I thought it might be helpful to put up a separate thread that explains the pricing structure and trade-up/upgrade policies and thinking behind them. Hope this helps.
In the USA
The DirectStream retail price is $5,995.
The two main avenues of upgrading from a PWD to a DirectStream are through a trade-up or a DIY kit. The pricing logic is simple:
- Following the DIY upgrade path. If you wish to do the upgrade yourself, that'll run you $2,995 and sound identical to a new DirectStream. Everything inside your PWD will be replaced. The only remaining items from the PWD will be the chassis and front panel display board. So essentailly you're saving the $1000 you invested in the PWD chassis and display board when you bought it new. Everything else is gone.
- Following the trade-up path. If you want the higher resale value of owning a genuine article DirectStream with its nomenclature on the front panel, trade in your existing PWD, and this will cost an extra $1,000, covering the costs of a new chassis and display board. Total cost to you is the same as a new PWD, $3,995, plus the return of your PWD.
- Summary. Keep your PWD chassis and display board, replace the innards with DirectStream and you're in for $2,995. Give us your PWD and get a brand new DirectStream for $1,000 more and you're in for the price of a new PWD, $3,995.
If you already own a PWD, whether a MKI or MKII the options details we make available are:
- $2K trade in credit. Send us your PWD and buy the DirectStream for $3,995. This deal can be had through many of our dealers and directly from us as well. If you decide to do this through your dealer, contact them and make arrangements soon. If you decide to purchase directly, you can sign up starting tomorrow (March 1) on our webstore. We will charge your credit card $3,995 and you promise to send in your PWD within 30 days of receiving your new DirectStream. We pay all the shipping costs. There are only 50 units available for shipment in April, and perhaps a quarter of those are already spoken for, so I wouldn't wait too long.
- $2,995 upgrade path DIY. We will have upgrade kits available starting in May. The number of upgrade kits will be limited in May so we'll start signups on March 1 as well, preordering. The kits are a DIY style, like we did with the MKII for the PWD. Not much harder to do. You simply remove everything in the PWD and replace it with everything we send you. It's a wholesale slaughter and rebirth. Only the front panel display board remains. $2,995 upgrade path we do it. You can also buy an upgrade kit and send the PWD to us and we'll do it for you. This has to be scheduled and there will be some sort of fee, although we'll keep it minimal. This is a good option for those of you challenged by a screwdriver.
- If you do not own a PWD but want to trade in your DAC. We will also make some sort of trade-in allowance for other DACS as well, but this won't/can't be as generous as trading in a PWD. Details not yet finalized, but expect approximately $1,000.
Outside the USA
We try to keep our pricing as close to US retail as possible and many of our distributors come pretty close. Once you factor in freight, VAT, exchange rates, etc. we're in fairly good shape. Most of our dealers and distributors outside the US will not be offering the trade-up program. The reason is simple. In the US we can refurbish and then resell the traded in products to our customers. Not so easy for our distributors and dealers who aren't set up to do this as easily.
So the majority of countries will offer the upgrade path and, within ther constraints of what I mentioned in terms of pricing, upgrade kits will be available through your dealers and distributors around the world. Unlike when we did the MKII upgrade, we will not ship upgrade kits from the United States. Part of the problem is that we're replacing the power supply boards and transformers and those kits have to be specific for the country they are going into. Also, some users may require assistance and this would have to be handled on a local level.
The schedule for delivery is as follows:
- The first 100 DirectStreams produced will ship between April 15th and the end of April. The number of available DirectStreams worldwide is fixed at 100 pieces and have to be shared around the world. If you want one of ther first you should get your order in now. Most dealers and distributors around the world are taking preorders, as are we beginning March 1.
- The first 50 kits ship in May, followed by increasing numbers into June. Kit presales are goijng on right now.
We will do our best to ramp up production as quickly as we can to meet demand. This is not an easy product to build and each of the first 100 units will be listen tested in Music Room One to make sure they are spot on. After that, we will do AQL listen testing to each production batch to ensure what we hear is what you hear.
Have fun, let us know if we can answer any questions for you.