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Loewe Individual Compose 40 White 40in LCD TV - Loewe Individual Compose 40
Now for some bad, if hardly unpredictable, news: all the flexibility, build quality and uniquely bespoke elements of the Compose 40 don't come cheap. At all. Brace yourselves…
Just the White Compose 40 screen alone will set you back around £3,825. Then the white Sound Projector option costs another £1,220, with the white subwoofer unit adding another £580 on top of that. If you want the latest Media Player upgrade, meanwhile, you'll be shelling out £220. Last, but not least, the 'Floor Stand 5' silver pole option we used with our review sample costs £530. In other words, if you want to buy the total package used for our tests, you're looking at £5,375 all in.
This eye-watering price is clearly hugely intimidating to most ordinary folk, and will likely be enough to cause many reviewers and editors to choke into their soupy black coffees and instantly declare this full White Compose 40 system a complete waste of money.
But you know, I personally think that a gut reaction of that sort rather misses the point. For Loewe simply doesn't make TVs for the price-driven mass market. Instead its design ethic, build quality, attention to detail, brand image and unprecedented flexibility make its TVs truly unique (always a valuable position) in the AV world; perfectly suited to the ‘money's no object' tastes of the relatively rich and famous.
It's also fair to say that as with any relatively niche operation Loewe can't enjoy the same economies of scale as the likes of Sony or Panasonic. Next, white paint finishes and lacquering are notoriously difficult - so expensive - to achieve consistency with (hence the White Compose 40 costs around £800 more than a 'standard' Compose 40). Finally, it's pretty obvious that having to make and store such a wide variety of finish options, different stand types, add-in feature modules and even multi-coloured inlay panels is bound to be a seriously expensive business.
In other words, trying to put Loewe TVs into anything like the same price melting pot as a 'normal' TV really is both unfair and ultimately futile when you actually stop to think about market realities for more than a few seconds. Of course, none of this alters for a minute the fact that most of you reading this wouldn't dream of spending so much money on a 40in TV, but clearly there is a market of well-heeled AV aesthetes out there who can afford such a sum - and probably quite comfortably, at that.
And anyway, if these are the sort of prices Loewe needs to charge in order to keep offering something genuinely different from the sometimes rather grey and homogenous world of the mainstream TV market, so be it. For if the current obsession with price - however understandable - leads to a TV market devoid of innovative and original design thinking, the world will surely be a poorer place. So there!