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Hype vs. Value (Read 2756 times)
Pale Rider
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Hype vs. Value
05/29/11 at 21:41:41
 
When I started researching and looking at/listening to speakers again, I tried all sorts. I listened to Salk Songs of different models, and thought they were pretty good. I rented a vacation home one weekend with Orions and some other speakers in the $10k+ range whose name I have forgotten. The amount of hype about latest & greatest is amazing. And it's not any one segment of audio, it's all of them. Today, I was reading some articles on room correction and room treatment, and while doing so, I came across something about Salk's Soundscape. I clicked through to the page here, and saw this:

"The 12" version of our latest flagship model."

Tomorrow of course will bring a new latest & greatest. Reminded me of those Best Buy ads where people are cheesed by the fact that whatever they bought this morning was outmoded this afternoon. Technology has managed to amp up the buyer's remorse factor. Value is getting lost here.

That's why this from the Decware site speaks volumes to me:

Quote:
In 2009 we released the ERR.  The ERR replaced the RL-1.5 and the RL-3 and all previous models.  The ERR is the final redesign of both cabinets and drivers for this incredible design.  No future upgrades are planned.


Now, of course, Steve improved the radials over time, but it is the attitude of "there, I am done," as opposed to "latest & greatest" that is refreshing.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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opnly_bafld
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Re: Hype vs. Value
Reply #1 - 05/29/11 at 23:31:53
 
For me the difference with some companies, like Salk (a relatively new company), is that the "new" flagship is truly an improvement and twice as expensive as the previous flagship.
Unlike many companies (Polk designs used to jump all over the place when Matthew was more involved) that redesign their speakers every 4 years or so with the latest, greatest new drivers and technology at the same price point and they basically sound the same.

Lin
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« Last Edit: 05/29/11 at 23:32:38 by opnly_bafld »  
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Pale Rider
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Re: Hype vs. Value
Reply #2 - 05/30/11 at 00:02:04
 
Lin, I wasn't trying to pick on Salk, though I am not sure they should get quite the slack they could a couple of years ago. In any case, I was more focused on the terminology "latest flagship," which by definition suggests a fleeting quality.
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« Last Edit: 05/30/11 at 01:09:33 by Pale Rider »  

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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opnly_bafld
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Re: Hype vs. Value
Reply #3 - 05/30/11 at 01:39:47
 
I understood that ( BTW I'm not a Salk fanboy Wink ), just trying to point out that it is part of the process of being a designer/company and I personally have no problem with it as long as there really is an improvement.
All too often with many companies it is just hype. Angry

I agree wholeheartedly with this
"Technology has managed to amp up the buyer's remorse factor. Value is getting lost here." Smiley

Lin Smiley
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Pale Rider
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Re: Hype vs. Value
Reply #4 - 05/30/11 at 17:23:45
 
Quote:
I personally have no problem with it as long as there really is an improvement.


Agreed.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Hype vs. Value
Reply #5 - 05/31/11 at 03:27:05
 
This company is low on hype but high in value. There is less puffing here than most other places. Puffing is a legal term, which means a claim that you can't hold a seller to. For example, "these are the best (speakers, amps, power cord, etc.,) made anywhere by anybody in the last 50 years." The claims that DECWARE makes about the performance, reliability and value of DECWARE gear have substantial support. These claims are fact based and buttressed by the real-world at home experiences of end users.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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mac5u
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Re: Hype vs. Value
Reply #6 - 06/11/11 at 19:18:41
 
Not everyone agrees.

Caveat:  I am truly agnostic as to the claims on all sides being a non-Decware owner and not having heard the FRX (or the Dayton driver).  The thread has been locked and cleaned up quite a bit, including deleting a pointed response by Steve Deckert to one of the participants.  The thread was much nastier earlier in the week.

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=95097.0
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« Last Edit: 06/11/11 at 19:25:06 by mac5u »  
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Pale Rider
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Re: Hype vs. Value
Reply #7 - 06/11/11 at 22:31:03
 
I am hardly surprised that not everyone agrees. This IS audio after all. And when all is said and done, the tone on that form isn't that bad. But understand that the critique on that thread is over two things: whether people believe Steve (hype category perhaps), and whether Steve ought to supply review samples free of charge, or whether his 30-day money-back guarantee is an adequate way to test his claims. As to the former, it is interesting that many will fawn all over the latest $20k wonder speaker or amplifier without ever hearing it, while throwing down the gauntlet in outraged offense over the claims of a $1200 speaker pair. I actually get that, but its hypocrisy is obvious.

As to the relative value of the "free review sample versus 30-day return," I agree that people will differ on this. For me, a 30-day return privilege is adequate. Decware makes the terms of this privilege clear on the website. And when I ordered more than 1 pair of ERRs, both Sarah and Bob cautioned me that the 30-day return would only apply to the first pair, and so gave me the choice of getting it first, before having the second and third pairs built. I don't know about you, but this all seemed very fair to me. In fact, everything about the way Decware does business breathes "integrity." Over a decade of consistent published practice and theory, fair purchasing policies (no charge until shipped), publishing of owner manuals, schematics, kit support, return privileges, direct access to designers and builders, ZenFest, etc., these are the sorts of things that we as consumers say we want.

Still, I get the skepticism, but I don't think Decware is under any obligation to address the skepticism solely on the skeptics' terms. They are selling on very fair terms. Apparently, Tone Audio and a very few others see it that way. And what I find interesting is that I have yet to read where anyone has asked Steve for review units and they have been declined, though it might well be true. The lead skeptic on that thread, TurboFC3S, simply refuses to believe that the FRX/ZOB will deliver the sound that Steve publishes. Okay, he is entitled to that opinion, but his disbelief is actually less evidence than what Steve publishes. To paraphrase the aphorism that "absence of evidence is not evidence of evidence," the mere act of disbelief doesn't prove anything either.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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mac5u
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Re: Hype vs. Value
Reply #8 - 06/13/11 at 02:11:10
 
Quote:
I am hardly surprised that not everyone agrees. This IS audio after all. And when all is said and done, the tone on that form isn't that bad. But understand that the critique on that thread is over two things: whether people believe Steve (hype category perhaps), and whether Steve ought to supply review samples free of charge


I came across this thread and the AudioCircle thread the same day -- a day before the AC thread was cleaned up with a lot of posts deleted by the mod.  Being a mod can be a tough job and I do understand why certain posts were deleted.  The conversation had gone way off topic, yet a couple of things come to mind about the deleted posts and the locking of the thread.

First, the mod himself, a pretty fair guy at the end of the day, seemed a little antagonistic to the OP's first couple of comments so right away, something seemed "up".  More on this later.

Second, a lot of the deleted posts were a back-and-forth about the Decware website.  I have posted on the Decware forum and  elsewhere that I think whoever writes the copy for this web site does an excellent job at drawing the reader in.  I can think of at least 5 - 8 small manufacturers who could take a few lessons from Decware about website design and marketing.

Some on the AC thread, consider a lot of the info on this website pure hyperbole with some very extravagant claims made.  That is why, after first reading the AC thread and then tumbling to this thread, it all seemed so interesting.  It was terrific juxtaposition.  As for me, I find the product descriptions a little over the top here and there but then again, Steve has product to sell, so I don’t hold it against him at all that he markets rather well on his site.  Reading through that thread now, though, most of those posts have been deleted but it did get a little heated, mostly about the cost of the FRX driver (is it hype or is there real value added on by Steve's mod?) and the graphs Steve has posted.  In fact while he denied it after being called out on it, TurboFC3S called Steve, in so many words, a liar.  

Me, I don't understand graphs all that well and haven't taken the time to learn them which is too bad because the crux of the matter.  Were  the graphs Steve posted credible, particulary the FR, or not as TurboFC3S stated who further went on to indirectly insult a lot of people who read this forum and buy Decware products for being taken in because they too can't possibly read graphs well enough to know they are being duped.

It's too bad that the mod deleted Steve's reply to some of TurboFC3S's statements.  The final editing of the posts by the mod makes Turbo seems a lot more reasonable and fair-minded than he really was, especially since Turbo is a speaker manufacturer himself.  Calling Steve "liar" was really in bad form.    

Quote:
or whether his 30-day money-back guarantee is an adequate way to test his claims


A thirty day policy is fairly standard for internet-direct companies, and I agree with you that is adequate, at least in most cases and for most products.  I have seen a few as short as 15 days and some go out as long as 120 days, which in my view, is really about the right amount of time although I will admit that it is a very generous policy and can well understand why it isn't the norm.  

For TurboFC3S to state that Steve should send him a driver free of charge rather than take advantage of the 30-day policy was further evidence, in my mind on at least this occasion, of his unwillingness to engage in fair debate.

Which brings me to my last point.  Early on when the thread began, the mod seemed a little tilted toward TurboFC3S and against the OP and, in the final analysis, Steve.  I don't recall now if there was just one response by Steve or more than that and unfortunately, none of the cached pages I can find on the web are of the relevant days between June 1 and June 6th. All we have left are posts by a competing manufacturer stating his case, a response, or responses, by Steve being deleted, and a final comment by the OP wondering why Turbo's posts weren't deleted while Steve's were before the mod locks the thread.  

That there is value in Decware products, there can be no doubt.  Is it hype?  Ultimately, the user in the end decides.  
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« Last Edit: 06/15/11 at 00:15:13 by mac5u »  
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Pale Rider
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Re: Hype vs. Value
Reply #9 - 06/13/11 at 16:57:34
 
Excellent deconstruction Michael. Thank you.

I did not know that TurboFC3S was also a speaker manufacturer. That little tidbit helps to contribute to what I would call some level of disingenuousness. At the end of the day, I agree: "User decides."
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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