Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

the thin end of the wedge
patient_ot
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by patient_ot » 25 Oct 2019 17:46

Erin1 wrote:
25 Oct 2019 04:40

I would sooner design my own cartridge from ground up than deal with the existing mob.
Unless you have a great deal of money (think hundreds of thousands or even up to a million or more) to invest in laser cutting equipment for diamond styli you would be dealing with one of the three major stylus suppliers just like every cartridge company on the planet.

JDJX
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by JDJX » 25 Oct 2019 19:37

A luxury car has roughtly the same number of parts as a budget car
I remember back in the '70s, Ford admitted that it only cost them about $500 more to build their full size "Galaxy 500" over their economy small Pinto".
However, Ford charged thousands more for the Galaxy 500.

As was already pointed out, if you want a their higher end product from a company, be prepared to get ripped off to one extent or another.

wolfie62
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by wolfie62 » 25 Oct 2019 20:18

The truth is, it costs nearly as much to build an economy car, or compact car, as it does to build a full sized car. It’s been that way for decades. That’s why Ford and Chevy have so often rebadged a Korean or Japanese car as their own, such as a Daewoo or Mitsubishi, or Subaru. The Chevy Aveo, Ford Festiva are just a few examples. Those cars are built in high numbers and sold around the world, making it affordable for their actual makers to realize a profit. Reselling them as American cars affords American auto makers to realize a profit.

So, it’s not really a rip off scheme.

I’d bet that’s why AT has China make some of their carts.

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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by GuidoK » 25 Oct 2019 21:19

Erin1 wrote:
24 Oct 2019 12:51
Example 2
The new VM95 OEM microline replacement stylus costs about $50 less than the VM 540ML replacement stylus.

We have the same Nakimi Diamond. Some plastic, a cantilever, and rubber donut suspension.
????
But do they have the same cantilever?
I think the 540ml has a tapered cantilever.
Tapered cantilevers are much more expensive to make than normal aluminium cantilevers.

But indeed cartridges are getting more expensive, especially the ones that have above par tech in them (a low tech at-3600l costs $11, and a denon dl-110 costs about €250 where the price was about €125 in 2005.

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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by Collux » 25 Oct 2019 23:25

I think there is a 'Razers & Blades' marketing model with many cartridges and similarly, with inkjet printers and their consumables.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razor_and_blades_model.

With some examples the generator is almost thrown in; as replacement OEM needles often approach the 'full' product price.

Is this a 'rip off'?
Or does it recognise amortisation & production costs of both carts and styli?
Or more cynically: just what the market will bear?
https://pragmaticpricing.com/2013/10/19 ... will-bear/

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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by GuidoK » 26 Oct 2019 12:15

Collux wrote:
25 Oct 2019 23:25

With some examples the generator is almost thrown in; as replacement OEM needles often approach the 'full' product price.
That doesnt make it a rip off.
An advanced stylus&cantilever setup probably is the most expensive part of any cartridge by far.

Erin1
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by Erin1 » 26 Oct 2019 12:37

GuidoK wrote:
26 Oct 2019 12:15
Collux wrote:
25 Oct 2019 23:25

With some examples the generator is almost thrown in; as replacement OEM needles often approach the 'full' product price.
That doesnt make it a rip off.
An advanced stylus&cantilever setup probably is the most expensive part of any cartridge by far.
We have been conditioned to believe this.
But is it true? Actual evidence?

Clearly winding some wire around a bobbin and mounting it into an injection moulded plastic body costs next to nothing as proven by the Chinese made AT3600 which sells on eBay for $11 (with stylus) and some people on vinylengine seem to love going by the hot thread at the moment...

So clearly making a stylus is not so difficult or expensive.

A reasonable guess is that the sellers buy the cartridge for half that, say $5.

This makes the cartridge cost about $2.50 and the stylus about the same....

So what evidence is there that it's difficult or expensive to do?

billshurv
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by billshurv » 26 Oct 2019 12:47

Clearly you have not worked in manufacturing.

Erin1
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by Erin1 » 26 Oct 2019 12:49

billshurv wrote:
26 Oct 2019 12:47
Clearly you have not worked in manufacturing.
I've manufactured things.
Your comment doesn't address stylus costs

Erin1
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by Erin1 » 26 Oct 2019 13:02

Another analogy.
Valves aka vacuum tubes are still made today in China and Russia using the same old machinery and techniques. It's quite a complicated process with lots of fiddly parts and toxic materials. A vacuum tube can sell for as little as $18 retail.

A great video showing the complexity of making a vacuum tube

https://youtu.be/GDvF89Bh27Y

Erin1
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by Erin1 » 26 Oct 2019 13:11

Another analogy
This surface mount inductor measuring about 1 millimetre, is made by precision wrapping thin wire (the sort used in a phono cartridge) around a ferrite bobbin, then soldering it to two metal pads and then encapsulating it in a plastic package, then putting it into individual packets so the component can be picked and placed onto a circuit board.
It costs 24 cents each in a pack of 10

https://au.rs-online.com/mobile/p/wire- ... s/7242863/

billshurv
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by billshurv » 26 Oct 2019 13:22

Erin1 wrote:
26 Oct 2019 12:49
billshurv wrote:
26 Oct 2019 12:47
Clearly you have not worked in manufacturing.
I've manufactured things.
Your comment doesn't address stylus costs
An aluminium cantilever with a bonded conical that is being churned out by the million is cheap to make. And if that, combined with the cheapest possible generator floats your boat all fine. But you cannot compare that to a boron rod with a laser cut grain aligned nude stylus. If you can't hear the difference you are lucky and can stick with the bargain basement. People who can then can decide what the value is to them.

The chinese made AT is the casio F91W of the cartridge world. If you have a watch and don't wear an F91W then you have been ripped off by your logic.

Erin1
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by Erin1 » 26 Oct 2019 13:27

GuidoK wrote:
25 Oct 2019 21:19

But do they have the same cantilever?
I think the 540ml has a tapered cantilever.
Tapered cantilevers are much more expensive to make than normal aluminium cantilevers.
Yes. Ok. A tapered cantilever.
But much more to manufacture?🤔
I doubt it 😂

Erin1
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by Erin1 » 26 Oct 2019 13:32

billshurv wrote:
26 Oct 2019 13:22
. And if that, combined with the cheapest possible generator floats your boat all fine.
No it does not "float my boat"

But I'm not sure why you seem to personally take offence that I am pointing out that it really does not cost that much more to make the "better" bodies and stylus.

In fact I've not seen any proof that it does.
Other than social conditioning by seeing retail prices which makes people assume it "Costs a lot more" which is just speculation and inuendo.

Do you have hard proof "it costs a lot more"?

billshurv
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Re: Opinion: stylus prices are a rip off

Post by billshurv » 26 Oct 2019 13:58

I doubt any proof will convince you.