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CanJam@RMAF 2011 Listening Impressions Thread - Page 21  

post #301 of 678

 

@vpivinylspinner

 

 

Great natural light photographs!beerchug.gif

 

Love it!

post #302 of 678
Yes those pics are great. Really pro stuff there.

---

Got about 25 setups written up before I started having problems keeping my eyes open. Maybe done tomorrow. Time to catch up on sleep. The beds at the Marriott were WAY too soft. Couldn't get any quality sleep at all.
post #303 of 678

The products here all make me kind of sad.

 

I think the headphone market is moving in the same way as the high-end speaker audio market. Which is higher prices and more outrageous bling for everything. There's no doubt in my mind that in the next few years we will see price and value of high-end headphone gear be entirely disconnected. Just look at the last few flagships that have been released - all at least 2K and Sennheiser even raised the price of their 3 year old flagship just to compete!  I have no doubt that products like the SR-009 and LCD-3 are very good. But are products like the Darkstar, Woo 234, Apex Pinnacle, etc really the best way to go for this hobby? Do we want to keep raising the price bar every year? If we accept $10,000 headphone amps and $2000+ dynamic cans as the new "gold standard" and keep buying them, we are only encouraging manufacturers to raise prices. Did anybody in 2008 imagine that we would be talking about $1000 headphones as "good if you can't get the latest model?"

 

Look at the middle of the market. We are still talking about the 6x0, K701, and RS-1 years after they were introduced. No manufacturer (except HiFiMAN) seems interested in bringing out cans in the $200-$500 range. Why would they, if they can just release a gorgeous new flagship with lots of polished wood and aluminum and price it way over a grand. I have to applaud companies like Schitt for focusing on the mass market before making their high-end stuff. Look, it's up to you. Do you want headphone audio to keep growing as fast as it has been?

 

A major reason so many newbies have entered this hobby is because of the EASE OF ENTRY. In 2008, when Head-Fi really started taking off, it didn't cost a lot to have what was percieved as a "nice rig." High school and college kids saw that if they wanted this stuff, they could easily afford it. And once they were in, they started stepping up to the more expensive stuff. But I'm afraid a lot of newbies will come into this and start posts like I see on AudioAsylum ("I have a 30K rig but it's only mid-fi, I wish I could afford real hi-fi stuff like you guys"). I am already seeing that with electrostats. I've read soooooo many newbie posts that said they were just not interested in stats because they couldn't afford a BHSE. Which we all know is ludicrous. But I've seen people post that, and I'm afraid soon we will see posters saying "I don't wanna get into headphones, I can't afford a LCD-3 and Darkstar." Well, they may not say that out loud, but they will sure think it.


Edited by tvrboy - 10/17/11 at 3:51am
post #304 of 678
Quote:

Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post

 

A major reason so many newbies have entered this hobby is because of the EASE OF ENTRY. In 2008, when Head-Fi really started taking off, it didn't cost a lot to have what was percieved as a "nice rig." High school and college kids saw that if they wanted this stuff, they could easily afford it. And once they were in, they started stepping up to the more expensive stuff. But I'm afraid a lot of newbies will come into this and start posts like I see on AudioAsylum ("I have a 30K rig but it's only mid-fi, I wish I could afford real hi-fi stuff like you guys"). I am already seeing that with electrostats. I've read soooooo many newbie posts that said they were just not interested in stats because they couldn't afford a BHSE. Which we all know is ludicrous. But I've seen people post that, and I'm afraid soon we will see posters saying "I don't wanna get into headphones, I can't afford a LCD-3 and Darkstar." Well, they may not say that out loud, but they will sure think it.

 

Haha, hopefully I'll have a LCD-3 and Darkstar in November :) However, imo a great headphone rig can still be had for around 1000usd, in combos such as the schiit bifrost-asgard-senn hd600/650 or the audio-gd stuff with headphone of choice or the nuforce hd/hdp with headphone of choice.
 

 

post #305 of 678

X2. Excellent points regarding the pricing. I seen it happen also in 2 channel rigs. When I started this hobby in 1978 prices were reasonable for high end good and speakers. I bought a pair of PSB Stratus Golds in 1997 for 1500.00 now that replacement is closer to 7K. The company that offers real valuwe for the money is magneplanar. You can buy a 1.7 for 2K and be a very happy camper. This insanity in the headphone market is leading towards the same problem as the 2 channel market. High prices and only one Market. Only high income people will participate. I can see 1K headphones but anything more for me is insanity. Even if I had discretionary income as I did in my younger years when I had 30K invested at one point in 2 channel and that system remained the same for 12 years. I have reached the same thing again with my nearfield speakers and tube amps and 2 flagship headphones I can see no more purchases for quite some time. I think we need more value in the headphone industry again. TVBoy makes a valid point and great post

post #306 of 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

X2. Excellent points regarding the pricing. I seen it happen also in 2 channel rigs. When I started this hobby in 1978 prices were reasonable for high end good and speakers. I bought a pair of PSB Stratus Golds in 1997 for 1500.00 now that replacement is closer to 7K. The company that offers real valuwe for the money is magneplanar. You can buy a 1.7 for 2K and be a very happy camper. This insanity in the headphone market is leading towards the same problem as the 2 channel market. High prices and only one Market. Only high income people will participate. I can see 1K headphones but anything more for me is insanity. Even if I had discretionary income as I did in my younger years when I had 30K invested at one point in 2 channel and that system remained the same for 12 years. I have reached the same thing again with my nearfield speakers and tube amps and 2 flagship headphones I can see no more purchases for quite some time. I think we need more value in the headphone industry again. TVBoy makes a valid point and great post


I absolutely agree, especially about the magnepans, their speakers are astonishing value, the 1.7 and 3.7 easily compete in every area apart from bass with speakers costing 3 -5 times more and in my experience, the 20.1 is comparable to everything I have heard (Including my B and W 802Ds) below the Focal Grand Utopia EM.

 

post #307 of 678

EDIT - this ones off topic also, sorry


Edited by drez - 10/17/11 at 6:10am
post #308 of 678

Personally, I am more irritated by the pricing being driven by what the market can bare vs. being based on the cost of bringing it to the market + "reasonable" profit margin to support the company. In the case of lcd3, I was very skeptical because there was no clear explenation on the cost other than "It will sell...".

 

There have been clarifications since, such as extensive r&d, more intricate driver design. If really the cost is driven by this effort, then we should just applaude because Audeze is helping to raise the bar for headphone sound quality. Looking at it as a "glass half full", I interpret the increase in price as a consequence of spending more money on development because the market is maturing and thus being ready to pay what it takes to get the ultimate system.

 

Looking at it as the "glass half empty", I can't help but feel that the temptation to maximize profits must be significant. After all, almost everyone is happy to make more money if they can... Well on the customer side, I also work very hard to make the 2k required to get such headphone so it is natural I want to trust I am not being significantly overcharged... The design of the lcd 3 not being drastically different from the lcd 2, makes it a bit hard to see where this extra money is being necessary.  Maybe the company is quickly growing and the overhead costs spiralling?

In the end, the evolution of prices is probably due to a mix of the above. Certainly, time will tell if Audeze made the right move on releasing this headphone at 2k...

 

For the talk about the smaller incomes being excluded from high end audio, this may indeed become true on the first hand market, but you should see some good discount on used lcd 2 in the weeks to come ;)

 

My 4 cents (it was a nightmare to type this on my iphone 4, awful lag, so I deserve more than 2cts ;) )

 

 

post #309 of 678

@drez: sorry for the redundency, looks like you could type faster than me, I did not see your post until I submitted mine ;)

post #310 of 678

You know what - I think maybe $2000 is too cheap for the LCD-3 - they should charge at least $4000 seeing as it competes with the SR-009.  It's just too much of a bargain at the moment.very_evil_smiley.gif

post #311 of 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Personally, I am more irritated by the pricing being driven by what the market can bare vs. being based on the cost of bringing it to the market + "reasonable" profit margin to support the company. In the case of lcd3, I was very skeptical because there was no clear explenation on the cost other than "It will sell...".

 


 



Sorry, but price has ALWAYS been based upon what the market will bear.  It's how economics works.  Basing price on an arbitrary 'reasonable profit' is a recipe for failure. 

 

You want to effect the prices in a downward fashion and see more high-end at mid-fi prices?  Then don't buy the high end stuff.  If that happens across the board, you'll see prices drop and a greater emphasis placed on increasing the quality at mid-fi prices. 

 

As long as there's a market for the $2K+ headphone AND people perceive value at that pricepoint, then the products will sell.  If either the interest in paying $2K+ wanes or the quality is perceived as not being worth the money (that is, Senn can't simply rebadge the HD-600 and price it at $2K and expect it to sell), then they won't sell and we'll see a return to better value.

 

 

post #312 of 678

I look at it this way:

Perhaps Alex and Sankar never intended to sell as many LCD-2s as they did.

Priced at $945, they could barely keep up with production at first.  And, later on, when they could keep up with production, they experienced a batch of bad driver units.  Ouch!

 

In their minds, they are probably looking at long term liability:  How many LCD-2s are out there that we have to answer for?

Whether they fail during or after the warranty period, driver failure will come back on them...

 

So, in order to slow down production - decrease the demand - they raise the price.

It sounds counterproductive, yes, but it has the added benefit of producing the same total profit on just half the number of units sold.

 

And, at the end of the day, Alex and Sankar will only be liable for half as many potential failures.

Sounds like a no brainer to me.

 

Unfortunately, as a consumer, you either just got excised from the equation, or you just decided that $2000 is not too much for you.  wink.gif

post #313 of 678
Thread Starter 

before I get into show reports I want to address this price aspect that is being discussed then since we are in the RMAF impressions thread maybe we can move on.

 

Over time companies the large companies will release new mid tier phones with technology from the top tier cans, I believe we are seeing that from Beyer right now. Just a few short years ago we had the K1000, Sony Qualia, Grado PS-1, Sony R-10, Audio Technica l-3000 and I am certain I am leaving out a few others and they were all discontinued. We go years without a flagship headphone product from ANY major manufacture and the community is crying out for it. Secondary markets on previous flagship designs skyrocket. When I first got into this you could get a Grado HP-1000 for $600 and the R10 could be had for $1500-$2000. Sennheiser and Beyer release flagship models and they can't make them fast enough for demand. This spurs market space for other players like HiFiman and Audeze to create top tier headphones. I for one hope that we continue to see innovation and companies competing in the flagship market. I also believe we'll that this innovation will begin to find its way into mid tier general market type phones now that the players are investing in R&D again after being shown there is a market.

 

 

post #314 of 678

EDIT mods can please remove my posts in favor of staying on topic.  Apologies for the off-topic.


Edited by drez - 10/17/11 at 6:09am
post #315 of 678

New LCD 3

New LCD-3

 

New Woo Audio CD Player & Monoblocs

New Woo Audio CD Player, DAC and Monoblocs

 

New HeadRoom Italian Headphone Amplifier

New HeadRoom imported Italian Headphone Amplifier

 

New ALO Audio Rx Mk3B

New ALO Audio Rx MK3-B balanced portable headphone amplifier

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