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Author Topic: Who's next?  (Read 3683 times)

John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Who's next?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 10:30:53 am »

I have been out of those markets for over a decade but the rules have not changed that much. In my (old) experience the market price of products depends more on the cost to build them based on feature content and technology, than it depends on arbitrary "how much can we skin the suckers for".  Reducing a price to meet competition is not proof that the previous price was too high based on their cost, only that the former price was not competitive based on new market conditions. You do what you must do to move boxes, and not eat dead inventory. 

Otherwise similar products from small companies cost more because it cost more for small companies to build them, and they have a smaller denominator (gross sales) to spread their fixed overhead costs across. Conversely a large company like Behringer has very low manufacturing cost and a very large denominator to spread it's overhead across.

While I give Behringer credit for pioneering that new lower price point for digital mixers (thanks to tooling their own motor-faders and perhaps other formerly expensive sub-assemblies). My suspicion is they don't actually use any unique technology that other's can't replicate. They are the first to that spot in the marketplace and have delivered in quantity so will harvest a lot of the initial demand. If they had unique technology they could have ramped up more slowly. IMO others can replicate the general approach. I will now pause for a moment of silent reflection at the though of other majors "copying" Behringer.  ;D ;D ;D

While I vaguely recall Behringer buying the IP from a failing digital IC company that included some switching technology years ago, my suspicion is that the recent low cost high power amps in the market from a few companies are probably based on 3rd party technology that the 3rd party wants to sell to all comers, so prices will probably follow the typical spreads between different manufacturers that exist for current products with similar features.

Finally I like to talk about professional robustness, and other aspects people like to mislabel as quality as simply features, that more professional customers pay up for. Along similar lines, Behringer's lower market price is "feature-like" but paid for by Behringer out of their profit margin to secure market share and prevent easy competition.

I suspect the ongoing charm offensive from Behringer is an attempt to raise the brand image so they can reduce some of that need to buy market share. They are already spending more on customer service than historically (or so it appears) so they could use the extra margin to stand still.

Of course this will leave room beneath their price points for new competition, but I don't expect that to come from old established players, probably some new big dog from another category that sees "pro" audio (and I use the term "pro" loosely) as easy pickings. Consumer audio is far more competitive.

Caveat Lector, this is 100% speculation on my part and I have no inside information about current products or any of the companies discussed, other that what I see and read on public forums.  YMMV

JR   
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Tom Burgess

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Re: Who's next?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 10:36:03 am »

I'd look for some "down-line percolation."  Harmon will pimp a brand name (JBL should never have the JRX under their name), but I'm not sure they'd do $300 Crowns.  Among the prosumer brands owned by Harman is Pyle.  We might see "Pyle - with Crown heritage inside!"  In the case of mixer competition, Harman had to do something very quickly when the X32 finally started shipping out of China.  The question is, at what level do they want to play at this price point?

Neither Harmon nor Yamaha are new kids or lightweight players.  It will be interesting to see what they offer up in the next 9 months.  QSC?  You'd have to ask Pat Quilter.
Tim, I don't believe Harman owns Pyle.  I can't find anything on either Pyle's or Harman's website and with Harman being a publicly traded company that type of info should be readily available.  Here's a link to their 2012 Shareholder report and there's definitely no Pyle listed in the portfolio of brands:

http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/HAR/2406188422x0x608862/E74D5E84-D770-43E2-A74B-250942EA672C/HARMAN_RTS2012_web.pdf

You are absolutely correct in their not being lightweights, though.  I'd bet their car audio division alone dwarfs all the stuff their pro guys are doing.  I don't think they could ever sell enough $300.00 Crowns (XLS1000) to approach the income of their "Lifestyle" divison.   :D
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Who's next?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 10:47:14 am »

Buzz around town says QSC is bringing a new digital desk out for a run in a local venue this week.

I have heard rumors of a QSC console that integrates directly into the Qsys platform.  In my eyes, this is a true "game changer".  A unified system from Mixer, to DSP, to Amps, to Speakers.  Harman would have something if they could pick a common transfer protocol.
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Who's next?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2013, 02:02:44 pm »

[snip]...this is a true "game changer".  A unified system from Mixer, to DSP, to Amps, to Speakers.

You mean like Meyer's LCS and now D-Mitri system?
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Who's next?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2013, 11:39:41 pm »

You mean like Meyer's LCS and now D-Mitri system?

I did not realize Meyer made a mixing console.

Does anyone use them?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 11:43:58 pm by David Sturzenbecher »
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Brandon Wright

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Re: Who's next?
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2013, 11:51:58 pm »

Of all people, it seems like Lab Gruppen is feeling the heat. It will be interesting to see if this new "game changer" is a compromise or rather a "re-packaging" for a lower price point.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Who's next?
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2013, 12:13:04 am »

I did not realize Meyer made a mixing console.

Does anyone use them?

LCS is mostly used on big Vegas type shows that have huge numbers of outputs and automation. It is a very complex system. Long ago Meyer made an analog console but I don't know if they were ever available in the US.

Mac
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Who's next?
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2013, 12:39:12 am »

I did not realize Meyer made a mixing console.

Does anyone use them?

Cirque du Soliel uses (or used) at least one LCS system in Las Vegas. 
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Ron Hebbard

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Re: Who's next?
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2013, 12:41:21 am »

I did not realize Meyer made a mixing console.

Does anyone use them?

In Canada; The Stratford Festival, The Shaw Festival and the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario to name three.

Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Who's next?
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2013, 11:48:03 am »

This is less of an evolution in technology and more a cross between branding/line extension and big companies trying to get bigger by expanding into other company's markets after they hit the wall for market share expansion in their primary market.

I believe QSC was wise to expand into powered loudspeakers as a method of protecting their flanks from market dilution from powered speakers that I have been predicting for a very long time and expect to grow in utility and popularity.

Suggesting that an legacy amp company making a console is some kind of a "game changer", including big name console designer association strikes me as more fan boy love for a given brand than rational market analysis. Speaking as an ex-console designer, if they were so hot, they wouldn't be available,  8) while it is good that that the amp company in charge recognize the need for actual console specific experience. 

From a technology POV, I expect, and have predicted a divergence between the control surface and brains or guts of the console, with both eventually morphing into different variant technologies. The guts IMO will end up distributed around a shared network of remaining utilitarian functional units (like powered speakers, microphones, instruments, and little else that absolutely can't be integrated into one of those two.) The control surface function will likewise end up in some game controller technology, perhaps google glasses with capability to recognize hand movements in the context of the environment ("I'm squeezing your head"), combined with smarter expert system software to anticipate and sometimes make sound system decisions for the operator, who logically could  end up being one of the performers as the relative cost of human operators makes them a luxury only afforded by large shows.   

Or not... the future hasn't happened yet.

JR
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