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Thread: Is it me or is Hi-Fi getting even more over priced ?

  1. #21
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

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    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yomanze View Post
    Another thing I think is not mentioned enough is craftmanship, especially of the minimal school - the reason some gear sounds good is because of the lack of components, and the talents of the designer to fine-tune and get the most out of very simple circuits, which are much more sensitive to component tuning. All of this takes time and experience! Look inside a 47 Lab component, some LFD gear etc. & price / materials comparison goes out of the window.
    Quote Originally Posted by Puffin View Post
    With regard to 47 Labs they found that a cheap (around a £fiver)readily available op-amp sounded really good. They teamed it with what was possibly hand-picked components and sold them for a loooot of money. When the secret was out, the hoi polloi were able to build one for themselves for relatively peanuts and so the Gainclone was born. I have made several for around £100 each. Do they sound better or worse than the original?
    Yes, I agree that there's a skill in producing a good sounding circuit but it doesn't have to result in an expensive circuit. I too think that 47 Labs just made very conventional op-amp circuits taken straight from the manufacturer's application notes and then added extreme amounts of marketing nonsense to justify incredibly high prices. The early examples weren't even well constructed.

  2. #22
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: North West UK

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    I'm David.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexM View Post
    The price comparison between music industry pricing and HiFi equipment is just embarrassing for the HiFi industry. I'm using a Berhringer USB 24/192 ADC/DAC with two inputs, high quality microphone preamps, and four DAC outputs, it costs £65 and sounds great!

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk
    Thats what opened my eyes and ears tbh. When I see some pro audio gear with complex electronics built like a tank such as a synth or even some neat £60 196K 24 bit usb dac with amazing sound and performance then look at some Hi-Fi gear it looks seriously warped. Has the Hi-Fi industry changed from being solely about the pursuit of audio perfection into more about designer gear.
    David.

  3. #23
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

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    I'm Neil.

    Default Is it me or is Hi-Fi getting even more over priced ?

    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    Yes, I agree that there's a skill in producing a good sounding circuit but it doesn't have to result in an expensive circuit. I too think that 47 Labs just made very conventional op-amp circuits taken straight from the manufacturer's application notes and then added extreme amounts of marketing nonsense to justify incredibly high prices. The early examples weren't even well constructed.
    It’s easy to scoff at the simplicity, but there was more to it than nicking an application note circuit, lots of unusual design practices at the time, the choice of terminals, PCB layout and transformers for example. It was all about the shortest possible signal path, taken to the extreme, and at the time this was pretty groundbreaking, which without 47 Lab, today’s Gainclone scene wouldn’t even exist.

    ...very expensive yes, but didn’t stop them from selling well.

    EDIT: I think this quote from Pedja Rogic is relevant, and also helps explain why such simple circuits can have such different sound:

    "It takes some time to understand this simple fact about modern linear power amp chips design: the chip is not the limiting factor. It can be anything. The limit is design around it."
    Mana Acoustics Racks >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  4. #24
    Join Date: Oct 2016

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    ^ I beg to differ. I would put all that into the "marketing nonsense" category.
    BTW, I would argue that 47 Labs' circuits are not simple at all, just cheap/simple to build. The power op-amps they use are extremely complex internally, but that was all the op-amp manufacturer's work.
    Last edited by RothwellAudio; 12-10-2017 at 12:52.

  5. #25
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

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    I'm Neil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    ^ I beg to differ. I would put all that into the "marketing nonsense" category.
    It's OK to have different opinions.
    Mana Acoustics Racks >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  6. #26
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puffin View Post
    With regard to 47 Labs they found that a cheap (around a £fiver)readily available op-amp sounded really good. They teamed it with what was possibly hand-picked components and sold them for a loooot of money. When the secret was out, the hoi polloi were able to build one for themselves for relatively peanuts and so the Gainclone was born. I have made several for around £100 each. Do they sound better or worse than the original?
    The Gainclone amp is an interesting example. You are correct in that the performance/cost index for this is very high: the components can be bought for around £100. However, the performance/price index is also high. Even though 47 Labs were charging a lot for their version, the product was never in the super expensive category. I think the reason it sold well was that even though the price was many times the production cost, its performance was still competitive with much higher priced products. I think the simplicity also appealed to many early adopters. Of course, once the news got out that the design could be replicated for much less, the price could not be sustained.

    I bought one from Audiosector in Canada on a visit to Toronto. http://www.audiosector.com/chassis_patek2_amp.shtml
    The Audiosector Patek v2 is superbly made and I don't think that the mark up on the finished product was outrageous. What I liked about this product was that the vendor also sold a kit with custom designed boards for around £100. Yes, I bought a kit a well, though it is still in its original box.

    Geoff

  7. #27
    Join Date: Dec 2008

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    No one prices an item at what it is worth. Everything is priced according to what the market will sustain.
    Marantz CD6005 into Audiolab MDAC
    Nottingham Analogue Interspace turntable with Origin Live Onyx tonearm/Denon DL103/Dynavector P75 MkIII phono stage

    Prima Luna Prologue preamp
    Prima Luna Dialogue Premium power amp/EL34

    B&W CM8 S2 loudspeakers

    Atlas Hyper interconnects
    Van Den Hul Teatrack biwired cables

    Anything Ozric Tentacles based

  8. #28
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haselsh1 View Post
    No one prices an item at what it is worth. Everything is priced according to what the market will sustain.
    I think that often, products are designed to a price point that factors in expected margins. This in turn determines the quality of components used.

    Otherwise, how might one explain the plethora of products priced at ***99.99?

    Geoff

  9. #29
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: North West UK

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    I'm David.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haselsh1 View Post
    No one prices an item at what it is worth. Everything is priced according to what the market will sustain.
    To be more accurate that particular sector of market they are aiming at will sustain.
    David.

  10. #30
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampy View Post
    To be more accurate that particular sector of market they are aiming at will sustain.
    Although it not unusual for manufacturers to introduce a product at a high price to extract maximum revenues from early adopters only to discount that product heavily later on the pretext of introducing a new model. This was how companies like Richer Sounds established themselves: shifting last years products at low prices. More market segmentation on the part of the producers.

    Geoff

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