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  1. #1
    Wammer opusover21's Avatar
    Join Date
     Mar 2007
     Next door
    Real Name
     Mrs Brown
    Digital Source 1
     Mac mini, SSD
    Digital Source 2
     Amarra, FireWire
     Weiss DAC2
     Beolab 5
    Pre Amp
     In speakers
    Power Amp
     Class D ICEpower
    In the Hi-Fi industry?

    Digital Music System

    I have a 2 channel audio system with 50 year old designed speakers, old
    valves and a single box DAC... yet a large part of the equation is
    unobtainable from the traditional hifi dealer

    As much as it grates (some more than others I know) I have thrown a fair
    few quid in Apple's direction for what is a err hifi?...all of this
    historically would have gone into the back pocket of Mr hifi industry -
    So how can that be right? Believe it or not I would actually prefer to
    support the Industry rather than Steve Jobs

    The big manufacturers IMHO have been pretty slow getting there multi
    interface DAC's out on the market although its certainly changing with
    what now seems to be a new DAC popping up by the hour in an effort to
    grab a slice of the market. The big digital players (Esoteric, Wadia,
    dCS etc) seem to be getting picked off with new brands half of which
    I've never heard of bringing out what looks like very promising products
    at very attractive prices. Obviously the demand for DAC's with every
    interface possible is exactly what we want but is more of a knee jerk
    reaction to falling CD player sales? So I have my nice new DAC but what
    about the rest of it?

    Its perfectly reasonable today to expect superb quality digital sound,
    complete access to your whole collection at your finger tips, streaming
    to various other locations around the house all using devices that
    perform faultlessly, can be neatly tucked away, make no noise, require
    zero maintenance

    A lot of what we connect to our DAC's has remained pretty much
    unchanged...get into this game and it's a MAC/PC/Transporter/Squeezebox far as I'm aware there seems little desire from the audio
    manufacturers to compete on this side of the fence and hence the dealers
    subsequently have little interest in providing a complete package

    So what do the dealers say in all this? What are they demo'ing these
    days?....."Here's you new Speakers, Amp and DAC Sir....and a shopping
    list if you could pop along to the Apple store on the way home.." It's
    an odd one and maybe one reason for sure why the traditional audiophile
    is instantly turned off at the prospect but whats the alternative but
    nip down to PC world and pick up a Mac or squeezebox and then baffle
    over the best way to set it up?

    Obviously the wam and other forums are invaluable here offering advise
    and experience and hopefully avoiding some of the pitfalls and
    frustrations but we've kind of been ahead of the game here for some time
    now as a small, growing bunch of enthusiasts have discovered new ways of
    getting great sounds and freely offering others advice how to do
    so....I've set up a system half of which is based on learning from
    various source material on the web non of this has come from a
    manufacturer/dealer...maybe this will start to change who knows.

    It will be interesting to see how things evolve....Unfortunately for
    many if the industry starts to produce solutions that offer what can be
    done with a bit of pain and "PC shop" interfaces that they don't sell it
    will come too late, probably far too expensive and obsolete in a month.

    Anyway I'm sure all this digital streaming, iTunes, transporter based
    malarkey will soon blow over as a passing fad, its just kidz stuff after
    all and not for us serious audiophiles...Obviously I'd like to think
    it's a deliberate well thought out strategy but then again...

  2. #2
    Join Date
     Jul 2006
    In the Hi-Fi industry?
    Do small-medium Hi-Fi manufacturers have the financial clout to produce and keep up with the IT/PC industry though? especially when you consider their returns will be pretty small due to the niche market of 2ch Hi-Fi.

    They probably think it's safer to let the big companies plough the money into this side of things and let them deal with it, I certainly wouldn't want to be a 'Ted in his shed' trying to knock up a viable MAC/iTunes/Amarra alternative!!
    "Suitable outcomes for all - FME/proper not overpriced/underperforming e.g. Walmart-wotever Wallwart CAN be just spot-on so often, utilised correctly/unplugged after enjoyment."

  3. #3
    Join Date
     Jan 2010
    Real Name
    Digital Source 1
     VRDS10/Evo - DAC202
    Integrated Amp
     BAT VK40/NuF Ref 9SE
     VA Mahler
    In the Hi-Fi industry?
    It takes a considerable amount of knowledge and R&D to design and manufacture a decent DAC. The company has to decide what the market size is (which is small for traditional stereo), barriers to entry, which part of the market to aim the product, how to differentiate it and more importantly for the shareholders how to recouperate the R&D expenditure and of course make profit. Now DACs are a niche market and you either come up wth a cost sensitive one without spending huge amount of R&D effort and cutting out expensive parts or you go out for a high quality product that takes time to design and it costs more to manufacture. With the current economic climate, only few companies dare to take on a full R&D cycle and most of the products will come out of companies that are large enough or small start ups that think they have a niche positioning within the market.

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