I think I'm assuming English is not your 1st language, so some things may be getting lost in translation. The connotation of 'cheap' versus 'lower priced' is an example of this.
As for the cost of making the an and the market or retail prices we pay, yes there is some difference. But supply & depend and consumer perception (the result of marketing that is often misinformation) have a much greater impact on price than the differences it costs to maintain closer tolerances in product.
NF-A14 line is big and includes the iPPC series. I have seem more consumer complaints about the iPPC fans than probably all others Nocs combined. The reason is people buying them expect the same or similar characteristics as the other A14 fans have .. and they are not the same.
You say 'fan X' feels and sounds better, but have you actually done a biind test where you pick your favorite out by simple touching the case and listening to it? Or are you seeing each fan you are comparing? If you have not, please take the time and get someone to setup a blind test, because more often then not our subconscious effects our choices. I have seen this happen many times.
How much of the sound differences and this 'constant rattle' you refer to can be heard when they are installed in a good case, like a Define R4 or R5, .. or even a Enthoo Luxe or Evolv 30-60cm from user?
I have repeatedly stated and I'm saying it again.
Noctua are among the very best fans available and better than majority. But the bottom line is they are overpriced most places on earth compared to other fans of similar performance and quality.
Maybe they do have closer tolerances, but there is a point at which there is no improvement in sound and performance efficiency.. There are simple many fans available to most of us that are lower priced with more tolerances more than close enough for almost any user.
While I have said TY-147/147A may not be as good as A14/A15 (my reference to MTBF 50,000 hr vs 150,000 hr ratings), if there is a difference it is not enough that 999 out of 1000 people will know the difference. Maybe 99 out of 100 .. would you believe 9 out of 10?
I hope you are not offended by my not totally agreeing with you. I believe we both have similar feeling and beliefs about these products, and I think you have used and tested more fans than I have. I do enjoy discussing these things with people who enjoy doing so.
As another thought, I wonder if all the 'sample' fans we get are of same quality as production fans we would buy off of the shelf? Obviously it depends on where the samples come from. If they are from a retail outlet they obviously retail product, but if coming direct from manufacturer they could be may not be the same as retail. Just a thought to keep in mind.
I agree, the iPPC is a commercial fan. But if we are (and I'll quote you) "to be fair: the iPPCs are
" being retail marketed to the average home user consumer who builds their systems .. and this is a perfect example of advertising and marketing prodcuts to consumer who don't understand the differnce .. instead of making it very clear to these consumers that they are not a consumer fan, but a industrial fan. Edited by doyll - 6/13/16 at 7:24am