White Van Speaker Scams

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Seth=L, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    For any who are currious to what names of audio not to buy, this is for you.

    This receives updates whenever I am informed of another White Van Speaker Scam.

     
  2. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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  3. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    A new name I've seen in the on-line white van type is Kirsch speakers.
     
  4. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    I will add it to my list, I saw it earlier as well.
     
  5. Terry St

    Terry St Second Unit

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    Are you looking strictly for van-marketed speakers, or are you interested in ebay scammers too? For example, "Blue Ridge Sound Engineering" is a company that I've seen selling speakers for a few hundred on ebay that they claim are worth thousands on their website, which only takes payment by paypal. Their site spends a lot of time explaining how they can put $30,000 speakers to shame with about $50 worth of off-the-shelf components. It's the online equivalent of white-van sales, in my opinion. The idea that all these guys operate with is to make people think they're getting a steal of a deal so they don't ask too many questions.
     
  6. JGiampa

    JGiampa Stunt Coordinator

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    However if you do buy some of these speakers for 150-200 a pair they do sound pretty decent and in that case its really not much of a scam. Yea they arent worth the thousands they say they are but it doesnt mean they are terrible speakers.
     
  7. Alan M

    Alan M Second Unit

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    "However if you do buy some of these speakers for 150-200 a pair they do sound pretty decent and in that case its really not much of a scam. Yea they arent worth the thousands they say they are but it doesnt mean they are terrible speakers."
    I'd debate that with you.Considering you can pick up insignia speakers at BB for $50 a pair.They are superior to white van speakers in build quality and sound reproduction.
     
  8. Brandon Pop

    Brandon Pop Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll disagree with that statement as well.

    A few years back, before I knew anything about HT/audio, etc. I ran into a couple guys running this scam here in Los Angeles.

    At the time, my roommate had an old Pioneer receiver and some medium sized JBL floorstanders. We had blown the tweeters out during a party a few months back but he never wanted to fix them or upgrade. So when these guys approached me in the parking lot of best buy they told me that they were delivery guys from another city and that they were delivering reference monitor speakers to a sound mixing studio but the warehouse accidentally doubled the order and they now had 2 extra speakers. When I looked skeptically at them, they assured me they were serious and showed me both an invoice for delivery and a magazine advertisement with the speaker brand they had. They wanted 300 for the pair.

    I told them I'd have to hear them before I decided and they offered to come to my place to hook it up and that I was going to "freak" when I heard how good they sounded. So off to my apt we went, which wasn't far away.

    So they set the pair apart and plugged in the speaker wires and threw in a little Nirvana live CD. The guy turned the volume waaay up. HORRIBLE. I immediately knew they sounded like shit. Very flat, no imaging, poor highs etc. I told him I didnt like them and he asked why, when I explained he got all hissing grabbed the speakers and told me I didnt know what I was talking about and thanks for wasting his time. I told him, if he had what he claimed he had I would have bought them and that it was his problem. Funny thing is my roommates blown JBLs (which were not anything high end to begin) sounded about the same as these white van speakers.

    Its a scam, they lie and prey on the ignorant, make no mistake.
     
  9. Nathan W.

    Nathan W. Stunt Coordinator

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    That site doesn't strike me as a scam in any way. Those speakers look really nice with those various veneers and flush mount drivers. I didn't see any B.S. specs or terminology for marketing purposes on that site. The midrange drivers and tweeters look to be from Hi-Vi Research, definitely not junk. Go to a couple of "genuine white van" sites and you'll, or should, see the difference.
    I believe the guy that is trying to get this company started had put his entire BIC America system and some electronics, which included a pair of Realtas, up on Ebay. The whole system, including the Realtas, looked brand new. I believe he used the money from the auction to buy parts for some of the first HR-1s he is selling.
    Only accepting Paypal should not raise a red flag IMO as you can use a credit card with them, so you're still protected. If someone asks for cash or money order only, then you stay away. Paypal just happens to be very convenient.
     
  10. Alex/d

    Alex/d Stunt Coordinator

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    Avoid Tice Clocks....
    and people selling you Kraco and Audiovox speakers... [​IMG]
     
  11. Nathan W.

    Nathan W. Stunt Coordinator

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    Huh? What's a tice clock?
     
  12. Alex/d

    Alex/d Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Nathan W.

    Nathan W. Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh. Coherent electrons. Never did like 'em.

    Man. Some people only listen to their equipment, not the source.
     
  14. Terry St

    Terry St Second Unit

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    Actually, the site is rather well done. There isn't any totally obvious snake oil, but the frequency curves are a more than a tad suspicious. The site's claims about the engineering of their speakers don't hold up well either. They claim they use less components in their crossovers (only seven in fact!) than $30,000 speakers as if that's obviously a good thing, perhaps trying to appeal to those who dig the shortest-path mentality. They even pooh-pooh the use of resistors, capacitors, etc! How, exactly, would you make a crossover without the basics of an electronic circuit? Also, the site claims that by using innovative designs rather than the same old approaches other companies use, they can surpass the performance of much more expensive speakers, without saying anything about how they do it. It would take a genius to do this on his own while massive audio companies that invest heavily in research have failed. However, the owner of the company has posted on a few other audio boards/auction sites and has been totally unable to back up any of his claims. In fact, he displays almost no knowledge at all, as if he's just the business guy, and he's actually rather combative and just attacks those who disagree with him. He has also assumed other identities such as that of a PHD to defend his speakers on other boards.
    His speakers are being sold on ebay, by him, for a fraction of the price his site claims they're worth on his site, which alone *should* ring alarm bells. The cabinets do look nice in their pictures, but that means very little. (Many white van speakers look pretty good, in pictures at least.) Those Hi-Vi components he uses have been priced by people on other boards and, while not complete junk, are all fairly cheap. They might be in line for a speaker costing a couple hundred, but not one costing a couple thousand. At most, these are slightly upscale white-van speakers. They probably sound a bit better than complete junk, but they're being deceptively marketed and are nowhere near as good as the site claims they are.
    It looks like a scam to me.
     
  15. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    Repost.
     
  16. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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  17. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    avs thread
    Apparently, there's a suspiciously similar tweeter "pod" that sells for about $13.
     
  18. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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  19. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    you mean this 13 dollar Hi-Vi tweeter?
    http://www.madisound.com/cgi-bin/ind...15224&pid=1822
    I would like to add the awesome $18 4" mid-bass driver, yes I am being sarcastic.
    http://www.madisound.com/cgi-bin/ind...29754&pid=2170
    I will see if I can find the 8" woofer as well. While these drivers may not be "crap" they aren't exactly doing it for me at the price of $2000 or more a pair. It probably costs less than $200 to manufacture each speaker, for a company that claims other companies charge 10x their costs, deja-vue anyone, you do the math. The Blue Ridge Audio Company is definitely a scam.
     
  20. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    I would and did buy the Insignia bookshelfs for $50 before buying any white van speaker at half that price. Trust is important, warrentee has value, and most importantly the risk of damage to your existing equipment is significantly lower. And you just know that someone has purchased the Insignias and put a false label on them and sold them for more than 50 bucks, that would be the best con yet.
     

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