Sound United Enters Agreement to Acquire Onkyo Home Audio - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 153 Old 05-15-2019, 02:47 PM
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We an only hope Max!
Yup. Never underestimate big corporates ability to screw up a good thing.
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post #62 of 153 Old 05-15-2019, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Archaea View Post
Denon (and likely Marantz - since they have basically become the same thing over the years, though I can't say for absolute certain) - may have automatically, or accidentally turned on such nonsense as Dynamic Volume, Late Night mode, LFC, etc - all loudness leveling functions that inexplicably keep turning on, with my Denon X7200WA and my X4520CI before that. I run Audyssey fairly regularly because I'm also futzing with my room, changing speakers, or trying new things - and I've determined those things turn on in association with running audyssey, I THINK! Anyway - us enthusiasts with dedicated spaces want those settings OFF! And if you had any of that volume leveling stuff on - that explains your thoughts.

No EQ to No EQ --- with like distances (delays), with objectively measured/verified SPL levels set for each channel with a third party mic, the Denon/Maratanz and Pioneer receivers SHOULD sound no different to Human ears, and measure no different to equipment.

Enter EQ functions, speaker placements, rooms, treatments, mic placements/count of measuring positions, mic manufacturing variances, etc and years between testing an NOBODY can compare this unit they USED to have compared to this unit they have now.

Even in a controlled study/experiment where the ONLY variable was the AVR and associated house brand Mic that came with the AVR -- when you run AutoEQ you can get absolutely ridiculous variances on what reference truly is--- which was the outcome of our carefully controlled AVR Auto EQ testing. Sickening really.

There is no "reference" created by these AutoEQ systems...

Post 199 for full read -
quip excert here:


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...l#post28900602
Hey, I saw your thread briefly not too long ago. Im thankful there are people like you that are this dedicated because I dont have the equipment or the expertise to run these measurements and understand how to make adjustments (yet! ). Comparing all 3 units I tried - without any EQ or room correction enabled they all sounded close but there was a very small difference between each... but not enough to the point where I would prefer one over the other. The Marantz SR7010 and the Pioneer SC-LX801 sounded very close and the Denon was the most different but I couldnt figure out what the reason behind that was. After room eq was applied they became vastly different. Audyssey did enable the things you mentioned but I turned them all off which helped close the gap but it still lost alot of punch.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why because I really wanted to see if another brand besides Pioneer would work for me - but in the end, running MCACC Pro once on the Pioneer was enough and I didnt have to do anything to get the sound where I wanted it. Versus the Marantz and Denon i had to dig deep into the settings and try to figure out why things were so different

Obviously it wasnt a blind test because it was just me setting these up so I knew which ones were which but having only been used to hearing Pioneer Elite receivers on these speakers for the past 10 years I was very aware of the differences. Maybe its just one of those things where you buy a new pair of headphones or speakers and it has a slightly different sound signature that feels "off" to you but you always warm up to it in the end Who knows. Unfortunately in the end I didnt keep any of the receivers since I suddenly had to move for work but I will be in the market to get one very soon.

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post #63 of 153 Old 05-15-2019, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dfa973 View Post
From the HTF Market Intelligence Consulting Pvt. Ltd. report on Global AV Receiver Market 2018 study:



https://www.openpr.com/news/1145508/...ectronics.html

Hey thx for posting this, truly.
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post #64 of 153 Old 05-15-2019, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dfa973 View Post
So now we have receivers from (no particular order):

01. Sound United (Marantz, Denon, soon Onkyo, Pioneer (Elite), Integra)
02. Yamaha
08. Sony
<...>
The oligopoly. As a practical matter, these are the players that matter in the market.

Is that enough to compel innovation rather than rent seeking? Maybe, maybe not. It's probably not good for white collar jobs at Onkyo, Pioneer, and Elite...

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Originally Posted by dfa973 View Post
03. Anthem
04. Arcam (owned by Harman, which is owned by Samsung...)
05. Cambridge Audio
06. NAD
07. Rotel
I'm pretty sure all of these are a software and faceplate atop the same OEM platform.

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Originally Posted by dfa973 View Post
09. Emotiva
10. Trinnov
11. Monoprice
12. Storm Audio
13. ATI
Not comparable.

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Originally Posted by dfa973 View Post
14. Sherwood (Inkel Corporation, Korea - big A/V OEM player)
15. Pyle
16. LG Electronics (yes, it does some AV Receivers)
Not comparable in the other direction.

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I do not think you can be a monopoly when your competitors include Sony, Yamaha, and Harman, not to mention a number of smaller manufacturers.
Read up on US antitrust case law. The modern conception of antitrust law has nothing to do with intra-business competition. Rather, it focuses on consumer pricing. The theory is, basically, government should only prohibit a combination if it will definitely result in higher prices for consumers. As one would expect from a theoretical framework born from filth*, in practice this framework means few to no constraints on combination.

*Modern antitrust theory is the baby of Robert Bork, who is better known among the public as Nixon's hitman during the Saturday Night Massacre, tireless defender of poll taxes to keep those uppity people of color from voting, and generally being too rabid to be confirmed to the Supreme Court in a 53R/47D Senate.
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post #65 of 153 Old 05-15-2019, 08:12 PM
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This is crazy. Its like a "if you can't beat them, buy them" type of thing. These brands are supposed to be competitors lol! Things are gunna get interesting thats for sure.

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post #66 of 153 Old 05-15-2019, 08:54 PM
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I really can’t see this many brands continuing, but I also don’t see how just Yamaha can be an effective competitor in the under $800 market.
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post #67 of 153 Old 05-15-2019, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by S_rangeBrew View Post
3 to 7 have always been "way past the point of diminishing returns" overpriced niche stuff in my opinion.


Any reason you left out Sony?
I've been questioning Sony's commitment to the receiver market. Their ES line hasn't been updated in a couple of years (and I believe three years in the case of their flagship 5000ES). They've introduced some value-oriented models since then, but they really need to do a major refresh of their TOTL stuff soon if they plan on competing.

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I'm pretty sure all of these are a software and faceplate atop the same OEM platform.

Anthem, Arcam, and NAD are all their own unique designs, though they're each owned by larger parent organizations, ShoreView (which collectively owns Paradigm, Martin Logan, and Anthem in the audio realm), Harman/Samsung (also Lexicon which are currently rebadged Arcam units with some unique firmware/software), and Lenbrook (also parent of PSB and Bluesound) respectively.
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post #68 of 153 Old 05-15-2019, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post
Quote:
So now we have receivers from (no particular order):

01. Sound United (Marantz, Denon, soon Onkyo, Pioneer (Elite), Integra)
02. Yamaha
08. Sony
<...>
The oligopoly. As a practical matter, these are the players that matter in the market.
Yes, for the average consumer that wants more than a soundbar. Except for Sony, that is not very active, has very few models and updates them slowly.

Seems that Yamaha has the biggest global slice of the AVR market, and SU is poised to beat them in a few years from now.
Sony is uncommitted for now.

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post #69 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 01:48 AM
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Let's hope Sound United buys Dirac next so we can have good RC on most of the AVR's/processors on the market.

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post #70 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 04:21 AM
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Let's hope Sound United buys Dirac next so we can have good RC on most of the AVR's/processors on the market.
Never going to happen. As much as some people like myself dislike it, Audyssey is very simple to use and perfect for a company selling many hundreds of thousands of units. Dirac requires a computer and is more complicated to run, perfect for the niche players that typically sell to more advanced users.
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post #71 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 04:38 AM
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there wasn't heavy differentiation between most of these products. some cosmetics perhaps.

I could personally see every single one of those brands under the parent company becoming a single unified line of products and nobody would bat an eye.

The integration features are very similar and with homekit/airplay many of the features will be pared down in the future. You would know this if any of you used it homekit, etc.

With class d amps, most of these are already similar in feature sets, weight, power, etc.

rack mounting makes almost everything the same size even now.

With almost everything being hdmi, i don't use anything on the back except hdmi as it is.

With competitors like sonos and apple, they need to get their whole house audio stuff under one strong competititve brand and feature set or face extinction.

There are currently WAY too many products and price points under all of those brands, just confusing and not necessary. I say simplify and get the consumer better for cheaper.
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post #72 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 05:00 AM
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I say simplify and get the consumer better for cheaper.
HDMI-eARC is THE feature that can slim-down, simplify and cheapen the receivers:
1. high efficiency, low heat class D amps needed
2. lower count of HDMI ports (more integrated services, fewer sources needed, etc.,)
3. slimmer chassis, nicer designs, new designs, and less boxy designs
4. more AUDIO features
5. fewer VIDEO features
6. fewer complications (more reliable)
7. more consumer satisfaction
8. a little more futureproofed device
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post #73 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 05:01 AM
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This is crazy. Its like a "if you can't beat them, buy them" type of thing. These brands are supposed to be competitors lol! Things are gunna get interesting thats for sure.


medium fish swallow smaller fish and become the biggest fish

Microsoft did this literally 100’s of times...
General Motors, Google, etc


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post #74 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 05:15 AM - Thread Starter
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medium fish swallow smaller fish and become the biggest fish

Microsoft did this literally 100’s of times...
General Motors, Google, etc


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Car brands are instructive. What is a Lincoln, or Cadillac, or Buick, aside from the name of the company that got swallowed up by another company.
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post #75 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 07:20 AM
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A key point for United Audio is now they will gain their own manufacturing factory in a cost-competitive country(Malaysia).
As presently their only factory is in Japan for the high-end products, the majority of the Marantz & Denon products are built by the Inkel(Sherwood) factory in Vietnam.... Additionally having the added sales volume of Onkyo & Pioneer AVRs will give them increased leverage for the procurement of internal components.

Just my $0.02...
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post #76 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post
medium fish swallow smaller fish and become the biggest fish

Microsoft did this literally 100’s of times...
General Motors, Google, etc


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Well of course this is happened before in the world of business; capitalism 101. But this is crazy to "ME" because my entire life these brands were competitors and had unique properties to each other and features etc. My question is how will the brands continue to have their own identity being part of the same brand now? I hope they are able too.

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post #77 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 10:23 AM
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A key point for United Audio is now they will gain their own manufacturing factory in a cost-competitive country(Malaysia).
As presently their only factory is in Japan for the high-end products, the majority of the Marantz & Denon products are built by the Inkel(Sherwood) factory in Vietnam.... Additionally having the added sales volume of Onkyo & Pioneer AVRs will give them increased leverage for the procurement of internal components.

Just my $0.02...
Can't say I know...is Vietnam lower cost than Malaysia? At any rate, I can see them dropping the lower-end Denons (or effectively having them as Malaysia-manufactured rebadged Onkyos if they must), phasing out Pioneer's AVR lines except for the Class D tech making its way into the higher-end AVRs made in Japan, and with their market power maybe pushing for exclusive distribution with mass volume discount incentives in certain channels. Meaning we'll see you at Walmart or Best Buy...except for the higher end stuff that will get steered to the specialty Magnolia stores or some A/V dealers.

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post #78 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 10:55 AM
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They are deff cornering the market with 80% of the brands. At least those new brands HOPE will get stepped up to some of the others
Jesus the market share they are going to control in A/V receivers is scary. This can't be a good thing for consumers.
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post #79 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 11:13 AM
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I would look and Sound united's existing brands to see how they will handle Onkyo.Pioneer. Some brands will find either a broad or niche customer base while others will become Boston Acoustics and slowly whither away regardless of the quality of the products they produce.
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post #80 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 12:27 PM
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Can't say I know...is Vietnam lower cost than Malaysia? At any rate, I can see them dropping the lower-end Denons (or effectively having them as Malaysia-manufactured rebadged Onkyos if they must), phasing out Pioneer's AVR lines except for the Class D tech making its way into the higher-end AVRs made in Japan, and with their market power maybe pushing for exclusive distribution with mass volume discount incentives in certain channels. Meaning we'll see you at Walmart or Best Buy...except for the higher end stuff that will get steered to the specialty Magnolia stores or some A/V dealers.
Labor costs in Vietnam are 1/2 those of Malaysia, the challenge that any factory has building AVRs outside of China is that still the majority of key internal components come from China. And the labor content within an AVR has been decreasing as automated insertion machines take over the previously done manual labor portion of assembly. The other advantage of Vietnam is under the TPP, when shipping CE products to Western Europe there are no import duties.. We would have had this advantage for the USA but Trump didn't sign up... Whatever the challenges for United Audio are.. They now have a corner on the major CE brands, but keep in mind, to date they have only agreed upon a tentative purchase agreement still a Final Agreement must be created and both boards of the respective companies must approve/sign off which puts off the final close date into 2020...

Just my $0.02...
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post #81 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 02:20 PM
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I don't like it. The more brands they acquire, the less competition they face, and the more relaxed. I think Yamaha just got bigger in many audiophile eyes.
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post #82 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 04:14 PM
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I’ve always wanted to try a Yamaha receiver, but I refuse to buy into their Aventage models just to get the single feature I can get on an entry level Denon, which is independent crossover settings for different speaker channels.

What plagues me every single time I go to buy an AVR is having to pay for more amplification than I need, just to get a few features I might use.
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post #83 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by M Code View Post
Labor costs in Vietnam are 1/2 those of Malaysia, the challenge that any factory has building AVRs outside of China is that still the majority of key internal components come from China. And the labor content within an AVR has been decreasing as automated insertion machines take over the previously done manual labor portion of assembly. The other advantage of Vietnam is under the TPP, when shipping CE products to Western Europe there are no import duties.. We would have had this advantage for the USA but Trump didn't sign up... Whatever the challenges for United Audio are.. They now have a corner on the major CE brands, but keep in mind, to date they have only agreed upon a tentative purchase agreement still a Final Agreement must be created and both boards of the respective companies must approve/sign off which puts off the final close date into 2020...

Just my $0.02...
Wonder if they just close the Malaysian factory then, and move Onkyo SKUs to the Inkel facility. OTOH there's something to be said for vertical integration, which means it could go the other way (moving lower priced D&M SKUs to the Onkyo Malaysia facility) if automation can justify it.

Of course, it's going to be a few years out, as you point out about the process that would have to take place before a Final Agreement would be ratified and consolidation might happen.

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post #84 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 10:07 PM
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Wonder if they just close the Malaysian factory then, and move Onkyo SKUs to the Inkel facility. OTOH there's something to be said for vertical integration, which means it could go the other way (moving lower priced D&M SKUs to the Onkyo Malaysia facility) if automation can justify it.

Of course, it's going to be a few years out, as you point out about the process that would have to take place before a Final Agreement would be ratified and consolidation might happen.
One can only speculate what United Audio will do..
But having (6) AVR brands to me seems a bit much, Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer, Elite, Denon and Marantz so I would surmise (3) brands will go away most likely Integra, Pioneer, Elite. As we have already seen that Denon can compete @ the very top with their incredible 8500 AVR, so it would make sense to use the Onkyo brand for the lower market segments... It is no secret, Denon loses $ on any AVR below $599 SRP.. So now they can keep the Denon & Marantz brands positioned higher catering to the more profitable, sheltered distribution specialist channels and have the Onkyo brand handle the broader, big box internet, mass market sellers. And possibly use the Pioneer brand for certain sheltered, derivative customers just like Yamaha has done very successfully. All in all it will be interesting to watch the United Audio plan roll out..

Just my $0.02...
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post #85 of 153 Old 05-16-2019, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by M Code View Post
One can only speculate what United Audio will do..
But having (6) AVR brands to me seems a bit much, Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer, Elite, Denon and Marantz so I would surmise (3) brands will go away most likely Integra, Pioneer, Elite. As we have already seen that Denon can compete @ the very top with their incredible 8500 AVR, so it would make sense to use the Onkyo brand for the lower market segments... It is no secret, Denon loses $ on any AVR below $599 SRP.. So now they can keep the Denon & Marantz brands positioned higher catering to the more profitable, sheltered distribution specialist channels and have the Onkyo brand handle the broader, big box internet, mass market sellers. And possibly use the Pioneer brand for certain sheltered, derivative customers just like Yamaha has done very successfully. All in all it will be interesting to watch the United Audio plan roll out..

Just my $0.02...
There is no way there is going to be all those different models. Even if they keep all or most of the brands, once they get settled in, it's going to be relabeled versions of whatever models they develop. Me, I think it would be interesting to keep the Pioneer amps, so basically Denon, Marantz, and Pioneer. And, of course, they could just use the same front end, and use different amps. I do wonder how much longer Audyssey will last, even if it's superior, once they have control of two paid for technologies. If they drop Audyssey, and go with AccuEq or MCACC, I'll probably get something with Dirac if my x4300h craps out.

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post #86 of 153 Old 05-17-2019, 04:09 AM
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I’ve always wanted to try a Yamaha receiver, but I refuse to buy into their Aventage models just to get the single feature I can get on an entry level Denon, which is independent crossover settings for different speaker channels.

What plagues me every single time I go to buy an AVR is having to pay for more amplification than I need, just to get a few features I might use.
Amen to that!!!!

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post #87 of 153 Old 05-17-2019, 05:37 AM
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ShoreView (which collectively owns Paradigm, Martin Logan, and Anthem in the audio realm), .
From link posted earlier in thread...
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With the purchase of the three brands completed last week, Shoreview Industries has exited the business.
https://www.cepro.com/article/paradi...rtinlogan_sold
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post #88 of 153 Old 05-17-2019, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by TuteTibiImperes View Post
Anthem, Arcam, and NAD are all their own unique designs, though they're each owned by larger parent organizations, ShoreView (which collectively owns Paradigm, Martin Logan, and Anthem in the audio realm), Harman/Samsung (also Lexicon which are currently rebadged Arcam units with some unique firmware/software), and Lenbrook (also parent of PSB and Bluesound) respectively.
Your reply is mostly out of the scope of my text you quoted. I never claimed that the corporate overlords for those companies were related, I wrote that the AVR/pre-pro hardware was basically the same.

I admittedly may be wrong about NAD, but I have my suspicions about the 758. However, it is quite clear that the hardware of the Anthem MRXs/AVM60 and the Harmsung/AudioContol AVRs/pre-pros are riffs on the same OEM platform.

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post #89 of 153 Old 05-17-2019, 10:23 AM
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Well of course this is happened before in the world of business; capitalism 101. But this is crazy to "ME" because my entire life these brands were competitors and had unique properties to each other and features etc. My question is how will the brands continue to have their own identity being part of the same brand now? I hope they are able too.

I think that's really the point. There is very little difference or unique properties between AVR's with the exception of maybe a different flavor of room correction algorithm.

Companies get bought and sold for two primary reasons, 1. because they have some proprietary technology that someone else wants or 2. they have a week bottom line and buying them up is a cheap and easy way to pick up market share. Onkyo/Pioneer and their "flagship brands" Integra/Elite are in the latter category. Pioneer's CE unit has been in trouble since 2005-2006. Dennon/Marantz have been sold multiple times as well.

Digital has become the great equalizer in audio. Different analog circuit designs from different manufactures was the foundation of brand identity and product differentiation. With the advent of digital protocols/formats, there is really only one way a circuit can be designed to work with a given IC - SoC chipset with regards to decoding and processing. Most product differentiation is in the GUI or firmware that can access licenced features in a SoC.

There are only a handful of chipset manufacture that make the SoC's used in AVR's and building an AVR today is more like assembling a PC compared to AVR's of 20 years ago. In other words, AVR's are more alike than different regardless of which brand or units by price point inside a brand you might buy. Pop the top on a modern AVR and compare it to any current unit or an older one. Dennon/Marantz units at a particular price point are almost the same units using a different box/face plate and different marketing verbiage.

This kind of consolidation was/is inevitable and will continue.
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post #90 of 153 Old 05-17-2019, 10:44 AM
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Companies get bought and sold for two primary reasons, 1. because they have some proprietary technology that someone else wants or 2. they have a week bottom line and buying them up is a cheap and easy way to pick up market share.
I've worked for companies that acquired other companies and the biggest reason was to eliminate them as competition. We told them we were buying them for their product lines. We would say that so the employees wouldn't jump ship. We also would promise bonuses based on how well their products sold. But as soon as the deal was done, we started pushing their clients to use our products and stopped all development on the products we bought.
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