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  #41  
Old 08-28-2010, 09:21 PM
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These companies tend to sell products cheaply and even if the quality's a bit bad, the price more or less makes up for it. Take SoundMAGIC for example - build quality's not the best, but the quality of their products are good, reasonably priced, and unlike certain companies they don't rip you off by massively overpricing their products. R&D might cost, but not to that extent. (*coughRSAcough*)
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  #42  
Old 08-28-2010, 11:26 PM
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@ odigg and Shigzeo: Extremely interesting comments/perspectives from you both, especially the insider view from Shigzeo.

As someone who has participated and seen firsthand the effects of our global economy, I completely understand both the necessity and the incredible profits to be made.

Looking forward to hearing more comments on this...
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  #43  
Old 08-29-2010, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio View Post
These companies tend to sell products cheaply and even if the quality's a bit bad, the price more or less makes up for it. Take SoundMAGIC for example - build quality's not the best, but the quality of their products are good, reasonably priced, and unlike certain companies they don't rip you off by massively overpricing their products. R&D might cost, but not to that extent. (*coughRSAcough*)
Don't be too harsh on small businesses like RSA. Many electronics companies like his are just a few people doing all the work, including hand making a lot of stuff. They get basically no benefit as far as economies of scale, have to offer better warranties than you get from bigger companies, have to have good customer support (many big companies have NO customer support), etc.

The prices may seem inflated compared to what somebody like Sony can put out, but they are not the insane profit makers some people see them as.

There are some products that are pure rip-off through. The Grado RA1 (CMOY in a wooden box) amp is an excellent example.

Quote:
Looking forward to hearing more comments on this...
rickysio pointed out SoundMAGIC - so there is one more point where that "Buy a $100 headphone" advice is not very magical. Big retailers are not very good at selling the best quality/value stuff, nor are they good at helping customers determine the difference between a good quality product and a product that is a mostly cosmetic upgrade of a far cheaper product.

Fischer Audio, MEElec, Yuin, etc all make some really good stuff for less than $75. Are any of these brands sold in your local retailer?

This isn't completely the retailers fault. If Best Buy went to Fisher Audio or MEElec and said "We want 10 of each headphone in every store" I wonder if Fischer could pull that off. There are also a lot of other factors, such as companies like Sony saying "If you want to sell our music players you have to have all of these headphones on display."

The retailers that usually sells the smaller brands are small business audio shops. But the type of person who wants to spend $50 on an IEM is going to a major retailer, not the small business. So the small business then has no reason to sell these less expensive products.

It's a big mess! I guess at least the web marketplace has allowed a lot of smaller electronic manufacturers to thrive.

As has already been pointed out in this thread, consumers need better information. Spending $100 doesn't guarantee anything other than depriving you of $100. Plus, if you buy a $100 IEM and it turns out to be a POS there is a good chance you'll never spend that type of money on an headphone again.
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  #44  
Old 08-29-2010, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
*snip*
There are some products that are pure rip-off through. The Grado RA1 (CMOY in a wooden box) amp is an excellent example.
*snip*
You got that right....I love the sound of my Grados, but reading the truth about the RA1 was disappointing, to say the least.
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  #45  
Old 08-29-2010, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
The prices may seem inflated compared to what somebody like Sony can put out, but they are not the insane profit makers some people see them as.
Yes, I'm quoting myself! Just wanted to add something as I'm sure somebody like me will think about it.

Specialized headphones amps, especially portable amps, are of questionable value. Yes, perhaps $400+ is a "reasonable" price to pay for something that is hand made in small batches and comes with a good warranty, but spending $400+ on a headphone amplifier is, IMHO, not getting the most out of the value part of purchasing decisions.

It's sort of like saying "We don't make any profit on this $1K sweater because it's made by expert Japanese artisans, uses only organic wool hand sheared from Chilean mountain Llamas. Plus, 10% goes in a fund to protect those Llamas. We also ensure that all our workers, even the janitors, make a livable wage."

Sure. Maybe it really costs $1K to make that sweater. That's still a crazy amount of money for a sweater.
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  #46  
Old 08-29-2010, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
...Snipped...Sure. Maybe it really costs $1K to make that sweater. That's still a crazy amount of money for a sweater.
Maybe true but dammit, I guarantee I will be the only one on my block who has that sweater.

Indeed, I am certain this mentality contributes greatly to the thought processes of many hi-end "audiophile" aficionados.
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  #47  
Old 08-30-2010, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
Don't be too harsh on small businesses like RSA. Many electronics companies like his are just a few people doing all the work, including hand making a lot of stuff. They get basically no benefit as far as economies of scale, have to offer better warranties than you get from bigger companies, have to have good customer support (many big companies have NO customer support), etc.

The prices may seem inflated compared to what somebody like Sony can put out, but they are not the insane profit makers some people see them as.

There are some products that are pure rip-off through. The Grado RA1 (CMOY in a wooden box) amp is an excellent example.

rickysio pointed out SoundMAGIC - so there is one more point where that "Buy a $100 headphone" advice is not very magical. Big retailers are not very good at selling the best quality/value stuff, nor are they good at helping customers determine the difference between a good quality product and a product that is a mostly cosmetic upgrade of a far cheaper product.

Fischer Audio, MEElec, Yuin, etc all make some really good stuff for less than $75. Are any of these brands sold in your local retailer?

This isn't completely the retailers fault. If Best Buy went to Fisher Audio or MEElec and said "We want 10 of each headphone in every store" I wonder if Fischer could pull that off. There are also a lot of other factors, such as companies like Sony saying "If you want to sell our music players you have to have all of these headphones on display."

The retailers that usually sells the smaller brands are small business audio shops. But the type of person who wants to spend $50 on an IEM is going to a major retailer, not the small business. So the small business then has no reason to sell these less expensive products.

It's a big mess! I guess at least the web marketplace has allowed a lot of smaller electronic manufacturers to thrive.

As has already been pointed out in this thread, consumers need better information. Spending $100 doesn't guarantee anything other than depriving you of $100. Plus, if you buy a $100 IEM and it turns out to be a POS there is a good chance you'll never spend that type of money on an headphone again.
What about iBasso? The price for an RSA amp is astronomical.

The issue, actually, isn't about whether they can get better information. It's more of if they can be BOTHERED to even get better information. Most of them can't be arsed to - for some reason or another.
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  #48  
Old 08-30-2010, 12:26 PM
odigg odigg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio View Post
What about iBasso? The price for an RSA amp is astronomical.
IBasso is a 100% Chinese company. RSA is US based company who manufacturers at least some of their products in the USA.

Speaking purely in terms of costs (e.g. employee pay) I suspect RSA spends a lot more since the cost of living is quite a bit higher in the USA. So products will cost more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio View Post
The issue, actually, isn't about whether they can get better information. It's more of if they can be BOTHERED to even get better information. Most of them can't be arsed to - for some reason or another.
That I agree with! But let's not forget that 99% of the information available - even in supposedly reputable places - is BS.

Last edited by odigg; 08-30-2010 at 01:11 PM.
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