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Author Topic: Soundcraft Si Expression - Desk to compete with Behringer, Presonus, etc  (Read 44614 times)

Geoff Doane

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I understand the frustration of seeing price droping: you tell yourself "if I had waited for one year, I would have paid half the price". Or "I could buy a better device for the same price". But following these arguments you should postpone any purchase to next year. You will eventually never buy anything.



What's that Chinese proverb?  "The man who fully contemplates each step, spends his entire life standing on one foot." Or something like that.  :)

I can appreciate Samuel's frustration, but what is Soundcraft supposed to do?  Keep the price the same and watch Behringer eat their lunch?

What puzzles me is why I'm not seeing the price of used LS9s dropping.  I'd love to find an LS9-16 to compliment my 32 for small gigs, but if you can find them, people want $4K or more.  Have they not heard of the X32 yet?

The good news is that the SiC sounds as good today as the day you bought it.  Ultimately, all the gear is good enough that you should be getting the gigs on your own mixing skills or personnel skills, not whether you have the newest mixer on the block.  Since we're supposed to be at the Lounge level, riders and uneconomic demands by clients shouldn't enter into this (see Tim's opinion that ROI on rider-acceptable consoles is very poor).

GTD
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jason misterka

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Mmmm... What used gear can be hopefuly sold 75% of its price new ? As soon as you open the box, the gear loses 50% of its price. I bought many things second hand, including L'acoustics MTD115 speakers, Chevin and Camco amps, etc. This is pro and renowned gear. I paid 25-50% of the initial street price (typically 1/3rd). And this is not a question of gear being outdated: MTD115 are still very common where I live.

Nicolas -

We tend not to buy items at "Street Price", instead buy b-stock or wait for promotions from the manufacturer of items we have dealerships with.  It is fairly common that we can buy an item at 15-20% off dealer price, use it for four years, and then sell it for 75% of our purchase price.  Or, that's how it USED to be...

By the time you buy the case, the cabling infrastructure (multipins, power distribution), and all the add-ons (external PSU, UPS, meter bridges, cards) for a useful production package, you need to keep the desk working for at least four years to make any sense anyway.



Pro people I know apply a depreciation of 20% per year to gears in their accounts. If they sell gears older than 5 years, they get money for gears which value is considered zero. They can put a positive number in the "profit and loss" line. A good opportunity to bring the whole familly to the restaurant. I talk about small contractors, one or two people, not big rental companies.

I understand how the depreciation works but I look at it in different terms for this particular situation.  Yes, you are depreciating the equipment, but with the opportunity cost of not having the original money you actually used to buy that equipment (and whatever interest it would have earned minus the taxes you would have paid on it.)  You now have to buy a new piece of equipment, sell the old one (to get it off your books, after all you are still paying business property tax on it!), apply additional money and buy the new one.  Begin depreciating again.

If our Avid SC48 only sells for $5000 tomorrow, then we probably aren't going to be spending another $20,000 for the brand new Avid TD59, unless we can directly show that we are able to invoice enough to make up the difference.  We have to rely on using our existing equipment as an upgrade path to the next piece of equipment.  Sometimes it doesn't work out, other times it does.


I understand the frustration of seeing price droping: you tell yourself "if I had waited for one year, I would have paid half the price". Or "I could buy a better device for the same price". But following these arguments you should postpone any purchase to next year. You will eventually never buy anything.

I mean: I understand price drop is not pleasant at first glance. But thinkning rationaly, there is no reason to be disapointed indeed. Enjoy the fact that the next gear you'll buy is half its release price last year.

If I am buying a piece of gear for me to use, I make the best purchase I can with the best feature set available at the best price, and then smile and go about my day.  The problem I have is that I have to be always upgrading to keep up with artists' requirements. 

Some console manufacturers seem to appreciate this, have longer active life spans on a limited number of options, and provide reasonably priced software updates to improve their existing product lines.

I also understand that the lower to middle end of the market is in chaos right now, and certain companies may be acting out of short term self preservation.

I'm not singling out Soundcraft, and to be honest I never considered the older Si consoles as an good  option for us.  I haven't looked at the new release, maybe it now IS a good option :)

Jason






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jason misterka

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What puzzles me is why I'm not seeing the price of used LS9s dropping.  I'd love to find an LS9-16 to compliment my 32 for small gigs, but if you can find them, people want $4K or more.  Have they not heard of the X32 yet?

I hope not :)  I have an LS9-32 and a M7CL-48 still to sell!  Since they are in fact proven to still work five years later, I feel pretty good about it :)


Since we're supposed to be at the Lounge level, riders and uneconomic demands by clients shouldn't enter into this (see Tim's opinion that ROI on rider-acceptable consoles is very poor).

Hmmm, I didn't realize we were in the Lounge.  Sorry.  My original replies were on my phone app and it kinda jumbles them together...

And, damn it, Tim always says the smart things...

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Soundcraft Si Expression - Desk to compete with Behringer, Presonus, etc
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2013, 02:28:24 pm »

- Or you are a real pro and you think in terms of return of investment. The contracts you have cover the console price. When you no longer need the desk, you resale it but you do not mind the price because this is just "slighltly more money". You did not build your business profitability based on the resale price of gears.

My observations were inspired by Chip Self, who wrote the original Study Hall articles on ROI (long missing from the Study Hall, damn it).

At most regional entertainment providers, a big ticket item like a large frame analog console usually did not recover its costs of ownership before its commercial end of life.  There are several reasons, but the 2 primary causes are 1) we can't bill for it - a console isn't a separate line item on the invoice, clients expect a suitable console to be part of a complete package and; 2) a console is obsolete in the marketplace (BE desires, mostly) long before it is physically or electrically incapable of working.

The recovery of costs at the end of the ownership cycle IS a consideration, but it's usually not a top consideration and shouldn't be a primary factor in the profitability of a company, at least in most business models.

At the Lounge Level, you typically don't have to make a BE happy.  Even if the Band in a Van has a rider, they're happy to see a stage with enough monitors, working mics and functional stands.  If the snake & console have sufficient working channels, the war is nearly won.

If buying for ones own exclusive use, buy whatever intrigues you or gives you pleasure in use.  That's part of the fun.  And you get to decide how long to own it...
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Tim McCulloch

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And, damn it, Tim always says the smart things...

I stand on the backs of giants.

The ROI lesson came from Chip Self of Logic Systems in St. Louis.  It was a pair (IIRC) of articles he did for the Study Hall about 6 -8 years ago, before analog consoles were completely passe.  His writing made me go back and take a good, hard look at how our shop was looking at those issues of ownership and damn it, he was absolutely right.

The lower costs of equivalent performance that came with digital mixers offers some hope, as it's more possible to depreciate/recover $35,000 than it is $75,000, but the faster churn of the market means we have less time to do so.

Oy.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

kristianjohnsen

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Re: Soundcraft Si Expression - Desk to compete with Behringer, Presonus, etc
« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2013, 03:17:19 pm »

a console is obsolete in the marketplace (BE desires, mostly) long before it is physically or electrically incapable of working.


To be fair, this is exactly why the console will still fetch some money when the regional company sells it off:  Even if it's no use to the original owner, it functions well enough that someone else can put it to good use :)
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Soundcraft Si Expression - Desk to compete with Behringer, Presonus, etc
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2013, 05:33:07 pm »

I really think that this is greater than your average product turn over. What mixing product has had this kind of undercut? Just Soundcraft. It's normal when a product as an average depreciation (even if thats a lot) but when its above average I think it's fair to be mad.

You can't blame or be angry Soundcraft for joining the game. I can see where people could be disappointed because the lower cost board appears to have the features of the higher cost board, but does it really.
 
I am very happy to see a company of Soundcrafts capability, proven reliability and capable service jump into the shallow end of the pond. I've watched the videos and I'm impressed with the logic behind the design of the board. Everything, except the tiny screen is well thought out and arranged.
 
They aimed for an analog feel with full digital features and compatibility with their existing products, including stage boxes at prices that make sense. And, if they sound anywhere near as good as their big brothers we should see the scrap pile filling with Presonus boards soon enough.
 
Behringer borrowed from Midas and it looks like Soundcraft is leaning on Studer. Soundcraft wins.
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Spenser Hamilton

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Re: Soundcraft Si Expression - Desk to compete with Behringer, Presonus, etc
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2013, 06:15:44 pm »

They aimed for an analog feel with full digital features and compatibility with their existing products, including stage boxes at prices that make sense. And, if they sound anywhere near as good as their big brothers we should see the scrap pile filling with Presonus boards soon enough.

It seems as though they are doing what everybody has asked Presonus to do for a while now, that is, making a digital board that functions like an analog board while not sacrificing all the things that make digital useful in the first place.
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Ryan McLeod

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Re: Soundcraft Si Expression - Desk to compete with Behringer, Presonus, etc
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2013, 09:57:50 pm »

Ryan - where did these #'s come from?  My rep told me $999 and $1999.  The MADI card is $990 MAP.  I really wish the snakes were Blu-Link, not MADI.  With only one expansion port, blu-link would give you a snake, DBX personal monitor mixing, and connectivity to BSS London all in one. 

Grant

My bad - looks like I had some bad info - MAP CDN IS $1075 and $2150 respectively.  My 32x16 compact stage box with a MADI card was MUCH more! Sorry for the confusion.....

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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Soundcraft Si Expression - Desk to compete with Behringer, Presonus, etc
« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2013, 11:38:54 am »

http://g-forceproaudio.com/2013/01/23/soundcraft-si-expression/

More info on the 'Soundcraft mixing consoles' Facebook. It looks to me like they took the Si Compact, improved it, and slashed the price by 60%, and released it as a "new" console, along with a few new option cards and cheap stage boxes. Seems like this is going to clearly destroy all resale value of Si Compacts down to the at least <$1800 range. My Apple products hold resale price better than that... disappointing.

Competition, competition....that's the free market system at work. Great for the end user. I remember when cell phones cost big bucks.

Not so great for Soundcraft dealers (like me) who still have Si Compacts in stock that were bought a while back (before all the price drops). I guess I'll be loosing my ass on those...thanks Soundcraft.  >:(
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Re: Soundcraft Si Expression - Desk to compete with Behringer, Presonus, etc
« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2013, 11:38:54 am »


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