What started as a Kickstarter project quickly became part of PS Audio's products portfolio. Sprout was a huge success on Kickstarter. The project had a pledge goal of $36,000 and ended at $414,693. Backers of Sprout was able to buy the final product at between $399 - $499. When Sprout became a full-fledge product within the PS Audio line, the retail price was set at $799. According to PS Audio's press release, this price proved to be too high for most Sprout buyers. Today, PS Audio announces a new lower price of $499 for Sprout.
Scott McGowan, creator of Sprout, always wanted the price to be within reach of his peer group. When first envisioned the perfect price for this all-in-one high-end music system was $399, a dream dashed quickly when we added up the initial bill of materials. Over the three-year-long development process we kept upgrading internal components and performance until music sounded just right. We went for it with a better amplifier, DAC, phono stage, preamp and Bluetooth module. And then we looked again at the cost to build and sell it through our dealer network; $800.
Scott's goal with Sprout was simple, create an elegant, easy-to-use box that would introduce first-time buyers to high-end audio. He made it to fit into today's smaller homes, with styling that complements, rather than intrudes or offends. He wanted its owners to be proud of their systems and their music collection. Sprout would become a friend, rather than one more baffling techno-gizmo abandoned in a corner. Two knobs, no remote to lose, no learning curve or online tutorials. Just music. And Sprout was wildly successful with…Audiophiles, not so much first time buyers. And we learned from Sprout's launch.
We learned that there is a price barrier for younger, first time buyers and crossing over $500 wouldn't fly with them. I wrote, in a recent press release:
“Building Sprout was a leap of faith on our part, and required a major investment that we’ve repaid, paving the way to restructured partner pricing. To us, and our dealers, developing the future of our industry is far more important than maintaining standard margins. So, to make Sprout accessible to even more music lovers, we’re cutting the price to $499. Sprout was a bargain at $799; at $499, it’s a total no-brainer.”
And so it is. Sprout is currently available at this price only in the United States, but we soon will extend it to many countries in the world through Amazon International. I'll let you know when that happens. (more info)
Go, Sprout, go!