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#31
9th December 2003
Old 9th December 2003
  #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
I doubt either collusion or a minimum sale price (at least for Great River and most other boutique manufacturers)
I would strongly beg to differ. In my experience, it's basically price fixing with a wink. As another poster mentioned, there were 2 dealers that offered lower than the $2150 agreed upon sale price for the NV and you no longer find them on the list of Great River dealers. And I'm not necessarily blaming Great River directly for that. I believe there are a few dealers who make it a habit to make a big enough stink about other dealers underselling them (use your imagination) and they lobby or use other tactics to get them removed. It is unfair, but it happens. The pro audio world is so miniscule that no corrective action will ever be taken, but that's the way it goes. If you feel upset about it, just buy used.
#32
9th December 2003
Old 9th December 2003
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Funny how people want everything both ways. The quality of a small manufacturer but the pricing of mass-produced boxes from China sold out of a warehouse. As far as I know, Great River doesn't produce enough units in a month to even begin to play mass-market games with dealers. If MP2-NVs were automobiles, dealers wouldn't think twice about charging significantly higher than list price and more than enough people would gladly pay it!

Dealers provide Great River with a predictable enough market that they can plan production runs and they provide Great River's customers with the ability to get an MP2-NV right away instead of having to wait for Dan to collect enough orders. I suppose Great River could play the Banjo Bazaar game of doubling the list price so everybody could feel better about paying the exact same amount.
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#33
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson

Dealers provide Great River with a predictable enough market that they can plan production runs and they provide Great River's customers with the ability to get an MP2-NV right away instead of having to wait for Dan to collect enough orders. I suppose Great River could play the Banjo Bazaar game of doubling the list price so everybody could feel better about paying the exact same amount. [/B]
For the record, I wasn't implying that GR stuff isn't worth every penny and I understand the analysis which essentially states that as long as small dealers are empowered by the manufacturer to charge high prices, then both they and the companies they represent will stay in business, which is a good thing in a world where 95% of everything is crap.

However, I think there must be a way to accomplish this without manufacturers dictating prices to the retailers. If it's bad for a manufacturer to sell his stuff at a discount at Banjo Center, well nobody says he has to. Furthermore, there's no reason why the small boutique retailers can't compete a little among themselves without falling on their swords. It's healthy in the long run. (and in the short run, it's especially healthy for my ailing mid-December credit cards)

(As an OT side note: It's easy to slam China, but keep in mind that they buy a lot of our shit too. And with 4 times the poulation and a just now emerging middle class they may ultimately be more of a market for us than we are to them.)

-R
#34
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman
For the record, I wasn't implying that GR stuff isn't worth every penny and I understand the analysis which essentially states that as long as small dealers are empowered by the manufacturer to charge high prices, then both they and the companies they represent will stay in business, which is a good thing in a world where 95% of everything is crap....
You are assuming "high" prices when the dealer is probably making less than a typical Banjo Bazaar salesperson's commission on something half the price. Am I wrong about the margins involved here?
#35
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
You are assuming "high" prices when the dealer is probably making less than a typical Banjo Bizarre salesperson's commission on something half the price. Am I wrong about the margins involved here?
Don´t mind me, but I would bet on that.



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#36
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
You are assuming "high" prices when the dealer is probably making less than a typical Banjo Bizarre salesperson's commission on something half the price. Am I wrong about the margins involved here?
Well that is the question. In a free market those margins will be subject in various ways to market forces. If the margin is stipulated by the manufacturer, it could be anything. I wouldn't assume one way or another. My guess, however, is that at Banjo Buster the sales commission on a given heavily discounted item is pretty thin. It's a volume business.

-R
#37
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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You guys are a scream... FYI... most manufacturers go through their dealer roster every year... last year Great River did just that. They went from having like 20 dealers in the US, to 12. I think it's up to 14 now. Chances are pretty damn good that when it gets back up to like 20-25 they're going to go through the dealer list again and remove the ones that are inactive... it's a natural progression of things.

The long and the short of it is, and will always be, supply and demand. If there is a greater supply than there is demand then the units will be discounted until they sell... if there is a greater demand than there is a supply... then the price stays up.

A dealer 'discounting' things happens for a couple of reasons... if there is stock on the shelves for a longer period of time than the dealer would prefer... they sell it at a discount and don't reorder [as is most likely the case where people found wonderful discounts with G-R stuff before... with dealers that are no longer dealers]. Manufacturers care about two things... number of units sold is the main thing... and how their product is portrayed "on the street" is another.

It's important that they keep their dealer network cohesive [as Nathan pointed out], it's also important that they keep the resale value of the product from falling through the floor... which is done by the dealer network representing the items properly and not by throwing bodies out the door... however, the bottom line is 'numbers'... and the dealers that Great River didn't rehire after they fired all the dealers last year weren't rehired because they weren't doing the sales numbers... not because they were discounting heavily.

At Mercenary, we generally have units on order at all times... at our shop, even being the price gouging mother****ers that we are, it seems that the next G-R order walks through the door just as the last unit from the previous shipment is leaving... in other words, we have absolutely zero motivation to drop the price by a dime.

The other reason for dealer discounting is to use a 'commodity product' as a "loss leader" [what we were doing with the Neumann TLM-103]. That is taking an overdistributed "high volume" product [like the TLM-103, which you can get at any Banjo Mart for about $700 USD] and selling at cost or a slight loss to get people to notice your shop [and hopefully buy something that you don't sell at cost or a loss]... in other words, it leads customers to the shop... hence the term "loss leader".

In the case of 'banjo mart'... they beat the shit out of the manufacturers from whom they purchase because they purchase such a high quantity of stuff... they still make their margin because with the power of a 110+ stores they can buy better than anyone on the planet. That works well with larger 'commodity' manufacturers who have to rely upon high volume sales. They have a fortune tied up in the production process... and have to recoup that investment by moving lots of steel. That they have had several years to ramp up to that point, and perhaps a good/wealthy parent company certainly helps.

Every now and again there is a "boutique" manufacturer that walks into the Banjo Mart distribution scheme. This is always fun to watch...

The Banjo Mart will invariably become 80+% of the manufacturer's distribution... which means that Banjo Mart will be able to get way "off sheet" discounts... so they can still make their margin but will provide the customer with a crazy discount price that no other dealer can get anywhere near. Having their 110+ store chain from which to sell the product, more product will have to be produced by the manufacturer to satisfy the demand.

In order to produce more product, they have to ramp up their manufacturing process... and in order to do this, they usually need to order new tools, expand the size of their production facility, buy new machines, hire more employees... in other words, take on a world of debt that they will pay off with the increased sales over time.

In order to accomplish this growth, the manufacturers need to take out loans to purchase the equipment, expand the facility, hire the people, etc. In order to secure those loans they'll show their bank manager a blanket PO from their "number one vendor"... and perhaps a commitment contract. The bank manager says "golly... you're sure growing your business... and we want to help"... so the manufacturer gets the loan, expands their production capability... and fills the blanket PO for more units they ever thought they could produce in five years in the course of one year... and then they do it again... and again... and now the manufacturer is producing product almost exclusively for their new benefactor... right up until the 'mass distributor' turns around and says... "ya know... we're not making enough on this... if you want us to buy any more of these... you're going to have to sharpen your pencil and get it to us for less"... fully knowing that they have the manufacturer by the short and curlies, and that the MFG. has no alternative but to acquiesce.

Now the MFG. has to figure out how to cut their costs to satisfy the distribution channel's demand... so they cut their quality to cut their costs [change the design a bit to require fewer parts... use parts of lesser quality (cheaper parts)] so they can sell more units and stay in the game... etc. At the end of the line... they sell as many units as Focusrite or AKG... and with quality to match.

The point of this being that you [the consumer] can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want quality hardware that is produced by low volume manufactuers and distributed by small "mom and pop" type organizations... you kinda have to allow everyone on the other end of the chain to make a living... if you're cool with mediocre tools... there are a whole lot of options available... they just aren't the focus of this thread.
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#38
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
  #38
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p.s. NOBODY puts a period on a topic better than fletch!
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#39
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Yes, it is well described. But my logic knocks on my skull saying there would be some inherent gaps.

Fletcher,

Say, when the manufacturers go for a bank credit at the time when the demand rises ... Is it that they hadn´t had income before that, no depot in general?

It sounds so friendly when banks say "golly... you're sure growing your business... and we want to help"...
What I learned about the aims in the bank biz must have been a misunderstanding. These guys are actually humanists ... they help!
Stupid me was always believing that banks would get states money considerably below current interest in order to lend it to customers and even back to the state ( that´s where states debts come from, BTW ) and that they were handling interests of loan very different from interests of account. Means, they don´t give a flying sh!t about anything on earth except their cash flow and insurance of that.


"if there is a greater demand than there is a supply... then the price stays up."
The price also can be quoted and remained far above reasonable as long as it can be made perceived as being cost for its major part ( which besides has worked out fine so far ) and as long as discount is prevented.

We all know also from general explanations that manufacturers switch off the lights in their two room apartment in the basement before they lay down on a Ikea bed, while their producing employees must be earning 15 grands easily.

But it appears to me that parts end up as a retailed unit for about 20 times the amount they could be single purchased for if not quite some more, depending from case to case. No running costs, developing efforts nor stuff salaries explain that proportion of a jump to my skull knocking fellow.

There must be a huge shed somewhere and I would think that could be partially ... at your position, Fletcher. I hope I don´t sound perverse.

In many cases when I read that phrase " ... in order to stay in business" there is actually included "with usual margin", but unfortunately always left out in the writing or saying. Yet, somehow it belongs to the individual topic in the same way like the phrase itself. Only except for those cases where "to stay in business" would mean "not to go bankruptcy", which, I beg you pardon can´t be meant each and every time it is being used.

No, friends, I say the topic of margin is usually not metioned at all and if just so as if it were reasonable on principle and a minor part of the price labeling.

I also say that it is not the usual "demand and supply" explanation that grounds it all, but that there is preparation to ensure consumers max out of the wallet. Be it manufacturers who can afford to fire dealers or be it much rather nation wide or even international price agreements.
Price syndicats ( if that´s the right English term ), officially illegal, but practised everywhere all the time. ( They only are outed when single members get hostile, thus so rarely, but the penalty gets a joke then anyway and they continue their rounds just like before.)

I go even further to say that certain cheapo products are manufacturered worse than necessary under equal investment to keep the higher price league where it sits. How´s that? Crazy fantasy, huh?

Ok, Fletcher, as you have described somehow detailed how things are ( of which I found interesting the part about the big chains policy, BTW ), would you mind to tell us what the parts of one of the GR units do cost?
C´mon, be so nice, ... but don´t cheat!
( You aint gonna do that anyway, I´m just joking ;O)

From nature of the biz you could be sort of pissed at me now, but I insure you no bad intentions personally - actually guess you estimate that already.

It´s just talking about the nature of the game and maybe not that easily taking "the cards as" they are laid.

At least intellectually. Practically I have to go out and just pay the full amount required just like those who believe in the costs declaration.

It isn´t about manufacturing costs, it is about what the max is you can get consumers to shell out with all the means that could help to it. THAT is the pricing lawfulness.

Cheers,

Ruphus

PS: Remember the 900$ jump of the Corby convertible e.g.? It was declared as early miscalculation of production as it like usually sounds solid, doesn´t it.
I would very much assume it was rather from the first dealer feedback.
hihi
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#40
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Ruphus,

I can guarantee that the profit margin on manufacturing high end products is way slimmer then you think. Some other manufacturers have told us that we should sell the DAC1 for $1800 and it would still be a bargain, but we don't because sometimes manufacturers just want to bring a great value to the market, which the Great River preamps definitely bring. It is definitely not 20 times the parts, that for sure.
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#41
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher

right up until the 'mass distributor' turns around and says... "ya know... we're not making enough on this... if you want us to buy any more of these... you're going to have to sharpen your pencil and get it to us for less"... fully knowing that they have the manufacturer by the short and curlies, and that the MFG. has no alternative but to acquiesce.
whether or not the trap was set intentionally, the manufacturer has no one to blame but themselves (though they may try to blame the bank for letting them make the boneheaded move of taking on too much debt).

i was actually in a similar situation years ago, when my consulting company started hiring to fulfill the needs of our biggest client. i (rightfully) pointed out to the other owners that we were setting ourselves up for disaster and we were able to acquire a few more clients to hedge the risk.

i'm no genius business guy (seemed a no-brainer), so i have a hard time mustering sympathy for a manufacturer that falls into the trap.
#42
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by atticus
Ruphus,

I can guarantee that the profit margin on manufacturing high end products is way slimmer then you think. Some other manufacturers have told us that we should sell the DAC1 for $1800 and it would still be a bargain, but we don't because sometimes manufacturers just want to bring a great value to the market, which the Great River preamps definitely bring. It is definitely not 20 times the parts, that for sure.
Hi David,

I agree about the DAC1 and as a good value it served the goal to pull attention to your company. A good deal for both sides.

But you are saying the parts for the GR pre cost the manufacturere more, even much more than 100 bucks (?) ...
( And besides my main focus was on those units that creep up in the price range of good used cars, not so much even on the MP-2NV, which is still "cheap". )

I have listened to a comparison through the GR with a take through a Demeter pre that costs something around half of the GR. I preferred the sound of the Demeter, but that is very likely a matter of taste. And then there is an agreement here on GS that GRs DIs are better sounding than the DIs build into the Demeter pre, which I´m willing to accept as a fact.

For the pres however I would assume that they are pretty much in the same league. Concluded from there and yet considering a difference on the DIs ( and the impedance switch of the GR ) this would mean that James Demeter is able to purchase his parts for quite some less than the GR manufacturers.

However, I wouldn´t expect that.
GR has much more of a marketing than Demeter ( who actually is hardly known to average consumer, not to speak for the good manufacturer that he actually is ) and certainly sells more units.

Ruphus
#43
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Ruphus,

I am quite certain that the cost of the two channel GR preamp is much more then $100, and then the labor to build it and test it even more then that. Given the quality of parts used and the level of overall quality the cost of that piece, as you said earlier, is more then fair.
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10th December 2003
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Just the transformers in one channel cost $100.
#45
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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The Demeter has ( Jensen ) transformers also ...
Ok then. The GR costs over 2000 dollars.
Let´s see what would be speculated that its costs are.

I would consider an extra charge from manufacturing costs to retailer being reasonable at like 40%.
60% manufacturing costs including all, wages, taxes etc.pp. Plus like 25% as profit for the manufacturer and the rest of 15% for shippers and dealers.

That would be what I would consider a fair business, which as I believe would make a couple hundred dollar units out of a couple thousand dollar boxes as being traded now.

Whatcha saying?

Ruphus
#46
10th December 2003
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Analogy time: There is a great local bakery called Just Desserts. They had a few retail stores in the Bay Area and wanted to get into the wholesale biz. They started selling cakes at Costco. The demand was good, so good that they had to move to a larger facility in order to meet it. Larger facility = more cost. What Cosco did (and does to many vendors) is tell the bakery to lower their wholesale price because of the volume of their purchace.

Just Desserts is now in Bankruptcy. Thanks to Guitar Cen - I mean, Costco.
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#47
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus
But it appears to me that parts end up as a retailed unit for about 20 times the amount they could be single purchased for if not quite some more, depending from case to case. No running costs, developing efforts nor stuff salaries explain that proportion of a jump to my skull knocking fellow.
Ruphus... if you weren't from ze Fatherland, I wouldn't cut you any slack for being barely literate... but seeing as your english is just a tad better than my German... you're getting a break.

With that said, the paragraph above seems to make some kind of marginal sense... it was the only one in your post that made even a small bit of sense.... so that's the one to which I'll respond.

I'm not priivy to the component costs on the GR stuff... but I do know that the input and output transformers are close to $200/set... so your 20:1 theory would put the two channel unit around $4,000 USD before the chassis, before the power supply, before the knobs, before the switches, before the connectors, before the faceplate screening, before the shipping box, and before the internal components [ya know... the other shit that makes the ****er fun] are factored in to the equasion... and great googly moogly... guess what [I asked Dan a couple minutes ago about the total cost of compenents] that shit adds up almost to $500-

OK... so there is $500- worth of components in there... WTF? It runs 2 Grand... where's the love?

Here's the love... standard manufacturing margins dictate that a unit should sell for 600% of the cost of parts. 600%. Lemme break it down for ya...

that's 100% for the parts [duh]
200% for overhead [labor, lights, rent, insurance, employee benefits, alarm systems, taxes... yada, yada, yada]... 100% for advertising... 100% company profit [which is like rolled into R&D projects... like the equalizer that's coming out later this month]... and 100% for dealer profit... except in this case the parts run like $500-... which makes it 400% instead of 600%... which means that everyone has to tighten their belts a bit...

So, where you got the 20:1 thing is beyond me... totally ****ng beyond my realm of comprehension.

What Demeter does, doesn't do is of zero ****ing relevance to anything Great River does. If you like the sound of the Demeter better... Godspeed... I don't but who gives a shit. [BTW, you shouldn't take anything on faith... especially weether the sound of the DI is best for your application, or any application... if you don't hear it, it ain't been heard].
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#48
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by David R.
Analogy time: There is a great local bakery called Just Desserts. They had a few retail stores in the Bay Area and wanted to get into the wholesale biz. They started selling cakes at Costco. The demand was good, so good that they had to move to a larger facility in order to meet it. Larger facility = more cost. What Cosco did (and does to many vendors) is tell the bakery to lower their wholesale price because of the volume of their purchace.

Just Desserts is now in Bankruptcy. Thanks to Guitar Cen - I mean, Costco.
****! I didn't know Just Desserts is filing for Chapter 11!! They made the best desserts in town!!

...

Shit!!!

**** Costco!

What else that rocks is gonna fall in this town?!?

Meanwhile, the best price I've found for a DAC-1 is $760 = Pacific Pro Audio. GR-NV2's are all pretty much $2150 everywhere.

Didn't know I was forcing out the earthworms with this topic!
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#49
10th December 2003
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Btw, what effect will "Guitar Center Pro" have on all our favorite manufacturers?

Hopefully most of them won't cave in to the promise of a pile of gold.

For instance, Manley with Sweetwater. There, I said it.
#50
10th December 2003
Old 10th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by zimv20
whether or not the trap was set intentionally, the manufacturer has no one to blame but themselves (though they may try to blame the bank for letting them make the boneheaded move of taking on too much debt).
It's not that the bank let them get into too much debt... it's a shortsighted greed thing... the owners of the firm see this wonderful exponential growth by being aligned with a larger distribution chain than their current manufacturing can accomodate... so they go to expand their manufacturing to keep up with the distribution... without realizing that they're basically putting all their eggs in one basket [nor do they quite realize to whom they're selling their soul].

The manufacturers we deal with are pretty much at the same small level as our shop [we're 5 employees (two sales, one accounting, one administrative/does everything to run the joint, one shipping and recieving... and a paid "intern")... a typical Banjo Mart is running more than 5 employees in one shift!!]... last time I was at Great River [which also does industrial electronics that make elevators go up and down while actually stopping at the requested floor]... both sides of the business (and the elevators are the larger side) had only 5 or 6 employees.

FWIW, I drive a '95 Jeep Cherokee with 130+k miles... Dan drives a 1990 "Bronco II" [a.k.a the baby Bronco] with 160k miles... limping through the tail end of the original clutch.
#51
11th December 2003
Old 11th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
****! I didn't know Just Desserts is filing for Chapter 11!! They made the best desserts in town!!
You should have tasted their stuff when they first opened in the mid '70s! It all went to hell after they expended to three stores but was still above average. Top of the heap was always Ambrosia Bakery but I heard they retired and sold out.
#52
11th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
Ruphus... if you weren't from ze Fatherland, I wouldn't cut you any slack for being barely literate... but seeing as your english is just a tad better than my German... you're getting a break.

With that said, the paragraph above seems to make some kind of marginal sense... it was the only one in your post that made even a small bit of sense.... so that's the one to which I'll respond.

I'm not priivy to the component costs on the GR stuff... but I do know that the input and output transformers are close to $200/set... so your 20:1 theory would put the two channel unit around $4,000 USD before the chassis, before the power supply, before the knobs, before the switches, before the connectors, before the faceplate screening, before the shipping box, and before the internal components [ya know... the other shit that makes the ****er fun] are factored in to the equasion... and great googly moogly... guess what [I asked Dan a couple minutes ago about the total cost of compenents] that shit adds up almost to $500-

OK... so there is $500- worth of components in there... WTF? It runs 2 Grand... where's the love?

Here's the love... standard manufacturing margins dictate that a unit should sell for 600% of the cost of parts. 600%. Lemme break it down for ya...

that's 100% for the parts [duh]
200% for overhead [labor, lights, rent, insurance, employee benefits, alarm systems, taxes... yada, yada, yada]... 100% for advertising... 100% company profit [which is like rolled into R&D projects... like the equalizer that's coming out later this month]... and 100% for dealer profit... except in this case the parts run like $500-... which makes it 400% instead of 600%... which means that everyone has to tighten their belts a bit...

So, where you got the 20:1 thing is beyond me... totally ****ng beyond my realm of comprehension.

What Demeter does, doesn't do is of zero ****ing relevance to anything Great River does. If you like the sound of the Demeter better... Godspeed... I don't but who gives a shit. [BTW, you shouldn't take anything on faith... especially weether the sound of the DI is best for your application, or any application... if you don't hear it, it ain't been heard].
Hi Fletcher,

my cousin who studied electronics called and we had a long talk about this. He helped me to get more aware that I was comparing small manufactory too much to mass production. The relations I was considering mainly come from experiences with Grundig products of a long while ago, which must indeed be differing from boutique market.

Also those ~ 32% manufacturer profit add on supplied parts, which wasn´t considered correctly by me. So, I have been stupid with my estimation of 20:1 and higher, while its probably rather 8:1 to 10:1.
Also I had wittnessed dealer profits of 40% of retail price elsewhere and too easily lumped you gear sellers into that dimension.
I apologize for that.

But at least I know now roughly where the percentage is. For a dealer of boutique devices with not too many customers a 1/6 like you mention could mean little outcome.

I think if a store runs the dealer margin can still mean a lot though and an example like that you find a mic for under 1000 while it´s being sold for 1300 elsewhere shows that the dealer impact ( as his distributor price ) varies and is no parameter.

Similary the 2/6 after costs the manufacturer puts on it before distribution normally would seem quite a heap on first glance to me, if it hadn´t fallen into my mind that a manufacturer of better convertors once told me that their lines wouldn´t go above 2000 units ( which I´m still wondering about if such small series could be the case. Is the audio community really that small?). With such small lines I understand that a manufacturer would have to household with the profits made.

For me the conclusion is that a gear dealer with regular flow yet mustn´t mean earning peanuts and the same with manufactureres who have bigger series.
The same proportions however for little companies and stores might mean narrow conditions.

Considering all this I probably won´t completely lose sceptisim when hearing that a manufacturer is sparing in a pair of switches as it would `become too expensive´, but it is good for me to see that prices in the boutique market aren´t that much arbitrary as I used too believe. Thank you for helping me out on understanding this.


Ruphus

PS: Guess I shouldn´t had mentioned Demeter, but had said "company X" or so, as I wouldn´t want anybody to drain critiques for me on him.
I have great respect for his philosophy, his products and his bang for the buck prices.

PS2: You misunderstood me about the DIs. It would need another reading if you were interested and I actually think you could understand it, BTW.
Jax
Thread Starter
#53
11th December 2003
Old 11th December 2003
  #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
You should have tasted their stuff when they first opened in the mid '70s! It all went to hell after they expended to three stores but was still above average. Top of the heap was always Ambrosia Bakery but I heard they retired and sold out.
Bob, Dave -

Did you ever get into Tassajara Bakery in Cole Valley? That place is gone now, too. But it was damn good bakery run by Krishnas.

I probably did taste Just Desserts in the mid 70's but I was a little kid, so my tastes weren't yet refined.
CV7
#54
11th December 2003
Old 11th December 2003
  #54
CV7
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Banjo Mart!
#55
11th December 2003
Old 11th December 2003
  #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
Bob, Dave -
Did you ever get into Tassajara Bakery in Cole Valley? ...
Yea but it was pretty "sproutsy." Ambrosia was run by a guy right outta Vienna. I've never had anything as good but I've been told it's pretty typical of Vienna.
#56
11th December 2003
Old 11th December 2003
  #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
shortsighted greed [...] they're basically putting all their eggs in one basket
yep.

as a wise friend said about a business owner i know: "she gets one good idea then suddenly thinks every idea after that is gold"
#57
11th December 2003
Old 11th December 2003
  #57
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Well, all this is very interesting...............but back to the original question.

I just purchased an MP-2NV from Mercenary. I bought an MP-2MH from them a couple of years ago and really like it, and now I want to get another pre with more color. I got a lot of very helpful advice from Fletcher before buying, which took email and phone time, including his weekend time. Since purchasing, I have taken some more of his time with questions and he has helped me a lot each time. I also expect to be able to get more advice later as I use the gear more, as well as immediate service in the unlikely case that I will need it.

I purchased some other gear from them at the same time, and experienced the same thing: advice before deciding, great input, great service. I say "them", because Samara was also a big help on some questions.

If I could find a place to save a few bucks and get one a little cheaper, would I go there? No. After a few decades of trying to find people in the music business who will give me good dependable advice and service, I place a very high value on that. I don't think in terms of buying just the gear.

I am a very happy camper with what I paid, and the help and service I got and expect to get in the future.

I'm not saying that there aren't other places that will do the same. I'm just saying that when I find one of those few places I can really count on (regardless of the type of products), I hang on to 'em for dear life, and try to help them survive long term. Percentagewise, there ain't many out there.

Just my positive personal experience.
Mike
#58
11th December 2003
Old 11th December 2003
  #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
Bob, Dave -

Did you ever get into Tassajara Bakery in Cole Valley? That place is gone now, too. But it was damn good bakery run by Krishnas.

I probably did taste Just Desserts in the mid 70's but I was a little kid, so my tastes weren't yet refined.
Tassajara was owned by Just Desserts, at least for a while. Yum.

I worked at the bakery of JD in'85, just out of high school. More yum.

Bob - you have San Francisco roots?

Back to the topic - buy more mic pre's, they're yummy.


#59
11th December 2003
Old 11th December 2003
  #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
... and a paid "intern")...
They're paying you now?

-R
#60
11th December 2003
Old 11th December 2003
  #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by David R.
.Bob - you have San Francisco roots?
No but I lived in the city from 1972 to 1985 and in Marin County until we moved to Nashville 2 1/2 years ago.
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