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Why The AK240 Is A Bad Idea - Page 3  

post #31 of 46

Considering that even hi-res is essentially a scam, or at best an auditory fiction, I find a product that erects even higher towers of gourmet fetishism on that foundation hard to take seriously. I doubt eke's fear of resulting trends towards boutique prices will prove accurate, as there are simply separate markets within the audio community, and there's no reason for Sansa or Philips to hike up the prices of their budget players, as that's what the majority of consumers buy. People who enjoy spending big money on products because it reinforces their feeling of having the best will continue to do so, and hopefully no naive audiophiles in spe will fall for the marketing claims and gratuitous exclusivity and blow their life's savings. But I guess there's always the classifieds if they do...

post #32 of 46

Just don't buy it,

Problem solved.

/thread

post #33 of 46
Ever better don't tell us if you buy it or not as we are not interested!
post #34 of 46

What got me disappointed is that they told us they are interested in what the consumer (us in head-fi wants) and for a short while it was nice when they had a rep present here but than their product releases show zero awareness on head-fi.

post #35 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by quartertone View Post

 

 

 I doubt eke's fear of resulting trends towards boutique prices will prove accurate, as there are simply separate markets within the audio community, and there's no reason for Sansa or Philips to hike up the prices of their budget players,

 

 

Missed the point a bit.

 

It's our niche market I'm worried about. The last few years have seen the oft-mentioned "diminishing returns" factor skyrocket. Yes, upper tier gear is getting better, but you're paying out the wazoo for those last few percent. Even if the AK240 is slightly better than everything out there, which it's almost guaranteed not to be much more than a change in sound signature, it's raised the bar on how much you can get away with charging for micro-improvements.

 

It's about competition, yes. Unfortunately it's a race to the top lately.

post #36 of 46

It remains to be seen whether they can "get away with it", no? You seem to be saying, in effect, that the audiophile market will increasingly be reserved for those with big budgets. But what about Vsonic, Dunu, Sansa or Fiio? They're not going anywhere in a hurry, and as long as they continue to put out quality products at accessible prices, the summit products won't interfere with that. I agree that this is an unpleasant trend in the upper tiers of this niche market, but I don't see how it will threaten sub-$200 products. 

post #37 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quartertone View Post
 

It remains to be seen whether they can "get away with it", no? You seem to be saying, in effect, that the audiophile market will increasingly be reserved for those with big budgets. But what about Vsonic, Dunu, Sansa or Fiio? They're not going anywhere in a hurry, and as long as they continue to put out quality products at accessible prices, the summit products won't interfere with that. I agree that this is an unpleasant trend in the upper tiers of this niche market, but I don't see how it will threaten sub-$200 products. 

 

Sub-$200 products have nothing to do with the argument though.

 

And yes, they'll get away with it. A few free review sets here and there, plus a set of very vocal people defending their purchases = more people suckered into buying it.

 

It's that upper tier products are becoming less and less accessible, while the production costs have not experienced proportional increases. Gear is now expensive for the sake of being expensive, because the manufacturers have deduced that a $1k price tag is equated with top-tier nowadays, and the people who spend that much will tend to be more vocal and defensive about it. It's economics and psychology at work.

post #38 of 46
It amazes me people will pay such ridiculous amounts for headphones and players when they can just EQ the music to make it sound different.
post #39 of 46

I think the AK 240 is way overpriced! I have the AK 120 and it sounds good but doubt the AK 240 warrants double the price.

Yes - Some folks will buy it but it won't be me. It's not so much the money because I can afford it (have saved my pennies) but more based on principle.

I think AK is being greedy and will leave it to the market to ultimately decide!

post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sil3nce View Post
 

Just don't buy it,

Problem solved.

/thread

 

Very good point.

 

Ordinary people happily use iPod and EarPods for portable as they are already good enough.

Those people should feel AK100 or Westone4R are already insanely expensive.

 

They don't have to buy those, and we don't have to buy AK240 or W60.

post #41 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

Sub-$200 products have nothing to do with the argument though.

 

And yes, they'll get away with it. A few free review sets here and there, plus a set of very vocal people defending their purchases = more people suckered into buying it.

 

It's that upper tier products are becoming less and less accessible, while the production costs have not experienced proportional increases. Gear is now expensive for the sake of being expensive, because the manufacturers have deduced that a $1k price tag is equated with top-tier nowadays, and the people who spend that much will tend to be more vocal and defensive about it. It's economics and psychology at work.

All speculation. Granted it's expensive for what you get overall but you have no idea how much it costs to make with that case, the R&D involved or what the sales model is. If was easy to make things this small this capable, everybody would do it. I know it can be argued but there is nothing the size of the AKs with their capabilities. AK100mk2 seems a sweet spot right now. You are also likely unaware that pricing is done in %s so $10 more in could be $50 more out by the time it gets to the retail level with distributors and dealers taking their share. AK would not be unique here. The way around it is to plan and make make a 100,000 to get amortized costs down and of course, reducing factory margin which is likely lower than you think. 

 

No one is getting suckered and even most rich guys don't like to waste money. Some folks will like the combo of features and packaging and not be price conscious. Doesn't make them suckers since we all know it's priced high for what you get. It does however make your comments regarding future owners rather rude.


Edited by goodvibes - 2/2/14 at 1:59am
post #42 of 46
If iPod is going to become more expensive because of upper end product like ak240, then that is a serious problem.

However this just does not happen.

Anything beyond iPod (or any other DAP in same price range) is just for nitche market, for very few number of consumers with ultra-high interest to portable audio. They can not sell many AK240 so it will have to become expensive.

We need to pay premium to get access to those things.

I believe even Porsche or Ferrari do have quite a bit of premium included in their prices.
After all AK240 too is a kind of luxury item.
post #43 of 46

But the question of capabilities is also not so clean-cut. It's been demonstrated that some of the additional frequencies high-res audio provides are ones that we can't even hear, and which often weren't even captured in the recording to begin with (high-res files of 1960s records for example). So even if it can reproduce something in theory, it will remain a fiction as far as the listener is concerned. A car that can go at 500 mph? Great, just a shame no one would ever be able to use that in the real world.

post #44 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post
 

All speculation. Granted it's expensive for what you get overall but you have no idea how much it costs to make with that case, the R&D involved or what the sales model is. If was easy to make things this small this capable, everybody would do it. I know it can be argued but there is nothing the size of the AKs with their capabilities. AK100mk2 seems a sweet spot right now. You are also likely unaware that pricing is done in %s so $10 more in could be $50 more out by the time it gets to the retail level with distributors and dealers taking their share. AK would not be unique here. The way around it is to plan and make make a 100,000 to get amortized costs down and of course, reducing factory margin which is likely lower than you think. 

 

No one is getting suckered and even most rich guys don't like to waste money. Some folks will like the combo of features and packaging and not be price conscious. Doesn't make them suckers since we all know it's priced high for what you get. It does however make your comments regarding future owners rather rude.

 

 

You obviously haven't been following the iBasso and Fiio threads. I think it's pretty obvious what A&K's sales model is.

 

In most cases, retailers and distributors get shares in the low single digit percentages, even in the uber greedy pharma industry. My point is that there is logically very little chance that their production costs went up significantly over the AK120, which was already a major stretch. All their budget appears have gone into marketing and designing the case. All the impressions trickling in seem to put the AK240 at or below the current crop's technical performance. And it is based on a free open source software that they could tweak as needed. There was no major investment in software code that much cheaper DAPs have had to do. Their core DAC can't even be considered current gen, with the Sabre low power offerings giving raw, measureable improvements (much better THD and DNR). There is no excuse for A&K. None. None. This is a $2500+ MP3 player with android and download capability. 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyojpn View Post

If iPod is going to become more expensive because of upper end product like ak240, then that is a serious problem.
 
 
 
...really?
post #45 of 46
Eke2k6 is a hero among Head-fiiers. Head fi needs more contrarianism and honesty, lest, as he said, this hobby become even more of an echo chamber than it already is. Sadly whenever someone like Eke2k6 speaks his or her mind on Head-fi, and their opinion is unpopular, they are treated like a troll or a pariah. I encourage more brave threads like these.
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