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  1. #1
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    Why is SB so expensive?

    I'm not trying to start a flame, but am really curious why a SB3 costs so much. Is it the components, low-volume production, or ??? I'd love to fill my house with SBs and support the product, but at US$200 a pop, I just can't justify the expense. So, I use the (free) software players (stand-alone in my office, with the SageTV plugin in the living room and master bedroom, and streaming to my Palm when mowing the lawn, etc.) I can overlook the slight synchronization issues between the rooms because it's free, but no one is getting paid for their efforts!

    I'd love to see a $49.99 wireless SB and a $99.99 wireless with built-in speakers (perfect for the bathroom!) Then, I could afford to put SBs in the kid's rooms as well and configure things so they just access their own music, etc.

    Slimserver is managing all my music playback, (streaming and MP3 collection), and is a great piece of work. Please lower the financial bar on using the hardware! If the hardware cost is that high, then consider making "standard" and "pro" models. I'm not an audiophile and don't need top-of-the-line stuff as long as it sounds decent plugged into my stereo.

  2. #2
    NOT a Slim Devices Employee kdf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarylFStein View Post
    I'm not trying to start a flame, but am really curious why a SB3 costs so much. Is it the components, low-volume production, or ???
    The bulk of the cost is apparently the VFD display. Volume is likely also part of the equation. Naturally it would be cheaper if it were being built in lots of 100,000.

    -kdf

  3. #3
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    This doesn't answer your question. But perhaps it gives some background. Why does some CD-players cost 5000$ ? My experience is that the sound quality offered by the SB is much better than all software player based solutions. Of course you'd need a high-end soundcard for that, and those do not come cheap. Anyway some of the selling point of the SB is that it gives a fairly good sound quality, among other things due to its quality dac. I guess my point is that if one compares to what the SB is aiming at replacing, the price is not bad.

    Of course I'd love for the SB to be cheaper. But if this means too much compromising on components, I'd prefer the current price. In my setup the SB takes the place of my Arcam CD player. And although the sound quality can not quite cut it compared to the Arcam, its not THAT far away. Given that the Arcam costs significantly more, I think the price of the SB is competitive in comparison.

    EDIT: Ah, I did not read the last lines in your post. I guess the pro-solution is the Transporter, and the basic-solution the SB. But just out of curiousity. Are there any other comparable solutions, i.e. dedicated software with hardware with the same features, which are much cheaper?

    Just my thoughts.

    Bj°rn
    Last edited by bhaagensen; 2007-10-11 at 17:08.

  4. #4
    Senior Member peejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarylFStein View Post
    I'm not an audiophile and don't need top-of-the-line stuff as long as it sounds decent plugged into my stereo.
    I believe that the SB3 was perhaps originally aimed at the audio mid-market, where names like 'Burr Brown' and phrases like 'lossless format support' pricked a few ears. Then add wireless streaming capabilities, SPDIF/out and the attention to detail that the designers obviously put into the unit and you have a US $299.00 piece of audio equipment, no question. <Rant>Actually the RRP down here in OZ is AUD 499.00. With the Aussie dollar at over US 0.90, that's a bit hard to swallow</Rant>
    Add to this that up until recently, the SB3 was only available in selected HiFi Outlets (at least down here), so you expect to pay a bit more, because you perceive higher quality through that method of distribution.

    Now, if SlimDevices had really set their sites on the market for lower quality devices, I expect they could have compromised the design and component quality and produced something for 75% or less of the current cost of manufacture, but then the differentiator from all the other music device manufacturers would have been gone, and they were probably too small to be a 'me too' device manufacturer, not to mention possibly alienating the cult-like following they have in the audiophile camp. The release of the transporter shows how much that market drove their vision, and rightly so. SlimDevices didn't necessarily pander to the audiophile, but I believe these guys (I expect) wanted the quality to be reflected in their equipment as much as their anticipated market, and that's an unqualified recipe for success.
    Remember, to quote you, that 'what sounds decent' is highly subjective, and 'my stereo' is different in every living room. Just have a browse through the audiophile forum, if you don't believe me.

    Now with Logitech in the picture, however, you may just get your wish. And I'm not bashing Logitech, by the way, it's just the reality of the market they have traditionally played in, and what that market expects from that brand. I love my Logitech bluetooth mouse, by the way....
    Last edited by peejay; 2007-10-11 at 17:33.
    I've got a fever above my waist
    You got a squeeze box on your knee
    I know the truth is in between the 1st and 40th drink - Tori Amos
    Squeezebox Classic -> NAD T743 -> Krix Phoenix
    Oh, and a BOOM...

  5. #5
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    I guess it is all relative, because my immediate reaction to your post is, "Where can you get one for $200?"

    Even at $299 US retail, I think it is a good value relative to the alternatives.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peejay View Post
    Now with Logitech in the picture, however, you may just get your wish. And I'm not bashing Logitech, by the way, it's just the reality of the market they have traditionally played in, and what that market expects from that brand. I love my Logitech bluetooth mouse, by the way....
    As they say... stay tuned. I'm pretty sure Logitech won't be trying to push $300 Squeezeboxes at Walmart and Target. They'll almost certainly be producing some sort of inexpensive consumer replacement.

  7. #7
    Senior Member peejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
    I guess it is all relative, because my immediate reaction to your post is, "Where can you get one for $200?"

    Even at $299 US retail, I think it is a good value relative to the alternatives.
    Sorry, I have corrected that, it should have read $299.
    I've got a fever above my waist
    You got a squeeze box on your knee
    I know the truth is in between the 1st and 40th drink - Tori Amos
    Squeezebox Classic -> NAD T743 -> Krix Phoenix
    Oh, and a BOOM...

  8. #8
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    Well, I made the mistake first saying $200 instead of $300. So, it seems like the big thing driving the price is the quality of components. I don't mind shelling out money for quality, but it's got to have a noticeable return. To my untrained ears, the software players are fine for what I use it for--background music really.

    On the other hand, I did just get a new receiver and subwoofer for the family room and am hearing things in movies and music that I never had before. Maybe you don't know what you're missing until you actually hear it. I just can't see taking a $300 gamble on a SB without feeling pretty sure it'll be worth it.

    Perhaps I'm looking for the wrong solution. I just really love the capabilities of Slimserver (with some choice plug-ins) and would like to be able to use that in all rooms instead of just those with a computer. Besides, I like appliances because they simplify my life. (And I'd really like to put a player with built-in speakers in the bathroom to stream news or what have you in the morning.) Slimserver is the only thing I know that can do everything I want, or even close to it with the same ease after initial configuration. I hope some more "mainstream" devices come out (not cheap, but less expensive) that can make use of all the work I've done on my Slimserver.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    Why is SB so expensive?

    KarylFStein wrote:
    > to have a noticeable return. To my untrained ears, the software
    > players are fine for what I use it for--background music really.


    Then keep using the software players. No one will stop you.

    The SqueezeBox is about connecting your SlimServer's content to your
    stereo. I have no computers anywhere near my stereo.



    > On the other hand, I did just get a new receiver and subwoofer for the
    > family room and am hearing things in movies and music that I never had
    > before. Maybe you don't know what you're missing until you actually
    > hear it. I just can't see taking a $300 gamble on a SB without feeling
    > pretty sure it'll be worth it.


    I'm not following you here. There is a 30 day, no questions asked money
    back guarentee. There is no gamble at all, order it, see if you like it,
    if not send it back.



    > I hope some more
    > "mainstream" devices come out (not cheap, but less expensive) that can
    > make use of all the work I've done on my Slimserver.


    Sounds to me like you want a display-less SqueezeBox, so they can be
    much cheaper. And then maybe a fancy remote that can control many
    players, do it all wirelessly, have album art in a cool display. Just
    one nice remote and a bunch of inexpensive SB-lite boxes.

    It that's what you want, Ask for it. The SB-3 costs what it does because
    that's what it costs to make one in the volumes that they sell. If they
    sold 100 times as many, it would be cheaper, that's how mass market
    electronics works.
    Last edited by pfarrell; 2007-10-11 at 21:06. Reason: fix typo, them -> then

  10. #10
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    Looking at the overall picture, including DAC and headphone amp, I feel it is decently price.

    It is an amazing component and (especially after upgrading to the Transporter...even more mula) it has added to my music listening pleasures.
    And that's what it's all about.

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