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Amp evolution

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jure the second, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. We've all witnessed this scenario:

    1. A roumor, a new amp/preamp... is coming out
    2. Maybe company confirmes the release
    3. We wait for the release date
    4. Enthusiast get it and post the reviews.

    I think, that's great and it has to be continued but I found some questions regarding this:

    Why are time periods so different (bigger manufacturers get it quicker than smaller)? Is designing a new product very time and energy consuming?

  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    It's not just time, it's also money.

    Look at a small company like Epifani for example who have been way behind in getting their amp line out. Every dollar of money and hour of labor devoted to working on developing the amps is money and time lost to cranking out their speaker cabinets. How many resources can they afford to divert from things that actually make money for them today in order to develop stuff that will make money in the future?

    How many amplifiers do you suppose they can sell? While Peavey or Crate are making and selling hundreds of amplifiers a week, a high end maker might sell only one or two a month. So the cost to design and manufacture each amp is much higher because the cost is spread out over fewer amplifiers. If the amp bombs in the marketplace, the money and time has been wasted which can drive a smaller company out of business.

    Then there is the problem of working out the kinks in the manufacturing process. It's one thing to get hand tweaked prototypes sounding good and another to get every one rolling off an assembly line sounding good. Even the big names often have issues with reliability in the first months of making a new amp model. Manufacturers have to get approvals from UL, CSA or VDE before they can go into full production.

    There is also what marketing people call "mindshare". If your competitor just introduced a hot product you can always tell your customers you will have something similar (or better) in the future to keep them from making a purchase today.
  3. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Money is a big part of it for sure. But there's also the economies of scale to consider, the benefits that come your way because you're bigger. For example, who do you think gets a better deal on say, the purchase of timber to be used for speaker cabs:-

    a) the smaller company that buys 5 sheets at a time. OR
    b) the huge company that buys it by the truckload.

    That's just one of a million little examples.
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    And not just economies of scale for products, but manpower too. Small companies probably have only one or two main designers. If an existing product has a problem, they will get pulled off the new product to fix the older one. If the problem is big, the new product slips......

    Plus the small company may never have built an amp before. They might underestimate the time needed for approvals etc.

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