New Blackstar HT MK2 Amps

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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1391
    jpfamps said:

    There's the rub. In the world of manufacturing if your factory gate cost is more than 10% of the retail price then, as a general rule, you are doing something wrong. With Veblen goods such as 'prestige' Swiss watches the difference in manufacturing cost versus retail is much, much higher.  So, an amp retailing at £500 probably cost lest than £50 to make, and 'upgrading' to a speaker that costs £10 more would not translate in an amp costing £510, but one costing £600.
    The mark ups in musical instrument retail are much lower than most other industries tolerate, eg fashion.

    Maybe, but all that means is that instead of running a 10:1 retail to manufacturing cost ratio, in the fashion trade the ratio is more like to be 100:1 or more. Just look at the reports of Nike getting clothing made for a few tens of cents which then retail for 40-50 Dollars.

     Companies don't even have to be in the business of selling sweatshop clothing to run a huge manufacturing cost to retail cost ratio. As I said, things like Rolex watches are classic examples of Veblen goods, where the value people put on them is determined by the price asked, which actually bears no relationship whatsoever to the manufacturing cost. The reality is that watches such as Rolex are entirely made on automated machines at a low cost, and for many cheaper brands 'Swiss Made' means little, with imported parts being used which are then assembled in Switzerland, hence earning both the 'Swiss made' label and a tasty margin. The name of the game is marketing, and it is pretty common these days for companies to spend more on marketing than actually manufacturing the goods they sell!

    I would be very surprised if the unit manufacturing cost of a mass-produced amp such as a Blackstar wasn't less than 10% of the retail price, especially given that most (all?) of then seem to be made in China. (Does anyone know if some are still made in Korea?)

    From my knowledge of the economics of guitar amps made in China the ratio is much nearer to 5:1 cost to retail.

    Margins are pretty slim in musical instrument retail; there are simply too many companies competing in a pretty static market.
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  • edited October 2017

    While you're right that most Swiss watches are valuable because of branding marketing and people's perception of those, they are far from being "entirely" made on machines.
    When it comes to actually making watch components I bet 100% of the parts even in a high-end brand like Rolex are 100% machine made. Apparently Rolex's plant at Bienne can turn out finished main plates at the rate of 100 a minute! Sure, QC and final assembly, such as fitting the movement into the case and the hands to the dial, are done by hand, but the whole process is light years away from the image of some some craftsman filing away at a tiny cog wheel - the image the marketing men like to sell.

    Some watches will have a lot more hand finishing such as Patek Philippe, but look at the joke pricing. It is also possible to buy a genuinely craftsman made Swiss watch, but most look appallingly garish and can cost a couple of million pounds!

    On the other hand, if you really want a clockwork watch why not get something like a Seiko 5 military at £60 or so? It will still tick and is still made from little cogs and springs!
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3561
    I doubt there's a big margin on Blackstar valve amps, purely because you can't mass produce it in the modern sense ... it's not all tape reel SM automated PCB from start to finish ... there's no machine can pick and wire a transformer or valve base on a chassis and valves these components aren't made anything like on the scale modern components are
    Then there's the shipping, valve amps are large and heavy compared to normal consumer objects. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1391

    While you're right that most Swiss watches are valuable because of branding marketing and people's perception of those, they are far from being "entirely" made on machines.
    When it comes to actually making watch components I bet 100% of the parts even in a high-end brand like Rolex are 100% machine made. Apparently Rolex's plant at Bienne can turn out finished main plates at the rate of 100 a minute! Sure, QC and final assembly, such as fitting the movement into the case and the hands to the dial, are done by hand, but the whole process is light years away from the image of some some craftsman filing away at a tiny cog wheel - the image the marketing men like to sell.

    Some watches will have a lot more hand finishing such as Patek Philippe, but look at the joke pricing. It is also possible to buy a genuinely craftsman made Swiss watch, but most look appallingly garish and can cost a couple of million pounds!

    On the other hand, if you really want a clockwork watch why not get something like a Seiko 5 military at £60 or so? It will still tick and is still made from little cogs and springs!

    Out of interest, why would anyone want a watch with hand-made parts?

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32171
    jpfamps said:

    Out of interest, why would anyone want a watch with hand-made parts?
    Presumably from some odd romanticised vision of the world before the industrial revolution where everything was hand-made, ignoring the fact that everything we take for granted in our modern lives is the result of high-precision machine production.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • NeilNeil Frets: 2295
    edited October 2017

    While you're right that most Swiss watches are valuable because of branding marketing and people's perception of those, they are far from being "entirely" made on machines.
    When it comes to actually making watch components I bet 100% of the parts even in a high-end brand like Rolex are 100% machine made. Apparently Rolex's plant at Bienne can turn out finished main plates at the rate of 100 a minute! Sure, QC and final assembly, such as fitting the movement into the case and the hands to the dial, are done by hand, but the whole process is light years away from the image of some some craftsman filing away at a tiny cog wheel - the image the marketing men like to sell.

    Some watches will have a lot more hand finishing such as Patek Philippe, but look at the joke pricing. It is also possible to buy a genuinely craftsman made Swiss watch, but most look appallingly garish and can cost a couple of million pounds!

    On the other hand, if you really want a clockwork watch why not get something like a Seiko 5 military at £60 or so? It will still tick and is still made from little cogs and springs!
    I don't think anyone assumes that craftsmen file away at a tiny cog. 

    Rolex manufacture is a lot more hands on than you make out. Probably worth a look at the factory visit by Hodinkee (towards the bottom of the page). 

    https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/inside-rolex


    Re the Seiko 5, I am a big fan of Seiko but to lump a 5 in with a Rolex because it has cogs and springs is like lumping a Ford Fiesta in with a Rolls Royce.  Same sort of bits.  

    Although I don't see how alluding to watchmaking has any bearing on amp manufacture TBH.  s

    Two very different industries. 


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  • ecc83ecc83 Frets: 817

    Clearly there are differences of opinion as to where manufacturers cut production costs but generally it seems clear, cut them they must. The there is the point that even the 70/80 is not UNIVERSALLY hated! (tho' I haven't seen a good word yet for the Rocket except as an expedient for IC!)

    As we have drifted way OT with timepieces, can I come came slightly to an historical electronics matter? I 'lived through' the transistor era. Valves were king in radios etc  and then sstate components began to appear and all Silicon audio gear, radio grams, low end 'hi fi' was made. Along with this revolution came RF susceptibility . Living only a score of miles from both Ruby and Daventy I had weekly complaints of Home Service breakthough . Then bloody taxis got VHF AM radios!

    Nightmare but fixable with an R and a cap at the front end in most cases. When we talked to the makers about fitting such filters at the production stage..."Ooo! Too costly. Would make the kit POUNDS more expensive!"

    So, even a resistor and a cap' at probably no more than $1 per 100 would, in their view, make the kit un competitive. NOW of course we have legislation and EM testing. You have to FORCE the b'std! 'Market Forces' won't do it. They also screamed Stuck Pig but we got moulded mains plugs as well. (tho' I understand some importers try to dodge packing the right mains plug?  THAT will get worse if we ever DO leave the EU)

    Dave.


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  • redcomnredcomn Frets: 0
    I would keen to know if the cab were still made with particle board.
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2018
    Neil said:
    Re the Seiko 5, I am a big fan of Seiko but to lump a 5 in with a Rolex because it has cogs and springs is like lumping a Ford Fiesta in with a Rolls Royce.  Same sort of bits.  

    The Fiesta is much more useful and usable though?  I used to have one with a little camera in the back, you could parallel park in tiny little spaces, was great.  I'd literally never want a Rolls Royce, big stupid overpriced lumps of cars.

    I think watches came up, in another thread as well, raised by me, about the perception of quality with expensive guitar kit. 

    There is a thread going on at the minute where comments like "I don't think I could spend 10k on a guitar, though I can easily afford it" have been made (presumably typing while balancing a laptop on a prole) and it made me realise that just like mentioned in here, as well as being musical instruments, guitars are "veblen goods" - nobody needs this ridiculous high-end kit, not even a little bit.  Demand is created by the price itself allied with a perception of the product conferring elite status.
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • NeilNeil Frets: 2295
    Neil said:
    Re the Seiko 5, I am a big fan of Seiko but to lump a 5 in with a Rolex because it has cogs and springs is like lumping a Ford Fiesta in with a Rolls Royce.  Same sort of bits.  

    The Fiesta is much more useful and usable though?  I used to have one with a little camera in the back, you could parallel park in tiny little spaces, was great.  I'd literally never want a Rolls Royce, big stupid overpriced lumps of cars.

    I think watches came up, in another thread as well, raised by me, about the perception of quality with expensive guitar kit. 

    There is a thread going on at the minute where comments like "I don't think I could spend 10k on a guitar, though I can easily afford it" have been made (presumably typing while balancing a laptop on a prole) and it made me realise that just like mentioned in here, as well as being musical instruments, guitars are "veblen goods" - nobody needs this ridiculous high-end kit, not even a little bit.  Demand is created by the price itself allied with a perception of the product conferring elite status.
    Oh no, the old veblen goods debate! ;)

    My POV, people work hard and like a bit of luxury now and then, whether it be a Les Paul Custom, Rolex watch, an expensive amp or whatever takes their fancy. It's like, "I'm worth it".  :)

    Too many times these "veblen goods" debates end up in inverse snobbery or simply bitterness and jealously.

    People don't always want to lead a grey existence, they don't want to eat the cheapest food, drive the cheapest car and live in the cheapest house  and if a luxury purchase makes them feel good or is an ambition fulfilled good luck to them IMO. 


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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2018
    Neil said:
    Neil said:
    Re the Seiko 5, I am a big fan of Seiko but to lump a 5 in with a Rolex because it has cogs and springs is like lumping a Ford Fiesta in with a Rolls Royce.  Same sort of bits.  

    The Fiesta is much more useful and usable though?  I used to have one with a little camera in the back, you could parallel park in tiny little spaces, was great.  I'd literally never want a Rolls Royce, big stupid overpriced lumps of cars.

    I think watches came up, in another thread as well, raised by me, about the perception of quality with expensive guitar kit. 

    There is a thread going on at the minute where comments like "I don't think I could spend 10k on a guitar, though I can easily afford it" have been made (presumably typing while balancing a laptop on a prole) and it made me realise that just like mentioned in here, as well as being musical instruments, guitars are "veblen goods" - nobody needs this ridiculous high-end kit, not even a little bit.  Demand is created by the price itself allied with a perception of the product conferring elite status.
    Oh no, the old veblen goods debate! ;)

    My POV, people work hard and like a bit of luxury now and then, whether it be a Les Paul Custom, Rolex watch, an expensive amp or whatever takes their fancy. It's like, "I'm worth it".  :)

    Too many times these "veblen goods" debates end up in inverse snobbery or simply bitterness and jealously.

    People don't always want to lead a grey existence, they don't want to eat the cheapest food, drive the cheapest car and live in the cheapest house  and if a luxury purchase makes them feel good or is an ambition fulfilled good luck to them IMO. 


    I can't particularly argue with that.

    However it does sort of agree with the idea that high end guitar gear is veblen goods ;)
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • beed84beed84 Frets: 1169
    jpfamps said:

    Out of interest, why would anyone want a watch with hand-made parts?

    Perhaps this man can hopefully explain why:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/magazine-24211691/the-man-who-makes-100000-watches
    "Life is full of disappointments. And by disappointments I mean people" -- Kambri Crews
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  • NeilNeil Frets: 2295
    beed84 said:
    jpfamps said:

    Out of interest, why would anyone want a watch with hand-made parts?

    Perhaps this man can hopefully explain why:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/magazine-24211691/the-man-who-makes-100000-watches
    Yep, Roger Smith carrying on George Daniels tradition.

    Just wonderful to see. 
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  • NeilNeil Frets: 2295
    Neil said:
    Neil said:
    Re the Seiko 5, I am a big fan of Seiko but to lump a 5 in with a Rolex because it has cogs and springs is like lumping a Ford Fiesta in with a Rolls Royce.  Same sort of bits.  

    The Fiesta is much more useful and usable though?  I used to have one with a little camera in the back, you could parallel park in tiny little spaces, was great.  I'd literally never want a Rolls Royce, big stupid overpriced lumps of cars.

    I think watches came up, in another thread as well, raised by me, about the perception of quality with expensive guitar kit. 

    There is a thread going on at the minute where comments like "I don't think I could spend 10k on a guitar, though I can easily afford it" have been made (presumably typing while balancing a laptop on a prole) and it made me realise that just like mentioned in here, as well as being musical instruments, guitars are "veblen goods" - nobody needs this ridiculous high-end kit, not even a little bit.  Demand is created by the price itself allied with a perception of the product conferring elite status.
    Oh no, the old veblen goods debate! ;)

    My POV, people work hard and like a bit of luxury now and then, whether it be a Les Paul Custom, Rolex watch, an expensive amp or whatever takes their fancy. It's like, "I'm worth it".  :)

    Too many times these "veblen goods" debates end up in inverse snobbery or simply bitterness and jealously.

    People don't always want to lead a grey existence, they don't want to eat the cheapest food, drive the cheapest car and live in the cheapest house  and if a luxury purchase makes them feel good or is an ambition fulfilled good luck to them IMO. 


    I can't particularly argue with that.

    However it does sort of agree with the idea that high end guitar gear is veblen goods ;)
    So, according to you anything above the most basic tool for the job is veblen goods?

    That sort of thinking may have gone down well in the old Communist Russia of the past but I will always disagree with it.
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2018
    Neil said:
    Neil said:
    Neil said:
    Re the Seiko 5, I am a big fan of Seiko but to lump a 5 in with a Rolex because it has cogs and springs is like lumping a Ford Fiesta in with a Rolls Royce.  Same sort of bits.  

    The Fiesta is much more useful and usable though?  I used to have one with a little camera in the back, you could parallel park in tiny little spaces, was great.  I'd literally never want a Rolls Royce, big stupid overpriced lumps of cars.

    I think watches came up, in another thread as well, raised by me, about the perception of quality with expensive guitar kit. 

    There is a thread going on at the minute where comments like "I don't think I could spend 10k on a guitar, though I can easily afford it" have been made (presumably typing while balancing a laptop on a prole) and it made me realise that just like mentioned in here, as well as being musical instruments, guitars are "veblen goods" - nobody needs this ridiculous high-end kit, not even a little bit.  Demand is created by the price itself allied with a perception of the product conferring elite status.
    Oh no, the old veblen goods debate! ;)

    My POV, people work hard and like a bit of luxury now and then, whether it be a Les Paul Custom, Rolex watch, an expensive amp or whatever takes their fancy. It's like, "I'm worth it".  :)

    Too many times these "veblen goods" debates end up in inverse snobbery or simply bitterness and jealously.

    People don't always want to lead a grey existence, they don't want to eat the cheapest food, drive the cheapest car and live in the cheapest house  and if a luxury purchase makes them feel good or is an ambition fulfilled good luck to them IMO. 


    I can't particularly argue with that.

    However it does sort of agree with the idea that high end guitar gear is veblen goods ;)
    So, according to you anything above the most basic tool for the job is veblen goods?

    That sort of thinking may have gone down well in the old Communist Russia of the past but I will always disagree with it.
    No of course not don't be wet.  It's quite possible to find the excesses of the very wealthy a bit offensive without being a communist.

    However over in the other thread people are genuinely saying they would pay 10k for a guitar, a lump of wood and metal, and whatever their provenance I really find it hard to believe that they don't fit the definition of veblen goods.

    People can spend their money on what they want, whether it fits an economic pattern or not is fairly irrelevant to them I suspect.

    Like all economic concepts it's just a way of explaining how a certain graph looks, it's nothing to get upset about.
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • NeilNeil Frets: 2295
    Neil said:
    Neil said:
    Neil said:
    Re the Seiko 5, I am a big fan of Seiko but to lump a 5 in with a Rolex because it has cogs and springs is like lumping a Ford Fiesta in with a Rolls Royce.  Same sort of bits.  

    The Fiesta is much more useful and usable though?  I used to have one with a little camera in the back, you could parallel park in tiny little spaces, was great.  I'd literally never want a Rolls Royce, big stupid overpriced lumps of cars.

    I think watches came up, in another thread as well, raised by me, about the perception of quality with expensive guitar kit. 

    There is a thread going on at the minute where comments like "I don't think I could spend 10k on a guitar, though I can easily afford it" have been made (presumably typing while balancing a laptop on a prole) and it made me realise that just like mentioned in here, as well as being musical instruments, guitars are "veblen goods" - nobody needs this ridiculous high-end kit, not even a little bit.  Demand is created by the price itself allied with a perception of the product conferring elite status.
    Oh no, the old veblen goods debate!

    My POV, people work hard and like a bit of luxury now and then, whether it be a Les Paul Custom, Rolex watch, an expensive amp or whatever takes their fancy. It's like, "I'm worth it". 

    Too many times these "veblen goods" debates end up in inverse snobbery or simply bitterness and jealously.

    People don't always want to lead a grey existence, they don't want to eat the cheapest food, drive the cheapest car and live in the cheapest house  and if a luxury purchase makes them feel good or is an ambition fulfilled good luck to them IMO. 


    I can't particularly argue with that.

    However it does sort of agree with the idea that high end guitar gear is veblen goods
    So, according to you anything above the most basic tool for the job is veblen goods?

    That sort of thinking may have gone down well in the old Communist Russia of the past but I will always disagree with it.
    No of course not don't be wet.  It's quite possible to find the excesses of the very wealthy a bit offensive without being a communist.

    However over in the other thread people are genuinely saying they would pay 10k for a guitar, a lump of wood and metal, and whatever their provenance I really find it hard to believe that they don't fit the definition of veblen goods.

    People can spend their money on what they want, whether it fits an economic pattern or not is fairly irrelevant to them I suspect.

    Like all economic concepts it's just a way of explaining how a certain graph looks, it's nothing to get upset about.
    Well don't then.  ;)

    Personally I don't find whatever people spend their money on to be in any way offensive, even if it is "£10k for a guitar, a lump of wood and metal". 
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2018
    Neil said:
    Neil said:
    Neil said:
    Neil said:
    Re the Seiko 5, I am a big fan of Seiko but to lump a 5 in with a Rolex because it has cogs and springs is like lumping a Ford Fiesta in with a Rolls Royce.  Same sort of bits.  

    The Fiesta is much more useful and usable though?  I used to have one with a little camera in the back, you could parallel park in tiny little spaces, was great.  I'd literally never want a Rolls Royce, big stupid overpriced lumps of cars.

    I think watches came up, in another thread as well, raised by me, about the perception of quality with expensive guitar kit. 

    There is a thread going on at the minute where comments like "I don't think I could spend 10k on a guitar, though I can easily afford it" have been made (presumably typing while balancing a laptop on a prole) and it made me realise that just like mentioned in here, as well as being musical instruments, guitars are "veblen goods" - nobody needs this ridiculous high-end kit, not even a little bit.  Demand is created by the price itself allied with a perception of the product conferring elite status.
    Oh no, the old veblen goods debate!

    My POV, people work hard and like a bit of luxury now and then, whether it be a Les Paul Custom, Rolex watch, an expensive amp or whatever takes their fancy. It's like, "I'm worth it". 

    Too many times these "veblen goods" debates end up in inverse snobbery or simply bitterness and jealously.

    People don't always want to lead a grey existence, they don't want to eat the cheapest food, drive the cheapest car and live in the cheapest house  and if a luxury purchase makes them feel good or is an ambition fulfilled good luck to them IMO. 


    I can't particularly argue with that.

    However it does sort of agree with the idea that high end guitar gear is veblen goods
    So, according to you anything above the most basic tool for the job is veblen goods?

    That sort of thinking may have gone down well in the old Communist Russia of the past but I will always disagree with it.
    No of course not don't be wet.  It's quite possible to find the excesses of the very wealthy a bit offensive without being a communist.

    However over in the other thread people are genuinely saying they would pay 10k for a guitar, a lump of wood and metal, and whatever their provenance I really find it hard to believe that they don't fit the definition of veblen goods.

    People can spend their money on what they want, whether it fits an economic pattern or not is fairly irrelevant to them I suspect.

    Like all economic concepts it's just a way of explaining how a certain graph looks, it's nothing to get upset about.
    Well don't then.  ;)

    Personally I don't find whatever people spend their money on to be in any way offensive, even if it is "£10k for a guitar, a lump of wood and metal". 
    Yeah I picked up that you didn't ;)
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3237
    cruxiform said:
    jdbwales recommended using an Eminence Legend
    I replaced the MIC Celestion G-10N-40 16 Ohm in my 2009 mk1 HT-5 mini stack with an Eminence Legend 10. 

    I mention this because the amp just boomeranged back to me. It would have been impolite to refuse at the price.

    Running a BOSS FRV-1 reverb pedal in the loop adds to the Fender clean channel illusion a little bit. Some means of removing the subtractive EQ from the circuit altogether - à la Fender Champ - might be interesting.

    ecc83 said:
    It is largely true that the Five is an HT pedal with a MOSFET PI and a valve OP stage. 
    That figures.


    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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