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#60739 - 26/01/2002 17:51 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: tfabris]
muzza
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 21/07/1999
Posts: 1765
Loc: Brisbane, Queensland, Australi...
I imagine they thought dilbert comics were a hand drawn documentary and instruction guide.
Lord forbid the empeg team to become PHBs.

I think you hit the nail rid into the lid there regarding the willingness of marketing. Intellect Incorporation was a higher priority than Product Incorporation.
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#60740 - 27/01/2002 23:56 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: tfabris]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5377
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
I'm not sure that SonicBlue necessarily underestimated the amount of marketing needed. Maybe they knew exactly how much would be needed but were simply unable or unwilling to deliver it.

Exactly right.

But I would take it a step further... NO amount of marketing would have made the empeg a commercially viable product. When you consider the software development costs, and the actual cost of materials and construction of the unit, it is unlikely that even at $1000 apiece there would have been enough profit margin to support continued production.

Now, I know that this is absolute heresy, but I stand by it: the average car owner would not not want an empeg player in his car if you gave it to him for free. Try telling your Aunt Martha that she needs this great music player in her car -- and all she has to do is have a computer in her house, purchase and learn to use ripping and encoding software, be willing to drag her player into the house and connect up a bunch of cables and spend an hour or so every time she buys a new CD, not to mention spending hundreds of hours putting her existing CD collection into the empeg, oh, and lets not forget hundreds of dollars to buy an amplifier and pay some ham-fisted cretin at the local stereo shop to tear her Buick all to pieces in order to run wires and cables all through it... All this so she can listen to a few tunes when she drives to church on Sunday, utilizing a user interface so powerful and complex it takes a remote control with 24 buttons on it to operate. Yeah, right.

I think instead she would prefer to put the shiny round thing into the slot in the dash and turn the knob thingy to make it loud or quiet and be done with it.

This is not to say that the empeg/RioCar is not the absolutely best and greatest car stereo device ever built. But it's not for everyone. It's not even for one one-thousandth of one percent of everyone. And unless you are selling Ferraris or Bentleys, penetrating just .001% of the potential market is not a recipe for commercial viability.

tanstaafl.

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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#60741 - 28/01/2002 12:09 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: hybrid8]
eternalsun
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/09/1999
Posts: 1721
Loc: San Jose, CA
Is the name derivative from arabic script? Or was it originally written using a romanized letter format?

Calvin

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#60742 - 28/01/2002 19:46 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: tanstaafl.]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Good point. I hope they don't burn you at the stake like they did to me.

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#60743 - 28/01/2002 20:37 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: tanstaafl.]
ninti
old hand

Registered: 28/12/2001
Posts: 868
Loc: Los Angeles
> the average car owner would not not want an empeg player in his car if you gave it to him for free.

I agree with that. Hell, my mother was like "Well, that's nice, but will it play tapes?" I'm working on her though...

It is definantly for that small subset of people where music lovers and computer geeks combine. I think it is perhaps just ahead of it's time though, MP3s and the gadgets to play them are becoming more popular every year. The music industry will eventually get with the program and MP3s will be sold over the net. It will be just as easy to get MP3s as it is to get discs and people will be more computer literate and willing to deal with the issues involved in transferring music.

How long? Who knows, perhaps as long as a generation. We'll all be old farts telling our grandkids about the day we got our first mp3 car player and they will be saying "Yeah, so what's the big deal?"
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Ninti - MK IIa 60GB Smoke, 30GB, 10GB

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#60744 - 29/01/2002 03:50 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: PaulWay]
danthep
enthusiast

Registered: 29/08/1999
Posts: 209
Loc: new zealand
Re: the advertising problem.

I think getting it shipped in the usual channels would have been the key.

The sort of people that are going to spend a grand on a head unit are already poping into the their local car audio store to check out the latest units. Just having the empeg on display there would expose it to a lot of potential customers.

And the empeg is the sort of things that has to be seen to be appreciated. I tell people that i just spent a grand on a mini computer that acts as a stereo and plays mp3s and they say, "you payed HOW much for what?" Then you sit them down in the car and show them how it works, and they start to understand that i didn't just blow a huge wad of money on some computer geek gizmo.

Having it in the store on display so that people can get a proper look at it would help establish that it is worth the money.
And having it on display would allow people choosing between a neo and and empeg to realise that there is a huge difference between the two.

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#60745 - 29/01/2002 04:29 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: danthep]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5320
Loc: Cambridge UK
It was on display in about 2/3rds of Car Toys stores for several months. We provided some pretty good training for the sales guys and techs as well. I went to one of the sessions in Seattle, and I'd say that some of them were negative toward the concept but most thought it was pretty cool.

Rob

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#60746 - 29/01/2002 05:05 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: rob]
danthep
enthusiast

Registered: 29/08/1999
Posts: 209
Loc: new zealand
Ahh, cartoys isn't just a website then...

So the brick&mortar sales didn't go as well as hoped then?

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#60747 - 29/01/2002 05:09 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: danthep]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5320
Loc: Cambridge UK
I haven't seen any stats, but I don't imagine that they were leaping off shelves.

The Mk.2/A was never intended to be a mainstream product. Personally I would have waited for the products that we have developed more recently, and introduced them into retail. Licencing will be a good move for us though - a big MP3 brand doesn't mean much in a 12V audio outlet, but a big 12V audio name does.

Rob

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#60748 - 29/01/2002 05:13 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: rob]
danthep
enthusiast

Registered: 29/08/1999
Posts: 209
Loc: new zealand
I just wonder if many of sonys and pioneers would be interested in licensing stuff when they could develop it themselves.

I'm sure you guys have a much better idea of the market than me though

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#60749 - 29/01/2002 05:15 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: danthep]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5320
Loc: Cambridge UK
I think Sony and Pioneer are doing a good job of demonstrating to the rest of the industry that they can't develop it themselves! The hardware is nice, the icons are nice, but the software leaves a LOT to be desired!

Rob

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#60750 - 29/01/2002 20:09 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: PaulWay]
amaximow
member

Registered: 23/07/2001
Posts: 111
Not to mention the joy of customizing and modifying Empegs and M3s!! Dinan & Empeg: match made in heaven!!
--Andrew
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MK2, 30Gig, red, 080000202 in Dinan, Cosmos Black, '98 BMW M3

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#60751 - 30/01/2002 13:13 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: loren]
rmitz
member

Registered: 09/06/1999
Posts: 106
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
*sob* I've been staying away what with the huge amount of posts here now...and this doesn't make me want to come back. Ah well.
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#60752 - 24/02/2002 09:31 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: hybrid8]
sancho
journeyman

Registered: 17/08/2000
Posts: 70
In reply to:

There's no question that a $1500 product will not fly in mobile car audio.




HA HA

not really "in to" car audio are ya?
--
sancho

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#60753 - 24/02/2002 11:42 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: sancho]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Don't really know what you're talking about, do ya?

Bruno
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#60754 - 24/02/2002 12:01 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: hybrid8]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
Sancho's point is that $1500.00 car audio components are common and they do sell.

Unfortunately, what Sancho isn't taking into account is that most of the people who would buy a $1500.00 car audio component are doing so for sound quality reasons. For instance, they are buying high-end speakers or amplifiers. These people usually have a pre-disposed bias against MP3 technology because their exposure to it has (so far) been low-bitrate, poorly-encoded stuff that would sound crappy on their multi-thousand dollar system.

Hmm. Let's assume for the moment that Sonic|Blue had wanted to tell all of these high-end-gear-purchasers the one thing us empeg owners already know: That it's possible to have high quality and MP3 in the same package. Hmm. How would they go about doing that. Hmm? Anyone, anyone?
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Tony Fabris

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#60755 - 24/02/2002 12:43 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: tfabris]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Most people spending the big bucks in car audio wouldn't know clean sound if it kicked them in the butt. The most expensive parts are not necessarily the best for SQ, nor are they always installed with SQ in mind.

That said, my original message, which he quoted, was about head units. $1500 head units are not common in any circle of car audio. The most expensive head units are not installed by car audio enthusiasts at all. They're usually the more specialty nav systems or pop-up screen players with DVD. This is a small niche within an already small niche market.

Though impossible to have done so, can you imagine the $199 price point right from the begining? I don't believe what someone else said in another thread. That the market for the empeg had/has been fully saturated. Not a chance. The product awareness is still a fraction of its potential.

MP3 in the car has the ability to swell. But the biggest growth rate will be achieved by OEM solutions for obvious reasons.

Bruno
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#60756 - 24/02/2002 14:35 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: tfabris]
JrFaust
member

Registered: 07/02/2002
Posts: 193
Loc: New Richmond, WI
Well they could/should have given some car audio places a demo unit for them to install and show off. Places like Audio King (sorry the only high end retail place I can name off the top of my head) They could try Big Yellow Sign, I mean Best Buy but than again that might hurt them more...
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#60757 - 24/02/2002 19:28 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: tfabris]
SE_Sport_Driver
carpal tunnel

Registered: 05/01/2001
Posts: 4903
Loc: Detroit, MI USA
I think the hard part was "are there more people that want to fit a million songs in their car player or more people that want to have really high end sound?" The obvious answer was to market the players saying "a 10GB player can hold 1000 songs" instead of half that many encoded at a high bit rate.

Do sound competitions allow MiniDisc players? MD had to fight for years to get over the fact that it used compression.

LET THIS THREAD DIE!!
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Brad B.

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#60758 - 25/02/2002 13:36 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: hybrid8]
sancho
journeyman

Registered: 17/08/2000
Posts: 70
In reply to:

That said, my original message, which he quoted, was about head units. $1500 head units are not common in any circle of car audio.




you said that they "would not fly"

many companies make head units "fly" at similar price points... given: they are not the only product marketed by these companies(as was the case at empeg)...

i personally own three head units that do nothing but play cd audio/radio (a clarion 9255 and two mcintosh heads) that retail at similar price points $1100-1500... and 2 empegs...

i "associate" with folks that have mere head units worth much more than that (the $8k sony xes system for example)...


my point: though it may be uncommon, it is by no means ridiculous to those who are seriously "in to" car audio...
--
sancho



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#60759 - 25/02/2002 13:39 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: tfabris]
sancho
journeyman

Registered: 17/08/2000
Posts: 70
In reply to:

Unfortunately, what Sancho isn't taking into account is that most of the people who would buy a $1500.00 car audio component are doing so for sound quality reasons




i suppose i am the exception that proves the rule... that or you have over-generalized...

people buy expensive car audio for many different reasons... sq, spl, having a head unit that contains 700 albums worth of mp3's... etc...
--
sancho

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#60760 - 25/02/2002 13:43 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: SE_Sport_Driver]
sancho
journeyman

Registered: 17/08/2000
Posts: 70
In reply to:

Do sound competitions allow MiniDisc players?




depends on what sort of sound competition you are talking about...

sound quality: no (all major sq sanctioning bodies require the use of a judge's copy of their benchmark compact disc)

spl: use whatever you want
--
sancho

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#60761 - 25/02/2002 20:37 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: sancho]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
I've never seen Clarion sell their top of the line CD head for over $1K.

Those headunits are fine for a company that has other products to sell and is in the car audio industry. They can easily tool for different units, unlike SB. And considering the markup for those car audio companies (multiple hundred percent, perhaps thousand for some products), they can sell only the handful to break even. Or lose money on them if only to promote their brand.

People who are "in-to" car audio enough to spend $8K on a head unit do not keep the consumer electronics companies running (not with their purchases anyway).

Do you have any links to this $8K Sony head by the way? I want to have a laugh at what someone thought was a good buy.

Bruno
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#60762 - 25/02/2002 23:23 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: SE_Sport_Driver]
muzza
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 21/07/1999
Posts: 1765
Loc: Brisbane, Queensland, Australi...
LET THIS THREAD DIE!!

no

Do sound competitions allow MiniDisc players? MD had to fight for years to get over the fact that it used compression.

The issue really is whether the audio has been affected when it is played back. If the judges provide their own disks, the playing field is even.
Has this already been said? It's been so long since this thread popped up.
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#60763 - 26/02/2002 08:23 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: hybrid8]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Perhaps the $8k head unit is made of solid gold?

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#60764 - 26/02/2002 08:25 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: hybrid8]
guardian__J
enthusiast

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 265
Loc: MI, USA
I'd like to see that link too...
I think it sounds interesting...
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guardian__J
MKIIa 20g Smoke

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#60765 - 26/02/2002 08:33 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: hybrid8]
sancho
journeyman

Registered: 17/08/2000
Posts: 70
In reply to:

I've never seen Clarion sell their top of the line CD head for over $1K




the drx-9255 originally retailed in excess of $1k... the price has dropped a bit in the last few years...

In reply to:

People who are "in-to" car audio enough to spend $8K on a head unit do not keep the consumer electronics companies running (not with their purchases anyway).




never said they did... they are customers... but, they are by no means the majority of customers...

that wasn't the point at all, though... my point was that $1500 head units sell... and if you were really "in to" car audio you probably wouldn't have made a statement to the contrary...

In reply to:

Do you have any links to this $8K Sony head by the way?




a sony press release (in japanese)

incarnation #2 or 3 of my friend's install

earl zausmer had one in his infamous bmw... and here

if you want anymore links... just do a search for "sony xes z-50"... that is the model # for the "head" which is actually based in the "changer" which incorporates the dsp's, etc... the dingus in the dash is nothing more than the display...

some of the mags reviewed it a couple years ago as well...
--
sancho



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#60766 - 26/02/2002 09:02 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: sancho]
guardian__J
enthusiast

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 265
Loc: MI, USA
well...
you have to admit...that's more then a head unit...
I think someone made the comment, spending a couple k on various components...so that's all that is...it's a CD Changer amps and more with a "head unit" sized interface to control it...I don't even think you could claim that system comes with a head unit...
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guardian__J
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#60767 - 26/02/2002 10:03 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: guardian__J]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I find it funny how some of the same people who attacked me for saying in this threadt that not many people would spend $1500 on a head unit are now arguing the same point that I originally made. Very ironic.


Edited by Yz33d (26/02/2002 10:04)

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#60768 - 27/02/2002 11:23 Re: The Future of Empeg [Re: ]
ccrobin
stranger

Registered: 26/05/2000
Posts: 49
Loc: Minnesota, USA
Ya know I watched "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" last night on the big screen (a old theatre was showing it). After reading this all i can say is:

"Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who..."

Seems we are all here for the same reason. Lets make the best of it. And if you don't like that - well then:

"Your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries!"



(For those of you who are not familar with this movie I apologize - and I fart in your general direction)

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