Originally Posted by head_unit
Don't hold your breath. It's more expensive, thus why you can't upgrade laptops/desktops any more to my understanding. Those multi-connectors that let you swap cards are fairly expensive, and appeal to only a very very few customers who are even aware that exists.
The point I was trying to make was just what you were saying. The way to force these up-gradable cards to have competitive prices would be to make more manufacturers go to an upgrade-able system. I know exactly what you are talking about, as I have a Surface Pro and it has virtually no upgrade-able paths. If it weren't so nice, I would never have considered it. What you are talking about there is portability and weight saving. The manufacturers know that they have the corner on the market, as those laptops and convertibles are technological marvels. I still can't believe that these newer small, light convertibles are able to do what they can do. I can work on CAD programs with mine (i7), and that is amazing for such a diminutive unit. There are also budget devices in the same format however, that come in at bargain prices (i3). But back on topic.
The point I made about the percentage of the cost of the MDC cards would be a reason to buy the more expensive, nicer units. For one, you are getting a really, really nice AVR, and you are also going to be upgrading a more capable unit. As far as I can tell, NAD doesn't advertise much, as they really don't have to. If more manufacturers would adopt that upgrade-able system, I believe that NAD would have to do some number crunching and perhaps lower the cost of those MDC cards, or perhaps come down in price across the board. As it stands, the NAD units for sale at authorized merchants are selling at retail prices, and have no trouble doing so.
As for not being aware of the system, that is just a shame, as I would love to see some new upstarts come out with upgrade-able components in a high quality format to compete with NAD. I guess you could look at the high prices for the MDC cards as a R&D thing, as they have to spend a lot to get their engineers to produce these cards, and do it right the first time. Nothing will tank a manufacturer as easily as having a bad repair record could do. NAD already had one flawed card they needed to fix, and that cannot happen frequently, as the people who want to pay premium prices for audio gear are not going to be very tolerant of recalled items. I know I won't.
The thing I really think that's unfair to the manufacturers of quality, mass produced gear are the reviews of these components. The more units that are sold, the more chance of having some bad ones get away. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and most of the posters on forums like, this come here to look for answers to problems, not to "cheer the gear". This undoubtedly means that the components get a "bad rap". That's just the way it goes.