Home Critic's Corner

Discuss a review. Provide constructive feedback. Talk to the industry.

Perhaps right, definitely partially wrong.

As you say there are all kinds of things that seem to be outside of our control. Here is one stupid example. When Ayre was developing the DX-5 Blu-ray player, based on the Oppo BDP-83 player, we were concerned that the rumors of impending 3D Blu-ray would be potentially damaging tot the sales of our soon-to-be product.

Like many stupid fads in audio and video (eg, upsampling, HDCD, and many, many others), they cause FUD in buyers minds. This leads to a period of reduced sales if you don't offer the feature while FUD is at its highest. Eventually (typically 2 or 3 years) the market gets over the FUD (typically created by the magazines, in large part). Then if you do have that feature you look kind of stupid. (For example, would you buy a CD player today if the main things it offered as USPs were upsampling and HDCD?)

In the case of 3D, Ayre was deliberately misled by Oppo. Just a few weeks before they started selling their 3-D compatible BDP-93, they still were telling Ayre that it was a full year away. My guess is that they wanted Ayre to finish our work so they could copy it and put it into their "SE" models (which is what they did), but I can't say for sure.

It was quite obvious that unlike DVD itself, or even arguably Blu-ray itself, it was just going to be a stupid distraction and there was nothing to do but settle in for a long period of reduced sales. What could a small company like Ayre do to dissuade the entire TV industry - Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Toshiba, Pioneer, and dozens more manufacturers PLUS all of the A/V press that 3D was going to be a useless fad?) Not a lot. Now 5 years later, I don't think that more that 5% of the market gives a DAMN if their TV has 3D. There are so many complaints about the glasses and the fake look. I did see one golfing enthusiast say that watching golf tournaments in 3D allowed him to see the lay of the greens much more easily, but that is about it.

But in the case of high-end audio, it is a much smaller market and easier to leverage opinions. One thing I've learned is that it is easy with allies, and I've found many, many who share my views. Unfortunately many of them are prohibited from speaking out as they unfortunately signed ultra-restrictive, completely unbalanced NDAs with MQA.

Unfortunately all of the private discussions I've had with JA for the past few years have had zero impact. This latest "terror" campaign seems to have had an effect, but at a much higher cost (in many, many ways than I would have liked). The bottom line is that I am sick and tired of the magazines latching on to the latest fad, just to give them some nonsense to write about and fill up their magazines every month. Things were much better when the "undergrounds" were quarterly and they actually had time to write thoughtful pieces about meritorious equipment, and not just try and cover the flood of "me too" garbage that much of the "high-end" has become. (It's a self-reinforcing cycle - the magazines don't have enough to write about so they will write about any equipment, encouraging more manufacturers to enter the field, requiring greater coverage...)


This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors:
  VH Audio  


Follow Ups Full Thread
Follow Ups

FAQ

Post a Message!

Forgot Password?
Moniker (Username):
Password (Optional):
  Remember my Moniker & Password  (What's this?)    Eat Me
E-Mail (Optional):
Subject:
Message:   (Posts are subject to Content Rules)
Optional Link URL:
Optional Link Title:
Optional Image URL:
Upload Image:
E-mail Replies:  Automagically notify you when someone responds.