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are most headamps overpriced CMoy's?

post #1 of 111
Thread Starter 

that's a $370 RSA Hornet:

 

 ray5.png

 

it's a joke, right?

are most headamps just CMoy's w/ stellar markups?


Edited by leeperry - 9/18/10 at 6:12pm
post #2 of 111
oh!, this should be interesting
post #3 of 111
I don't know anything. Are those innards supposed to be similar to a Cmoy?
post #4 of 111
post #5 of 111
I feel left out of this inside joke... I'm assuming given OPs 4k+ posts this can't be serious, so where's the funny?!
post #6 of 111
Thread Starter 
I'm entirely willing to believe that R&D costs a lot, but how much would you say there is in components here? 10% of the retail price? less than 10%?

the audiophile market is well guarded, because the markups are stellar...and there isn't a million ways to amplify an audio signal w/ opamps and caps IMHO..
post #7 of 111
you're paying for the enclosure, volume knob, silk screening, and the brand. have you ever read that post where the OP was tired of all portable setups?

have you seen the guts of the Grado RA-1 amp? you dont get much with portable amps sometimes even desktops. maybe ones with DACs inside have a little more to look at.

pull apart an ipod touch or a zuneHd you probably wont see much beyond the lcd/oled and battery.

building my b22, i know just how much a nice enclosure costs now. the crappiest/simplest raw aluminum enclosure to fit 4 boards and 2.5" heatsinks cost ~140 before shipping and i need two ugh. 2 SUMR encapsulated shielded toroids costs 190 shipped!! not even mentioning the powdercoating/anodizing/cnc work/relay based illuminated switches, etc. i am very afraid that i am about to dump in almost more than the populated boards itself to get it just to look functional. i put in so many hours just to stuff the board and match the JFETS/MOSFETS/BJTs that i am shocked that they sell for under 3000; i think anyone who sells a nice looking b22 for the market prices i am seeing must be losing money. i bet there's even over $1000 worth of casework in the apache that i have :\
post #8 of 111
Solid State designs can get complicated very quickly, and the essential parts begin to accumulate costs.

Tube amps can stay relatively basic, but the components add up in cost fast.


Either way, a quality amp builds both on cost and complexity fairly quickly. The audible results attest to the differences regardless of technical specs.
post #9 of 111
the parts can be cheaper but the chassis can be very expensive.
Sometimes even more expensive than the components itself.

You can get a good grade chassis or source from china a mediocre finish.
post #10 of 111
IMO, most portable amp.. are just upgraded version of a cmoy.
Well, cmoy IS the basic setup/layout for an amp so to speak.
So that cant be helped.

The same might be said for desktop amps, but idk, headphone desktop amp seems much more complicated with more and higher grade component and lesser of size restriction, so on that part, I rather go for desktop amps then go for portable amps.

Ampless for portable ftw.
post #11 of 111
Really doubtful that is the case!
Especially considering that there are many tube amplifiers out there, and solid state designs looking nothing like the Cmoy.

post #12 of 111
Not with tube amps, that's for sure. For one upcoming build, I paid $500 just to have the output transformers shipped from the UK. It'll probably cost another $1,500 just to get the rest of the parts.

Resistors and capacitors are relatively cheap. The real money is in the transformers and casing. If you go point-to-point, labor also becomes a factor.

As for circuits, I'm not much up on solid state. However, tube designs can be significantly different from each other.
post #13 of 111
You are entirely correct.

Rules of being a successful headphone amp peddler:

1. It MUST have a high quality/shiny enclosure.

2. To dissuade critics, sand off part numbers of any IC's. That will leave them in the dark as to what exactly the "magical chip" is.

3. To further dissuade critics, use ridiculously overpriced passive components, even though they will do nothing to enhance sound from poor active components (eg $300 coupling and bypass caps)

4. Have a european or american base of operations, even if your products are made in china.

5. Send them out to people who are impressed by shiny boxes and boutique capacitors, and will review the product accordingly.

6. Dodge any questions, ESPECIALLY ones related to the sanded down "magic chip(/s)" by referring to the design as a trade secret.

post #14 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
I'm entirely willing to believe that R&D costs a lot, but how much would you say there is in components here? 10% of the retail price? less than 10%?

the audiophile market is well guarded, because the markups are stellar...and there isn't a million ways to amplify an audio signal w/ opamps and caps IMHO..
Some seem to charge less markup than RSA and provide more features with less 'minimal' innards. They don't need mil-spec nail-polish either.



post #15 of 111
Does anyone know what kind of turnover companies like Woo and RSA have? I'd be very curious...
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