Kex to further discuss adverts. [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-24-2004, 03:23 PM
Sorry RGA...I couldn't resist


Originally Posted by RGA
Umm sure I can - I don;t have a problem with advertising but by the same token I will defend Audio Note's choice not to.

Oh, the naivety of the spoonfed
There are many forms of adverstising, frequenting web-based forums is a very cost effective way of adverstising, but still advertising. Audio Note relies heavily on "word-of-mouth" advertising...when it comes from intelligent audiophiles, "word-of-mouth" can actually be a good way to sell your speakers

Word of mouth is advertising but that is totally out of the control of Peter Qvortrup - He makes a superior sounding product and that will get him word of mouth advertising - yes but he didn't pay for this. The only way to get it is by making better than the next guys gear - especially if the primary advertising he gets is from someone like me. Peter does not try and sell his stuff on forums - but he will make himself available to questions - from customers or those who are interested in them. So if i phone B&W and ask them what tweeter they use and they answer the question that is advertising? Wow.
Originally Posted by RGA
Peter Qvortrup - he does not want to become a big company and he is frustrated as we speak that that's the way it's starting to head.

"This is the most insincere stance I've ever seen in the audio world...."Damn, my speakers are selling, I'm making a ton of money boxing up somebody else's quality drivers in somebody else's textbook, classic box design...I'm so pissed off...this is NOT what I want!!!" Yeah right. If Peter was so devoted to creating great sounding speakers at the lowest cost possible, he'd embrace a few more business models from the likes of B&W and Paradigm, etc to pass of lower costs to the consumer. No compromise needed."

First of all the original Snells are not the same speakers - not even close - the originals Snells for that matter were not even original since both are designed off acoustics speicalist and speaker designer Leo Beranek's work. There is no reason to re-invent the wheel if it's durable and round - tweak it yes but don't come out with a square wheel just for the sake of it - especially when for the sake of it works far less well. Peter used to run a much bigger company and left it because it was too big and no fun. The man is quite wealthy as it stands right now and he does this for him - you can call him a liar but he got to doing this because he loves music and wanted something better to play his massive collection of music on.

That is not unlike a LOT of average audiophiles who continually buy new gear in the hopes that the new gear will better serve the music. Lets also note that speakers is not the main focus of Audio Note. They're primary and NEW non copied from anyone focus as a company is their in house Tube amp designs, transformers, DAC's and turntables. Peter needed a speaker in order to design those other products(and with some hired other designers like the head guy from Sonic Frontiers and Andy Grove one of the best in the industry to work on the DAC's. He bought and had heard over the years as a dealer all of the major speaker designs owning a lot of them like the big Apogees, stats and horns. He selected the one that he felt had the most potential - and obviously one that could be driven effectively by his primary interest SE amplifiers.

The speakers and turntables are templated off of other designers work - but then he does not hide that he tells you that they're based off of Snell's Wave launch approach and he tells you the turntables are based off of SystemDeks and Voyds. He felt that with a bit of work these were and still are viable products. The only thing that is the same about the Snells and the AN's is the cabinet shape. What is different is matching techniques, reflection control, port size, internal wiring, cabinet material, crossovers, driver materials, and the fact that Snells comparable models cannot be placed in corners are less sensitive and don't have anywhere near the frequency extension in either direction.

Originally Posted by RGA

IMO it looks desperate to name drop. Now it may not loomk desperate to YOU or 98% of the people on this board - but to me when i see a bombardment of advertising I wonder about if it was any good it would not need to be rammed down my throat. Now perhaps north Americans are used to this advertising - I mean thanks I know Coke is out there and I know Tiger Woods wears Nike - and obviously Nike is not desperate to sell their shoes - but it looks like they are more interested in keeping the name out there than anything else.

You overestimate the cost of advertising as a % of product cost. Most audio companies use print in consumer magazines to reach the market and create awareness. If the advertising helps generate enough marginal sales, allowing a company to further enjoy economies of scale, it becomes MORE cost effective to advertise than not. Essentially, good advertising LOWERS the cost of a product, it doesn't increase it!!! For companies like B&W, Paradigm, Klipsch, Yamaha, NAD, this makes sense."

Hmm but your later statement( despite popular belief, advertising does NOT usually increase sales substantially) says that advertising doesn't generate added new sales so which is it? Of course if you can make 20 speakers an hour as opposed to 10 an hour with the same staff - then IF you can attribute the $5,000.00 you paid for the add that week and crunch the numbers then theoretically it COULD allow them to lower the cost of the product - but it would have to significantly increase sales which you say advertising doesn't do - so this is HIGHLY UNLIKELY. And this is not just the cost of running the ad - someone had to make it - either B&W does it in ouse with a marketing department or contracts it out - it would be much cheaper to have word of mouth - but often it's pretty poor when you just look at the present speaker forum page at AA. I was the one who went to bat for them incidentally.
Originally Posted by RGA

My dealer indicates that Audio Note is at a hefty disadvantage by not advertising - and even to you that should be obvious.

This isn't true...First Audio Note is advertising...don't lie to yourself. There's more than 1 way to advertise. Second, Audio Note best serves its target market by NOT taking out full page ads in Stereophile at this point in time. Peter Q is a shrewd business person who knows a thing or two about Micheal Porter's marketing theories. Sneaky Pete knows that Audio Note ads in Stereophile (or whatever) will not increase enough extra sales to offset the cost. But he's rather rapidly expanding distribution network, so the name and product are getting the reach and frequency - two terms consistent with a solid marketing campaign."

Of course it's true. When you go in and look at the paradigm gear at least here - they have a nice printed glossy on a plastic stand that shows (most awarded speaker company over the last XX years by some outfit or other blah blah) Most consumers want reassurance on something before they buy. Sure I felt the AN K was the best standmount they carried but i wanted to check into the company before i bought - like are they going to be there in 3 years shoudl something go wrong - and why do they sound that good when for 5 years I kept hearing the barrage of advertising that slim line curved edges and small woofers were the only way to get good high end sound.

Most dealers will have a nice pamphlet rack and you can get the pamphlet of the speakers - and reviews. What is the "other form of advertising that Peter is doing?" He has a shoddy unupdated website that even by my uncritical of websites stance is truly abysmal - surely you jest that if people going to the B&W and Paradigm web-sites and the Audio Note site they are going to be blown away by the AN site. And incidentally the site was set-up by a fan boy reviewer - the part that was not dedicated to kit parts. Peter has little interest in most of this stuff which is blatantly obvious. Call it a snob approach but he is really only interested in people who are going to listen to gear before they buy and not go by name brand etc. He knows full well that if it's any good people will want it people will talk about it and people will buy it. And when it doesn't happen like the AX One - he takes his lumps and stops selling it. No one is perfect.

The only way Peter is going to increase his distribution network while his company is very little known(and it's really not that known outside of forums) is to impress dealers with his product and those dealers need the recquired bucks to carry it. They are WAY more of a risk than picking up B&W. Soundhounds has to BUY the equipment and then has to try and sell it - if it doesn't sell they dump it. It's that simple. Dealers make their own judgments - Terry will go to the shows and ask for a try out in his store - and if it works out they'll pick up the line. And you could argue that they'll push Audio Note on the customer - that is a type of advertising - but they can't do that because they represent several brands - if B&W caught Soundhounds saying Audio Note is the best and B&W is ****e then B&W would pull their line.

Peter has been in business more than 20 years - there are plenty of more profitable paths he could have taken but chose not to do so - there are so many things that they do that hurt themselves from a sales perspective whichrun counter to sneaky profit first mentality. Which isn't to say they don;t run at a profit - so they should - I hope it's a high profit too - they deserve it IMO.
Originally Posted by RGA

all of this has zero to do with the sound of the speakers - and because it has zero to do with the sound Peter doesn't pay for it.

Here, your arguments lose the most credibility...1st, Audio Note's website probably wasn't free to design, or free to maintain...I'm sure they cost Peter SOME money,and yet the presence of that website in cyber space has no impact on the physical properties of my Uncle Rob's AN E's, J's K's, etc. Similarly, when Peter sends his dealer network (and potential dealers) AN speakers to try out, he absorbs the cost...but this form of advertising doesn't make the speakers sound any better either. Peter spends money to advertise his products, and that money doesn't always go directly to sound improvement.
Peter AIN'T the sweet little angel you think he is.

Umm there are necessary advertising costs - obviously you have to send the product to a dealer for them to try out - it's not communism after all, the guy is still in business - the guy runs a company - and he likes what he does - he's all over the place - at every show, designing (though he has a team) new gear tinkering with other designs and talking to people on forums - buying tubes of the net and listens to music. Of course there IS advertising - I mean the speakers have a logo for heaven sake. That advertising is in my estimation limited to the basic necessary advertising - and the advertising itself is not an attempt to get people presold to it. Go in and listen and you tell me which is best - like some business people they are in business for the GAME of it. They want theirs to be best - Audio Note has an almost religious following in the audio world because a large segment is on board with their soudn and their approach - he wants a legacy that 20 years from now people will be wanting his gear like people want vinyl. Because he could have made more money on another avenue.
Originally Posted by RGA

Plenty of companies in most all sectors have examples of companies that cheap out on parts to save costs to increase profits - sometimes no one notices sometimes companies get called for it and they get into some serious trouble.

Not too mention the countless examples provided by the Japanese when lower costs come WITHOUT sacrificng product quality and performance...ahem...Toyota, Yamaha, etc.

I don;t get this - A Honda Civic costs double today what it did 15 years ago but cost of living has not doubled. Yes the Honda Civic is a better car today but then so it should be. And the 1970's amplifiers were built FAR FAR better than your $400.00 receiver schlock that are selling now. I know I have one. Sure the new ones do more stuff but build is atrocious - and Marantz is about as good as the others for the same money - i bought it because it had 3 yrs on the warranty digital outputs and a bigger power supply than comparable Yamaha and Denon(and weighed a over 2 full pounds more). And it's still not up to some of those Sansui/Sony's of the 1970s.

Originally Posted by RGA

You also dismiss any possibility that advertising could EVER sell anyone on anything - hmm you should tell the ad exutives about this nugget of wisdom - advertising has no effect - neat!

Most advertising doesn't brainswash...RGA, I suspect by your posts here that you truly don't know much about the advertising industry other than what anti-capitalism propoganda tells you...despite popular belief, advertising does NOT usually increase sales substantially. It does make people remember and associate the very best, it capitalizes on impulse buyers. Most of the time it creates awareness and prompts people to investigate.
Coca-Cola, MacIntosh, Nike, GM, GE, and IBM are the worst advertisers of all time in terms of generating new sales. They're also the most frequently picked on. Ever wonder why Gas/Oil companies advertise? So do I, no new sales being generated here.

I don;t have too much problem with your examples - name recognition serves advertising more so than NEW sales - but only when there is not much of a new sales market to reach. For example Coca Cola already has a huge fan base or customer base that drinks Coke and they already have a certain level of pop market share - there is really no where for them to go but down. So Coke ads are there to keep their name out there and perhpas to sustain themselves as king. And McIntosh has a giant to go after and thereis only so much they'll be able to do no matter what they advertise.

it depends on the company - if you are NOT a household name you need advertising. The film industry is a prime example - when a movie comes out they advertise heavily at first - then there is a freeze on advertising until the movie hits a plateau - then they advertise once again(I can't remember the ebb and flow cycle of this in full from the advertising class I aced several years ago but it was similar to the plot cycle of a movie or book.

My dad used to say that when some movies would come out and advertise to the hilt almost every commercial break that gee it must be a pretty lousy movie if they need to advertise the hell out of it to get you to go and see it. A lot of the time he was right too - the good ol' Shawshank Redemption and Schindler's List were examples of films with little front advertising that the former through word of mouth became around that time the biggest renatl film in history - word of mouth.

Petro Can advertises Nationalstic things in the hopes people will buy Canadian. Whether it works or not I don't know. What works for me is price since in BC all the gas comes from the exact same place - but i know people who insist that Chevron has the best quality gas. Personally I like to go the Real Canadian Superstore where they goive you 5 cents per litre coupon on your groceries - and since they are one of the cheapest to buy groceries to start with that's a heckuva deal. I'd argue thatt they NEED to advertise this more.
Originally Posted by RGA

I don't think that most consumers are like us however - my dealer has been in business over 30 years - most people know what they are going to buy before they even listen - they come in and say I want to listen to the B&W or the Paradigm - they listen for a bit and buy it. I think you give way way way way too much credit for the buying habits of most people - and to support my case that advertising LEADS the purchavse is the king of the speaker industry BOSE. Proof that some of the shoddiest systems with gross frequency response problems and generally horrid sound can sell more than the next top 3 speaker makers combined.

Most consumers don't put $3000 of their student loan fund towards Wharfedale and Arcam gear like you and I either RGA...they don't have the time to research what makes a good speaker good...and they can't just listen, because in all honesty, even BOSE sounds good to an untrained ear. Sometimes Bose sounds good to trained ears that aren't necessarily looking for the most accurate stereo image reproduction. Bose delivers what it sells to people. Decent sound, great looks, excellent warranty and consumer support. Audiophiles are really a bit too hard on Bose. In all honesty though, it isn't magazine ads that sell Bose. If it was that easy, Samsung could be making zillions doing it right now too...for a very long time now it's been "word-of-mouth"...which is kind of funny when you think about it... Audio Note and BOSE aren't really that different after all!!!

Bose runs television commercials and they don't let you A/B them against other stuff - and they have sales tactics. Most dealers would love to carry Bose. There is a Very high end dealer in Vancouver called Sound Plus that carries the top Maggies, Dynaudios, Sonus Faber, PMC Wilson(which is where I auditioned the Sophia) and when you walk in they carry Bose. This is a big mistake to me. If the dealer is willing to carry and sell this to people on the merrits of sound(which I overheard him doing) then I am less trusful of such dealers. Commercial Electronics sells a near equivelant in B&O but my delaer who sold more B&O than any in the country and won a 2 week holliday from B&O as a result always told people that they're great stylish speakers but mentioned that the other brands they carried for similar or less money sound better. He sold more probably because he was honest about it - the customer obviously would discover this but the fact that he wasn;t trying to blow sunchine where it doesn't shine was probably appreciated. Soundhounds has said most people about 4 years ago before we went more to a tightwad Liberal(Republicanlike) gov't were students spending their student loan money on stereo gear. I'm pretty cheapskate oriented as best as I possibly can be. I usually buy stuff significanlty cheaper than my intended budget if I don't perceive added value - I was going to buy the RS1 headphone - to me the HD 600s at less than half the money were better - I don't spend it or am influenced by it because it costs more - I used to be but I could admit the mistakes of those purchases - on the other hand some things that are pricey are bloody well worth it and I don't denigrate something I can't afford to make myself feel better.

Lot's of people buy their 2k speaker and then start claiming how brilliant it is and then imply that anything spent over that is subject to diminishing returns and that you only get some made up % improvement --- all of that is to make themselves feel better. I know exactly where my stands against what I have heard - I don't pretend that my NAD Turntable is a giant killer and that people are crazy to buy a Linn - because even though I can;t afford the Linn - I'm not going to live in la-la land that because I can only afford the NAD it is now the point where improvement is only 2%.

I agree if all you ever listened to was an AM clock Radio then the Bose might sound excellent - no question that prior experience matters a lot. You might say that that Bose is 50 times better - well to me that's what I get from going from a B&W 705 or Paradigm Studio 100 running of 5k worth of Bryston to an Audio Note set up - IMO there is no comparison.