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Sennheiser HD 800 - price control? - Page 6

post #76 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
There's some very strange things being said in this thread.

First off, I have worked in various r&d labs (both academic and commercial) and the idea that it took 10 employees several years to take a dynamic transducer and put a hole in the center is so ridiculous it is laughable. The meager technological "achievements" of these headphones require almost no innovation and should take very little time to realize (ie the on the scale of a couple months, and that time being a result of waiting for production rather than running simulations of delving into new physics ).

Second, defenders of these $1400 headphones please stop making claims such as we don't agree with the pricing because we are too poor, or that we want manufacturers to be our slaves.

These headphones are nice high quality phones. The require precious little innovation and low materials cost. The profit margins are astronomical and the prices are fixed. They may be worth $1400 to some people granted.

Why does this stuff annoy me? Because manufacturers look at these responses and say: 'Wow, we don't need to make something great or something of good value. Rather we simply must create a perception of superiority - which is done not by best performance but highest asking price.'
Now we see the me too T1s. If AKG releases something in the $1400 range I will be very annoyed. But I'm still holding out faith for them.
(if AKG actually came out with some outstanding breakthrough, then $1400 could be justified perhaps. But a transducer with two holes in it isn't gonna cut it for me).
.......

verdict: A master of assumption, ignorance, and talking out of one's rectum.
post #77 of 147
It would financially behoove Sennheiser to also market the HD-800 as a lightning rod.
post #78 of 147
One comment on pricing....

I get people ringing me wanting to try headphones, but no-one demonstrates anymore - why? - because people used to go to the shops for a demo and then go away and buy on the internet because it was cheaper.

So the shops do all the work and get no sale.

With the HD 800 the customer can get a proper demonstration and the people who do the work get the sale because you can't buy it cheaper on the internet.

Having a price free-for-all eventually ends up bad for the customer because everything will only be on line and you can never see or try before you buy any more.
post #79 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
One comment on pricing....

I get people ringing me wanting to try headphones, but no-one demonstrates anymore - why? - because people used to go to the shops for a demo and then go away and buy on the internet because it was cheaper.

So the shops do all the work and get no sale.

With the HD 800 the customer can get a proper demonstration and the people who do the work get the sale because you can't buy it cheaper on the internet.

Having a price free-for-all eventually ends up bad for the customer because everything will only be on line and you can never see or try before you buy any more.
John,

The shops do all the work and get no sale. Really?

How many dealers within a 50 mile of radius of London have actually got a demo pair that you can listen to? When I was shopping for a pair of HD800's - NONE!

So you restrict the supply to high-end brick and mortar stores, because they can demo them and will not price cut like the online stores. Most of us don't live anywhere near a brick and mortar store. Even when we do, they don't have a demo pair. Tell me again why we are paying dealer mark-up on them?

EDIT: John, I've stayed away from posting in this thread until I read your comment. I think you need to play secret shopper with a few of the high-end dealers that are "allowed" to sell the HD800, in the UK at least. You might find that they have no intention of stocking a demo pair, (especially if it means investing their own money in the demo pair), no intention of having any stock on-hand for the customer to purchase, but they are quite happy to take an order (at full price) and have the product drop-shipped to the customer directly from Sennheiser. So I ask again, exactly what are these guys doing to justify the non-discounted, full price, dealer mark-up? (Not demoing and promoting your product, that's for sure!)

2nd EDIT: John, regarding "the proper demonstration" comment, I've been pondering it again this evening. Either you or Sennheiser (the company) are living in la-la land! Can you please supply a list of UK dealers that are demoing the HD800, please? I bought a pair blind because after phoning at least 35 dealers I only found 2 that had a pair available for demo. One in Scotland and the other, (if I recall correctly), in Bristol. No use to me! The joke of this is, 2 further sales (both purchased via an authorized UK dealer) and drop-shipped direct from Sennheiser are as a result of having demo'd my phones, the phones I bought at full price, mail order from an authorized dealer without a demo, because I couldn't get one, nor could I find a dealer actually stocking the phones and not drop-shipping. I think you've got this wrong. Idiots like me do the work so the "cartel" you have appointed/allowed to sell the HD800 can maximise their profit!

Most of your "high-end" dealers are not particularly interested in anything other than AV and in most cases they know less about your products than I do - the customer! (Especially the turnip who told me that I'd also need to purchase (from him, of course) a new amp to go with them as I couldn't possibly already own an amplifier which would let me hear the "full potential". I can think of several reasons not price related why I'd rather make all my purchases over the internet and not have to deal with imbeciles who can give "a proper demonstration". On the basis of discussions with members of your appointed "cartel", I rather hope that at least 2 of them do go out of business and it can't happen quickly enough. Preferably before they have the opportunity to mislead anyone into lining their own greedy pockets. It's a shame, but it seems that a lot of the good guys (that I used to support) have gone, leaving only the sleazy.
post #80 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parafeed View Post
John,

The shops do all the work and get no sale. Really?

How many dealers within a 50 mile of radius of London have actually got a demo pair that you can listen to? When I was shopping for a pair of HD800's - NONE!

So you restrict the supply to high-end brick and mortar stores, because they can demo them and will not price cut like the online stores. Most of us don't live anywhere near a brick and mortar store. Even when we do they don't have a demo pair. Tell me again why we are paying dealer mark-up on them?

EDIT: John, I've stayed away from posting in this thread until I read your comment. I think you need to play secret shopper with a few of the high-end dealers that are "allowed" to sell the HD800, in the UK at least. You might find that they have no intention of stocking a demo pair, (especially if it means investing their own money in the demo pair), no intention of having any stock on-hand for the customer to purchase, but they are quite happy to take an order (at full price) and have the product drop-shipped to the customer directly from Sennheiser. So I ask again, exactly what are these guys doing to justify the non-discounted, full price, dealer mark-up? (Not demoing and promoting your product, that's for sure!)
Very good point ! Any dealer here in Switzerland to let me take home one to try it in my system ? The demo in the shop would not even help or would you invest the 1400 only to find out that the dealers amp and source do make up a wonderful system but the combination with your source and amp would not be satisfying ? Or would I have to bring all the equipment all along ? So much to do for the marketing of this one. Besides the price IS high anyway.
post #81 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Economic discussions should be relegated to the sound science forum. I must say, I find the perspective some people here have on economics to be more embarrassing than the worst opinions I've ever heard on cables.
Indeed. E.g., virtually every audio product that costs more than $100 yields its manufacturer "exorbitant profits."
post #82 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
If AKG releases something in the $1400 range I will be very annoyed. But I'm still holding out faith for them.
(if AKG actually came out with some outstanding breakthrough, then $1400 could be justified perhaps. But a transducer with two holes in it isn't gonna cut it for me).
AKG already did 20 years ago - the K1000 - and it sold for $899 (if I remember correctly) in 1989 dollars.
post #83 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
I have both headphones and prefer the feel of HD-800.

Most people have a bias that tells them that plastic is "cheap." I believe that you should use the best material for the job. Anything else is jewelry.
In fact the plastic enclosure sometiimes means highter cost than other materials, such as wooden and aluminum alloy if the fininally production is samller. For the injection mould developed cost is very higher. Normally cost USD 70000 or more. That is why the small brands usually applying the metal enclosure.
post #84 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by xkRoWx View Post
Although the HD800 does sound great, I personally think the build quality is not as great as many have chimed here.

First off, no plastic and microfiber cloth worth $1399, IMO.

Then we have the squeeky headband. Try twisting them and you'll know what I mean.

If the HD800 were made with aluminum, lambskin leather headbands and pads padded with memory foams, 7N silver/copper wires and self-adjusting headbands like the AKG, I'd gladly pay the $1399.
My opinion is don't pay for the raw materials, Do pay for music.
post #85 of 147

???

But one is dependent on the other....
post #86 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
There's some very strange things being said in this thread.

First off, I have worked in various r&d labs (both academic and commercial) and the idea that it took 10 employees several years to take a dynamic transducer and put a hole in the center is so ridiculous it is laughable. The meager technological "achievements" of these headphones require almost no innovation and should take very little time to realize (ie the on the scale of a couple months, and that time being a result of waiting for production rather than running simulations of delving into new physics ).

Second, defenders of these $1400 headphones please stop making claims such as we don't agree with the pricing because we are too poor, or that we want manufacturers to be our slaves.

These headphones are nice high quality phones. The require precious little innovation and low materials cost. The profit margins are astronomical and the prices are fixed. They may be worth $1400 to some people granted.

Why does this stuff annoy me? Because manufacturers look at these responses and say: 'Wow, we don't need to make something great or something of good value. Rather we simply must create a perception of superiority - which is done not by best performance but highest asking price.'
Now we see the me too T1s. If AKG releases something in the $1400 range I will be very annoyed. But I'm still holding out faith for them.
(if AKG actually came out with some outstanding breakthrough, then $1400 could be justified perhaps. But a transducer with two holes in it isn't gonna cut it for me).
We need to calculate the experience accumulated time into the new products. If a new designer (or team),has no any experience on audio design, they just begine to learn how to design a headphone with sound, maybe in 10 years time, it is hard for them to design a great audio product.
post #87 of 147
I appreciate some good feedback. I don't so much appreciate the personal attacks (very intelligent subtle ).

I'll suspend my disbelief for a moment and take these technological breakthroughs for granted. Can we please have some details on the specific breakthroughs and their (empirical) results? Perhaps some abstracts from the peer reviewed papers that accompanied these breakthroughs?
(no patents please - I'm aware that audio companies take out lots of patents. I'm only interested in technological achievements)
post #88 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyDebord View Post
Im sorry but paralleling good innovation and r&d with the amount of employees of a company is dead wrong and naive! Technological breakthroughs dont happen by the number of people working, they happen when there is a good dedicated team with a good working space, some leading geniuses and a bit of chance. If what you say its true then you would disqualify a big part of the history of technological advance which begun with good small companies.
I do agree with your points. Especially the breackthrough of the audio products is boosted by passion than not by task. The most decent audio products usually developed by the samller company with passions
post #89 of 147
I don't agree with many posts metioned that China related products means low quality. Do you know Airbus airplane is made in Tian Jin city, China.
post #90 of 147
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...

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.
As a machinist I know...

Plastic is far too easy to work with. These guys probably have never used a drop of oil and are still using the tooling that came with the machine. That's how easy machining is on plastic. With that said, most machining rigs are designed for metal stock, not plastic, so it's like using a power saw on seran wrap.

Also, I have come to very much dislike almost anything sennheiser. The closest thing I've heard to passable thus far is the HD600 and HD650, which were quite nice, but nowhere near as impacting as the alluminum bowled grado's. I love that strong high end.
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