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Welshsox
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Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Hi

Why do companies think just because they provide a 1000 watt amp that they can charge stupid money ? MF and Bryston are both guilty of ripping cutsomers off for the higher power amplifiers. The extra manufacturing costs for a 1000 watt amp over say a 250 watt run to a few hundred dollars, u need a higher spec PSU and some more output devices, at best i could see $1000 - $2000 worth of extra cost, why does that equate to a selling price of $20,000.

We are being ripped off and the Titan amp does not deserve to sell, this is a blatant scam at its core level.

When are we going to start demanding reasonable value from manufacturers ? this amp should be in the $3-5 K range and even at that MF would make a nice profit.

Alan

Ajani
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

I don't think anyone considering a $20K Amp is really looking for maximum value for their money... more likely they just want the best and are willing to pay for it...

Complaining about the price of the Titan is like saying that Bentley and Rolls Royce are overpriced... Of course they're overpriced (it's a car not a house!!!) but people who just want the absolute best money can buy (or to own something that few others can afford) will buy it...

If you want great value for money, there are numerous brands that produce high quality, affordable gear...

jamesgarvin
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Who is the "we" being ripped off? Seems to me that if you do not buy it, you are not being ripped off.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

They have to charge that to make up for the lost revenue from the bad Supercharger review.

I'm just relieved that the "Great Mu Fi Drought" of two issues earlier in the year (or was it last year?) has been resolved and the monthly Mu Fi Column is back in order.

They must have a good product pipeline coming up or I would have expected the V Series reviews to have been trickled out at one per month instead of all three at once. Maybe there will be a new, exciting power supply mod for those items and we can get frequent re-reviews!

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
I don't think anyone considering a $20K Amp is really looking for maximum value for their money... more likely they just want the best and are willing to pay for it...

Complaining about the price of the Titan is like saying that Bentley and Rolls Royce are overpriced... Of course they're overpriced (it's a car not a house!!!) but people who just want the absolute best money can buy (or to own something that few others can afford) will buy it...

If you want great value for money, there are numerous brands that produce high quality, affordable gear...

Does that not require the assumption that the $20K amp is better than the $5K amp as a Rolls is obviously better than a Ford Fiesta...I think the original post was a complaint that the $20K amp was in fact NOT better than a $5K amp...

Some audio gear is a work of art, some is a work of genus, and yes, some is simply a scam, a very nice $5K item crammed into a $20K price.

I believe the industry and reviewers have something of a responsibility to note when something is way overpriced, which VERY seldom happens.

tom collins
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

here we go again.... when all is said and done, if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit.......these are toys, they serve no useful function except entertainment. if you want to feel good about yourself, donate that money your were going to spend to the red cross. at least a car, even a rediculosly high priced one has a purpose of transportation.
buy what you want, pay what you think is fair and let everyone else do the same and most important....don't look back, don't over analyze...never second guess buying a toy.

RGibran
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Take a moment to look at THIS TOY!

30K for an amp is mere pocket change for some.

You did read the part where they sold all 75 limited edition previous models for 20K each?

Go get a life. Quit worrying about crap that's not being marketed to you!

RG

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
Why do companies think just because they provide a 1000 watt amp that they can charge stupid money ? MF and Bryston are both guilty of ripping cutsomers off for the higher power amplifiers.

Why is it a rip-off? You don't want the amplifier, don't buy it. Or are you saying you _do_ want a 1kWpc amplifier but _don't_ want to pay this sort of price for it?

This is a superb amplifier by any measure. I listened to it yesterday at Michael Fremer's, driving Wilson MAXX 3 speakers, and both from 24/96 files on hsis laptop decoded by the dCS Scarlatti and LPs played on his Continuum player, it was probably the most satisfuing recorded osund I have yet heard.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:

Quote:
I don't think anyone considering a $20K Amp is really looking for maximum value for their money... more likely they just want the best and are willing to pay for it...

Complaining about the price of the Titan is like saying that Bentley and Rolls Royce are overpriced... Of course they're overpriced (it's a car not a house!!!) but people who just want the absolute best money can buy (or to own something that few others can afford) will buy it...

If you want great value for money, there are numerous brands that produce high quality, affordable gear...

Does that not require the assumption that the $20K amp is better than the $5K amp as a Rolls is obviously better than a Ford Fiesta...I think the original post was a complaint that the $20K amp was in fact NOT better than a $5K amp...

Some audio gear is a work of art, some is a work of genus, and yes, some is simply a scam, a very nice $5K item crammed into a $20K price.

I believe the industry and reviewers have something of a responsibility to note when something is way overpriced, which VERY seldom happens.

The original poster was indeed claiming that the $20K amp is no better than a $5K one... but unless he either works for Musical Fidelity and has knowledge of the production costs(which I seriously doubt) or has actually done some real comparisons between the Titan and some $5K 1000Watt amps (which I also doubt), then he is merely guessing that the product is overpriced and can be produced for a mere $5K (while allowing MF to make a profit, according to his post)...

So I can't understand bashing products that you have never auditioned and have no idea what they actually cost to make... If you think $20K is too much for an amp, then don't buy it (I sure as hell won't be dropping $20K on an amp, regardless of how good it sounds, but I see no need to complain about manufacturer's rights to produce and sell such a product)....

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Someone wrote of HI-Fi+ the other day and I went out and bought a copy...interesting but I was struck by a few photo's of the insides of some gear they liked by Renaissance. I looked, then looked again...maybe, if we really stretched it, a couple of hundred in parts and another couple of hundred in case crammed into a $3500 or so price tag...

Sorry, but the price simply does not reflect the content of a LOT of audio gear.

Put another way...if those folk could build a well received amp with perhaps $500 in parts yet sell it for many times its cost, why can other folk not build equally good identical gear and sell it for $1000...It would sound the same but would lack the hype. Imagine if Pioneer or Yamaha built the same thing...would it even get reviewed in that magazine?

More importantly, would the audio boutique companies even ask $20K for a $5K amp if the reviewers said...'whoa, way overpriced?' I suspect we would find the world of $20K amps reduced and the realm of 5K gear would grow...and no gear would go away.

If the amp in this threads question could and should be built for under $5K, why excuse its $20K price?

And I ask that seriously because I know nothing of the unit in question. Maybe it does cost $15K to build and the rest is profit and the price is deserved, but what if it is a $5K effort with a $20K price? Should not the reviewers note that? If not, why???

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
Someone wrote of HI-Fi+ the other day and I went out and bought a copy...interesting but I was struck by a few photo's of the insides of some gear they liked by Renaissance. I looked, then looked again...maybe, if we really stretched it, a couple of hundred in parts and another couple of hundred in case crammed into a $3500 or so price tag...

Sorry, but the price simply does not reflect the content of a LOT of audio gear.

Put another way...if those folk could build a well received amp with perhaps $500 in parts yet sell it for many times its cost, why can other folk not build equally good identical gear and sell it for $1000...It would sound the same but would lack the hype. Imagine if Pioneer or Yamaha built the same thing...would it even get reviewed in that magazine?

Pioneer, Yamaha and Denon produce highly rated integrated amps in that price range (in the UK mostly, though some of their offerings are available in the US)....


Quote:
More importantly, would the audio boutique companies even ask $20K for a $5K amp if the reviewers said...'whoa, way overpriced?' I suspect we would find the world of $20K amps reduced and the realm of 5K gear would grow...and no gear would go away.

If the amp in this threads question could and should be built for under $5K, why excuse its $20K price?

And I ask that seriously because I know nothing of the unit in question. Maybe it does cost $15K to build and the rest is profit and the price is deserved, but what if it is a $5K effort with a $20K price? Should not the reviewers note that? If not, why???

I agree that if the product could be built for a mere $5K (including all R&D costs), then reviewers should note that (and in fairness to Stereophile, they do note when products are not good value for money - Just check out JA's review of the Bel Canto USB Link)... My issue is really that the OP has accused MF of charging $20K for a $5K product (without providing any basis for that claim)...

JIMV
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

I cannot argue with that...but if you get a chance, take a read of that magazine and look at those photo's and explain why they cost as they do....I know nothing at all of the specific amp in this thread.

Welshsox
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

My point has not come across properly.

I have no problem with companies charging high prices for products, if people are willing to pay $20k for speaker cables then go for it.

My point is that there is an unnecessary cost increase based on power. Power is cheap, if Bryston can build a 300 watt amp and make good profit for $4,000 why is a 1000 watt version so expensive ? its effecively a small increase in electronics that in no way justifys the cost.

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
My point is that there is an unnecessary cost increase based on power. Power is cheap, if Bryston can build a 300 watt amp and make good profit for $4,000 why is a 1000 watt version so expensive ? its effecively a small increase in electronics that in no way justifys the cost.

It is not a small increase. Power is a square function, meaning, perhaps to over-simplify, that to go from 300Wpc to 600Wpc, will increase the manufacturer's part costs by a favor of 4. To then go from 600Wpc to 1000Wpc, will lead to a similar increase in cost.

If you increase a low-power amplifier's DC rail voltages to get higher power but don't increase the current output capability of the power supply or the efficiency of the heatsinks, both of which increase the parts cost by a large amount, you will have a less expensive amplifier, but it will be a fake.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

JIMV
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

That makes sense but I still believe a $500 box filled with $500 in parts should not cost $20K...and a reviewer seeing the gear might mention that.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
That makes sense but I still believe a $500 box filled with $500 in parts should not cost $20K...and a reviewer seeing the gear might mention that.

Please site an example of such a product that Stereophile has reviewed and like algebra class you have to show all of your work.

Welshsox
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

John

I dont accept your logic, i agree the amount of energy required does increase significantly but not the component costs.

Take the toroidal transformer, it would only cost say $30 more for a 1000 VA unit overa 500 VA transformer, the rest of the change is just more output devices and a extra capacitance. I dont see how this is justify's the extra cost.

How can a very high quality pro audio amps do it ? A Crown CTS amplifier which is one of the industry leaders junps from around $600 for a 600 watt unit to around $1000 for a 2000 watt unit.

It just does not compute how the hifi companies increase costs.

Im not saying that the Titan is a bad product, it might well sound fantastic. Im just skeptical because i owned a MF Nuvista super integrated and while it was very powerful the sound was so sharp it was like a dentists drill every time i played it. Of all the hifi companies it just seems the MF is the most fad orientatied and relying on gimmicks and magazine reviews to sell. Look at recent products, the KW SACD, based on a cheap Phillips transport the unit is now junk. Amplifiers, one minute its superchargers next its low power class A, you only have to look how quickly MF stuff plunges on the used market to see there is no value to what they do.

Look at Mcintosh, yes there products increase in cost as the power goes up but its a very gradual rise based and understandable. The MA6300 integrated is $4000 which is a 100 watt unit, the MA6600 is a 200 watt unit and is $6000, the price/power ratio is sensible. That is exactly why Mac has good resale value, its intrinsic value is there from the start it does not matter that it is expensive.

To finish, I just would like companies to treat us with a little more respect, these rip off concepts which are then marketed by maniuplating the hifi magazines need to be challanged. It does not mean that i hate all expensive hifi, just the pretend stuff like MF and to certain extent higher priced stuff from Bryston and others.

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
I dont accept your logic, i agree the amount of energy required does increase significantly but not the component costs.

Assuming you're right, there is no reason that the sales price has to rise in lockstep with component costs. Retail prices are marketing decisions and not based solely on costs. Very high-priced items sell in smaller volumes, so the costs of development, assembly, packaging, and distribution are higher. In addition, it is common in many markets for luxury items to have a higher percentage of markup than less expensive items. There is a significantly higher markup on BMW's than on Honda Civics, for example. As the consumer, we have the choice to buy or not buy the items with higher markups. And the manufacturers and dealers can charge whatever they want. This is about capitalism, not about logic.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Not an issue for Stereophile, unless the amp in question fits the bill, but one in a competitor, Hi-Fi+. I was not making a complaint, just an observation which I will restate "If a reviewer opens the unit and finds a nice $500 box and a $500 pile of parts, then sees a 5 digit price, they should mention the disparity"...Stereophile does that obliquely, as in when they compare gear they often note that the same level of performance can be found in other gear that is often way less costly.

As I note,I know nothing of the amp in question and I only received the June issue yesterday and have not read it yet. I have no reason to believe hs particular amp is overpriced except the initial post on this thread.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
.......................

Im not saying that the Titan is a bad product, it might well sound fantastic. Im just skeptical because i owned a MF Nuvista super integrated and while it was very powerful the sound was so sharp it was like a dentists drill every time i played it. Of all the hifi companies it just seems the MF is the most fad orientatied and relying on gimmicks and magazine reviews to sell. Look at recent products, the KW SACD, based on a cheap Phillips transport the unit is now junk. Amplifiers, one minute its superchargers next its low power class A, you only have to look how quickly MF stuff plunges on the used market to see there is no value to what they do.

..............................

To finish, I just would like companies to treat us with a little more respect, these rip off concepts which are then marketed by maniuplating the hifi magazines need to be challanged. It does not mean that i hate all expensive hifi, just the pretend stuff like MF and to certain extent higher priced stuff from Bryston and others.

Alan

I don't think MF produces pretend stuff or ripoff gear... Many persons are very satisfied with their gear... but MF does have some serious issues:

1) They replace products way too quickly (sometimes in less than a year) which kills their resale value...

2) Too much arrogance/FAD marketing: basically every product they create is claimed to be the best this or that.. or able to compete with competitors' products at any price... blah blah blah... (I've seen some of their claims get dissed in HiFi mags... e.g. HiFi News' review of the A1 amp and CD combo)...

So when you combine overly enthusiastic claims of almost magical proportions, with short life spans on these same products, you get something that could easily be misinterpreted as a scam... I honestly, just think it's poor marketing and sales tactics from MF and not an attempt to ripoff anyone...

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
John

Take the toroidal transformer, it would only cost say $30 more for a 1000 VA unit over a 500 VA transformer, the rest of the change is just more output devices and a extra capacitance. I don't see how this is justify's the extra cost.

Alan

The transformer in the MF KW amp is at least $450-500 US in large lot costs. Minimum. There are two.

The two inductors are at least $150 each.

The chassis is at least $400, more like $500 cost, -minimum-. Likely notably more.

We are talking about the best parts that can be made, specific to the use they are intended for. Not crap designs.

Then there is all the ancillary parts within, and then the design and test phase. Somebody has to build it, too. Legal approvals for electrical function, boxing (actual crating, in this case, I suspect), design of boxing, shipping, export duties, distribution, sales, the whole shebang.

The amp is made up of three boxes. The power supply is the most simple of the three.

I just did a quick cost analysis on the just the power supply box alone, once again, by far, the simplest box of the three..and came up with a retail, in US dollars..of about $17k. And that is just so the MF guys can take their kids to White castle and stuff a $2 fish burger down their throats. We're not talking about making themselves rich, here.

Obviously, they've got their system a bit more streamlined than I can quickly calculate. (I can and have done factory cost analysis for the past 10 years, off and on, when looking at my own products and that of my business partners) Otherwise, they would not be in business.

Alan, after over a year of trying to help you get clear on all this... your ignorance and belligerence (insistence on being right) on this point is -STILL- showing.

If Bryston is such a paragon of pricing and performance (and they are), go and take a look at the pricing on the Torus power supply balanced AC transformers that they are supporting.

If you want MF to pay their staff and employees dirt wages like that of people in China,and you want them to support the idea of people getting paid $0.50 per hour, then I insist you take a pay cut of similar size and scope. We'll take everything you own and give you a worn blanket and a cardboard cut-out room at the same time (to live in). Oh yes, and if you maybe had a friend who spoke out politically? We'll send him to the organ rendering traveling execution bus (after his mock trial) at the same time. You won't be talking to him either.

Please try and get your head straight on this.

Welshsox
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

KBK

Why do you keep on stating that its me that wrong.

You state that just one box costs $17k to make, you really think that is the case ?

I to have extensive experience in manufacturing, except my experience is directly with audio.

I know you will say im lying or dont understand but this evening I was out for a business dinner with a Vice President of HMG, we discussed Mark Levenison and he stated that there is approx 4-500% mark up on that line ie a product that costs $2000 to make is sold for $12000.

You need to wake up and smell the roses, im not sure what kool-aid your drinking but you do not have a grip of real world costs.

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

I have very strong grip of the real world in audio manufacturing and in other areas.

The multipliers required to exist as a viable businesses other than audio are generally higher than the percentages that you have quoted.

That the audio world can survive as they have on such low multiplier numbers is frankly, an amazing feat. Suffice it to say, I don't know any obscenely rich audio manufacturers.

I know of businesses that have a factory floor cost on items that exceed that of 25 to 1 when compared to retail, and that is barely enough to survive.

For example: Go to Wallmart..a USB to USB cable, 6 feet long. $19.00 in Canada.

Factory floor cost in China? Maybe $0.75 to $1.20. Closer to the $0.75, I suspect.

IMHO, I do correctly accuse you of an unreasonable bias. I wish you could see it for what it is, and move on. Another example, is that what does it cost Microsoft to make the copies of Vista? $3? Max?

I wish you no harm Alan, but this bias and your continual voicing on it does no-one any good. If we all went and actualized your ideas on business models, we'd all be out of business and broke before we sold one piece of audio gear. That is the basic truth.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
Hi

Why do companies think just because they provide a 1000 watt amp that they can charge stupid money ? MF and Bryston are both guilty of ripping cutsomers off for the higher power amplifiers. The extra manufacturing costs for a 1000 watt amp over say a 250 watt run to a few hundred dollars, u need a higher spec PSU and some more output devices, at best i could see $1000 - $2000 worth of extra cost, why does that equate to a selling price of $20,000.

We are being ripped off and the Titan amp does not deserve to sell, this is a blatant scam at its core level.

When are we going to start demanding reasonable value from manufacturers ? this amp should be in the $3-5 K range and even at that MF would make a nice profit.

Alan

I just got my June issue.

Since you posted about this, the amp has gone up to 30,000 dollars!

Good news: It turns out just the power supply box is worth 17,000, retail. The rest is, like, almost free!

Bad news: We won't really know how it sounds until that new guy from Chicago writes the follow-up.

(Mu Fi Supercharger joke only!)

Welshsox
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

I can appreciate your position, just that I dont agree with it.

From a factual viewpoint we are both reasonably accurate, its just how you see a business model. It is clear that neither one of us is going to change their thoughts so the best thing is just to respectfully disagree and move on !!

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
From a factual viewpoint we are both reasonably accurate, its just how you see a business model. It is clear that neither one of us is going to change their thoughts so the best thing is just to respectfully disagree and move on !!

Actually no, Alan, You used the term "rip-off," yet you have not supplied anything to support that word, other than your pre-existing dissatisfaction with a Musical Fidelity product you once owned.

You have also demonstrated your lack of knowledge regarding costing of an audio product.

I have first-hand experience of this when I started the Hi-Fi News Accessories Club in the early 1980s. We wanted to manufacture products for which there was not a commercially available equivalent and sell them by mail-order and at Shows. Out target was to keep price below 50 pounds sterling, which was then around equivalent to around $120, ie, around $500 today in inflation-affected dollars. Our first product, for which I did the pcb design and specified parts, was a simple unity-gain, single-input preamp, based on a single board and op-amps. Designed by my then deputy Ivor Humphreys, its output polarity could be inverted with a wired remote.

In order of cost, the most expensive parts were 1) the enclosure, 2) the shipping carton, and 3, the AC transformer. We managed to bring the preamp to market for the intended price, but unfortunately had neglected to include in the pricing a significant cost that I had overlooked: the 5% charged the magazine by the credit-card company. This wiped out ony profit we would have made. (And had we accepted Amex payments, that company charged 8%, which would have led to a loss on every sale.)

And that is with all overhead covered by the magazine. So please, before you use a word like "rip-off," please do some research and base your comments on the actual costs, not just guesses.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Here is Michael Elliot, once with Counterpoint, on this subject: www.altavistaaudio.com/why_upgrade.html .

John Atkinson
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
The multipliers required to exist as a viable businesses other than audio are generally higher than the percentages that you have quoted.That the audio world can survive as they have on such low multiplier numbers is frankly, an amazing feat. Suffice it to say, I don't know any obscenely rich audio manufacturers.

As it costs $2K to build that $12K product, the seller needs that $10K markup to make money on a sale...OK, what if they sold 5 of the things instead of only 1 and sold each for $4K...same $10K of markup but lower cost to the end user...more of this $12K technology and sound in the marketplace...Forget trickle down, get the real thing for a decent price. In addition, you have economy of scale..I am sure buying 100 transformers cost less than buying 10.

Is this not a lot like the $50 shirt with the little horsey on it when the same shirt, sometimes made in the same Chinese factory without the horsey costs $15....Does the horsey add to the shirts effectiveness? Does $10K in markup really add anything to the $2K audio toy?

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

John

As ive explained many times I design large scale audio systems professionally. I have extensive experience in costing both products and projects.

For $30,000 you buy a few things, like

1 - A really nice car, or

2 - A 58 inch HDTV, 2000 watt 7.2 channel surround reciever, a great blu ray player, Playstation 3, & great speakers, 2 great subwoofers, a new set of stainless kithcen appliances, a ride on lawnmower, a professional grill, 8000 watts of high quality pro audio amplifier, a mixing desk, pro monitors and still have change.

You have to get over yourself here John, there is no logical argument to warrant $30,000 for a power amplifier, it is shameless marketing and profiteering or in simple british terms a rip off. Most manufactur's in this industry expect to sell their products at around 50% margin, the hifi industry is looking for 85% margin if your numbers correct and that is excessive.

I understand that you run a hifi magazine and MF are a major player that you have to backup their business model as it directly affects your bottom line but please do not assume that the consumers are dumb and that there is any logical argument for an amplifer being $30,000

KBK
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Alan: ~READ~ the article on audio gear costing vs retail, by Micheal Elliot formerly of Counterpoint Audio. Mike lays the whole thing out in detail.

How old are you, Alan? What I if said there is NO justification for people who are Welsh? That would be very odd and rotten thing to say, IMO. For no perceivable reason, as well. Such a statement would be just as bizarre as yours on the idea that no such amplifier should exist.

You aren't making one bit of sense, here.

You say you've done costing in the ~audio~ business. Every word out of your mouth on this subject - says otherwise.

Should I go outside and shoot my car, the one I worked so hard for? It isn't a Prius, you know.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Based on that article the dealer who sells you the MF amp will make $15,000, you think that is reasonable ?

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

If he spent $15,000 of his own money to buy the amplfier in order to sell it to you, how much should he make as a profit from his investment? Do you have an objection to someone making a profit if they serve their customers? If he did without another product in order to allocate his limited funds to this amplifier, how much profit should he make? If he lost other sales due to the obvious ability to only showcase a certain number of products and he chose to showcase a product in which he had $15,000 invested, how much profit should he make? If he has to pay other expenses out of that profit, how much profit should he make? Please respond in percentages and not raw dollars.

A dealer operates on a percentage of profit, not raw dollars so please let's talk about how much a dealer should be allowed in order to keep his/her doors open. Or, you could just go back and read the many threads where Alex has objected to a dealer making anything more than the most meager of profit margins so that Alex can have the audio system he feels he deserves.

If that profit allows the dealer to buy more items that are of more interest to more potential buyers, how much profit should the dealer make? If that profit allows the dealer to stay open, how much profit should the dealer make?

How many times are you going to start yet another thread that bitches about the price of components?

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

I feel the following.

1 - On high dollar items such as this a dealer profit in the 20% range is reasonable.

2 - On small dollar items a dealer margin of 40% is reasonable, it costs the dealer simliar amounts to handle a $100 item as a $10,000 item so im OK with small items being marked up more. I am also OK with the $2 USB cable ending up being $20 due to the supply chain costs. Im just not OK with the same mark up ratio on a $30,000 item.

To answer the point about if ill ever stop bringing up the issue, the answer is I will not stop. I have every right to state my thoughts on this topic and i believe a lot of people agree with me, it seems the only people who ever argue against me have a vested interest and either work or have worked in the industry and defend this smokescreen out of industry loyalty.

Let me ask you this, would you be OK with a car dealer making 50% ? What about a jeweller ? you think the make 50% on a Rolex ?

So no i will not be bullyed by the old boys club into accepting these rip off pricing structures. Like every other industry the hifi industry needs to get it's head out of its ass and realise in 2009 consumers are more informed than ever and they require value as a critical part of their purchase. It does not mean that they wont buy high ticket items just that these items have to warrant that cost on all fronts including value.

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
Im just not OK with the same mark up ratio on a $30,000 item.

Why? Because you don't like it? That's rich!

So where's the break point? Where do items cross from "small" to "too much"? Name a price and give us a laugh. Tell us where a dealer should not make money.

If you don't like what MF is doing, vote with your wallet. That's a consumer's right.

Don't buy this amplifier, that'll show 'em!

To bitch that someone is making a profit you don't approve of is absurd, particularly if you have no intention of making such a purchase. So don't buy it, teach MF a lesson.

LOL!!!


Quote:
I have every right to state my thoughts on this topic and i believe a lot of people agree with me, it seems the only people who ever argue against me have a vested interest and either work or have worked in the industry and defend this smokescreen out of industry loyalty.

You have a right to post damn near anything you want on this forum, that doesn't mean you should. Complain, complain and complain is all these threads amount to. After the tenth thread that says you disapprove of the profit margins manufacturers and dealers make, that's enough to get the point across. You don't like it, so don't buy it. 'Nuff said!

And this BS about people who have worked in the industry, what sort of argument is that? I know priests who have worked in their industry and gone on to do things the church doesn't approve and those ex-priests have actually been better people than some of those who remained in the church and certainly better people than some who want to constantly preach how bad the church is. Does that prove anything about ex-priests? Not likely. People are people and they do as they please and you don't get to control them.

Your position that the industry must bend to your will is clearly more self-serving than the attitude of someone who "has" worked in the industry. If you want to change how manufacturers do their business, vote with your wallet. To pick one item fom MF's catalog to complain about is ridiciulous. With all the budget oriented items that MF has introduced - as pointed out in the review MF has seen poor sales when they introduced a product with cost cutting measures in mind - this rant on one amplifier produced in extremely limited quantities (what was it? 45 pieces?) is just ridiculous. That is the only thing to say about this thread, it is ridiculous. If someone wants this limited edition item and they can afford and appreciate it, just get off your high horse about this.

The smokescreen of working in the industry has nothing to do with anything. You are just blowing for the sake of blowing which is what these threads amount to.


Quote:
Let me ask you this, would you be OK with a car dealer making 50% ? What about a jeweller ? you think the make 50% on a Rolex ?

What in the world does that have to do with the price of an audio product? Nothing!

Do you know a high volume car dealer will make far less profit on a single car than a dealer who sells a hundred cars a month? So how is that fair? It's the market. You buy what and where you prefer.

Now I suppose you want to control that too.

If a Ford dealer who sells 800-900 cars each month can sell a Texas Edition automatic F-150 in Winter White paint for $150 over dealer cost because there are 200 of them on the storage lot and another 100 coming next month and the dealer gets a kickback on financing the deal, should a Ferrari dealer sell their product for $150 over book? By your math it would appear to be the only way to operate successfully.

Do you know how much a jewler makes on an average product? Do you know the mark up on a Rolex? What if that product is a cheap piece of trinket coming from a mass marlket manufacturer? What if that product is a one off from a hand built cottage industry designer? What if the product is worth virtually nothing more than the price of its parts after five years? What if the product can be handed down through generations?

I'll tell you what working in the industry taught me; something is worth what someone is willing to pay. Whether it's an amplifier, a house, a watch or more money, if someone will pay the price, that's how much the product is worth. You have no say in what anyone else does with their money.

Period!

Your oversimplifications do nothing to prove you have any idea about anything you are trying to argue. So just stop making such ridiculous statements. Someone offers a dozen proofs that you have no idea what you are saying and you just say they are wrong and you are right. Puhleeease! You're acting like the DBT'ers who won't be happy until everyone bows down and kisses your butt.

Ain't gonna happen. You don't like the price of something - even apples in a supermarket - you don't buy the item. It's as simple as that. This constant "I know what I'm talking about" when you clearly do not is not going to change one thing in MF's pricing structure. I suspect most of those 45 amplifiers are already sold.


Quote:
So no i will not be bullyed by the old boys club into accepting these rip off pricing structures.

Oh, for gogssake! Now we're "bullying" you?! We're forcing you to buy this product? How's that work?

The only thing we are doing is providing proof you don't know what you're talking about and saying if you don't know something, stop jabbering on about what you clearly do not know.

Don't buy the amplifier and stop complaining about the price of something you cannot afford and have no intention of buying.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
Why high-end equipment is so expensive
In an article written for an Internet newsgroup, here's what Kevin Hayes of VAC had to say about why high-end gear is so expensive.
Author: hayes95 (info@vac-amps.com)
Date: 1999/02/21
Forum: rec.audio.marketplace

"For what it's worth, many years ago, before I started VAC, I remember looking into an MFA preamp and mentally tallying about $40 in caps and resistors, and thinking, `Wow, these guys must be making a fortune.' Well, I've seen it from the inside now (for 1998 we were probably the second largest tube stereo maker in the U.S.). Ultra high end audio takes incredible amounts of R&D time (2,000 hours in voicing our Renaissance 30/30 Mk III amplifier alone), the cost of high quality chassis & transformers made in relatively low volumes, the training and wages of assemblers that can properly do labor-intensive point-to-point wiring, etc. Did you know that, for example, it is common for a manufacturer to have only a 25% yield on cosmetic elements? Add dealer margins, taxes, health insurance, Stereophile shows, advertising, factory mortgage, and then divide by the quantity of high-end audio sold. I do not know of anyone getting rich in this field. Indeed, when I contemplate the other career paths open to me, I sometimes wonder why I do it. The reason? I love music, and enjoy bringing more enjoyment to the lives of those folks who `get it.' For those who don't, if a Bose Wave Radio is all you need, fine, just enjoy the music!"

Kevin Hayes VAC/Valve Amplification Company 807 Bacon Street, Durham, NC 27703 http://www.vac-amps.com
info@vac-amps.com

http://www.altavistaaudio.com/kevin_hayes.html

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

I have a problem with a simple brand logo resulting in that kind of a mark up as well...

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

A "simple brand logo"? Well, what would justify "that kind of markup" in your opinion? And tell us why an audio dealer should not make a profit but a high end autombile dealer, a real estate dealer, a designer clothing dealer, etc. should - and do.

What part of "limited edition" escapes you? What portion of the review makes you think this is not an excellent product? How much profit is allowable on an excellent product vs. a just OK product?

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

1 - All those professions you mentioned work on very small margins.

2 - The limited edition thing is nothing more than a MF scam to hype the price.

3 - Im sick of hearing about how dealers should be allowed to make 50% profit, please tell us Jan and John Atkinson how many peices of equipment have you bought for $10,000 + and paid full retail from a dealer ?

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
1 - All those professions you mentioned work on very small margins.

2 - The limited edition thing is nothing more than a MF scam to hype the price.

3 - Im sick of hearing about how dealers should be allowed to make 50% profit, please tell us Jan and John Atkinson how many peices of equipment have you bought for $10,000 + and paid full retail from a dealer ?

Alan

I still can't quite see why it matters how much MF wants to charge for their ultra-reference gear... It's a free market, so if competitors can do better for less, then they will...

If the Titan sold for $15K would you buy it? $10K? $5K?

Even at $5K, I wouldn't... simply because I can get a complete 2 channel setup to suit MY needs for $5K... so unless the amp is priced between $1K and $1.5K, it's not of interest to me... but that doesn't mean I object to the existence of such expensive fare...

There is so much great gear selling for under $2K, that I can't see how a $30K amp affects me, or anyone on a normal budget for that matter...

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Hi

The reason it bothers me is that it affects the whole market.

Hifi companies should be looking at bringing out products that sound great at reasonable prices. Its only the last 10 years or so that things have gotten stupid.

When i first got into hifi the dream system was the Linn/Naim stuff with an alternative being the Pink Triangle. A good friend who i worked with had a system that this day is one of the best ive ever heard, it was a Pink Triangle, Albarry Music amps and Allison one speakers. Now i dont know the exact costs but this was a normal guy with a wife and kids. There is no way today that the same guy could assemble a state of the art system, it would cost a minimum of $100,000. From these discussions only about $15,000 of that is the actual equipment that is why i keep on about it.

The dream for normal people to buy high end equipment has gone, it has been replaced by greedy manufacturers and dealers.

I can afford a state of the art in all my other hobbies, watches, golf, computers, home theatre yet i cannot in hifi.

Greed, greed, greed that is what im upset about

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
I can afford a state of the art in all my other hobbies, watches, golf, computers, home theatre yet i cannot in hifi.

Greed, greed, greed that is what im upset about

That's right, greed keeps you from having what you want. That's what this always boils down to, someone has something you want and you are pissed. You have convinced yourself you "deserve" a SOTA system but it's someone else's greed that is keeping you from it. This month it's MF's greed, I can't remember who was so greedy that they kept you from having the system you deserved last month and we all know there will be another someone who's greed is keeping you from having what you want next month. You admit a $30k amplifier is SOTA but you're pissed because you can't affoird it.

LOL!!!

You make statements that have nothing backing their position just because you can't have what you want and you want someone to tell you it's right to be angry with someone else.

LOL!!!

Well, it is a free market and as they say, maybe you should pull yourself up by your bootstraps and smell the coffee and hang in there, baby, and all those other stupid motivational sayings on the posters on your wall. You've done your hanging in there, baby, and you still can't afford a SOTA system and now it's time to blame someone else for what you haven't acheived.

LOL!!!

There is a market for $30k amplifier in limited edition and you aren't able to pay in that market.

BooHoo! T

That says nothing about the market only about your abilities. Get over it, whining isn't changing anything.

Is it?

Markets operate on the budgets they require. Do you really think consumers have driven down the price or the profit of a Rolex?

ROTFL!

People pay what they want to pay and can afford to pay. And you can't afford to pay the price to play in the same league as the big boys. That's what all this boils down to. That's all there is to this. To continue to argue the opposite is sheer lunacy.

To continue to argue the opposite is sheer lunacy.

I suppose you've forgotten ST's write ups on the budget lines from MF? The new models are mentioned in the Titan review, did you not see them there? Were you so blinded by this all consuming obssession with what you cannot afford that you failed to actually read the review? MF has an entire line of components that are more than budget priced and from ST's reports offer high end quality on soda pop budgets.

So lay off this BS about how manufacturers should do this and manufactutrers should do that and manufacturers should do what you say they should do. Stop thinking a component should only cost what you assume the parts amount to.

Your problem is you can't afford this amp and that pisses you off. That's all that needs to be said and you've said a hundred times already.

Stop. Go get a job that allows you to afford the amp and let the rest of us listen in peace. Or else just stop jabbering and listen to what you can afford. The laws of diminishing returns say it won't be that far from the SOTA. Be happy for that, that the trickle down - which is also described in the review you didn't bother to read - makes the equipment you can afford sound better. So be happy for once and stop this other BS.

And, finally, I can't afford a $10k amplifier so there's the answer to your earlier question. The huge difference between you and me in that respect is I don't start a new thread each month complaining about what I can't afford and you do.

Maybe if you spent less time complaining and more time at your real job you could afford one of these products you are constantly bitching about.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Jan

I love your lack of ambition.

In some ways I wish i was more like you, you take a simplistic approach to life with no ambition to develop or open your mind to new things. This must be great and i wish i could just accept things at your level, unfortunately i have a need to challenge the status quo when it is wrong. Im glad for you that you dont have this desire but that will not deter me.

You have accepted that you cannot afford high end hifi and therefore it is better to justify this then to see through the bullshit of these high prices.

The fact that you have never given away your own hard earned cash for a $10,000 preamp with a $50 PCB inside it is ample proof that you do not have any real position to argue that it is justified.

We are being ripped off plain and simple, thats why so many hifi stores are closing, normal people will not accept this high level of profit therefore the hifi companies have no choice but to try and recoup all their money from a few customers. Thats what this whole smoke screen with MF is all about, if there is so much development cost why would you limit the production to 50 ? ill tell you why its because thats all they can sell at such a high price, limiting it to 50 is a marketing trick to try and give the unit some perceived value because it does not have $30,000 or real value.

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
We are being ripped off plain and simple, thats why so many hifi stores are closing, normal people will not accept this high level of profit therefore the hifi companies have no choice but to try and recoup all their money from a few customers. Thats what this whole smoke screen with MF is all about, if there is so much development cost why would you limit the production to 50 ? ill tell you why its because thats all they can sell at such a high price, limiting it to 50 is a marketing trick to try and give the unit some perceived value because it does not have $30,000 or real value.

Alan, you've said some really, really dumb things in the time you've been ranting on and on each month about another manufacturer who is a crook and who is stopping you from having a system of SOTA components but that is just about the topper to all of them. That shows just how unhinged you really are about all of this. You need to get a grip, guy.

And your BS about how I spend my money is just sick. You are reaching a level of deviancy here, Alan, that doesn't serve anyone well.

The point to be understood here is this, I am happy with my system. I don't "need" a SOTA system to prove to myself I am happy. I like what I own and I've owned most of it for long periods of time. I'm not consumed with owning anything else that I can't afford and wouldn't spend the money on if I had it. There are things more important to me than hifi. Apparently you are more concerned with Rolex's, SOTA golf equipment and other material items and you are looking for someone to blame for your not having what you want rather than going out to use what is there that fit's your needs. You aren't happy when a company like MF builds excellent components with a budget price and you are far less happy when they build limited editions of what they feel like building at a price they feel is commensurate with their effort.

You insist you are being "ripped off". But you aren't buying anything! If you aren't the one buying the equipment, you can't be ripped off if you aren't buying and you sound more and more unhinged as you call yet another manufacturer a crook each and every month because you think they are standing in your way when you want a SOTA system. But you prefer to think that's because someone else is stopping you. You are a goof!

As they say here in Texas, you wouldn't be happy if they hung you with a new rope.

So there's the difference between you and me on this matter.

You feel you must have a SOTA system

and I don't.

You feel it is others who are stopping you from getting what you "deserve"

and I am happy with what I already own.

You blame others

and I have better things to do with my time - but they no longer include arguing with a lunatic.

There is no conclusion to your monthly rants and there never will be.

You don't offer any resolution, you just rant. Over and over and over you just rant.

You rant because you can and because you feel someone is stopping you from having what you want - like a little child who won't accept facts when they want their candy. Your monthly rants aren't going to stop anything from happening and so they remain just rants of a lunatic.

Why don't you go bay at the moon? You'll get equally as successful results and then you can find someone else to blame for that too.

You have nothing to say but insist on constantly saying it. You've been told you are wrong with innumerable facts presented by countless people who know more about the realities of the industry than you but no matter what is said to prove you wrong you insist you are right - and you continue to rant. Every month you find another manufacturer to rant about. Every month you find another person who is in collusion with the manufacturers to keep you from having what you deserve.

You are tiresome and I am tired of you. Goodbye, Alan, once again it has not been a pleaurable experience dealing with you.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Jan

Did you read Art's article about the LARS amplifier, he is basically saying exactly the same things.

I guarantee that the majority of the forum agree with my point of view, which is we should buy from bricks and mortar stores who offer great products at a good value price.

The more normal people dont join in the debate because of people like you who will attack them and not accept any other viewpoint.

To answer your bullshit about me being egotistical about wanting the best possible system you have no idea what your talking about. I am very happy with my current system and im not looking to change anything, in all my hobbies i persue very good products that are close to the top but not overpriced. It is only in hifi that the higher end equipment is so stupidly priced compareed to very good equipment. The reason im attacking MF is not jealousy, its because it has a corrupting effect on the marketplace.

The difference between us is that i would buy products like the MF is they were reasonably priced ( I owned the Nuvista integrated ) I just will not accept that $30,000 is anything less than a rip off.

If people like you accepted this and stopped kissing ass then manufatcurers would not be able to get away with it but as long as there are people drinking the 500% + mark up kool aid we will never get back to the old days of great hifi being reasonably priced.

Alan

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
Did you read Art's article about the LARS amplifier, he is basically saying exactly the same things.

No, he is not. From what I read in the LARS review AD would have preferred a simple amplifier case that then sold for less because that's all that would have been required of this amplifier. That would not have changed the sound of the amplifier. IMO his major complaints were that what was done to dress this amplifier up was unnecessary to the performance of the amplifier and on top of it all what was added was not done well which then became an impediment to working with the amplifier and what you had paid for would be set aside.

If you paid for a Ferrari and then had to remove the wheels, doors, seats and hood because they were poorly manufactured and actually hindered the performance of the product, anyone would bitch about that. What the Titan represents is not a gussied up work of poorly fitted modern art. OK. So why complain about a piece of art sitting in your room if it is an attractive - to you at least - work of art that doesn't fall apart while just sitting there? I don't think most reasonable people would.

You get to choose whether you have a Monet or a Moore. You get to choose how you spend your money. If you can then buy a smaller Monet at a lower price because Claude managed to squeeze a bit more paint from the tubes he bought for that one big painting, then great. But the big painting had to come first. That's called trickle down and evolution and it's what the Titan review is all about.

But you can't see that. Your arguments in these rants always go all over the place trying to convince me that you have this figured out. And the more you post the more ridiculous this gets. You start with parts and everything should just be the cost of parts because you order parts all day long and then you always compare audio to something else without noticing there are a lot of things that cost a lot of money and then you still insist, after all the evidence says you are wrong, that you are right. And there is no end to this. Are you that hard up for someone to talk to?

You post BS like, "I guarantee that the majority of the forum agree with my point of view."

I can guarantee they don't or else they would be posting on these rant threads of yours. And they aren't! But you make this shit up just to jabber away.

Now you are even blaming me for what you don't have in this thread; "The more normal people dont join in the debate because of people like you who will attack them and not accept any other viewpoint."

Well, at least I'm appeased that you realize you are not one of the "normal people".

NOW STOP BLAMING EVERYONE ELSE FOR WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE!!!!!

I'm not the reason no one was posting to this thread for the first four pages except people who disagreed with you.

Got it? Stop blaming other people!

Jesus H. Christ, Alan!

I want you to tell me how you can put these three sentences in the same post and not expect everyone to think you are a flaming, sitting on the roof throwing beer bottles at the neighors goofball;


Quote:
... because of people like you who will attack them and not accept any other viewpoint.


Quote:
I just will not accept that $30,000 is anything less than a rip off.


Quote:
If people like you accepted this and stopped kissing ass ...

Look at that! Just look at that! You don't see that you are ranting in circles just to hear yourself rant?! You contradict yourself with every word you post. The only thing that is consistent is you are pissed because something you don't have and can't afford is priced higher than you like.

Geeeez!

Go away, Alan, go away until you have something constructive to say and something that isn't just a circle jerk of absurdities. Go up on the roof and rant and throw beer bottles at your neighbors. Leave me the hell alone.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

If the same amp were 85,000 dollars, would that change anybody's mind who is in the 'pro-30K camp?'

What if it were one meeellion dollars?

At some price point, anybody may eventually turn to a position of considering a price to be a 'rip-off.'

So, how about adding to this thread with what price point people would consider this amp to be 'fairly priced?'

Heck, maybe KBK would mention a higher price, one that would keep poor Antony in something other than the British equivalent of Old Navy clothing.

I'll even go first and say that I'd consider this amp to be something I'd consider a 'reasonable' price at 6,000 bucks.

____

Also, doesn't Mu Fi already make that new Supercharger that got as good a review as this Titan for about one third the retail price?

_____

Stephen made some potentially relevant comments in this month's "As We See It."

"...when the price of a component is more impressive than its sound, something is very wrong."

"Our special little world (Hi FI) doesn't need another underachieving mega-priced loudspeaker, or another back breaking amplifier"

Obviously, Stephen is mentioning the notion of value.

Welsh Hi Fi is just being emphatic about his own take on value.

OK, anyway, what price would y'all consider to be the fair retail point for this amp?

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

I would think this was fair value at a retail of $7-10,000, that would allow everyone involved to make a reasonable profit and still maintain reasonable value for the end user.

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

Explain that one again ?

A smaller Monet is a trickle down effect of a big Monet ?

Is that a Texas thing ? bigger is better ?

What on earth does art have to do with technology trickling down ?

Alan

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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
A "simple brand logo"? Well, what would justify "that kind of markup" in your opinion? And tell us why an audio dealer should not make a profit but a high end autombile dealer, a real estate dealer, a designer clothing dealer, etc. should - and do.

What part of "limited edition" escapes you? What portion of the review makes you think this is not an excellent product? How much profit is allowable on an excellent product vs. a just OK product?

Limited edition is another way of say 'let's double the price'. Everyone should be able to make a profit, and everyone should have to be able to justify it. You confuse complaint about outrageous price with complaint over nothing...Put another way, if you would pay $25K for a new Ford, would you pay $50K for the same car? How about $75K, $100K? If a car magazine noted that said Ford cost $18K to build and deliver and the remaining $7K was margin, one would negotiate to reduce that a few thousand but not feel ripped of if they were unsuccessful. If they were told the $32K of the $50K car was margin, they would be outraged. Going up just makes the issue wore.

Now what if a car reviewer wrote that the car, at $50K was worth every penny? Would folk just blithely go out and buy the thing? Is the reviewer right? If it was compared to other product in that $50K class with $35K worth of construction costs, or $45K, would the fellow consider paying $50K really wise...?

The thing is, car reviewers do not tell folk said $18K worth of ford parts compares to a Lexus or BMW or Mercedes...

I read the review of the MF amp in question and it seemed to have a LOT of very expensive high end parts and quality so I cannot say this specific thing is overpriced. I can say that a lot of gear IS way overpriced and that a 200-300% or more margin is simply a rip off and that reviewers should note it when it appears.

KBK
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off

The amplifier, AFAIK, is manufactured in the UK (an expensive place to manufacture!!) and in a very limited quantity, with a lot of R&D tied to it.

The price is reasonable.

MF makes a ton of other stuff that hits a lower price point. So buy that instead. However, if you have the coin and want their most advanced gear and thinking, then take look at this unit.

There really is nothing more to say.

However, now that we have established, sadly, against the ranty bits..that the price is ~fair~, we can move on to keeping the thread alive and MF's New TITAN amp in the spotlight.

I see no harm in that.

JIMV
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Re: Musical Fidelity Rip Off


Quote:
The amplifier, AFAIK, is manufactured in the UK (an expensive place to manufacture!!) and in a very limited quantity, with a lot of R&D tied to it.

The price is reasonable.

MF makes a ton of other stuff that hits a lower price point. So buy that instead. However, if you have the coin and want their most advanced gear and thinking, then take look at this unit.

There really is nothing more to say.

However, now that we have established, sadly, against the ranty bits..that the price is ~fair~, we can move on to keeping the thread alive and MF's New TITAN amp in the spotlight.

I see no harm in that.

As I said, I read and saw the photo's in the review and the thing looks to be possibly worth the cost. As I also said, the industry has a lot of stuff that is simply NOT, and I believe it is a reviewer's duty to note when $1000 in parts are crammed in a $6K item...

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