why the heck are the grado woodies more expensive than the space shuttle
Apr 22, 2010 at 4:23 PM Post #61 of 78

n_maher

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dura /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Seems to me Aynjell has a point; a hobbyist making these woodies for himself, no matter how skilled, will probably need a lot more time due to a different approach and different tooling then someone who makes a professional living out of making these and therefore makes larger series with a toolset optimalised for that.


He certainly has many valid points. But the point that keeps being left out is that the more automated and professional the production the larger the overhead nut is that needs to be paid for. Just because he has access to the proper machines doesn't mean they're free. And just because you can find a random used example for $800 on CL doesn't mean that'd be the only expense if one wanted to go into business making them.
 
Apr 22, 2010 at 4:29 PM Post #62 of 78

Aynjell

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Quote:

Originally Posted by n_maher /img/forum/go_quote.gif
He certainly has many valid points. But the point that keeps being left out is that the more automated and professional the production the larger the overhead nut is that needs to be paid for. Just because he has access to the proper machines doesn't mean they're free. And just because you can find a random used example for $800 on CL doesn't mean that'd be the only expense if one wanted to go into business making them.


I never said anything about cost except obvious implications on labor cost. tooling is a simple matter, and would definitely last longer than I did with metal, which means it'd be cheaper than it cost us to run the machines when I was working them.
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 12:02 AM Post #63 of 78

eugenius

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The higher the price, the higher the exclusivity.

Also, some of these shops are very small, they figured out the price they can sell so they don't work themselves too much.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 12:16 AM Post #64 of 78

boomana

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Aynjell /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I never said anything about cost except obvious implications on labor cost. tooling is a simple matter, and would definitely last longer than I did with metal, which means it'd be cheaper than it cost us to run the machines when I was working them.


So let's say, as the op mentioned, that you wanted to start up a little business. How much is the fine machine you say allows faster, better, cheaper, etc. products than the machine that Nate uses, for example? Who is buying it for your company? Who's paying for the building (rent or own) to put it in and how much is that? Plus, as already mentioned, who is paying for the insurance for building, equipment, and employee(s)? Who is paying for the accountants, lawyers, labor? How much is the electricity, gas, water, sewer, and refuse collection going to cost per month? Computer hardware and software? Paper, toilet paper, garbage bags, pens, post-its, little fridge, broom, coffee pot? Telephone and internet services? Sales tax, property tax, payroll tax (if applicable)? Bank service charges, credit card fees, paypal etc? Loan payments, interest payments? Repairs and maintenance costs? Delivery charges? Packaging material, and shipping fees? Marketing and branding costs? Oh....and the cost of the wood? How do you plan on supporting yourself and your family? How much will you need? If you're starting up this business of making wooden cups for a niche market, how will these costs, and others I'm probably not thinking about, affect your pricing as a small business owner?
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 1:07 AM Post #65 of 78

Head Injury

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomana /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So let's say, as the op mentioned, that you wanted to start up a little business. How much is the fine machine you say allows faster, better, cheaper, etc. products than the machine that Nate uses, for example? Who is buying it for your company? Who's paying for the building (rent or own) to put it in and how much is that? Plus, as already mentioned, who is paying for the insurance for building, equipment, and employee(s)? Who is paying for the accountants, lawyers, labor? How much is the electricity, gas, water, sewer, and refuse collection going to cost per month? Computer hardware and software? Paper, toilet paper, garbage bags, pens, post-its, little fridge, broom, coffee pot? Telephone and internet services? Sales tax, property tax, payroll tax (if applicable)? Bank service charges, credit card fees, paypal etc? Loan payments, interest payments? Repairs and maintenance costs? Delivery charges? Packaging material, and shipping fees? Marketing and branding costs? Oh....and the cost of the wood? How do you plan on supporting yourself and your family? How much will you need? If you're starting up this business of making wooden cups for a niche market, how will these costs, and others I'm probably not thinking about, affect your pricing as a small business owner?


And, how many do you expect to sell
biggrin.gif


A niche market is a niche market no matter the price. If you spend $2000 on a tool and facility that lets you make 50 woodies sold at $50 profit each, you're not making much. Unless you plan on woodying Skullcandies, the teen and his buddies across the street aren't buying in.
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 1:21 AM Post #66 of 78

skyline889

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Quote:

Originally Posted by n_maher /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I marvel at how you assume wood works and machines just like metal yet admit to not having worked with it. I also love how you're now saying that you don't care about how it looks, then go on to chastise Larry for the way his cups look. Your arrogance is truly spectacular.


I've been working with wood since I was about seven as part of my dad's side business, and to be fair, Larry's work isn't exactly the work of a perfectionist; he admits so himself in his disclaimer. While it wouldn't take just 20 minutes to turn, it sure would not take 2 hours to get it to the pre-finishing level of Larry's cups. I have routinely seen finishing scratches on his products because one, he doesn't turn end grain blocks, and two, he sands on chuck (I assume so, considering the direction of the scratch marks I've seen). This would all be fine if enough work was put in, but in my experience, it's not.

In the beginning of thread you mentioned that you can't sand against the grain, or you'll get rings. Regardless of grain direction, if you're meticulous enough you can remove visible scratches even while sanding against the grain. I used to turn pens as a hobby on a Jet mini-lathe and often times, I'd be sanding against the grain. If done right, once it gets past 800 grit, the scratches are pretty much invisible to the naked eye. 1000, 2000, and steel wool was just for feel.

Quote:

Originally Posted by n_maher /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Here's the last set that came off my lathe (a Taig Micro II) which are accurate to about +/- 0.003" and definitely took more than 20 minutes, probably around 2hrs of turning time from the rough 3" square stock to this.

medium.jpg


They have a ways to go before they are finished but I'm sure you could do better in 1/10th the time.



I'd imagine for someone who pays as much attention to detail as you, this time frame would be very accurate. From the work I've seen from Larry (Idk if his workmanship has increased over the past couple of years), I'd estimate the time from block to rough sanding is maybe half that.
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 1:26 AM Post #67 of 78

CANiSLAYu

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomana /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So let's say, as the op mentioned, that you wanted to start up a little business. How much is the fine machine you say allows faster, better, cheaper, etc. products than the machine that Nate uses, for example? Who is buying it for your company? Who's paying for the building (rent or own) to put it in and how much is that? Plus, as already mentioned, who is paying for the insurance for building, equipment, and employee(s)? Who is paying for the accountants, lawyers, labor? How much is the electricity, gas, water, sewer, and refuse collection going to cost per month? Computer hardware and software? Paper, toilet paper, garbage bags, pens, post-its, little fridge, broom, coffee pot? Telephone and internet services? Sales tax, property tax, payroll tax (if applicable)? Bank service charges, credit card fees, paypal etc? Loan payments, interest payments? Repairs and maintenance costs? Delivery charges? Packaging material, and shipping fees? Marketing and branding costs? Oh....and the cost of the wood? How do you plan on supporting yourself and your family? How much will you need? If you're starting up this business of making wooden cups for a niche market, how will these costs, and others I'm probably not thinking about, affect your pricing as a small business owner?


Easier way of putting it, take a look at a sample Profit & Loss Statement:

Starting a Business: Sample Profit And Loss Statement - Small Business

The whole concept is asinine. I guess I should open a restaurant because I can cook a steak and charge less than Mortons...
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 2:21 AM Post #68 of 78

KingStyles

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Well if it takes only 20 min. to do, Ill be waiting for the you tube video of it getting done. If you only care about the sound, then I suppose you wouldnt lacquer or stain it because I am sure that would alter some of the sound qualities of the wood itself. Also why sand it? It might improve the sound by having rough inner walls like a good speaker room with multiple odd shaped pieces of wood on the walls and ceilings to help the sound reflect more. To be serious, you typically dont just get wood cups for only the sound improvements. The looks of a nice set of wood cups are just as important as the sound improvments for most people.
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 2:23 AM Post #69 of 78

Aynjell

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomana /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So let's say, as the op mentioned, that you wanted to start up a little business. How much is the fine machine you say allows faster, better, cheaper, etc. products than the machine that Nate uses, for example? Who is buying it for your company? Who's paying for the building (rent or own) to put it in and how much is that? Plus, as already mentioned, who is paying for the insurance for building, equipment, and employee(s)? Who is paying for the accountants, lawyers, labor? How much is the electricity, gas, water, sewer, and refuse collection going to cost per month? Computer hardware and software? Paper, toilet paper, garbage bags, pens, post-its, little fridge, broom, coffee pot? Telephone and internet services? Sales tax, property tax, payroll tax (if applicable)? Bank service charges, credit card fees, paypal etc? Loan payments, interest payments? Repairs and maintenance costs? Delivery charges? Packaging material, and shipping fees? Marketing and branding costs? Oh....and the cost of the wood? How do you plan on supporting yourself and your family? How much will you need? If you're starting up this business of making wooden cups for a niche market, how will these costs, and others I'm probably not thinking about, affect your pricing as a small business owner?


None of these are subjects I ever intended to comment on, and had you of read my posts you'd of seen that. You should be directing your questioning to somebody else in this thread.

I apologize for causing a sub conversation between me and n_maher, but to be breif, I have no capacity to run a business and I never claimed to, here or otherwise. I'm not that guy at work who bitches about ceo's doing what any joe blow can do, etc. I understand business management is complex enough to require schooling, and I respect that... something I never wanted to get into.

As I stated, here and many times, and to sumarize: I could make a rough unit in 5 minutes, roughly out of a large batch with a good turret lathe. To assume that the owner of headphile has a 500$ consumer desktop lathe and is trying to make money using it is a bit beyond me, but perhaps plausible, but somebody wanting to make money at this wouldn't be wasting time with the obvious downsides to such a limited device (In terms of mass production) and thus was my conjecture, I could do it with a good machine and I'd know how to do it, to boot, but I don't have said machine nor do I want to make headphone cups for a living; I left that job for a reason.

As an example, every coffee shop I've been too can whip me up a coffee in less than 5 minutes. It takes me 30 minutes to make two coffees, frothed, and all that. When you buy a 100$ machine meant for home use, or 500$ machine in this case, it just can't crank out the product that the business class units can, and in my case I gave a fine example of a business class unit somebody like n_maher could use and drastically reduce fabrication time.


I'm very surprised and saddened to see of all people, the moderators of this forum attacking me with questions I never intended to answer. I'd say it again, but it's in all my posts in this thread. And I carefully read all my threads, nothing about any of this garbage in there, only in regards to production time frames with a production machine, even one controlled manually like I linked earlier in this thread, which I have 4 years of experience with so can say with accuracy.
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 3:33 AM Post #71 of 78

smeggy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Aynjell /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm very surprised and saddened to see of all people, the moderators of this forum attacking me with questions I never intended to answer. I'd say it again, but it's in all my posts in this thread. And I carefully read all my threads, nothing about any of this garbage in there, only in regards to production time frames with a production machine, even one controlled manually like I linked earlier in this thread, which I have 4 years of experience with so can say with accuracy.


These unanswered questions *are* the reasons why grado woody cups cost more than the space shuttle.

rolleyes.gif
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 3:34 AM Post #72 of 78

Aynjell

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Quote:

Originally Posted by smeggy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
These unanswered questions *are* the reasons why grado woody cups cost more than the space shuttle.

rolleyes.gif



But if you read my posts, my posts had nothing to do with the cost of making them, only with the time that n_maher suggested it would take. *sigh*

I give up.
floatsmile.png
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 3:36 AM Post #73 of 78

KingStyles

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Quote:

These unanswered questions *are* the reasons why grado woody cups cost more than the space shuttle.

rolleyes.gif


Way to bring this discussion around circle.
 
Apr 23, 2010 at 5:39 AM Post #75 of 78

CEE TEE

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I wanted to ask some questions as I try and compare the headphone/audiophile industry to the wine industry (have a couple friends in the wine business and have done a lot of buying/shopping/drinking/spending/etc. + making!).

What I have found is that the high-end wine cannot even be made in high enough quantities even if there was the demand because the land/grapes/climate/year aren't available enough.

So, generally, the high end wines satisfy either the rich, the really knowledgable, the investor, the collector, or some combination of these traits. (Does this apply to audiophiles as it does to wine connoisseurs?)

With that being said...the STEEP pyramid of high-end wines/buyers down to lower-end wine/buyers and the low possibility of high/consistent wine production + inability to really quantify wine qualities (like your frequency charts, but even those seem to be merely a guide) and the variation in bottling/storage/cork integrity means that the high-end wines are most often only the "flagships" that build the brand- unless that is the only business model and that wine is a "cult" wine sold for prices high enough to support the entire venture (Google: "Screaming Eagle").

I don't think that the high-end wines mean as much to the company's bottom line in many cases (pun intended) as the "transference" of quality/reputation to the lower lines for quantity and margin. The ratings/trusted sources/testimony of those that try the brand then move that experience to others that will then buy what they can justify/afford (unless they are Head-Fier's J/K). Many people have different reasons and acuity when it comes to drinking wine + have different experience levels and preferences.

That being said, what I LOVE about the audiophile world is that these products last, can be transferred/resold, can be enjoyed by multitudes (and at work!!!), and can (another pun) supremely enhance the expensive gear and music collection that we ALREADY own and had no idea was so satisfying with a strengthening of the weakest links in our delivery systems.

Now, I don't even have high-end here and I will be making all kinds of calculations in the future (okay...with mostly feelings) about whether I even want to hear the really high-end stuff (like I've had high-end wine) or if I just want to stop at what I really enjoy and know are commonly enjoyed by other enthusiasts as the biggest WOW for the buck. We have to pick our battles unless we fall into the rich category...

So, can the High-end cans with rare wood be made in high quantity? Is the market big enough for a business model to develop in these cases? If not, then smaller run and a larger line will mean necessary stratification of pricing structure due to the exponential complexity of the operation...scalability and so many other factors come into play...this just raises so many questions.

Does anyone (without naming companies) know if high-end sales are a large part of the business? Is the wood getting harder and harder to source?

Is the margin better OVERALL on the mid-range cans or the high-end cans, regardless of the percentage of the business that that product comprises in the line-up?

My bottom line, so far, is that I (and now all those around me because I am becoming a zealot) can tell a difference A/B'ing what I present to them compared to what they are accustomed to using. With very little experience. I didn't need to hang around snobs to use my own senses and experience to know that I really like what I'm hearing and it is worth it to me. (Gosh I hope I am not doing a killer job of rationalizing a higher-end Alessandro in a year and upgraditis thereafter.)

So, it seems to me that there were fair questions in the Original Post and that there was also hope from a wallet that it could be happy with plastic cans.

Right now I take pride in and like the look of my matching Black Plastic with White Pad Printed Branding. But I do love wood...




But, I and I didn't mean to go on some rant here with no actual answers or questions but the beginning of an inquiry:

Is the audiophile world like this? High end satisfies the hard-core and builds brand, then transfers down to sales in mid-categories and the bulk of profits come from here while the "pride" of the company comes from low-volume SKUs?

I also tend to believe that each house is it's own model...Grado is smaller and will probably always be so by choice and will put out great stuff that many love as the demand is there and many will be happy and Grado family/business will survive vs. Chinese companies we know nothing about and don't care as long as their products are good + inexpensive (or good value) <I know some of you know Fang so don't take this the wrong way please> vs. large, diversified companies that are super corporate and polished and can also make many happy and serve consumer need (Sennheiser/Monster/Bose)? <I know that Head-Fier's prefer Senn, but I wanted to make a point. Some of us want everyone to know and enjoy great sound plus reward the very best companies and products, others do enjoy the inside knowledge and amazing soundscape that few have a chance to experience>

I mean, without any knowledge of Joe Grado- is it really that lucrative unless you do high-volume?
 

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