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  1. #1
    Ajani
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    Strange Marketing/Design Decisions

    So I’m the very slow process of rebuilding my 2 channel setup and hence have been reading up on just about any brands/products I hear about…. During this time, I’ve come across a few strange marketing/design decisions….

    Marantz – Marantz America chose to launch the PM7001/SA7001 Integrated Amp/CD Combo as their entry level, 2 channel gear in America… Nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that they chose to upgrade the SA7001 CD Player to a more expensive SA8001 Player, but left the matching amp unchanged…. So now they have a $900 CD player being sold with a $600 Integrated Amp… which makes sense only to the few ‘source first’ advocates… even stranger about this pairing is the fact that Marantz has a great reputation for CD Players in North America, but no so much for their current Amps…. So maybe this move could have worked in Europe or other places where their amps are still well regarded, but in North America???

    Onkyo – Onkyo has a new entry level 2 channel combo in direct competition with the Marantz one…. The A-9555/DX-7555 Combo consists of an $800 Integrated Amp and a $700 CD player (much better pricing than Marantz)… but the strangest thing to me is that the CD player doesn’t have a detachable power cord…. Now I’m not a modder, or a believer in upgrading power supplies but I know many audiophiles are…. So why drop a CD player for $700 with a fixed power cord???

    Cambridge Audio – CA introduced the 840C ($1.5K) and more recently the 740C ($1K) CD Players with one major bonus over the majority of their competitors… Digital Inputs… a good decision as it allows the players to be used as both stand alone CD players and external DACs… The only question I have is… Why not take it one step further? Why not either add a USB input or drop one of the digital inputs and have a USB input instead? Computer audio is such a popular trend that this seems to be a no-brainer… even more so considering that CA dropped the 640H music server with 3 USB inputs over 3 years ago… so they clearly recognize the trend and have the technology available…

    Feel free to comment on any of these decisions and to add your own… Come across any design/marketing moves that made you scratch your head recently???
    Last edited by Ajani; 02-14-2008 at 06:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular filecat13's Avatar
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    Question

    I need to be sure what you mean by "dropped."
    I like sulung tang.

  3. #3
    Ajani
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    Sorry about that... I changed 'dropped' to 'introduced'....

  4. #4
    Ajani
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    One more to add to the list:

    Musical Fidelity - As much as I love their products, I just don't understand what the current strategy is... MF cut short the lifecycle of their A3.5 (150 Watt per channel Integrated amp) and launched the 50 Watt per channel XT-100 ($1.5K) and now the 20 Watt per channel A1 (Approximately $2K?).... This at first seems to contradict all their recent campaigns about the need for high powered amplifiers... untill you realize that they are trying to encourage you to combine these products with either their 550K ($5K) or 750K ($10K) superchargers (550 Watts and 750 Watts respectively).... Sure that strategy makes sense untill you take into account the price differences between the products...

    Is someone who spent between $1.5K or $2K on a low powered Integrated Amplifier likely to pair it with a $5K or $10K Supercharger??? Can they afford to???

    Now if they had 350K and 150K Superchargers for say $2.5K and $1.25K then the move would probably make more sense, but as it is it just seems really far fetched...

    Also, speaking of the Current X Series of products.... The previous X Series was highly upgradeable... you could keep adding parts and upgraded power supplies to your heart's content... start with a cheap simple setup and slowly upgrade the power, add a dac, add a power amp, add a Tube output buffer, add upgraded power supplies... the current series come with no internal power supplies (apart from the XDAC V8), meaning you have to buy at least one power supply to use any of the components... there is no power amp available to replace the 50 Watts on the XT100, but there is a more expensive power supply option that will add a whopping 20 watts or so to the output of the integrated (I hope the sarcasm wasn't too much)... the XRAY V8 CD player is sold for the same price as the XT100 Integrated Amp + the Basic Power Supply... to Upgrade the CD Player, the only option is to buy the XDAC V8 (which has an internal power supply, DAC and Tube Output Buffer)... thus doubling the cost of the CD player and guess what... that $1.5K CD player now becomes just a transport... So you're left with a $1.5K 50 Watt per channel Integrated Amp and a $3K Tube DAC and Transport... or you can spend $500 more to get a $2K 70 Watt per channel Integrated Amp and a $3K Tube DAC and Transport... Sounds a lot like the strange Amp to CD player price ratio that Marantz uses on their PM7001/SA8001 Combo...

  5. #5
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    havent you heard? the high end CD player is dead, basically.
    If you want to stoke your ego and have a toy to play with fine, but thats basically all they are good for now.
    I have most of my "CD" collection on a HD that cost 99 bucks, runs into a 39$
    external soundcard (soon to be replaced by a USB dac) and the sound is some of the best I HAVE EVER HEARD.
    If your main concern is music then this is the way to go, if you're main concern is
    putting the kids of a bunch of industry execs through college by buying gear that is increasingly made in China by political prisoners for a buck eighty a unit and sold for thousands over here, then go at it.
    I'm in it for the music
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
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    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  6. #6
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    havent you heard? the high end CD player is dead, basically.
    If you want to stoke your ego and have a toy to play with fine, but thats basically all they are good for now.
    I have most of my "CD" collection on a HD that cost 99 bucks, runs into a 39$
    external soundcard (soon to be replaced by a USB dac) and the sound is some of the best I HAVE EVER HEARD.
    If your main concern is music then this is the way to go, if you're main concern is
    putting the kids of a bunch of industry execs through college by buying gear that is increasingly made in China by political prisoners for a buck eighty a unit and sold for thousands over here, then go at it.
    I'm in it for the music
    I believe your point to be futile to most of us on this forum, no one is paying attention to your comments on high-end CD players.

  7. #7
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    havent you heard? the high end CD player is dead, basically.
    If you want to stoke your ego and have a toy to play with fine, but thats basically all they are good for now.
    I have most of my "CD" collection on a HD that cost 99 bucks, runs into a 39$
    external soundcard (soon to be replaced by a USB dac) and the sound is some of the best I HAVE EVER HEARD.
    If your main concern is music then this is the way to go, if you're main concern is
    putting the kids of a bunch of industry execs through college by buying gear that is increasingly made in China by political prisoners for a buck eighty a unit and sold for thousands over here, then go at it.
    I'm in it for the music
    I'm not sure how this post relates to any of what I've been saying in this thread... or to me for that matter, since I'm a Computer Audio fan as well... so right now I'm looking for an Integrated Amp and a USB DAC (No CD player)....

  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Good strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    I'm not sure how this post relates to any of what I've been saying in this thread... or to me for that matter, since I'm a Computer Audio fan as well... so right now I'm looking for an Integrated Amp and a USB DAC (No CD player)....
    Provided you are willing to rip your CDs (back up the resulting files) this is good strategy. There is no doubt that computer lossless or WAV files can sound as good or better than a CDP in anything but the very high price range. The main key is the DAC, although computer, sound card, and software are also factors.

  9. #9
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    havent you heard? the high end CD player is dead, basically.
    If you want to stoke your ego and have a toy to play with fine, but thats basically all they are good for now.
    I have most of my "CD" collection on a HD that cost 99 bucks, runs into a 39$
    external soundcard (soon to be replaced by a USB dac) and the sound is some of the best I HAVE EVER HEARD.
    If your main concern is music then this is the way to go, if you're main concern is
    putting the kids of a bunch of industry execs through college by buying gear that is increasingly made in China by political prisoners for a buck eighty a unit and sold for thousands over here, then go at it.
    I'm in it for the music

    obviously you are deaf, and your reference hifi shop is called best buy.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  10. #10
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    I don't get the KEF Muon. I like KEF to the point that I use some in a secondary system, but $145,000.00?? It will be interesting to see how long the "limited edition" labors in obscurity until ads start popping up on the Gon and the like.

    http://reviews.digitaltrends.com/fir..._Speakers.html

  11. #11
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    I promise

    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    I don't get the KEF Muon. I like KEF to the point that I use some in a secondary system, but $145,000.00?? It will be interesting to see how long the "limited edition" labors in obscurity until ads start popping up on the Gon and the like.

    http://reviews.digitaltrends.com/fir..._Speakers.html
    I solemnly promise to not even consider getting Muons.

  12. #12
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    ...runs into a 39$ external soundcard (soon to be replaced by a USB dac) and the sound is some of the best I HAVE EVER HEARD.
    You have our condolences.

    rw

  13. #13
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    I don't get the KEF Muon. I like KEF to the point that I use some in a secondary system, but $145,000.00?? It will be interesting to see how long the "limited edition" labors in obscurity until ads start popping up on the Gon and the like.

    http://reviews.digitaltrends.com/fir..._Speakers.html

    weird is that they're actually using the same drivers as in their reference series speakers, which cost about... lessay $10 grand or so? so you pay like lessay $135 grand for the enclosure and the xover...

    they are a work of art, but please, for such money, no thanks...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  14. #14
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    You have our condolences.

    rw
    And you mine.
    With those electrostatics its the kids of local electrical company execs you're putting
    through college



    See that light coming through the tunnel? Its called the FUTURE.
    When CD first came out you could walk into even a low rent store and they had a wall of nothing but turntables.
    I bought a Denon receiver in 85 or so, listened to riki lee jones on a thorens turntable before I MADE MY DECISION.
    Most these days dont even know what a friggin turntable IS
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  15. #15
    Forum Regular diggity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    I don't get the KEF Muon. I like KEF to the point that I use some in a secondary system, but $145,000.00?? It will be interesting to see how long the "limited edition" labors in obscurity until ads start popping up on the Gon and the like.

    http://reviews.digitaltrends.com/fir..._Speakers.html

    yeah i agree 145k is a bit much. 120k at best but i could haggle them down to 100k at local store i reckon

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