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Still no competition at the top :/

Strat O Matic

Member
Messages
563
Does anyone else find it mind boggling that all of these companies with far more money and resources,( i.e. Line 6, Digitech, etc.) just can't seem to create a product thats even in the ballpark of the quality of Kemper and Fractal.

I mean Line 6 used to have the Vetta series which at the time was pretty good modeling. Don't get me wrong here for $500 the HD500 is a useful tool but come on already you guys have the money get who you need and make a competitive high end unit. Just scratching my head here, I mean people are more interested in modeling now then ever before but they still haven't broken into the hi end market.

I mean could you imagine if they created a platform housed in a similar floorboard to the HD500 with modeling equivalent to Fractal/Kemper, it would sell like hotcakes during a famine!

Well heres to hoping Atomic and Studio Devil will blow us away and shake up the market a bit. :beer
 

TTripp

Member
Messages
1,867
I don't know what their business models are. They may have no interest whatsoever in trying to sell products that cost that much.
 

Stan Malinowski

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
631
I think the big companies (Line6/DigiTech/Boss) don't see the sales volume to make an acceptable profit on high end modeling systems like the KPA & the AXE.

The DSP chip(s) used in the KPA & AXE are expensive and hence there is a high recurring cost, which limits the lowest retail price you can charge.

The R&D cost of modeling products like the KPA & AXE are also pretty high yielding a high non-recurring cost.

In the world of big business:

High Recurring Cost + High Non-Recurring Cost + Low Sales Volume = NO GO for a Product!
 

toasterdude

Member
Messages
2,063
Does anyone else find it mind boggling that all of these companies with far more money and resources,( i.e. Line 6, Digitech, etc.) just can't seem to create a product thats even in the ballpark of the quality of Kemper and Fractal.

:beer
Think of any market as a pyramid. The top, pointy part is where the high end stuff sits. Not talking about cutting pyramid in half either. Draw a line say 25% of the way down. That is high end market. In some markets there is a mid range market but I don't see much of that in modeler market. Maybe Eleven Rack and POD HD Pro?

The lower part of the pyramid has exponentially more potential customers and sales.

With two great competing "boutique" modelers competing for that small part of the market, who wants to be the third player? The volume and dollars is in the bottom of the pyramid.
 

Strat O Matic

Member
Messages
563
If thats what they're thinking its a shame really I figure a company that size should be able to find a way to keep cost to a minimum. I mean surely they have the capital to purchase much bigger orders then Fractal/Kemper and should be able to get things at lower cost.
 

Stan Malinowski

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
631
Unfortunately you require high-end, high horsepower DSP chips for modeling (the AXE actually uses 2 DSPs!). The price is still very high even with volume discounts. In fact I do Hardware/Software design in the Aerospace Industry using these chips.

History has shown that in a few years, the next generation of high power DSPs will emerge and they will become the baseline of high end modelers. When this happens the prices on the present generation DSPs will drop enough to make volume production profitable enough for the big boys.

The problem with this is more capability will be added to the KPA/AXE ith the high end DSPs. The big companies will still be behind the technology curve due to the limitations of using DSPs that are a generation behind.
 

mikah912

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,657
If thats what they're thinking its a shame really I figure a company that size should be able to find a way to keep cost to a minimum. I mean surely they have the capital to purchase much bigger orders then Fractal/Kemper and should be able to get things at lower cost.
You're thinking about this the wrong way. Sure, they could knock component costs down, cut a few corners on algorithms and come up with a Kemper "competitor" for half the price. Buy why bother?

These are major corporations and they are going to chase market growth segments, not expensive niches that already have two established players. A couple of years ago, all the growth was in the iOS area. Now, it's coming up with the magic solution for the entry level player.

I'd selfishly love to see new products from every company in the ~$500 area with loadable full resolution IRs and constant amp models updates.....but if I owned a major guitar effects manufacturer, how could I explain that to my shareholders? What's the return? Even if you magically stole all of Fractal and Kemper's sales, mopping up the lower end of the market would still be more profitable.
 

darkknight91

Senior Member
Messages
510
I read some guys complaining to IK Multimedia being slow to updating their VSTi's and plugins and concentrating too much on their "stupid little iOS devices". The guys at IK said it's their "stupid little iOS devices" being sold to kids and bedroom players that provides them with the capital to create plugins and VSTi's. The high end market is a market of passion, not profit margins.
 

mdee

Member
Messages
135
Does anyone else find it mind boggling that all of these companies with far more money and resources,( i.e. Line 6, Digitech, etc.) just can't seem to create a product thats even in the ballpark of the quality of Kemper and Fractal.
Does MacDonald sell gourmet food? Different target markets.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,448
I don't care who makes it, but I'd like something between the current 500-dollar products and the 2000-dollar products. BIG hole. The Eleven Rack would be intriguing, but it doesn't offer me some of the things I need (dual chains) that only the Axe-FX and HD 500 do.

I have a pedal board full of stuff that I get tired of hauling around because it's so big and heavy and I need 3 or 4 different additional things beyond what's in my HD 500, and can't (and won't) pony up for an Axe II.

Perhaps a used Axe Ultra is in my future...
 

lp_bruce

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,815
As others have said, it's all about the market and profits. There isn't enough profit it making a boutique MFX/modeler for the big boys.

I don't care who makes it, but I'd like something between the current 500-dollar products and the 2000-dollar products. BIG hole. The Eleven Rack would be intriguing, but it doesn't offer me some of the things I need (dual chains) that only the Axe-FX and HD 500 do.
I think the same goes for the cost gap between the $500-600 and $2,000 products. Not enough profit to be made in that gap (otherwise, they would already be there). Also, the GT-100 also has dual chains.

Peace,
 

Strat O Matic

Member
Messages
563
Does MacDonald sell gourmet food? Different target markets.
True but look at the gear market as a whole. Fender,Gibson,Marshall,etc. they all make low to high end gear and like I said Line 6 used to have the Vetta and then just gave up the high end market.
 

chillybilly

Member
Messages
3,714
Several random thoughts

-We are connoisseurs. The 'good enough' phenomenon is difficult to overcome among the masses, whether they are listening or playing. What sounds like overprocessed Cheese Whiz to us sounds perfectly musical or 'cool, man' to the multitudes of hacks.

-Expense, as others have noted, although the processing power to cost ratio has to have dropped as it has in the computer arena.

-Innovation vs business plans. If Leo Fender had the mentality of today's cold-eyed 5-year-business-plan bean counters, then his inspiration for the Tele, Strat and subsequent models would have been smothered by corporate telling him not to issue his revolutionary, iconic models so close together.

Line6 probably have a backlog of goodies but they are as cynical as Adidas-TaylorMade Golf in terms of issuing product according to the calendar and not the laboratory. Let the sales spike then taper off, then declare your own previously state-of-the-art gear to be obsolete and unworthy of ongoing use. Declare the new product to be state-of-the-art...until it isn't.

-Convergence is inevitable....the high end and low end will grow closer together with capabilities less a distinguishing characteristic, just as they have in automobiles and golf equipment. At that point complexity will be the differentiating factor along with diminishing marginal improvements in the product.
 

mikah912

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,657
True but look at the gear market as a whole. Fender,Gibson,Marshall,etc. they all make low to high end gear and like I said Line 6 used to have the Vetta and then just gave up the high end market.
I don't think they did at all. The market moved "higher end" than Line 6 was prepared to go. The JT Variax guitars, StageSource, and Pod HD Pro X are NOT entry or even mid-level products.
 

db9091

Member
Messages
3,330
These are all small niche markets. Boutique stuff. Only individuals or small companies will find it worthwhile. And if it gets big enough, these other large corporations can just buy them outright with stock, no?
 

Will Chen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,235
There are 2 options on the market with a price tag greater than $1700. Are you really looking for another device in that same price range? What exactly do you find limiting in those products which calls for a third option?
 

magnus02

Member
Messages
2,985
These are all small niche markets. Boutique stuff. Only individuals or small companies will find it worthwhile. And if it gets big enough, these other large corporations can just buy them outright with stock, no?
Exactly. If they want to get into this game it would most likely be through mergers/acquisitions.

I'd agree with others that the Dream Rig from Line 6 is very much a high end product but to most (on this website at least) it can't quite compete with Kemper/AxeFX.

There's simply very small incentive to get into this game and at this stage. You have 2 companies that are smaller and more flexible and have established a name to the high end snobs (me included). If you want in, it's just cheaper to go with a merger/acquisition and let their R&D make you profits.
 

Unnecessary

Senior Member
Messages
2,667
With the StageSource stuff though, L6 went basically outside the guitar market and overpriced thier stuff big time. And its only amplification, so they modeling doesn't change. Plus that stuff is way to overpriced to be considered a companion to the HD floorboard stuff (as is all but the smallest DT amplifier), except maybe the HD ProX (which still only costs as much as one StageSource L2). I don't see how it can be profitable for a tiny little company like Fractal to keep up with this stuff if L6/Digitech/Yamaha "can't be profitable due to cost".
 




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