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The Centrance HiFi M8 thread - Page 101

post #1501 of 4974
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chexxchexx View Post
...

What's needed is a concise comparison table to summarize the pros and cons of the various connectors available today. Attached to that should be a carefully constructed survey which would make it clear:

  1. how much do they care about balanced vs. single-ended
  2. how much more likely they'd be to buy new gear if it didn't carry an associated re-cabling price tag
  3. the value they assign to portability
  4. the likelihood of them owning both a portable and desktop rig given the ever narrowing gap between the two
  5. would they consider a single transportable rig in lieu of portable and desktop
  6. whether they'd willingly accept the cost associated with convergence
  7. how resentful they are of the lack of coordination within the manufacturer community and the associated inefficiencies being passed-on to the consumer
  8. their preferred connector for balanced
  9. their preferred connector for single-ended
  10. whether they currently own any balanced gear
  11. the type of balanced connectors on their current gear
  12. the types of headphones they currently own or realistically intend to own in the future
  13. how much they plan to spend on equipment in the next year
  14. how much they've spent on the gear currently in their possession
  15. how often they roll gear
  16. how much they use the secondary market when rolling gear

 

I'm sure there are plenty of other useful questions to be asked. It would be interesting to do something like this on an annual basis because it would make it easy to spot trends and, hopefully, show manufacturers it's in everyones' best interests for the current landscape to be simplified.

I won't do that survey. In honesty, they are badly phrased questions and leading. Even when corrected, what you intend to do above is like a semi-structured interview that takes at least 30 minutes to complete verbally. These detailed interviews are normally conducted by Market Research firms, and usually take some incentives to complete. Considering the resources required, the resulting data does not necessary solve the problem.

--

What I think is necessary to combat this fragmented balanced connector issue is to have a number of companies come together to agree on a robust, small connector, and then manufacture adaptors for legacy connectors. Similar to how Apple is now using the Thunderbolt connector for diverse uses.


Edited by eron - 2/25/13 at 7:14pm
post #1502 of 4974
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodman View Post

Hey, sorry for long silence. We've cut the aluminum already, so at this point it's going to have to be the four output choices that we spoke about. Some time in the future, when this ordeal is behind us, we will be cutting more aluminum for something else, and then the discussion may be re-opened.

Michael,

 

Many thanks for your explanation. wink.gif Though we cannot change the status quo, It's still good to know that the discussion may be re-opened some time in the future.

I'd really appreciate your efforts & enthusiasms devoted to M8. biggrin.gif

 

Cheers!

 

Adrian 

post #1503 of 4974

FYI guys: The mini-XLR thing was my totally fanciful thinking because I have headphone cables with a connector system that uses it. I'm pretty sure people with a connector system like mine are in a very tiny minority. I only know one other person who uses such a system on their headphones and only one company, Moon Audio, that formally offers it. Really, I don't in the least think Michael should bother with caring about it unless he, bravely, intends to attempt to re-create the standard, which would be good on principle alone but possibly not practical from a business standpoint until the M8 has exploded in popularity (assuming it will).

 

As for balanced headphone cabling, HeadRoom created the standard with 2x 3pin plugs, but male and female reversed. This is still the standard in Japan with 4-pin XLRs completely ignored here. The rest of the world (ie: Head-Fi and other forums) have been pushed over to 4-pin XLR, inherited from the K1000 cable set-up due to the popularity of Chinese manufacturers who used it (Little Dot, Audio-gd). Lake People were going to use a 5-pin XLR until we persuaded them to change their minds. So, apart from Japan (which has many, unique brands rarely seen here) we've pretty much collectively railroaded the 4-pin XLR as standard for balanced connections.  Ray and Ken setting that inappropriate (ie: unshielded and long-term un-reliable) connector for balanced portables -- that goes back to my comment at the end of my first paragraph. smile.gif

post #1504 of 4974
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

FYI guys: The mini-XLR thing was my totally fanciful thinking because I have headphone cables with a connector system that uses it. I'm pretty sure people with a connector system like mine are in a very tiny minority. I only know one other person who uses such a system on their headphones and only one company, Moon Audio, that formally offers it. Really, I don't in the least think Michael should bother with caring about it unless he, bravely, intends to attempt to re-create the standard, which would be good on principle alone but possibly not practical from a business standpoint until the M8 has exploded in popularity (assuming it will).

 

As for balanced headphone cabling, HeadRoom created the standard with 2x 3pin plugs, but male and female reversed. This is still the standard in Japan with 4-pin XLRs completely ignored here. The rest of the world (ie: Head-Fi and other forums) have been pushed over to 4-pin XLR, inherited from the K1000 cable set-up due to the popularity of Chinese manufacturers who used it (Little Dot, Audio-gd). Lake People were going to use a 5-pin XLR until we persuaded them to change their minds. So, apart from Japan (which has many, unique brands rarely seen here) we've pretty much collectively railroaded the 4-pin XLR as standard for balanced connections.  Ray and Ken setting that inappropriate (ie: unshielded and long-term un-reliable) connector for balanced portables -- that goes back to my comment at the end of my first paragraph. smile.gif

Thank you for the information.  I didn't know that it was the Chinese manufacturers that pushed the 4-pin into play (and thank goodness Lake People didn't end up introducing another connector).  I think the mini-XLR - modular cable setups are becoming more popular as people realize how convenient they are with no appreciable loss in fidelity.  ALO offers it now through their Green line, Doublehelixcables has offered it for quite some time, and when I took my own personal set to a meet so I could listen to all the different amps with my own headphones, nearly everyone thought it was a great idea and would probably get a set for themselves at some point.  Now this was for a lighter-weight multi-adapter setup, not as the only plug, but I think if just a few manufacturers would adopt it, we could see it take off like the other connectors.  Anyone with influence feel like running a campaign to get Ray and Ken to switch to the mini XLR?  I mean, Ken already has a whole line of cables ready for it.

post #1505 of 4974

I'm curious what the reasoning behind the Lake People 5-pin XLR would have been. Extra pin for shielding? microphone/smartphone pass through? 5 is better than 4?

post #1506 of 4974
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

Now this was for a lighter-weight multi-adapter setup, not as the only plug, but I think if just a few manufacturers would adopt it, we could see it take off like the other connectors.  Anyone with influence feel like running a campaign to get Ray and Ken to switch to the mini XLR?  I mean, Ken already has a whole line of cables ready for it.

 

I am asking my cable maker (whose company is very famous in my country) to build an upgrade cable terminated in the mini 4-pin XLR connector for my JH16, and later will show how flexible it is -- I can switch my JH16 between balanced and SE mode arbitrarily. Though audiophiles in my country aren't as many as those in Japan and in the States, I still believe that we can have at least some influence on promoting this connector. smile.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

I'm curious what the reasoning behind the Lake People 5-pin XLR would have been. Extra pin for shielding? microphone/smartphone pass through? 5 is better than 4?

Some headphones, like T1,  have a stand-alone GND, in addition to Hot and Cold. However, I almost can't find differences between a "2 x 3-pin XLR" configured and "one 4-pin XLR" configured T1 through a balanced amp. biggrin.gif

 

FYR,

 

Adrian


Edited by AdrianTW - 2/26/13 at 10:21am
post #1507 of 4974

Several people have been asking about a schedule update, so we sat down to do a schedule scrub yesterday and today.

 

I have to be the bearer of sad news - we are late. We lost a month to vacations and sickness in the office and then encountered some bugs on top of that. So... long story short... current estimates for assembly place us in May. 

 

The good news is that team is back together and we are moving full steam ahead. The bad news is I made a promise I could not keep. 

 

I feel like egg on face. And I apologize. Naturally, we are working hard to get to the finish line, but I feel like I let a lot of people down. Sorry about that.

 

A little more info here:

 

http://centrance.com/products/new/blog/2013/02/26/schedule-scrub/

 

Michael


Edited by mgoodman - 2/26/13 at 4:24pm
post #1508 of 4974

May!  That will make it a great birthday present for moi. Life happens! Thanks for the update

post #1509 of 4974

OK by me.  Make it right.

post #1510 of 4974
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodman View Post

Several people have been asking about a schedule update, so we sat down to do a schedule scrub yesterday and today.

 

I have to be the bearer of sad news - we are late. We lost a month to vacations and sickness in the office and then encountered some bugs on top of that. So... long story short... current estimates for assembly place us in May. 

 

 

Michael

Oh well, gives me a little more to time to bid farewell to my Fostex hp_p1k701smile.gif

post #1511 of 4974

Thanks, guys. By the Tokyo Headphone fest, we will have definitely started shipping.

Let's rephrase that: we definitely must have started shipping...


Edited by mgoodman - 2/26/13 at 4:50pm
post #1512 of 4974
Quote:
Originally Posted by eron View Post

I won't do that survey. In honesty, they are badly phrased questions and leading. Even when corrected, what you intend to do above is like a semi-structured interview that takes at least 30 minutes to complete verbally. These detailed interviews are normally conducted by Market Research firms, and usually take some incentives to complete. Considering the resources required, the resulting data does not necessary solve the problem.

--

What I think is necessary to combat this fragmented balanced connector issue is to have a number of companies come together to agree on a robust, small connector, and then manufacture adaptors for legacy connectors. Similar to how Apple is now using the Thunderbolt connector for diverse uses.

 

Eron,

 

Thank you very little for your inaccurate assumptions and condescending tone. 

 

With regard to your suggestion, what exactly do you think would cause the manufacturers to converge? The intention of my suggestion was to get people thinking about how to come together in sufficient numbers and with answers to the kinds of questions I'd expect manufacturers would want to see answered. 

 

I recognize that you're not suggesting Apple will be part of the solution to this particular issue, but I hope we can agree on one thing: Apple, the company that won't support FLAC and has duped countless people into thinking their ear buds are high-quality, certainly can't be counted on to have any interest in solving this issue.

post #1513 of 4974
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodman View Post

Thanks, guys. By the Tokyo Headphone fest, we will have definitely started shipping.

Let's rephrase that: we definitely must have started shipping...

Communication is the key, as long I know whats happening, good or bad.......I can relax.

 

It seems most of the trouble other businesses I have seen get in trouble on head-fi are through not replying to emails, or not updating clients on the current situation of their products etc.

 

Transparency, openness to feedback and clear, constant communication were some of the reasons which moved me to pre-order your product.

post #1514 of 4974
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

I think the mini-XLR - modular cable setups are becoming more popular as people realize how convenient they are with no appreciable loss in fidelity.

... I think if just a few manufacturers would adopt it, we could see it take off like the other connectors.

 

FraGGleR,

 

Probably not a surprise, but I completely agree. 

post #1515 of 4974
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExpatinJapan View Post

Communication is the key, as long I know whats happening, good or bad.......I can relax.

 

Agreed. Continued stellar communication, Michael. Keep up the great work and, if possible, continue to keep us in the loop via this post and the blog. I check the blog everyday, as I find the product development and manufacturing updates incredibly interesting. 

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