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XLR8R22
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NEED INPUT! Looking to sell my product...

Hey guys, after nearly a year of designing and refining, I have created a headphone amplifier/preamplifier that I would be proud to sell as an audiophile quality unit.  I would like to hear some input/feedback from everybody on what they would consider/look for when buying an audio product, especially if it was from a brand new start-up company.

 

Here is my "advertisement" so far:

 

 

Hybrid Electron-Tube/MOSFET headphone amplifier/preamp

 

Designed with the ideology that simpler is better, especially when it comes to the audio signal path, this amp is carefully assembled using quasi-point-to-point construction using only the highest quality, well respected audio grade components.

Oversized Nichicon Muse series capacitors, tight tolerance Kiwame 2 Watt carbon film resistors, and a heavily filtered regulated power supply section that can only be described as “overkill”, all contribute to an exceptionally quiet amplifier, with smooth rich tube mid-range, tight, deep bass, and clean clear highs. Low voltage tube input section provides sought-after “tube sound” while reducing complexity, cost, and potential hazards versus conventional high-voltage tube designs, as well as reducing susceptibility to electromagnetic and radio frequency interference. Audio grade MOSFETs easily provide enough current to drive almost all modern and vintage headphones.

Features:

High input impedance allows the amp to be easily driven from any device, including cd players, portable radios, iPods/iPhones, and all other mp3/mp4 players, as well as laptop and desktop computers

Sufficient gain to drive even the most power-hungry headphone designs through the full range of human hearing- and then some

Output impedance supports loads from 4-300+ ohms. (Virtually all modern headphones are 16-128 ohms)

Overbuilt power supply section provides over three times the necessary power to the amplifier, meaning sharper transients, deeper, stronger bass hits, and plenty of juice for even the most demanding dynamic songs

Heavy shielding, “overkill” power filtering, and high quality construction techniques result in a very quiet amplifier, with almost no audible background noise. No hiss, no hum, no buzz, only your music

Close tolerance components ensure that not only are components their exact intended value, but that both channels are identical in their reproduction. This results in a clear, accurate stereo image directly centered in your head, with no imbalances or sonic differences

Dual-mono amplifier design ensures an absolute minimum of crosstalk and cross-feed distortion, and provides a solid, concise stereo image

A variety of options concerning sound quality and customization ensures your amplifier is personalized to you. Like your music bright and forward? Or dark and relaxed? Do you want reference, studio quality sound? Or big wide-open, laid-back coloration? My build process will let you choose your components based on their characteristic sound qualities, so you get exactly what you want from your listening experience

 

I plan on offering a number of options such as input and output cap selection, resistor type options, tube options, and a number of cosmetic customization options such as indicator led colors, foot choice, and finish.

Please give some feedback/ideas on how I can get in to this market!  

Or let me know if you want one... ;)

Ariel Bitran
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Find a Local Dealer?

Maybe your local dealer will carry it.

I'm sure people would be ecstatic to know that they're buying a hi-fi component built by a local resident, and even more that they could contact you and meet the builder...?

JIMV
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Your 'advertisement' needs a

Your 'advertisement' needs a picture and a price...A bargain at $500 might be a rip off at $5000 and the high end tends toward the later.

Ariel Bitran
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BTW

I am tempted to move this to "Manufacturer's Showcase" but since the topic is less so about purchasing the product but more so about how to actually get into the hi-fi industry as a manufacturer, i'm curious to hear answers and I'd rather keep it here.

XLR8R22
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Price and picture...
Ariel Bitran wrote:

I am tempted to move this to "Manufacturer's Showcase" but since the topic is less so about purchasing the product but more so about how to actually get into the hi-fi industry as a manufacturer, i'm curious to hear answers and I'd rather keep it here.

 

Yeah, I debated what section to post under, finally decided on here. 

Unfortunately there aren't actually any hi-fi shops in my area, nothing even close really (unless you count the Bose store... :P ).  I was considering selling via website at first.

 As far as price goes My base model will be $125 USD, going all the way up to about $180-200 for the reference model.  I also currently lack the camera to take a "good" picture, but that can be easily arranged later, as I have several friends in the photography business.

Ariel Bitran
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Hmmm

Where in Nevada are you?

Maybe you could get in touch with an online distributor like Music Direct or Audio Advisor?

How many have you made? 

JoeE SP9
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Picture

Come on man! We (at least me) want to see some pictures. They should include the finished product and some (blush) nude shots.

XLR8R22
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In Reno

 

Ariel Bitran wrote:

Where in Nevada are you?

Maybe you could get in touch with an online distributor like Music Direct or Audio Advisor?

How many have you made? 

I'm in Reno.  I had thought about that, but I wouldn't even know how to go about that.

So far I've only made one (my personal prototype), though throughout all the evolutions I feel like I've made 20.  But I have a full bill of materials with vendors worked out and could build one in about 2 days once I had the parts.  Part of my idea was that they would be made to order, at least to some point.  I might build the power supplies and two each of the amplifier circuit boards, minus the optional components, so that it would be quicker once I had an order.

JoeE SP9 wrote:

Come on man! We (at least me) want to see some pictures. They should include the finished product and some (blush) nude shots.

 

I'll see what I can do, but I'm almost embarrassed to show it off, especially if I'm taking the pictures with my cell phone camera!  Also, we'll see about the nudes, maybe if I'm in the right mood... ;)

Ariel Bitran
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Reno

Dude!

there's gotta be hi-fi in Reno

http://www.renohifi.com/

Sacramento (2hours away)

http://www.paradyme.com/

i dont know anything about these dealers, but just ideas...

you could also consider contacting a distributor who may sell products similar to yours. check out a Stereophile and see who the distributors are for different products you may like. people in hi-fi are really nice, and i'm sure if you give a phone call to a company small/big they may be willing to talk to you to help you find the next step.

re: musicdirect or audio advisor or needledoctor, etc.

Call em! Maybe once you get a few made, you can send them a sample, and if they dig they can post a link to buy on their website.

XLR8R22
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Reno Hi-Fi

I've seen that website before, but as far as I can tell there isn't a physical shop.  Guess it's worth a call though, thanks!

I'm also wondering if there is really a market for this kind of thing - handmade hi-fi stuff.  I don't have fancy mass-produced PCBs or advanced manufacturing techniques or anything.  Do people go for this kind of thing?

Ariel Bitran
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People Go for What Sounds Good

Most hi-fi companies start just as you did. As long as your product sounds good, then word can spread.

Also: maybe you could sell it on Audiogon? I know people are unhappy with their site now, but its another option.

XLR8R22
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Audiogon!

I never considered Audiogon!  That's a good idea!

mrvco
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You could always try

You could always try Kickstarter.com

I don't know what kind of volume you're shooting for, but kickstarter would broaden your market base.  Many of the hipster cubicle-dwelling code warriors of the tech industry are suckers for cool looking headphone amps.  Granted, you may have to stick some christmas lights on there to pique their interest (they'll think they're "tubes"), but at ~$125/per, you're in their budget.

dormston
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Interesting topic

Nice to read such a thread and will watch to see if anything develops as a result of advice / motivation from here.

I have tried much the same with various 'products' in recent years and whilst I guess UK is much the same as near every other country in the world these days when it comes to legislation vis a vis health and safety / electrical / fire regulations and suchlikes - already in the brief comments so far nobody has mentioned any of that - but critical nonetheless methinks - and it is important to recognise that 'we' wheeler dealers in the audio / home electronics markets often belittle some of the time and cost spent by manufacturers for even the 'worst' products we encounter by the time they reach the sales shelf.

I was sufficiently niave at one time to think I could waltz into this market, find a product that nobody had 'exploited' and get rich quick...yeah...well maybe not so easy as I am not yet there with the profit margins - but hey, such a fun business it is worthwhile for that alone.

We (probably the large majority of members on these forums?) often escape all the buying and selling legislation because of many factors - not the least of which being we are generally quite knowledgable about electronics and mostly take great care with such aspects when trading with used or even home made machines - or alternatively are super cute and demanding when buying anything new with at least a couple of years warranty and full service support (as a first choice anyway?) and wow, that does cost real cash to establish such a base!

Reviewers on here could probably all write several stories on getting machines supposedly 'perfect' for testing and then watched the sparks fly or things going bang when they switched them on (hey, there's an idea for a new book...) and some of those would undoubtedly have been from the most respected names in the business...so, even with several years and a few decent ideas behind me now, I remain in search of the answer to allow some of the aforementioned ideas to hit the shelves...I wonder if herein lies a clue...

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