was a cultural stereotypical example of those seen getting into high end gear, generally older or more mature folks. You don't see much if any 18-20 year olds owning a BHSE + 009 or Orpheus set now do you?