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Old 18th January 2010, 06:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Pallas View Post
To start, I don't think there's a problem with taking something and making it either "prettier" or using higher-quality materials and charging a premium. Some people have to keep these boxes visible in the room.
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On the one hand there is something morally wrong with taking a cheap player, putting it in a fancy box and charging a lot of money for it. It says "we are happy to pretend to be something we are not, and we are happy to rip-off our customers, and we do not care about them".
It's nearly $3000 for a case that looks not much different, let alone significantly better and a different label. You get nothing for your extra hard earned $ except 'cache'.

The Ayre DX5 is similarly a modified Oppo, but I find many of the listed differences dubious in real benefit, so much of the same feeling applies vis the Lexicon. It's also $10k retail.

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On the other hand, if people are stupid enough to buy based on brand loyalty and preconception then I can understand marketing men taking their money.
This why people will buy stuff like this. Most people don't have the gear or knowledge or even the access to the two separate pieces to do the above comparo and tests to find out the basic facts of the situation.

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Personally, if I found that a company that I though was solid was actually ripping me off I would consider it a breach of trust and never give them my money again.
Ditto; I previously thought Lexicon was a good brand based upon the use of their pro gear and published research, but an 'I wonder' will hang over all their products for me now.
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Old 18th January 2010, 06:16 PM   #12
rdf is offline rdf  Canada
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Originally Posted by Jen-B View Post
On the other hand, if people are stupid enough to buy based on brand loyalty and preconception then I can understand marketing men taking their money.
Aren't those pseudonyms for experience? If a manufacturer's product provided consistent performance and value in the past it's hardly stupid to stick with them. What would be the option? Magazine/web reviews? Now if after having been taken you keep going back that's a different matter. Sony audio is a great example of a company transitioning from decently engineered and manufactured commodity products to accounting driven junk.
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Old 18th January 2010, 06:27 PM   #13
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I have a customer who paid a few hundred dollars for a small attachment to change the input impedance of his Phono stage. When he opened up the module, he was shocked to find there are only a few fancy resistors inside. I doubt those resistors cost even $5. And this is a very reputable, High-End European brand.
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Old 18th January 2010, 06:57 PM   #14
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Anything 'custom' costs money. This is normal, as the few pieces made, still have to be designed, parts ordered, sometimes a small board might be necessary, wired, and good connectors cost money. Think about it, yourself. Think about making something that you might make from this website. Give yourself $20/hr for your time, Add up your time and materials, from start to finish. Just do it, a time or two, and the complaints will diminish, when you understand the efforts of others.
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Old 18th January 2010, 07:33 PM   #15
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Hi John

Sorry if I've given the wrong impression. The module is not custom made. They are "Off the Shelf" items.

I do agree that if a buyer is to have something specially made, it is bound to be costly because he is paying for professional services. Cost of components in this instance is immaterial.

I am well aware of the value of professional services. Thirty years ago, when I was shooting professionally in the advertising industry, I charge between $3,000 - $5,000 per picture. This does not include support services like makeup artist, models, etc. Takes me about 4 hours to finish the shoot. Total film and development cost is less than $200. I've never had a single complaint that I'm ripping off any customers. Needless to say, I must be able to deliver otherwise, that's the last time I'll ever see the art director again. In the advertising industry, there is no room for failures.

Regards
Mike
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Old 18th January 2010, 07:47 PM   #16
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Aren't those pseudonyms for experience? If a manufacturer's product provided consistent performance and value in the past it's hardly stupid to stick with them. What would be the option? Magazine/web reviews? Now if after having been taken you keep going back that's a different matter. Sony audio is a great example of a company transitioning from decently engineered and manufactured commodity products to accounting driven junk.
Branding is about a "brand promise". What is that promise in the specific case here? "You can be assurded to pay the highest conceivable price for the exact same thing as anywhere else." If that's not it, then they didn't keep their promise and that brand is no longer reliable - its gone - broken promise. Sony is a good example. I used to swear by their stuff. Now I just swear at it - except I don't own any anymore. I think that Harman has become a fire-sale on brands. Milk it for all its worth now because tomorrow it won't be worth anything. If that's the thought, then I agree. I see all these audio brands becoming commodities which can no longer bring in any price premiums. The price for milking the maketplace for as long as they have.
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Old 18th January 2010, 07:54 PM   #17
rdf is offline rdf  Canada
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For the Lexicon case (no pun intended )? Absolutely. That's what happens when brand value is treated as a product or commodity for trade. I disagree it's universal though. If what you want, to pick a neutral example, is a Bryston, as far as I know going to that particular well any time since I bought one in the mid-Seventies will get you a real Bryston.
Agreed on Harman, what they did to Studer is a disgrace.
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Old 18th January 2010, 11:25 PM   #18
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For the Lexicon case (no pun intended )? Absolutely. That's what happens when brand value is treated as a product or commodity for trade. I disagree it's universal though. If what you want, to pick a neutral example, is a Bryston, as far as I know going to that particular well any time since I bought one in the mid-Seventies will get you a real Bryston.
Agreed on Harman, what they did to Studer is a disgrace.
There will be good examples and bad. I don't see a lot of examples of good "value" in hi-end audio. A few companies who hold high quality, but almost universally at a premium price. There don't seem to be too manys "Honda's of Audio".
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Old 18th January 2010, 11:29 PM   #19
Pallas is offline Pallas  Pakistan
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It's nearly $3000 for a case that looks not much different, let alone significantly better and a different label. You get nothing for your extra hard earned $ except 'cache'.
I'm certainly not justifying the price of Oppicon Blu-Ray player. I wouldn't pay it. It was annoying enough to have to spend 500 for the Oppo to get the basic functionality I wanted - ability to play DVD-As, SACDs, and Blu-Rays from one box, with a single-digitial-wire connection to my receiver - when I don't think it should cost that much! But in principle, I don't have a problem with someone charging $3000 or whatever they want to charge for a case replacement. As long as there's enough transparency about it so that knowledgeable buyers can find out the truth of the matter. (Then again, let's face it, no knowledgeable audio equipment buyer is going to be spending four figures on a transport unless one counts a new Mac Pro or something like that as a "transport.") If gullible people get taken, well, if someone's going to spent that much money and not even run a cursory google search for the thing, let them part the fool from her/his money.

I would analogize it to a watch movement that costs a in case x, a*b% in case y, and 30*a in case z. Unless you're a die-hard watch fanatic the actual movement inside isn't that important. What you care about is that it looks good on your wrist and maybe just maybe that it impresses the "right" people.

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Ditto; I previously thought Lexicon was a good brand based upon the use of their pro gear and published research, but an 'I wonder' will hang over all their products for me now.
Or maybe you'll take a closer look at much less expensive Harman/Kardon stuff. Maybe some of that is inside those new Lexicon cases.

Last edited by Pallas; 18th January 2010 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 25th January 2010, 11:13 PM   #20
DougL is offline DougL  United States
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I am always ranting about how marketing drives audio and that there is no relationship between price and quality. That beauty and brand are the only features of worth in a modern piece of audio equipment.

Read this if you doubt me

Oppo on the Inside, Lexicon on the Outside — Reviews and News from Audioholics
Here is a book that tells how its done.
All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World
Amazon.com: All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World (9781591841005): Seth Godin: Books

Here is a book review:
http://www.overclockers.com/all-marketers-are-liars/

Really amazing.

Doug
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