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hi fi companies bordering on irresponsible

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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".

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

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

You are being serious aren't you?

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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.

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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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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 :)

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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

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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 :).

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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
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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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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

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

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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.

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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

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

Yes, but by whom?

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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

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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.

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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.

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