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Doublehelix



Joined: 04/12/02
Posts: 4162
Loc: USA
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: ]
      #204199 - 31/10/05 05:46 PM
Quote:

I could go on for ver - but youse will all be bored




Excellent my friend! Great contribution, I knew you had it in you!

I especially liked the part about Uli Behringer not wanting to put high-end transformers in his gear, and "why should he". Excellent point. He is certainly doing "something" right.

Some of this stuff will indeed be obsolete long before it breaks, but I also think that some of the points here were dealing with the quality of the sound, not just the reliability or the economics.

Mr. Behringer has made a lot of money in a very small and competitive market, and although some say he has flooded the market with crap, he has certainly been successful with it, and you can't argue with success.

My (very) limited knowledge of economics tells me that if his products were really that bad, no one would buy them and they would go out of business, but instead, they appear to be thriving in a VERY SMALL market. As you mention, Rupert Neve can't even afford one of his own modules!!! Pretty scary, eh?

Now, does anyone want to talk about Molecular Genetics or Biochemisty?

--------------------
James
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" ~Napoleon Bonaparte~


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Doublehelix



Joined: 04/12/02
Posts: 4162
Loc: USA
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: KidCracken]
      #204203 - 31/10/05 05:48 PM
Quote:

yea it does, but you still gotta eat every day right?




Ahh..rubbish!!! Give me a nice rack of Neve modules and I could live on that for a month!!!

--------------------
James
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" ~Napoleon Bonaparte~


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204217 - 31/10/05 06:14 PM
Simon (aka UK03878) Quote:

You do make me laugh mate...




First of all, Simon, I am not quite sure why you (and one or two others here) feel a need to be rude. If anyone here wants to contribute than please feel free to do so, but perhaps it would be a good idea if we could discuss the price of budget equipment without childish polemic.

Simon, you imply a higher knowledge on this subject, but have given us a 50-word essay on stratigic management as it applies to Uli Behringer. I am not clear as to what this has to do with the wisdom of buying a $100 microphone. Perhaps you could explain.

Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

if we build gear with slightly cheaper parts - we are going to loose market share because of unreliablity issues.




Which is what is happening. That is why we are discussing this topic.

Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

So you have a very small monetary market which has a fast turnaround time with technology... do you build resiliance into the kit..
In a harsh business sense - why the hell would you...
It's not like a house that's going to be around in 30 years time...




And that is the crux of the issue. In the past, most audio kit was built to last 30 and longer.

I think most of us here are fully aware of why Uli Behringer and others build things the way they do. It was my contention that the customer should be aware of what is going on and be aware that he / she too should think economically. A $100 microphone certainly will not be around in 30 years time, but a $1,000 mic will be.

Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

Top down budgetting/Strategic Enterprise Management is also very very important
What difference does this make...
A Lot..
This is where the strategic plan decides how much money we have to build things... rather than the traditional approach of profit and cost centres telling management how much they need to spend.




Nothing new there. The 'Aldification' or 'Aldifizierung' of the market has been taking place for some time and many German companies have been learning the Aldi lesson. That lesson is, as you imply, that at a certain price, we can sell far more of a type of product by opening up new sectors of the market.

This means that production can no longer claim to 'need' a certain level of costs to produce an item. The market dictates what that price has to be and production has to come up with a method of manufacturing at that price if we are to serve this new market.

But taken too far, this leads to products that do not do what it says on the can. And that is what was being discussed.

And I am still hoping for an expanation of the law of ostentatious consumption. I genuinely have never heard of such a law, so if you or anybody else could enlighten me, I would be grateful.

--------------------
www.the-byre.com No longer Forum Member


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KidCracken



Joined: 20/08/05
Posts: 65
Loc: Nykøbing F - DK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204222 - 31/10/05 06:30 PM
Quote The Byre:


But taken too far, this leads to products that do not do what it says on the can.




this has nothing to do with cheap.. ever heard slogans like "the best a man can get"?

but i know what you mean...


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ghr



Joined: 18/12/04
Posts: 272
Loc: Cardiff, Wales, UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204291 - 31/10/05 10:07 PM
http://www.fivefish.net/diy/behringer/default.htm

Inside a behringer mixer, if anyone is interested.


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Simon (aka UK03878)



Joined: 02/11/05
Posts: 1504
Loc: Munching a Carrot, The Fens
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #204390 - 01/11/05 08:50 AM
Quote Steve Hill:


Um... speak for yourself, but I was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers for 22 years, specialising in business recovery and insolvency. And I don't disagree with what Andy and the other "ersatz economists" are saying around here



Ahhh. one of my competitors...
I have nicked a few projects of you and you have nicked them of me... (and staff)

To Mr Byre - okay - I used the word "law" when I should have used the word "Goods"..
But thats okay - it's all debate (I have a thick skin - I should - I am currently being hassled by a load of Bulgarians who keep telling me that they need some weird accounting requirements unheard of for about 20 years in more Central European countries)
If my comment was inflammatory - I do apologise
Anyway - I am off to do some stuff for a big company in Russia and China (I am currently 1/3 of the way through a 61 country roll out) - when I finish I will try and give some indication of how the hell Chinese business practices work.
What I do know is that China should not be thought of a single market - everything is controlled via the provinces.
Normally countrys legal and statutory requirements are at the Federal, Republic, Country level.
I think this is quite interesting - you have different provinces "battling" for your custom - offering sweet deals etc..


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Simon (aka UK03878)



Joined: 02/11/05
Posts: 1504
Loc: Munching a Carrot, The Fens
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204395 - 01/11/05 09:00 AM
Quote The Byre:



This means that production can no longer claim to 'need' a certain level of costs to produce an item. The market dictates what that price has to be and production has to come up with a method of manufacturing at that price if we are to serve this new market.

But taken too far, this leads to products that do not do what it says on the can. And that is what was being discussed.
.



I think this can be expanded on more thoroughly as it leads us right to the crux of the matter.
Without going into a grandmother and eggs scenario.
And this is a highly simplified scenario.
Businesses can be though of as being big building societies for Investors/Shareholders.
A company needs to return money to people who invest their in them - through dividends against shares
A lot of the capital to invest in companies comes from our own pockets - our Pension plans.
Now what makes a pension plan want to invest in our company and not in a building society - simple - they get a better return and they get capital growth on the value of their investment.
So they will look at our company and look at others in the market.
In the market in our sector the analysts expect growth of say 5%.
Now we as a company have to do something to achieve or exceed this growth...
This is where product development or extension into new markets for existing products now comes in to achieve growth.
As I said - a highly simplified version of what may happen some companies (it does in some fo the ones I work for)
Now comes the creation of Sales Operational Plans for new products to try and achieve the growth target.
It could be new products and/or cost cutting (Global Supplier Discounts, FM-ing out non essential services, capital investment of obsolete gear...)
Anyway - as I said - a highly simplified version..


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Steve Hill
member


Joined: 07/01/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: ]
      #204465 - 01/11/05 11:17 AM
Quote Simon (aka UK03878):

Ahhh. one of my competitors...
I have nicked a few projects of you and you have nicked them of me... (and staff)




Don't blame me for your staff problems, I left PwC five years ago and got a proper job running a studio for starvation wages (plus I do a few days p.m. of consulting to pay the rent)! And yes, I too have done the Central Europe/Russia "capitalism 101" roadshow for far too long!

I have a couple of 25 year old U87s, a 40 year old Urei LA4 and some other nice bits and bobs in my studio. These things work fine. They have a market value now which is way in excess of the retail prices when they were new. The U87s would sell for about two-thirds of the cost of a new one (which is, arguably, not so good). If any of these things broke (a) they would be worth repairing, and (b) it is possible to get them repaired economically. Theoretically they will never end up in a bin.

Some companies obviously adopt the "throwaway" culture and would prefer customers to come back more frequently than every 30 years. But it doesn't work like that - I bought two new Neumann mics last year, because they have my brand loyalty and I know from experience the build quality.

I would buy shares in Neumann, but not Behringer. To be fair, I'd probably buy shares in Rode, who are altogether a more exciting company from an investment point of view (the best you'd be likely to say about Neumann, as an analyst, is "safe" or "staid"), but also seem to have a growing commitment to quality and establishing a sustainable position in the middle ground.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204591 - 01/11/05 02:45 PM
Simon, to call something a law when it is in fact a a good or an effect shows that you are not an economist.

An economist would no more call a good a law, than a mathematician would call an equation a formula, or a chemist would call an atom a molecule. When I first read that, I thought perhaps there is such a law, but I knew it was not any law of economic theory that I had heard of, so I thought it is either some crazy Marxist-Leninist 'theory' that the wild outreaches of the Left regard as absolute and as a 'given,' or that you are a sociologist and that this was some beatnik fringe law that has become flavour of the month.

My next guess was that you were a student who had come across the phrase 'ostentatious consumption' (AKA conspicuous consumption) in a lecture and now he was bursting to display his new-found knowledge.

But anyway, now we know that you are an accountant - and nothing wrong with that, after all they know where the money actually is and therefore earn money (unlike most economists).

But I digress . . .

The question at hand is one of microeconomics (i.e. the behaviour of the individual) given a range of products. I was attempting to get people to ask themselves a few basic economic questions, not as would-be 'ersatz economists,' but as bog standard and dead normal consumers.

(I was hoping to invoke the idea of indifference analysis and marginal utility, but in regards to quality and not quantity and without naming the beast!)

I was trying to point out, without getting long-haired about economic theory, that at both ends of the quality scale, the law of diminishing marginal utility applies. This law states that after a certain point, increases in the quantity of a good yield diminishing increases in utility.

But this is also true of quality. The most expensive car is not the most useful car. It is not even the most reliable car. Mercedes have shown us that if you take a medium priced brand and evolve the it into a series of plastic gin-palaces packed full of electronics, they become progressively unreliable and your traditional customer base leaves you. Like the Rolex Oyster, they leave the conservative middle classes and enter the choppy waters of vulgar and ostentatious consumption. The function of these products is not to get you from A to B or to tell the time, but to display your wealth. Their utility in traditional terms is very low.

Put in simple terms, if you are building a safe, economic and reliable car that is built to last, additional features do not add proportionately to the car's utility.

If we are dealing with traditional economic theory as it is taught to intermediate and graduate level, indifference analysis deals with quantity and not quality. Quality is dealt with in replacement, preference and 'basket of goods' theory (e.g. cake and milk replaces bread and water as incomes increase). Today's consumer is therefore mostly taught to think in those terms. In other words cake is better than bread. So the consumer buys cheap cake rather than good bread.

I am trying to get people to realise that a similar effect takes place at the other end of the quality scale as well.

If, after a certain point, increases in the quality of a good yield diminishing increases in utility, it is also true that after a certain point, decreases in the quality of a good yield disproportionate decreases in utility.

Simply stated, if you build it cheaply enough, it either falls to bits or does not work properly.

Elsewhere, there is a thread about someone trying to split-feed from a Behringer desk to a 24-track recorder. The only problem is that the direct outs on the desk are not direct outs at all, but taps taken from the fader. This means that the desk cannot be used for recording as every time the fader gets moved, the record level changes. The desk is useless for the task.

It looks like a 24 input desk, it has the words 'Mixing Desk' written on it and for the time being at least, it will perform some or most of the functions of a mixing desk. But it cannot be used for the task at hand. Its utility in this instance is zero.
_______________________________________________________

And to tick a few boxes:

No, Rupert Neve is not pan-handling under the arches of London Bridge, but running a successful company in Texas.

You cannot buy shares in Neumann as it belongs to the Sennheiser family.

You cannot (as far as I am aware) buy shares in Behringer either. It too is a private company.
______________________________________________________

This bit has nothing to do with any of the above -

And yes your 50-word essay on growth and investment in companies is over-simplified. But it also only applies to public companies. Most companies in pro-audio are either totally private or dominated by private ownership with limited public stock issues. It is often the case that UK competitors and analysts do not understand the goals of the typical German private company that lead them to be slowly undermined by the Behringers, Sennheisers, Bertelsmann, Lidls and Aldis of this World. You could add to that Thomann and Music Store. Both privately owned and with little or no borrowings, they grow slowly and organically. They do not go into voluntary liquidation from one day to the next, they do not lease their cars or rent their shops. Staff does not come via an agency with a head office in the Gambia. Doing business is not for them some kind of juggling or high-wire act between angry shareholders, disapproving boards of governors, demanding banks, angry customers and falling liquidity.

When I earlier wrote of the 'aldification' of the market, I was referring to the retail business model that has been the most hotly debated in Europe. To understand Behringer, you must understand Aldi. To understand Music Store, you must understand Aldi. The owner of Music Store even had a a big Aldi sign right behind his head in his office and the 2002 catalogue even had an Aldi sign on page three.

Your view of growth does not tally with my view of growth. Growth as a result of borrowings and market share at any price is just a bullfrog full of air. It is Morrison taking over Safeways. It is a man with a dead man on his shoulders. He is neither larger nor taller. He just weighs more.

The Behringer model will be very different.

--------------------
www.the-byre.com No longer Forum Member


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Simon (aka UK03878)



Joined: 02/11/05
Posts: 1504
Loc: Munching a Carrot, The Fens
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204608 - 01/11/05 03:21 PM
Quote The Byre:

But anyway, now we know that you are an accountant - and nothing wrong with that, after all they know where the money actually is and therefore earn money (unlike most economists).
.



Close... that was my training but I have gone into a more exotic field since then. (exotic being a fairly loose term)


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


Joined: 24/01/02
Posts: 2687
Loc: The King's Height
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204611 - 01/11/05 03:23 PM
The only problem with the Aldi analogy is that Aldi actually sell many products which are actually better than the known brand of the bigger supermarkets.
There are thousands of food brands across the world and just because Asda or Tesco choose not to sell it, doesn't mean it is bad.

Eg. I have an Austrian aunt who commented that the coffe in Aldi is the main brand in Germany.

I also won an Aldi hamper and the quality of the produce inside was far superior to my local Morrisons and more akin to something you would buy in a deli.

Back to cheap goods...

When I worked for a well-known textile company, we were putting good quality T-shirts out the door for less than 2 quid. Reebok were branding them and selling them for 20 quid.
A golf brand were branding a £4.50 sweatshirt for 80 quid.

Yes, they were good quality, but come on......

How much do you reckon a U87 leaves the factory for?

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: BigAl]
      #204646 - 01/11/05 03:58 PM
Quote BigAl:

I have an Austrian aunt who commented that the coffe in Aldi is the main brand in Germany.

I also won an Aldi hamper and the quality of the produce inside was far superior to my local Morrisons and more akin to something you would buy in a deli.




And there you have the answer to the conundrum, "Quo vadis Behringer?"

1. Aldi owns its own manufacturing plant and is the largest manufacturer of coffee in Europe. It also supplies other stores with coffee.

2. Aldi began after the War as the cheapest of the cheap. It was regarded as a type of shame to have to shop at Aldi. Only very poor people shopped at Aldi. Already some 20 years ago, word got out that some of the products were not only cheaper than the competition, but also better. Slowly, it made its way up the quality ladder until today just about everybody shops at Aldi.

--------------------
www.the-byre.com No longer Forum Member


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


Joined: 24/01/02
Posts: 2687
Loc: The King's Height
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204668 - 01/11/05 04:20 PM
I don't like to slag companies like Behringer because they do make stuff that can get beginners into recording fairly cheaply, and there are companies way ahead of them in my hit list. I actually own a headphone amp which is fine.

Just as you would buy your child a 100 quid Yamaha acoustic to start with, rather than a 2 grand Taylor.

On the watch thing - there are only one or two companies making mechanisms so many watches are priced on the name and not the quality of the watch.

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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yorkio
new member


Joined: 03/11/03
Posts: 373
Loc: Gateshead
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: BigAl]
      #204714 - 01/11/05 05:34 PM
Quote BigAl:

When I worked for a well-known textile company, we were putting good quality T-shirts out the door for less than 2 quid. Reebok were branding them and selling them for 20 quid.
A golf brand were branding a £4.50 sweatshirt for 80 quid.




Or there's the Telefunken/Apex scenario, where, according to a number of seemingly credible accounts, the same microphone will cost you $1399 with a Telefunken badge or $229 with an Apex badge.

www.studioreviews.com/m16-460.htm

It's reading stuff like that that makes me think, Ah sod it, I'll just get the cheapo Chinese knock-off because at least I'll know what I'm getting...


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ChrisR63



Joined: 06/10/05
Posts: 49
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: BigAl]
      #204866 - 01/11/05 10:51 PM
This thread is great - it's like a soap opera version of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists but set in a music studio (rather than decorating everyone is installing (cheap) acoustic treatment)!

I have just bought a Emu 0404 and a SE mike to get started. I know they are not going to be the best (or even the easiest to use) but it was what I thought was an appropraite price to start to dabble. I am assumimg as they will get light use they will actually last a while - if they were to be used day in day out OK they will fall to bits reasonable quickly. If they break in a 2 years time that will be ok cos by then I wouldln't want to use such crap mikes.
And buying new stuff is fun by the way!

And I was looking at the Behringer MC200 - only £33 in DV (who everyone hates but buys from) - looks like and is priced like a toy. After all that what hobbies are all about isn't it - toys! Yeah the crap valve with go in a few months and then you buy another better quality valve and you have doubled the value. But will I enjoy playing with it (like the kid did with the £100 keyboard)- probably. Will I really miss £33 - only 15 pints of beer so one good night out! I'd have to stop drinking for a whole week to get a good mike.

I think people do realise that sub £100 mikes shouldn't be used when Aretha Franklin visits your project studio (be ok for Diana Ross though)!
They want to 'just do it' (to pinch one of those money grabbing capitalist slogans).

(Please add virtual post icons to any bits that you don't like within this post.)


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The real musiclover



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 4357
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #204950 - 02/11/05 05:54 AM

The Aldi analogy? Are you saying that Behringer aren't actually that bad? Or, unlike Aldi, they will not get better in your opinion?

Maybe as a skimmer of this thread i am missing some key info, and the analogy has a different context?
But i think some here are too hard on Behringer, although they do things that probably warrant criticism, granted.

Haha, like make audio eqpt i hear some cry.

But they fulfill a need.

On the food front... Some of the cheaper "copies" are the actual product in lesser packaging. Probably common knowledge?


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12463
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: BigAl]
      #205008 - 02/11/05 09:53 AM
Quote BigAl:

How much do you reckon a U87 leaves the factory for?




A lot more than you think given your examples.

There is a standard retail mark-up plus a standard distributor mark-up and that's all - there is no vast inflated mark-up because it's a "Neumann" - the mic. costs so much to manufacture and the retail price is in direct relation to this.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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BigAl
Just The Bass Player


Joined: 24/01/02
Posts: 2687
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: John Willett]
      #205108 - 02/11/05 12:19 PM
I was only teasing John....

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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Dishpan



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 813
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: John Willett]
      #205228 - 02/11/05 03:47 PM
> There is a standard retail mark-up plus a standard distributor mark-up and that's all - there is no vast inflated mark-up because it's a "Neumann" - the mic. costs so much to manufacture and the retail price is in direct relation to this.

There's more to it than that John, Neumann deliberately raised their European prices (and cut prices in the US) to stop grey-market traders buying their microphones from Germany, and selling them over in the States at a far lower price than Neumann/USA (a seperate company with their own overheads, although as you know owned by Sennheiser) could do.


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The Byre



Joined: 27/03/05
Posts: 1674
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The real musiclover]
      #205362 - 02/11/05 07:00 PM
Quote The real musiclover:

The Aldi analogy? Are you saying that Behringer aren't actually that bad? Or, unlike Aldi, they will not get better in your opinion?




Behringer has already been getting better at what they do. But some of their products are still pretty dreadful and some of their products are just wide of the mark and do not fulfill any significant market need - but then they die off pretty quickly anyway.

And yes, as Big Al points out, there are companies that produce products that are of lower quality. And this is the 'Aldi Problem' or in this case the 'Behringer Problem' - what happens to your market share when you start to drift up-market and new 'Aldis' and 'Behringers' come in behind you? I remember Tesco in the 60's as a series of small shops (no match for the Fine-Fares and Sainsburys of this World) that just sold a very small selection of cheap crap at rock-bottom prices. Now Tesco has to worry about Aldi and Aldi is loosing market share to Lidl.

To answer the question "Quo vadis Behringer?" you should look at German post War industrial history and the one company that defined German consumer psychology: Volkswagen.

After the War, VW produced one car; a horrible little thing that always seemed to warm the occupants with exauhst fumes, used too much fuel, spun out at every corner when pushed and was numbingly slow. But it was cheap and it was reliable. When the Bavarian winters dropped to -20C and all other cars just turned their faces to the wall, the Beetle fired up on two, then three and then - miracle of miracles - on all four cylinders and its owner was able to drive to work. It may have been a horrible drive, but it was infinitely better than loosing a day's pay.

Post War Germany was poor. It was poor beyond any modern, western imaginings. Young girls had sex with GI's and Tommies in exchange for chocolate and cigarettes to keep their families alive. Those children that had access to a school had to bring firewood with them.

From this was born the typical modern German cynicism. (And if you read Wilde, you will know that a cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.)

In other words, everything is an economic calculation. Sex, who you marry, which car you drive, what hobbies you persue and who your friends are. All decided by 'What's in it for me?'

Or as a German producer friend of mine once put it, "I loose all sympathy for a man when I find that he has no money."

In the 60's two brothers called Albrecht who had inherited their mother's corner store near Cologne, began to build small shops filled with a very few goods at very low prices. Nothing fresh and nothing fancy. Just tins and packages. Sugar and beans, soup and beer. Milk and gin.

The goods were left on the palettes and customers had to rip the goods out of the boxes themselves. The girl at the check-out had to lift each item from one basket to another as there was no proper till. There was just one brand of soap, one brand of toothpaste, one brand of beer, two types of stew and just one Schnapps. But if you wanted to eat (or just get drunk) and you did not have the money for the goods in one of the 'better' stores, Aldi was nothing short of a Godsend.

But today, just as Volkswagen covers every end of the market from Bugatti to Skoda, with a massive array of well-built family cars in between, Aldi has moved to the middle ground and now is known for good value for money all round.

My guess (and it is just a guess, but I think it makes sense) is that Uli Behringer will do the same.

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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205411 - 02/11/05 09:01 PM
im sure you got it the wrong way round with behringer there, mr byre, surely they have gone down market rapidly in the last ten years ... their gear used to be high quality pro rack equipment, then they jumped on the home recording bandwagon and got cheaper and cheaper .. anyone seen their new firewire interface for less than 60 quid !!!

cheers
grainger


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Stan



Joined: 17/01/05
Posts: 1311
Loc: Big Rock Candy Mountain
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205466 - 02/11/05 11:16 PM
My SE2200 mic is sweet. The difference it made to the quality of my vocal recordings is large. My SE cost £50 less than my AKG c1000 and it was made in Shangai.
Quality got cheaper. I'd call my SE2200 good bread.
Audio quality was not the victim in this case.

--------------------
.. is this thing on?


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RegressiveRock
Just half a pint of cherryade for me


Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 5649
Loc: Buntingford, Herts
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Stan]
      #205473 - 02/11/05 11:30 PM
Quote Stan:

My SE2200 mic is sweet. The difference it made to the quality of my vocal recordings is large. My SE cost £50 less than my AKG c1000 and it was made in Shangai.
Quality got cheaper. I'd call my SE2200 good bread.
Audio quality was not the victim in this case.




The original SE2200 is a fine mike. I had a couple and liked them. The C1000 is not a good mike from a good manufacturer, however.

There are some pearls out there cheap. Just not all the time.

--------------------
Google less; read more!


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Garry S
new member


Joined: 13/03/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: RegressiveRock]
      #205521 - 03/11/05 02:02 AM
I think the Aldi / Tesco analogies are not relevant to the Behri (or Samson and so on, come to that) debate. The former is about something close to a perfect market, huge volumes, commoditised products and an informed audience (they can compare bread prices).

The market for products which allow people to record or make music at home is about relatively technically complex bits of kit, and has been changed out of recognition by (inter alia) the new power of PC's and the popularity of sample based music. So you have a whole new bunch of people who want to make music at home, believe that they can - and why shouldn't they - but don't have much of a budget and don't have the expertise to recognise quality. This is where I was until recently and I would bet I am one of millions across the globe. This is the perfect target market for Uli B and so on.

--------------------
Couple of our songs here http://www.mixposure.com/song.php?songid=9706


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #205592 - 03/11/05 10:24 AM
Quote grAInger:

im sure you got it the wrong way round with behringer there, mr byre, surely they have gone down market rapidly in the last ten years ... their gear used to be high quality pro rack equipment, then they jumped on the home recording bandwagon and got cheaper and cheaper .. anyone seen their new firewire interface for less than 60 quid !!!

cheers
grainger




errr what the hell gave you that idea???

Behringer have NEVER been "high quality pro Rack equipment"

they've ALWAYS been about bringing the cheapest product to market they possibly could.... it's simply that as they've grown, they've used economies of scale to further reduce the prices, deliberately competing on price, and "over optimistic" marketing...

Simply saying "professional quality FX" and labelling an item "pro-xl" does NOT make it so.....

compare ANY generation of their product to an acknowledged "good" "pro" product of the same era, and you'll find the Behringer is the lesser of the two products... AND Cheaper.

I suspect a large part of their market earlier was the live sound market... it certainly was in my experience anyway...

the typical Hire PA thinking at the time went along the lines of

"why buy one of these, admittedly very nice DBX compressors, when I can buy 5 Composers for the same money, and not care if they break, get beer spilled in them and so on... " they didn't sound "amazing" they simply did a job cheaply...

the market penetration was highly effective....

okay, there were two products which could arguably be said to have bucked that trend...

the UltraCurve and Ultradyne....

these two actually didn't do a bad job... but they cost a lot more for a longer time than any of the other items in the range.... and can still be found today, sitting in some very prestigious PA racks..../.

I first Encountered them in Midge Ure's regular PA many years ago... when they were a "new" thing

and was actually impressed... with the facilities they provided FOR THE MONEY.

the same job could be done, arguably better, with other gear, but at 5 or 6 times the cost per unit.

but in the context of a Live PA rig, they did a perfectly acceptable Job... hell even if the power supply did Buzz acoustically, in that environment, you would NEVER have heard it....

in a decent studio control room though, damn right you'd hear it.... and put the EQ up against a decent quality analogue unit, and there's no way you'd choose it in preference...

and you need to pay quite a bit more than the price of an Ultradyne to get a unit that provides similar facilities AND sounds better.,

But you CAN improve on it's sound... TC triple C does a reasonable job, but you need to go further up market to match the 6 bands the Ultradyne has.,.

( to be fair, these days almost any half decent multiband dynamics plug in sounds better.... )


But in the Working PA rig, the balance between cost and performance is very different from the balance in the studio....

in the studio you should always strive for the n'th degree of perfection to some extent....

whereas in a Live scenario, you try and get the best sound you can, in the least time and for the least money.... to make the job pay, and be able to actually achieve a touring schedule that has the slightest chance of making a profit for anyone involved.
(and these days, it seems not forgetting to completely ignore the audience's experience )


Max

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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Jcar81



Joined: 13/12/04
Posts: 84
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205885 - 03/11/05 05:21 PM
There is something that has been touched on a little above which is the idea of brand value.

Taking the Fiat and Mercedes example - if Mercedes manufactured Puntos, it could charge signifcantly more for them than Fiat could.

Of course you have to earn that brand value in the first place.

I'd therefore suggest that, say, Mackie could sell an identical product to Behringer for perhaps double the price, simply because people have more confidence in the brand.

(ah but Behringer are in fact selling copies of Mackie products I hear you cry... but that's another issue...)

Anyway - I'm not going to pretend that Behringer gear is of the top quality availble. But I would suggest that you might pay around double for a similar product by another manufacturer.

I have several pieces of Behringer equipment and all are still in perfect working order, and have served me well. Would I buy them again? With my budget, yes. They definitely offer quality that would have been unheard of at the price a few years ago. And I don't neccessarily associate "Made in China" with bad quality any more - even Volkswagen are manufacturing cars in China. Often products made there actually seem of very high quality.

I also think it's a fair point that buying cheap equipment doesn't always represent good value for money, because the investment is in a sense wasted when the product needs replacing, whereas better gear may never require replacing. Also the issues of "can it be repaired" and "is there any customer service" are important ones for audio professionals.

I think the second-hand market sometimes provides the best value for money for the beginner, even if new products initially seem more appealing.

J


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12463
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Jcar81]
      #205897 - 03/11/05 05:46 PM
Don't forget there is copying and copying

You can copy using the same components or you can copy and use the cheapest components and down-rate them all -EG: 10% tolerance instead of 1%, etc., etc..

'Nuff said

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Studio Support Gnome]
      #205933 - 03/11/05 06:30 PM
errr .. sorry max but only 7 years ago the behringer composer had a higher rrp than dbx units of the same spec (so i dont see how you could buy 5 of them for the same as a dbx), i have a lot of old sos back issues here. their euro rack mixers were similarly expensive, and were equipped with high quality opamps .. although i know in those days rrp didnt mean that anyone really sold them at that price. (and of course i KNOW to call something PRO doesnt make it so !!! ... )

in those days the cheapest guys on the block were ZOOM - a name that hasnt come up in this discussion yet ..

also you are still making the mistake that this conversation is only about studio equipment, we are also talking about home recording. which has been pointed out already, will not require the gear to be industrial spec, so to pay premium prices for something that is made stronger seems a bit pointless. so long as it does the job and doesnt spoil the sound it will hopefully last long enough to get the ideas down on disc.

cheers
grainger


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Bill C



Joined: 13/10/04
Posts: 625
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205947 - 03/11/05 07:23 PM
regarding the Behringer bashing - here's a successful media composer who when interviewed by SOS a few years ago was using Behringer ...

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Aug01/articles/pfarrer0801.asp


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Doublehelix



Joined: 04/12/02
Posts: 4162
Loc: USA
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #205961 - 03/11/05 07:54 PM
Quote:

sorry max but only 7 years ago the behringer composer had a higher rrp than dbx units of the same spec (so i dont see how you could buy 5 of them for the same as a dbx), i have a lot of old sos back issues here. their euro rack mixers were similarly expensive, and were equipped with high quality opamps .. although i know in those days rrp didnt





The low-end DBX stuff doesn't neccessarily inspire confidence either. Years ago, DBX took a big turn for the worse with regards to quality when they started coming out with their lower-cost products.

--------------------
James
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" ~Napoleon Bonaparte~


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grahawk



Joined: 07/09/04
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Loc: Berkshire
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205969 - 03/11/05 08:08 PM
It's not entirely relevant but I see Behringer have just announced a £60 firewire interface.

Now you can get DVD players for £20 it illustrates how cheap it is to make mass produced electronics in China. These probably aren't great but as with audio many people don't notice or don't care. I certainly don't notice and it's probably also true of audio. The music has always mattered far more to me than the recording quality. However I do understand that such cheap stuff is probably not contributing to sustainability especially if it gives up after 18 moths and is replaced by something as cheap. Then again in the whole consumer electronics field I don't think expensive stuff is built to last either and that's a huge market compared to audio recording equipment.


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gerard



Joined: 07/02/05
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Loc: London, UK
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #205973 - 03/11/05 08:19 PM


...all i can say is the whole world is going down the toilet.

that's all i'm going to say...

you don't want to get me started!



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ChrisR63



Joined: 06/10/05
Posts: 49
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: coool]
      #206041 - 03/11/05 10:51 PM
I think you may have hit the nail on the head here.
In my kitchen I have a 'nice' cooker - I cook what I think is really nice meals but then again I don't cook for 200 seats a night every night every day of the week (except Wednesdays). It s not a 'pro' cooker. It serves my purposes - I use good ingredients and what comes out is good enough for people to eat(!) - in fact on occasions I have produced a really nice meal which peple said was lovely (the alcohol may have clouded their judgement (but so in a night club with anything recorded just to get back onto subject!!!))
Home recording is about getting ideas down not recording the next No.1 isn't it? Does anyone really think (as opposed to wish) they will have be on top of the pops (or make £m) with what they recorded on their PC. Don't you go into your proper studio and say I recorded this make it better with your thousand pound mike, thousand pound compressor, thousand pound valve guitar amp ... get the picture.
I work in IT and we prototype things and then build them properly with proper tools and proper implementations. But sometime we get a gem of a protype that actually is right. Sadley other time we push out the craply recorded prototypes just to make money
Music is a busines and there are lots of levels of 'quality', all are relevant as in all other busines. Cars, supermarkets, TV, music, sex - you get what you pay for just hope you have plenty of disposable income or can sell at a profit.


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The real musiclover



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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: ChrisR63]
      #206048 - 03/11/05 11:15 PM

This just occured to me... Erm?

Relevance? Up to you.

Just for arguments sake..... Just supposing that you were put in a studio and had a modicum (at least) of talent and a reasonable grasp of the basics of sound engineering and technology, that, i imagine is most of the contributors here... Anyway this studio you have at your disposal has a hell of a lot of behringer gear, lets say ALL behringer, aside from the synths and instruments.

Could you, or could you not get a decent recording?
A usable recording? Maybe not as fantastic as you may like, but given the nature of the eqpt, a reasonably decent recording that 1000's of people (musicians and non musicians?) up and down the country would regard as a listenable recording. Honestly!

I hope that made a little sense, it's a serious question.

I say yes.

And no, i'm not the man from Del Monte.


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Michael Harrison
active member


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Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The real musiclover]
      #206058 - 03/11/05 11:58 PM
Quote RML:

lets say ALL behringer, aside from the synths and instruments.

Could you, or could you not get a decent recording?




Yes, I reckon I could; providing reliability (one of the main criticisms) wasn't an issue on the day. This is as you say; the skill of the operator is more important. However, it does cut both ways. Having a working knowledge of a wider range of equipment, I also reckon I could get a justifiably better recording using gear that doesn't cost the earth, but doesn't fall into the Behringer-Bargain-Basement category either.

The second caveat as I see it is this: Going back to the above quoted question, my reply of 'yes' is also qualified by the fact that I'm comfortable with my engineering skills and confident in my ability to spot & avoid/work around the inherrent limitations in most Behringer (or other low-budget) equipment. If I gave *myself-6-years-ago* a studio full of Behringer equipment to make a recording, I think the limitations would be harder for me to spot & counteract.

Hence, newbies stocking up on loads cheap Behringer-etc gear are satisfying the 'me too!' factor of our psyche, but would be better served learning more about how to make careful & effective recordings with a more limited range of better-quality gear. In the process, they'll learn how to differentiate between the relative value of cheapo shelf-filling items & better quality apparatus.

Regards,

Mike

--------------------
www.ehsound.co.uk - Live Sound Hire & Services


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The real musiclover



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 4357
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Michael Harrison]
      #206064 - 04/11/05 12:23 AM

Nice one Michael, yes that all makes good sense, i and think i am understanding you.

I too am reasonably comfortable with my skills and the abilities that years of hard work and therefore experience bring... To the two of us, for example!
Newbies gearing up on the cheap will miss out on the classy stuff? Hmmm? Maybe a few, but when i was driving an Escort i wanted a BMW. And always dreamt of the Porsche. Both just incidentally German, curiously enough.

Of course there are budget alternatives to behringer that could achieve better recordings, i know exactly what you mean.

Behringer is cheap, so are Zoom, Phonic, Edirol, Samson, And for a few quid more you can do Drawmer, Focusrite, Dynaudio etc etc..... And it all depends on the budget, if they have the money, they should buy better, yes of course.

I'll stop here before my incoherence increases.


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Michael Harrison]
      #206102 - 04/11/05 06:44 AM
hi michael - though if the 'newbie' buys a composer rather than downloading a vst i think he will probably at least learn more about how compressors work

hi gerard - yep youve got it, the world is already in the toilet. but it really isnt to do with cheap home recording gear

cheers
grainger


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drumon



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 243
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: Michael Harrison]
      #206121 - 04/11/05 08:35 AM
Quote Michael Harrison:

Quote RML:


The second caveat as I see it is this: Going back to the above quoted question, my reply of 'yes' is also qualified by the fact that I'm comfortable with my engineering skills and confident in my ability to spot & avoid/work around the inherrent limitations in most Behringer (or other low-budget) equipment. If I gave *myself-6-years-ago* a studio full of Behringer equipment to make a recording, I think the limitations would be harder for me to spot & counteract.

Hence, newbies stocking up on loads cheap Behringer-etc gear are satisfying the 'me too!' factor of our psyche, but would be better served learning more about how to make careful & effective recordings with a more limited range of better-quality gear. In the process, they'll learn how to differentiate between the relative value of cheapo shelf-filling items & better quality apparatus.





This sounds like a fantastic piece of advice for anyone new to this, I shall certainly follow this rule too, very well put, thanks!


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Spy!
new member


Joined: 07/01/03
Posts: 520
Loc: k, stock & barrel.
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #206349 - 04/11/05 03:21 PM
Quote grAInger:

also you are still making the mistake that this conversation is only about studio equipment, we are also talking about home recording. which has been pointed out already, will not require the gear to be industrial spec, so to pay premium prices for something that is made stronger seems a bit pointless. so long as it does the job and doesnt spoil the sound it will hopefully last long enough to get the ideas down on disc.

cheers
grainger



IMO there is a (relatively large) middle ground between esoteric, boutique, high-spec, professional studio gear and cheap-as-chips, lucky-if-it-lasts-a-month, sounds-like-crap, home recording gear.

I believe the point being made by many (and certainly by me) is that if you can't afford to and/or don't want to spend that much money on high end gear, it still doesn't make sense (economic or otherwise) to buy the cheap crap (whoever makes it) because you'll end up with junk (the hard/software and your recordings) that nobody wants.

Whether you're (one is) in it for the 'fun' of it or you have more serious ambitions, whether you're trying to just get a record (as in archive) of your band's practice, make a demo or produce a release-ready recording, to me, there is little point in skimping for the sake of a few quid here and there. What you save here you’ll lose later in wasted time and money when unreliable equipment inevitably breaks down.

--------------------
One Love, Spy!
Blog | Podcasts | Tunes


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coool



Joined: 16/09/04
Posts: 556
Re: Monitors for a Fiver, a mic for a Tenner please! new [Re: The Byre]
      #206657 - 05/11/05 04:50 AM
i dunno i think the behringer bashers are pretty much trounced to be honest (if you have the ideas and the abilities and the recording environment then behringer WILL do the job) . .. as was pointed out earlier, the world is going down the toilet, i for one believe that one of the reasons for this sad state of affairs is that on this side of the world some of us have a feeling that its ok to spend enormous amounts of money on esoteric TOYS that hypnotise the user, with their price tag, into believing that they sound better and will make their owners into a PRO !!!

the resale prices of behringer (and zoom etc) gear on ebay is pretty good to be honest. what do you have to lose ? except maybe your prejudices (or your illusions about your own abilities !?)

cheers
grainger


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