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Offline John Willett

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #120 on: June 30, 2016, 12:15:00 PM »
John,

Going by the price list on your website, the pricing between the different levels is much smaller than what I anticipated.  From the cheapest (mixer only) to the 8-track option, the difference is 621 GBP or about $835 US.  I'm not much a fan of the firmware-based pricing scheme either, but if owners can buy the less expensive version initially and then upgrade at relatively reasonable cost, then it's not that bad.  And it's not much different from what software companies do with different "levels".  I use iZotope RX4, which is the same things as the Advanced version but with certain features deactivated.

I also appreciate that Aeta chose to use reasonably-priced DV batteries for this unit.

Is your price list reflecting retail prices?  I can't find it for sale many places, and the difference between your prices and others is significant:

http://www.pinknoise-systems.co.uk/aeta-4-minx-mixer-and-multitrack-recorder.html - the only other seller I could find in the UK
http://sonoproaudio.com/store/index.php?route=product/search&filter_name=4minx - Quebec
http://www.pro-sound.com/p/aeta-systems-4-min-x-multi-track-mixer-recorder.html - $6200 US for 6-track version?!?!

Those prices are UK retail prices - Brexit and the £ going down did mean a small increase (latest price list here).

Dealers get a discount off these prices so can sell at the same price.  Pink Noise and other UK dealers buy their 4MinX from me, but I am not responsible for when they update their websites.

But, margins on AETA are very small - so when I sell to a dealer I only make a tiny %.  Which partly explains why the 4MinX, at the same quality as a Nagra VI is so much less.

You are right - there is not that much dfference between the firmware options and upgrading later is not so much either - and it's all clear in the price list.  Doing it this way encourages someone to buy a 4MinX if he only needs 2-channels he does not have to pay for 8 and can upgrade later if he wants to.  Having said that, very few go out at the lower channel counts and I have never sold a 2-track one.

But, because I sell the 4MinX I stick to only saying facts when I talk about recorders, as it would be unfair to do otherwise (and I also own a Nagra VI, bought when it first came out, as well as a 4MinX).

Offline voltronic

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Re: Aeta 8 Track Recorder
« Reply #121 on: June 30, 2016, 01:59:55 PM »
For voltronic...

You have the option to select a 4MinX without the Time Code and Surround Sound (Soundfield) options.  If you can live without those two features, which I can, you can probably purchase a 4MinX for less than the cost of a new SD744T. 

Contact Justin Marinoff at Sound-Pro for pricing on this equipment.   

Justin Marinoff <justin@pro-sound.com>

 ;D

Yes, I saw that post.  I was just pointing out that the specific version Pro Sound Services has on their site seems to be marked up quite a lot compared to the price list John was showing.  Even more so now that I see it seems to be the 4-channel version, not 6-channel as I first thought.  I do realize that there is a significant cost to the dealer of having it shipped overseas, but probably not that much.  Maybe their actual pricing for the specific models is better than the one unit they are showing online.

Not that I'm in the market for something in this price range anyway.  The next recorder I buy would need to have more than 4 analog mic inputs anyway, as I'm starting to run into situations where I want more than 4.  I just want to get a sense of what US customers would pay for the 4Minx compared to similar units since that's what's being discussed here.  It does seem to be a better value than the Nagra VI, but that's always been very high priced.  Maybe the SD 788 would be a better comparison to the 4Minx in terms of features and price.  That's still the unit I would want if cost was no object.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 02:04:48 PM by voltronic »
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Offline StuStu

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #122 on: July 01, 2016, 12:43:39 AM »
I bought mine from Justin and my price was much lower than what's on their website. I got 8 channels without TC. I don't know why Pro Sound haven't made the pricing clearer. I don't think they're doing themselves any favors for showing it as $6500 (if that's what it's still showing) when the pricing is much better than that. That said, I have 0 regrets buying the 4MinX and 0 regrets with the customer service  from Justin. PM or email him and he can provide you with current US pricing.
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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #123 on: July 01, 2016, 03:03:08 AM »
Yeah, you should ALWAYS call Justin M. instead of relying on online prices! He will usually give you a better deal, but he prefers you call him for actual pricing! Ive been dealing with him for over a decade as a trader and as an employee at Pro-Sound, and hes the FN MAN! He's always gone outta his way to make me happy and is always quick with a response when contacting him via email/phone/etc!
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Offline aaronji

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #124 on: July 01, 2016, 05:37:50 AM »
^^ A lot of companies compel their distributors to advertise at a certain price; sometimes calling around can get you a deal.  I am pretty sure a couple of the major mics brands do this...

Offline StuStu

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #125 on: July 01, 2016, 02:16:34 PM »
^^ A lot of companies compel their distributors to advertise at a certain price; sometimes calling around can get you a deal.  I am pretty sure a couple of the major mics brands do this...

Indeed. If I'm not mistaken, Schoeps make their dealers do this. I believe Pro Sound are the only US distributor for the 4MinX.
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Offline hi and lo

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Re: AETA 4MinX 8 track recorder
« Reply #126 on: July 02, 2016, 12:27:27 AM »

Why do you think this is so offensive?

I've already answered this question. You sell a piece me a piece of hardware, I fully expect to be able to use it. Selling me non-recordable inputs is like a car-manufacturer saying I should pay more if I want to be able to drive faster than 65 mph. There are so many other good anecdotes, but honestly it's exhausting cutting through the corporate shillary.

Or do you really want only the maxxed out version available at the highest price?

You make this sound as though it's a value prop to everyone, but the argument actually works in the opposite. Why should someone who wants all available features subsidize the costs of those that don't? Why should those consumers have to foot the bill for the additional R&D costs allocated to needless firmware versions and the marketing costs associated with maintaining a complicated SKU list? Based on the comments in this very thread, I would argue the complicated SKU list and hidden pricing scheme has done nothing but drive away customers.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 12:29:17 AM by hi and lo »

Offline voltronic

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Re: AETA 4MinX 8 track recorder
« Reply #127 on: July 02, 2016, 09:19:23 AM »

Why do you think this is so offensive?

I've already answered this question. You sell a piece me a piece of hardware, I fully expect to be able to use it. Selling me non-recordable inputs is like a car-manufacturer saying I should pay more if I want to be able to drive faster than 65 mph. There are so many other good anecdotes, but honestly it's exhausting cutting through the corporate shillary.

It's not like there are any secrets as to which brands John distributes - the link is in his signature.  And I haven't once seen him push or promote those brands over competing brands.  In this case he's simply relaying information from the manufacturer, and his position allows him to have much more knowledge about the brand than the rest of us.  If you have a problem with how Aeta chooses to sell this unit, it would probably make more sense to contact them directly.

Or do you really want only the maxxed out version available at the highest price?

You make this sound as though it's a value prop to everyone, but the argument actually works in the opposite. Why should someone who wants all available features subsidize the costs of those that don't? Why should those consumers have to foot the bill for the additional R&D costs allocated to needless firmware versions and the marketing costs associated with maintaining a complicated SKU list? Based on the comments in this very thread, I would argue the complicated SKU list and hidden pricing scheme has done nothing but drive away customers.

I agree that the poorly-advertised (false?) pricing from dealers is potentially driving away customers.  If John were not a member here, I for one would have no idea what this recorder is supposed to cost or even that there are various option levels.  As a US customer, I would be searching through US dealers and wouldn't have any of this information, or would know that such a price list exists.

Since Pro Sound is the only US dealer, they should change their website to read something like "Several options are available - please call for current pricing" instead of making it look like there is only one version of the 4Minx (which isn't even the highest level in reality) and that it costs $6200.  If I'm looking at that price with those features, then it looks like a SD 788 blows it away in value, when in reality it may be much more competitive if you know the "real" pricing of the 4Minx.

It doesn't look like someone buying a more expensive level is subsidizing those who purchase cheaper levels; if anything it's a little bit the other way around.  According to John's price list, it appears that it's slightly more expensive to buy a cheaper level 4Minx and then upgrade to a higher level later on.  Taking the most extreme example, if one were to buy the mixer-only version at £2,704 and upgrade it later to 8-channel recording at £744, then you'd be at £3448, making that route £128 more expensive than going for 8 channels right out of the gate.  While it would be nice for buyers of the cheaper version if the cost to upgrade was equal to what they would have paid for those options initially, that's a pretty small difference and makes sense from a sales perspective.  This is not anything like the Nagra VI battery situation.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 09:21:27 AM by voltronic »
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Offline hi and lo

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #128 on: July 02, 2016, 02:02:45 PM »
I have seen plenty of examples and I do not believe those links were always there. There are several other members on this forum with corporate affiliations that have been far more objective when discussing brands they are affiliated with. They've even tangoed with JW.

This is my opinion. Take it or leave it. I am a consumer advocate and absolutely despise false or misleading information, generally in the form of "well r&d costs, blah blah blah."  Just look above re: licensing costs. After the horrid defense of the Nagra battery incident, my opinion has been formed and is unlikely to change.

You can defend a product or brand while still being objective and fair to consumer concerns. Saying that your products are "not expensive" or that customers shouldn't be offended by being sold a sponge is not consumer friendly. It would be better to say nothing at all or "thanks for your concern, we'all pass it along."

Finally, just to re-iterate, my issue with this particular pricing model is that the hardware has already been sold. This is differently than software and a very slippery slope. Again, what's to stop a car manufacturer from pricing their cars via speed governors, even though every car produced for the last 50 years can go 80 mph? They would love to do this, but consumer outrage and competition won't allow it. They don't want you to even be able to repair your own car, using computers and secret diagnostic codes to make it as difficult as possible. Jailbreaking hardware is not illegal, at least not right now in the US, so if a company like Aeta wants to spend valuable r&d resouces to create needless firmware level, ultimately passing that cost on to the consumer, all I can say is that they better hope no one decides to jailbreak their hardware. It wouldn't take much more than a 15 year old hacker to unlock all features, which seems like a pretty good idea.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 03:10:06 PM by hi and lo »

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #129 on: July 02, 2016, 06:02:41 PM »
Perhaps I dont understand your issue hi and lo, but isn't it a good thing to give the consumer more options to buy a product as a bare bones lower price unit than forcing all the bells and whistles on them?  Using your car analogy, you have the option to buy a cheap 4 cylinder 1.7l beater engine or a larger six cylinder model. You can also add on tons of convenience luxury and electronic safety options that aren't in the base model...some of it is software based.  I'm pretty sure the basic car is the same regardless of whether you buy the 15G bottom of the line or add on 30G turbo deluxe sport package version.  Modularization is a production and manufacturing process decision to make for easy upgrading.  It would completely suck if the only car I could buy required me to get lots of stuff I have no use for or if my base unit wasnt upgradeable.

Offline hi and lo

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #130 on: July 02, 2016, 06:26:21 PM »
I can't think of any software based features sold on cars that are disabled. Maybe satellite radio, but that is a stretch (again, licensing). Everything else is hardware. If car manufacturers controlled features via software, they would instantly be hacked as modding cars is a huge industry with millions of hobbyists. Hell, even the digital oscilloscope I own has been hacked for years to double the Hz, and the market for consumer grade scopes is tiny.

If you want to make hardware modular, great. No one is paying for hardware they aren't using. This is all about the slippery slope; give them an inch and they'll take a mile.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 06:54:35 PM by hi and lo »

Offline voltronic

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #131 on: July 02, 2016, 07:33:20 PM »
I can't think of any software based features sold on cars that are disabled. Maybe satellite radio, but that is a stretch (again, licensing). Everything else is hardware. If car manufacturers controlled features via software, they would instantly be hacked as modding cars is a huge industry with millions of hobbyists. Hell, even the digital oscilloscope I own has been hacked for years to double the Hz, and the market for consumer grade scopes is tiny.

If you want to make hardware modular, great. No one is paying for hardware they aren't using. This is all about the slippery slope; give them an inch and they'll take a mile.

Not to belabor the car analogy, but I can think of two examples off the top of my head.  For quite a while, BMW sold a "detuned" version of the M3 in the US market that was programmed through software to respond differently, most likely to conform to US emissions standards.  Using the same exact engine, transmission, exhaust, etc., it produced about 80 bhp less in the US version than the European version running different software.  I think Honda did something similar with the Civic Si / Civic R for a while as well.

A more reasonable example might be the Subaru I own, which is an upgraded trim level that gives it paddle shifters among other things.  It's the same exact engine and ECU as the base model, but mine just has the software to allow the manumatic shifting and the switches on the steering column.
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Offline hi and lo

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #132 on: July 02, 2016, 07:52:32 PM »
I can't think of any software based features sold on cars that are disabled. Maybe satellite radio, but that is a stretch (again, licensing). Everything else is hardware. If car manufacturers controlled features via software, they would instantly be hacked as modding cars is a huge industry with millions of hobbyists. Hell, even the digital oscilloscope I own has been hacked for years to double the Hz, and the market for consumer grade scopes is tiny.

If you want to make hardware modular, great. No one is paying for hardware they aren't using. This is all about the slippery slope; give them an inch and they'll take a mile.

Not to belabor the car analogy, but I can think of two examples off the top of my head.  For quite a while, BMW sold a "detuned" version of the M3 in the US market that was programmed through software to respond differently, most likely to conform to US emissions standards.  Using the same exact engine, transmission, exhaust, etc., it produced about 80 bhp less in the US version than the European version running different software.  I think Honda did something similar with the Civic Si / Civic R for a while as well.

A more reasonable example might be the Subaru I own, which is an upgraded trim level that gives it paddle shifters among other things.  It's the same exact engine and ECU as the base model, but mine just has the software to allow the manumatic shifting and the switches on the steering column.

Good example, no reason not to walk this one completely through.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a8772/bmw-sells-m-performance-software-hack-for-1-100/

Quote
BMW's software upgrades will surely attract buyers seeking a quick, relatively cheap hit of power, but it also might signal a bigger D.I.Y. trend of consumers wondering how they can extract more power from their bottled up engines themselves, without having to pay the proverbial piper.

And just as expected, DIY modder's will assuredly be looking to get around this, meaning more and more r&d costs will go into prevention, raising overall consumer prices.

Funny enough, when I researched this, I found dozens upon dozens of articles about the M3 being easily stolen by hackers.

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/09/18/bmw-stolen-hacking-kit/

Somewhat off-topic, but it goes back to my original comments regarding right-to-repair and having full freedom regarding hardware. These companies couldn't stop a 15 year old hacker if they tried and should't be dabbling in software shenanigans. We need strong consumer protections to ensure that the security of software + hardware we are sold can be independently verified and to ensure that we have a right-to-repair.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 07:54:07 PM by hi and lo »

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #133 on: July 03, 2016, 04:01:30 AM »
I can't think of any software based features sold on cars that are disabled. Maybe satellite radio, but that is a stretch (again, licensing). Everything else is hardware. If car manufacturers controlled features via software, they would instantly be hacked as modding cars is a huge industry with millions of hobbyists. Hell, even the digital oscilloscope I own has been hacked for years to double the Hz, and the market for consumer grade scopes is tiny.

If you want to make hardware modular, great. No one is paying for hardware they aren't using. This is all about the slippery slope; give them an inch and they'll take a mile.

Right on man.  I'm festival'ing this weekend so alls good in my world and wish everyone else was here. Luv music festivals!!!

Offline aaronji

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Re: aeta 6 track recorder
« Reply #134 on: July 04, 2016, 07:20:15 AM »
I agree with hi and lo, and, I have to admit, I am kind of at a loss as to why anyone would think this pricing scheme is OK.  When you buy the most basic "model", you are actually buying all of those pre-amps, even if you can't use them.  AETA sold you the complete hardware package (excepting timecode, I guess) and presumably made a profit doing so.  To actually charge you more money to use the pres you already paid for is simply ridiculous.  This is not like tonedeaf's analogy where the automaker has different engines available (4- or 6-, or turbo 6-cylinder, for example) and you pay more for a better engine that also costs more to produce.  In this case, everyone is paying for the turbo 6, but you can't actually use the top two cylinders or the turbo unless you pay some extra premium.  Lame.

 

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