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Freako
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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

Being in another (lower) league than most of you guys, I still would like to contribute on an important issue, that it seems you may all have forgotten in this very interesting debate.

High end audio manufacturers need to make statements (price-is-no-object-no-nonsense-products) in order to boost the sale of more reasonable products, from which they actually make a living. They don't get bread and butter from the top of the notch products, but they do show that they are indeed able to manufacture a product, that is (in their opinion) the best that can be made from any available parts on the market regardless of the price. Primarily, they boost the sales of the more reasonable products, and secondly they may be able to incorporate new groundbreaking techniques into the mentioned more reasonable products. Which of course would stimulate the sale even more.

Another thing that haven't been discussed all too clearly here is the competition, which isn't at all at the same level as computers, cars etc. There simply isn't the same kind of competition market-wise in audio. At least not in my humble opinion.

Just my 2 cents...

KBK
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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

expensive parts have secondary levels of distribution many times, which adds costs, besides the fact of being more expensive due to the internal design and specific materials (metals, etc) aspect..as well as the limited production quantities of the 'whole' given part making it expensive in the first place.

For example, if one was to make a SERIOUS attempt at an amplifier, then the price would astronomical, far higher than you have ever seen.

I will illustrate an example:

http://www.thevintageknob.org/ULTRA/ML333/ML333.html

In that set of images you will see the top of the circuit boards, some of them ,at the least, that is inside a Levinson 333 amplifier.

To buy, in quantities, the resistors required to approach the 'best the world has to offer' (this is not the best, just very very close)..would raise (just counting what I see, nothing more) the retail price of the 333..by...$10,000. Using the 'penultimate' best, would raise the retail by $20k. Using the known actual best, would raise it by about $30k. That's just a very casual counting of the resistors I can easily see. Nevermind the rest of the parts or any given innovations.

So you can see how you can easily get to a $350k retail price range for a set of 'ultimate' monoblocks.

BTW, being paid for innovation is part of designing and selling audio equipment, in the high end. And if I'm going to innovate I insist on being paid for that innovation. If I'm not, I'll go and innovate in some field that will actually pay me for innovating.

Otherwise, why bother?

People who think that such gear has no right to exist or is overpriced have no clue and are completely out of touch with their humanity, besides the basic point of lacking balance and/or reason. If they watch any sport at all, then all of that sport, at it's highest levels..involves extreme levels of absolute human maximums of effort, involvement, and money.

Why should or how could audio somehow be 'outside' of this very normal human desire and capacity for extremes? It's the damn Olympics/Superbowl/playoffs of audio, at the extreme high end.

And if someone does not hear the benefit in such extreme audio equipment then may I suggest a simple answer that is absolutely true in all respects?

YOU ARE DEAF!!!!

OK?? get over it.

Other people have better hearing than you.

It really is that simple.

However, if one complains about 'dilettantes', (as buyers/listeners AND manufacturers) yes, they exist. Same as any other 'sport'. And the dilettantes tend to have the most money. they are exceedingly prominent in bicycle racing and bicycle riding. Jerks and wanna-be's with $10-12k bike frames and $5k rims, who couldn't ride a bike to save their lives. The sport abounds with their presence. Some go on to be really good and some don't go anywhere at all. But, in the end, the sport needs them as much as it needs anyone else. They spend the money and they keep the sport alive. This last bit is very important to remember.

Freako
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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

You sure got a point there. Innovation is research; someone's gotta pay for it.

Regarding the $350k monoblocks, it's not that far from being the actual price of the most expensive products we can buy today (provided we have that kind of cash). So I guess I'm not that far from the truth as I see it.

Thx for the reply. Always a pleasure to read your posts

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

Ken

Your true colours are coming out.

Im the best and I damn well deserve paying for it !!!!

You comparison to sports stars is spot on, you join them in being totally out of touch with reality and have no idea how normal people who also work their guts out day in day out to be the best feel about having to spend their very hard earned on cash on pampering your inflated ego.

I to can lay claim to being a leading authority in my field but as im industrial environment i cannot get away with the scam pricing you feel is so justified.

You have 100% confirmed my belief that you charge as much as you can get away with, its just a shame more people cant see through it.

Alan

Freako
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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

I am afraid that if someone didn't make really innovative equipment, we would all be playing our music on mediocre systems. For that simple reason, that they'd stop making it if noone bought it. Don't you think?

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

High end audio does not drive innovation.

Mass market audio drives innovation and then high end charges more for it. There is nothing innovative about the majority of high end audio, its just flashier and bigger.

Alan

Freako
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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

I don't agree. If B&W speakers ain't highly innovative, I don't know what they are. Just one example...

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

I would give you that speakers are the most innovative of all high end

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
High end audio does not drive innovation.

Mass market audio drives innovation and then high end charges more for it. There is nothing innovative about the majority of high end audio, its just flashier and bigger.

Alan

So why don't you just buy mass market products then? They sell for far more affordable prices....

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

Funny enough thats what i do

rvance
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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

Welsh,

I buy "mass market" without apology. I waited for some nice Marantz equipment to go on clearance and bought it at 1/2 retail or less. I found a dealer in Georgia who shipped me a suite of very nice Wharfedale Evo's (400 towers, 100 stand mounts, Evo center) at 1/2 price when they first hit the states several years ago. I bought a Philips 212 vintage TT for $75.00 in perfect condition on a slow day on ebay. I have a Bellari pre and a Grado Silver cart. I spend a lot more than I should on vinyl and high rez discs. Can't even think about computer cards, servers, DAC's, etc. I use lowly Monster OMC 12 gauge and when it all oxidizes I'll be looking for a cost-effective replacement. My interconnects are Monster and Radio Shack. Yikes. It all sounds glorious, tho' I'm not fooling myself that it approaches the best in high end. But bang for buck? Fuggedaboudit!

I bet you have better equipment than mine (you've certainly owned better cars than me!). I bet your superior knowledge and ability has your system tuned better, too. I'm just wondering if I'm having more fun, tho' because I really don't care about all the high dollar rip-off stuff. $20K cables? Who are they kidding? The ultra high end of anything is occupied by the same personality types who spend their days doing drugs and ripping each other off for the next buzz. They're just at the other end of the socio-economic spectrum. Don't worry about them.

You're a working guy like most of us. You make a lot of great contributions to the forums. Enjoy it more.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

Rvance

Thanks, I hope i dont come across as superior !! then i would have to kick my own ass.

The only reason i mention my work is not to disrespect anyone else's knowledge or love of hifi/music etc but to illustrate to the royalty on the site who think that designing an amplifier or cable gives them sort of right to rip us off, that in real audio terms hifi is not that complicated, people are designing far more sophisticated products every day in all sorts of areas not just audio and they dont demand crazy profits to do it.

I could give up hifi tommorrow, what i could not give up is music. I have said numerous times that we focus ( myself included ) to much on the equipment, my greatest pleasure has come from discovering classical music with the help of friends in the Classical music forum, strangely enough never a cross word is spoken in that forum !!!

Alan

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

Interesting twist in the thread!

I agree that innovation generally comes from the mass market and the high end exists to generally try to 'make it better.'

The high end is BASF - they don't really make the stuff, they make it better.

The high end is Dinan, Shelby, Roush, 9ff, Hohenester, AC Schnitzer, ABT, etc...not mass market producers like Porsche, BMW, Audi, GM, Ford, etc.

As an example, those auto preformance companies find ways to make the mass market cars perform better, but at what cost?

It's not really innovation, they tend to do the same things every time. Yeah, it works, but is putting a twin turbo with intercooler an innovation when you do it to the 100th model?

Same with aftermarket tweaks - is it innovation, or just switching out parts?

The innovation comes from Sony/Phillips, for better or worse, innovating and creating a product for which the high end gets a canvas with which to play.

Any high end audio people making their own chips?

Heck, how many build their own drivers, really?

Making their own caps, resistors, wire?

Nah, not really, they buy and tweak.

Has Hi Fi advanced more due to the efforts of the mass marketers making better and better chips to the point where a 350 dollar Oppo can beat a 40,000 dollar Zanden, or did it advance because of the innovation from any high end company inventing something new?

The mass market is driving up high end quality fatser than the high end ever did!

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
Interesting twist in the thread!

I agree that innovation generally comes from the mass market and the high end exists to generally try to 'make it better.'

The high end is BASF - they don't really make the stuff, they make it better.

The high end is Dinan, Shelby, Roush, 9ff, Hohenester, AC Schnitzer, ABT, etc...not mass market producers like Porsche, BMW, Audi, GM, Ford, etc.

As an example, those auto preformance companies find ways to make the mass market cars perform better, but at what cost?

It's not really innovation, they tend to do the same things every time. Yeah, it works, but is putting a twin turbo with intercooler an innovation when you do it to the 100th model?

Same with aftermarket tweaks - is it innovation, or just switching out parts?

The innovation comes from Sony/Phillips, for better or worse, innovating and creating a product for which the high end gets a canvas with which to play.

Any high end audio people making their own chips?

Heck, how many build their own drivers, really?

Making their own caps, resistors, wire?

Nah, not really, they buy and tweak.

Has Hi Fi advanced more due to the efforts of the mass marketers making better and better chips to the point where a 350 dollar Oppo can beat a 40,000 dollar Zanden, or did it advance because of the innovation from any high end company inventing something new?

The mass market is driving up high end quality fatser than the high end ever did!

This is indeed an interesting twist... And probably a more productive debate, since I don't think anyone is going to change sides on whether they think the ultra expensive luxury gear is a ripoff or not....

Mass Market definitely pushes convenience and low cost... High End has been more about maximizing quality (cost be damned)... So when a high end brand wants to build an "ultimate speaker" they're more likely to put the most expensive parts they can find into it and pay for the top designers to do R&D on the project... And turn out some Insanely expensive (and hopefully brilliant sounding) reference speaker... A Mass market brand is more likely to approach a question of how to put speakers in more convenient places, i.e. make them smaller, more discreet, etc... Once the mass market brand has shown that there is a healthy market for such speakers, then the High End brand looks to make a better sounding (and far more expensive) version...

The most obvious example is the move towards Music Servers... High End Brands would have been perfectly content to produce nothing but turntables for the rest of eternity, if Apple, etc... had not revolutionized the way most persons collect and listen to music... Now the High Brands are turning out their own (far more expensive and better sounding) music servers...

However, while I think that Mass Market produces more innovation... I do find that Statement Product Technology trickles down for many brands... B&W (as mentioned earlier) designer a $45K Nautilus Speaker... The Nautilus Tweeter from that design eventually trickled down to even their cheapest entry level speakers... Revel's use of Organic Ceramic Composite (OCC) Drivers on their Ultima Line has trickled right down to the Performa and Concerta Lines... And there are many more examples from other brands.... So while It's unlikely I'll ever buy a $22K Pair of Ultima Salons, I will likely get a Performa F32 ($4K) or M22 ($2K)...

Freako
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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

This is what I was trying to establish earlier, but due to me being a stupid foreigner (lingo-wise at least, LOL) I didn't do a very good job. I believe Ajani do have a point here. I have seen lots of this in my time.

...I do find that Statement Product Technology trickles down for many brands... B&W (as mentioned earlier) designer a $45K Nautilus Speaker... The Nautilus Tweeter from that design eventually trickled down to even their cheapest entry level speakers... Revel's use of Organic Ceramic Composite (OCC) Drivers on their Ultima Line has trickled right down to the Performa and Concerta Lines... And there are many more examples from other brands.... So while It's unlikely I'll ever buy a $22K Pair of Ultima Salons, I will likely get a Performa F32 ($4K) or M22 ($2K)...

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

B&W and Revel are killer examples of the middle ground.

They make their own drivers, they are able to support a "mass market" portion of the company with 'trickle down improvements' while the mass market end of the equation supports a business model with an avid research arm.

I love those companies that work at the nexus of mass production and high end.

Your examples are perfect!

(Heck, Revel even has access to a multi-million dollar purpose built listening building and they conduct DBT - yet aren't kicked out of the club for using DBT! What a trick!)

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
B&W and Revel are killer examples of the middle ground.

They make their own drivers, they are able to support a "mass market" portion of the company with 'trickle down improvements' while the mass market end of the equation supports a business model with an avid research arm.

I love those companies that work at the nexus of mass production and high end.

Your examples are perfect!

(Heck, Revel even has access to a multi-million dollar purpose built listening building and they conduct DBT - yet aren't kicked out of the club for using DBT! What a trick!)

B&W and Revel represent the best of how High End should be (for me anyway)... Though I won't say that Lars etc... shouldn't produce $100K amps, I personally have no interest in companies that only produce ultra-expensive gear...

I like to see companies who are willing to carry a full line of products and trickle down the tech from their top of the line gear to their more 'pocket friendly' offerings (for those of us who can't afford or are totally unwilling to pay for statement pieces)...

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

No one in the high end press or community defending Lexicon????

TPV Review

I have one question? How does Mr. Martens walk with his foot in his mouth??

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
No one in the high end press or community defending Lexicon????

TPV Review

I have one question? How does Mr. Martens walk with his foot in his mouth??

Beat me to it!!! I was about to post that... Martens is trying to be so 'diplomatic' that he seems to be closer to excusing Lexicon than condemning them... and he's catching hell for his article (as he should)....

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
I have one question? How does Mr. Martens walk with his foot in his mouth??

I don't find his review unreasonable. He openly acknowledges the reality, clearly states that the only difference is that the "heavier chassis casework of the BD-30 makes its mechanical operation noticeably quieter than the Oppo."

He notes that Lexicon's highly supportive dealer network is worth more to some than others, and concludes that the performance is disappointing given its price.

After reading the review a potential buyer would know precisely what he is getting if he buys the Lexicon and has the information he needs to decide whether he should bother.

I don't expect any reviewer to express moral outrage. That is for forum posters.

I just bought the Oppo (if it's good enough for Lexicon it is good enough for me).

I hope it is true that "that during the development of both players, Lexicon had evaluated the then-current Oppo design and suggested some video-related changes

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

I thought Martens stated the same objections that have been raised by others, but he did it with civility. I can't see a sane reason to circle the lynch mobs and scream bloody murder over a piece of hardware.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
I thought Martens stated the same objections that have been raised by others, but he did it with civility. I can't see a sane reason to circle the lynch mobs and scream bloody murder over a piece of hardware.

Part of the problem for Martens is this paragraph:


Quote:
But there is an element of controversy surrounding the Lexicon BD-30, and it has to do with pricing. The BD-30, you see, sells for quite a lot more money than the Oppo: $3499 for the BD-30 vs. $499 for the BDP-83. At first blush, the extra $3000 seems a heavy price to pay for enhanced chassis casework, revised firmware, and a few extra accessories, leading some skeptical online A/V pundits and consumers/forum participants to cry
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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

In the 'old model/style' brick and mortar Hi Fi industry, where dealers did stock and support gear - what would you think the retail price of the Oppo would be?

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:

Part of the problem for Martens is this paragraph:

. . .

Which makes light of the controversy and shows he's willing to criticize Audioholics but not Lexicon...

It appears to me that he accurately summarizes the issue and leaves it up to the buyer to decide whether the "extras" are worth paying for. He makes clear what Lexicon did and what it claimed.

He does not apologize for Lexicon by claiming it made "mistakes", he only reports what the booth tour guide told him and that he later learned that the guide was "mistaken"; that is, wrong. (It is possible that the guide was acting with malice, but this seems unlikely - he probably didn't know one way or the other).

His comment on potential partiality of the critics also is appropriate. Many here have raised this issue regarding Stereophile concerned that it is swayed by advertising dollars (also appropriate to ask).

That is, he raises both issues, clearly and accurately. He tells us that the Lexicon is the same as the Oppo, but for a quieter tray and great dealer/support network. He also tells us that some of the loudest objectors have a vested interest. Both true.

I expect a reviewer to point out the issues, but not to serve as nanny or protector. He lets the reader reach his or her own opinion.

Often it seems that people object to reviews and commentary for the sole reason that the reviewer does not reach the same precise conclusions they do.

If this is what I sought in reviews I would never be satisfied. No one ever agrees completely with me.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
In the 'old model/style' brick and mortar Hi Fi industry, where dealers did stock and support gear - what would you think the retail price of the Oppo would be?

Probably Double the price (maybe even closer to triple) but definitely not 7x the price)...

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
In the 'old model/style' brick and mortar Hi Fi industry, where dealers did stock and support gear - what would you think the retail price of the Oppo would be?

Great question. It is sold as a value leader. I imagine it would sell for more than $500.00, priced on a markup similar to a CD player from NAD or Cambridge.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:

Quote:

Part of the problem for Martens is this paragraph:

. . .

Which makes light of the controversy and shows he's willing to criticize Audioholics but not Lexicon...

It appears to me that he accurately summarizes the issue and leaves it up to the buyer to decide whether the "extras" are worth paying for. He makes clear what Lexicon did and what it claimed.

His comment on potential partiality of the critics also is appropriate. Many here have raised this issue regarding Stereophile concerned that it is swayed by advertising dollars (also appropriate to ask).

That is, he raises both issues, clearly and accurately. He tells us that the Lexicon is the same as the Oppo, but for a quieter tray and great dealer/support network. He also tells us that some of the loudest objectors have a vested interest. Both true.

I expect a reviewer to point out the issues, but not to serve as nanny or protector. He lets the reader reach his or her own opinion.

Often it seems that people object to reviews and commentary for the sole reason that the reviewer does not reach the same precise conclusions they do.

If this is what I sought in reviews I would never be satisfied. No one ever agrees completely with me.

I won't be agreeing with you today either

He didn't just bring up questions about links between reviewers and Oppo, but suggested that they were biased:


Quote:
So much for impartiality and fairness

Yet he clearly gives Lexicon the benefit of the doubt that they just made a mistake, when they claimed at first that the BD30 was an original design...

You can't take cheap shots at rival publications while being diplomatic with Lexicon...

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:

Quote:
In the 'old model/style' brick and mortar Hi Fi industry, where dealers did stock and support gear - what would you think the retail price of the Oppo would be?

Probably Double the price (maybe even closer to triple) but definitely not 7x the price)...

I was thinking about double, as well.

With the added stuff Lexicon put on, what price increase would you call fair? Still in the retail/dealer model.

Would 1500 be OK?

2K would seem to high to me, but I do think it's fun thinking about how the Lexicon 'should be' priced.

Now I will sit and wait for KBK to tell me that 6K would still be a bargian.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
Yet he clearly gives Lexicon the benefit of the doubt that they just made a mistake, when they claimed at first that the BD30 was an original design...

Except, as already stated above, he does not apologize for Lexicon by claiming it made "mistakes", he only reports what the booth tour guide told him and that he later learned that the guide was "mistaken"; that is, wrong.

Also look at his additional comments:

"I think Lexicon faces three problems here.

1) At least some journalists (I was one of them) were initially told in no uncertain terms that the BD-30 was developed entirely by Lexicon, which just isn't true. I understand that people make mistakes, but even so it is not a good sign when the presentation script changes radically after the fact.

2) The BD-30 is based on the Oppo BDP-83, which is fine in my book, but is priced not just a little but a LOT higher. Although retail sales models do call for higher prices, I don't think that the shift to a retail model alone accounts for the very large price difference we see here.

3) The BD-30 does not, apart from its somewhat quieter mechanical operation, improve upon the A/V performance of the Oppo BDP-83, which creates (understandable) feelings of disappointment (and, for some, bitterness, anger, outrage, etc.). But the core issue is that the BD-30 fails to live up to our expectations for what a Lexicon product should be; namely, something that provides truly **exceptional** performance. So, we feel let down--as if we've been offered a very good product where, both on the basis of price and the brand name involved, we might have expected a GREAT product.

There's nothing wrong with basing high-end products on the Oppo, but I think you're absolutely right that the better approach is to do the hard work necessary to build in meaningful improvements."

This doesn't sound like the words of a Lexicon apologist.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
2K would seem to high to me, but I do think it's fun thinking about how the Lexicon 'should be' priced.

MArtens opines: "if the Oppo BDP-83 itself were sold through retail dealer channels with normal profit margins applied, I believe its MSRP would be anywhere from 2X to perhaps 3X the price Oppo currently charges for the product when selling it online on a manufacturer-direct basis."

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:

Quote:
Yet he clearly gives Lexicon the benefit of the doubt that they just made a mistake, when they claimed at first that the BD30 was an original design...

Except, as already stated above, he does not apologize for Lexicon by claiming it made "mistakes", he only reports what the booth tour guide told him and that he later learned that the guide was "mistaken"; that is, wrong.

Also look at his additional comments:

"I think Lexicon faces three problems here.

1) At least some journalists (I was one of them) were initially told in no uncertain terms that the BD-30 was developed entirely by Lexicon, which just isn't true. I understand that people make mistakes, but even so it is not a good sign when the presentation script changes radically after the fact.

2) The BD-30 is based on the Oppo BDP-83, which is fine in my book, but is priced not just a little but a LOT higher. Although retail sales models do call for higher prices, I don't think that the shift to a retail model alone accounts for the very large price difference we see here.

3) The BD-30 does not, apart from its somewhat quieter mechanical operation, improve upon the A/V performance of the Oppo BDP-83, which creates (understandable) feelings of disappointment (and, for some, bitterness, anger, outrage, etc.). But the core issue is that the BD-30 fails to live up to our expectations for what a Lexicon product should be; namely, something that provides truly **exceptional** performance. So, we feel let down--as if we've been offered a very good product where, both on the basis of price and the brand name involved, we might have expected a GREAT product.

There's nothing wrong with basing high-end products on the Oppo, but I think you're absolutely right that the better approach is to do the hard work necessary to build in meaningful improvements."

This doesn't sound like the words of a Lexicon apologist.

I've not claimed he is a Lexicon apologist, but just that his article comes off as if he is closer to excusing than condemning Lexicon... If it was totally neutral and didn't make it seem as if Audioholics' findings were based on bias rather than investigation, then it would be OK... Not all articles have to show righteous indignation about the scam (that's for us forum members to do ).... I just think that he should have given that particular blog a lot more thought before he posted it...

And reviewers normally give their opinion on products... Rarely do I see one just lay out the facts... And his reviews normally give his opinion, so why does he tread so 'carefully' with his blog?

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
. . . his article comes off as if he is closer to excusing than condemning Lexicon...

Even after reading his "Lexicon faces three problems here" list?

Each is a unambiguous statement of where he stands. All three express opinions.

What specifically would you like him to have stated?

What did you not know that you think you should have known after reading his blog entry?

I am fascinated that some of those commenting are so critical of his article, given its clarity on all things factual.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:

Quote:
. . . his article comes off as if he is closer to excusing than condemning Lexicon...

Even after reading his "Lexicon faces three problems here" list?

Each is a unambiguous statement of where he stands. All three express opinions.

What specifically would you like him to have stated?

What did you not know that you think you should have known after reading his blog entry?

I am fascinated that some of those commenting are so critical of his article, given its clarity on all things factual.

I agree that his comments in response to posters on the blog are good... but the Blog itself is what has been criticized... So essentially, the blog should have had those three points and some of the expanded comments he made, rather than them being responses to blog criticisms...

When posting a blog on such a controversial topic, I think he should have ensured that his opinion on the matter was clear... The fact that it was very politically correct, opened him to accusations of being an apologist and being 'bribed' by Lexicon... He has already done his tests and so has no need to tip toe around what he really thinks in the blog...

Some of his later comments to the backlash from posters, made it clear what his position actually is...

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

In fact this response on the comments from Chris shows all the points he should have had in the initial blog:


Quote:
K. Rick,

You offer some fair criticisms that I will keep in mind going forward.

Regarding the matter of Lexicon changing their story on the origins of the player, I should provide some additional information that may help explain my apparent lack of outrage. From comparing notes with other journalists who visited the Harman booth at CEDIA, I found that some got the story I did (i.e., "...the BD-30 is a Lexicon-developed product...") while others got the correct story (i.e., "...the BD-30 was developed in collaboration with Oppo using their universal Blu-ray player platform..."). This leads me to think there was no calculated master plan to deceive, but rather that some Harman staffers simply got the story wrong. That's not good (which is why I mentioned the change of story in my blog), but in fairness I would hesitate to call it deliberate deception (otherwise, why would some Harman staffers have told other journalists about the Oppo relationship?).

I probably should have spent more time commenting on the matter of price, because the gap between $499 and $3499 is obviously quite significant. My belief is that part of that gap--and a pretty big part at that--is caused by the shift from a manufacturer-direct sales model to a retail sales model. Another part of the gap is attributable to the cost of the new chassis casework and to doing final assembly and testing in the US. But at the end of the day, I also think that the product's price is much too high for what you get, and I probably should have stated that opinion more forcefully in my blog.

You write that "Lexicon continues to claim that the BD-30 offers audio and visual performance advantages over the Oppo in the face of unimpeachable evidence to the contrary." I am unaware of this. When I spoke with Harman's Marc Kellom, the only three advantages he spoke of were the BD-30's mechanically quieter operations (which I verified in A/B comparisons with the Oppos), the fact that the BD-30 chassis supports rack mounting (true), and the fact that the BD-30 was available through retail dealers who could provide support, installation, and integration services--especially vis-a-vis other Lexicon A/V components (also true, at least for some Lexicon dealers). In talking with me, Kellom acknowledged that in terms of A/V performance the Lexicon and Oppo players were essentially identical. While that is disappointing, to be sure, it doesn't seem to imply any desire on Harman's part to "perpetrate and perpetuate falsehoods."

At the end of the day, the issue pretty much distills down to this: Lexicon is asking a very high price for a player whose performance does not fully justify that price, and whose performance also does not live up to the very high standards we hold for the Lexicon brand name.

My intent, even if imperfectly executed, was to lay out the facts about the BD-30 for readers, yet without rushing in to judge Harman/Lexicon for what might well be nothing more than a handful of ill-considered product marketing decisions.

What I do think--and again, I probably should have stated this more clearly and strongly in my blog--is that Lexicon is guilty of failing to "go the extra mile" in terms of building a higher performance player that goes well beyond what the standard Oppo can do. That's obviously something Lexicon could have done and, in my opinion, should have done in this case.

Thank you again for your very thoughtful comments.

Best,

Chris Martens

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

Can someone explain to me why this Lexicon thing is causing such an outrage ?

A large portion of high end hifi is just re engineered product in a fancier box at a hugely inflated price. People buy it because it makes them feel good and they choose to do it.

I am continually attacked for pointing this fact out, yet when Lexicon do exactly this it suddenly is shocking ??

Lexicon is a high end brand with customers who primarily buy on name and image, i bet if you took comparable products from the marketplace and tested say 5 products with 5 average Lexicon customers there would be no consistantcy in identifying the Lexicon as the poor relation.

Lexicon have not deceived anyone, they are supplying a Lexicon box with a good quality Blu ray player inside, by the general opinion of the forum customers should be free to decide for themselves if the want the Oppo or Lexicon.

Why are you guys hating them ? you should be encouraging them for their superior engineering and market leadership !!

Alan

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
Can someone explain to me why this Lexicon thing is causing such an outrage ?

A large portion of high end hifi is just re engineered product in a fancier box at a hugely inflated price. People buy it because it makes them feel good and they choose to do it.

I am continually attacked for pointing this fact out, yet when Lexicon do exactly this it suddenly is shocking ??

Lexicon is a high end brand with customers who primarily buy on name and image, i bet if you took comparable products from the marketplace and tested say 5 products with 5 average Lexicon customers there would be no consistantcy in identifying the Lexicon as the poor relation.

Lexicon have not deceived anyone, they are supplying a Lexicon box with a good quality Blu ray player inside, by the general opinion of the forum customers should be free to decide for themselves if the want the Oppo or Lexicon.

Why are you guys hating them ? you should be encouraging them for their superior engineering and market leadership !!

Alan

Yes... That's exactly it... Lexicon did exactly what Dynaudio and Esoteric do... Your Focus 220s are really just a rebranded pair of Sony $300 Towers available at Best Buy and your CD player is just a $150 Denon... We accept that you bought them because they make you feel good though they are just overpriced crap in shiny boxes.... So since you're not in the least upset about buying crap, why should any of the Lexicon customers be upset?

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

Exactly, finally you are getting it !!!

Anyone who bought a Mcintosh CD player got the $150 Denon for a while, this caused Mac loads of issues.

Anyone who bought the $7000 Musical fidelity Kw 25 SACD got a $20 Phillips transport which proved so bad that Phillips scrapped it and left all the Mufi people with a $7,000 door stop if their transport packed up !!!

If my esoteric is a rebranded CD player it would of course be a Teac, not a Denon !!

My Marantz turntable is also a cheap rebrand from Clearaudio.

The Dynaudio's do use cheap drivers from Esotar and they are overpriced as you say but as i bought them for $1,000 from my local dealer I dont feel to ripped off.

I do not own anything that i paid list price for, yeah im a cheap MF i know, strangely though most of it did come from hifi shops.

Alan

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

Dynaudio manufactures all it's own drivers, and a Esotar is a Dynaudio designed and manufactured line of tweeters (they're real...and they're spectacular, to quote an episode of Seinfeld).

What really galls me is all the ass-covering by most editors in the media, using words like "based-on" and "supposedly" (see the latest poll in Stereophile). Using language, like "based on" is dishonest because it is a form of obfuscation. It provides the possibility that there could a difference between one and the other: X is based on Y, but because it's based on Y, it could be different. It's similar to the form of obfuscation that happens in Stereophile reviews, where a given price-class component is never compared directly to other components in the same price-class, but instead compared to a much more expensive component or a much less expensive component. This is obfuscation because it doesn't allow the buyer to really determine which component in best in a price-class, because that would piss off the other manufacturers in the same price class and compromise the potential for ad revenue.

But back to the matter at hand: facts are facts, the Lexicon BD-30 is not based on an Oppo BD-83, it IS an Oppo BD-83 and is nothing more than a shameful attempt by Harman int'l to rip off customers. The only editors that have demonstrated as "having a pair" are the editors of Audioholics. It all comes down to integrity in journalism being compromised by a conflict of interest, a conflict created by the need to generate advertising revenue. It is precisely for this reason that both J. Gordon Holt and Harry Pearson started their respective publications as subscription only, with no advertising, so as not to create any possibility of a conflict of interest.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

Stephen Scharf wrote: Dynaudio manufactures all it's own drivers, and a Esotar is a Dynaudio designed and manufactured line of tweeters (they're real...and they're spectacular, to quote an episode of Seinfeld).

You are absolutely correct about Dynaudio

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
When posting a blog on such a controversial topic, I think he should have ensured that his opinion on the matter was clear...

What's intriguing about this position is that you are able to carefully read between the lines and conclude Audioholics was slammed, yet discern little negative said about Lexicon.

While Mr. Martens' could have expanded on both points - both of which are legitimate - it's apparent that those disappointed with his article want a pointed condemnation, replete with moral outrage.

My guess is that the prevalence of blogs, Internet forums, talk radio and the like - all with red-faced morally indignant pundits - has raised the bar; opinions now must be screamed to be transparent.

Fascinating.

Thanks for the dialog. If I had posted a challenge like this on any of the blogs I would likely been met with personal attacks rather than a discussion. I understand your point.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:

Quote:
When posting a blog on such a controversial topic, I think he should have ensured that his opinion on the matter was clear...

What's intriguing about this position is that you are able to carefully read between the lines and conclude Audioholics was slammed, yet discern little negative said about Lexicon.

While Mr. Martens' could have expanded on both points - both of which are legitimate - it's apparent that those disappointed with his article want a pointed condemnation, replete with moral outrage.

My guess is that the prevalence of blogs, Internet forums, talk radio and the like - all with red-faced morally indignant pundits - has raised the bar; opinions now must be screamed to be transparent.

Fascinating.

Thanks for the dialog. If I had posted a challenge like this on any of the blogs I would likely been met with personal attacks rather than a discussion. I understand your point.

For the most part that is correct... Though, the issue about Audioholics is as I've shown in the previous quote: that he actually did express an opinion on them (he just didn't call their name directly - though all the facts of his statement made it clear who has was referring to)... while with Lexicon he called their name but expressed no opinion... Apples to Oranges comparison... So not really a case of reading between the lines for one and not for the other....

And yes if you take a totally passive stance on a controversial topic, you are likely to be regarded as either 1) Lacking real understanding of the situation and why it has upset so many people or 2) Lacking the conviction to express your opinion freely...

Keep in mind that so many person already believe that all review mags are just slaves to advertisers, so when you take a passive stance on an issue that the masses are outraged about, you only further fuel the belief that you are afraid to say anything bad about advertisers/major brands... Which is what Chris has been repeatedly accused of in the comments section of his blog...

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

The major point taken away from reviews that have such given situations within them... is that a reviewer is not supposed to, nor should they show negative emotion about the given item they are reviewing. Showing pleasure is fine, but negativity expressed as any related vehemence.. is strictly prohibited, and for the best of reasons.

Understanding those reasons, and how such behavior usually 'ends' - is clearly shown on/in these forums (and associated debates), for example.

When delving into what may be perceived by any participants and/or interested parties as 'negativity', the results (ie, the reflective expression of the given debate content) should be presented in the form of a logical discourse, to have the greatest effect with as little 'splashed back crap' as is possible.

Thousands of years of human discourse has shown that this has always, in the end, been the most overall long term effective course.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
Dynaudio manufactures all it's own drivers, and a Esotar is a Dynaudio designed and manufactured line of tweeters (they're real...and they're spectacular, to quote an episode of Seinfeld).

What really galls me is all the ass-covering by most editors in the media, using words like "based-on" and "supposedly" (see the latest poll in Stereophile). Using language, like "based on" is dishonest because it is a form of obfuscation. It provides the possibility that there could a difference between one and the other: X is based on Y, but because it's based on Y, it could be different. It's similar to the form of obfuscation that happens in Stereophile reviews, where a given price-class component is never compared directly to other components in the same price-class, but instead compared to a much more expensive component or a much less expensive component. This is obfuscation because it doesn't allow the buyer to really determine which component in best in a price-class, because that would piss off the other manufacturers in the same price class and compromise the potential for ad revenue.

But back to the matter at hand: facts are facts, the Lexicon BD-30 is not based on an Oppo BD-83, it IS an Oppo BD-83 and is nothing more than a shameful attempt by Harman int'l to rip off customers. The only editors that have demonstrated as "having a pair" are the editors of Audioholics. It all comes down to integrity in journalism being compromised by a conflict of interest, a conflict created by the need to generate advertising revenue. It is precisely for this reason that both J. Gordon Holt and Harry Pearson started their respective publications as subscription only, with no advertising, so as not to create any possibility of a conflict of interest.

To use Auditing terminology: there is independence in fact and independence in appearance...

The former means that you are indeed unbiased... The latter means that you appear to be unbiased... Stereophile may well be Independent in Fact (Advertising is totally separate from Editorial), but they are not independent in appearance (a large part of the general public think advertisements determine review outcome)...

Truth is that you should aim to be both independent in fact and appearance...

So yes, there ideally should be no advertising from audio companies in the mag....

HOWEVER, would you be willing to pay 5 - 10x the price of the mag for an advertisement free version? Many persons who complain about the major mags, won't even buy it at its current price, I doubt they'll pay the new price....

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
The major point taken away from reviews that have such given situations within them... is that a reviewer is not supposed to, nor should they show negative emotion about the given item they are reviewing. Showing pleasure is fine, but negativity expressed as any related vehemence.. is strictly prohibited, and for the best of reasons.

Understanding those reasons, and how such behavior usually 'ends' - is clearly shown on/in these forums (and associated debates), for example.

When delving into what may be perceived by any participants and/or interested parties as 'negativity', the results (ie, the reflective expression of the given debate content) should be presented in the form of a logical discourse, to have the greatest effect with as little 'splashed back crap' as is possible.

Thousands of years of human discourse has shown that this has always, in the end, been the most overall long term effective course.

If you and I get upset because we disagree on this issue and resort to name calling, then the debate goes nowhere... Human history has taught us that... A logical debate can never be solved with name calling and slanderous accusations... which is why so little is accomplished in politics the world over...

However, that is very different from expressing an opinion...

Chris could have done 2 things in his blog and avoided the majority of the negative feedback:

1) Not attempt to discredit Audioholics, as that was seen by many to be merely negative (cheap shot at a rival publication) and unnecessary to the discussion (especially considering that Chris agreed with their findings)...

2) Give an opinion on whether he thought that the Improved Shell, dealer support and firmware updates justified the 7x price...

He did not even need to go as far as to say that Lexicon has attempted to scam the market (forum posters would take care of that)....

Welshsox
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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i

I was joking about Dynaudio

I think they make great gear

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:

Quote:
The major point taken away from reviews that have such given situations within them... is that a reviewer is not supposed to, nor should they show negative emotion about the given item they are reviewing. Showing pleasure is fine, but negativity expressed as any related vehemence.. is strictly prohibited, and for the best of reasons.

Understanding those reasons, and how such behavior usually 'ends' - is clearly shown on/in these forums (and associated debates), for example.

When delving into what may be perceived by any participants and/or interested parties as 'negativity', the results (ie, the reflective expression of the given debate content) should be presented in the form of a logical discourse, to have the greatest effect with as little 'splashed back crap' as is possible.

Thousands of years of human discourse has shown that this has always, in the end, been the most overall long term effective course.

If you and I get upset because we disagree on this issue and resort to name calling, then the debate goes nowhere... Human history has taught us that... A logical debate can never be solved with name calling and slanderous accusations... which is why so little is accomplished in politics the world over...

However, that is very different from expressing an opinion...

Chris could have done 2 things in his blog and avoided the majority of the negative feedback:

1) Not attempt to discredit Audioholics, as that was seen by many to be merely negative (cheap shot at a rival publication) and unnecessary to the discussion (especially considering that Chris agreed with their findings)...

2) Give an opinion on whether he thought that the Improved Shell, dealer support and firmware updates justified the 7x price...

He did not even need to go as far as to say that Lexicon has attempted to scam the market (forum posters would take care of that)....

Perfect. Spot on.

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Re: Lexicons stuffs a $500 Oppo BD-83 into a chassis and sells i


Quote:
As I wrote in that earlier thread, Kal Rubinson reviews the Lexicon player and discusses its being based on the Oppo in our March issue, due to hit newsstands on early February. He also reviews the SE version of the Oppo in that issue,

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

And a damn fine job of investigative reviewing by Dr. Kal.

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