Boycott the A2!!

DonL

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Hmmm. A $200 flashlight.

As Kramer said in the infamous "King of the Castle" episode:
I'm out![/i].

Like others, I think it's too steep a price to pay for a flashlight. I have other lights, and the "mission" of the A2 is accounted for in the manner that I'd use an A2.

While many of us may be gadget nuts, flashlight nuts, knife nuts, there's a limit to what can be deemed reasonable. It seems that for many of us, a $200 flashlight crossed that line. I was very pleased with the relatively low cost of the KL bezels, but this is going in the opposite direction. Don't get me wrong, I like Surefire, and think they have a good product, but the mis-sized SC-2s, the B-90 mess and this, it all makes me disappointed and nervous for Surefire.

People say, "Well, you haven't seen the light yet," or "you'll like it when you get one in your hands," or "once you putz with one, you'll want it." Um, sorry, no. Sure, it'll be a neat light, a cool gizmo, but for that price, that's what it'll remain.

That's not to say I won't appreciate what the A2 is, but I don't see myself wanting one. The same can be said for knives. Sure, real Elishewitzes or Brian Tighes are nice knives, but not at the cover charge they're getting. There are those who have the disposable income, or compensatory nature, to own $200 flashlights and $600 pocketknives. That's fine for them.

It almost seems as though Surefire has been conditioning people with a good product at a higher price, hammering people over the head with it, that when they want to slip a ringer through, some will want it by Pavlovian instinct. Others will have a real reason for owning one.

Let's put it this way. How many SUVs do you ever see going off road or towing trailers, vs. carting ankle-biters to soccer practice or trolling the malls?
 

EMPOWERTORCH

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This torch does sound ludicrously expensive for what it does. I've seen a similar torch in Halford's for about £20....3 LED's and a xenon filament bulb..?
When I look at what I'm paying for my Electrolumens hand modded and precision crafted 5W cyan blaster, it seems like a real bargain compared to the SureFire A2. And I won't have to keep feeding it bulbs!
As a matter of fact, some of my creations have more solid-state power than the A2!
I'm planning some modded Benross 4033's with 9 or 10 cyan LED's in them! These will sell for about £25!
I think that to get the best value for money, lets see more torchaholics in the business of torchmaking - commercially - at least a confirmed torchaholic knows a good torch when he designs one!
 

Size15's

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For all we know, SureFire could be making a loss with the A2 at $225.

The M95 variations can cost over $300. The M95 are selling like hot cakes.

It's threads like this that bring out my lack of understanding for the way some people view the world.

What is it? Do people not realise that things cost money and some things cost more then others.

In order to produce change, one needs to have power. Most people don't have power on their own. Together in large numbers there is 'people power'. However, CPF doesn't have 'people power' over SureFire.

Wouldn't a better method have been to sweet talk SureFire into a CPF discount?

What chance has CPF got to do this after threads like this?

Al
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McGizmo

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Al,

I feel your pain. I too am surprised that folks have decided that this light is way over priced without seeing "under the hood" as Mr. Ted Bear put it. Yes, this torch has an incandescent and 3 LED's. At that level of comparison, there are indeed many other lights out there of similarity. Is this the level of comparison that CPF is typically used to accepting? Ok, then, I again equate the E2e with the Mag AA. We all agree that this is a reasonable comparison?

I don't know how many people saw the photo on the old SFDB of the PCB sitting in a bowl of water while being powered up and lighting a bulb. This was an ongoing test of the conformal coating that PK was investigating for use on the A2. Yeah, a term I had never heard of but easy to understand; just take one of the typical PCB's used in the better flashlights and see how long the circuit works while submerged. I don't know if SF is making a dime or $100 on the A2. It does seem to be up there in price. However, there isn't another light on the market, to my knowledge, that has the degree of sophistication, complexity in design and number of individual components that the A2 has. This is a new fruit! Not an apple or an orange. If you don't care for the taste or feel you can get more for your $'s by sticking with other fruit, cool. Maybe this thing is a Durian?
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I think as soon as someone shows some images of the components within, folks will realize that the A2 is not similar to other torches beyond any basic comparison.

It's funny how many have expressed the frustration they have found at justifying a $100 flashlight over a $10 one to people not interested in the nuances of portable light. Perhaps the A2 is ushering in a new level that even many of us can't fathom or justify with a simple glance?

- Don
 

Gandalf

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Originally posted by MicroE:
There is no way that the military will be paying $225 US for the A2.

If the SF distributors can buy it at "typical" distributor discount of 40 percent then the military can buy it (in large quantity) at about $100 US. IMHO, of course.---Marc
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">When the US Army adopted the NATO standard 9mm cartridge, chambered in the M9, (AKA, by civilians, as the Beretta 92F), the initial order for these firearms cost the US Government $160 ea. Sorry I can't remember the size of the initial order, but it was quite large. At the same time, the price of a Beretta 92F to civilians was about $500 to $550. Later, this price did drop....but only by about $50, or about 10%.

No doubt about it, civilian sales of the 92F were paying the cost of the deep, deep discount on the M9 to the US Army.

No doubt, the same thing is going to go on with the A2. However, the US government, and other governmental entities, LEO's, etc. are not going to be buying the A2 in very large numbers....but SureFire will still be offering a price substantially lower than $225, and we are both paying for these A2's with our taxes, AND paying an inflated price to ALLOW SureFire to offer their lights, not just the A2, at a significant discount to their 'most favored' customers.

I believe the A2 is the most obviously heavily price inflated light made by SureFire to date. Many valid reasons have been put forth for SureFire's high pricing, and I am certain most, if not all, of these reasons play a part, to a greater or lesser degree. But enough is enough, or I should say, $225 is simply OUTRAGEOUS for the A2. So is 'only' $200, for that matter. For those of you who are willing to pay this price, I can only say I hope you like your $225 combo E2e/PT Attitude. I'm having none of this. And for those of you who will soon wind up paying $85-$90 for 'just' an E2e, well, that's almost as outrageous, IMHO.
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Wolfen

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I want one. With the holidays and the other purchases I have made this year it would be very difficult to justify the expenditure. Maybe next year
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Size15's

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Gandalf,
For you, it seems life is a very dark ride.
You're "having none of this". So you don't think I'll have to quote you again right?

Respectfully,

Al
 

FC.

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What is the other regulated light. I can't remember
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Thanks Al
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Can't wait to see what people have to say about price of the L1.
 

MicroE

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I'm a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist so I'm in favor of SF charging whatever they like.

Don is right about the frustration factor due to SF's inability to deliver this product. The A2 has been a "Vapor Flashlight" along with several other vaporlights in the SF 2002 catalog.

The A2, it seems, is always "coming soon". Just like nuclear fusion power.---Marc
 

2dogs

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I will never spend $200.00 for any flashlight! Never. Though it sure would make a nice b-day present. I wonder if I could convince my wife...
NO, I don't like over priced goodies, like my $800.00 Heuer watch. Or King's Colt Officers Model. Or the Dodge diesel in the driveway. Or, or, or. Uhm, what does it look like. No wait, I said never didn't I ? Did I?
 

monanza

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What frustrates me the most is the dearth of information on the A2 (and its upcoming digital cousins). I am really interested in finding out how Sure Fire is pushing the envelope with the design and manufacture of the A2. Perhaps I am looking in the wrong places. Being new to the game I do not have the resources or contacts to help me in my quest for information on cutting edge tools. Can anyone offer suggestions on where to look?

If I am to be convinced that the A2 is a good step in the evolution of next generation flashlights I need that information. Without gaining some insight and depth into the A2 I will save my money for the digital cousins (Oops! Too late. I've already dumped some cash on an M6
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). This way any kinks that may be exposed (hopefully there will be none) will be resolved.

As the more senior flashlight afficionados let slip these enticing snippets of information I find myself warming up to the A2 more and more. Keep them coming.

I am interested in knowing more about the switch mechanism, its reliability, ergonomics, and how it was researched and optimized. Also of interest is the 'digital' part of the light. Does the circuit for example implement a smart filter that has some hysteresis to avoid flicker at the transition? Will we ever have lamp detection capability? Can the circuitry diagnose problems with the lamp? Do we have any feedback on the state of the batteries? Can the thing cook an omelet?
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A number of people have aluded to state of the art manufacturing and materials technology. I would like to know more.

I am already sold on many Sure Fire products (and I love their customer service) so selling me on an A2 should not be terribly difficult I think.
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Oh! and please moderate the prices a little.
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Lux Luthor

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I won't be buying an A2, although I'm interested in their tailcap switch design.

As far as I'm concerned, a 5W side emitter will not only outthrow an E2, but if you just used the same kind of switch, the second output could be used to simply dim the Luxeon down. No second color option, but what the heck. On the other hand, an underdriven 5W LS is going to run a lot longer at the same lumen output as 3 5mm Nichias.

Maybe if they sell the tailcap separately I will buy just that, and see what can be done with it.
 

McGizmo

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Lux,

I have given a lot of thought to the light you are suggesting. I even had one working for a short while on my bench. It was a 5W SE with a hall switch integrated on one of Wayne Y's magic PCB's. Unfortunately I believe the Arctic Silver grease on the chip heated up and was responsible for shorting out the electronics. Anyway I noticed a couple flaws that would keep the light from being all I had hoped it would be. IMHO, for in close work, you want low level flood and then for some distance, you want a tighter beam with throw. Using the same reflector will compromise one of these conditions if the same light source is dimmed.This is one of the features I like about the A2. I'm inclined to switch out the NSPW500BS with NSPW312BS for even more of a flood on the low beam setting. One other disappointment with the Luxeon at lower currents is the color shift. I think I would prefer the blink of PWM for dimming.

Regarding the tail switch, if I understand correctly, with the use of an electronic component(s) within, the position of the tail switch will send one of two possible signals to the electronics in front through the ground path and the electronics then respond with a high or low beam response. As a stand alone, this tail switch would certainly be of no use to the likes of me!

The L1 is basically what you have described but in a 1 watt version with single 123 cell and Lumiled optics. I would be very surprised if SF doesn't do something like you have described with the 5W Luxeons once they become more available. PK has stated that he was working with 5W's and with the SHOT show coming up it doesn't take to hard of a leap to assume certain possibilities
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Still, it seems to me that just as one would like two levels of light output, it is likely that ideally you would spread the available photons in two different patterns. The A2 uses the reflector for the incandescent and the integral lenses on the Nichias for their light dispersion. This has some advantages to a single light source, me thinks.

We need some photos exposing the A2!

- Don
 

ToddM

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Just a couple comments.

First I think the A2 is a neat light, for me I just can't justify $200 for it. I own quite a few surefires, never spent $200 on one. Overall I think surefire's are great lights that frankly are probably more light than 95% of people need. However need does not make the world go round. As someone else said how many 4x4's never see the off road. Some people buy $5000 mountain bikes, some buy $20000 stereos, etc. etc. etc.

For some it will fit some nitche for them and it will be that perfect light for their needs. For them $200 might not be a problem. For some it will just be a neat gadget, or yet another way to drop $200 to impress their friends with another toy.

For other that are die hard surefire fans they will buy it just because it's surefire. Surefire could wrap a mcdonalds McRib sandwich (proof that people will eat crap on bread) in a surefire box, charge $250 for it and they would buy it without even flinching and sing priases of it to all.

However I've NEVER seen a surefire price go down. So to those that hope the next generations of regulated led surefires are cheaper, it might happen but I wouldn't hold my breath. They would be undercutting their own light. After all if they can sell the A2 for $200 and they improve on it, the next light should cost more.

Also if anyone really thinks surefire is taking a LOSS on the A2, lets be serious that's just bad business. If the A2 was not going to at least attempt to be profitable they'd have scrapped it like they did numerous other projects that were in the 2002 catalog that never happened.

I still can't see any tactical application for the A2, unless there is a positive switch to keep from inadvertantly activating the high beam. No military op wants to be trying to read a map or signal someone with the LED and press a little too hard in the heat of the moment and give away his position with 60 lumens of light. Avaition maybe, civilian and non tactical use sure.

Also I think most of surefire's products are geared to military/leo/professional use. Lets face it the share of people that want to spend $200 on a flashlight is pretty darn small. Even smaller than those that will spend $200 on a pocket knife. You can't market stuff like that to the general public, you have to market it to the professional users. Sure you will always have civilian sales and as surefire has gone along I bet they have increased but I still bet it's a small % compared to their non civilian contracts.

I won't boycott surefire or the A2, I think that's silly, it's just not worth $200 to me.

Todd
 
D

**DONOTDELETE**

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Originally posted by Surefire M6:
[QB]Sometimes that backfires. If sales are low, companies sometimes raise prices to make up for it. More profit, less turn over.

Two words; chapter 13
 

Marty Weiner

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Like everything else in this world, the law of supply and demand will dictate if the A2 will survive at the established price. Competition from other fine light manufacturers will put pressure on Surefire to keep the quality high and the prices within reason.

Even though members of the CPF make a difference in whether a light will succeed, there are many thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of buyers who will buy based on the name and reputation of Surefire.

I assume that Surefire designed the A2 to meet a specific need, whether for civilians or the military or the 19,000 police departments in the U.S. If it is overpriced or ineffective, it will be dropped from the lineup because it won't sell well.

I for one have a lot of faith in the "system".

Call me a cockeyed optimist.

Marty
 

B@rt

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I fail to see the difference between the A-2 and other high priced lights.
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The M-6 is listed for $350.- , yet I hear nobody complaining about the price, "because it puts out so many lumens"...

Let us just wait untill it comes out and some real-world testing has taken place... Enough time to bash it if needed, but also enough time for praise ,"when deserved"...

Just a thought...
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ygbsm

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I agree that the A2 is overpriced. I think what many are talking about here is not a boycott, rather the choice made by consumers on an everyday basis -- not to buy something that is not worth the cost to them. To me a boycott would be getting those who otherwise would buy the product at the price not to buy because of some other factor -- here, a company's pricing policy. If that is true, then a boycott might not be restricted to the A2, but to other SF products.
The problem for some of us, like me, is that we are what amounts to addicts. I know better but I couldn't help myself and ordered an A2 ($180 from the Cutlery Shoppe www.cutleryshoppe.com 800-231-1272). I suspect that the actual utility of the light is not anything close to the price, but its the latest thing!
 
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