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CanJam at RMAF October 2013 Impressions Thread - Page 13  

post #181 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post

Asr, I quoted this into the XC thread. Your impressions are pretty much in line with mine.
Could I ask you both... Were you both shocked by this? And do you think this maybe addressed in the final production voicing?
post #182 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deafanddumb View Post

Could I ask you both... Were you both shocked by this? And do you think this maybe addressed in the final production voicing?
These weren't prototypes. I don't think there's anything to address. I wasn't shocked. Audeze makes great headphones. Build quality is top notch. If they were the only ones making planars, we might all own them. The problem for me is that I can get an HE500 or an Alpha Dog for a much lower price and get comparable (*subjective I know*) planar sound.
post #183 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post


These weren't prototypes. I don't think there's anything to address. I wasn't shocked. Audeze makes great headphones. Build quality is top notch. If they were the only ones making planars, we might all own them.

 

FWIW, I've owned both LCD-2's and HE-500's at the same time and (subjective, I know) found the LCD's to be significantly 'better'.  I sold the HE-500's and kept the LCD-2's. 

 

I've heard both the LCD-XC's and the Alpha Dogs one right after the other and preferred the XC's to the Alpha's, but for the money, found the Alpha's to be a triumph.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post

The problem for me is that I can get an HE500 or an Alpha Dog for a much lower price and get comparable (*subjective I know*) planar sound.

"Problem"??  How is that a problem?!?  That's a B E A-utiful thing!  Everyone gets what they want.  I guess you could say this presents a 'problem' for Audeze, but I think they'd be the first ones to say they don't have an issue with competition. 

post #184 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesure View Post

FWIW, I've owned both LCD-2's and HE-500's at the same time and (subjective, I know) found the LCD's to be significantly 'better'.  I sold the HE-500's and kept the LCD-2's. 

I've heard both the LCD-XC's and the Alpha Dogs one right after the other and preferred the XC's to the Alpha's, but for the money, found the Alpha's to be a triumph.
Quote:
"Problem"??  How is that a problem?!?  That's a B E A-utiful thing!  Everyone gets what they want.  I guess you could say this presents a 'problem' for Audeze, but I think they'd be the first ones to say they don't have an issue with competition. 
They might be Ok about competition, but at 3 times the price... Surely this can't all be on build quality and materials?
post #185 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by deafanddumb View Post


They might be Ok about competition, but at 3 times the price... Surely this can't all be on build quality and materials?

No. Just the sound. :wink_face: 

post #186 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deafanddumb View Post


They might be Ok about competition, but at 3 times the price... Surely this can't all be on build quality and materials?


No, there is a lot of overhead. Something I posted in the XC thread:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post
 

I absolutely agree that full reviews outside of CanJam need to be considered before anyone can really say how close the XC is to the AD. But here are some thoughts as to how they could be close in sound despite the price difference.  Just something to contemplate:

 

Audeze has money and spends money.  What I mean is they have a staff.  They have a marketing budget.  They arrive to shows like this with 4 or more reps on the payroll, plus plenty of SWAG to give away (shirts, CD's, pens etc. with their name on it).

 

Conversely, Dan is pretty much Mr. Speakers. I know he has a little help, but he is an electrical engineer, he's doing the modding, he's a one-man show at CanJam etc. It's more one man's labor of love.

 

Secondly, Audeze has engineers that they pay, AFAIK, to develop their products.

 

Conversely, Dan is taking something that Fostex spent the money to engineer and is modifying it.

 

Third, Audeze spends a pretty penny on materials.  This gets factored into the price.

 

Conversely, the AD, while certainly nice, is not using the crafted wood finishes etc. that can drive up cost.

 

So, these are just some points as to how a $600 headphone could be sonically close to an $1800 set.  Audeze has a lot of costs that need to be covered that Dan doesn't.  I am absolutely not saying that the AD is a "better" headphone, just making a few points on costs/pricing.

post #187 of 353

For the record we have 5 people on the team now.  I'm just the road warrior and main designer.  We're well past the garage...  

 

:-)

post #188 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post
 

For the record we have 5 people on the team now.  I'm just the road warrior and main designer.  We're well past the garage...  

 

:-)

Thanks for chiming in Dan

post #189 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post

For the record we have 5 people on the team now.  I'm just the road warrior and main designer.  We're well past the garage...  

:-)
ha ha...I wonder if you've heard the Audeze LCD-XC headphones yet Dan? They do say, know your competition! ;-)
post #190 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinocelt View Post
Asr, could you possibly compare the LCD-XC and the AlphaDog?

 

Again, kinda hard to do with the show being over and all. But my upcoming impressions of the Alpha Dog will reference the LCD-2 as a comparison point, which will maybe put some of it in relational perspective to the XC.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leesure View Post
There are lots and lots of sub $1K headphones on the market.  If you don't feel the price of the $1K+ 'phones is worth it, then don't buy them.  But to say that you don't like the trend because you just don't wanna have to pay more than an arbitrary price seems childish.

 

First, I have bought >$1K headphones before, like the LCD-3, TH900, HD800, T1, and OII MKII, plus others that have long been discontinued like the Grado HP1000, Stax OII MKI, and Sony Qualia 010. So as someone who's actually bought >$1K headphones (as opposed to someone who hasn't), I think I can complain about it if I want to.

 

Second, you didn't accurately re-state my post - I didn't say that I don't want to have to pay more than $1K for headphones. I wrote "I think it's crazy having to pay more than $1K for headphones unless they're discontinued", not "I don't want to pay more than $1K for headphones". Those aren't the same thing, and if the latter were true, I would've never bought any >$1K headphones before. I'll (begrudgingly) pay more than $1K for headphones if I'm compelled to, as I've done in the past, and I'm sure that I'll continue to do so. (There's one such upcoming headphone that I'm interested in buying that wasn't at RMAF, the AKG K812.) I'm generally most interested in the flagship headphones that manufacturers are putting out these days and they're usually the ones that I end up buying too. But I think I can criticize their MSRPs if I want to. ;)

 

Third, your overanalysis of 1 throwaway line in my post is just that, an overanalysis. I don't even know why you bothered to single that line out from my post.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post
No, there is a lot of overhead. Something I posted in the XC thread:

 

One major difference between MrSpeakers and Audeze that contributes to their pricing that you didn't mention: MrSpeakers only sells direct over the Internet. Audeze sells largely to dealers (HeadRoom, TTVJ, HeadAmp, Moon Audio, et al) and hence has to add a dealer profit margin to their products, which has to be at least (but is usually more than) 50% of the MSRP. I've even seen Audeze headphones at local brick & mortar audio shops. If Audeze sold only direct, their headphones could be a lot cheaper - i.e., all of their headphones would cost less than $1K if they got rid of the dealer profit margin and discarded their dealer-network model.


Edited by Asr - 10/21/13 at 1:30pm
post #191 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by deafanddumb View Post


ha ha...I wonder if you've heard the Audeze LCD-XC headphones yet Dan? They do say, know your competition! ;-)

 

Sure I have, it's a beautiful product.  :-)

post #192 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

Again, kinda hard to do with the show being over and all. But my upcoming impressions of the Alpha Dog will reference the LCD-2 as a comparison point, which will maybe put some of it in relational perspective to the XC.


First, I have bought >$1K headphones before, like the LCD-3, TH900, HD800, T1, and OII MKII, plus others that have long been discontinued like the Grado HP1000, Stax OII MKI, and Sony Qualia 010. So as someone who's actually bought >$1K headphones (as opposed to someone who hasn't), I think I can complain about it if I want to.

Second, you didn't accurately re-state my post - I didn't say that I don't want to have to pay more than $1K for headphones. I wrote "I think it's crazy having to pay more than $1K for headphones unless they're discontinued", not "I don't want to pay more than $1K for headphones". Those aren't the same thing, and if the latter were true, I would've never bought any >$1K headphones before. I'll (begrudgingly) pay more than $1K for headphones if I'm compelled to, as I've done in the past, and I'm sure that I'll continue to do so. (There's one such upcoming headphone that I'm interested in buying that wasn't at RMAF, the AKG K812.) I'm generally most interested in the flagship headphones that manufacturers are putting out these days and they're usually the ones that I end up buying too. But I think I can criticize their MSRPs if I want to. wink.gif

Third, your overanalysis of 1 throwaway line in my post is just that, an overanalysis. I don't even know why you bothered to single that line out from my post.


One major difference between MrSpeakers and Audeze that contributes to their pricing that you didn't mention: MrSpeakers only sells direct over the Internet. Audeze sells largely to dealers (HeadRoom, TTVJ, HeadAmp, Moon Audio, et al) and hence has to add a dealer profit margin to their products, which has to be at least (but is usually more than) 50% of the MSRP. I've even seen Audeze headphones at local brick & mortar audio shops. If Audeze sold only direct, their headphones could be a lot cheaper - i.e., all of their headphones would cost less than $1K if they got rid of the dealer profit margin and discarded their dealer-network model.

Ask said, if you don't like the trend, don't support it! I think it's crazy to spend more than $20k on a car, but I don't decry Mecedes for selling them, I simply choose to buy something under $20k.

And your 'throwaway line' was a pretty strong shot right at Audez'e. I don't even know why you bothered to put that one line in there if it wasn't something you thought was important.

And I'm sure Audez'e will be very interested in your marketing and distribution channel advice. They're really hurting. It is interesting to note that Audez'e began their life selling direct to consumer and that the addition of layers of distribution didn't cause a corresponding price increase in their established product.

Of course the same distribution critique could be leveled at Sennheiser, Beyer & Sony. Even HifiMan and Schiit are available through Amazon and other online retail. Oh, and as one who spent a few years working in the High End Audio retail sales industry, I can tell you that it's a very rare product indeed that has an MSRP markup above 40% gross, and when they do come along, they tend to face deep discounts at the retail level. IE, when was the last time someone paid MSRP for Senn HD650's? I doubt very much that LCD's are getting retailers anywhere close to 50% gross profit at MSRP. But that's speculation, to be fair, but then so was your 'at least 50%' line.

Lest it be misunderstood, I applaud Dan and his outstanding work with the Alpha Dogs. It's likely that I will buy a pair as I need a pair of closed back 'phones and I like the ortho attributes but don't want to spend $1800...and frankly, I wasn't blown away by the XC's at that price either. I plan to spend a bunch of time with the the Alphas at my meet this weekend to decide.

I understand you're 'Headphonus Supremus' 'round these parts, but I've read two posts from you recently that left me cold. This one where you said you really liked the sound of a product then ripped it because it wasn't priced where you think it ought be, and another post where you ripped people for calling the event at RMAF 'CANJAM', suggesting that your last CanJam was the last TRUE CanJam. Most likely you're a hell of a guy and I'm sorry I missed you in Denver as I had to fly back early Sunday. But in those two posts you just came off as really self-important, IMO.

EDIT: I went back and looked and can't find the CanJam comment I mention above. I saw your post where you called out head-Fiers f r not going, but I really thought I remembered verbiage suggesting that people shouldn't call this CanJam. Not sure if I'm mixing it up with another, but I thought I remembered such a post. If I'm wrong, I apologize.

If you ever come east, I'll be happy to buy you a nice craft beer and discuss the merits of retailers and the value of headphones. Until then, if you could do something to get me a nice BMW 5-series for under $20k, I'd be really appreciative.

Thanks and all the best.
Edited by leesure - 10/21/13 at 3:20pm
post #193 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesure View Post


Ask said, if you don't like the trend, don't support it! I think it's crazy to spend more than $20k on a car, but I don't decry Mecedes for selling them, I simply choose to buy something under $20k.

And your 'throwaway line' was a pretty strong shot right at Audez'e. I don't even know why you bothered to put that one line in there if it wasn't something you thought was important.

And I'm sure Audez'e will be very interested in your marketing and distribution channel advice. They're really hurting. It is interesting to note that Audez'e began their life selling direct to consumer and that the addition of layers of distribution didn't cause a corresponding price increase in their established product.

 

Well, it's not like Audeze is targeting an audience who isn't willing to pay over $1000 for headphones. I don't see how it hurts Audeze in any way. The people who buy Audezes are those fanatics who are willing to give extra money for slight audio improvement. They know what they're getting into. 

post #194 of 353
I apologize if my post(s) came off as combative. Of course you're entitled to your opinion. As are others.
post #195 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post

Sure I have, it's a beautiful product.  :-)
Beauty to the eye or the ear? And did it leave you feeling more confident or a little nervous? I doubt it would be the latter, from initial comments. Anyway, good luck!
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