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Author Topic: How can this even bother me?  (Read 11981 times)

Randall Hyde

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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2013, 11:23:03 am »


 I guess what really bugs me is the fact that I'm unsure about the future for some formerly "industry standard" brands that have been assimilated into the collective.
There... I said it. Rant over. Flame suit on. Cheers!

Same argument occurred with analog. $2K mixers were panned by those using $100K mixers.
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Jeff Babcock

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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2013, 03:26:18 pm »

How can a line up of new products made cheaply by the cheaply assembled robots in the cheapest of the cheap factories even garner our attention? I mean really?!?

So, have you visited any of these "cheapest of the cheap" factories you talk about?

Did you realize that publicly reported (ie minimal/non-bias) failure rates for some of the cheaper products are often not any worse than that of a "reputable" manufacturer?  Sales volume can radically skew public perception of failure rates, even when failure rates are not high from a percentage perspective.  Failures are extremely costly to a manufacturer, even MORE SO to high-volume low-margin manufacturers.

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David Parker

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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2013, 03:58:35 pm »

My day job involves the other type of instruments... process instrumentation, sensors and digital control systems that run refineries and chemical plants. When I started a typical flow meter was about a $1000 an inch, so a 6 inch unit ran about $6K.

About ten years ago a new player came on the market in a big way, a German company who introduced quality products to industry at never before seen prices. I now work for Siemens and our 6 inch flow meter sells for around $2K. Mr. Behringer has already changed this market in a similar way I believe.
in my former life I was a machinist in a refinery for 38 years. When we first started getting ball bearings from Japan, we wouldn't use that "cheap junk". A few years later the quality of the japanese made bearings was vastly higher than those made in the U.S., because the U.S. didn't keep up on quality, and the U.S. factories went out of business. The last 5 years I worked there we had started getting machine tooling (drills and other cutting tools) from china. There was no difference between those and the ones formerly made in the U.S. If anything, they were better. I made me angry, but that's just how it is. Sometimes the U.S. manufacturers make a choice not to keep up.
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brian maddox

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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2013, 04:47:43 pm »

in my former life I was a machinist in a refinery for 38 years. When we first started getting ball bearings from Japan, we wouldn't use that "cheap junk". A few years later the quality of the japanese made bearings was vastly higher than those made in the U.S., because the U.S. didn't keep up on quality, and the U.S. factories went out of business. The last 5 years I worked there we had started getting machine tooling (drills and other cutting tools) from china. There was no difference between those and the ones formerly made in the U.S. If anything, they were better. I made me angry, but that's just how it is. Sometimes the U.S. manufacturers make a choice not to keep up.

my travels abroad have taught me something.  namely, America is not the center of brain power or resourcefulness.  China has a lot of very smart, industrious people as well as a lot of very dumb, lazy people just like my country, and every other country in the world.  To think that because something is made in China it is cheap junk is foolish at best and racist at worst.

there are, of course, all kinds of things that give China a manufacturing advantage over the U.S. and other countries.  inexpensive labor, different safety and environmental requirements as well as a whole host of things i know nothing about.  There are also factors that put China at a disadvantage, not the least of which is the nearly universally held belief that they make nothing but junk.  But make no mistake;  China is fully capable of making excellent products that rival and best anything made in the USA or elsewhere.  All that is required is the process expertise and strength of will from the company that needs those products to be made.

to get back to the OPs opine...  All i can really think to say is that things change.  Some of the lower cost manufacturers have certainly had reliability issues in the past.  Frankly, i only care about what their reliability issues are NOW.  I for one am very excited to see what will happen in the future.  we're able to do so much more for so much less money that we've ever been able to do before.  I own a couple of the X32s and will probably own more from the product line before all is said and done, and the price/performance ratio is still mind-boggling to me.  i'd still rather be mixing on a Paragon with a rack full of Drawmer and Summit processing.  that's my comfort zone and i miss those days.  But it's much like comparing old sports cars with newer ones.  An old Jag is a thing to behold and provides an exciting visceral driving experience.  But if i need to get somewhere fast, reliably, and in comfort, i'll do better with my mass-produced VW Golf.  And that's all good too....
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Chris Clark

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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2013, 05:00:53 pm »

Did you realize that publicly reported (ie minimal/non-bias) failure rates for some of the cheaper products are often not any worse than that of a "reputable" manufacturer?  Sales volume can radically skew public perception of failure rates, even when failure rates are not high from a percentage perspective.

I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I've tried in a couple other threads and other forums but haven't been able to articulate what I've been trying to say.

In addition I still feel there is a strong skewing of publicly available failure "comments" due to the nature of the intended audience, and I've said that before too - Not only is the user base of a PM5D (just an example) smaller, the users in this audience are more likely to contact Yamaha or their distributor directly versus taking frustration to an online forum - perhaps because they know things will get taken care of, or perhaps because the users are a more "refined" population. Please don't take this the wrong way, but some MI/JV users of the level likely to purchase an X32, SL24, etc... are more likely to take to public forums with their frustration, with their console, with their speakers, with their cars. As the saying goes, "Misery loves company" - So instead of going to the manufacturer to address the problem directly as most users of higher level consoles would do, I'll vent my frustration to anyone who will listen, someone will agree and validate my complaint. Not always the right way to do it, but its the way it happens.

Now again, I'm not trying to say in any way that the X32, SL24, or any other example in the MI range is better or worse than something in, say, the PM5D or XL8 range, I'm just perpetrating the conclusion that failure rates are skewed as Jeff said too.


Another way to look at it, for those familiar with computers, is the Windows vs Mac argument when it comes to viruses. I've worked in the industry, I can tell you for a fact that Macs are not immune to viruses or in many ways ANY more secure than Windows. The reason you hear about and see more viruses targeting Windows is because of the user base and market share. Windows had the bigger share for years, so the viruses were targeted towards Windows to get more results (in the case of stealing personal information, for example). Additionally the user base of Windows was historically, how shall I put this mildly, less "savvy" regarding security, making them easier targets. Viruses for both sides have existed for a long time, but the viruses you hear about are Windows because they affect more people and people go public about them more (Linux security holes, on the other hand, are usually patched internally before the general public hears about them).

Sorry, I get on tangents and run.
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2013, 03:47:43 am »

my travels abroad have taught me something.  namely, America is not the center of brain power or resourcefulness.  China has a lot of very smart, industrious people as well as a lot of very dumb, lazy people just like my country, and every other country in the world.  ...

China 1.3 billion, USA 0.3 billion.  Seems reasonable that China has many more naturally intelligent people.  Factor in the decline of the US education system (rated between 17th-40th in the world in some studies), and give China another generation of economic and educational growth, as they have seen in the past 20 years, and it may be impossible for any 'western' country to compete for quantity of educated-intelligent people.  India has a chance.

In my day job is as a scientist (well, I used to be a scientist, now I go to meetings...) I  work with scientists from ~30 different countries and some of the best are Chinese and it seems to be one of the best places right now for hiring young talent.

There are, however a lot of cultural differences related to how people think (particularly problem solving and diagnostics), how they work, and motivational influences. For example, older American scientists tend to have a stronger view on intellectual property than most other ethnic groups I work with, but that seems to be changing with the Napster generation.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2013, 04:38:37 am »

Well put Mark, but only a small part of the equation. It's not a matter of who can make a better product, or which country has the biggest brain trust. American industry has given it's time, money, expertise, and industrial might away.

The now reversing trend was to push products off shore and into the hands of low cost labor, regardless of education or ability. After a period of years our path led to the strengthening of once poor economies providing not only a route, but a need for those countries to embrace technology as they had never done in the past. Embracing technology requires further education which America has, in most cases, provided as well. The american public was blind sided by it's own greed and agreements, NAFTA being one. The loss of entry level jobs has further eroded our abilities by eliminating a path for the average high school graduate to follow, paths in the past were entered by obtaining an entry level manufacturing job, or job associated with manufacturing. From the ore in the ground to the finished product America has slowly given away it's abilities to the detriment of everyones quality of life. Everything is cyclic and those jobs will eventually come back as America works smarter. Too bad that won't happen in my lifetime.
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Luke Geis

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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2013, 05:47:38 pm »

Behringer just released lately that they have a new single space rack version of the X-32 digital desk. It is a 100% network controlled version of the entirety of the desk, but in a single rack space! You have to purchase the stage boxes to utilize it yes, but it will certainly be cheaper than ever to get a scale-able SAC style system! So they can make an entire digital desk shrink down to a single rack space. HMMMMMM.......... what is a digital desk. It is a computer with hardware and network control. You can't convince me that this should cost as much as a mid level car to own.

I guess I'm in the opposite arena. I'm agast at how high the upper end equipment is. It's almost as if they are seeing how ridiculously high they can go before no one will touch the thing. The equipment is nice, no doubt about that, but then again it has to be for the premium that you pay to own it. The lower priced stuff is a result of the true buying market. If every Show Pro, Rat Sound and super sound company bought, used and touted that they have Behringer on tour with them, every other company in the world would probably jump on board. This would likely make the price of that product go up and we would be right where we are currently at. Some low end company will create a cheap product that we would scoff at.

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David Parker

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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2013, 06:07:29 pm »

Behringer just released lately that they have a new single space rack version of the X-32 digital desk. It is a 100% network controlled version of the entirety of the desk, but in a single rack space! You have to purchase the stage boxes to utilize it yes, but it will certainly be cheaper than ever to get a scale-able SAC style system! So they can make an entire digital desk shrink down to a single rack space. HMMMMMM.......... what is a digital desk. It is a computer with hardware and network control. You can't convince me that this should cost as much as a mid level car to own.

I guess I'm in the opposite arena. I'm agast at how high the upper end equipment is. It's almost as if they are seeing how ridiculously high they can go before no one will touch the thing. The equipment is nice, no doubt about that, but then again it has to be for the premium that you pay to own it. The lower priced stuff is a result of the true buying market. If every Show Pro, Rat Sound and super sound company bought, used and touted that they have Behringer on tour with them, every other company in the world would probably jump on board. This would likely make the price of that product go up and we would be right where we are currently at. Some low end company will create a cheap product that we would scoff at.

I've made similar comments over the years and got flamed. I agree. I do know that when peavey first got started, all the live audio equipment companies at the time priced their products based on what the market would bear. Peavey had this ridiculous notion that if you priced the equipment based on what it cost to make plus a modest profit, the average person could afford sound equipment and they would sell a lot of it. Well, that ridiculous concept worked, and then that opened the floodgate for all the common names we know now. Then when one company shipped their manufacture to china and undercut all the competition, they all had to outsource to china. It was a sad day for me when peavey moved their manufacture to china. They had bragged for years that all their equipment was built in Meridian Miss. At any rate, it appears to me that the upper crust still prices their products based on what the market will bear. Digital mixers have revolutionized the industry, because you can mass produce a product with massive processing power for a very low cost. It doesn't bother me in the least that a big tour specs a mixer that costs $200,000 or whatever, because that's not where I live. I get a kick out of all the wonderful products out there now that are dialed in for where I do live, and they are getting cheaper every day. I stay in business because all the hacks with their cheap gear still can't make it sound good if they don't know how to set it up and mix.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2013, 07:05:05 pm »

China 1.3 billion, USA 0.3 billion.  Seems reasonable that China has many more naturally intelligent people.  Factor in the decline of the US education system (rated between 17th-40th in the world in some studies), and give China another generation of economic and educational growth, as they have seen in the past 20 years, and it may be impossible for any 'western' country to compete for quantity of educated-intelligent people.  India has a chance.
hmm... the end of the world as we know it...

While I don't dispute your population math, and I hold the US education system in even lower regard for what they "know" is right and wrong, but I won't go there. I will observe that china has had several times our population for a very long time, and even a better work/education ethic imposed by chinese parents on their children. Their rise in economic power is a relatively recent change, I track to their experience after getting HK back from the Brits (after 100 year lease). Rather than scrubbing it free of capitalism, HK has infected the mainland with capitalism, while this is still the early days as they try to shift their population to be more consumption oriented (like the west) and still need to work on that pesky rule of law, etc. 

I am not smart enough to declare anybody the winner of the future, but our recent path seems like we are aiming for only the middle of the pack, if lucky.
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In my day job is as a scientist (well, I used to be a scientist, now I go to meetings...) I  work with scientists from ~30 different countries and some of the best are Chinese and it seems to be one of the best places right now for hiring young talent.
It used to be better before they had business opportunities so close to home.. Now the big companies have to build research facilities in China and India to gain access to that talent.

We are currently discussing fixing our immigration policy, but as long as we continue to chase off students with advanced degrees we don't deserve to continue our decline.  :-[
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There are, however a lot of cultural differences related to how people think (particularly problem solving and diagnostics), how they work, and motivational influences. For example, older American scientists tend to have a stronger view on intellectual property than most other ethnic groups I work with, but that seems to be changing with the Napster generation.
I must be one of those older ones, because I value IP. Disrespect for IP can lead to short term gains if you allow blatant copying, but you disenfranchise your own creative class of inventors from staying and developing new technology at home. Perhaps I didn't understand what you mean...

I do see strong cultural differences first working with Japanese and later Chinese in group dynamics or how people interact and work together. I can imagine western scientists being  more independent operators (cowboys), while eastern scientists are more inclined to collaborate with peers, and in groups. I used to find it amusing how AES papers from Japanese engineers would have a half-dozen co-authors while Western authors generally wrote alone.   

I have strong opinions about what we need to do, but I don't want to get my posts gonged (for politics), so read my mind, or not.

JR
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Re: How can this even bother me?
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2013, 07:05:05 pm »


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