August 7, 2012

Lexicon outside, Oppo inside

This term has always annoyed me:

"You get what you pay for!"

It's the line that people use when justifying spending more where it's not really clear what extra you are getting. Sometimes we fall for the price quality illusion. We instinctively feel that the more expensive product must be better. In many cases, it may have more to do with what the manufacturer knows they can charge.

Today I stumbled across a story I had heard before. One high end manufacturer got caught out when they packaged up a much cheaper Bluray player into a new case, then jacked up the price. The Oppo original cost US $500. Lexicon added $3000 to the price without changing the internals. Whilst this is a blatant example, I'm sure there is a lot more of this going on.

Why does it happen? I believe the main reason is that they can get away with it. The reason they can get away with it is that the performance differences between a $500 and $3500 player are often more imagined than real. If manufacturers were expected to produce a product that is easily recognised as superior and if this were really evaluated properly, this kind of thing would not happen. A manufacturer who tried something like this would get a bad name. I believe modern manufacturing and engineering means that decently transparent devices can be made affordable. Lexicon know that people will pay for their name and their better case.

So in this case, what are you paying for? You're paying for a nice case. You're paying for their marketing. You're paying for the perception that their name confers better performance. You're paying for staff to think up ways to charge more without actually offering real performance.  

Yep, you get what you pay for ... but that doesn't make it a good buy!

Read about it on Audioholics >

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated.