(Pictures courtesy of 6moons.com, used without permission. If I told them what I was going to do with the photos they'd have stopped me. They're a (quote) "respectable reviewer" *wink wink*)
Original article here
So this thing costs ~USD$1000. Lets take a loog at what's inside.
This still looks uite okay, because of the transformers. But there's still some space that can be shaved.
There's a good reason why they want a close-up of the amplifier module. To make it look cool, well yea. With something so small if you don't zoom in there won't be anything left.
And what's with the Tripath logo on the chip?
Yes, this thing is using a Class-T amp! Class-T is a variant of Class-D, or switching amp.
If you are the high-class owner of this amp, I can understand why you're feeling this pain in your chest now and reaching for the heart-attack medicine.
But relax, according to 6moons here, the $39 Sonic Impact T-Amp using a Tripath chip sounds like a $3200 integrated would be unparalleled even for $390. Hey wait, the Charlize amplifier costs $340. And it uses the same or better chip. So who's lying?
BTW most China T-Amps can sound better than the Sonic Impact just from the looks of the internals alone. (You guys believe in looks, right?) But I'm not talking about this today.
So you've look at the inards. Now I'll mention their pricing again. It's $300 for the DAC, $430 for the volume control, and $340 for the amp.
Minus off the actual working components inside, how much does the wood cost?
The seller (DIY Paradise) is also willing to sell the modules separately, at $135, $260 and $110 respectively. So you can roughly calculate the cost of the wood, plus assembly. I am positive that the PCB module comes with all the components; I wouldn't spend $135 on an empty PCB.
This is not the first. The more famous one would have to be the Grado RA-1 headphone amplifier. This product is famous, good-branded, and well-known for the performance and quality and has received lots of positive reviews.
(Picture taken from diyaudioprojects.com)
Here is a totally unrelated link to nowhere
So, still got any consumer confidence left? I know Singaporeans have high consumer confidence compared to the rest of the world and even during the global recession, but you still shouldn't waste your money.
Also, making wood expensive is a good move to save trees and reduce global warming. You have to admit that the makers are eco-conscious. But then they shouldn't have even used wood in the first place. Oh wait, it's classy, so it makes it sound good, right?