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hi fi companies bordering on irresponsible


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#1 GFuNK

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:05 PM

I know this is going to be a hot topic but I can't help but think some hi fi companies are bordering on the irresponsible in the way they market products which will not fulfill their promised performance... Who is keeping these companies in line??

As a noise and vibration engineer I've been saddened by people spending serious cash on I'll conceived but well marketed "solutions".

#2 kajak12

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:23 PM

I know this is going to be a hot topic but I can't help but think some hi fi companies are bordering on the irresponsible in the way they market products which will not fulfill their promised performance... Who is keeping these companies in line??

As a noise and vibration engineer I've been saddened by people spending serious cash on I'll conceived but well marketed "solutions".

As long its not your cash who cares .............................

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#3 Upfront

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:35 PM

It's not just hifi. Coke ads keep telling me that if I drink it I'll be happy. All advertisers lie.

#4 wolster

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 12:11 AM

Musical fidelity come to mind. I have never owned any of their products but have been amused at the claims made on their website.
e.g. The V DAC, and I quote:
"Most competent reviewers realized that the V DAC was the technical equal of other DACs up to ten times the price"

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#5 Sir Sanders Zingmore

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 12:28 AM

As long its not your cash who cares .............................


You are being serious aren't you?

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#6 ortofun

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 12:45 AM

Marketing of all types of things, not just audio, are like this.

It's far from a new phenomenon and will not change in our lifetimes.

#7 Captain Crunch

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 01:03 AM

Being an audiophile can be a joy or a curse and usually at the same time! We listen to music and just can't help ourselves noticing every flaw during playback - always something not right and no matter how hard we try to just listen, we just can't manage it! Because of this obsession, we become vulnerable to the claims of snake oil salesman whose wonder products promise to provide us with the solution to our audio ills. Logic goes out the window in the never ending quest for our next 'hit'! We are like glazed eyed junkies and audio companies are like drug dealers - they just know we need another fix and after that one, another one and on and on it goes.

So they market all manner of ridiculous products because they just know that we'll have to try it - we can't stop ourselves because the fantasy of the promised benefits is just to hard to ignore - what if it's true? How can we sleep at night knowing that if we don't try this wonder product, we are missing out on a 'guaranteed' major performance upgrade? So we buy it. How else can you explain people buying cable support blocks?

What is needed is an audiophile rehab clinic where we can go to be cleansed, a place where audio magazines and hifi forums are banned because as soon as you hear about some new wonder tweak, it all starts again.
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#8 ortofun

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 02:59 AM

I think the Fashion and Beauty industries are a good example of an area that is even more extreme. There are those that succumb to the marketing fluff and pore $$$ into overpriced junk clothing and Beauty products and Treatments that make crazy claims, with few real benifits.

But many see things for what they are, and are not seduced, and logic wins out, just like in our hobby. Although there are the logical ones that wear blinkers...and they can miss out on some hidden benefits due to their extreme scepticism!

Best approach IMO is to be wary, buy still retain an open mind to possibilities :)

#9 zipstartcanoe

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 05:53 AM

The audio companies are no where near as bold in their claims as their users! Not passing judgement, but if the claims of this forum members have any veracity, there are "night and day" differences to be heard from all manner of things - current favourite; cryogenically treating CD's

#10 GFuNK

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:07 AM

Being an audiophile can be a joy or a curse and usually at the same time! We listen to music and just can't help ourselves noticing every flaw during playback - always something not right and no matter how hard we try to just listen, we just can't manage it! Because of this obsession, we become vulnerable to the claims of snake oil salesman whose wonder products promise to provide us with the solution to our audio ills. Logic goes out the window in the never ending quest for our next 'hit'! We are like glazed eyed junkies and audio companies are like drug dealers - they just know we need another fix and after that one, another one and on and on it goes.

So they market all manner of ridiculous products because they just know that we'll have to try it - we can't stop ourselves because the fantasy of the promised benefits is just to hard to ignore - what if it's true? How can we sleep at night knowing that if we don't try this wonder product, we are missing out on a 'guaranteed' major performance upgrade? So we buy it. How else can you explain people buying cable support blocks?

What is needed is an audiophile rehab clinic where we can go to be cleansed, a place where audio magazines and hifi forums are banned because as soon as you hear about some new wonder tweak, it all starts again.



Good post CC :) ... The sad thing is there will always be a market for snake oil as long as people buy it.

There is also another subtle class of product which does perform as advertised, but this performance well exceeds human perception. But this last one is a whole world of hurt for a forum.

There are also companies who seem to be doing the right thing by the consumer, like emotiva. I love the fact they make available the lab testing of their equipment. I had to finish on a positive :).

#11 houdinifangs

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:11 AM

The outrageous claims of superiority and the fudged specifications don't bother me anymore. Most companies seem to do it and by now it's pretty obvious to pick and avoid. I can handle the passionate bias of someone who exaggerates their product that they know and care about. What I don't like is when the product description is inaccurate, not so much as wrong features, as saying something is savory when it is sweet. Savory and sweet can be equally appealing but if you make an effort to travel a distance somewhere to taste some salt you are served sugar it's a total waste of time. It shows a company that doesn't know their product and assumes their customer knows less. For those who can't even take the time to understand their product I hope their tyres are kicked all day long...

Edited by houdinifangs, 24 March 2012 - 08:12 AM.

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#12 guru

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:30 AM

It's not just hifi. Coke ads keep telling me that if I drink it I'll be happy. All advertisers lie.

you would be happy if you were bouncing around the beach frolicking with buxom 18yr old hotties in bikini's rather than sitting in a van with a smelly coworker stuck in traffic downing a servo pie and a barely cold plastic wrapped coke. you are a victim of the need to feed your kids. rebel and go forth to hayman, to frolic and roam amongst the supermodels and sugar addled teenagers. don't be a victim anymore, tell nana to go get stuffed, you're an individual and you're off to get some of that bootie action.....
the kid's will be alright, their mum will get a job in the mines or at least the quarry at the end of your street.

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#13 turntable

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:46 AM

I know this is going to be a hot topic but I can't help but think some hi fi companies are bordering on the irresponsible in the way they market products which will not fulfill their promised performance... Who is keeping these companies in line??

As a noise and vibration engineer I've been saddened by people spending serious cash on I'll conceived but well marketed "solutions".


Gfunk, a bit of a vague comment potentially tarring many hifi companies for no good reason. Some examples?

The biggest audio fraud in the history was CD, when advertised by Sony and Phillips - Perfect Sound Forever.

Edited by turntable, 24 March 2012 - 08:53 AM.

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#14 Sir Sanders Zingmore

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:53 AM

And here we go again .....

regards, Trevor

 


#15 Dismord

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:08 AM

Musical fidelity come to mind. I have never owned any of their products but have been amused at the claims made on their website.
e.g. The V DAC, and I quote:
"Most competent reviewers realized that the V DAC was the technical equal of other DACs up to ten times the price"

I don't much care what 'most competent reviewers realise', whoever they are, but one thing's for sure, Musical Fidelity are selling a significant range of digital components that equal the performance of many silly money digital jewel boxes from other manufacturers. The proof is in the listening though and you might not hear what I do coming out of my just installed a Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 . Musical Fidelity though are a peculiar company that do make some odd claims. Anthony Michaelson, their director, claims we require astonishingly high powered amplifiers to reveal the dynamics of music yet MF continue to sell ultra- expensive lower powered Class A amps that sure as hell don't lack for dynamics. Go figure. What does bother me though are the absurd audio adverts that have gear installed in acoustically nightmarish rooms with speakers placed in utterly irrational positions. Same thing but worse are the frequent adds for home theatre installations where the listening/ watching seats run at right angles to the screen. Anyone for a sore neck in the morning? The whole audio & HT industry is riddled with snake oil and absurd claims but why do even decent audio & HT manufacturers permit their advertising agents to produce such utter crap? Tis in itself a mystery.

Edited by Dismord, 24 March 2012 - 09:34 AM.


#16 Chickenism

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:31 AM

The other day someone linked to a review of a $1000 DAC which suggested that, to get the most out of it, one would need to spend an equivalent amount on a particular power lead; and there was a pic there that showed said splendiforous power lead in all its carbon-fibre glory.

This is just one example of the kind of thing that almost turned me away from this hobby for good.

I've grown weary of all the baseless claims, the suggestion that we need to spend eleventy zillion dollars on *insert tweak here* to have our systems 'transformed', and the 'chalk and cheese' reviews and opinions from those who should know better.

But, in part thanks to this forum, I've met some great folk who have guided me away from all that. And I enjoy my music now, as opposed to the minutiae of the gear, more than ever before :)

Cheers, Dave

EDIT: I think the computer industry is even more guilty than the domestic audio industry of making product that does not fulfil it's promised performance.
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#17 Dismord

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:31 AM

Duplicate post deleted.

Edited by Dismord, 24 March 2012 - 09:33 AM.


#18 wolster

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:32 AM

Not criticizing the product, Dismord, only the claims. When I went looking for that quote it was because the last time I looked it was the first V DAC. It was something like $500 and they claimed it to be the equal of any high end product at any price ( from memory).

I must add that I have never heard the product but if the claim was true we would all have one in our system.
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#19 pocoloco

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:43 AM

for me the measuring of a speakers frequency range is definitely one area that could do with some regulation :ph34r:

#20 JohnA

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:02 AM

the same can be said for almost any product out there.

just look at half the crap they sell on danos direct or all those other shopping informercials.


I have purchased snake oil, and i must admit some of it i did purchase purely for looks and others i found made some difference. I just dont bother coming on here and talking about it anymore, as its my money and i can spend it how i see fit, and dont need any do gooder trying to save me a few dollars.

#21 LHC

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:05 AM

Gfunk, a bit of a vague comment potentially tarring many hifi companies for no good reason. Some examples?

The biggest audio fraud in the history was CD, when advertised by Sony and Phillips - Perfect Sound Forever.


Good one. Certification doesn't help either. Recall the case of Lexicon's THX-certified Blu-ray player that was exposed pretty badly in the press.
http://hardware.slas...-blu-ray-player

These things happen in all walks of life. Prior to the GFC mkI, the CDO were given AAA rating by credit rating agencies and were regarded as safe buys.

Edited by LHC, 24 March 2012 - 10:11 AM.


#22 Dismord

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:16 AM

for me the measuring of a speakers frequency range is definitely one area that could do with some regulation :ph34r:

Yes, but by whom?

#23 DRC

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:56 AM

Musical fidelity come to mind. I have never owned any of their products but have been amused at the claims made on their website.
e.g. The V DAC, and I quote:
"Most competent reviewers realized that the V DAC was the technical equal of other DACs up to ten times the price"

I have owned Musical Fidelity equipment, and for the most part it is good sounding gear with nice build quality at a reasonable price. I do have to concur with the poster though; the claims made by MF are delusional.

Edited by DRC, 24 March 2012 - 11:57 AM.

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#24 bruce108

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:57 AM

Not to go OT, but . . . Isn't deciphering hifi ads a special case of the crap detection we engage in 24/7? It's not just Coke ads, it's ads in general, and their scope has increased: whereas once it was just to sell us stuff, now it's to make us believe that government is working miracles. Nowadays the average CV and reference is a tissue of boasts and exaggerations. (And no, it was not always thus.)

This came home recently when I was trying to help a young Chinese friend to choose an electricity provider. I had recently introduced her to Choice, a kind of organisation that doesn't exist in the PRC. Now we were looking at a Victorian government comparison site which had the word 'choice' in big letters at the top. "Ah, Choice" she said. Fair inference, you and I wouldn't have made it because our circuits would have already cut in.

It's a bit like driving in Melbourne. It's only in Adelaide that you realise how much energy you spend every day just working through the ruck.

So we bring up our kids to look with scepticism and irony at a world full of lies.

#25 pocoloco

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 01:51 PM

Yes, but by whom?


Indeed by whom? I wouldn't pretend to know or suggest who should all I know is that it's an area that could definitely do with some regulatory standards.

#26 Arg

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 04:19 PM

...The biggest audio fraud in the history was CD, when advertised by Sony and Phillips - Perfect Sound Forever.


I agree. They just left out the word 'relatively', which would have transformed the claim from fraud to understatement!

My vote for today's biggest fraud (only meaning it is the biggest fraud I have seen today) is Linn's website for the LP12 which says "the turntable that changed hifi history".
:popcorn:
There was absolutely nothing new about it, and it wasn't even the best of it's day! 99% of hifi went right on without it, it never changed anything, etc etc. Pure fraud.

In fact I could argue that Linn stole the slogan that CD truly deserves! It's a turntable, and it truly changed hifi history.

#27 Dismord

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 05:39 PM

I agree. They just left out the word 'relatively', which would have transformed the claim from fraud to understatement!

My vote for today's biggest fraud (only meaning it is the biggest fraud I have seen today) is Linn's website for the LP12 which says "the turntable that changed hifi history".
:popcorn:
There was absolutely nothing new about it, and it wasn't even the best of it's day! 99% of hifi went right on without it, it never changed anything, etc etc. Pure fraud.

In fact I could argue that Linn stole the slogan that CD truly deserves! It's a turntable, and it truly changed hifi history.

Too late to get our knickers in a knot over Linns' absurd claims when we should now be asking questions about so called high-resolution downloads. English Hi-Fi News & Record Review magazine is , bless em, publishing graphs of these downloads with reviews. It appears we aren't always getting what we pay for.

#28 Dismord

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 05:43 PM

Indeed by whom? I wouldn't pretend to know or suggest who should all I know is that it's an area that could definitely do with some regulatory standards.

Apart from some early ionic tweeters, hi-fi gear seldom kills it’s owners. Car safety standards are highly regulated in most countries but audio gear I suspect , apart from simple basics like earthing safety, will remain open slather for snake oil sales and sloppy ‘measurements’.The question remains though; even if accurate frequency response results for speakers were published ( putting aside for now they could only be standardised by testing in anechoic chambers) what percentage of the buying public would understand them and more to the point , what percentage of audiophiles would know how they’d then perform in their own listening rooms?

#29 Briz Vegas

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 06:43 PM

Ooooh advertising is drivel - fancy that. Hold the headlines (cancel that they pay for the headlines).

Move along, nothing to see here. Nothing new anyway. Just do your own research and make up you own mind.

How do you embed a video. Is it this button?

No that doesn't look right. It's wonky. This is just like Woolworths, no sooner do you learn the layout and they go and change everything. I think its a plot by our mining billionaires to take away our voice and sell us to China one by one.

Click the link. There may bean ad (is that irony or what), and then there is one of the best Australian songs ever - most relevant to this topic
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#30 brumby

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 06:49 PM

you would be happy if you were bouncing around the beach frolicking with buxom 18yr old hotties in bikini's rather than sitting in a van with a smelly coworker stuck in traffic downing a servo pie and a barely cold plastic wrapped coke. you are a victim of the need to feed your kids. rebel and go forth to hayman, to frolic and roam amongst the supermodels and sugar addled teenagers. don't be a victim anymore, tell nana to go get stuffed, you're an individual and you're off to get some of that bootie action.....
the kid's will be alright, their mum will get a job in the mines or at least the quarry at the end of your street.


What an excellent rant! Well done.

I just realised I've been watching TV - on and off - since 1956. Clearly my brain turned to mush years ago. But with my luck the moment I get to Hayman they'll be hit by a cyclone.
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#31 kajak12

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:20 PM

You are being serious aren't you?

Yes very serious you can enjoy life and spend $$$ or leave it for others to spend..................

Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank......

Give a man a bank and he can rob the world..........


#32 rantan

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:28 PM

Oh noooooooooo !! :(

Imagine companies making grandiose claims to market their product, whatever will we get next? I thought all audio companies were honest and upright entities who have our best interests at heart and know I find out that this may not be true

This is obviously an outrage and as such represents then final chapter of civilised behavior as we once knew it.

Edited by rantan, 24 March 2012 - 09:30 PM.


#33 kajak12

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:29 PM

It's not just hifi. Coke ads keep telling me that if I drink it I'll be happy. All advertisers lie.

Coke + jack daniels make me happy (they forgot to include that in the coke add)

Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank......

Give a man a bank and he can rob the world..........


#34 Dismord

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:15 PM

There's a significant difference in the way a lot of marketing works in the audio industry from most others ( apart from new age self-improvement schemes and cults). The difference may explain one reason the younger generation think we're all just a bit mad. It's the snake oil and pseudo occult rubbish this industry is tainted with. Try explaining the science behind something like Mpingo disks to a non audiophile as see where you get. But hey, it's not just industry hype and bullshit at work here. Audiophiles themselves have demonstrated a bewildering willingness to swallow gallons of snake oil over the decades. So, who really is to blame for the undeniable fact that we are often regarded as more than a little mad my 'normal' people. And let's not forget the role of the audioporn press in providing space for absurd advertising claims and then backing them with reviews that need to be taken with a large pinch of salt if not total disbelief.

#35 Janjuc

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:51 AM

I think I need to take a Vitamin Pill after reading all this ....

JJ

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#36 Arg

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 02:28 PM

Too late to get our knickers in a knot over Linns' absurd claims

and much too late to bring up 1982 CD slogans

when we should now be asking questions about so called high-resolution downloads. English Hi-Fi News & Record Review magazine is , bless em, publishing graphs of these downloads with reviews. It appears we aren't always getting what we pay for.

And it will only get worse. I mean, hardly any music recordings actually have the bandwidth of high res formats anyway.

If I buy a 24/96 of an analogue 60's recording and due to the 60's mics and tape machines there is nothing over 18k, am I ripped off?

If in 2015 I buy a 32/384k download of a 24/192 recording made in 2010, am I ripped off despite thre being nothing of any note above 96k in the original signal feeds?