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White Van Speaker Scams


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#1 of 130 Seth=L

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Posted September 07 2006 - 04:49 AM

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.
Quote:
* Audiofile
* Acoustic Lab Technology
* Acoustic Monitor
* Acoustic Response (not to be confused with the company Acoustic Research, which involved the famous and respected Henry Kloss, who went on to found KLH and Cambridge Soundworks), Acoustic Image, Acoustic Lab Technology
* Blue Ridge Sound Engineering
* Canyon Audio (not to confused with Canary, these are basically the same as Theater Research)
* Denmark (not to be confused with Denon)
* Dogg Digital, Digital Dogg Audio (reportedly very popular on eBay)
* DCS Digital Audio (Logo looks similar the the DTS logo)
* Dahlton
* Dynalab (not to be confused with Dynamat)
* Divinci
* Divinci Audio
* Elite Audio (another Theater Research brand, less common)
* Epiphany
* Fluance (not the worst offender)
* Grafdale
* Digital Pro Audio, Pro Audio, Digital Audio, Digital Audio Professional Speaker Systems, Digital Audio Skyline Digital Research
* Epiphany Audio
* Kirsch (not to confused with Klipsch)
* Omni Audio
* Protecsound
* Pro Dynamics
* Paradyme (not to be confused with Paradigm)
* PCS
* PSD (jokingly referred to as Paid Scam Drivers). Not to be confused with PSB.
* Theater Research (has many other names)
* Samaurai
* SDAT(Super Dumb Audio Theme)
* Sinclair Audio
* Streem

These speakers are often sold out of white vans by intimidating guys or they are also sold on Ebay. So if you ever come across something like this it is propbably a scam. Also here are the names of the companies that distribute and manufacture these speakers.

Quote:
* Audio Wood Products
* Advance Engineering Research
* Century Distributors PTY LTD
* Dynalab
* Global Audio Network
* JAM Entertainment/JAM Enterprises, now known as Kelfi Distributors
* Millennium Speakers
* Omni Audio or Omni Audio Products
* Orca Distributors
* Republic Distributors, Inc. (parent of Omni and Dynalab) or Republic Distributors Of Canada or Republic Distribution GmbH
* Sound Illusion Production


Hope this saves some poor soul from being ripped off, and if you reading this because you already bought some and were looking for info, I am sorry about your luck.

#2 of 130 Seth=L

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Posted September 07 2006 - 06:05 AM

Quote:
* Pair of Acoustic Audio 15.1 Surround Sound Speakers
* Black Finish
* Designed and Engineered in USA
* Power Handling Capabilities:
* 150 Watts RMS to 300 Watts Maximum Per Speaker
* Minimum Required Power: 10 Watts
* 2-Way Design
* Woofer: 4 Inch Silver CD with Rubber Surround
* Tweeter: 1/2 Inch Ferro Fluid Cooled Mylar Dome
* Frequency Response: 37Hz - 20 KHz
* Efficiency / Sensitivity: 98dB @ 1 watt 1 meter
* Impedance: 8 Ohm
* Steel Mesh Grille
* Universal Mounting Brackets Included
* Dimensions: 7”H x 5”W x 4”D
* 7 Year Warranty
* Retail Price: $249 Per Pair



This doesn't make any sense. How does a 4 inch speaker acheive 37 hz? Oh yea, it doesn't.

#3 of 130 Chris Quinn

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Posted September 07 2006 - 06:28 AM

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

#4 of 130 Seth=L

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Posted September 07 2006 - 09:03 AM

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

#5 of 130 Terry St

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Posted September 07 2006 - 09:46 AM

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 of 130 JGiampa

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Posted September 07 2006 - 09:57 AM

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 of 130 Alan M

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Posted September 07 2006 - 10:31 AM

"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 of 130 Brandon Pop

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Posted September 07 2006 - 10:49 AM

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 of 130 Nathan W.

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Posted September 07 2006 - 02:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry St
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.

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 of 130 Alex/d

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Posted September 07 2006 - 02:39 PM

Avoid Tice Clocks....
and people selling you Kraco and Audiovox speakers... Posted Image
Onkyo TX-DS787/ RCA Dimensia MPA 200 Preamp/ Pioneer Elite PD 65/ Sony SCD-CE595 SA-CD layer/ Technics M224 Tape Deck/ Sony DVP-NS501P DVD Player/ Superscope TD-48 Quadraphonic 8-Track Player/ Technics SL-5 Turntable/ Pioneer TX-6500II Tuner/ PSB Century 600i / Paradigm PS-1000/ Pioneer CS-C280K...

#11 of 130 Nathan W.

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Posted September 07 2006 - 02:42 PM

Huh? What's a tice clock?

#12 of 130 Alex/d

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Posted September 07 2006 - 02:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan W.
Huh? What's a tice clock?
http://www.regonaudi...Tice Clock.html

That explains pretty well Posted Image
Onkyo TX-DS787/ RCA Dimensia MPA 200 Preamp/ Pioneer Elite PD 65/ Sony SCD-CE595 SA-CD layer/ Technics M224 Tape Deck/ Sony DVP-NS501P DVD Player/ Superscope TD-48 Quadraphonic 8-Track Player/ Technics SL-5 Turntable/ Pioneer TX-6500II Tuner/ PSB Century 600i / Paradigm PS-1000/ Pioneer CS-C280K...

#13 of 130 Nathan W.

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Posted September 07 2006 - 02:58 PM

Oh. Coherent electrons. Never did like 'em.

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

#14 of 130 Terry St

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Posted September 07 2006 - 10:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan W.
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.

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 of 130 Seth=L

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Posted September 08 2006 - 07:44 AM

Repost.

#16 of 130 Seth=L

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Posted September 08 2006 - 07:59 AM

Quote:
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.

The problem with many white van speakers is the danger they pose for your system. If the speakers use 2 ohm drivers and your receiver or amp isn't designed to handle such loads (just a guess but if someone owns an amp capable of handling a 2ohm load they would likely know better anyway) and it does damage to the amp, then you just lost more than the price paid for the speakers. Granted not all white van speakers will be this way, but is it worth the risk, I don't really think so.

Quote:
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.

The thing that disturbs me about the site is the unprofessional approach they take. Claims about what other manufacturers pay to manufacture their speakers and ignoring other costs like shipping and in-store mark-up. Also the charts are quite suspicious as Terry said. That being said the speaker suffers from the common white van speaker look with the silly side mounted woofer and the cool looking lack of the dust cap. The ports are large for such a speaker and apear to be plastic, not polymer. The stands for the bookshelfs also appear to be made by the company. the tweeters sit to far back on the cabinet and could reflect off of the top of the cabinet. Speaking of the cabinet, why don't they have anything to say about it? If it is all hardwood, which it appears to be, then that presents a problem. Any imperfections on the inside of the cabinet would cause each speaker to sound different. All speaker manufacturers know that this is a no-no so why doesn't this one. And last, but certainly not least, the side mounted woofer. It looks like a paper cone with foam surround. The website claims it has an excursion of 16mm. Now maybe it does, what makes no sense is this statement here.

Quote:
The 8" woofer has a massive, heavy
magnet that exacts total control on the cone. Which, by the way, is capable of an unheard-of-even-
in-larger-woofers 16mm excursion! We have two 18" subs (we are sound nuts, we admit it!) built
under a stairway in the demo room and I can assure you, as good as these subs are, they would
be completely destroyed by a 16mm excursion!

Yea, OK, an 8" woofer with a 16mm excursion is going to destroy two 18" woofers. And what is up with the Massive, Heavy magnets (redundant), the speakers themselves only weigh 30 pounds a piece. That is the one of the most illogical things I have ever heard, unless of course if the 18'' woofers were made in the 1950's. As you can see, this guy is insane. The site isn't the best written and uses the same basic template as other white van speaker companies, this one just looks better than most. So I am going to add them to the list untill I hear something or see that they are legitimate.

#17 of 130 JeremyErwin

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Posted September 08 2006 - 08:24 AM

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

#18 of 130 Seth=L

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Posted September 08 2006 - 08:25 AM

This may be helpful to some as well.

http://scams.flipsha...lesalescam.html

#19 of 130 Seth=L

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Posted September 08 2006 - 08:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan W.
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.
you mean this 13 dollar Hi-Vi tweeter?

http://www.madisound....15224&pid=1822

I would like to add the awesome $18 4" mid-bass driver, yes I am being sarcastic.

http://www.madisound....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 of 130 Seth=L

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Posted September 08 2006 - 08:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan M
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.
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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