UPDATE: Despite my rant below, I went ahead and bought an Axe-FX II and MFC-101 from the good people at G66. 🙂

Every now and then something p*sses me off. Here’s my rant about Axe FX II pricing in Europe…

First off, let’s get one thing straight: I think the Axe FX II is blinkin’ brilliant and I want one.

However, it is considerably more expensive in Europe than in the US (where it is designed, though not manufactured) and I believe that Fractal Audio Systems (FAS) and its European distributor should look at this pricing disparity. I have no idea who’s pocketing the price difference and, frankly, I don’t care. But I do think that the current prices being charged by G66 are just too high.

The economics of this sort of thing is quite complicated, and I fully understand that exchange rate movements can play havoc with multi-currency transactions, but let’s look at some facts:

1. For US customers, the Axe FX II is currently on “sale” at a price of USD 2,199.95. The MFC-101 controller is priced at USD 749.00 (again, a “sale” price according to the FAS online store). This makes a total of USD 2848.95 for the two products.

2. Current USD-CHF exchange rate is 1 Swiss franc = 1.0788 US dollars. Let’s be generous to FAS and use a rate of 1:1 to give us a CHF price of, yes you guessed it, CHF 2848.95. Quite acceptable, in my opinion, plus shipping, of course.

3. price is EUR 1931.93 excluding German VAT for the Axe FX II, and EUR 629.41 excl. VAT for the MFC-101, which gives a total price of EUR 2561.34.

4. Current EUR-CHF exchange rate is 1 Swiss franc = 0.8223 euros. Let’s be generous to G66 and use a rate of 0.8 to give us a CHF price of CHF 3201.68. Plus Swiss VAT and taxes, say CHF 400, gives us a total of approx CHF 3600.00 plus shipping.

Note: I’m leaving shipping out of the equation. This will always vary and, in this case, can’t be meaningfully included in any US vs Europe price comparison.

So, a Swiss customer is looking at a price of CHF 3600 against a US customer who will pay CHF 2848, a difference of CHF 752!!!

I have no problem with G66 earning something on the deal. They stock, market and promote the product after all. I suspect the problem lies in FAS’s export pricing to G66, it’s just too high.

Sorry guys, this is a rip-off which means that I won’t be buying the Axe FX anytime soon. 😦

If anyone from FAS or G66 wishes to comment on my calculations, they are very welcome to do so.

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