I am actually somewhat surprised that there isn't a large enough medical and mil-spec market for
high-quality data storage that a manufacturer would have enough critical mass right there. Tack on
archvies/institutions and the music "business" (in quotes because it is quickly becoming the
opposite of a business model if business model = profitable and long-term) and it seems there's room
for a quality niche. Why not?
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Richter" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, December 11, 2006 11:10 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Clarifying the MAM-A gold comment
> Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Mike Richter" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Soon after, the company folded. They could not compete on price with schlock from the Orient;
>>> they could not compete on reputation with the high-end product. I fear that without supplement,
>>> the wanderings of Mitsui/MAM gold will continue until a cliff is encountered and quality audio
>>> media vanish.
>> IF the "free market" works the way it is supposed to in theory (and note
>> that I make my comment as a NON-fan of it...!) there should be the following
>> 1) There presumably exists (must, for this to happen) a body of users
>> (aka "demographic") to whom quality is of sufficient importance to
>> reduce the importance of price.
>> 2) Given the truth of (1) above, there will arise a manufacturer who
>> specializes in making available discs of consistently very high quality
>> and predicted life span...in order to sell them at a higher price to
>> the above-defined demographic.
>> There are any number of products where there exists a minority demographic
>> who demand and require a higher quality and/or dependability than does the
>> average consumer thereof. In almost all cases, there arises a supplier who
>> can fill that/those need(s). What can happen, though, is that the general
>> public start purchasing these "high-end brands" based on their anecdotal
>> repuation; in many cases, the increased production leads to a decrease
>> in quality!
>> I have a personal example here. Among my posessions is a c.1946 E.H. Scott
>> 800-B radio (the last model designed under the supervision of Mr. Scott).
>> These sets were intended to be as close to perfect as a commercially-sold
>> radio could be, and "hang the cost!" Mine has 24 tubes, chrome-plated
>> chassis, a 15" coaxial dual-driver speaker, a solid-mahogany cabinet
>> (veneered with decorative mahogany as well!) and cost over $1,500 at
>> a time when a new Chevrolet cost $1,200.
>> I don't know the history involved, but not too long after the 800-B was
>> introduced, E.H. Scott left his firm and it was sold to other owners,
>> who tried to use the name to market ordinary high-end sets and quickly went under...
> I hope we're not belaboring this subject, but at the risk of that, let me add some notes.
> Your first point is well taken, which is why I suggested medical media, where quality and
> longevity are mandated by the process and, in some cases, by law.
> The second is less clear. If the market is not large enough to support reasonable cost - say ten
> times that of standard product - then there may well be no manufacturer. There was a time when RCA
> would press a custom disc if the customer had the high but standard price; that day is long gone,
> presumably because that price with all its overhead was excessive.
> Your radio example is valid. Presumably, Scott built the 800-B as a proof of principle and as a
> personal indulgence. My guess is that its $1500 price did not mean profit for the company. At that
> price, there would have been too few purchasers to do great harm to the company.
> But the CD-R manufacturer of whom I wrote was more comparable with a Haffler trying to work in a
> high-production environment. You can make a radio or a preamp by hand, but it takes massive
> capital investment to make CD-Rs. In fact, it takes ever more investment as the quality target
> rises regardless of how many units are sold. And there is another factor for the newcomer to the
> quality market: proof. You can prove many of the virtues of your Scott 800-B by listening and by
> measurement. But how does one prove the longevity of a CD-R? And how are claims made credible
> versus such established champions: T-Y and MAM?
> Perhaps lining up with the few users of quality in quantity we will be able still to find archival
> media in several years. But the archival market alone is unlikely (IMHO) to suffice.
> [log in to unmask]