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Why are there no inexpensive premium Mic Pre's

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Anonymous
January 14, 2005 10:14:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
they are and i am naive about this).
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 5:05:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1105715685.332502.185960@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
gil <gregory.c.gilmore@citigroup.com> wrote:
>Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
>Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
>china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
>they are and i am naive about this).

Partly because it is VERY difficult to get any degree of quality with
offshore manufacture.

Partly because it won't actually reduce the cost, since for many of these
devices, the labor costs are already low compared with the parts that go
into them.

Partly because most of these are only small production items, so the huge
cost improvements that you get with mass production is not possible. Not
many people really want to buy quality products.

There is an enormous gap in manufacturing quality between the high end
gear and most of the MI-grade stuff. Some of the high end gear _is_
manufactured offshore, but for the most part that's primarily gear that
sells in large enough quantity for it to be worthwhile.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 6:47:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1105715685.332502.185960@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com> gregory.c.gilmore@citigroup.com writes:

> Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
> Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
> china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
> they are and i am naive about this).

Frankly, I don't see why any of the better transformerless designs
couldn't at least be partially manufactured in China to save some
money, but transformers are a big problem. Audio transformers are one
area where Chinese manufacturers don't do very well, and there isn't
such a large market for high quality transformers that a Jensen or
Lundhahl hasn't gone over there and taught them how.

The Mackie Onyx 800R at about $100 per channel including a decent but
not top-of-the-line digital output is nothing to sneeze at. But an API
is a thing of beauty and joy.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
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Anonymous
January 14, 2005 7:19:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <znr1105720140k@trad>, Mike Rivers <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:
>In article <1105715685.332502.185960@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com> gregory.c.gilmore@citigroup.com writes:
>
>> Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
>> Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
>> china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
>> they are and i am naive about this).
>
>Frankly, I don't see why any of the better transformerless designs
>couldn't at least be partially manufactured in China to save some
>money, but transformers are a big problem. Audio transformers are one
>area where Chinese manufacturers don't do very well, and there isn't
>such a large market for high quality transformers that a Jensen or
>Lundhahl hasn't gone over there and taught them how.

It was really hilarious watching the Chinese transformer company at the
last AES show come over to the Lundahl booth. They were all very confused
about the whole thing. Per Lundahl basically told them that he only made
a couple of specialty power transformers because it really wasn't worth
the money to do power types, and they looked at him as if he was insane.
When he showed them the wideband audio stuff, they basically looked at
them with blank stares.

Audio transformers used to be cheap commodity items, but now they are basically
specialty items that are mostly handmade, and there isn't enough demand for
them for them to be anything but.

>The Mackie Onyx 800R at about $100 per channel including a decent but
>not top-of-the-line digital output is nothing to sneeze at. But an API
>is a thing of beauty and joy.

Yes, and the input transformer on the API probably costs about ten times
what all the parts on the 800R channel cost put together.

Currently, the Chinese do not want to be bothered with small production
run items of high quality. This is a shame, because they have people who
are entirely capable of doing that kind of work. But there is nowhere near
as much money in it.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 7:23:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"gil" <gregory.c.gilmore@citigroup.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:1105715685.332502.185960@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
> Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
> china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
> they are and i am naive about this).
>

They are - It's called Behringer.
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 7:23:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> They are - It's called Behringer.

heh...good call.....if you want a good cheap mic pre why don't you get an
RNP?

--

Jonny Durango

"Patrick was a saint. I ain't."

http://www.jdurango.com



"Jakob B. Olsen" <spam@qwerty.org> wrote in message
news:41e7e3e2$0$150$edfadb0f@dread14.news.tele.dk...
> "gil" <gregory.c.gilmore@citigroup.com> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:1105715685.332502.185960@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
> > Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
> > china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
> > they are and i am naive about this).
> >
>
> They are - It's called Behringer.
>
>
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 7:23:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jakob B. Olsen" <spam@qwerty.org> wrote in message
news:41e7e3e2$0$150$edfadb0f@dread14.news.tele.dk...
> "gil" <gregory.c.gilmore@citigroup.com> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:1105715685.332502.185960@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
> > Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
> > china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
> > they are and i am naive about this).
> >
>
> They are - It's called Behringer.
>

Not the same pre's.

jb
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 8:15:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

i second the idea on the China=lame transformer equation.

i had a computer setup thing with two wallwart power transformers. one
transformer was doa, the second tanked within a month.
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 8:49:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

gil wrote:

> Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
> Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
> china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
> they are and i am naive about this).

http://www.google.com/advanced_group_search?hl=en

This has been covered a lot here over the years. For starters, you can't
a good transformer cheaply. Dig the cost of a fine Jenesen. Etc.

--
ha
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 8:49:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jakob B. Olsen wrote:

> "gil" wrote...
> > Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
> > Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
> > china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
> > they are and i am naive about this).


> They are - It's called Behringer.

And at this point that is to those other preamps as is cheez whiz to
brie.

--
ha
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 9:35:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 14 Jan 2005 07:14:45 -0800, "gil" <gregory.c.gilmore@citigroup.com>
wrote:

>Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
>Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
>china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
>they are and i am naive about this).

Because the cost of the parts and the engineering is already high, so
there is no point in trying to save a few bucks with cheap labour.

Because even if you built them with cheap labour, the parts cost would
still be high, and the sales volume would be small, so it wouldn't
justify going all the way to China to build them.

Did I just say the same thing twice? Strange echo in this room!

Mike T.
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 11:28:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Component costs... it's not all about the design, it's also about the
quality of the parts. The way most people cut costs (besides moving
the manufacturing to China) is to use cheaper parts.

Al

On 14 Jan 2005 07:14:45 -0800, "gil" <gregory.c.gilmore@citigroup.com>
wrote:

>Just a thought: Why is that premium mic preamps with designs like
>Avalon, API, UA, etc. are not made for a fraction of their cost in
>china or other countries with sufficient manfacturing expertise (Maybe
>they are and i am naive about this).
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 11:54:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <cs9d1q$ila$1@panix2.panix.com> kludge@panix.com writes:

> Currently, the Chinese do not want to be bothered with small production
> run items of high quality. This is a shame, because they have people who
> are entirely capable of doing that kind of work. But there is nowhere near
> as much money in it.

Apparently Quantegy has adopted the same econonimc principle.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
January 15, 2005 1:43:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike T." <miket@invalid.net> wrote in message
news:6o3gu0hfis84lc2paclcjvgm4mk5urg24f@4ax.com...

> Strange echo in this room!

Call Ethan!

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Anonymous
January 15, 2005 6:40:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"play on" <playonAT@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:vs6hu0d2qt9hhtjicvfoteihks9f26f1op@4ax.com...
> Component costs... it's not all about the design, it's also about the
> quality of the parts. The way most people cut costs (besides moving
> the manufacturing to China) is to use cheaper parts.

The inexpensive Chinese fabricators are notorious for substituting even
cheaper parts plus there are problems with counterfeit parts in addition to
the risk of counterfeit versions of your product turning up on the market.
I've heard several people say that they tried it and found the hidden extra
QC costs alone exceeded anything that could be saved on a small run.

The downside of Moore's law is that while new mass-produced products get
cheaper, the same market forces drive the cost of niche products through the
roof because they can no longer be built from mass produced parts. There's
no free lunch...

--
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com
Anonymous
January 15, 2005 6:40:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Bob Olhsson" <olh@hyperback.com> wrote in message
news:BPaGd.23429$w62.20333@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...

> The inexpensive Chinese fabricators are notorious for substituting even
> cheaper parts plus there are problems with counterfeit parts in addition to
> the risk of counterfeit versions of your product turning up on the market.

There's a certain irony in that I find satisfying.

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Anonymous
January 15, 2005 6:40:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Ty Ford wrote:
>
> I heard an SM58 through and OLD Peavy live board a few years back that
> sounded a lot better than I expected. I'm guessing Hartley knew what to leave
> in and what to leave out.

Around 1981, I used to mix on a 24-channel Peavey board (white on black front panel, decent length faders) that had been modified with Jensen transformers on its inputs. Nice.
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 4:29:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< And at this point that is to those other preamps as is cheez whiz to
brie. >>



Another food analogy!
Did anyone read that acoustics primer in this months Pro Audio Review? I didn't
learn much (except from John Storyk's sidebar), but I sure was hungry after I
put the mag down!
Kevin M. Kelly
"There needs to be a 12-step program for us gearheads"
!