What made your headphones?

Hello friends. I want to introduce you to a very interesting interview with the Russian "naushnikostroeniya."
Author: Sergei Viljanen
Link below.

Questions answered by the leadership in the person: Valentina and Alexei Dolgushina Kazanzhi of «Fischer Audio GmbH» =)

Sergei Viljanen: Let's start with the most important issue. This is a normal person comes into the store and saw forty, fifty, a hundred pairs of headphones. He looks at them and really do not understand - well, here's how to choose suitable? According to the brand? By price? For some special characteristics? Is there some kind of recipe?

Alex: Recipe - unlikely, but there are a number of brands that can be trusted. I choose this way, since the work we, producers, about the same and looks the same. And the standard algorithm: the plant is selected certain model, the decision to rework it, as you make them ordered more new samples, and ultimately get the product.

Alex Dolgushin, product manager at Fischer Audio, reading mail from China

Sergei Viljanen: You are some scary things to say. But what about the stories of a giant laboratory, where hundreds of highly skilled Swiss engineers sit and special black pencil draw on old sheet of paper ingenious design ear cushions? It's all fiction?

Alex: No, of course. This too is because the rate of change in the model proposed by the Chinese plant can reach a hundred per cent. Question solely financial possibilities of the brand and its desire to make these changes. You can even make a scratch their model. But while everyone knows that in the case of dynamic headphones come up with something completely new - a very difficult, and it is not necessary. For too long, they are issued, and all the bikes they invented repeatedly. You can add trivia and "chips", but nothing more.

Sergei Viljanen: That is, in fact, all are all equally?

Alex: Again, no! Let's start with the fact that the objective concept of "sound quality" simply does not exist. Everyone appreciates this quality for yourself, based on physiological characteristics, habits and in general - attitudes to life. For example, in the audiophile medium is considered that the right headphones - the ones who have the most flat frequency response. But while such citizens forget about the important point, is described on the first page of any textbook on phonics. Namely - the extremely uneven frequency response of the human ear. "Curvature" he simply wild, and the difference in frequency peak can reach 80-90 dB.

Illustration from the first pages of a good textbook Soviet

Also in the audiophile medium walks belief that de have really good headphones should not be the bass. They say they are - for the cattle, and subtle bass intelligent man does not need. Many companies produce such models, which are packed very nicely and are impressive, but personally I do not listen to them interesting. There is, on the contrary, the model with hypertrophic bass. So the choice to bring the general formula is hardly possible.
Sergei Viljanen: I recently wrote about a very expensive headphones, and the list of their advantages, among other things, focuses on the unprecedented quality cables. They sound somehow influence can?
Alex: No, if you make a single-core cable, the thickness of a hair, and in addition it badly soldered to poor socket - then it will affect. In all other cases, in my opinion, no.
Sergei Viljanen: A Neodymium drivers, the benefits of which are now become so fashionable to write on the packaging? Is their presence is not enough to guarantee the high quality of sound?
Alex: Neodymium, in fact, are not the speakers (which are fairly complex device) and the coil (which, in fact, a rod with a winding), and permanent magnets. For simplicity, it is usually said about the speakers, but this is not true. Compared with ferrite "neodymium", of course, it is much better because it allows for miniature sizes to ensure a good power. But the point is that now the neodymium magnets used in absolutely all dynamic headphones, except for very very cheap, sold in the transition to 30 rubles. In fact, these magnets and created a class of "fillers" because decent ferrite coil in this case simply does not fit.

Left neodymium, ferrite Right


Sergei Viljanen: Why, then, on some boxes of neodymium write, but on the other - no?
Valentin: I must somehow justify the inflated price.
Alex: Actually, it is necessary marketer to write something about the differences naushnichkov because the site has a special place for it, and in general on the position it should do it. And write something well, absolutely nothing! Well, they have a metal housing, well, gold-plated contacts ... write and place else is a lot! Okay, we write about the neodymium magnet. Another very fashionable to mention cables OFC (OFC), if used somewhere in some other.
This is not to say that once the headphones for 300 and 2 000 using oxygen-free copper and neodymium speakers, so they are generally all the same. No of course. Significant differences have on the level of the engineering design of the body - but not external, but internal. Just write about this will not, will not understand, sir. Sennheiser for its top model Headphones HD-800 printed the whole booklet, which thoroughly painted dignity membrane katushechek, and a person with a technical background to read it very entertaining. But on the packaging of such mass models do not write, even though the housing, the membrane and the coil on the actual fact and create the sound.

There is a suspicion that the production of these Sony headphones checked every fourth copy, and every eighth bag. And the weight of

Valentin: Remember program "Culinary duel"? They each participant give the same range of products: for example, salt, pepper, a piece of meat, greens - and offer to cook this soup. In one get something to eat little use, and another - completely edible dish. If it comes to the business sales result, the price will be different, too. That's a similar story with headphones.
Sergei Viljanen: But if we assume, as we said at the beginning, the price depends not only on product quality but also on the income the buyer ...
Valentin: Not really. Let's imagine a Chinese factory. He has a set of practices and technologies, many of which "podsmotreny" in the products of previous customers. Now imagine that this plant comes from the Japanese order. Price is right for them by 70-80 percent higher. Why is that? Everything is very simple. Acceptance of finished products from Japanese friends is: gang arrives smiling engineers, which sits at the plant day and night, checking every fourth instance. Furthermore, at the stage of placing the order the Japanese can make changes to already approved the design as if by 10-15 times, absolutely not thinking about the problems and the loss of the Chinese.

The production line in China may look different, but still manual work there very much, and the people - not robots


Equally scrupulous and can be tedious German customers, too, and the Americans are known for their capriciousness. Now imagine a typical customer of Russia (except us, of course). He comes and says I need a model here with such characteristics. Chinese replies, no question, will cost two dollars. Our states that did not get to make the final price of the lowest in the Russian retail chains and asked to make a half. As a result, the dynamics gets weaker and thinner design. But, thanks to the low cost, it easily enters the network and receives a good share of the market.
Sergei Viljanen: Wait. So, for one dollar can make headphones?
Alex: The absolute record set by one of the plants - ten cents a pair. However, the minimum party was many, many thousands of pieces to the Chinese could get at least as something tangible benefits, but the fact remains. I could not resist and ordered a copy on trial and got something with ferrite coils, mined, apparently because of some ancient reserves in the event of nuclear war. Most interesting is that this miracle of technology was delivered to Russia under a local brand.
Valentin: You know, we have recently participated in a tender for the supply of headphones into one of the largest retail network. We received a call - "need" ears ", plug, made of plastic. The retail price of 120 rubles, the volume of deliveries of 10,000 units per month. " Further interesting - "insert premium, with metal inserts. The retail price of 200 rubles. " There's also clarifies that the amount of profit the network must be at least 120-140 percent. On the quality of sound in general anything. Networks are only interested in the purchase price and the margin. All. In this connection the question arises - what kind of a premium in question for 200 rubles?

Silicone packing in China are sold at 150 rubles per bag, and in our rich country for the same price decided to give five pairs

Sergei Viljanen: There is a perception that the really high-quality sound can be obtained only in the headphones the size of half a head, and "drop" and he did not sleep. As the difference between CD and CD-cassettes of the first type. Is it really so?
Alex: Well, you can make normal "drops". Well you can!
Valentin: Sorry, but the laws of physics has not been canceled. When the dynamics of large - they are great. And here are small "droplets" that you are. You can get close, but do not turn out absolutely identical.
Sergei Viljanen: Is it true that even the brand-the most expensive headphones cost a maximum of $ 20 per share?
Alex: That's not entirely true. There are models that are in the purchase of $ 50 or more, and this is usually the type of reinforcing the headphones. The fact that the reinforcement of the dynamics is able to do only a very limited number of plants, and the whole of China of just two or three. Accordingly, the price tags from these manufacturers are not very humane, and of the $ 50 on the dynamics of the lion's share.

Chinese small digression: an exclusive apparatus for lovers of warm tube sound

Sergei Viljanen: Armature headphones really as good as some audiophiles?
Alex: There is also - how to do. But in general we can not say that they are literally head and shoulders above the dynamic. The reinforcement model is much better worked through the upper range - that's a fact. But while the "top" cut down to 12-14 kHz, the rest of each listener domyslivaet himself. But there is an amazing detail of the sound.
Valentin: But the most important thing in the "reinforcement" is not how it sounds. Our bitter experience is that much more important label that is on it, and the price paid for it. Here's an example. We have a very bad model reinforcing the headphones. More precisely, the sound of her personally, my colleagues and I really like it, but she did not go at all. Forum regulars have found in it a lot of flaws: is not right, it is not, then picked open one instance and found it driver Sirene. And he also found that bad things to say. It costs our headphones - SBA01 - about 2400 rubles. Meanwhile, the Russian market to sell at least two models with exactly the same driver - under the brands Ortofon and Grado. Both are about 8 000 in the same audiophile circles only cause admiration. Yes hull they are different, but the driver-the same! But, apparently, with an increase in price is almost three times he gets some special properties - of course, only in the mind of the owner.
Sergei Viljanen: And what "copies" sold top models of headphones around which breaks down as many copies?
Valentin: I am afraid the bill goes to the best in the hundreds.
Sergei Viljanen: In the hundreds? It can not be!
Valentine: Well, not in the thousands of same. Typically, such models are unprofitable for the company. And so it is very painful to read comments of forum regulars: "Oh, there you have the body - a typical Open Design». Honey, you invest a few tens of thousands of dollars trying to make it completely unique, and then sell 50 units a month. And I'm not exaggerating costs: ten thousand should die only for one part of the body (any cap), and that's if you make allowances for the old friendship. By the way, a terrible secret: Metal housing for themselves to develop cheaper and faster, because for them the mold is not needed.

Valentin Kazanzhi personally experimenting with ways of processing wood box headphones future

Sergei Viljanen: And what about the money? If I thought with such volumes will not live ...
Valentin: I'll open a big secret. We have all earphones in the company are divided into two groups - regardless of the size, type of speaker design and so on. There are models in order to eat, and there is a model for the soul. The latter, figuratively speaking, never allow maslitse spread on bread. But, thanks to them, there is fame, reputation and a growing army of fans. And, importantly, interest in the work!
And those models that "to eat", sold incomparably high volumes. But finding them is different for different brands impossible. All that, however there are a marketing ploy and nothing more. All these inscriptions about the frequency range from 8 to 28 000 Hz at the box Headphones for 200 rubles ...

Experts can easily recognize these Chinese OEM «products» of several well-known brands. After reading the epilogue to this material, they can also count - how many of them are overpaid

We are at the very beginning of the company set up an experiment. The cheapest model in the line, FA-455, sounded very worthy. But it was only cheaper for buyers, for us, the sale of each copy brought 18 rubles of net loss and FA-455 sold tens of thousands of pieces. I was hoping for what? People buy and start writing in the forums - Look, they even cheap "ears" there as well! There it was. Person buying cheap headphones, do not care - how they sound. Playing - okay. And then, when we have changed the model to a ... commercial, we noticed a matter of unity, and sales did not affect substitution. And we finally got some profit.
And further. Frankly, dear Fischer models in Russia are very sluggish, and about 70 percent of sales come from Western countries. Europe and the United States. One reason: the domestic buyer feels the strongest top models piety towards foreign brands. The main thing that is not our so expensive! It comes to the ridiculous: when Head-Fi.org products Fischer praised, we just snorts contemptuously - "Oh, that's even foreigners have bought." Although I can hardly imagine - how much it cost to buy them. If I knew, I bought.

Valentin Kazanzhi. This - buy

Sergei Viljanen: In an interview before this interview you mentioned the opening production in Russia ... It is possible more in detail?
Valentin: Like many developers, we are faced with the fact that our ideas are happy to be assigned by the Chinese factories. That is to long to bring some kind of model to the mind, to pore over every detail (because detail in our work does not happen), and then suddenly discover their achievements in the headphones, which are plant offers other companies as the OEM. And not prove anything: the concept of intellectual property rights for the Chinese people simply do not exist. The most striking example: Alex decided to make "funny" headphones with an unusual exterior. Fiddling with the materials as were used in the model proposed initially not allowed to use bright colors. I picked up an interesting black and yellow wires. Ordered original design jack'a a very extra money. An unusual. But then we went to an exhibition in Hong Kong, and suddenly we find at the stand of the plant are the same headphones, offered to everyone as the OEM! And we do something of them even did not have time to get samples.
A real audiophile enough kick at the sight of this collection of clones. But it was not necessary to place the production in China!

As for Russia. I once wanted to resume production of the legendary Headphones "Electronics CBS-5." I came to the factory in the city of N, which they once and released. Sitting there sleek, white-haired grandfather. I told him - well, let's do business, resume process, start supplying to the West. To which he replied: "My son and I, why should it? I've been sitting comfortably, lease space, and I'm cool. Again some chores, production ... No, son, I have the money already earned. And you earn a minute your in a different place ».
Nevertheless, there is in our country a certain amount of thinking rukastogo people. We have found a knowledgeable person who bought the necessary equipment and perform it small orders. Together we refine and produce very interesting model.
Sergei Viljanen: But that's as far as I understand, exclusive small circulation and a major production in China anyway?
Valentin: Absolutely. Cheap things to do in Russia is impossible, and it is unlikely that anything will change.



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