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Old 10th September 2018
Lives for gear

When you consider your investment in time and money to get to the places where you will record, arrangements with artists, post production, your mics, your software and all your other expenses, is another $120 really that consequential? It seems pretty reasonable for two 8.5Ah packs that will run your MixPre all day long, a sled and a charger. What matters is the value that it adds. Does it add $60 of value to your work in the field? I think it's hard to argue that it doesn't. If it saves you just one fire drill replacing those AA batteries, or having that USB cable get knocked our of your recorder, it has paid for itself. The cost of goods sold is irrelevant. I for one do not hope that some Chinese company violates Sound Devices' intellectual property rights by cloning the MX-L sled. We've had enough of that.

If you add up the costs to have that sled designed in CAD, the cost of having the metal tools made to mold them in series, production, final assembly and testing, then factor in how many they will actually sell (MixPres are not exactly a high volume consumer product), I'd be surprised if their margin on those sleds to distributors is even 15-20% It will likely be a few years before they recover their design, tooling and production costs on those things. Plastic is the least of their costs.

This reminds me of my friends in the model sailplane crowd. These guys spend $2500 on a beautiful, high tech, 4-meter hollow molded carbon fiber airframe from Germany, then they'll put another $500 of electronics in it to control all the surfaces. And then they'll engage in a lively discussion thread 200 posts long about where to find the cheapest NiMh batteries and the cheapest way to make a battery pack. They will scavenge the discount bins at Walmart to find the cheapest NiMh batteries possible and waste their time doing all sorts of tests on them. Given all the hours they'd spent building up such a valuable airframe, not to mention the money they'd spent on ancillaries, it always seemed odd to me that would focus so much attention on saving $50-100 bucks on batteries - the very thing that keeps the electronics running and allows the plane to remain under radio control. Madness.

Originally Posted by szegedin View Post
Thanks for the tip -- that is $60 plus another $60 for the battery sled, it doesn't come with the mixpre3. This is how fast you get into hundreds on batteries. They're getting $60-$70 for a little piece of molded soft plastic that holds 8AAs or this L batt -- it's way over the line. Hope somebody in China is listening and goes into the business of making dupes, because it would be super easy to copy at $1 a piece.

Man, I'm starting to feel like the unit should have come with some kind of lithium battery, like a cell phone does, because it's not like you can throw AAs in there and go use it. It's their way of keeping their margin up. There are other drawbacks to it, but it does sound great -- that is, doesn't sound like anything.

Last edited by bwanajim; 10th September 2018 at 04:29 PM..