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Lamont Sanford
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Milty Zerostat 3

Wouldn’t a BBQ lighter be a lot cheaper?  Save yourself about $85.   Take out the electrode that permits the spark in the lighter and you have the same thing as this toy gun ion thing.  You guys should do more research on gadgets that amount to an elementary school science fair project.

Also, please explain how it discharges records in addition to charging them in the opposite direction so they become dust magnets.

This "thing" has been around from at least the 1970s under various names.  It just keeps coming back.  You know it.  I know it.  Now the whole world knows it.

fkrausz
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Zerostat

Must fool a lot of folks, because I can vouch for one of their claims: it's used in research labs as a tool for getting rid of static.  Something tells me you haven't actually tried using the piezoelectric crystal in the BBQ lighter.

Lamont Sanford
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 Something also tells me you

 Something also tells me you suffer from contempt prior to investigation.  The lighters are piezoelectric, dummy.  I didn't just pull that out of my ass.

JIMV
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It is the ultimate example og

It is the ultimate example of cramming $5 in parts into a $100 price...and they have sold gazillions over the decades. I have no doubt it works and I would buy one tomorrow at $20...

Lamont Sanford
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I would recommend going to

I would recommend going to Radio Shack and putting one together but you can just go to Walmart.  But most people on the east coast have never seen a Walmart.

Stephen Mejias
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BBQ lighter trick

But most people on the east coast have never seen a Walmart.

Thank goodness.

Anyhow, your BBQ lighter idea is interesting, but I'd probably burn my apartment building down. I'm happy to pay for things that are well-built and work as intended.

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There has to be a

There has to be a limit....this device has been out for decades. Any R&D was recovered while Reagan was president. They do in fact cram under $5 in parts into a $100 price...It is way past time to bring the price down to something that reflects cost and keeps profit under 1000%. It is a prime example of why so many dismiss the hobby for money loaded diletaunts or idiots. Normal folk know something that looks like a toy and costs less than ones zippo to manufacture should not cost $100, even if it does work. It would work just as well at $20 and still insure a big profit.

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Milty

I understand the frustration at being forced to pay $100 for a product that includes $5 worth of parts, but how is that different from many other products in high-end audio? Go ahead and try using an altered BBQ lighter for a while-I dare you to tell me that you have for more than a few days without reconsidering! Would your kluged-together BIC lighter seem appropriate sitting next to say, your Clearaudio Statement table (or Mikey's Continuum?). Do you feel the folks behind the Milty should make a deluxe model for the well-heeled and a cheaper rendition for those with Technics 1200's :-)?  I can't argue that it ought to sell for $50 (it probably should), but they work and they last practically forever. There are costs associated with marketing and distributing and warrantying a product. I am reminded too of two essentially identical digital scales I purchased for measured VTF, one was $20 purchased from a company that sells hundred of digital scales of all shapes and sizes on the internet and one was $50 and cosmetically altered and sold under the name of a company that sells all types of high-end music accessories and also digital recordings. They both failed within weeks. With the cheaper unit, I was out of luck. With the more expensive one, I got a new one no questions asked. My second one has lasted more than a year without problem.

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But both broke...would it not

But both broke...would it not have been cost effective to chuck the cheaper and buy another?

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Investigation

Lamont: I didn't say or imply that the lighters aren't piezoelectric -- in fact, I referred to it as "the piezoelectric crystal in the BBQ lighter."   But I'm guessing that a lighter designed to produce just enough of a spark to light a gas flame won't produce anywhere near enough of a field to de-static a record.  You're the one who thinks it's easy to adapt a lighter -- why not tell us how it worked after you've tried it?  BTW, that goes for the folks who are sure that it's easily built out of Radio Shack parts.  Maybe it is, but if it's that cheap and easy, why not do it and share the results with the rest of us, instead of just telling us how overpriced the Milty thing is, based on an experiment that you've never really done?

Lamont Sanford
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Walmart is just an example for the masses
Stephen Mejias wrote:

But most people on the east coast have never seen a Walmart.

Thank goodness.

Anyhow, your BBQ lighter idea is interesting, but I'd probably burn my apartment building down. I'm happy to pay for things that are well-built and work as intended.

It's shit like that  that will bring down Stereophile down just like Howard Johnson.   There are only three Howard Johnson's left.  Why?  Because they refused to change. Touting a $100 gizmo that should be marketed at $33 is BS and people justifying proves it.  The fact that the technology can even be found in a Walmart, bourgeoisie at it might seem to people on the east coast, means the editor is not doing his homework.  Even Playboy makes a loss on their magazine sales every year because they have no choice but not to change.  That is not the case for Stereophile.  They are simply trying to find a middle road that is about as efficient as the GSA in Las Vegas.  The $100 gizmo is a ripoff and shame on Stereophile for touting it more than once.  Once was enough.  We got it the first time.  We're not stupid.  I'm not nessarily telling people to go to Walmart and get a BBQ lighter instead.  I'm intimating to people what a joke the magazine has become and yet the editor still does not listen to the same old tired letters he receives from people that have had enough.  From now on I am going to take overinflated sticker price for equipment reviewed and subtract 67% to give myself an estimation on what the real world retail value should be.  But let the market of supply and demand take care of itself. It always does.  People want to rip themselves off is their own business.  It is almost like trying to sell swamp land in Arizona.  There is a lot of truth in that.  I think Stereophile needs to change their genre and interoffice culture and get real before it is too late to turn back.  But what do you guys care.  Most of you are about to kick the bucket anyway.  So what the hell.  Do what you want.  It will take some time before the publisher realizes anything is wrong.  Or are they already applying pressure and the editor still doesn't get it?

Lamont Sanford
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Opposite action
fkrausz wrote:

Lamont: I didn't say or imply that the lighters aren't piezoelectric -- in fact, I referred to it as "the piezoelectric crystal in the BBQ lighter."   But I'm guessing that a lighter designed to produce just enough of a spark to light a gas flame won't produce anywhere near enough of a field to de-static a record.  You're the one who thinks it's easy to adapt a lighter -- why not tell us how it worked after you've tried it?  BTW, that goes for the folks who are sure that it's easily built out of Radio Shack parts.  Maybe it is, but if it's that cheap and easy, why not do it and share the results with the rest of us, instead of just telling us how overpriced the Milty thing is, based on an experiment that you've never really done?

It is that cheap and easy.  Both the $100 gizmo and the technology behind it.  I don't want the damn thing because it causes an opposite reaction, which is turning your vinyl into a magnet for dust.  It amazes me how you geniuses forget the fundamentals Einstein taught us.

Lamont Sanford
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Escaping consequences
FSonicSmith wrote:

I understand the frustration at being forced to pay $100 for a product that includes $5 worth of parts, but how is that different from many other products in high-end audio? Go ahead and try using an altered BBQ lighter for a while-I dare you to tell me that you have for more than a few days without reconsidering! Would your kluged-together BIC lighter seem appropriate sitting next to say, your Clearaudio Statement table (or Mikey's Continuum?). Do you feel the folks behind the Milty should make a deluxe model for the well-heeled and a cheaper rendition for those with Technics 1200's :-)?  I can't argue that it ought to sell for $50 (it probably should), but they work and they last practically forever. There are costs associated with marketing and distributing and warrantying a product. I am reminded too of two essentially identical digital scales I purchased for measured VTF, one was $20 purchased from a company that sells hundred of digital scales of all shapes and sizes on the internet and one was $50 and cosmetically altered and sold under the name of a company that sells all types of high-end music accessories and also digital recordings. They both failed within weeks. With the cheaper unit, I was out of luck. With the more expensive one, I got a new one no questions asked. My second one has lasted more than a year without problem.

 

Search the forum for cheap DVD players from Target and Walmart outperforming the high dollar CD players.  The jig is just about up for Stereophile.  The high dollar technological subterfuge doesn't fool everybody.  Just sayin'.

Stephen Mejias
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blah blah blah

Lamont:

1. What are you talking about? I lost you at Howard Johnson's.

2. If you think that's bad, this will really freak you out: I don't really even know what piezoelectric means.

Do you think the average person knows what piezoelectric means?

Here's what I know: The Milty works. My records sounded like crap and I was dying over my music before it came into my life, and then it saved me, allowed me to enjoy my records again. It paid for itself in like two minutes.

I don't know how long it would take me to research, buy the necessary parts, and build my own piezoelectric device, which would probably turn out looking like an ugly science experiment, but I'm happy to pay $100 for something that works well and looks good. I'm not telling you or anyone else that they should do the same thing. I'm just sharing my experience. The reader who relates to my writing and my lifestyle, may want to follow along. The reader, like you, who would rather do something different, is free to do something different.  

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A quick question...should not

A quick question...should not the magazine lobby for the best possible sound/performance at the least possible price instead of simply defending what is an obvious overpriceing? Please do not try to tell me the company is in any danger of losing money on these things...Even the drug companies only get a few years to gouge before the market forces lower prices and generics...High end audio seems immuned to the market and the magazine defending gouging does not help...

And yes, the thing works, it has for almost half a century. It is just priced way too high. It is the audio equivalent of the little horsey on a $20 Chinese shirt that sells for $80....It is a status thing...Some in our hobby have more money that sense. The Magazine should not encourage that. It is like serving beer at a AAA meeting. Buy the high priced spread,,,it is good for you.

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alternatives

A quick question...should not the magazine lobby for the best possible sound/performance at the least possible price instead of simply defending what is an obvious overpriceing? Please do not try to tell me the company is in any danger of losing money on these things..

I'm not trying to tell you anything except this: I don't know a better way of freeing my records and phono cartridge from static. The Milty is safe, easy, works well, and lasts for a very long time. To me, an avid record collector, it's worth $100.

In the same column, a paragraph later, I talk about the price of the Milty and I offer other, less expensive alternatives. 

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Lamont and the lighter

Piezoelectric crystals create voltages of opposite signs for deflections in opposite directions, which is how Milty manages it so that "when the trigger is squeezed, positive ions are generated and when the trigger is relaxed, negative ions flow."  (This from their description on amazon.com.)  So, if you're careful, you get ions of the appropriate sign to become attracted to a charged surface of the record.  This is why the gizmo works for SM and for the folks in my friend's biophysics lab at MIT.  No violations of physical laws here.  But, yes, you can gum up an un-charged record with one.

And btw Lamont, in your reference to Einstein, you probably were thinking of the photoelectric effect, which was analyzed by Einstein; the piezoelectric effect was first elucidated by the brothers Curie.

I still think folks should actually try these cheap and easy experiments before they tell us how cheap and easy they are, and how Milty/Zerostat is "obviously" asking too much money for their product.

Lamont Sanford
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It can by a DIY
fkrausz wrote:

Piezoelectric crystals create voltages of opposite signs for deflections in opposite directions, which is how Milty manages it so that "when the trigger is squeezed, positive ions are generated and when the trigger is relaxed, negative ions flow."  (This from their description on amazon.com.)  So, if you're careful, you get ions of the appropriate sign to become attracted to a charged surface of the record.  This is why the gizmo works for SM and for the folks in my friend's biophysics lab at MIT.  No violations of physical laws here.  But, yes, you can gum up an un-charged record with one.

And btw Lamont, in your reference to Einstein, you probably were thinking of the photoelectric effect, which was analyzed by Einstein; the piezoelectric effect was first elucidated by the brothers Curie.

I still think folks should actually try these cheap and easy experiments before they tell us how cheap and easy they are, and how Milty/Zerostat is "obviously" asking too much money for their product.

 

I think you should give up giving examples of MIT using the damn thing and concentrate on the idiotic price and the fact that a genius is defending this toy. The government pays $150 for a hammer.  Is the hammer worth it?  As for Einstien, I was thinking of Newton's third law of motion with Einstein expanding upon, "Everything in physics happens when opposites split but everything in life happens when opposites unite."    Discharging the album is not correct.  It doesn't discharge the album but charges it in the opposite direction.  It eliminates static.  In return it creates a magnet for dust.  So, what is the point with this thing on vinyl?   For every action there is an opposite and equal action.  This is true with the stupid toy.  I tried this when I was a kid.  I collected enough bubble gum wrappers to get a pair of xray eye glasses.  You get lost on me because you don't stick with the damn fundamentals.  Tell your friends and MIT to stop wasting money and get to work.  The technology behind this toy is so stupid there isn't even a patent on it.  The only thing Milty has is a patent on is the stupid "trigger" on it.  Like you been told many times.  This thing has been around for decardes under different names and uses, including a BBQ lighter.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/3997817.pdf

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/3997817.html

As you can see the four past references are gas lighters.  The Milty is a modified gas lighter.  End of story.

 

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zerostat

I bought a Zerostat in the early days when it first appeared on the market. I can't remember the exact price I paid, perhaps around $20 (?).  I have used it on LPs, of course. I was a bit shocked to find that a new Zerostat now costs $100.

But the thing does work. One time there was stuff clinging onto clothing by static. The Zerostat removed the static and the stuff simply fell off. There are numerous other examples that this works.

Maybe the static charge is causing the tonearm on SM's turntable to either attract to the LP or repel the LP, enough to change the tracking orientation of the stylus. One could try MF's microscope to see if the stylus deflection is different with a charged LP vs a Zerostat-ed LP.

Also, Einstein received the Nobel Prize for explanation of the photoelectric effect.

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$20

John Atkinson bought his Zerostat in 1976, for around $20, also.

Say you spent 20 bucks on anything in 1970.  Adjusted for inflation, that would be around $110 in 2012 dollars. And that's without taking into account the rising cost of metals and plastics, which have outpaced a general rise in prices. 

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Price of gas lighters

 

It doesn't matter because one could say the price of gas lighters have gone down to $20 today.   I can't believe I started a fight over this thing.

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inflation

Understand about the adjustment for inflation. Computers have come down in price a lot. If you adjust for inflation, then computers are a bargain now compared to 20 years ago. And, Costco still sells the hot dog with a drink for the same price now as when they started selling it. So what is a proper comparison?

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hmm?

I don't understand your point. There are lots of factors that go into the pricing of hotdogs and soda, from point of purchase to economic variables, but I'm pretty sure that, in general, hotdogs and sodas cost more today than they did in 1970.

All I'm saying is that I think $100 is a fair price to pay for the Milty Zerostat. I'm very happy with what it does, and I'm not willing to invest the time and energy required to make my own.

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The StaticMaster Works for Me

Most people cannot use the Milty Zerostat successfully, they pull the trigger until it clicks and think they've done the job.  The right way is to pull it in a bit slowly and release it in the same way, without the click (which is a fail-safe release to prevent damage to the piezoelectric crystal).  Still, you're likley to leave a residual charge on the target (record or tonearm) that might affect tracking force.

There's a much better solution, IMHO:

Just attach one of the staticmaster strips containing the alpha particle-emitting isotope  polonium-210  (from http://www.amstat.com/staticmaster.html, for example) to the inside of your dustcover near the record surface with double-sided tape.  One model 2U500 strip used in this manner has worked for me for over twenty years.  You will never hear static again.  Don't bother with the brush or any holder, unless you don't use a dustcover.  If you don't use a dustcover, you can buy a goose-neck holder for the thing.

The device works by emitting alpha particles of low energy into the air above the record, ionizing the air molecules and making the air conductive.  The alpha particles only travel a few inches, and are completely stopped by hitting any solid material like the dust cover or a piece of paper.  Completely safe, as long as you do not touch the metal strip behind the grid. 

Very dangerous if ingested, though, so not to be used around pets or kids. When and if it stops working, the element should be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility.

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But the point is...

Does it work??? yes...btw it doesn't always last forever. I'm on my  fourth. When the third one stopped working I order my fourth( since 1988). Since I knew I had one coming I pried it open to see why such a simple concept could stop working. well there is a set screw that adjusts the the contact. So now I have two working models. Do they work ...yes. Do they attract dust...well yes and no. Yes technically they do but they are not exposed to dust long enough to cause a problem...at least if your cleaning or vacuuming first( which while that really cleans the record I have discovered in my house in my system really jacks up the static electricity). So there is little or no dust...then de-static. 20-25 minutes of exposure, in my case, has not lead to any appreciable dust collection( and I have a very dusty environment issue). But even if it did following the same routine removes the dust before destaticing...so no problem.

Now the cost....well I am totally sympathetic to the $5.00 parts in a 100 Dollar item it is still a very simple supply and demand issue. What is the public willing to pay and how many will pay at that price point. Considering SM's cost analysis( for which my first I think was 40-45) then after 40 years the price point seems to have been proven to be an accurate bell curve of price/supply and maximizing profit.  if that is the point they maximize profit then so be it...we seem to forget everything in the middle of revenue and profit....we assume that is parts cost but that's only a small portion of it...labor, utilities/energy, physical plant overhead, TAXES, benefits/insurance, etc etc...for all we know the profit margin is 10% or less..hardly unfair...

And don't forget demand...its not like vinyl users( for whom this is target for as far as we are concerned) count in the mainstream population for demand. And of the vinyl users what percentage are apt to purchase a tweak like this at any price point??? Sure the hard core vinylophile might...might! I would be surprised if that total number hit a quarter of million potential buyers worldwide...but say it did...what percentage would buy it at any price point( the start of creating the bell curve). Perhaps the $100 price point is exactly the highest profit point...that is totally fair for any product. If it were not the product and the company would by definition of the supply/demand/price curve disappear. Since it has been around for 40 plus years and at the same price point( adjusted for inflation of course) it seems to be right on the money!

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99% of thre original costs

99% of thre original costs have ben recovered many times over...today it is like the TV commercial where they will ship 'a second free' (if you will pay the shipping, which is several times more than the cost of shipping and the item being shipped combined)...

Bottom line, for this discussion...the magazine should be in the business of encouraging the most bang for the buck, not the most buck for the bang. defending gouging is the wrong position.

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but all that means...
JIMV wrote:

99% of thre original costs have ben recovered many times over...today it is like the TV commercial where they will ship 'a second free' (if you will pay the shipping, which is several times more than the cost of shipping and the item being shipped combined)...

Bottom line, for this discussion...the magazine should be in the business of encouraging the most bang for the buck, not the most buck for the bang. defending gouging is the wrong position.

even if  the profit margins are more today( again adjusted for inflation) than they were in 1977, it makes no business sense to lower the price if the increase in sales does not offset the the loss of per piece revenue. If there just aren't enough customers that would buy at the lower price point to make up the loss in price per piece of revenue why lower the price??? We/you are assuming it is price gouging..but it must not be if the customer base is willing to pay and that is the price point they maximize profits.

Does Lamborghini price gouge??? I mean a quarter of a million plus for a car??? really??? You can buy a new Kia for what $15K How much are those parts anyway? Couldn't lambo sell the car at a hundred dollars over cost so just about everyone could own one??? And then hey the economy of scales "MIGHT" break even??? But is the profit per piece maximized under that scheme?? So does lambo price gouge??? In a true free market economy the demand will always dictate the price...try booking a flight tomorrow to just about anywhere...I bet you pay a lot more than someone who booked 6 months ago...why...demand now outstrips supply...does the airline price gouge then??? maybe you think so...but it is their product and they have every right to sell it at the price they feel they can maximize their revenues...If you don't take the flight some-one else will...if not then they priced it to high and they suffer the loss...that is business...if the Milty sells for a hundred so be it...if you buy it they feel they maximized their profits if you don't maybe it was to high and that's their loss...but history for this product seems to suggest it is a fair market price...I'm NOT defending price gouging since this is clearly not a survival need item but a non essential item..so in my opinion this is not price gouging.

Lamont Sanford
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As mentioned, it is a free

As mentioned, it is a free market.  There might be just a few people putting this thing together for a very small demand.  In fact, that seems to be the entire culture of the magazine.  But I just think the Zerostat is not in the same class as most high dollar equipment reviewed.  It is just an overpriced disabled gas lighter designed for another use.   It is just plain ridiculous.  Doesn't the manufacturer have a website for their own product?   Where is the zerostat manufactured?  I hope it isn't China because that is the reason the gas lighters are so cheap now.

Stephen Mejias
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a few questions

Lamont, a few questions for you:

1. How long will your BBQ lighter last? Will it match the Zerostat's approximate 10,000 squeeze cycles?

2. How effective, on a per squeeze basis, will your BBQ lighter be? Will it match the Milty's 1.5 coulombs?

3. If you went out and made your own BBQ-lighter anti-static device, would you sell it for $20?

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Mark...

No, the cost to price ratio is outrageous but exactly as you say, a simple reflrection of the market. What drives markets? Supply and demand and reviewers and trade magazines. If the magazine said boldly the item (any item) was way overpriced, the price would drop. My problem is, the magazine never, ever says it is too expensive for its costs. Just as they seldom (almost never) say something is flummery though it is, or even that the price for the flummery is ridiculous, they do not note over pricing.

I believe one of the magazines jobs is to warn of both sorcery and grifters.

As to the sports car comparison...bad allusion...You compare an item that IS (not 'might be') amongst the absolute best there is and price. I note what is at best mundane and at the worst hype and quackery and its far greater markup...

A better allusion would be to a medicine that 'worked' in a manner no one can explain and has the same effectiveness as a placebo or suger pill at 1/100 the price. If the medical journals lauded such a 'medicine', they would lose credibility...

The Zerostat works...it is just many times more expensive than it should be. Write a review that says that and let folk decide and perhaps have an effect on the over pricing.

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never, ever?

JIMV wrote:

 My problem is, the magazine never, ever says it is too expensive for its costs.

Just off the top of my head: In our March 2012 issue, John Atkinson writes:

The Energy Connoisseur CB-10's measured performance is dominated by that port resonance in the upper midrange and the adjacent peak in its on-axis response. So while the speaker's excessive upper-bass output might be balanced by the small rise in its upper-octave output—and too much upper-bass energy is one way a small speaker can try to persuade the listener that it is larger than it is—the midrange problems for me hobble this speaker's competitiveness when Boston Acoustics, Infinity, Pioneer, and PSB are producing more neutrally balanced speakers in the same price region.

And what about JA's piece, Mutton in Wolf's Clothing

I can come up with more examples.

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Easily answered question...

The Zerostat occupies a market niche.

If the same function can be achieved by a lower cost device, then the free market will fill that niche.

Should happen any minute now, the original has only been out for 40 years.

laugh

 

ON THE OTHER HAND....

I suspect there are strange, but well established, audiophile forces at work here.

The "Audiophile/Adam Smith Disconnec"t is well known in Hi Fi:

The audipohile rule of economics is....

If another product that is just as good (or better) can be made and marketed at a lower price, audiophiles will still think the more expensive product is better.

I would be willing to wager that if a competitor came out with a superior device for 1/5 the cost, Zerostat would readily 'defeat' the competition by raising its price to 500 bucks and thereby proving how much better it really is.

 

Anton
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I eagerly await the review of the Wilson bookshelf speaker!
Stephen Mejias wrote:
JIMV wrote:

 My problem is, the magazine never, ever says it is too expensive for its costs.

Just off the top of my head: In our March 2012 issue, John Atkinson writes:

The Energy Connoisseur CB-10's measured performance is dominated by that port resonance in the upper midrange and the adjacent peak in its on-axis response. So while the speaker's excessive upper-bass output might be balanced by the small rise in its upper-octave output—and too much upper-bass energy is one way a small speaker can try to persuade the listener that it is larger than it is—the midrange problems for me hobble this speaker's competitiveness when Boston Acoustics, Infinity, Pioneer, and PSB are producing more neutrally balanced speakers in the same price region.

And what about JA's piece, Mutton in Wolf's Clothing

I can come up with more examples.

It will be fascinating to see JA's measurements on the upcoming Wilson Duette speakers as compared to the low price speakers you just mentioned.

I know they are out of your column's price range, but the Wilsons in your room seems like the optimum reviwing space for it, along with your knowledge of the growing list of small speakers you have heard in that room!

If you can, pry them away from JA for a weekend and let us know how they compare! Especially to the DeVore Gibbon 3XL's!

What a cool shoot out that would be.

Stephen Mejias
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hmm...

Anton wrote:

It will be fascinating to see JA's measurements on the upcoming Wilson Duette speakers as compared to the low price speakers you just mentioned.

I think you'll really enjoy the review.

Anton wrote:

I know they are out of your column's price range, but the Wilsons in your room seems like the optimum reviwing space for it, along with your knowledge of the growing list of small speakers you have heard in that room!

If you can, pry them away from JA for a weekend and let us know how they compare! Especially to the DeVore Gibbon 3XL's!

What a cool shoot out that would be.

Hmm...you're giving me ideas...

JIMV
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I stand corrected

RARELY (instead of never) does the magazine say a product is not worth the price.

Lamont Sanford
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Questions?
Stephen Mejias wrote:

Lamont, a few questions for you:

1. How long will your BBQ lighter last? Will it match the Zerostat's approximate 10,000 squeeze cycles?

2. How effective, on a per squeeze basis, will your BBQ lighter be? Will it match the Milty's 1.5 coulombs?

3. If you went out and made your own BBQ-lighter anti-static device, would you sell it for $20?

1.  It would last 10 years

2.  It would exceed the Milty and not run the chance of overcharging and damaging itself as the Milty does if not used correctly.  See precautions in the Milty patent.

3.  My markup would be 33%.  So, $30.

pbarach
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discwasher sold these

I had a red one sold by Discwasher in the 70s--sold for $20-30. It worked fine, but it was difficult to operate it without getting the unwanted CLICK. It must be around here somewhere in a box (I haven't listened to vinyl in 5 years).

Stephen Mejias
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heh

Lamont Sanford wrote:

1.  It would last 10 years

I don't believe that.

Lamont Sanford wrote:

2.  It would exceed the Milty and not run the chance of overcharging and damaging itself as the Milty does if not used correctly.  See precautions in the Milty patent.

I really don't believe that.

Lamont Sanford wrote:

3.  My markup would be 33%.  So, $30.

Too much money for a BBQ lighter.

Lamont Sanford
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Hah

I was being facetious since you were making an implied comparison between and individual not engaging business with a manufacturer that is engaging in business.   As for tearing up your Milty on your own perhaps you should read the precautions.  You would think 40 years later they would have corrected this shortcoming.  I realize you are being facetious as well.  At least I would hope so.

burnspbesq
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JimV, what's your definition

JimV, what's your definition of "gouging."

I just bought a new Zerostat, because I couldn't find the one I bought when I was in college and because I know it works. I paid the $100, happily.

Stop trying to pretend that your subjective judgment of value is a universal truth.

Katruje
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Engineers, not business people

I know I'm bumping an old thread. Sorry.

 

But, there's a very simple way to settle this dispute: why has nobody released a $20 anti-static gun?

I think the pretty straightforward answer is that the market won't bare it. This is a good 'free market' example, where people choose, or choose not, to pay for a product. If Lamont Sanford were as smart as he is cheap, he'd start a company, build his anti-static gun, and put it on the market for $20, and kill the Milty. 

Why hasn't he done so? Why hasn't anyone done so? 

Probably because it's not worth their time and effort. It appears as if it only becomoes worth someone's time and effort to build and market the thing when the selling price is $100. Hell, Lamont could sell it for $75. Yet, he hasn't?

There's more cost involved than simply the price of the parts in the product. The selling price is the price the market will bare, and includes all aspects of the product's TRUE cost: development, production, marketing, and support. 

But of course, Lamont doesn't realize this. 

I guess that's why he's a poor, grumpy old guy who runs a cruddy, run-down junk shop...

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