Audio and Video Talk > South African AV Product Board

The real value of SA Audio

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It interests me that much of what is made here is discounted as not being good enough or not delivering value.

So what exactly is the real value of SA manufactured audio?
To try answer this I'll give two examples.

Sonor Audio Claro 6.2 loudspeakers sell in Europe for 4 995 Euro.
When they were reviewed (reviews on the sonor website) they were given extremely high praise and their price/performance ratio was rated as excellent.

In case you didn't know, Sonor are locally made. They decided to import a pair, excluding any shipping costs, clearing costs and duties, but including customs VAT, the speakers would land at just under R 100 000.00. Include other costs and the speakers would probably land at closer to 120K.

At this price and based on their reviews, they would compete head to head with imported brands that sell here in that region.

The local price of the Sonors is a little over R 52K or less than half the price of the speakers against which it competed favourably in Europe.
They are in fact too cheap in the local market.

The Second example is the Xact turntable from Reference Acoustics. This is a 2500 Euro turntable.
If one were to import one from Europe and pay shipping, duties, VAT etc, the turntable would land at around the R 60K mark.
The retail price here, depending on cart is in the region of R 30K.

These are products that have international acclaim and are value proposition options in their respective categories in the EU.

Here, at half the price, they are often discounted as not good enough.

I have to ask if some supposed Audiophiles are far more interested in how much they spend and a European or American brand, than actual performance?

If it costs more its better, right??   


There could be many factors:

a) Lack of advertising - I have only heard of both products but never seen or heard them;
b) Reputation - Reviews create a image XXX brand must be good - people buy into this illusion- and then experience conflict when it does not live up the reputation in their homes;
c) Access to post sales back-up- how many agents can support the product;
d) Looks - WAF - does it fit with the décor;
e) Collectability - especially international demand - just look at how many second hand high end items have recently exported;
f) Exclusivity - owning X makes you part of the exclusive club..
g) Some local products are priced as high end but sadly are not.
h) Code of ethics- you expect a certain modus operandi from a high end dealer aka supply on time as specified etc.

Buying behavior is not always rational - there could be many factors involved.

I do commend you for your efforts in promoting local- we do need to make this transition. Hopefully there are more who will step forward.


Your argument though
Surely the overseas price includes shipping and customs from South Africa.
So using that as a comparison on pricing does not really work out.
Also without things like Avsa. More and more people Will be on the dark about local products

Most SA designed and manufactured products in the audio market are being sold at very good prices locally and I for one can only be grateful for that.  If they were sold anywhere3 near their cost in Europe I would not be able to afford them.

A very true point stated above, seeing and listening to the products are not that easy.  More exposure will add a lot to the brands.

Hence, any Capetonians are welcome to come and listen to the Xact TT.

 let's assume that I have no idea what the brands you are referring to are about. What's the first thing I do in this connected world?  Yip, I reach out to a search engine and go search for their website, or "google it" as some would say.  Their homepage is possibly my first impression of a company that I have a level of interest in and we know that first impressions are rather lasting.
Here's where things get a little wobbly.
Have you had a look at these brands' websites? What are your feelings when you search through those sites for information? Does the info they provide inspire you to want purchase their product?  When last were these sites updated?

I know I'm being harsh here, but come on folks, we live in a connected world where a competitor's info is a click away. There are talented individuals out there who can and will make your public profile really interesting and exciting in a way that will make potential customers want to dig deep into their pockets.
Engineers are notoriously bad at marketing and maybe therein lies our first challenge - we try do everything ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, we need to reach out every now and again and ask for assistance in spheres that are not quite our core.

By the way, I still own a set of Sonor Sirius, so am well acquainted with Roy's abilities and have owned Valve Audio in the past. Note to self - go visit oom Schalk's website and see what's happening on his public gateway to marketing and sales.


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