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Old 5th October 2012, 06:47 PM   #27981
morinix is offline morinix  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcarso View Post
Oh yeah there was plenty of intracompany fighting. At one point consumer bitched that Multimedia was taking business away from them, but their idea of the business was sourcing transducers that already existed elsewhere, marking them up and branding them, and trying to persuade someone like Samsung to pay a premium! Whereas Multimedia was designing custom transducers optimized to the customer's needs.

But I was thinking about when Harman was supplying Dell, and there were opportunities for doing things like look-ahead on the audio data and using that for more intelligent behavior of the amplifier/speaker. After a short time I realized that, despite their size, Dell basically just picked suppliers and didn't do much development themselves. And as well the suppliers weren't the least bit interested in cooperation.
Lenovo and Toshiba too. The same guy doing the transducer design for the Multimedia products retrofitted many different laptops with his mini-sized big-sound transducers. All gone now because of a strange mix of envy and hate.
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Old 5th October 2012, 07:19 PM   #27982
gpapag is offline gpapag  Greece
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Originally Posted by john curl View Post
OK, gpapag, let's discuss
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Now is this 'out of line' with other companies and their mark-ups?
On the surface and in general, no. Albeit, nothing from all these bears any relation to what you were talking about on the post to which I was objecting (what it takes to make a world class product).

Now, you need to define the “other companies”

If the “other company” is a well established manufacturer producing some thousands units of a model, it would have an even greater commercial advantage over you, much lower LANDED cost.
If the “other company” is a small manufacturer producing 10ths of a model, it would of course have much higher LANDED cost.

Strangely enough, the model of the well established manufacturer due to the –mass market- brand’s name and the rational market price of the model (product), does not match the criteria of the lifestyle magazines, while the model of the small manufacturer combined with the absurd market price, is esoteric, rare and fits the idiosyncratic standards of the “world class product” lists.

(Some decades later, some of the same magazines will report that same model from the big manufacturer as a “ real gem that passed unnoticed” and they may list it among the equipment that people “in the know” own and keep).

I had never the pleasure to see on time in the podium of “World class products” a product model from a small or new (or both) manufacturer bearing a sensible market price and a rational advertisement profile.

You know all these better than me. The question is why you keep on with the fake categorisation “World class product”. No one but you is running after the “A” ratings by the “X” magazine on this site. You fail to recognize the “local” reality.

Participants respect you as much for designing “B”, “C”, “None” rated products as for your “A” rated ones.

People to whom you are referring with the “all you amateurs out there” are people who have other metrics for valuing a product and it’s designer/manufacturer.

George
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Old 6th October 2012, 04:28 AM   #27983
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Sorry George, to offend you. I personally know how expensive it is to make a 'World Class Product', which is a definition that I made up. It represents the place where I like to design most. The original Levinson JC-2 was the first World Class Product that I was associated with. I meant that it sold around the world as readily as here in the USA.
The JC-80 was the second World Class Product that I was associated with. I am working on one, right now, almost 30 years after its construction. Why do I bother? It is going to cost $500 or more to fix it, BUT it is a 'World Class Product' so it holds its value to a degree.
The Vendetta Research preamp was the third World Class Product that I designed and the first that I personally made. It has not been produced for 20 years, yet it retains its resale value. Why isn't it 'obsolete'?
It is the care and attention to design detail, as well as quality construction that makes all the difference.
Now what about 'hi mid fi'? Well the P-fet 900 that I cleaned up for Parasound, back in about 1990, is a good example of this. This design is MORE sophisticated than most of the entries in the op amp design contest in a parallel thread, YET it is NOT a World Class Product. Why? Because within the available ability to do so, the HCA-1100 was a better product, then the 1500, then the 2000. Yet these are not World Class Products either, and they can be purchased for next to nothing on the internet.
Yet the Parasound JC-2 IS a World Class Product? That is because we threw everything that we could into its conception and execution, (given the fact that it is actually built outside our direct control) and it now has an A rating in Stereophile, just like other World Class Products. I defy you to make a better or more versatile preamp at the price.
Go to it! See if you can get 'World Class Attention' yourself! ;-)
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Old 6th October 2012, 01:37 PM   #27984
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On further consideration, I cannot tell you the pricing structure of many 'hi end' products.
It is quite probable that a fair portion are highly 'inflated' in order to maximize profits.
I cannot be sure, but in the extreme hi end, sometimes cost is a secondary consideration to 'reputation' or flashy appearance.
However, given my experience on this thread from the very beginning, it is almost impossible for inexperienced amateurs to BELIEVE the actual cost of production of many hi end products. They are SURE that the numbers reported are either a lie, or a gross exaggeration. YET, they have no experience in what they are so sure about.
On this thread, years ago, there was the cost of the CTC Blowtorch case(s) reaching as high a $3000 in the end, for each customer pair, OEM. That IS a lot of money, but try to get a machinist (more than once) to make it for significantly less, and you will have a problem. They just won't do it. Yet, if you chose to make a cheaper, more mid fi case, you will be dropped from consideration from the hi end dealers, especially in Asia. You will just not be looked at as a serious object of consideration. This is one of the MAIN things that drives hi end upward in retail price.
For example, I listened, just this week to Wilson Audio's latest full range speaker, all $200,000 of it. It was very good, but at that price, is it worth it, AND where is the money invested? You know, I have been told by Dave Wilson a few of his problems with making speaker cabinets, and they are significant, but $200,000? Even I cannot be sure why they cost so much. That is bothersome, but I will keep my Wilson WATTS that I got about 15 years ago for about $2000, USED, as I consider them quite a bargain for what they do FOR ME, sonically.
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Old 6th October 2012, 02:47 PM   #27985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john curl View Post
Sorry George, to offend you. I personally know how expensive it is to make a 'World Class Product', which is a definition that I made up. It represents the place where I like to design most. The original Levinson JC-2 was the first World Class Product that I was associated with. I meant that it sold around the world as readily as here in the USA.
If that's what it means then it's a pretty meaningless term as the Bose Acoustic Wave System would also be a "World Class Product."

Click the image to open in full size.

se
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Old 6th October 2012, 04:56 PM   #27986
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The Bose is a world class product ...

I think something can be world class for different reasons - different for Bose than JC's gear.
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Old 6th October 2012, 05:26 PM   #27987
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Of course, MY definition is not all inclusive. However, it serves a purpose. For example, WHY would someone from Japan or Singapore ever care to buy humble product made in the SF Bay Area, like the Vendetta Research, without any direct ads, at least in the USA, and selling at 3 times the retail price as in the USA, in their respective country? Only a great review, from someone with dozens of choices to chose from, maybe several good reviews, will get their interest.
Now, when I talk about 'listening contests' I normally mean exhibit demos at the CES, yearly. This is where we tested our 'success'.
Reviewers are an interesting bunch. I found that IF you had an 'outstanding' product, they would seek you out, usually through 'word of mouth' from people who first tried it.
Then, they might write their own review. I never GAVE any reviewer anything, but a short loan or a 1/2 price discount, which is the normal reviewer's cost. Others might sometimes try to 'bribe' a reviewer with free product or 'forever' loans, I did not. I could not afford it, even if I were tempted to. I just never made enough excess to be able to give anything away. In fact, except for my technicians, I was the only person who ever made some sort of 'poor' living making Vendetta Research products.
It should be no surprise that it is has been much easier working as a consultant for Parasound. However, I DID have to do the whole thing, hire and fire, do complicated federal and state taxes, and even survive an audit. Buy the parts, tools, storage. Suffer the losses due to negligence or just a mistake. Deal with sloppy vendors, who couldn't make the case right, etc., etc. I learned what it took to make a small business that made maybe 50-100 units/year. It is a lot of work.
Now why aren't I rich from this 'success'? I didn't charge enough, I am told, and perhaps that is correct. It was either to charge more, or take 'SHORT CUTS' in production quality, and I did NEITHER, so I barely made a living, but gained one heck of a reputation for making a quality product. Ultimately, I failed to make a living, and I closed shop. Interestingly enough, much the same thing happened to the original Marantz audio company, and Saul had to sell out, or go bankrupt, back in the 1960's. Those early tube products are cherished today, just like Vendetta Research preamps, IF you can find them.
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Old 6th October 2012, 07:23 PM   #27988
gpapag is offline gpapag  Greece
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john curl View Post
Sorry George, to offend you.
…a 'World Class Product', which is a definition that I made up.
…Go to it! See if you can get 'World Class Attention' yourself! ;-)
I am not offended, unless you want me to be.
I hope I haven’t offended you.
I am not after this Attention myself.

It’s not a personal issue. Don’t think it as such.


Quote:
Originally Posted by john curl View Post
On further consideration, I cannot tell you…

…Yet, if you chose to make a cheaper, more mid fi case, you will be dropped from consideration from the hi end dealers, especially in Asia. You will just not be looked at as a serious object of consideration. This is one of the MAIN things that drives hi end upward in retail price.
And here we are through your words on what I was trying to point at.
The made up high price and the criteria by which a designer/manufacturer is considered as a serious object in the hi end rooms.
Thank you for being honest.
After this, I hope you will apply some further consideration on your “all you amateurs out there” kind of addressing.

George
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Old 6th October 2012, 08:01 PM   #27989
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I agree, gpapag, that hi end to too expensive for 'the rest of us'. However, the lessons learned from hi end audio should be used with a more affordable product.
I would start with the outside cases. What can we do to SAVE MONEY, yet offer about as much shielding, without adding distortion? No steel, except non-magnetic stainless, please. Conductive plastic?
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Old 6th October 2012, 08:14 PM   #27990
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No, because non-magnetic like Al and Cu must be thick to be effective at low frequencies. Thin would shield only against HF. And conductive plastics shields badly.
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