Sprout expectations


#1

Scott congratulations in advance.

Here in the UK

we can’t wait to see the results of all your hard work

Mike


#2

This looks like a neat little product that would definitely cater to those with minimalist leanings. You’ve set incredibly high expectations, though, by suggesting it rivals live music. Having spent many thousands of dollars trying to achieve the same result, I realize (as I’m sure do you) that one component is only one link in the chain. I haven’t read through all the comments, and I’m sure there will be great interest in the equipment you’re pairing with the Sprout. I’d also like to know how it compares in sonics with one of your previous products, the Trio.


#3

Thanks hofbat, yes we are in pursuit of live sound, but also, it’s the feature set and design that really appeal to me. So the sound is great of course, but I used to have a GCA-250 (power amp) the Trio GCPH, Trio P-200, and all the associated interconnects. With Sprout, my bookshelf system gain a headphone jack, gained a DAC, gained Bluetooth, lost 40lbs. Possibly does not sound a live as the IRS-5’s in Music Room I however, you are right. Thanks for the great perspective.


#4

This kicks butt on the trio products. In fact, the Trio A100 was the amp we referenced as our benchmark for sound comparisons. Definitely more open, spacious and better soundstage than the A100 or, for that matter, than the C100 integrated as a whole.

One of the reasons this is better is, of course, the power amp inside as well as the complete integration of the DAC. With a C100 we had to connect an external DAC through interconnects and when you do this, there’s always a bit of loss. Having a built in DAC in Sprout has a number of advantages.

With respect to the power amp inside Sprout vs. the A100. Sprout is based on a Scandinavian designed product called Abletech, while the A100 is also a Norse design, but by B and O. The Abletech designs are considerably better sounding than the B and O in our opinion and give reliable, stout performance.


#5

Paul,

I realize that you are a proud Papa, but I’d like to hear Scott’s answers to questions provided on the Forum. This can serve as a dry run for when he has to lecture and answer questions live, without notes.

I understand,

Alan


#6

I’m on the forum, Scott, but I haven’t seen or heard of a description of the Sprout. What all is there in those 40 fewer pounds?

Thanks,

alan


#7

Take a look at the other Sprout thread: http://www.psaudio.com/forum/sprout-forum/lets-welcome-sprout-into-the-world/


#8

Hello,

First I’d like to extend my sincere congratulation to Scott on this new product. I really think you’ve addressed a segment which has not been adequately addressed by the ‘conventional’ Hi-Fi marketplace, in delivering a cost effective, compact, great sounding product which is verstile and addresses the needs of people who enjoy music, but lack either the space or the funds for a conventional rack, or simply don’t want the sprawl of a conventional Hi-Fi system.

As a former Hi-Fi reviewer here in the UK I have, I am sorry to say, seen the ongoing decline of the Hi-Fi business over here, and increasingly the disinterest in the field of quality music reproduction in the marketplace, the market here is increasingly biased towards convenience rather than quality. I think the Sprout carries with it the potential to deliver quality sound together with high levels of functionality at a price point that is eminently affordable to many, and compact enough to fit in even a modest flat or home.

If there is still some room to consider some changes to the design of the internals of this product, I would like to suggest what I would hope is a minor change which would have major marketing ramifications. I would suggest you look at implementing a universal power supply which will work anywhere in the World. The Sprout is a very competitively priced product, I would imagine it carries nowhere near the margin for you of the higher end PS Audio products. It would be an error for you to allow the price in the UK and Europe to escalate, and your margins to be slashed further, as you have to sell through the conventional distributor / dealer route to market. I am sure you are aware of the margins demanded by both distributors and dealers in the UK and Europe, and by the time the shipping, VAT and duty have been added to the price it’s final selling price over here will have probably doubled. If you remove that route to market, and simply sell direct (and you can now use services which will deal with the duty and VAT costs to the end user) you can eliminate much of this price escalation, maintain your margins, and keep the price competitive to the end user, and the adoption of a universal power supply will ultimately mean you only need a single power supply for the whole World, so the ability to buy more PSU’s should outweigh any increase in cost.

Your other problem is that if you go with the distributor / dealer path, and the Sprout is as disruptive to the market as I suspect it will be, there is simply no guarantee that the product will receive the support it deserves from dealers. I have seen many a good product go by the wayside because incumbent manufacturers with larger margins for the dealers, and a bigger marketing budget with the magazines, have simply told dealers to drop products if they want to maintain a relationship, and this is often enough to prevent new products from breaking through in favor of the status quo being maintained.

I hope you find these comments constructive and helpful, and in no way are they a criticism, with Sprout so early on in it’s life cycle I would hope these points are considered. The Sprout comes with the potential to be dsiruptive to the market, so why market it in a conventional manner?

Very best wishes, and once again, congratulations on a truly innovative product.

David


#9

What happens with the Sprout if the Kickstarter funding fails?


#10

Hi David, Hi Alan,

Stevem2 is right, pics and a comprehensive description exists on the other topic “Let’s welcome Sprout into the world.” We’re taking more pictures too.

David, you hit the nail on the head as regards pricing i.e. don’t let the wholesale market price you out of peoples’ budget. I can’t tell you how many dealers have urged me “just sell it for $1500. I can sell this for $1500” and I have no doubt they are correct. My concern is, those dealers would be selling to their present customer base. The goal of Sprout is yes of course to take market share from the competition, but MOST importantly, the goal is to grab the newbie who has never considered him/herself a sound-hound. (Stress on the “her” by the way. EVERYONE loves music.) So this has to be attainable. Yes, margins are difficult for this product and we are indeed counting on high-volume to make the math work. Between us, I have strongly considered adios’ing the wholesale network for this product. But I think we must tread lightly on tight margins with trusted dealers, and the reason is, I can’t have their outreach. Our distributor in Croatia, for example, is just going crazy on Sprout. We will need trusted partners so that we can reach every customer we can!


#11

@Frode we never EVER back down! cool If Kickstarter did not fund, that would just make Sprout a slower-burn and we would do in business what we did in product development: learn from mistakes and adapt. Thanks!


#12

How does Sprout fit with the Company moniker “High End Connected Home Entertainment Products”, is it network/wi-fi enabled?


#13

“Connected” in this instance will have to be Bluetooth, which of course does not require a network or wi-fi (something we’re pretty jazzed about in thuth) but good point: we’re likely to come up with a few instances where Sprout breaks not only an industry mold or two, but perhaps a PS Audio mold as well :-)


#14

Great idea to build one of these, Scott! Love the Bluetooth feature. Sprout will help people learn again how wonderful music can sound. Do you have an idea when it might be available? I too would appreciate suggestions for speakers, subwoofer, once it comes out.

I travel internationally, taking audio equipment with me for work, and often recommend equipment to others: wonderful when we can switch between 100-120 volts and 220-250 volts. Anyway, we all have to deal with issues David ukaudiophile mentions. David's suggestions seem like good ones for a designer to consider.
Siska

#15

Hi Siska, there may be a universal-voltage option down the road. For now there will be a 120V & 230V version of Sprout. We’re going to do a large run of units this summer, and we will be in full-scale production by October 2014. Without a doubt, we will need to recommend speakers, sub, TT, headphones, and interconnects. Thanks for the great points!


#16

The Sprout looks like it has great potential along with great expectations. This may have been said or suggested, any change for a subwoofer output?


#17

Absolutely. Sprout has a subwoofer output already!


#18

I do not see the subwoofer output.

Also when will the online manual be ready?


#19

It’s a 3.5mm line out. It doesn’t say “subwoofer”


#20

Thanks tulz43. I got it.