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The Astell & Kern AK240 - Page 62

post #916 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post
Now, if this player is not a huge leap better in sound quality than the current crop of high resolution players then the price complaint is fair enough but very few have heard it yet to be able to say that and certainly I am sure all those complaining about the cost right now.

And that's the crux right there, how much better do you think it possibly can be compared to something like the AK120 or some of the other higher end portable players that are coming out soon?

 

50% (whatever that means and however you want to measure that...) as you hoped a few pages back? Not likely...

 

Realistically there could and definitely should be some improvement compared to what you might consider the 'best' portable DAP atm but does it justify pushing the upper limit of DAP pricing to where it's going to sit with the AK240?

Ultimately you'll be judge of that and if the price is right for you don't get so worked up over people who are having a problem with what seems to be somewhat greed-driven business model.


Edited by razorblader - 1/16/14 at 11:38am
post #917 of 2749

Although there is a risk that A&K's greed might influence market prices upwards, I'm rather hopeful that the likes of Fiio and iBasso will meet with greater success with their vastly-fairer profit margins, and thus either embarrass A&K by providing equivalent performance at little more than 1/3rd the price, &/or make A&K's business tactics literally unfeasible by under-pricing them out of the market.

 

I actually have no desire to see A&K exit the DAP marketplace - I think they are, in some respects, innovating, and certainly producing nice quality devices.

 

What I do have a desire to see 'exit' the DAP marketplace is rampant, carefully-orchestrated, greed.

 

If iRiver change their tactics (hopefully in response to Fiio and iBasso spanking them, given that public criticism seems insufficient), then I'm sure many more DAP buyers will embrace the A&K brand and buy vastly more of their products.

post #918 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post

Although there is a risk that A&K's greed might influence market prices upwards, I'm rather hopeful that the likes of Fiio and iBasso will meet with greater success with their vastly-fairer profit margins, and thus either embarrass A&K by providing equivalent performance at little more than 1/3rd the price, &/or make A&K's business tactics literally unfeasible by under-pricing them out of the market.

I actually have no desire to see A&K exit the DAP marketplace - I think they are, in some respects, innovating, and certainly producing nice quality devices.

What I do have a desire to see 'exit' the DAP marketplace is rampant, carefully-orchestrated, greed.

If iRiver change their tactics (hopefully in response to Fiio and iBasso spanking them, given that public criticism seems insufficient), then I'm sure many more DAP buyers will embrace the A&K brand and buy vastly more of their products.

wrong, following AK dudes logic the next DAP will be called AK360 and as you might rightly guess it will cost 3600$ tongue.gif
post #919 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gintaras View Post


wrong, following AK dudes logic the next DAP will be called AK360 and as you might rightly guess it will cost 3600$ tongue.gif


The market will decide.

 

Unfortunately, there are plenty of potential purchasers who have no qualms about being passively or actively complicit with iRiver's business tactics - that is their prerogative. All I hope is that they are so substantially outnumbered by purchasers of Chinese competitors' DAPs that iRiver can't sustain their approach.

 

I'm not saying I think it will happen. I'm just saying I hope it will. And again, I'm not anti AK per se, just anti current AK business practice.

post #920 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorblader View Post

And that's the crux right there, how much better do you think it possibly can be compared to something like the AK120 or some of the other higher end portable players that are coming out soon?

50% (whatever that means and however you want to measure that...) as you hoped a few pages back? Not likely...

Realistically there could and definitely should be some improvement compared to what you might consider the 'best' portable DAP atm but does it justify pushing the upper limit of DAP pricing to where it's going to sit with the AK240?
Ultimately you'll be judge of that and if the price is right for you don't get so worked up over people who are having a problem with what seems to be somewhat greed-driven business model.
I have a problem with people who are making out A&K to be the ones exclusively who have a greed based business model. No one seems to complain about Sony and yet I bet with the volume they sell they make more on their DAP's than A&K or HiFiman who are marketing to a smaller audience.

I just have a problem with people saying things that once on the internet become law very quickly. It is obvious that there are a lot of people who have an axe to grind with companies such as A&K or Hifiman. Taking a risk in developing and launching something not done before (high resolution portable players). No one seems to be taking that into account with costings.

Even though I was knocking the Terra ( which was wrong of me) thinking on it that is one guy taking a huge risk to produce something cutting edge.

Without companies pushing the boundaries we are left with dross (which sadly seems to be good enough for most people nowadays). Me, I would rather pay extra knowing something has been designed to be the best it can be than spend time after time on products that have no real passion or ambition to be anything other than bland and conformist!
post #921 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

Without companies pushing the boundaries we are left with dross (which sadly seems to be good enough for most people nowadays). Me, I would rather pay extra knowing something has been designed to be the best it can be than spend time after time on products that have no real passion or ambition to be anything other than bland and conformist!

I just don't think the AK240 will be all that unfortunately and you assume a bit much about other people's rationale on all this.

 

We all love innovative products that push the boundaries, there's just nothing in the AK240's tech specs that points to it being that kind of a trailblazer. How is it pushing the boundaries set by players like the Calyx, Fiio X5...? You haven't even heard it and yet you assume that it is somehow clearly better than...(what exactly...?) and that people who don't like the philosophy behind products like this are backwards simpletons that can't appreciate excellence and innovaton.

 

Kindly take it easy on the generalisations and melodrama, we are talking about a glorified Ipod here...

 

Let's agree to disagree and lets see if the AK240 will have enough going for it to be called 'the ultimate', shall we?


Edited by razorblader - 1/16/14 at 1:29pm
post #922 of 2749
I really wish you people would read what I write! Where have I STATED that the 240 is better than those other players??
As for generalizations I suggest you read what you have written for examples of that!

I suggest that those of you who have no interest in this player other than sayings its too expensive or A&K are ripping people off go off to other threads and leave this to those of us who want find out more about this player before its released. Complaining about the price serves absolutely no purpose!
post #923 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post


I have a problem with people who are making out A&K to be the ones exclusively who have a greed based business model. No one seems to complain about Sony and yet I bet with the volume they sell they make more on their DAP's than A&K or HiFiman who are marketing to a smaller audience.
 

 

And there's the problem. Sony has established itself via quality, and its brand has weight behind it because of that. people will buy their products en masse, leading to their large profit margins.

 

A&K is a relative nobody compare to Sony, yet they are trying to push their profit margins to match Sony's revenue via Abercrombie and Fitch type marketing. Just look at the reveal and teaser for the AK240. Their SQ is not at the level it should be. Honestly, I feel like people who will knowingly buy this DAP are the same ones who bought Kanye West's $300 Hip Hop T-shirt.

 

Quality-wise, the few impressions here and there  point to the AK240 not being at the level of the HM-901 or ZX-1, competition that is less than half its price.

 

Speaking of the HM901, uber-reviewer ljokerl just came back from CES with impressions of the Fiio X5, which he finds to be a serious competitor for the HM901....all of that for a projected $350 price. THAT is innovation. THAT is worthy of talk and praise. And I bet Fiio, a company about A&K's size, will outsell and out-profit them by a huge margin due to sheer volume sales. The X3 already rivals their AK100, and would be considered an equal, if not for the X3's overly warm signature.

 

I just hope the market favors Fiio and iBasso's approach, and not the elitist type greed of A&K.

post #924 of 2749

I don't see why folks are wasting time complaining about pricing. It's all very simple - if you think a product is too expensive for what it offers, or just too expensive for your current finances, simply don't buy it!  No one is forcing you to make a purchase.  And the market will ultimately determine if a product is priced well and if the resulting sales are acceptable to the manufacturer. It makes no sense to me to agonize over it.

post #925 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

.... want find out more about this player before its released. ....

 

I don't suppose much more information will be forthcoming, prior to release, than has already been provided, but many of us (including those of us who object to the pricing! :wink:) are just as curious as you to know how well the AK240 sounds/performs.

 

Speaking personally, I'm also eager to see what Vinnie thinks of it, in terms of what makes it tick, and also its 'mod-ability'.

 

Why?

 

Because if the price falls, it may become a viable proposition for more people

 

and

 

Because, if, by some chance, the AK240 does turn out to have ground-breaking performance, it will be interesting to learn how/why, in the hope that other makers may learn from it (but this may or may not be the case...)

post #926 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

And there's the problem. Sony has established itself via quality, and its brand has weight behind it because of that. people will buy their products en masse, leading to their large profit margins.

 

A&K is a relative nobody compare to Sony, yet they are trying to push their profit margins to match Sony's revenue via Abercrombie and Fitch type marketing. Just look at the reveal and teaser for the AK240. Their SQ is not at the level it should be. Honestly, I feel like people who will knowingly buy this DAP are the same ones who bought Kanye West's $300 Hip Hop T-shirt.

 

Quality-wise, the few impressions here and there  point to the AK240 not being at the level of the HM-901 or ZX-1, competition that is less than half its price.

 

Speaking of the HM901, uber-reviewer ljokerl just came back from CES with impressions of the Fiio X5, which he finds to be a serious competitor for the HM901....all of that for a projected $350 price. THAT is innovation. THAT is worthy of talk and praise. And I bet Fiio, a company about A&K's size, will outsell and out-profit them by a huge margin due to sheer volume sales. The X3 already rivals their AK100, and would be considered an equal, if not for the X3's overly warm signature.

 

I just hope the market favors Fiio and iBasso's approach, and not the elitist type greed of A&K.

My thoughts exactly (underlined part). Also, I am very keen on X5 too. Hopefully companies like FiiO and iBasso will still provide quality for understandable prices to real audiophiles, not brand name lovers.

post #927 of 2749
guys, i do not know and i did not hear Fiio x3 but i have RWAK100 and DX50 with me and from my experience RWAK100 unamped outshines DX50 even when the latter is amped line out with T1 which is fine amp on its own. for me this says a lot, so i would not so easily bet on X5 outclassing AK240 especially when no one had a chance to do side by side comparison.
post #928 of 2749
My personal feel is to let the market decides. Buy if you think it's worth it and don't if you feel otherwise. It's business and let iRiver makes their own strategic and pricing decision. Right or wrong the market will eventually reward or punish them accordingly. There is little point for us to praise or condemn them emotionally.
post #929 of 2749
It's not about having a go at AK but the fear that they will open the floodgates to higher prices for DAPs.
Last thing we need is overpriced gadgets.
post #930 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by sutjahjo View Post

My personal feel is to let the market decides. Buy if you think it's worth it and don't if you feel otherwise. It's business and let iRiver makes their own strategic and pricing decision. Right or wrong the market will eventually reward or punish them accordingly. There is little point for us to praise or condemn them emotionally.

 

That would be true under most circumstances, but not in this echo chamber of a hobby. Allow me to dust off my crystal ball and describe what will take place over the next few months...if the AK240 is not clearly above the competition (and I believe MUST, given that it costs double the price of its competitors).

 

1) Someone who doesn't care will buy an AK240. Likewise, others will receive a sample AK240.

 

2) Said individuals will defend their new purchase, despite how they feel about its performance. Likewise, the selected reviewers will want to talk about the product in a way that ensures they get more in the future.

 

3) People who read these glowing reviews will be convinced to buy these DAPs. Most will, again, try to defend their purchase. Only a few will speak out, but those few will be silenced. I've seen this happen before several times. I remember a certain IEM that had a wonky sounding midrange to a lot of folks. But one member shouted from the top of a rooftop that these iems had no such issue at all. Later, he confided to me via PM that he was using fabric filters to get the IEM to sound normal. This is what the consumer is up against.

 

4) A&K's strategy will have worked, leading to the sale of units for them, but also the impetus to continue with price increases.

 

5) More DAP makers will see this and want in on the action. I predict more $2k+ DAPs within the next 6-12 months.

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