W A R N I N G !

W A R N I N G !

This page is full of non-facts and bullsh!t, (just like the internet and especially forums and other blogs), please do not believe entirely without exercising your intellect. Any resemblance to real things in reality is purely coincidental. You are free to interpret/misinterpret the content however you like, most likely for entertainment, but in no case is the text written on this blog the absolute truth. The blog owner and Blogger are not responsible for any misunderstanding of ASCII characters as facts. *cough* As I was saying, you are free to interpret however you like. *cough*

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sonicaps are not by Valgrind Audio

Or rather, Valgrind Audio did not produce the capacitors. They are made by (or at least branded by) Sonic Craft in the USA.

I should've realized this obvious fact the moment the product came out (and yan even posted a link to the pricing on Sonic Craft website). Valgrind Audio doesn't even have its own website, needless to say the ability to manufacture capacitors or even print its own name on them. Most likely it only exists in Singapore.

Not doing anything illegal, but I believe this is a misrepresentation of facts calling it Valgrind Audio Sonicaps when it is not a component by them. Seeing so many people calling it Valgrind Sonicaps, or Valgrind caps, Valgrind 4.7uf so on. Heck, Sonic Craft can sue them over trademark issues.

And to add insult to injury, the capacitors are not exactly expensive, in fact I find the price to be acceptable even for use as normal parts in a DIY product - USD$11.70 for each of the 4.7uf film caps in question. Considering a 1uF MKS4 cap by WIMA with a similar voltage rating is more than $2. And I'm not sure if 5 of them in parallel would be as acoustically pleasing as the Sonicap although it'd sure provide one heck of performance.

If I ordered from the makers themselves, the cost for the caps would be only $11.70 x 2 + $5.55(for the 0.1uf bypass capacitors) x 2 = $34.5 USD excluding shipping. Now how heavy can these capacitors be.

That after today's exchange rate will be SGD$51.08. Lets say, something screws up and you pay $14.11 for shipping and the $14.81 handling fee, that'd be 80 dollars, and the cost can only go lower when buying in bulk to reduce shipping charges and eliminate the handling fee.

And on this, add a few pieces of transparent green plastic and two connectors, slap the brand Vlagrind Audio onto it, and sell it for $240.

And the money is definitely not paying for knowledge used to design the product that will make it perform better. I mean, how the hell did the designer decide on the value of 4.7uf? The physical size? Nothing much can go wrong in design here since it's only one component, but if it's to be used with ear/headphones 4.7uf is puny.

And the best part is there are people buying it and backing the product. Even saying it's worth the money. How it's excellent.

Of course, only a specific group. A sad specific group. But that's good enough for the maker. To milk some quick bucks out of them who waste loads of parents' money on unneeded products.

Now, if I spread the word about its price to its owners, I can imagine the look on their faces. It would be like what the guy had when we took apart his Tomahawk to compare against Mini3.

I won't talk to them about the performance, since they will not believe it anyway. Because they're using their ears to do the thinking. And there'll be this hardcore group that'll say as long as they spend the money happy can liao. But I prefer to go with spend less money, get better performance. How else is my $400 system fighting with those $1k systems out there?

I'll be steering clear of Valgrind products - this brand is now officially totally blacklisted by me. Even more blacklisted than Cros****** and R** S****** and G*-**** and F******* A**** among others, at least I can give them credit for something that does work and have their plus points/their own markets that I can recommend people to, at the minimum have a good price/performance ratio even though they may be gotten cheaper. So blacklisted I'm not afraid to say the name out loud without the asteriks. Because you're paying it money to screw your sound when you can do it at 1/3 the price.

Since I touched on this, I should touch on a related topic.

Why is it that there is that certain group of people that would just blindly follow and believe in anything? I mean, Valgrind Audio isn't even a well-known brand, I'm not sure if it is even a legitimate entity to start with. Who the hell gave them the idea that it is good? Then there are many other brands also. All sharing some things in common.

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