Group Purchase of an Audyseey Pro Kit - Any Interest? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Darin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 5,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
There has been some discussion in the Audyssey Pro Kit thread regarding forming a "Co-op" ownership of a shared Audyssey Pro Kit, to make it more attainable to those who can't justify the full expense for their sole use. At this point, this thread is just to gauge interest, so post if you are. If there are enough people interested to make this worthwhile, we can then hash out the details. For now, I will put my initial thoughts on how this could work in post#2, but this can evolve if/when others provide input.

My dual Rythmik Servo sub project (actually quad now, need to update page)
HDM format neutral thanks to the pricing wars of the '07 xmas shopping season :)
Darin is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Darin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 5,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Details on the kit can be found here. At this point I have not yet dug deep into the details, so anyone please correct me if any of my understandings are incorrect:

Running an Audyssey Pro calibration requires a compatible receiver/processor, a $150 license to use the software on that device, a computer to run the software on, and the pro kit, which includes the software, a microphone (calibrated to tighter specs than the typical Audyssey mics that come with Audyssey equipped receivers), and some accessories to be able to connect and use it. The kit itself typically runs $550, plus the $150 license fee per device it's being used on. Therefore, everyone who participates would have to pay $150 per device they want to calibrate, plus their share of the cost of the kit. Someone would have to be an administrator, who would manage the group, coordinate getting and updating all the licenses linked to this kit, and be the point of contact for any support that may be needed.

The obvious first concern would be how relative strangers from the internet can share the cost of an item while being fairly protected from risk. These are my initial thoughts on how something like this could work:

Someone would need to purchase the kit. Once they use it, it will be available to someone else in the group. This second in line person will then need to accept responsibility for the kit. They will pay the first person his cost, less a depreciation fee to account for the fact that the kit will lose value as it ages. Once they are done with the kit, the 3rd person in line pays the 2nd person what HIS cost was (the initial cost, less the previous depreciation fee), less another depreciation fee. Essentially, as the kit passes hands, every person is basically paying deposit on the kit, which they get most of back when it moves to the next person. The difference can be viewed similar to paying a rental fee. In my example, I am suggesting an initial depreciation fee of $25, which would go down $1 every time it changes hands, until the depreciation fee hits $1. At some point, the fee might need to go to $0 to prevent the deposit from becoming $0.

This can easily be administered through an online Google Spreadsheet. When a group member has a need for the kit, they add their name to the waiting list. When the person ahead of them in the list is done with it, they contact the next person in line who then arranges (and pays for) shipping. I would suggest that while there is a waiting list, a time limit (perhaps 1 week) be established from the date of receipt of the kit, until it's shipped to the next person. I would also suggest that insurance on shipments be mandatory, and each member covers the cost to get it to them (I expect this may need to be limited to US residents, unless we come up with ideas on how to deal with disproportionate shipping costs and possibly even customs issues). An example of how this list could work can be viewed here.

This plan protects members from buying in to a shared kit that could get lost, damaged, or stolen. Anyone who has the kit in their possession has invested a deposit that should roughly cover the current value of the kit, and they are responsible for it while it's in their possession. If something happens to it, the other members are only out whatever depreciation fees they may have previously paid (but that means they already got use of it for a relatively low cost). They will also have paid $150 for a license which they can't use without the kit, but the group could choose to replace the kit, users could choose to buy their own, or just stick with the calibration they've already done, or hire a pro to make any changes in the future. The person who has the kit in their possession is at risk equal to the current deposit they paid to get it. If suddenly no one else in the group wants to use the kit any more, they could get stuck with it, at the cost of their deposit. The intent of the depreciation fee is to hopefully keep the deposit relatively in line with the kit's value. If someone were to somehow get stuck with it (in the unusual circumstance that the entire group suddenly decides they aren't interested any more), they could keep it for what is hopefully a fair value, or sell it if desired. Though ideally, I think the administrator should be someone who is willing to be the one who gets stuck with it if the group were to collapse.

The biggest opening for risk that I can think of at this time is someone intentionally defrauding the group. If the current holder of the kit doesn't ship it until receiver payment from the next, he could not ship it (or ship a rock). If the next in line doesn't pay until they receive it, they could not pay once they got it. I'm interested in ideas as to how this risk could be reduced without paying unnecessary fees to a third party.

These are my initial thoughts on how this could work. This can evolve if anyone has interest and better ideas.

My dual Rythmik Servo sub project (actually quad now, need to update page)
HDM format neutral thanks to the pricing wars of the '07 xmas shopping season :)
Darin is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Darin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 5,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Copied discussion from here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnla View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnla View Post

No that is flawed, it's not a wear out type item. So how can you say the kit depreciates? Because no matter how old it is or how many times it's used. Audyssey still charges $550 for another kit if you need to replace it. I do understand why you want to do it as far as getting people together for the use of a pro kit, but the way you want to do it with a depreciation value of the cost of kit is flawed.

Are you saying you would pay $550 for a used kit? Yesterday I found a listing for a used one for $400. I messaged him, and haven't heard back yet, so I don't know if he still has it. If I can acquire that one, that would drop the initial cost in my spreadsheet substantially.

I'm not saying I have the RIGHT depreciation values listed, but I'm pretty sure that this isn't an item that has ZERO depreciation. I know *I* wouldn't buy a used one if I could get a new one for the exact same price. The biggest advantage of the kit, IMHO, is the fact that the mic is calibrated to tighter tolerances than the ones that come with our receivers. Those can drift over time. In my proposed plan, the person holding the kit is "out" his deposit until the next person takes it. I wouldn't want to pay a $550 deposit on something that wasn't worth a full $550. The intent is to try to make it relate to actual value, so everyone is protected, including the person who currently has it in his possession.

No, what I am saying is why should I take a $150 hit on the price of replacing my kit if I loan it out to you and then you decide to keep it instead of returning it to me? Sure it would work out great for you, getting a kit for $400, but not so great for me, as I payed $550 for my kit. Plus there is no guarantee that I could find a used kit $400 if you kept mine, as there are never very many of them up for sale. Whatever the used market prices are for a kit has no bearing to me, as I do not plan on selling it. And if I did loan it out, I'd want a deposit large enough not only to include the full MSRP to replace it, but also enough to cover any and all shipping charges, including both the cost of sending out and also it's return. There is no reason why I should take any risks at all if I were to loan it out, and I'm pretty sure most other owners of a kit feel the same way.

I’m not sure if we’re on the same page. In my example, if I was the one who originally purchased the kit, if I paid $550, the next person in line then pays me $525 for it. If he (or someone down the line) decides to keep it, I’m out $25 (not $150), but I also got use of the kit before that happened. From my perspective, I’ve rented the kit for $25. Obviously I’m hoping that no one tries to scam the group, and it stays in circulation so that I have access to it again down the road. But IF the worst happens, I’m not really out anything. I’ve simply paid a small fee to use the kit. If it “disappears” the remainder of the group (less the kicked out scammer) decides if we want to start over again. If so, I buy another one for $550, it goes down the line @ $525, and I’ve paid $25 for my second use of the kit, instead of the depreciated rate ($20, or whatever it might have been depending on where in the line it “disappeared).

You are looking at this from your own perspective, already owning the kit. You were already willing to pay $550 to have it on hand, forever. This needs to be looked at as a rental plan with a deposit. This is for people who aren’t willing to spend $550 for their sole use, but rather prefer a “pay per use” model. However, there is an inherent cap on what you would normally pay. Under a normal rental scheme, if I paid $25 per rental, buying outright would be cheaper in the long run after 22 “rentals”. In this scheme, the cost of the rental goes down each time due to the depreciation. Because there is no one profiting (this is essentially a co-op), each member would only be paying some fraction of the original $550 purchase price (depending on how many members there are and how often you use it). Now, as you say, there is always a risk that someone could scam us, and keep the unit. But if we format the depreciation properly (again, I’m not saying my $1/transfer is the right amount, just what I came up with), they would only be “scamming” something for it’s fair market value (they would have had to have paid the deposit of what we think it's worth to "steal" it). The net effect to the rest of the group is it would only set back the future rental “discounts”, as opposed to actually taking something from us. But in trade for the set-back of the depreciated rentals, we're getting a brand new unit with a fresh calibration.

My dual Rythmik Servo sub project (actually quad now, need to update page)
HDM format neutral thanks to the pricing wars of the '07 xmas shopping season :)
Darin is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 02:31 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Johnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin View Post

This needs to be looked at as a rental plan with a deposit.

No, your way is not how rental plans work. Try that with someone who rents you a calibration meter for calibrating TV's. If you lose, damage, or keep the meter, you most likely will have been charged enough in the deposit cost, or with his having your CC info to fall back on, to cover the cost of replacing the meter with a new one.


Anyway, I'm done with this. You have your idea of how it should work, and it is flawed. There is way too much potential for someone to get burned with your plan.
Johnla is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Darin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 5,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnla View Post

Anyway, I'm done with this. You have your idea of how it should work, and it is flawed. There is way too much potential for someone to get burned with your plan.



I'm simply explaining the reasoning behind what I came up with. As I stated from the beginning, this is completely open to better ideas. If you have one, spell it out. Although I'm not even sure why you even care, since you already purchased one for your own use. I don't really understand your apparent disdain for something I presume you have no use or interest in anyway.

My dual Rythmik Servo sub project (actually quad now, need to update page)
HDM format neutral thanks to the pricing wars of the '07 xmas shopping season :)
Darin is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 03:18 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Johnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 24
Lotsa luck with finding takers for your "plan". Here is how real rental plans work! This is for renting a meter that is used for calibrating TV's

http://store.spectracal.com/colormunki-rental.html

"Here are the details:

Pay the full $599 price plus shipping,
Use the ColorMunki to profile your meter against your display or for individual use,
Ship it back to SpectraCal in less than 30 days in the same condition and get $500 refunded. You're essentially paying only $99 + shipping to use a ColorMunki Spectroradiometer!

If you don't already have the required CalMAN Spectroradiometer add-on license, a temporary 30 day license key will be included in your rental program for free!

Note: If SpectraCal determines there is significant damage to the loaned ColorMunki, no refund will be processed. It will be shipped back to you as its new permanent owner."


PLUS, you will also need to own a version of the required CalMAN calibration software, to even be able to use the meter.
Johnla is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Darin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 5,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnla View Post

Lotsa luck with finding takers for your "plan".

This is not a thread about a plan, at least not at this point. This is simply to see if there are others who are interested in sharing the cost of the pro kit. I submitted an example of an idea I came up with for how it could work. If there are others who are interested, the collective group can determine what the structure should be.
Quote:


Here is how real rental plans work!

I'm not suggesting a business plan for a company to make a profit on renting equipment. I am suggesting a co-op. I said it should be viewed as a rental plan, in the sense that if the kit "disappeared", I would only be out a small amount, after having used it, so it would be like renting. If someone took it, I wouldn't be losing money any more than I would be losing money on renting something.

Personally, I would much prefer being able to just find a handful of other people who want to split the cost equally, then just ship it around as needed. But as you pointed out in the other thread, there is a need for a deposit system. So if a group of people go in on this, share the cost equally, but then each one pays a deposit equal to the full price of the unit, then that is effectively the same thing I suggested, except without any depreciation of the deposit. So if I buy this for $550, then I give it to Joe and he pays a $550, deposit, then it goes to Bob who pays $550 and Joe gets his $550 back, and this keeps changing hands for several years, how are we sharing the cost? The full burden of the cost rides with whomever currently has possession of it. Honestly, that's fine with me if there are other people interested, and that's what people are intersted in.

However, the reason my example included depreciation is because this is NOT something we will likely all use until we die. We all know how quickly CE devices become obsolete. If everyone just continues to pay $550 to "hold" it, I think it would become a technological hot potatoe. Eventually, fewer and fewer people would be using it. At some point, someone is going to get stuck holding the hot potatoe. The person who uses it last ends up paying the full amount, and everyone else got to use it for free all those years. I would THINK that it would be more appealing to potential group members to feel like their financial risk was relatively similar to the value of the item they have in their possession, and the value of this will go down over time.

But as I said, if you have a better idea, please post it. But it's probably all moot unless and until there are more than just me and Mike that are wanting to do something like this.

My dual Rythmik Servo sub project (actually quad now, need to update page)
HDM format neutral thanks to the pricing wars of the '07 xmas shopping season :)
Darin is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 04:29 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mtbdudex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 4,807
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked: 324
I'm game, my av is the 2007 Denon 4308CI, pro ready.

Live in SE Michigan.

Seems like this is based on the trust system....
Form a LLC among the co-op owners, with clear rules?

Sorta like when people join a group investment club, but instead of money the commodity is the pro kit.
Clear rules on joining, sharing the kit (room changes, need to re-run), and leaving the club.

I'd approach it from that viewpoint.

[edit] I posted in the pro thread, guess soundofmind lives close to me, so most likely I'll hook up with him.
mtbdudex is online now  
post #9 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 05:48 PM
AVS Special Member
 
M Code's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Joshua Tree, CA
Posts: 9,980
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 162 Post(s)
Liked: 133
Hmmm.
Maybe I should E-Bay mine..
Only used it couple of times..

Just my $0.02..
M Code is online now  
post #10 of 11 Old 01-13-2012, 01:58 PM
AVS Special Member
 
HTPCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Citrus Heights, CA
Posts: 1,232
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 23
I would be interested in this. Denon 4311. Live in Sacramento Area of California. Lets say we get 10 people interested and we pass it around and it gets to the 10th/last person then what?

HTPCat
"Give Me More Audio & Video Toys"

HTPCat is offline  
post #11 of 11 Old 01-20-2012, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Darin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 5,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
At this point, it doesn't look like there is enough interest in this. However, should that change in the future, just to address the question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTPCat View Post

Lets say we get 10 people interested and we pass it around and it gets to the 10th/last person then what?

I think the general thought is that most people would likely want to recalibrate again, at some point. The equipment could change, their furniture could change, or they could just re-arrange or decide they could benefit from different measurement techniques as they learn more about it.

But certainly, some people change or like to tinker more than others, and some may do one and just leave it at that. And as I mentioned above, there would reach a point where this kit would become obsolete. These are reasons why I thought the kit should depreciate over time: that prevents the "10th person" (or whatever number down the line) getting stuck holding the bag with a deposit of "full new value", because everyone else has gotten the use out of it they wanted. It also conveniently builds in a way of having those who use it more contribute more to the cost than those who use it less. And lastly, it makes it easy for people to join or leave the group at any time.

I think it's all moot at this point, but things to keep in mind should the interest in this ever come up again.

My dual Rythmik Servo sub project (actually quad now, need to update page)
HDM format neutral thanks to the pricing wars of the '07 xmas shopping season :)
Darin is offline  
Reply Receivers, Amps, and Processors



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off