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Author Topic: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?  (Read 36724 times)

John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2009, 04:52:22 pm »

Art Welter wrote on Thu, 19 February 2009 14:30

JR (and Don),

Sorry to pick on Peavey, they make good products at good values.
I probably should not have made the comment I did, since I can’t even remember the model number of the one Peavey I bought, and it was a long time ago.

I can’t seem to find anything on line now that looks like what I remember the amp I bought back then, but it may have been badged PV.

Back in 1993 I was down to only two old power amps, a Yamaha P 2200 and a Crest 2500. The P2200 was rated at 350 into 4 ohms, the Crest less, and I needed more power for some subs that went low but were not very efficient.

The Peavey  I bought  was rated at around 600 at 4, and 1000 at 2, IIRC, so I figured it should be a noticeable step up in power. I found what appeared to be a MI quality amp with a two ohm rating unusual for that time.

My brother had had a ton of CS 400 and CS 800 in rentals for years, and they worked fine, so I figured hey,  I’m just working with a jump blues band, should be OK.

The “new” Peavey seemed too light for a 1000 watt rating though, weighed less than a CS 800 or the Yammie, though I don’t think it used a switching power supply. It seemed more in the CS 400 or Crest 2500 weight range, and as it turned out, usable power range.

Anyway, the Yamaha P2200 put out significantly more SPL with no indicated or audible clipping than the “new” higher rated Peavey model. Fortunately for me the Peavey blew up on the second gig and I was able to return it and get my money back.

Perhaps it was never putting out what it was supposed to, but I suspect what was happening was more along the lines of what you described with the CS800x taken to a further marketing extreme for a market segment that does not spend much time looking at specs.



I was no fan of the first generation PV amps 4C, 8.5C and 1.3K.. (all 4 ohm power model names BTW).  After I got involved in managing the power amp program and became responsible for them, I raised the cost of those units (that was a fight with the guy who's name is on all the buildings) and had engineering revisit that series. I mainly had them add output devices. This was primarily to lower distortion, and didn't have an impact on rated power or duty cycle.  I have no reservations about recommending the later PV amps: PV2000, PV1200, etc (as long as somebody else is lifting them, Cool that PV2000 was a hoss). FWIW, that PV2000 had a sub crossover built in that doesn't suck, but I may be a little biased.

In an unrelated review of reliability vis a vis service activity and warranty claims the only amp I found a problem in was the PV260 (smallest puppy in that series) where the the number of field failures was out of line with the sales volume. When I pinged engineering to explain they found a wrong value in a protection circuit which we easily corrected. It was a low enough volume product that nobody really noticed before we did that study. Statistical analysis is our friend.  

The PV series was an exercise in how cheap can you make a power amp (in response to competition), before widespread use of plastic power devices, and Chinese labor. The PV amps made rated power, but for less duty cycle than the more expensive CSx amps (doh), which had less duty cycle than old legacy CS amps..

The fact that your amp blew up after only 2 gigs makes me suspect that it was a victim of infant failure. If that was my only experience with Peavey I'd probably share your low opinion. After being in the ditches competing with other MI companies I try not to underestimate anybody.

I don't find this power amp stuff very mysterious. Within a given technology more performance costs more money. Technology that delivers more performance for less money will gain market share in an efficient marketplace since cost matters.  

and the beat goes on...

JR
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Elliot Thompson

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Re: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2009, 09:52:07 pm »

John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Thu, 19 February 2009 16:31

Customers basically get exactly as much duty cycle as they are willing to pay for.


The days the majority would invest in products has declined to only a handful of customers. When you hear a few state they are willing to purchase an amplifier that will last them for three years, its obvious they are not the same customers that would rant and rave if their amplifier doesn’t last no less than 10 years before it shows signs of malfunction.

Quote:


Perhaps ironically the old heavy iron (huge) CS800 was 800W until the cows came home, but customers voted with their money to buy cheaper lower duty cycle amps that would put out more power but for less time.  For those not paying attention. The only difference between the 1200W (@ 2x2ohm) CS800x, and 800W (2x4 ohm) CS800 was replacing a fuse with a resettable breaker (to protect the power transformer) and opening up the current limiting. Presto a 1200W amp, but limited to the same long term output as the previous 800W platform.

Any technology platform can be engineered to deliver any duty cycle. The common truism is that more duty cycle, invariably cost more $$. I have seen the customers drive this pursuit of short term power to the limit of acceptable, and to the point where QSC has offered models based on a given platform that trade lower short term peak power for more duty cycle (dropping the rail voltage a few volts, reduces heat dissipation but delivers less peak output.)


This is the part that many need to understand. If customers only want to operate their amplifiers on a 20-amp 120-volt circuit, they will have to accept these short-term, current limited amplifiers when they command wattage that exceeds the amperage versus wattage rating of the circuit.

You’ll find some operating a Crown MA 5000vz (offering a 30-A power cord) from 20-amp receptacle, complaining it is not enough and, want more power. They want more power and, they can’t even feed the MA 5000vz a minimum of 30 amperes from a 120-volt line so, it can nearly meet it’s 4-ohm per channel stereo rating under long-term basis?

What is a manufacture left to do but design amplifiers that deliver the wattage the customer commands in burst?

 
Quote:


It is not the technology.. it's a cognizant design decision based on customer demand. Modern amp technology is remarkable for how much bang we get for a few bux... but we can always complain and second guess the designers. They're just trying to keep the majority of customers happily buying their product.

JR





I agree. As the sales slogan goes, “The Customer is always right” even when they are wrong.

Best Regards,
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Grant Conklin

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Re: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2009, 01:21:50 am »

I'm enjoying all of this discussion.  Help me out though - I assume "duty cycle" means the length of time an amp will sustain rated output?  Or does it refer to how long an amp's life will be?

On another note - Why do companies (like Peavey in this case) do press releases and display product at trade shows 6 months before their release to the public?  I presume it's to whet our appetites so that we hold off an amp purchases in anticipation?  If that's the case, it's working.  But is the product ready today?  If so, why not start shipping already?

Grant
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2009, 02:13:30 am »

Showing prototypes and mockups is very common.  Author Jerry Pournelle referred to software shown this way as "VaporWare."  I'm sure the intention is to get buyers to delay purchases until the vapor condenses or to play industrial psych games with competitors.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
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Grant Conklin

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Re: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2009, 02:17:56 am »

Tim McCulloch wrote on Fri, 20 February 2009 01:13

Showing prototypes and mockups is very common.  Author Jerry Pournelle referred to software shown this way as "VaporWare."  I'm sure the intention is to get buyers to delay purchases until the vapor condenses or to play industrial psych games with competitors.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc



Industrial psych games.  Cool!  I wonder if that is working? Laughing
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Elliot Thompson

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Re: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2009, 07:06:22 am »

Grant Conklin wrote on Fri, 20 February 2009 06:21

I'm enjoying all of this discussion.  Help me out though - I assume "duty cycle" means the length of time an amp will sustain rated output?  


Grant


Yes.

I’ll use the Lab Gruppen FP 13000 for an example. On their current consumption chart the amplifier draws 58 amperes from a 116-volt line before current is compromised. So, it’s output is 6728 watts long-term total when both channels are driven in a 2-ohm load.

Its peak (short-term) wattage is 6500 watts per channel  @ 2 ohms, 13000 watts total. If the amplifier offered 13000 watts @ 2 ohms long-term, it would need 112 amperes under a 116-volt line source. Since it is not designed that way, the amplifier will draw 112 amperes short-term on musical bursts to meet its 13000 watt benchmark.

Best Regards,
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2009, 09:53:56 am »

Grant Conklin wrote on Fri, 20 February 2009 00:21

I'm enjoying all of this discussion.  Help me out though - I assume "duty cycle" means the length of time an amp will sustain rated output?  Or does it refer to how long an amp's life will be?

On another note - Why do companies (like Peavey in this case) do press releases and display product at trade shows 6 months before their release to the public?  I presume it's to whet our appetites so that we hold off an amp purchases in anticipation?  If that's the case, it's working.  But is the product ready today?  If so, why not start shipping already?

Grant


Second question first... Trade shows are for the "TRADE" i.e. dealers, not the consumers.  Dealers need to know what's coming so they can manage their store inventory and plan.  

In my decades of experience it takes time to get a product from concept to full production. Now with so much assembly or full production off shore there are even more lead times involved.

Trade shows are supposed to be for disseminating information to dealers but the industry consumer magazines have turned this into a huge free marketing opportunity so  the information gets out there. I have seen companies in the computer industry literally put themselves out of business by showing next generation products before their time. It has a damping effect on your old product. Larger companies can survive a few bungled releases and dealers learn to add windage to perpetually late companies.

=======

When I say duty cycle in the context of power amps it's mainly a percentage of full power output capability.

A 100% duty cycle means full power 24x7...  This is pretty straightforward, but fractions of this full duty cycle is incredibly difficult to characterize since music does not present a coherent reference stimulus, so any sine wave based test is subject to questionable validity for different genres of music. This is further conflicted by different amp technologies that have different thermal characteristics where they can be engineered to be more efficient for specific types of signals.

I have given this topic a great deal of though, and a definitive standard would be like a stopped clock, is only correct twice a day, a hard standard for musical source reference would be only correct for a narrow or specific type of stimulus.

So in absence of a hard target amp designers use different seat of their pants design approaches. I've know several different amp designers with different approaches. Over time they get feedback from customers and the market, so the better the fit for the most customers shines in the marketplace.

JR

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Caleb Dick

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Re: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2009, 11:37:15 am »

I remember reading about Yorkville's 'Burst power' ratings a while back, and thinking it was a cop-out to show higher numbers.  Now that I know a bit more, it makes sense.  Insert Lab.Gruppen or whomever here.  

So, are we moving towards another standard for rating amps?  Example, XYZ amp puts out ____ watts at impedance/distortion continuously 20-20k, and puts out ____ watts 'new peak'.  The new peak or whatever term could be 250msec power with 750msec break, or whatever the standard is.  

Musing - a 'good sub amp' for a subwoofer rated 1000w/8ohm RMS  would probably look like 1000w/8ohm continuous, with a 'new peak' of 4000w/8ohm.  

Caleb
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2009, 12:19:01 pm »

I think music is a too much of a moving target to pin down a definitive standard for burst power or thermal headroom. There was an old dynamic headroom spec for Hifi amps but that fell out of favor and was not useful for all musical genres.

I think we will continue along the current path where amp designers adapt to customer needs and wants, as identified by what they buy. In the long term amp designers only offer options, and the customers decide who wins or loses with their purchases.

Some companies have made short term inroads with marketing investment (Mackie?), but in the long term, the amp business will be shared by true technology innovators, and the most effective commodity merchants. Someday the commodity merchants may crowd out the innovators and we'll be left with only what we were willing to support in our purchases.

JR
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Peavey IPR pricing: can this possibly be right?
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2009, 12:42:33 pm »

Tim McCulloch wrote on Fri, 20 February 2009 01:13

Showing prototypes and mockups is very common.  Author Jerry Pournelle referred to software shown this way as "VaporWare."  I'm sure the intention is to get buyers to delay purchases until the vapor condenses or to play industrial psych games with competitors.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc


Back in the '60 or '70s IBM got into trouble with the feds over this anti-competitive practice. They would show non-existent products to thwart competitive new offerings.

I don't think the SR business is quite that devious. My experience with manufacturing, after a design was finished in engineering and kicked to the factory there were still several time consuming steps involved before full production. First a small prototype run to confirm fit of all the sundry assemblies and automated insertion programming, etc. This was followed by a larger but still modest sized pilot production run, to further prove out production tooling, factory routings, and that the factory build was close to the design intent, only after these two steps could a true first production run be started, but even this would rarely be an open all the spigots to full, if mistakes were discovered in earlier runs. On top of these factory lead times, there are component purchasing lead times. Even for products manufactured in the good old USA, the raw parts are often coming from some distant nation. Lead times for semi-custom parts like control potentiometers could be a few months.

I have also seen and had to deal with the downside to fast tracking these systems. The flip side of complaining about product availability are products shipped before their time.. the list of these should be obvious to regular LABees.

JR
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