Let me twist that just a pinch: What comparable speaker in drivers and layout from each manufacturer would compare best? Then look at the price and try to rationalize how much more the Joseph may cost because it is in the dealer network and mark-ups are added. That would essentially be close to what the Salk would cost if Jim sold through a dealer network. There is the possibility that someone would pay the higher cost if toe-to-toe comparisons revealed that they preferred the Joseph regardless of the price differential. Just trying to be fair to Joseph speakers since they are sold through dealers it becomes an apples and oranges in the price category. So you can't select a 2 way from Joseph and compare it to a 3 way, as an example, based on price, otherwise they would not be equipped comparably.
But there isn't distributor/dealer markup on Salk speakers. Using price as the defining variable, I can only compare a Salk speaker that costs, for example, $4000.00, to a Joseph speaker that costs $4000.00. Based upon price, I can't compare a Salk speaker that sells for $4000.00 to a Joseph speaker that would only cost $4000.00 if the speaker didn't really cost $8000.00. Dollars-to-dollars are apples-to-apples, IMO, and not apples-to-oranges.
I collect firearms. Mass-produced pistols, which are commonly sold through retailers, tend to cost the least. Limited-production pistols, which are sold directly from the manufacturer or a select number of retailers, tend to cost more. Custom pistols, which are sold by the gunsmith that hand-builds them, cost the most and tend to be the nicest (assuming that the pistol was built by a master gunsmith). With speakers, the opposite appears to be true when comparing Salk speakers to limited-production speakers that are sold through a select number of retailers. The Salk speakers, which are true custom speakers, are sold by the builder but cost less than the limited-production speakers sold through the retailer.
Jim could charge more for his speakers. Jim could market his speakers through retailers, if he chooses. Joseph and Proac could sell their speakers directly, if they wanted, and they could arguably sell their speakers for half the price. Retailers and distributors need to make money, too, to stay in business. If the buyer wants to pay twice the price for a speaker to enable the retailers and distributors to make a profit, more power to the buyer. For me, I wanted the best speaker that I could afford. I didn't have any interest in, nor any objection to, distributors or retailers' profits.