Why are samplers/loopers so expensive ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Jazz Ad, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I understand that back in the days they were top notch technology units but nowadays, come on.
    Memory is ultra cheap, so are A/D/A converters.
    It's not like there was much more in these units.
    Could anybody provide an explanation ?
  2. theres a substantial demand for them?

    in reality, my guess is that there are a lot more to the loopers than just a few converters and memory sticks...which may be overkill, but thats how they are making them i guess. personally, i think loopers are getting to much stuff on them. personally, what i'd like is a looper that all you can do is loop, overdub, undo, have a feedback control, and be able to loop in stereo. of course, they don't make them like that, you have to get an EDP which can undo, multiply, this, that, mow your lawn, etc. pretty much a PC if you ask me...
    the new loopers appear to try to fit everything in one box, which raises the price substantially...
  3. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I think you hit it with this. Low latency/high bandwidth memory and good ADCs are cheap, and even the control software/hardware to do all of the stuff that (for instance) a Boomerang can do has been a solved problem for years. There's really no reason for them to cost $400 other than supply/demand or outright price gouging.
  4. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    I've never looked at a Boss RC20 or a Digitech JamMan and thought "that is not worth $300". I have thought "who decided not to include feedback control and multiple layers of undo". And it would be nice if the feature sets in devices like those, and my DD-20, were better suited to live performance. But the market says that $300 (or less, sctually) is what the market bears for a pedal looper. They sell like hotcakes so somebody got that right.

    These devices have never been cheap, and will never be cheap in the way simple fuzzbox is cheap. You wanna scratch your head on price? Look inside a Roger Meyer Axis Fuzz sometime and see the grand total of $10 in parts going for upwards of $200.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member


    But loopers aren't supposed to be fancy boutique units.
    There's just glorified delays. You can get great delay units for $100.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    They are more than "glorified delays".

    The ability to do overdubs, change tempos without changing pitch, store sets of samples for recall, etc. all complicate the design considerably. The sheer amount of memory is staggering, your average $100 delay does about 2 seconds while a Boss RC-20XL does 16 minutes...that requires 480 times as much memory!!! Then toss in a lot more controls, multiple footswitches...
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Not really.

    16 minutes is still only 128 Mo in stereo CD quality. Regardless of the format and hardware you choose to use, this amount of memory doesn't cost more than a few dollars in industrial quantities.

    Tempo/pitch alterations use very simple algorithms that any 10 yo DSP is able to achieve.

    Same goes for overdub/undo, it's just an additional layer of delay you choose to mix or not.

    All this technology has been mastered for ages. It's the same you find in 10 $ dictaphones.

    The fancy box, screen and switches can add up to the price, although they don't in cheap multieffect units.
    I mean, take a Zoom 506 style unit (for example), buzz it up with more memory and here you are with a potential looper.
  8. its true...you can have a basic looper with a delay pedal with a hold function...actually isn't a looper pretty much a delay with infinite feedback and the ability to jump in an out of the feedback loop?
    overdubs would just be jumping into the loop...easy ;)