PS Audio, why not a Hugo-like product?


#1

Team,

New product idea. Why not use the FPGA of the DS to create a portable dac like Chord’s Hugo 2?

You could call it the “Ted”. The portable audio market continues to grow fast and this would be a very interesting product to have.

just an idea…

Lee


#2

Tho I won’t say it’s impossible, there are a few critical things in the DS architecture (e.g. the FPGA and the reclocker) that are quite expensive (i.e. on the order of $25 each even in quantity) and some others that are moderately expensive. These end up setting a lower bound on the price of a DS like DAC. If we find a way of making a cheaper version with similar audio quality I’m sure that PS Audio would be interested in producing it.


#3

Thanks Ted. I really believe it would be a huge hit if you can overcome the technical and cost challenges.


#4

OK - Ted, I’ll ask the inevitable question/thought that comes to most people’s minds - what would be the typical lower bound on a device whose two main parts are $50?


#5

PS Audio uses a fairly standard mark up to price all of their components. I’m not sure whether they’d like me to say it, but it’s lower than many other companies I’ve worked for.

Tho the FPGA can replace a lot of individual components, in most DACs those components usually only add up to a few dollars total. Similarly most reclockers (when present at all) are more like $0.50 parts (or even $0.10.) This puts a DAC based on them at a severe disadvantage compared to many DACs.

An FPGA also require at least 4 or 6 layer boards which are more expensive than those in many DACs.

Let’s just say that the DS Jr squeezed out more cost than I originally expected, but less than PS Audio had hoped :slight_smile: Perhaps there are a few things that with experience we could do a little cheaper or better but at this time I don’t know how I’d build something for, say, 1/2 the Jr’s price.


#6

Thanks, Ted. These sorts of “dumb” questions like mine typically ignore development cost (x number of highly skilled folks working for x amount of time to make the device a reality, etc. etc.), the cost of the casework, marketing (without which you wouldn’t know of it), etc.; not to mention economies of scale - which work in both directions - if you take all of the cost of developing a product and the cost of turning it into an actual, saleable product, but expect to sell 100 vs. 10,000 - the metrics are different.

Thanks for answering!happy-090_gif


#7

Also, keep in mind the cost of all those “free” firmware upgrades that everyone is so eager to get …


#8
Ted Smith said

Tho I won’t say it’s impossible, there are a few critical things in the DS architecture (e.g. the FPGA and the reclocker) that are quite expensive (i.e. on the order of $25 each even in quantity) and some others that are moderately expensive. These end up setting a lower bound on the price of a DS like DAC. If we find a way of making a cheaper version with similar audio quality I’m sure that PS Audio would be interested in producing it.


Has anyone checked on Paul, since the above was posted? I’m hoping he has a strong heart. A post like the above could kill some manufacturers.

Ted, you really are one of us, and that is a compliment.


#9

I am still in recovery mode. 20_gif

Ted knows he is family. I don’t mind him talking about costs one little bit. It’s not like they are state secrets. We don’t hide behind thin walls of fluff and we’re not embarrassed by our pricing structure. As Ted pointed out, our pricing is always a reflection of the parts cost. We set it so it’s enough to keep us going and pay for the research and engineering that make all this possible.

I know other companies sometimes price according to what the market expectations are or what the market “will bear”, but that’s never been our style.

Ted is indeed “the man”.77_gif