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Sennheiser HD 800 - price control? - Page 2

post #16 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgl View Post
You have to see it in a historic context. Sennheiser was once a manufacturer...
One of the best posts I've read in a long time!

EDIT
I just want to add that I'm not sympathetic to Sennheiser at all. The price of the hd-800 is still outrageous. But really they are just another example of the rampant corporate greed that saturates the high end audio market.

Also, just a note that AKG manages to build their k701s in Austria and not charge $1400 or implement price controls (remember it's not price fixing, because price fixing is illegal).
post #17 of 147
You must keep your resellers on a tight leash if you sell silver sprayed plastic for $1400!
post #18 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidhunternyc View Post
When I finally saw the HD800 in person at J&R, to tell you the truth, they looked and felt even cheaper than the photos (the Leona plastic feeling far less inert than ABS plastic or bakelite). I don't care if they sound like manna from heaven (does manna have a sound?), I wouldn't pay more the $600 for these headphones.
Yes Leona the most expensive plastic in the world,manufactured by highly skilled teutonic knights.
post #19 of 147
Stax sells low-mechanical-quality plastic headphones for over 1000$, Denon sells Chinese slave-labour for over 1000$ (despite aesthetic appearence much less carefully manufactured and assembled) and let's don't start with Grado and their manufacturing processes...

Leona is manufactured by a Japanese company (Asahi Kasei) and propably costs only a few $/kg as a raw resin. It's a high-quality material and available in many different variations with different mechanical properties but it's most likely much more durable than ABS.
The economic value added comes from the molding process. The "mold" (I'm not sure about the correct technical English term) for these precise and complex shaped parts is machined from highly-skilled craftsmen and easily costs >100,000$ each. The injection moulding machines are also quite expensive (like ARBURG - Herzlich Willkommen bei ARBURG Deutschland - Spritzgießmaschinen, injection moulding machines, Spritzgießmaschine, molding, machine, Spritzgussmaschine, Spritzgussmaschinen, ALLROUNDER, robot, Handling, Kunststoff, plastic, plastics, MULTILI) and have to be maintained carefully (also by trained craftsmen) and the parameters have to be taken care of. in Germany these craftsmen visit special "technical colleges" to learn these "crafts" - they're not "trained-on-the-job" (although Sennheiser has special practical education programs, too). It's entirely different from the manufacturing of a Chinese OEM.

I think it's great that Beyerdynamic and AKG didn't outsource their mid-class consumer production (although I'm not sure what AKG is up to) but just take a look at the assembly of the drivers - the HD800 is on a different level (just like the similar priced T1) and the K701 doesn't have it's build-quality, either.
I'm not a big fan of the optical appearence of the HD800 myself, but their effort (12 engineers worked for 2 years alone on the HD800 development - especially vibration-simulation instead of simple trial&error) and experience in designing and manufacturing professional audio-equipment is unique.

I hate their consumer-crap, but the HD800 is entirely different. I'm still not sure if I take the HD800 or T1.
post #20 of 147
I'd love to see Sennheiser stop price-control and see what the true market value of HD800 ends up being...
post #21 of 147
Well I bet the price will goes down someday..
post #22 of 147
Sennheiser HD 800 price control = soon to be released Beyerdynamic T1
post #23 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidhunternyc View Post
When I finally saw the HD800 in person at J&R, to tell you the truth, they looked and felt even cheaper than the photos (the Leona plastic feeling far less inert than ABS plastic or bakelite). I don't care if they sound like manna from heaven (does manna have a sound?), I wouldn't pay more the $600 for these headphones.


post #24 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by peanuthead View Post
I'd love to see Sennheiser stop price-control and see what the true market value of HD800 ends up being...
Personally, I would price it a little higher than what the 650 goes for now. 500-600ish.
post #25 of 147
I am sure pricing for the HD800 will become a bit more "flexible" when the T1 is released.
post #26 of 147
It is a shame that Sennheiser keep such a strict lock on the prices, and even now almost a year since release do not have it available throughout the entire world (Australia mentioned above).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgl View Post
Stax sells low-mechanical-quality plastic headphones for over 1000$, Denon sells Chinese slave-labour for over 1000$ (despite aesthetic appearence much less carefully manufactured and assembled) and let's don't start with Grado and their manufacturing processes...
They do?
The SR-007A, SR-007MK2 and 4070 is $1000+ but I would not consider them plastic headphones, as they are mostly metal and leather. The SR-404 Limited is the next one out in the line, but that one is quite a bit below $1000 (more like $750). So?
post #27 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
They do?
The SR-007A, SR-007MK2 and 4070 is $1000+ but I would not consider them plastic headphones, as they are mostly metal and leather. The SR-404 Limited is the next one out in the line, but that one is quite a bit below $1000 (more like $750). So?
plus the 4070's use wood! the built quality of these and the O2's are as good as it gets! Serious looking gear, unlike others....

Senn's price control extend the value of the commodity by not letting room for the consumer to inscribe a 'real worth value', which according to many, including me, it should be about half of the asking price.
post #28 of 147
I don't know what business model they are using. Are they letting their cheaper headphones carry their R&D costs on the 800's? Or do they want to recoup as much of the costs on the 800's via retail sales? My guess is they would rather have the 800's be self sufficient rather than rely on cheaper products to subsidize the cost of their new flagship line.

It's a big investment to hit the market with a product like the HD800's, total costs from the beginning of the project and potential sales have to be determined, not just the costs of producing the parts as of right now.
post #29 of 147
It's interesting how nearly everyone in this thread laments over the price of HD800 and how overpriced they are. I would even pay $2000 for them. They are that good for me and I consider them a bargain at the current price.

As for Beyerdynamic T1 - all the pre-order prices I've seen here in Czech Republic are higher than for HD800. Let's see if they drop or not...
post #30 of 147
Without lock on the prices, it would be very likely that some dealers lower their prices - nothing wrong with that, margins for dealers are high in the hifi-sector. But consumers would start to expect nothing but the lowered price level, value of HD800 on the market goes down (when I buy such an expensive product, I want it to keep value as much as possible). Then major dealers would further reduce prices and add pressure on Sennheiser, because they don't accept lower margins. Sennheiser would add cost reductions, lower quality and propably outsource production to locations with lower standards. At some point , you'll end up with 500$ (with 1000$ retail price) high-end versions of the HD595...

We need more stability in the (especially consumer electronics) market, longer life-spans and appreciation of value - that's the only way for real innovation, high quality-standards and big R&D-budgets.

I like the look of the Omega, but I wasn't able to listen to them, they cost over 4000$ in Germany and no dealer wants to keep them in stock... I hope that their build-quality is up to professional standards...
Stax-prices in Germany are very high and even plastic models like the 404 are similar priced to HD800 or T1.

The HD800 is definitely one of the most complex and innovative designs in the headphone-world and it's acoustic refinement is measurable, whether you like it's looks & sound or not. In the "how much does a headphone cost" I tried to estimate production- and R&D-costs for Sennheiser - they're definitely in the 300-700€ (450-1000$) range.
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