$18,000 Simaudio AV processor actually a repackaged Denon AVR? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 222 Old 11-14-2013, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Audioholics article is here. I love reading stuff like this smile.gif I am reminded of a meme originated by Stereophile's Jon Iverson, which Stephen Mejias loves to repeat at every available opportunity: "Audiophiles Perfect What The Mass Market Selects". Or do they just polish a turd and sell it for 5 figures? biggrin.gif
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post #2 of 222 Old 11-14-2013, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by andyc56 View Post

Audioholics article is here. I love reading stuff like this smile.gif I am reminded of a meme originated by Stereophile's Jon Iverson, which Stephen Mejias loves to repeat at every available opportunity: "Audiophiles Perfect What The Mass Market Selects". Or do they just polish a turd and sell it for 5 figures? biggrin.gif

The Stereophile article is yet another example of self-congratulation based on revisionist history. For example:

False self-congratulation:

"Here's a concrete example of how this works today: When the first portable MP3 players came out, they had two major audiophile deficiencies: low-quality file formats and lousy earbuds. Then the iPod and iTunes 4.5 arrived, and users could put uncompressed files from their CDs directly onto the drive. This is why Stereophile covered it."

True history:

Previously available digital music players such as the Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox supported the highest quality practical file format - 44/16 .wav files long before the iPod became available.
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post #3 of 222 Old 11-14-2013, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by andyc56 View Post

Audioholics article is here. I love reading stuff like this smile.gif I am reminded of a meme originated by Stereophile's Jon Iverson, which Stephen Mejias loves to repeat at every available opportunity: "Audiophiles Perfect What The Mass Market Selects". Or do they just polish a turd and sell it for 5 figures? biggrin.gif

I get what you're saying, but it's not really 'polishing a turd,' because the Denon is no turd.
It's more like putting racing wheels and a spoiler on a Honda Accord and selling it for the price of a Ferrari. smile.gif
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post #4 of 222 Old 11-14-2013, 08:03 PM
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I like the adage: A fool and their money are soon parted. But the one I like better: It's immoral to let a sucker keep his money.

Chalk this one right up there with Joe Skubinski and his customers. There is one smart person in that whole group.
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post #5 of 222 Old 11-14-2013, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I get what you're saying, but it's not really 'polishing a turd,' because the Denon is no turd.
It's more like putting racing wheels and a spoiler on a Honda Accord and selling it for the price of a Ferrari. smile.gif

Yeah, I agree. I had some reservations about my original wording but didn't know how to say it better. smile.gif
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post #6 of 222 Old 11-14-2013, 10:40 PM
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my favorite part of the article:
Quote:
After being furnished a copy of the draft of this article, Simaudio’s Costa Koulisakis, VP of Sales and Marketing and part owner according to a September 20, 2013 press release, was happy to confirm, in a 30-minute phone interview, that the origin of the CP-8 is indeed Denon AVR-2808CI/AVR-2809CI AV receivers.

lol....and yet convincing a "true believer" they are often being duped is a futile effort indeed.


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post #7 of 222 Old 11-14-2013, 11:03 PM
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I wonder how many other "High End" Companies are doing the same thing...

Denon 4520ci, 3 JBL 2360As/EV DHA-1s, 3 1/4 Pie bass bins, MiniDSP 2x4s, 4 Klipsch HIPs, 2 Klipsch KP3002s, PS3, XBox 360, 3 Intel NUCs, Monoprice Redmere, Monster HTPS7000, 2 SUPER SPUD subs, Panasonic AE8000u, and a Yamaha P7000s.
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post #8 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 01:55 AM
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I'm sure amplifier designs are the biggest offender. People seem to think a recased amp that costs more, sounds better.
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post #9 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyc56 View Post

Audioholics article is here. I love reading stuff like this smile.gif I am reminded of a meme originated by Stereophile's Jon Iverson, which Stephen Mejias loves to repeat at every available opportunity: "Audiophiles Perfect What The Mass Market Selects". Or do they just polish a turd and sell it for 5 figures? biggrin.gif

I get what you're saying, but it's not really 'polishing a turd,' because the Denon is no turd.
It's more like putting racing wheels and a spoiler on a Honda Accord and selling it for the price of a Ferrari. smile.gif

+1.

Nice metaphor, its fits almost exactly.

It appears that the modification to the Denon rips out the power amps and substitutes a wildly over built linear power supply and line output drivers. The AVR's power transformer appears to have been replaced with a similar-sized toroid, which is again an example of overbuilding that is hard to explain on technical grounds. I first thought that the big toroid was there to power output stages and then I noticed that they had been ripped out. I'm not against balanced line drivers, but I'm used to seeing them implemented far more efficiently in pro audio gear.

I seem to recall some high end vendor was caught doing something similar with a mid-fi DVD player.
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post #10 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

+1.

Nice metaphor, its fits almost exactly.

It appears that the modification to the Denon rips out the power amps and substitutes a wildly over built linear power supply and line output drivers. The AVR's power transformer appears to have been replaced with a similar-sized toroid, which is again an example of overbuilding that is hard to explain on technical grounds. I first thought that the big toroid was there to power output stages and then I noticed that they had been ripped out. I'm not against balanced line drivers, but I'm used to seeing them implemented far more efficiently in pro audio gear.

I seem to recall some high end vendor was caught doing something similar with a mid-fi DVD player.

That would be the Lexicon/Oppo bluray player deal, IIRC.

I bet the Simaudio would sound great when paired with the Lexicon/Oppo.:-)

BGL
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post #11 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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They can talk about fancy analog stages, but with volume control and channel trims being done in the analog domain, given the 0.5 dB steps and wide adjustment range required, there's no way to do this practically with an "audiophile style" variable gain (switched-relay attenuator or the like). I don't see any way around using one of the multi-channel analog volume controls like the CS3318, which contain CMOS op-amps internally, as well as resistor ladders with CMOS switches. These are what dominate the distortion of the analog portion, not the buffer amps that follow them.
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post #12 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I bet the Simaudio would sound great when paired with the Lexicon/Oppo.:-)

LOL! I want that setup! biggrin.gif
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post #13 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by andyc56 View Post

They can talk about fancy analog stages, but with volume control and channel trims being done in the analog domain, given the 0.5 dB steps and wide adjustment range required, there's no way to do this practically with an "audiophile style" variable gain (switched-relay attenuator or the like). I don't see any way around using one of the multi-channel analog volume controls like the CS3318, which contain CMOS op-amps internally, as well as resistor ladders with CMOS switches. These are what dominate the distortion of the analog portion, not the buffer amps that follow them.

With 127dB dynamic range and -110 dB THD+N (0.0003%) its not exactly like that 3318 is trashing the signal!

http://www.cirrus.com/en/products/cs3308-18.html

I believe that the predecessor technology was motorized plastic track potentiometers. The biggest exposure was channel balance and tracking.
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post #14 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

With 127dB dynamic range and -110 dB THD+N (0.0003%) its not exactly like that 3318 is trashing the signal!

The CS3318 is a great chip. A guy over at diyaudio did some distortion measurements of it and could barely measure any distortion at all at the 0 dB gain setting (where Cirrus measures it). In that condition, the input attenuator is switched out and the op-amp is at 0 dB gain. He did find the distortion to be quite a bit higher when the gain was not 0 dB. It was a few hundredths of a percent in other conditions if I recall correctly: still negligible of course. I'll see if I can find that post.
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post #15 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

+1.

Nice metaphor, its fits almost exactly.

It appears that the modification to the Denon rips out the power amps and substitutes a wildly over built linear power supply and line output drivers. The AVR's power transformer appears to have been replaced with a similar-sized toroid, which is again an example of overbuilding that is hard to explain on technical grounds. I first thought that the big toroid was there to power output stages and then I noticed that they had been ripped out. I'm not against balanced line drivers, but I'm used to seeing them implemented far more efficiently in pro audio gear.

I seem to recall some high end vendor was caught doing something similar with a mid-fi DVD player.

That would be the Lexicon/Oppo bluray player deal, IIRC.

I bet the Simaudio would sound great when paired with the Lexicon/Oppo.:-)

Also - various claimed repackaging of mid-fi players


Runco THX LD player was basically a Panasonic LX900 http://www.techhelpfox.com/5355199/Question-For-Panasonic-Lx-900,-Msb-Ls-2,-Runco-Ljr-ii-Owne

Faroudja DVD player is basically a Toshiba 3006. http://www.avsforum.com/t/153904/faroudja-dv1000-dvd-player-need-help#post_1506076

Goldmund is repackaged Pioneer http://homepage1.nifty.com/iberia/column_audio_goldmund-e.htm

Wadia CDP is relabelled Marantz cd94mk1 http://lampizator.eu/lampizator/references/wadia%20WT%203200/WT3200.html

etc.
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post #16 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 07:31 AM
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The author doesn't have experience in how consumer electronic business works. In Japanese culture for example, it is very bad form to release OEM relationship. Here is an example: when Blu-ray format was launched with Sony being one of the top leaders, Sony's first blu-ray player was a rebadged Pioneer. That is not the good part smile.gif. The good part is that they asked Pioneer to take out some of the features! So not only did they not told you that you were getting a Pioneer Blu-ray player, they sold you less functionality for similar price! At least this vendor was honest with the answers even though they had done substantial redesigns way, way more than is often done.

As to them making a lot of money, I challenge any of you to make that business plan work: buy $240,000 worth of Denon gear, add your own custom designed modules, repackage, and push it through a channel that is far more expensive than Denon's, and still wind up with a few dollars in your pocket. I am confident you will lose a ton of money. If you don't agree and you think they made a killing, what are you waiting for? Go in that business smile.gif. With some rare exceptions, I can't think of a worse business plan than to get into audio hardware business....

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post #17 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 07:49 AM
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The author doesn't have experience in how consumer electronic business works. In Japanese culture for example, it is very bad form to release OEM relationship. Here is an example: when Blu-ray format was launched with Sony being one of the top leaders, Sony's first blu-ray player was a rebadged Pioneer. That is not the good part smile.gif. The good part is that they asked Pioneer to take out some of the features! So not only did they not told you that you were getting a Pioneer Blu-ray player, they sold you less functionality for similar price! At least this vendor was honest with the answers even though they had done substantial redesigns way, way more than is often done.

As to them making a lot of money, I challenge any of you to make that business plan work: buy $240,000 worth of Denon gear, add your own custom designed modules, repackage, and push it through a channel that is far more expensive than Denon's, and still wind up with a few dollars in your pocket. I am confident you will lose a ton of money. If you don't agree and you think they made a killing, what are you waiting for? Go in that business smile.gif. With some rare exceptions, I can't think of a worse business plan than to get into audio hardware business....

great spin on this from someone who relies finacially on the industry.

the sony pioneer thing was a deal made between two companies and sony did not up the price 10000%wink.gif

your second paragraph is ridiculous...that type of business plan is unsustainable....unless you have a built in customer base who readidly will believe in magic. tongue.gif
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post #18 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

The author doesn't have experience in how consumer electronic business works. In Japanese culture for example, it is very bad form to release OEM relationship. Here is an example: when Blu-ray format was launched with Sony being one of the top leaders, Sony's first blu-ray player was a rebadged Pioneer. That is not the good part smile.gif. The good part is that they asked Pioneer to take out some of the features! So not only did they not told you that you were getting a Pioneer Blu-ray player, they sold you less functionality for similar price! At least this vendor was honest with the answers even though they had done substantial redesigns way, way more than is often done.

As to them making a lot of money, I challenge any of you to make that business plan work: buy $240,000 worth of Denon gear, add your own custom designed modules, repackage, and push it through a channel that is far more expensive than Denon's, and still wind up with a few dollars in your pocket. I am confident you will lose a ton of money. If you don't agree and you think they made a killing, what are you waiting for? Go in that business smile.gif. With some rare exceptions, I can't think of a worse business plan than to get into audio hardware business....

What is your point? You are making one right? I even read between the lines, I read what you didn't say and still can't figure out what your point is. Are you in a left handed way saying SimAudio are a bunch of nimcompoops?
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post #19 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 08:01 AM
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Well, at least the audio companies that he pushes on his website, are a few of the biggest offenders. biggrin.gif They must all be broke.
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post #20 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 08:18 AM
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great spin on this from someone who relies finacially on the industry.
Fair enough. Be sure you to get your own facts to counter rather than appearance of bias. I will help you along. Have you heard of a company called Funai? Probably not. Well, they are probably the #1 manufacture of Blu-ray players sold under many major brands. The boxes are manufactured in China and shipped to retailers. The company whose name is on it does nothing other than provide specs for the branding, remote, etc. But per cultural norms, no press release is ever made to show this relationship and only the industry insiders know what I just explained to you.
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the sony pioneer thing was a deal made between two companies and sony did not up the price 10000%wink.gif
The author was outraged that the OEM relationship was not mentioned. Clearly it was not in the case of Pioneer and Sony. And many people naturally assumed Sony as the co-creator of the format would have someone else build their first player. So clearly many were misled especially when features were deleted . In this case, the target customer is getting more and the relationship openly admitted.
Quote:
your second paragraph is ridiculous...that type of business plan is unsustainable....unless you have a built in customer base who readidly will believe in magic. tongue.gif
Willing customers does not help you get around the mistake the author made: gross margin is not the same as net margin. Nor does it do away with stiff competition both in the high-end and low-end. As you say, I am in the industry but you don't see me going in this business. Go and study the field and then make proclamations with data to back it. Otherwise it is tiring to read these information free suppositions.

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post #21 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 08:31 AM
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great spin on this from someone who relies finacially on the industry.
Fair enough. Be sure you to get your own facts to counter rather than appearance of bias. I will help you along. Have you heard of a company called Funai? Probably not. Well, they are probably the #1 manufacture of Blu-ray players sold under many major brands. The boxes are manufactured in China and shipped to retailers. The company whose name is on it does nothing other than provide specs for the branding, remote, etc. But per cultural norms, no press release is ever made to show this relationship and only the industry insiders know what I just explained to you.
Quote:
the sony pioneer thing was a deal made between two companies and sony did not up the price 10000%wink.gif
The author was outraged that the OEM relationship was not mentioned. Clearly it was not in the case of Pioneer and Sony. And many people naturally assumed Sony as the co-creator of the format would have someone else build their first player. So clearly many were misled especially when features were deleted . In this case, the target customer is getting more and the relationship openly admitted.
Quote:
your second paragraph is ridiculous...that type of business plan is unsustainable....unless you have a built in customer base who readidly will believe in magic. tongue.gif
Willing customers does not help you get around the mistake the author made: gross margin is not the same as net margin. Nor does it do away with stiff competition both in the high-end and low-end. As you say, I am in the industry but you don't see me going in this business. Go and study the field and then make proclamations with data to back it. Otherwise it is tiring to read these information free suppositions.

take a nap, expert! tongue.gif


nobody if forcing you to read any of my posts or anybody elses for that matter.

Gotta love your spin on it though.

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post #22 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Gotta love your spin on it though.

That's my favorite thing about subjects like this: reading the spin from various apologists. It's still not nearly as good as threads about The Upgrade Company though, where 1-post wonders pop up like weeds. But this guy is close.
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post #23 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 08:53 AM
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Good business plan or not, repackaging an OEM product and then selling it for 10 times the price is unconscionable. I hope they lost a bunch of money. Perhaps it will motivate others to avoid getting into this kind of theft. After spending years as a high end audiophile, I can feel now that the entire high end audio industry should be called out and put out of business. It is the praying mantis and the audiophiles are the prey.
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post #24 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 09:23 AM
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What gets me is why not use a more current Denon AVR with up to date features, how old is the 2009ci anyways?


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post #25 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 09:33 AM
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Well, at least the audio companies that he pushes on his website, are a few of the biggest offenders. biggrin.gif They must all be broke.
Hehe smile.gif. I think you are giving me way too much credit. I know a lot about this industry but one thing I don't know is how to make money selling high-end gear to the vast number of audiophile fools that you think are walking around and do so profitably. Better than 90% of my company's business is custom electronics where the profits are in automated lighting, shades, whole house audio distribution, etc. We install 100X more commercial Crown amps than sell Mark Levinsons (both from the same parent company).

Last night we provided our facility for the local audiophile society. Really great group of people personally which you all would love to hate for their purchase decisions. Anyway, we are showing the new JBL M2 speakers. In case you have not heard about them, they are the latest product from JBL which was jointly designed by the division that makes Revel speakers (http://www.jblpro.com/products/recording&broadcast/M2/index.html#.UoZaFhr_mSo). The objective and subjective performance of this system are incredible. Here is an example of the former:

Specs_R3.jpg

First check out the green line. That is the on-axis (direct) response of the speaker. Have you ever seen a speaker with such a perfect response? The story gets better. Look at the lines below it. They are for angles away from front (off-axis). Look at how remarkably similar they are to the on-axis. Of course, Harman does not release a speaker without double blind tests against competitors so on the subjective side we are covered there too. The bi-amped speakers with two Crown 5000 series DSP sells discounted for $20,000 or about $2k more than this receiver we are talking about in this thread. Fully active speakers with programmable DSP so you can have any response curve you want:

M2System.jpg

What was the reaction from a number of audiophiles last night? "Never seen a horn speaker I liked...Never liked a speaker with DSP in it...None of the instruments sound real..." Fortunately there are some that were blown away by them are buying it but you have zero chance of attracting the typical Wilson or Magico buyer with this speaker and talk of science as is common on our web site.

So no, we don't make a living (and I certainly do not) from high-end audiophile customers. That part of our business there would not even pay for the lights. They are great people who share my love of music but they are not our customers. Yes, we do carry high-performance products. Where possible (and we try hard) our selection of these products is routinely based on proper science and validation of the same as you see above. These are not what caters to the high-end customers though. So your continued bias in how you are accepting my information is not warrented

But the few of you think it is easy picking here. Please explain how you would make money from these "gullible" people. I sure as heck don't know how to do that and seeing a number of high-end audio shops around us close, I don't seem to alone. You guys are mad about all the fortunes being made. Teach us the secrets. smile.gif

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post #26 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 09:37 AM
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Good business plan or not, repackaging an OEM product and then selling it for 10 times the price is unconscionable.
Why? If they can't make money at that retail price, how would they do so with a lower price??? Do you think the $18K is the dealer price? Do you know if the Denon is sold profitably?

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post #27 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 09:37 AM
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Fair enough. Be sure you to get your own facts to counter rather than appearance of bias. I will help you along. Have you heard of a company called Funai? Probably not. Well, they are probably the #1 manufacture of Blu-ray players sold under many major brands. The boxes are manufactured in China and shipped to retailers. The company whose name is on it does nothing other than provide specs for the branding, remote, etc. But per cultural norms, no press release is ever made to show this relationship and only the industry insiders know what I just explained to you.
The author was outraged that the OEM relationship was not mentioned. Clearly it was not in the case of Pioneer and Sony. And many people naturally assumed Sony as the co-creator of the format would have someone else build their first player. So clearly many were misled especially when features were deleted . In this case, the target customer is getting more and the relationship openly admitted.
Willing customers does not help you get around the mistake the author made: gross margin is not the same as net margin. Nor does it do away with stiff competition both in the high-end and low-end. As you say, I am in the industry but you don't see me going in this business. Go and study the field and then make proclamations with data to back it. Otherwise it is tiring to read these information free suppositions.

So what does any of this have to do with the fact that a 3-4 year old product is being repackaged with some tweaks and the other fact that the price is adjusted by 1700%? No one is debating that. It's just telling that the boutique manufacturers are effectively out of the modern HT AVR/Pre-Pro game.

Trust me it's not a cultural, but contractual norm.

Again what point, besides running of the mouth, are you trying to make?
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An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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post #28 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 09:48 AM
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Fair enough. Be sure you to get your own facts to counter rather than appearance of bias. I will help you along. Have you heard of a company called Funai? Probably not. Well, they are probably the #1 manufacture of Blu-ray players sold under many major brands. The boxes are manufactured in China and shipped to retailers. The company whose name is on it does nothing other than provide specs for the branding, remote, etc. But per cultural norms, no press release is ever made to show this relationship and only the industry insiders know what I just explained to you.
The author was outraged that the OEM relationship was not mentioned. Clearly it was not in the case of Pioneer and Sony. And many people naturally assumed Sony as the co-creator of the format would have someone else build their first player. So clearly many were misled especially when features were deleted . In this case, the target customer is getting more and the relationship openly admitted.
Willing customers does not help you get around the mistake the author made: gross margin is not the same as net margin. Nor does it do away with stiff competition both in the high-end and low-end. As you say, I am in the industry but you don't see me going in this business. Go and study the field and then make proclamations with data to back it. Otherwise it is tiring to read these information free suppositions.

So what does any of this have to do with the fact that a 3-4 year old product is being repackaged with some tweaks and the other fact that the price is adjusted by 1700%? No one is debating that. It's just telling that the boutique manufacturers are effectively out of the modern HT AVR/Pre-Pro game.

Trust me it's not a cultural, but contractual norm.

Again what point, besides running of the mouth, are you trying to make?

Looks to me that he has gotta play the part of apologist and come up with excuses and distractions in order to justify the continued exitance of fleecing the "audiophile" community.

Similar tactics are used by salesmen the world over.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #29 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 09:52 AM
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You misunderstand completely. We don't have a problem with people making fortunes. We have a problem with preying on peoples' hearing bias and egos with lies about product performance. In other words we have a problem with bad business practices. OEM manufacturing isn't a problem. But selling an OEM product and claiming that it outperforms the OEM product is a lie and is a problem. Harman has done it by selling an ATI amplifier in Levinson attire. Nothing wrong with selling an ATI amp with your brand on it. But it is wrong to make people believe that the higher price you charge has sonic benefits. Selling exotic wire is a problem. I think you get the idea.

I too am a businessman. I've made my living in e-commerce for the past 15 years. My business is honest and up front, as I assume yours is and I believe others should be as well. In my view there is no room for the Sim Audios or even Monster Cables in this modern age. They need to be put to rest if they aren't managing that by themselves.
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post #30 of 222 Old 11-15-2013, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

You misunderstand completely. We don't have a problem with people making fortunes. We have a problem with preying on peoples' hearing bias and egos with lies about product performance. In other words we have a problem with bad business practices. OEM manufacturing isn't a problem. But selling an OEM product and claiming that it outperforms the OEM product is a lie and is a problem. Harman has done it by selling an ATI amplifier in Levinson attire. Nothing wrong with selling an ATI amp with your brand on it. But it is wrong to make people believe that the higher price you charge has sonic benefits. Selling exotic wire is a problem. I think you get the idea.

I too am a businessman. I've made my living in e-commerce for the past 15 years. My business is honest and up front, as I assume yours is and I believe others should be as well. In my view there is no room for the Sim Audios or even Monster Cables in this modern age. They need to be put to rest if they aren't managing that by themselves.

Very well said. The tone, the content, no unnecessary distractions. very professional sounding.

FMW=businessman.
Amirm=salesman.

I know what type of person I would choose to do business with.
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