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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by purrin, Dec 5, 2013.
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  1. jk47
    If schiit implements higher pricing for upgrades for used equipment the effect will be to drive down the price of their used stuff, AND drive down the value of original purchases.  ie if you buy some schiit you'll know that the resale market won't be as good.  that will make it harder for a schiit owner to upgrade to a totally higher level piece. i think it's a foolish policy, probably generating a few extra bucks in the short term, but damping their future growth.
  2. schneller
    Been following this thread, esp. comments about the Gungnir Gen2, for a year or more now. 
    My only problem with the Gungnir is that this forum/thread is about the only place where it receives positive reviews really. I am sure it's still one of the best DACs for under $1K but DACs costing just a little more like the new Chord 2Qute and HEGEL HD12 are getting praise from many corners of the internet. The more the merrier of course when one cannot audition all these things side by side! 
    I would like to see a Gen3 version...
    -Footprint no more than say a HEGEL HD12
    -DSD support
    -USB galvanic isolation
    -Priced no more than $1800
  3. thegunner100
    When we say Gen 2... we mean USB gen 2, the modular card, not the entire unit.
  4. AustinValentine
    Schiit isn't trying to get other people to sell schiit - they're not Herbalife. Schiit wants to sell schiit, which is understandable because it's Schiit's schiit. The resale market generally competes against the direct market manufacturer for sales. If someone is going to buy a Schiit product, choosing to buy it used actually takes a new sale away from the company. So the cost of "driving down the value of the original purchase" only comes from the lowered value of the used item on the aftermarket - which is understandably not something that the manufacturer should be trying to promote.
    Again, Schiit wants to sell schiit. Not an unreasonable position.
    Truth be told, the lost resale value is more or less already there though because of Schiit's non-transferable warranties. That's a far larger aftermarket deterrent than the small nominal upgrade fee. Any loss of value from a future possible upgrade fee is going to be negligible compared to the value loss caused by this. I know when I buy used schiit, I weigh the risk/reward ratio of possible future equipment failure against the immediate short-term savings. 
    The company to some degree already mitigates this "value loss" for the consumer who purchases through them by way of their 15 day trial period. The trial period puts the onus on the consumer to make sure they want the schiit that they are buying. If you think that the schiit is not for you, send it back to Schiit for a near total refund. If you're still using the schiit that you bought from them, then cheaper upgrades actually increase the value of the original purchase to the consumer. 
    Put another way: In the scenario that you're mentioning (i.e. Someone buys new/used schiit then wants to sell their used schiit to buy wholly new schiit from Schiit but can't because their used schiit has depreciated too much due to Schiit's totally unfair Stalinist warranty and upgrade policies), how is Schiit any different from any other company with non-transferable warranties? 
    Who knows? Maybe a company will come along that will release products at Schiit's price bracket with same price-to-performance ratio. Maybe that company will provide well differentiated products and a clear upgrade path, with upgrades available even to some prior purchases. Maybe that company will provide transferable warranties to consumers who buy used. Right now, the only company that I can think of that fits these criteria is Garage1217 and they only sell a small line of amplifiers. 
    When that company comes along, if people want they can take their business there. Free market such and such.
    Argo Duck likes this.
  5. Khragon
    tl;dr - too much schiit.
    The way I look at this is if people are not willing to pay full price they won't pay full price regardless of what schiit do.   What's going to happen is people will wait for an upgraded item to be on sale and buy that, there won't be that much of a change, maybe even at a better discount thanks to the new policy.  Schiit just going to get a bad rep for trying to alienate 2nd hand buyers.
    AustinValentine and Stillhart like this.
  6. Sonic Defender Contributor
  7. AustinValentine
    (I don't work for Schiit and I'm not affiliated with them in anyway so take what I have to say re; their business with a grain of salt. I only know them from audio forums and haven't even met them IRL. The only Schiit product I currently own is the Wyrd.)
    It's good that you've become a brand loyal customer by a second hand purchase. You made a sensible purchase based on your finances and got a good product for the money.
    But with regard to doing the upgrade at the same price as those that bought direct: your original used purchase didn't put any money into Schiit's pocket. In post #3617, Mike noted that doing the upgrade for people who buy used would actually cost the company money and would need to be subsidized by those that purchased it new. (The cheaper price is effectively a loyalty discount. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what he's saying there, but that's how I read it.)
    What you're actually asking Schiit to do here then is to perform a service at a loss, on an item that you obtained by means of an aftermarket transaction where Schiit received no money, in exchange for exposing "Schiit gear to their circle of influence." Schiit doesn't have a marketing budget, or even...well...marketing, so word of mouth is important. I'm not going to understate that. But exposure is the most vague, intangible, often insubstantial form of transactional currency. I teach at an arts and media college and you wouldn't believe what people ask my students to do in exchange for "exposure". 
    If you have enough revenue, cash-on-hand, or low interest credit and can afford to be a loss leader, then - yeah - you can afford to take a loss in order to build market share. Amazon has made an empire out of doing just that. Schiit is a pretty small company though, and transactions need to result in profit in order to make payroll, pay for R&D, afford warehouse space, buy solder, repair their forklift, give Jason more time to write sci-fi stories, buy Mike novelty t-shirts, etc. etc. 
    To me, brand loyalty means wanting a company to continue being able to make quality products. This means that they need to be able to make money on those products and services. That means when you can afford to buy a product new, buy it from them even if it costs a bit more than used because it actually puts money in their pocket. It also means accepting that they need to have a profit margin on upgrading out-of-warranty used equipment.
    The difference between being a loyal customer and just a fan is that you actually purchased an item from a company, accepted that you paid the mark-up/profit margin they need to keep working, and received a quality product in exchange for materially compensating them for their labor. It's a subtle distinction, and one that can get lost pretty easily.  Anywho, I've blah blah blah'ed enough for one morning. 
  8. Sonic Defender Contributor
    I guess you didn't see my first post in this thread. I agree that people who purchased used such as myself should indeed pay more for an upgrade, but certainly within reason. I agree that Schiit couldn't remain in business, or at least it would be far more difficult if they allowed the second-hand market to have the same level of benefit that retail purchasers have, and that is a very fair position to take, again, within reasonable limits. My point was mostly aimed at the choice of language used by a Schiit representative calling second-hand purchases "opportunistic" which in this context can easily be seen as a pejorative term. I also believe there was mention of people "whining" that they couldn't afford new. Again, those are not customer-focused messages, and frankly I'm surprised at such a negative tone. I can't imagine any serious audio enthusiast here or anywhere that doesn't need to do some second-hand purchases from time to time.
    Those who purchased second-hand need to be realistic, and fair in their expectations of Schiit, but that respect is a two way street.
  9. Mr Rick
    Mike is not a salesperson or customer service rep. Mike is an engineer. 
    If you've ever met Mike you will know he is not a 'warm and fuzzy' type person. He tells it as he sees it and I respect him for that.
  10. conquerator2
    Do we know how much Wattage do the Thetas draw?
  11. Sonic Defender Contributor

    Totally cool, but that is why we hire people to do what it is that we aren't strong at. If you're not a PR person, in the best interest of the company, you should have a PR person act in that capacity.
  12. frenchbat

    Manual doesn't say. Maybe Mike remembers.
  13. conquerator2
    Hmmm... What's the difference between the A and non-A versions?
  14. frenchbat

    1- Transistors matched in the analog section
    2- Improved filter topology
    3- Improved clocks
    4-Improved algorythm
  15. conquerator2
    Though I wonder how much audible difference that'd account for.
    Also, any comments on something like the Theta Digital Progeny vs Sonic Frontiers DAC-2?
    The DAC-2 was much cheaper, though the comparison seems favorable, as posted by wahsmoh - http://www.audiophilia.com/hardware/dac2.htm
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