Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
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ScubaMan2017

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ScubaMan-- Back in the last Century, I worked retail in a camera shop, (when they still shot film) and we had a regular group of equipment fondling customers who would come in and grill us for technical data, and then go buy the equipment from retailers in NYC, who advertised in the back of photo magazines. Many found out later that they had gotten a 'better price" because those goods were 'grey-market' and did not come with the full Nikon/Canon warranty.
Film, retail, and grey market...all memories of pre-internet, pre-digital times gone by.
That's the scenario that I avoid on major purchases.
I think full warranty is very important. Just old school that way :)
The retail of my teenage-years (1985-89) and 20s (1990-2000) just can't compete. I want those warranties. I've also learned to read the fine-print. Even in 2019, I've stumbled across intriguing smurf-blue headphones that... when I contacted their online salesperson... told me that the 2 year warranty was invalid outside the USA. Pity. :triportsad::triportsad::triportsad:
 
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sam6550a

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I sold Hi-Fi in the 80's and 90's. While you are correct that most electronics have a 40% margin at retail. Video was more like 20-25% and speakers and accessories was 40-60%. In a small, low volume hi-fi shop I can tell you that 20% off was a big deal and uncommon for us. A high volume retailer in a big city might be able to do deep discounts back then, but it's not likely today unless a dealer is trying to blow out old models.

What has changed? How about disproportionately escalating rents and utilities, local regulations, etc that raise your break even point. In the 90's the magic number to stay in business was maintaining a 28-31% margin.
This is what's nice about Schiit and cutting out the retailers. You get to buy stuff at what effectively would be dealer cost if it were sold through traditional channels.
You are totally correct about the escalating overhead costs. In the early 2000s, I worked in the telecommunications field, our magic number was 35% gross margin.
 
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Pietro Cozzi Tinin

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You are totally correct about the escalating overhead costs. In the early 2000s, I worked in the telecommunications field, our magic number was 35% gross margin.
Even that could be a bit "thin" nowadays.
 
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renault4

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I think if you get the LS50s, you should get 1 or 2 Vidars and skip the Aegir. If it was me, I'd also want a sub to add low end with the LS50s since they don't have much extension (~80 Hz). I have a pair of Magnepans that are 86 dB, and having 2 Vidars worth of power or more there is the way to go. These go down to 40 Hz, but I still ended up getting a sealed sub with the level and low pass set to integrate them with the 1.7is.
The Aegir would be better with something like Klipsch or Tekton
https://www.tektondesign.com/impact-monitor.html

If I was going for monitors, I'd probably get a pair of HS8, and skip the separate amp altogether, just feed them with a Freya or some other balanced pre.
I'm getting the message that 2 Vidars are the way to go if I stay with the KEFs; I was already thinking of the KEF sealed Kube 10b, so I guess by skipping the Aegirs I may have just saved ~$200 toward that purchase!!

Thanks again to all for the feedback!
 
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Mike-WI

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RE: KEF LS50s & amps

I am listening to my KEF LS50s now in near field at office (likely 1m distance) with a low power amp.

Setup is Yggdrasil v2 -> Magni 3 HP amp -> Pre-out to FiiO A1 class D amp (14 W/ch)

https://headfonics.com/2011/06/fiio-a1-digital-speaker-amplifier-full-audio-conquest/



Gets plenty loud for nearfield. Just depends on distance and volume level.

My Ragnarok was at Schiit repairs, so will return to duty soon.
Magni 3 was a B-stock purchase for headphone duty while the Ragnarok was out.
I have thought about a Rag2 or Aegirs in the office with a new pre-amp.
 
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yonson

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Let me show you how it works here in the Netherlands.
Pretend something is listed as 100 coffee beans.
VAT is 21% income tax is 30% and dealer cost is 40% of the list price (ie 40 coffee beans)
Selling for 100-21%=79-30%=55,3-40=15,30
So the seller earns a whopping 15,30 coffee beans on the product without deducing costs to stay in business.
What was it precisely you wanted to proof? I guess you agree.
He has to pay his personnel, location, energy etc.
Interesting, I always thought VAT was on top of the price since it's a Value ADDED tax, so instead of the customer paying 100 beans you would think he would pay 121, and the dealer would get 100 - 30% = 70-40 = 30...

I've also worked in HiFi retail, and know the cost of most products, I refuse to pay anywhere near retail when I buy from shops, however I also always handle my own tech, setup etc...

I wish more manufacturers would follow the Schiit model in this regard, I'd much rather give my money directly to the manufacturer and cut out the not needed (for me at least) middle man jacking the price up 25 - 50%...
 
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Pietro Cozzi Tinin

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In Europe retailers are obligated to list consumer prices including vat.
 
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timorinolee

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Realised I haven't subscribe to this thread! Been a Valhalla 2 owner for 2 years and a Gumby owner a couple of months ago.
 
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judson_w

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In Europe retailers are obligated to list consumer prices including vat.
It is something I miss from Australia and Europe. It makes it so much easier to know how much you are going to have to pay ahead of time rather than trying to figure out how much tax is going to increase it. Well, unless you live in a state like Oregon which has no sales tax...
 
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jnak00

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Let me show you how it works here in the Netherlands.
Pretend something is listed as 100 coffee beans.
VAT is 21% income tax is 30% and dealer cost is 40% of the list price (ie 40 coffee beans)
Selling for 100-21%=79-30%=55,3-40=15,30
So the seller earns a whopping 15,30 coffee beans on the product without deducing costs to stay in business.
What was it precisely you wanted to proof? I guess you agree.
He has to pay his personnel, location, energy etc.
The income tax comes after paying costs.
100 - 21% VAT = 79 - 40% dealer cost = 39 coffee beans - 30% income tax = 27.3 coffee beans on the product before overhead costs. And the overhead expenses would further reduce the income tax (but also the net beans in pocket).
 
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Pietro Cozzi Tinin

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The income tax comes after paying costs.
100 - 21% VAT = 79 - 40% dealer cost = 39 coffee beans - 30% income tax = 27.3 coffee beans on the product before overhead costs. And the overhead expenses would further reduce the income tax (but also the net beans in pocket).
Yes there's that.
Indeed this is for some vendors the only way to make money.
 
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QueYo

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...My only problem with it is the tiny volume knob...
I don't like the small knobs either. I'm running my Vali2 from Fulla2's variable out so I can use that beautiful big-ass volume knob.
 
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Xcalibur255

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Thank you to everyone for your replies to my question about tubes for Saga. I've enjoyed looking through all the links and supplementing it with some research, though I'm still in early phases. There's a follow-up question I'd like to ask:

Generally, what are your opinions on NOS tubes vs higher-end current-production tubes such as the Electro Harmonix Gold 6SN7EH and the Northern Electric 6SN7? Does anyone have experience with these tubes (or other new production tubes)?
I'll send my 2 cents your way since nobody has chimed in with theirs yet. :)

My personal opinion on the EH 6SN7 is a solid "meh." There is nothing wrong with it per se, but for the same price you can grab yourself something like a NOS Sylvania 6SN7GTB that will sound nicer overall. Many of the new production tubes lean more towards a modern "hifi" sound that's a bit dry sounding compared to most NOS tubes.

The Northern Electric is a re-branded TJ Full Music tube and you should be able to find the TJ version for a little bit less. These tubes are also branded Sophia Electric and David Shaw Signature for Icon Audio. There are probably more too, the TJ factory does OEM work for a number of companies. I think this Chinese tube maker is underrated actually and they make some nice tubes. They are not a super great value purely in terms of cost, but they sound good and compete well with most of the non-exotic NOS tubes. If you want new production and don't mind the price they are a good safe choice.

If you want to try a NOS tube then look into the grey t-plate Tung Sol GT I mentioned here a while back. Very good bang for the buck.

edit: oh, one thing to keep in mind if you try the TJ tubes is their larger bases. I think some of the Freya/Saga owners have said this tube either doesn't fit or is a very tight fit for the top panel cutout and you would probably need to get a socket saver to make it work.
 
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ashirin

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I'm getting the message that 2 Vidars are the way to go if I stay with the KEFs; I was already thinking of the KEF sealed Kube 10b, so I guess by skipping the Aegirs I may have just saved ~$200 toward that purchase!!
As I've said before, in my experience, the transducer (aka speaker) has by far the biggest affect on the sound. If you really like the LS50s, I think it makes much more sense, as other's here have suggested, to get either a Vidar or a pair of Vidars to match with it, instead of looking for different speakers to pair with Aegir. Vidar is a great amp and the LS50s are great speakers. I really do not think you will be disappointed.

If you want to look into high efficiency speakers anyways, there are many options. Klipsch, Tekton, and Zu are good places to start.

Am I reading too much into it that Bifrost only has black finishes available for both DS and MB?
Don't worry, I'm doing exactly the same. Bifrost 2.0 already has a spot on my shelf waiting for it.
 

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