Originally Posted by sopre
Excellent explanation here! I basically was thinking high end refers to how much an item is. Would the quality of build of an interface be taken into consideration as high end?
Correction to my previous post - I meant RME Fireface 800, not 400.
To answer your question, how can high end NOT generally
refer to part and build quality?
Do you think it's ALL just profit margin??
Real quality hardware costs money. And most commodities aren't getting any cheaper!
Real quality design can take time and require the time of experienced and skilled designers.
Real quality builds can take time and require the time of experienced and skilled builders.
For instance - as I've pointed out before - my studio monitors have $200 tweeters in them. The tweeters are AMAZING. The detail is incredible. I have a total of 9 of those tweeters in my studio, each fed by hand-made crossovers and each tweeter fed by a discreet 200 watt amplifier (!) You think this helps with more power and less frikkin' distortion? YOU BET! But it costs MONEY.
Now if I listened to a $200 KRK "professional studio monitor" - where TWO ENTIRE SPEAKERS cost THE SAME AS ONE
OF MY TWEETERS, and it performed with the same clear detail in balance across the frequency spectrum with little to no harmonic distortion and crossover anomalies, and a huge clear stereo image, etc., then I would BELIEVE that the $200 KRK monitors are good enough. But they're simply not. Why? Cheap parts (!) Cheap drivers, cheap crossovers, cheap amplifiers, cheap cabinets, etc.
And while KRK as a company may have a fair amount of not so cheap overall R&D time into their company's products, the motivation behind selling $200 speakers is GENERALLY not the same as the motivation behind selling $20,000 speakers. That's a difference of $19,800 (!)...or 99% (!)...Or to put it another way, my Linkwitz Orions cost 100 times as much as a pair of cheap KRKs. That's a BIG difference.
Same with my Buzz Audio ARC channel. The parts used in this build are infinitely superior
to the Presonus gear I've used. And the cost reflects this. And the cost of the Buzz preamp is roughly ten times higher
than the standard traditional Presonus channel strips.
Again, most pots, stereo balancing busses and amplification on Presonus units are just cheaply built. The gear is built at a price point for earning profit selling bulk qualities of units, not built specifically for high end quality for high end users. You can't say a piece of gear is high end if the parts and build labor are cheep - ESPECIALLY, if those parts and build labor AFFECT the overall quality of the performance, which certainly is the case when you compare most Presonus gear to real high end gear.
That said, the Presonus ADL600 is in a different price category, so the design and build quality must be better. I'm betting significantly better. This piece of gear is likely potentially high end, but I haven't used it. People I respect use the ADL600 and really do like it.
Bottom line, if a piece of gear costs 1/10th or 1/100th of another (higher end) piece of gear, you have to at least WONDER what the actual difference in the piece of gear is. Usually, it's parts, and design and labor. Now that difference might not always be 10 or 100 times, but there are OFTEN at least SOME distinct quality differences.
The best way to understand some of the differences in quality components is to build some of your own gear. It's not hard to build gear, and it could really deepen your understanding of what you're buying from other companies. Plus, it's fun
And it MIGHT even be useful - you can build a little piece of custom gear that you need for your studio setup - like a basic custom channel splitter.
You might need a solder gun, some solder, some kind of drill or screw gun to drill holes in your chassis (I'd recommend aluminum, as steel is a bitch to drill though, unless you have a machine shop), and various other tools and accessories.
Check out the DIY forum here at GS - or anywhere. Then go to Parts Express
- or whatever parts company, and get a basic chassis or simple front panel, some jacks, knobs and wire, maybe even a PCB, etc. and off you go! Everyone's doing it, so it can't be THAT difficult, right
You can learn the REAL difference between parts, designs and builds. It's not rocket surgery, but good quality gear costs money. You'll find out soon enough if you build your own stuff.
Cheers, and good luck! ...I can't wait to see what gear you come up with!...
Just please don't hurt yourself. Screwing around with sharp metal edges is dangerous.