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Old 13th May 2012, 02:43 AM   #5421
bcarso is offline bcarso  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott wurcer View Post
These days folks play with ghost peppers just to force the question, "is it food if no one can get it down"?
I was going through the Bhut Jolokia so fast I bought them in bulk. I shave them with a pair of shears into the dish, usually cooking them for a while in the coconut oil along with onions etc. over medium heat.

Sometimes it is a little too spicy, even for me
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Old 13th May 2012, 02:51 AM   #5422
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Try the scotch bonnet , more flavor less burn ....
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Old 13th May 2012, 04:05 AM   #5423
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
check for tonal balance and information retrieval .
Funny, you quoted my whole post but didn't read it, it seems.
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Originally Posted by Pano View Post
Very similar in tonal balance, more revealing of space. Not the hyper detail of good headphones, but they aren't scant millimeters from my ears, either. Certainly more life-like.
Oh well.
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Old 13th May 2012, 08:28 AM   #5424
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Originally Posted by john curl View Post
People often forget that the designers, themselves, have to make something, and the person who sells it, let's say, retail, has to make something, and then there are the company costs like the manufacturing building, storage, etc., telephone, building alarm service, electricity, etc. etc. This drives the cost of a lot of audio components up, and/or profits down.

This is where 'promotion' even selling a story, much like Mark Levenson often does, helps to get the extra sales that can make a company a success. I KNOW that just making the best product I can make and trying to sell it at a reasonable price does not 'cut it' and that is why I never returned to manufacturing products after I closed down Vendetta Research.

I KNOW that making a world class audio component can become outrageously expensive, just because we want it to be as 'perfect' as possible, both sonically and visually. We fight it every project.

Now many of you might think that all you need to do is a circuit sim to design it, and a little time to build a prototype, well that will get you a 'hoopty' but NOT a race car. '-)
All very true, anyone who has ever done any manufacturing in the audio industry will know this.

As a rule of thumb, it's safe to assume that the end user price is 3.5-4 times the price at tbhe factory gate, packed and ready for shipping.

It works something like this, a calculation made at a time whne a UK company wanted to take up my products. Say my price is 1. First you add about 10% of it for shipping (air cargo WAS reasonably priced). Upon arrival, there were no customs duties because I declared them to be computer related, and there are no customs duties in EU for info equipment. The importer wanted +66% to cover all related costs, such as advertising, promotion events, establishing a service center, etc, so this became (1.1 * 1.66) 1.826. The dealers wanted 40% of the END price, which is also about 67% of their base input price, kicking it up to 3.05. Lastly, there's the friendly tax man with his VAT, say another 18% (although it's more now), and presto, you are at 3.6.

What doesn't click here is the simple fact that in absolute and relative terms, the dealer makes the most by a long shot. He takes 1.22 of the factory value, and without disputing the fact that he has to work to earn his money, I cannot help but note that his profit is at least twice that of mine. Call me traditional, but to me this is an abberatioon built into the system - in my mind, when you do this you directly discourage any manufacturing simply because it's not worth it. They say they take a lot of risks, which is true, but they never answered my question what about my risks, as I'm the one who initially risks it all for development and manufacturing?

As a result of this approach, instead of products, the West has exported jobs to China, thus building China with jobs and profits (given their worker salaries), and increasing their own unemployment rate, because the whol thing has been boiled down to just one thing - price.

The whole planet has gone cheapskate. NOBODY talks of quality, of sonic achievements or lack thereof, the one and only all important thing is that it LOOKS expensive, but in fact costs a whole lot less.

As an example, let me note a nominally French (with a head office, a secretary, a fax machine and some flowers in France) but really Chinese company called Advance Acoustics. From the outside, it looks great and the price is reasonable. From the inside, it's nice and neat, almost German quality like. In essence, it's a direct copy of a Luxman M120 power amplifier, item for item, with only some items changed, as some have ceased to be produced over time, like SK170 FETs, for example.

The only problem is, it sounds nothing like the Luxman, which was a whole different ball game - it wasn't a dream machine, but it was a very well made upper quality class amp, say just under the High End borderline. This one sound dead and with no air at all. In my view, it's a rather poor sounding product which I would never buy, never mind the big deep blue analog power meters against a black background.

But it's selling well, because it's relatively cheap and because it looks like a much more expensive performance product than it really is.

And, John, you and I don't have a chance in Heaven or Hell of ever competing with people like this, unless you fire all your workers and manufacturing staff and transfer your production to China, but beware, I was told recently that some Chinese companies are finding China to be too expensive and are transferring their manufacturing to India.

The fact that your older amps play musical circles around these people seems to mean very little nowadays.

It seems that audio, as we knew it, started and ended with our generations.

Last edited by dvv; 13th May 2012 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 13th May 2012, 08:29 AM   #5425
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Originally Posted by Pano View Post
Funny, you quoted my whole post but didn't read it, it seems.

Oh well.
Using what to drive the headphones?

A critical question, believe me, I just spent over 5 years researching the matter.
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Old 13th May 2012, 08:39 AM   #5426
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Originally Posted by bcarso View Post
I was going through the Bhut Jolokia so fast I bought them in bulk. I shave them with a pair of shears into the dish, usually cooking them for a while in the coconut oil along with onions etc. over medium heat.

Sometimes it is a little too spicy, even for me
I'd probably love it, Brad.

I'm the guy who never gets on a westbound plane without his "survival kit" in my shoulder bag. This has two of three items I need to make it back, the third being my Swiss army knife I could not be caugth without, which is of necessity in my suitcase, or I'm a securty threat. The other two items which usually make it are a 50 gram can of Nescafe (because the colored water especially Americans call "coffee" is way too weak for me, but then, locally, coffee is a tradition and we do not substitute water with coffee as many Americans do - if we did that, the way it's taken locally, we'd be dead in a few days and we'd all have brown eyes), and the other is, God bless it, a bottle of Tabasco. It helps me get at least some taste into that food.

I all but knocked out a gentleman in Taipei, Taiwan, way back in 1992. He took me to a Mongol restaurant, which is rather spicely and pretty hot. He warned me against the hot part, almost fearing for my life. I shocked the living daylights out of him when I took my plate, tried it, got my Tabasco and started pouring. I thought he was going to have a heart attack.

I don't eat spicey and hot every day, but if I have a dish which is supposed to be hot, then I want it real hot. For example, a Hungarian goulash - if it doesn't burn, then I don't want it. I hate watered down dishes.

Last edited by dvv; 13th May 2012 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 13th May 2012, 09:47 AM   #5427
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Dvv, you make a good report on equipment costs, BUT you have given up on what can ultimately SAVE the audio industry. That is: Quality designs that SOUND GOOD!
You know, better than most people, that there can be a big difference in audio quality, even when the schematic looks similar and the case is pretty.
I have helped keep Parasound on the map, when many of our competitors 'bit the dust' so to speak, by getting GOOD REVIEWS. Now people will say that it is my name associated with the product or something more that must be the reason for the good reviews, but it just isn't so. I have made designs that I thought would be successful, and they were not, and this was both amps and preamps. Usually, this happened when I did not 'do my voodoo' by selecting passive parts, etc, and letting others slip the cheapest possible alternative into the product. Heck, you can't measure the difference, how can it make a difference? But it does.
We have gotten great reviews without any significant advertising, for many years, and I am NOT chummy with the reviewers. I hardly know them, even after first talking to some of them, almost 30 years ago. I try to be polite, and not ruffle any feathers, but that is just about my limit.
Now, my employers 'may' go further to fraternize with these reviewers. I don't know, as I am not invited to any meetings or whatever that might happen, but I am reasonably sure that their input is typical of every other audio manufacturer.
It is the sound coupled with the 'cost effectiveness' of most of my designs for Parasound that makes for a successful review.
And it is the all out engineering, with no holds barred effort, for the Constellation Audio products, along with the good sound, that gives us recognition so high up the scale, at the moment. I have bet my livelihood every year for the last 20 years on being 'successful' like this with each and every product, AND I try to learn from my 'mistakes' rather than blaming them on the industry. Works for me!
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Old 13th May 2012, 12:46 PM   #5428
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvv View Post
Nescafe (because the colored water especially Americans call "coffee" is way too weak for me, but then, locally, coffee is a tradition and we do not substitute water with coffee as many Americans do - if we did that, the way it's taken locally, we'd be dead in a few days and we'd all have brown eyes).
I do wonder sometimes what "America" is being talked about.
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Old 13th May 2012, 12:54 PM   #5429
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john curl View Post
Dvv, you make a good report on equipment costs, BUT you have given up on what can ultimately SAVE the audio industry. That is: Quality designs that SOUND GOOD!
You know, better than most people, that there can be a big difference in audio quality, even when the schematic looks similar and the case is pretty.
I have helped keep Parasound on the map, when many of our competitors 'bit the dust' so to speak, by getting GOOD REVIEWS. Now people will say that it is my name associated with the product or something more that must be the reason for the good reviews, but it just isn't so. I have made designs that I thought would be successful, and they were not, and this was both amps and preamps. Usually, this happened when I did not 'do my voodoo' by selecting passive parts, etc, and letting others slip the cheapest possible alternative into the product. Heck, you can't measure the difference, how can it make a difference? But it does.
We have gotten great reviews without any significant advertising, for many years, and I am NOT chummy with the reviewers. I hardly know them, even after first talking to some of them, almost 30 years ago. I try to be polite, and not ruffle any feathers, but that is just about my limit.
Now, my employers 'may' go further to fraternize with these reviewers. I don't know, as I am not invited to any meetings or whatever that might happen, but I am reasonably sure that their input is typical of every other audio manufacturer.
It is the sound coupled with the 'cost effectiveness' of most of my designs for Parasound that makes for a successful review.
And it is the all out engineering, with no holds barred effort, for the Constellation Audio products, along with the good sound, that gives us recognition so high up the scale, at the moment. I have bet my livelihood every year for the last 20 years on being 'successful' like this with each and every product, AND I try to learn from my 'mistakes' rather than blaming them on the industry. Works for me!
I have given up on nothing, John, but I am also not blind - every day, I see a company or two, generally making very solid, products, bite the dust, for the simple reason that they are outgunned by much cheaper Chinese.

As for getting reviews, I don't know how it works in the USA, but I would imagine a lot of reviewers would love to take your product under scrutiny. On the other hand, a product from an unknown has little or no chance to get any, unless he's right there.

And if you are an Internet based company, your chances are well into the minus range. 10 years of that experience.
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Old 13th May 2012, 01:00 PM   #5430
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Originally Posted by scott wurcer View Post
I do wonder sometimes what "America" is being talked about.
Scott, I don't think there's a single office anywhere, USA included, which could function without coffee. In USA in particular, I have seen with my own two eyes, people walking around with a coffee mug all day long. As I see it, they have practically substituted water with coffee.

If I did that, with the kind of thick, strong coffee I drink, I'd be dead in a week, my heart would fail. They can do it simply because that is a very mild coffee.

They have forseaken their cowboy predecessors, who used to say that a good coffe was the one in which you throw a horsehoe and it floats.

Do I need to explain to you the kind of coffee served on airplanes these days?

Your last resort are the fortunately many caffes all over the place, and specilized coffee shops, who still produce really good coffee. I used one in Philly in '88, and I do say, that was a REALLY great coffee.
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