kkrafs

To pro or not to Pro?
« on: March 31, 2005, 11:46:44 AM »
When is PRO pro?

What is the defentition of PRO?

Is it PRO when a certain amount of money are asked for the device?
Is it when a certain distortion and S/N level are reached?
Is it when certain pop producers "say so"?
Is it when certain studio enginers "say so"?
Is it as soon as anyone makes money out of the end
result  i.e "product" and in this process the equipment
used then becomes pro, ie, pro as professional as in
money making?
Is it when a group of average users have agreed in conglomeratic
brain mastrubation over in a web forum  that certain things are pro
because some baad equimpment journalists has "said so" in a pro
magazine?

And on and on, etc, etc..

Im curious to know! :guinness:

Reg
kkrafs
"The doctors tell me it's Parkinson's," he said. "I suspect that 52 years in Washington caused it."


clintrubber

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2005, 11:54:15 AM »
While I'm afraid i don't have anything meaningful to add here, I am curious to what lots of manufacturers are going to call them when  their 'Ultra', 'Pro', 'Ultra Pro', 'Ultimate Ultra Special Pro To The Max Yes Yes Very Special' ranges of boxes need to be succeeded by even more special models...  :wink:

DrFrankencopter

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2005, 11:54:48 AM »
My definition is:

An audio product is pro if it will stand up to the type of abuse that it will be subject to in daily operation in a professional environment. E.g. pro live gear will nead to be robust to rough handling, improper connection, long cable runs. It also needs to interface well with the other gear in use.

Note that my definition says nothing about the sound quality of the device...to me pro implies that the product is reliable enough to rely on for the generation of a primary source of income.

Cheers,

Kris

quadwould

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2005, 12:29:52 PM »
something that works in +4  (can have -10 also, but must have +4)

robust, sturdy, can take abuse. if it has meters on it..  then they should be on the same planet as the meters on every other piece of kit ( 0VU =-18dbfs)
"Feck, Arse, Gurls!" -Father Jack

bcarso

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2005, 12:46:17 PM »
Heh.  Reminds me of when Harman was selling computer speakers to Compaq and needed a brand.  They came up with "JBL Pro", which went up the nether regions of certain people in JBL Professional about a mile and a half.

Agree with the robustness criterion though, and adherence to certain standards of level and nomenclature.

When I was at UCLA they finally funded an electronic music studio, where I was briefly the tech (circa 1968).  They had little money and wanted some Dolby processing so they bought Advent dolby boxes. Definitely not pro!  These were so cheaply made that the boards were good for about one insertion cycle into the flimsy headers.  Since they required modification to work with asymmetrical waveforms, found in abundance coming out of Moogs and Buchlas, they became hideously unreliable and tormented many an already challenged composer.

EmoRiot

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2005, 10:33:22 AM »
The paradox this question faces is that the word "Pro" is a construct of marketing.  It's a word that was settled on in the bygon days of marketing to denote those extra special items that you just had to have in order to not just keep up with the Jones', but to be better than them.  While most people were just consumers... you were "pro."

So, really the most accurate definition of pro would be:  An item is determined to be pro when a company feels they need to justify a higher price tag.

Now, we as engineers, producers, or other users of this gear have accepted the use of the word pro because it makes us feel good.  We like when our gear says pro because people will know that it's "the best" - ie. more money.

Of course, often times the paths of price and quality cross.  It's true that pro gear often sounds good, has good specs, and uses higher quality components.  This is not always the case, though.  Sometimes a pro device is no more pro than those 12 dollar "digital headphones" are digital.  It's a word.

As a DIY community, we are turning the paradox on its head.  We're making gear that's of a "PRO" spec... but it's not pro in the sense that we've been conditioned to think of it.  We're improving pro gear through analysis.

It's like we need a new word.  Like the marketers can use pro, but we get to use "top."  Or maybe there should be a certification process... like organic food.  Third party organizations that stamp "Certified Pro" on new products.

Or maybe we'll just let marketers have their word, "Pro."

After all... how many people refer to +4 as "pro level" and how many here refer to it as "balanced."  I know I'm in the latter category.  How many refer to rugged gear as "very professionally tough" and how many refer to them as "built like a tank" or some other affectionate description?  How many people say "my studio's professional because all my meters are the same?"

In reality, you'll notice that the truly great gear doesn't denote pro.  Ever see a Neumann with the word "pro" on it?  UREI, OTARI, Massenburg, etc?

To use a politically current analogy, it's like the word is steroids.  It's a performance enhancing drug for otherwise ordinary gear.

Quality is quality.  The word can only mean one thing.  Pro is interperetable, and because it is... it ends up meaningless through misuse.

What an interesting topic, kkrafs... it's like "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody's around to hear it, is it still Pro?"  :wink:

Or... "A pessimist would look at a glass with 50% volume and say it's half consumer, while an optimist would look at it and say that it's half-pro." :wink:

Or to use a swedish cultural reference:  5 Pro Ants are more than 4 Consumer Elephants.   :green:

soundguy

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2005, 12:10:58 PM »
Pro is a work ethic.  It certainly has no bearing on a circuit in a box, especially so in todays market.

dave

chips are good with dip...

EmoRiot

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2005, 12:18:47 PM »
Quote from: "soundguy"
Pro is a work ethic.


Exactly right, Dave.  Pro can be a personal quality, but shouldn't be a material quality.

Just look at the dictionary's definition of "pro."

It doesn't mention anything about build quality or even anything material at all.  The top definition is:

1.) A professional, especially in sports.
2.) An expert in a field of endeavor.

soundguy

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2005, 02:20:22 PM »
I suppose at a basic level, I assume pro to reflect +4dBu operating level.  Beyond that though, all bets are off.  There is some high quality unbalanced stuff out there though...

dave

chips are good with dip...

Kev

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2005, 04:52:00 PM »
smug mode
 :cool:

If I use a bit of kit ... then it's pro
 :green:
... cos ... I'm a professional
 :razz:

some of the gear is +8dB and some of it is 3 and 5 volt and well below +4dB
miniature hidden stuff.

it's the craftsman and not the tools
Kev
DIY Factory


SonsOfThunder

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2005, 05:12:53 PM »
Sorry soundguyDave...
:roll:  :roll:  :roll:  :roll:  :roll:


I'm just ribbing you here because you have been rather introspective about some of your posts as of late regarding certain pieces of allegedly "pro gear".
:razz: :green: :razz: :green: :razz: :green:



Don't get me wrong here, you have made some verrry valid points about build quality and what a potential buyer should expect for his/her $$
 :!:   :!:   :!:   :!:   :!:   :!:



Wait for it...




Its PRO when DAVE says its PRO!!!

head down!
Charlie
"The sow would rather have her ear than a purse." - PRR

soundguy

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2005, 06:07:38 PM »
ha, dont give me that kind of responsibility Im just some idiot.

its often easy to get professional results from "non professional" gear if you know what you are doing.

dave

chips are good with dip...

SonsOfThunder

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2005, 11:47:38 PM »
Ya, Dave, I have heard and read some crazy stories in some of the books I've read about guys using stomp boxes and the like on well known recordings.  It just seemed like an obvious thing to rib you about.  Hopefully it'll help you to laugh a bit about the whole thing.

I have a terrible perspective on such pieces of equipment and always have.  I have been on the manufacturing side of car audio for almost 13 years, so I have really mixed emotions when I see some of the stuff out there.

Peace!
"The sow would rather have her ear than a purse." - PRR

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2005, 12:14:37 AM »
Keep in mind that Charles Ives was an amateur and Tiny Tim was a professional.
Seth

The definition of insanity: "Hey, this thing could be really cool - if I had the money to fix it up, which I don't, but if I did it could be really cool - if I had the time, which I don't, but

PRR

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2005, 02:37:01 AM »
> how many people refer to +4 as "pro level" and how many here refer to it as "balanced."

As a Pro, a dude who has paid the rent regularly from working with wires, I think that is a very ignorant statement.

"Balanced" has NOTHING to do with level. You probably run balanced mike lines, and surely not at any +4dBm. While your mike lines are pretty near balanced, in heavy-duty Professional work lines are often "floating". Balanced to the interfering fields, not to the equipment ground.

It is possible, and common, to run 1.228V reference level (which would be +4dBm if there were any 600Ω loads left) on unbalanced lines. I have worked, Professionally, with +8dBm and +10dBm reference levels, and often use "-10dB" (or better-specified as +6dBV fs) in my professional work.

Proper pro gear will work when it HAS to. The Pope may pass away tonight, and 10,000 reporters are at the mercy of 100,000 mikes and amps and connectors to carry the event to the world. Are they using $99 stuff from the "pro shop" at Gitar World? Well, some of them are and they will probably get away with it. Modern electronics are wonderfully reliable and capable. Back In The Old Days, a live TV feed would use a 1,200 pound audio console with proper floating +30dBm (real dBm, not dBu) outputs that could tie into a bare phone line and deliver the goods every single time, and ElectroVoice mikes so tough they could hammer nails. The operators were Professionals because the gear cost more than the operators were worth, and the company who bought the gear did not let wannabes work it. NBC, BBC, etc made a new-hire sweep floor and fetch tea and strip wires for years before advancing to a soldering iron. A Junior Engineer generally knew more about audio systems than many elite boutique designers working today. As Dave says: it is a state of mind first.

> Is it PRO when a certain amount of money are asked for the device?

Yes. Standalone audio CD burners, using generic CD blanks, are not sold for less than $399. The $199 CD burners (now extinct) would only eat special blanks, which were plain blanks with a secret sector saying "RIAA Royalty Paid". You know it is a $25 CDR drive in $99 of box and jacks.... the selling price is artificially high to keep cheap CD copying out of the hands of consumers. Only  Professionals would pay $399 to copy CDs. (PC-based CD burning has blown the roots out of that plan, but the industry is in denial.) So in this specific case, someone (marketers) has set a specific price-point that divides Pro from Consumer.

clintrubber

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2005, 08:19:26 AM »
Quote
> Is it PRO when a certain amount of money are asked for the device?


Related to those CD-burners: from the mouth of one of the people involved during the meetings that led to the Red Book, all Marantz did for  a certain 'Pro'-labeled burner back then was to take a consumer-unit, give it some XLRs and raise the price  :shock:

kkrafs

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2005, 10:47:08 AM »
As i ask as such i get answered. Its some times difficult to ask questions due
to that the question in it selfs "steers" the answers given in one way or the other.

:The paradox this question faces is that the word "Pro" is a construct of marketing.
:It's a word that was settled on in the bygon days of marketing to denote those extra
:special items that you just had to have in order to not just keep up with the Jones',
:but to be better than them. While most people were just consumers... you were "pro."

I think that some marketing people once upona time came up with the word PRO
from the word professional with refers to profession wich means a person with a
particularely craftmanship wich in turn refers to, or gets validated by the craftsman
executed his/her profession by getting paid. I,e a work ethic!

However the part "getting paid" is a bit difficult, you could execute a craftmanship
for free but i think that it actually refers to a job done against money, and to the extent
it links back to times of 1400-1500 with masters and studens who raisens a mastership
after some years at learning with the master in his workshop. i think we have to look
back in time to see the real reason or meaning of the word profession.

This clearly points to the fact of craftmanship, work ethic, and not to individual items,
products whatever, the baker has his profession as baker but hes doing sour dry
and dusty pieces of breads that few whants still he gets his lively hood from it.
Is he professional, in the terms of making money , yes.
Bill Gates are selling a really sour piece of software is he professional?
In terms of making awfull lot of money, yes.

:So, really the most accurate definition of pro would be: An item is determined to be pro
:when a company feels they need to justify a higher price tag.

Thats the no 1 user illushion of PRO!

:Now, we as engineers,
:producers, or other users of this gear have accepted the use of the word pro because
:it makes us feel good. We like when our gear says pro because people will know that
:it's "the best" - ie. more money.

And thats the second user illushion of PRO!
 
:It's like we need a new word. Like the marketers can use pro, but we get to use "top."
:Or maybe there should be a certification process... like organic food. Third party
:organizations that stamp "Certified Pro" on new products.

People dont need any new words, they need to stop using words that have no meaning.
We have allready words like "high quality" wich tells me  much more then the word PRO.

:Or maybe we'll just let marketers have their word, "Pro."
:After all... how many people refer to +4 as "pro level" and how many here refer to it as
:"balanced." I know I'm in the latter category. How many refer to rugged gear as "very professionally
:tough" and how many refer to them as "built like a tank" or some other affectionate description?
:How many people say "my studio's professional because all my meters are the same?"
:In reality, you'll notice that the truly great gear doesn't denote pro. Ever see a Neumann with
:the word "pro" on it? UREI, OTARI, Massenburg, etc?

That was exactly the hidden idea of my question, the term PRO is complete nonsens!
The term PRO can not be used on subjects/items only onto a person who performs
a craftmanship, ie, work ethic.
 
:To use a politically current analogy, it's like the word is steroids. It's a performance
:enhancing drug for otherwise ordinary gear. Quality is quality. The word can only mean
:one thing. Pro is interperetable, and because it is... it ends up meaningless through misuse.
 
:What an interesting topic, kkrafs... it's like "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody's around
:to hear it, is it still Pro?"  Or... "A pessimist would look at a glass with 50% volume and
:say it's half consumer, while an optimist would look at it and say
: that it's half-pro."

I didnt say it was interesting, i merly found it a bit pequiliar since so many people
insist on refering to PRO as to validate either their products or their technical
implementations, its like; ""Ohh i change this resistor to 5,6k now im PRO!!?""
But if you dont like the topic why bother answer?

:Or to use a swedish cultural reference: 5 Pro Ants are more than 4 Consumer Elephants.

Exatly!  It seams that you watched that TV series of the 70ies! :-)
"The doctors tell me it's Parkinson's," he said. "I suspect that 52 years in Washington caused it."

EmoRiot

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2005, 11:09:41 AM »
::I didnt say it was interesting, i merly found it a bit pequiliar since so many people insist on refering to PRO as to validate either their products or their technical implementations, But if you dont like the topic why bother answer?::

No, I liked the topic and I was saying that I thought it WAS interesting.  Because everyone has their own interpretation of pro, and yet I think we can all agree on parts of everyone's.  While I went on about how I felt pro was a construct of marketing, PRR definitely rebutted me and I completely agree with what he said also.  He even persuaded me to disagree with parts of my own earlier post!

I like philosophical tangents we get now and again on a site devoted largely to our more wonky pursuits!   :grin:

kkrafs

To pro or not to Pro?
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2005, 07:24:03 AM »
Quote from: "EmoRiot"
::I didnt say it was interesting, i merly found it a bit pequiliar since so many people insist on refering to PRO as to validate either their products or their technical implementations, But if you dont like the topic why bother answer?::

No, I liked the topic and I was saying that I thought it WAS interesting.  Because everyone has their own interpretation of pro, and yet I think we can all agree on parts of everyone's.  While I went on about how I felt pro was a construct of marketing, PRR definitely rebutted me and I completely agree with what he said also.  He even persuaded me to disagree with parts of my own earlier post!

I like philosophical tangents we get now and again on a site devoted largely to our more wonky pursuits!   :grin:


OK, i think i missunderstod you to some extent! :guinness:

Reg
KKrafs
"The doctors tell me it's Parkinson's," he said. "I suspect that 52 years in Washington caused it."


 

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