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are most headamps overpriced CMoy's? - Page 2

post #16 of 111
I wouldn't say that most, but many are. And indeed, I find the current portable headphone amp prices just absurd and ridiculous. I mean, sure, you can't make a decent amp, with a nice enclosure for $50.00... but $370 !?!?

Prices of enclosures, silk-screening, circuit-boards components, etc. ALL go down considerably when you purchase larger quantities so that's not where the reason for the high price resides.

And I find it very hard to believe that all that SMD soldering in the pics is done by hand, as is the case when you DIY your amp.

Sad thing is that prices will be driven even higher by people who gladly pay those inflated prices for over-hyped amplifiers which then they hype even more... reminds of a tale about an emperor and some over-hyped clothing...

For those who think you have to pay such amounts of money to get a GREAT portable amp, take a look at the Mini 3



Check out it's features in AMB labs' website. Finally go to Glass Jar Audio and check out how much a full kit for the amp costs, including a pair of very expensive, custom machined, silk-screened, manufactured on a one-by-one basis, back panels.

cheers!
post #17 of 111
Yes, but it's one thing to build your own amp or two, and it's quite another to make a living building headphone amps. The overhead costs are significantly different.

If people want to complain about amp prices, build your own. If you want to talk about starting and run a successful small manufacturing business in a niche market (parts, labor, building, insurance, utility bills, legal and accounting costs, time spent with correspondence, shipping, marketing and promotion travel costs, on and on) that's a different conversation. To compare the two (diy costs and commercial costs) is really unfair.
post #18 of 111
over engineered cmoys or underengineered integrated amp, i can't tell or decide.

either way seems you are mostly paying for the makers to have their names spammed everywhere, and then for the name, far from it being a cosy cottage industry which perhaps gives it the 'hand made' appeal, it's just a small nugget of 'make amp that works, put in extruded aluminium box, spam adverts and fake reviews on forums till you get sales. welcome to commerce.

it's really that simple.

(an aside, audio-gd i had never head of before i posted here, they seem to have zero marketting other than glowing word-of-mouth and a feeble looking website but one look at their products and they seem to mean business. an expample of the reverse of the paying for marketting commerce i guess)


personally being told my NAD c320bee couldn't drive a pair of headphones properly, that the headphone jack was a £1 afterthought, that it probably used a cheap opamp (like uhm, loads of other headphone amps it seems?!) made me get some truth for myself so i opened my NAD, asked a few questions, and found infact the headphones were driven from a 2watt resistor'd line from the speakers ("resistors are bad for the sound" came next - which is why the most expensive volume controls use them oh wait). sorta blows all those myths/marketting lies about why you need a headphone amp if you've got an integrated into smithereens.

I've since picked up numerous other integrateds for next to nothing because they are not fasionable, fine by me, and use the first tape-out on my NAD to use them as sample headphone amps, because i appreciate an amp that rocks with speakers may not gel well with headphones. faffing with a yamaha ax-396 i got for dirt cheap now, totally different sound to the nad, brilliant on vocals and the like, so clean and airy sounding, but it's no rocker)
post #19 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomana View Post
Yes, but it's one thing to build your own amp or two, and it's quite another to make a living building headphone amps. The overhead costs are significantly different.

If people want to complain about amp prices, build your own. If you want to talk about starting and run a successful small manufacturing business in a niche market (parts, labor, building, insurance, utility bills, legal and accounting costs, time spent with correspondence, shipping, marketing and promotion travel costs, on and on) that's a different conversation. To compare the two (diy costs and commercial costs) is really unfair.
People seem to forget this. Remember that the sales volume isn't as high as you might think.
post #20 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleborg View Post
over engineered cmoys or underengineered integrated amp, i can't tell or decide.

either way seems you are mostly paying for the makers to have their names spammed everywhere, and then for the name, far from it being a cosy cottage industry which perhaps gives it the 'hand made' appeal, it's just a small nugget of 'make amp that works, put in extruded aluminium box, spam adverts and fake reviews on forums till you get sales. welcome to commerce.

it's really that simple.

...
No it isn't. You have no idea how much it costs to build prototypes, samples and most of all to get people to know you. Then there is insurance, transport (what do you think a fancy box costs?), all the stuff Boomana mentioned. Do you know how hard it is to make a competetive product that people enjoy? You are (again) downright insulting people who want to make a nice product and sell it. Let's be honest: the RSA stuff looks and feels WAY better than that crap on eBay. Some people (like me) are willing to pay for that. If you're not, that's perfectly fine, but don't act like you know it all when clearly you don't.

This whole money thing in audio really pisses me off. It'd be nice if more people could just talk about stuff without their envy or pride getting in the way all the bloody time. Sexual frustration maybe? You're not a better or worse person whether you're rich or poor and just because something is expensive or cheap doesn't mean it's a fraudulent product by default.

/rant
post #21 of 111
Well put Slash47. I agree with your comments entirely.
post #22 of 111
Wow, thread is only on the second page so far, and it's already time to unsubscribe.
post #23 of 111
Thread Starter 
yeah ok! so this thing costs $370 because of R&D, commercial fees(legal, housing, taxes, RMA) and also because someone needs to make a living. got it, thanks all for your contributions.

anyway the Hornet is said to sound amazing, and topped by the Pico by some ppl...which is $350. I find the RS prices really over the top, and their tech.support rather unfriendly...the complete opposite of Audio-GD, as previously stated.

and all these raving reviews here on head-fi are also a strong asset to the shameless "commerce" theory, 1 full page of "OMG IT ROX" from ppl who received free review samples(they're not free to everybody) leaves a bitter taste in my mouth(and to many other ppl too, mind you)...but well, that's how reviews work everywhere, in magazines, web sites(that try to influence ppl into believing that a $100 crappy soundcard will give them the sound they crave, hah...lies! )...noone wants to kill the golden goose.

and the only way to find out your "ideal" amp is either to play this game, or to buy a bunch of them w/ your own pocket money...and sell those that you didn't like, like a crack whore searching for a fix.

the m3 looks great btw!
post #24 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slash47 View Post
No it isn't. You have no idea how much it costs to build prototypes, samples and most of all to get people to know you. Then there is insurance, transport (what do you think a fancy box costs?), all the stuff Boomana mentioned. Do you know how hard it is to make a competetive product that people enjoy? You are (again) downright insulting people who want to make a nice product and sell it. Let's be honest: the RSA stuff looks and feels WAY better than that crap on eBay. Some people (like me) are willing to pay for that. If you're not, that's perfectly fine, but don't act like you know it all when clearly you don't.

This whole money thing in audio really pisses me off. It'd be nice if more people could just talk about stuff without their envy or pride getting in the way all the bloody time. Sexual frustration maybe? You're not a better or worse person whether you're rich or poor and just because something is expensive or cheap doesn't mean it's a fraudulent product by default.

/rant
i simply don't care about how much it costs someone to make something, i only care about the value to me, value that is drastically lacking from so many of these headphone amps, because as you state, by the time all the costs are in, what's left for the amp is even less than in a 'faceless multinational' or whatever. I can buy a quality integrated new for say £200, but in the headphone amp world that seems to get me a handful of beans that might grow into something i can eat and resale value is capricious at best. there's no offense intended.

i agree about the sexual frustration thing though, if not that...something is skewing everything audio. It's basically all men, that tells me there's an overshadowing phycological aspect to everything already, yes men are genetically hardwired to obess, it's why men are are the tops of nearly everything. and to compete over every last tiny and contentious detail and ultimately to 'win'.

one could say that talking about audio itself in any specific terms is completely nonsensical, and i'd agree. Funnily enough, so many headphone amp/cable reviews read like patrick bateman diatribes from american pyscho. Reminds me of band and music reviews - self indulgent rubbish. much better to review the venue and it's sound system, comfort, toilets, etc.

when i was younger i would accuse people of being stupid, but now a few years later and i accuse people of being clever. they know damn well what they are doing and i know they can never admit to it. I just ain't gonna buy it
post #25 of 111
If you do not like the product or the vendor put your money elsewhere!
Not like anybody is forcing you to buy it.
post #26 of 111
I sometimes wonder if it is more costly to manufacture (and develop and promote and transport) a HP amp than an iPad.
post #27 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
If you do not like the product or the vendor put your money elsewhere!
Not like anybody is forcing you to buy it.
And indeed we are putting it elsewhere, but that in no way means we cannot shout that the emperor is walking around naked...
post #28 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
that's a $370 RSA Hornet: [Commentaire Test] Emmeline "The Hornet" Portable Headphone Amp - Forum GenerationMP3

it's a joke, right?

are most HP amps just CMoys w/ stellar markups?
Sorry I have trouble following the logic.

The OP quoted the Hornet as one likely CMoy equivalent but then he put forward a hypothesis that "MOST" headphone amps are just CMoys.

Just can't follow the reasoning here. Obvioulsy the Hornet is just of the hundreds of headphone amps out there. Did someone actually examine all other headphone amps and come to similar conclusion ?

Am I missing anything here ? Looks like this is a statement (or accusation?) not very fair to other headphone amp designer and producers unless there are more substantiation.

Hope someone can enlighten me here.

F. Lo
post #29 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
yeah ok! so this thing costs $370 because of R&D, commercial fees(legal, housing, taxes, RMA) and also because someone needs to make a living. got it, thanks all for your contributions.

anyway the Hornet is said to sound amazing, and topped by the Pico by some ppl...which is $350. I find the RS prices really over the top, and their tech.support rather unfriendly...the complete opposite of Audio-GD, as previously stated.

and all these raving reviews here on head-fi are also a strong asset to the shameless "commerce" theory, 1 full page of "OMG IT ROX" from ppl who received free review samples(they're not free to everybody) leaves a bitter taste in my mouth(and to many other ppl too, mind you)...but well, that's how reviews work everywhere, in magazines, web sites(that try to influence ppl into believing that a $100 crappy soundcard will give them sound they crave for, hah...lies! )...noone wants to kill the golden goose.

and the only way to find out your "ideal" amp is either to play this game, or to buy a bunch of them w/ your own pocket money...and sell those that you didn't like, like a crack whore searching for a fix.

the m3 looks great btw!
Trolling? For a guy with all of your posts you must be doing be writing this to fill up some time. You actually sound insulted! Something is worth to you whatever you think it is. No one, no advertising, no review, no nothing can change that. No one is forcing anyone to buy an RSA, a Pico, or any amp, headphone, etc.

If your hope to protect newbies from wasting money (in your opinion), that's a valid and worthy objective. Don't be so emotional and evocative. State your point in a pleasant way and move on.
post #30 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_equalizer View Post
And indeed we are putting it elsewhere, but that in no way means we cannot shout that the emperor is walking around naked...
Most people who put $1000 towards a single piece of kit know he's naked. He's just really hot, ok? Shouting about like nobody knows is a wee bit pointless and you're just making yourself look silly.

Yes, most hp amps, pre amps and output stages use opamps. Whether that means they are overpriced cmoy's I'm not too sure. I'd say they aren't, actually. They just use opamps...

Don't forget that opamps, like transistors and tubes, are very very responsive to a quality PSU and 'high-end' implementation. Put a small polyprop. cap from V+ to V- on the opamp pins of a cheap soundcard and BAM, better sound. This just goes to show there's more to it than just using expensive parts.

Personally I wouldn't buy a portable amp and nail polishing chips is weird. But with all the copycats out there I can see why he does it.
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