Daft question, but why are Linn products so expensive?

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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I love Linn, wish I could own one....the network players, the speakers, even the speaker cables...anything!!!! I was wondering why are they so expensive? Even brands such as Cyrus and Naim are entering the budget arena but Linn refuses to budge. I think its due to the fact they are manufactured in Scotland they have high labour costs. Linn also has the kind of equipment previously used to make missiles :O (not kidding). Or is it because they refuse to compromise on quality and their need to meet a certain standard keeps their prices high? Even their Kiko costs 2500 pounds! Yikes!
 

Lee H

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All things are relative. To me, Naim are FAR from budget, to others they are now playng in the budget arena.
 

matthewpiano

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Agree with you Lee H. To me, budget is £300 per box. Once you get up to circa £800 for the Nait 5i/CD5i you are no longer at the budget end as far as I'm concerned.

Of course, Linn used to make the Classik Music which was relatively reasonably priced but since the demise of that model they seem to be resolutely sticking to more expensive kit. I would imagine it is a combination of component quality, high wage bill, R&D costs, and an element of being able to charge a certain amount because the kit bears the Linn name.
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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matthewpiano said:
Agree with you Lee H. To me, budget is £300 per box. Once you get up to circa £800 for the Nait 5i/CD5i you are no longer at the budget end as far as I'm concerned.

Of course, Linn used to make the Classik Music which was relatively reasonably priced but since the demise of that model they seem to be resolutely sticking to more expensive kit. I would imagine it is a combination of component quality, high wage bill, R&D costs, and an element of being able to charge a certain amount because the kit bears the Linn name.
+1

Although even at £300, single use items costing over a weeks gross wages for some, 'budget' is a stretch.
 

eggontoast

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Feb 23, 2011
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This is like asking why a Mercedes is more expensive than a Ford.

Linn are obviously comfortable in the position of only producing high end audio equipment. If they started to produce cheaper products the likely hood is that they would be successful but this would be a complete change in direction. They would probably sell a lot more products and their current manufacturing facility might not be able to cope with the volume. This would require reinvestment in the manufacturing plant or finding a CEM, it's not as easy as saying 'lets start producing cheaper product lines' it would cost a lot of investment.
 

shafesk

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interesting point made by matthew, I think Linn charges a bit more because they can. Also I do agree that maybe calling Naim and Cyrus budget is a bit of a strech...I think midrange is perhaps more appropriate. Even then, you don't see Linn doing a 700 pound amp....
 

Overdose

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References to budget, mid and high end are largely all about product cost and perceived value.

If the reference was to sound reproduction quality alone, then the waters would get rather muddy, I feel.

Obviously there are many reasons why we buy what we buy, but I think that sometimes, the main reason for buying into hifi is somehow overlooked, ie the music.
 

noogle

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Their market position is as an aspirational, high-end brand and their pricing helps reinforce this. Their reputation for product quality and great dealer service is strong enough to support this pricing.
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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Having owned a Linn Majik DS now for a while, I am happy to say that I feel it was worth every penny (although I didnt pay list price to be fair).

I already own a Sonos system, which could be considered a 'more budget' streaming solution, but the Linn is better, and worth the extra (if after best sound quality) in my opinion.

I dont pretend to know Linn's business situation, but my understanding of the HiFi industry in general is that fewer people are spending money on separates as the iPod is now king. In this kind of market, chasing the budget end if you havent been a player there before would be madness IMO. Far better to go higher end and compete on customer service and absolute product quality. Make the same profit by doing less work (or making fewer units anyway).

Why try to be all things to all people?
 

lindsayt

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My understanding is that Linn had a financially challenging period in the early part of the 21st century. As a corporate decision they decided to concentrate on the high end. With hindsight this seems to have been a wise decision for them. They made £1.8 million pre tax profits in the year ending June 2011.

I can understand your desire to become a Linn owner, shafesk. In the UK over the years Linn has been a rite of passage for many audiophiles, with a high proportion having owned Linn equipment at some time or other - inparticular the LP12. Some people stick with Linn, other people such as myself move onto other brands.
 

shafesk

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lindsayt said:
My understanding is that Linn had a financially challenging period in the early part of the 21st century. As a corporate decision they decided to concentrate on the high end. With hindsight this seems to have been a wise decision for them. They made £1.8 million pre tax profits in the year ending June 2011.

I can understand your desire to become a Linn owner, shafesk. In the UK over the years Linn has been a rite of passage for many audiophiles, with a high proportion having owned Linn equipment at some time or other - inparticular the LP12. Some people stick with Linn, other people such as myself move onto other brands.
I'm kind of like the kid who wishes for a ferrari. At 24, money isn't very easy to come by and I always think whether I'll be able to own one down the line. Duvel-the speaker company introduced the Planet range as an introduction to their brand. Their speakers typically cost 5-6 times the price of those. It gives the essence of their brand, I wish Linn did something similar. Well you never know!
 

acalex

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shafesk said:
lindsayt said:
My understanding is that Linn had a financially challenging period in the early part of the 21st century. As a corporate decision they decided to concentrate on the high end. With hindsight this seems to have been a wise decision for them. They made £1.8 million pre tax profits in the year ending June 2011.

I can understand your desire to become a Linn owner, shafesk. In the UK over the years Linn has been a rite of passage for many audiophiles, with a high proportion having owned Linn equipment at some time or other - inparticular the LP12. Some people stick with Linn, other people such as myself move onto other brands.
I'm kind of like the kid who wishes for a ferrari. At 24, money isn't very easy to come by and I always think whether I'll be able to own one down the line. Duvel-the speaker company introduced the Planet range as an introduction to their brand. Their speakers typically cost 5-6 times the price of those. It gives the essence of their brand, I wish Linn did something similar. Well you never know!
You have gone already quite far for being 24! :)

Never say never...Two years ago I would never expect to be where I am now ...just keep believing in yourself and do not stop ambitions!
 

CnoEvil

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Linn are well made, well designed and long lasting. I still have some Linn gear going strong from the early 90s.

When looking at their combination source/amp, they are not bad value for the relative quality that they give (Sneaky, Sekrit, Majik DSM).
 

relocated

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noogle said:
Their market position is as an aspirational, high-end brand and their pricing helps reinforce this. Their reputation for product quality and great dealer service is strong enough to support this pricing.
Or put another way, they learnt with the LP12 that there were plenty of mug punters who could be convinced that an ordinary TT was in some way better, more 'musical' than others with a much more realistic pricing structure. If you have been successful with the TT why stop there, there are always people around who can be easily separated from their money.

I might be wrong but I believe that the 'musicality' was down to spinning the platter faster than the proper speed. It never impresssed me but thousands swollowed the hype. IMHO, of course and no offence to the above quoted contributor.

:rant:
 

NHL

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One of the other mags visited their factory. They tried to avoid mass production, instead much is not built until the customer has placed an order. This JIT philosphy means that they do not have to cut prices to get rid of un sold products.
 

nopiano

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relocated said:
I might be wrong but I believe that the 'musicality' was down to spinning the platter faster than the proper speed.
I think you are wrong there, it was all about following the tune, and a bit of bluff about 'cogging' to put people off direct drives. Rega's current TTs run slightly fast, if you want to open another can of worms!

I agree with cno, they are not cheap, but they are mostly very good sound and build.
 

Ryan92

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I think its certainly not the case that they couldn't. But smaller companies will always have to be slightly more expensive than the likes of Marantz who can churn out thousands of budget, relatively high quality components. If Linn were to attempt this is would surely require a whole company restructuring.

I also think anyone who starts making cheaper stuff then "devalues" the idea behind the company. Take Ferrari and Nissan for example. The GTR may well match a 458 in terms of outright performance. But do you really want a supercar from the same manufacturer that brought us a Micra?

I suspect Linn probably think in the same way. The name Linn, as with many others is immediately considered to be a quality product. Just saying "yeah I've got some Linn kit" is enough. Whereas "Yeah I've got a Marantz" only warrants the "ooooh" until you specify it's one of the more expensive ones. I do like listening to music, but I also like it when people come round and think . . Yeah that's nice.
 

MajorFubar

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Ryan92 said:
Take Ferrari and Nissan for example. The GTR may well match a 458 in terms of outright performance. But do you really want a supercar from the same manufacturer that brought us a Micra?
Well me personally, yes I would, because what you're saying there, if the 458 and GTR really are a performance match for each other, is that you're spending an extra £130K on a badge for no other reason than to show all your mates (and enemies) that you have all that extra money to burn, and in return all they'll think is you've got a small w*lly.

In the case of Linn equipment, I'm not sure it's true that equipment costing a little more than a third of the price is as good.
 
A

Anonymous

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Linn never really impressed me all that much. I remember listening to a pair of Linn Kans about two thousand years ago, and a pair of B@W speakers of similar price, dancing all over them. I've yet to hear their MEGA expensive streaming equipment, but you would have to suggest that it cannot possibly be a realistic option for anyone but the most carelessly rich. The kinds of people who do not have a foothold in the reality that 99% of us inhabit. If Linn can survive on those customers, then fair enough, but I would rather sell to more music fans than to fewer. Far far fewer.
 

relocated

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nopiano said:
relocated said:
I might be wrong but I believe that the 'musicality' was down to spinning the platter faster than the proper speed.
I think you are wrong there, it was all about following the tune, and a bit of bluff about 'cogging' to put people off direct drives. Rega's current TTs run slightly fast, if you want to open another can of worms!

I agree with cno, they are not cheap, but they are mostly very good sound and build.
Sorry I was being self-deprecating about maybe being wrong. I can remember someone from Linn admitting the fast spinning but I can't provide the article that carried the admission.

For those of you placing yourselves in the mug-punter bracket, well, you weren't the first and won't be the last. For the ones that genuinely thought the LP12 was best, after lengthy and blind testing, then lucky you for having the money for your preferred choice.
 

CnoEvil

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jamesbeaumont said:
Linn never really impressed me all that much. I remember listening to a pair of Linn Kans about two thousand years ago, and a pair of B@W speakers of similar price, dancing all over them. I've yet to hear their MEGA expensive streaming equipment, but you would have to suggest that it cannot possibly be a realistic option for anyone but the most carelessly rich. The kinds of people who do not have a foothold in the reality that 99% of us inhabit. If Linn can survive on those customers, then fair enough, but I would rather sell to more music fans than to fewer. Far far fewer.
A Linn Sneaky can be bought for around £850, which gives a decent streamer and a 20W amp.....not that MEGA expensive.

FWIW I'm not a particular fanboy, as I think their current speakers are nothing special and I don't like their amps.....though their active stuff sounds good, it imo can be bettered for the very high asking price.
 

Overdose

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Ryan92 said:
I also think anyone who starts making cheaper stuff then "devalues" the idea behind the company. Take Ferrari and Nissan for example. The GTR may well match a 458 in terms of outright performance. But do you really want a supercar from the same manufacturer that brought us a Micra?
Better reliability, cheaper, more practical?

I'd take one over a Ferrari, but then I've never been the form before function type.
 

Ryan92

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MajorFubar said:
Ryan92 said:
Take Ferrari and Nissan for example. The GTR may well match a 458 in terms of outright performance. But do you really want a supercar from the same manufacturer that brought us a Micra?
Well me personally, yes I would, because what you're saying there, if the 458 and GTR really are a performance match for each other, is that you're spending an extra £130K on a badge for no other reason than to show all your mates (and enemies) that you have all that extra money to burn, and in return all they'll think is you've got a small w*lly.

In the case of Linn equipment, I'm not sure it's true that equipment costing a little more than a third of the price is as good.
I realise I wasn't all that clear. I'm saying that Linn choosing not to build "low end" products keeps the prestige of the brand alive, much like B & O, (though I do think their stuff is a little silly price wise). If they produced a range of low end cheap stuff, the brand would lose it's image and not be able to charge loads of money. Granted the GTR may have been a bad example compared with a 458, but it's pretty close. Maybe a compared to a 430 when they were out?

There are two ways people can be impressed with what you've bought. They are the kind of person who thinks "oooh that set you back a bit" and those who listen/watch/experience and then say, "Yeah, that's a good product". By not making any low end stuff, the name becomes synonymous with quality (hopefully) as all their stuff is of a standard the price might justify. And the snob value behind it all, which will be why a fair few people get into hifi, granted probably not the majority of active forum users here. But the kind of person that walks into a Bose shop, say, and blindly buys anything they have just because they think it's good because it's expensive. (I happen to think their headphones are pretty good though).
 

manicm

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shafesk said:
interesting point made by matthew, I think Linn charges a bit more because they can. Also I do agree that maybe calling Naim and Cyrus budget is a bit of a strech...I think midrange is perhaps more appropriate. Even then, you don't see Linn doing a 700 pound amp....
Not quite true, although they're selling well and financially healthy their profit margins are not as high as you might think.
 

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