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post #121 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
To paraphrase, after being caught with his hand in the cookie jar, denying it, insulting the person who caught him, insulting the person who verified that indeed, his hand was in the cookie jar, and lying repeatedly, he finally admits he's a thief, and this makes him a gentleman?
Grawk, good point, but you've lived long enough to see some very messy political battles. In the end, both sides shake hands and vow to work together. In sports, we see the same. Foul after foul. But in the end, again, both sides shake hands.

Yeah, when the stakes are high, we fight hard. Very hard, bending the rules to our advantage. Screaming at referees. But in the end we all shake hands and become friends again.

In our personal lives we get into some mean-spirited arguments, shouting matches, even physical contact. But in the end, we forgive and forget and move on.
post #122 of 134
You'll forgive me if I'd never consider someone who steals my hard work, passes it off as his own, insults me for pointing it out, and finally grudgingly admits what he did to be a friend. If Jan were to forgive and forget, he's a better man than I am.
post #123 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by feifan View Post
Grawk, good point, but you've lived long enough to see some very messy political battles. In the end, both sides shake hands and vow to work together. In sports, we see the same. Foul after foul. But in the end, again, both sides shake hands.

Yeah, when the stakes are high, we fight hard. Very hard, bending the rules to our advantage. Screaming at referees. But in the end we all shake hands and become friends again.

In our personal lives we get into some mean-spirited arguments, shouting matches, even physical contact. But in the end, we forgive and forget and move on.
You sir are the gentleman!
post #124 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by spraggih View Post
....If you/administrators knew Robert was lying and cheating and stealing why not ban him? Why are the reasons to ban someone if is is not for lying, cheating, stealing? Again I jest but is banning reserved for murderers?...
Read my post that you're referring to. Now read it again.

There were only two facts in that post of mine that were not available to you previously, neither of which would have constituted a "smoking gun" to you:
  • Robert's quote from a message he sent another Head-Fi'er (that was forwarded to me). And in that forwarded message, Robert was still denying that he'd copied the amplification stage, so that still wasn't the "smoking gun" for you.

  • That bit about the fact that Robert had edited a post stating the year he claimed to have started using that circuit design. He originally stated, both in that forwarded message and in a post that was made two days later that he had started using it independently back in "1995." He later edited the post to read "2004" instead. Tonight he explained that both independent instances of that were typos. But, again, I hardly think me bringing this up in my post costituted a "smoking gun" either.

So I'm serious when I say to read my post you're referring to carefully, because you'll see that, other than the bullet points above, none of the facts I posted weren't previously available before that post. In other words, if you're saying I knew, then you did (or should have) too.

For me, personally, the smoking gun was simply that Jan claimed it and told us he took steps (again, that you previously saw too, including the schematics and photographs) to substantiate his claims--that coupled with his superlative reputation over a period of years. But that wasn't good enough for everyone, and, to some extent, I do understand that.

Simply put, you knew what I did. We just came to different conclusions, or at least to different levels of commitment to the same side, if you also believed what Jan Meier was saying.

As for the question of a ban: If you've been around long enough, you probably know that I very rarely discuss bans publicly. I generally discuss a ban only with the person banned. Robert is not currently banned. Will he be? I'm not discussing it here. However, had I banned him when you're suggesting I should have (at the point I posted my post is when you seem to be arguing it should have happened), then I don't think we'd necessarily have had tonight's outcome, do you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spraggih View Post
....Also one more time - Dr. Meier is not a just a person but a business. When fellow Head-fiers sling in public they are doing it as individuals-- they do not represent anything other than themselves. Dr. Meier represents a business and must be held to a higher standard....
For the umpteenth time, spraggih (so please pay attention), Jan Meier did everything you apparently wanted him to do. He wanted to settle this privately, but, again, Robert took that option off the table immediately. What Jan did afterwards--bringing it to the attention of the community--was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. And through it all he told the truth. That's as high a standard, in the face of the theft of his design, as we could reasonably expect from him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spraggih View Post
....You can mudsling truth...
Yeah, okay. I was close to not even dignifying this comment by responding to it. He told the truth, man. Before you go making absurd statements like that, read Jan's posts about this. Jan slung no mud here. It was his design(s) stolen. It was he who was insulted by the denials of design theft by Robert that planted any doubt in anyone's minds, and even further insulted by Robert's preposterous red herring assertion (that he repeated with his ongoing denials) that Jan had stolen someone else's design. Absurd. Untrue. Lies.

What were you saying about mudslinging again? Honestly, it's staring you in the face, man. Now open your eyes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spraggih View Post
....That is my very point - if it were 100% true that Robert stole from a business then why could not Dr. Meier contact the administrators, explain his case and have Robert removed? Doesn't that process work here? or am I missing something?...
We all had the same facts, but, until now, we didn't all come to the same conclusion. By your definition, there was only one person who knew 100% all along that Jan Meier was right, and that was Jan Meier. You weren't convinced by his case (remember, you had access to all he'd presented, too), but now you're saying, after Robert's admission--with the eagle-eye-focus of hindsight--that we should have just banned Robert from the very start.

Again, we all had the same facts from Jan. We didn't all come to the same conclusions after reading them, until Robert finally admitted it (but only after causing much insult and damage in the process).

Quote:
Originally Posted by spraggih View Post
....Come on man - throw me a bone.
I did. You're just not biting.
post #125 of 134
Also think of it this way. If one party or the other was banned before this all finished playing out, the mods/admins would have been accused of being in a conspiracy to favor one party over the other. it's actually less of a hassle to let it play out once it's out in the public forum rather than appear to play favorites - eventually the truth gets out.

btw folks this is why being a mod/admin sucks. figuring out the fine line is never easy, since we're all human. anna may be a bot, but these guys aren't.
post #126 of 134
Although it may appear otherwise, this thread is no longer focused on the issue before us (Robert v. Jan). We are squabbling over who is right and who is wrong in an effort to save face and administer damage control on Jan's behalf (rightfully so). Unfortunately, this has turned into a ridiculous free-for-all.

Naturally, some of us are going to agree that this forum is not the right venue for handling this dispute. Jude, I respect your opinion and everything that you have to say (you make extremely educated points), but I am resolute on how I feel about the way this was handled and I stand firm. Please don't misconstrue my opinion as 'pity' because it certainly is not. Indeed, I would feel angry if my design was stolen. However, I also think that I would have weighed my options more carefully before resorting to Head-fi. Just look at the end result!

As Feifan said, we are a democracy--and our diversity of opinion reflects that.

That is not to say that I am "right" and you are "wrong" or if that it is even possible to determine at this point. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that we should "let the chips fall," (Hi-Finthen©)and move on to something more productive.

Could we please stop?

*EDIT* and for the record, when I can afford to do so in the future, I WILL be buying an amp from Jan Meier. Roberts reputation is damaged beyond repair. Jan's, however, is still sterling in spite of this issue. Whether I agree with the way this was handled (and again, the way it was handled is infinitely less important than Robert admitting to stealing his design) accounts for very little in the grand scheme of things IMO.
post #127 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by dropkickduffy View Post
....We are squabbling over who is right and who is wrong in an effort to save face and administer damage control on Jan's behalf (rightfully so). Unfortunately, this has turned into a ridiculous free-for-all....
I'm not trying to save face, are you? I'm not sure what you're talking about with that comment.

As for the free-for-all comment: It's a discussion. Something rather significant (to say the least) occurred, and now the truth is known. Given all that preceded that admission, it is my opinion that there might very reasonably still be discussion to be had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dropkickduffy View Post
....Naturally, some of us are going to agree that this forum is not the right venue for handling this dispute. Jude, I respect your opinion and everything that you have to say (you make extremely educated points), but I am resolute on how I feel about the way this was handled and I stand firm. Please don't misconstrue my opinion as 'pity' because it certainly is not. Indeed, I would feel angry if my design was stolen. However, I also think that I would have weighed my options more carefully before resorting to Head-fi. Just look at the end result!...
I read that entire paragraph, then I got to that last, six-word exclamation, and don't get what you're saying. The end result was that (a) cloning (which we've moderated strongly against here over the years, not just the last couple of weeks) might actually be discouraged (at least at Head-Fi) to some greater degree by all that has happened; and (b) Robert finally admitted what he'd done, which it didn't previously seem to me like he was on any path to otherwise doing.

It does seem Jan weighed his options carefully. There was the private contact. There were the denials by Robert, which made the private resolution implausible. Then what was he left with? Court? Have you ever been through a lawsuit? I have. In the U.S., they're almost always inordinately expensive and time-consuming, and I'm guessing that they're not bargain-basement affairs in Germany either. Faced with the definitive knowledge that his design(s) had been stolen, and Robert's refusal to settle it privately (which would have first required an admission in the first place), he came to the forums.

I'm guessing the path you would have found ideal wouldn't have led us here.

So, yes, just look at the end result!
post #128 of 134
The "end result" I was referring to is the squabbling back and forth between head-fi members. I should have been more specific. I apologize.

There are more avenues of reconciliation than litigation. For instance, with the help of people such as Kevin Gilmore and other knowledgeable gurus, the two amps could have been examined and compared until there was no doubt that the amp was an exact copy. After dissemination and discussion and complete confirmation without doubt, there could have been a letter or e-mail sent to Robert, laying out the course of action. Then, if he ignored it, issue a locked thread exposing Roberts actions.

Rather, what happened on this forum was the long discovery process was laid bare for all so see. With Roberts input, the facts were extremely obfuscated (Ohlman issue) and many of us were misled. IMO, Robert should not have had an input (as has been argued repeatedly)! Furthermore, unlike you Jude, we Head-fi members are not privy to behind-the-scenes PMs for clarification until 20+ pages into this ordeal when you expose them.

Please don't dismiss this as hindsight bias. Please try to see where I'm coming from.
post #129 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by dropkickduffy View Post
The "end result" I was referring to is the squabbling back and forth between head-fi members....
Friendly as this forum is (relative to a lot of other forums), squabbling happens. But the squabbling wasn't the end result, the truth was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dropkickduffy View Post
....There are more avenues of reconciliation than litigation. For instance, with the help of people such as Kevin Gilmore and other knowledgeable gurus, the two amps could have been examined and compared until there was no doubt that the amp was an exact copy. After dissemination and discussion and complete confirmation without doubt, there could have been a letter or e-mail sent to Robert, laying out the course of action. Then, if he ignored it, issue a locked thread exposing Roberts actions.

Rather, what happened on this forum was the long discovery process was laid bare for all so see. With Roberts input, the facts were extremely obfuscated (Ohlman issue) and many of us were misled. IMO, Robert should not have had an input (as has been argued repeatedly)! Furthermore, unlike you Jude, we Head-fi members are not privy to behind-the-scenes PMs for clarification until 20+ pages into this ordeal when you expose them.

Please don't dismiss this as hindsight bias. Please try to see where I'm coming from.
From what I can tell, Jan brought his case here, as (a) he knew he'd have no possibility at assessing the damages from a guy who's apparently not coming clean with the offense in the first place, and so (b) had to come here to see if he could get some idea through the volunteering of information of how many were sold. How else to assess the damages if Robert wouldn't even admit to it? Any chance at answering that was here, given the circumstances.

Additionally, Kevin Gilmore did say that he was certain it was a copy. He posted that publicly and vehemently rather early on. But, faced with Robert's denials, there were always going to be those who'd give him the benefit of the doubt. Jan was obviously certain. Kevin was, too. Both said as much. Both are respected here for their technical prowess and know-how, and certainly with regard to being able to figure such things out--I don't think their qualifications in that sense were ever up for doubt. But still we had doubt, which, again, to some degree, I do understand. But it goes to show you that with Robert's vehement denials, there'd be those who still wouldn't see that as enough. There would be those who'd still say that that wouldn't constitute an authoritative enough vetting process in the face of the accused's passionate denials.

As for your suggestion (as spraggih also suggested) that I had the benefit of the smoking gun in my PM box, I suggest you read what I said to him in this post. The person who forwarded it to me can verify (if he so chooses) that I shared what I learned in that message with you pretty much right after I received it, so I'm not sure what your point is. And, frankly, without Robert's subsequent admission, it wouldn't have constituted the "smoking gun," as, again, he was still stating in that message that Jan and Kevin were wrong, and that it wasn't Jan's design. If you're suggesting that I withheld some smoking gun info, evilly rubbing my hands together with glee, wishing and hoping for a big imbroglio, you're wrong. Read this post again. I shared that message in my post literally within minutes of having been told by the guy who forwarded it to me that he was okay with me posting it. And, other than that, the facts I did share in that post were all available for weeks.

It is the clarity of hindsight in action to look back, knowing what we know now, to tell me how it should have been handled. Do you think if I could have seen this outcome ahead of time (say, for example, on March 30, 2007, the day before it went public) that it might have been handled differently? Maybe. It's so easy to be where we are now, and shape the situation looking back. Jahn hit it on the head when he said this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahn View Post
Also think of it this way. If one party or the other was banned before this all finished playing out, the mods/admins would have been accused of being in a conspiracy to favor one party over the other. it's actually less of a hassle to let it play out once it's out in the public forum rather than appear to play favorites - eventually the truth gets out.

btw folks this is why being a mod/admin sucks. figuring out the fine line is never easy, since we're all human. anna may be a bot, but these guys aren't.
In real time, as the situation forms, we can only act in the best way we can, with this as one of the very few things we know with certainty (in real time): No matter what we decide, no matter how we handle anything, there'll be a bunch of you to tell us we handled it wrong. Even if we tick off just 1% of you, that's still a lot of people. My prophet membership was revoked some time ago, so we have to deal with each storm as it erupts, in real time. This one was a very unusual one. Am I thrilled with every aspect of it in hindsight? No. But I am happy that the truth is out. And I think the discussion (even the squabbles) were an important part of understanding the issue from a lot of angles.

That it got the page views it did in the process is, in my opinion, potentially a very positive thing, as I think it increases the likelihood that those who make and sell products to this community might be even more aware now that this kind of crap won't be tolerated here.
post #130 of 134
I had written previously that I was still waiting for the happy ending to this ordeal, and I still don't think that a happy ending is necessarily out of the question.

I do hope that Meier-Audio and HEADPHONIA make some further efforts, outside of Head-Fi, to come up with a fair remedy. While Robert extended a couple of options for "corrective" action very early on, I think that in order to right all of the wrongs here, purchasers of the illegitimate HEADPHONIA amps should be extended the option of a no-cost replacement of their amps with new Porta Corda MkIII (or MkIII-USB, as appropriate) amps at Robert's expense. I believe that only in this way can the damages actually be settled fairly.

I have been thinking, since the time of Robert's original offer to refund the purchase price of the HEADPHONIA amps, that this was a sufficient remedy. However, this doesn't guarantee that the customers receiving their money back will/would necessarily want to buy a Meier-Audio amp. Sure, HEADPHONIA would presumably have the right to substitute the new generation HEAPHONIA amp(s) for the old ones, but my opinion is that the damages need to be settled the right way first, by giving due credit to Meier-Audio. The new generation HEADPHONIA amps, if not clones of Meier-Audio or any other amps, ought to be sold only on their own merits.

If Robert wants to make a living designing and marketing headphone amps for the Head-Fi community, albeit without the chance to do so as a Head-Fi sponsor, etc., it seems high time to make this whole situation right first.
post #131 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahn View Post
(...) anna may be a bot (...)
[OT]
If you have a heart you won't do that again to the Curious George in me who just has to click on suspicious looking links. Mostly, of course, because we poor Swedes had to endure that abomination of a song all summer last year whether we wanted to or not...
[/OT]


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaska View Post
(...) However, this doesn't guarantee that the customers receiving their money back will/would necessarily want to buy a Meier-Audio amp. (...)
Which brings me to my dilemma. It's not that I don't want to buy a Meier amp, I would surely like to, were I in the search for a home amp. But quantitatively the (new design) Headphonia had what I *really* wanted over the Porta Corda. If there's a new design of the Porta Corda down the road I'll be sure to have a look at it, that's not the issue here. It's just that right now, if I were forced to, I would probably choose something completely different from the Headphonia, like the Tomahawk because of its fantastic running time. Again, it boils down to some kind of personal moral standard and to do "what is right"... *sigh*
post #132 of 134
Alright I will move on. I think the spirit of what the two opposing views are saying is getting lost in the details.

Robert stole. Ok. Done.

I still think there can be improvement in the process of communications, dealing with issues between businesses not people. I do not get the sense anyone on the other side of the argument is yet considering "How can we improve this process for the next time?" but rather protect / rationale why they operated the way they did in the past. Everything can be improved - but maybe this is not at the top of the list. For me this is not a why did you / him not do this or take this action in the past? but rather IMO there is a very better way-- one to implement going forward. I submitted specific steps going forward-- that for me (and seemingly others) remedy things.

Sounds (no pun intended) a little absurd that a business owner would need a head-fi community to save his business fromintellectual theft. It may work indeed especially in the age of the Internet -- but why make laws if they need not be followed? (I do not want to hear about the cost of lawyers and the complexities of determining true damage... I still think the mods/administrators should play a role in resolving these kinds of disputes privately.... obviously they don't).

'Nuff said-- I cannot change them and stuff like this will play out all over again.
post #133 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahn View Post
Personally I think the whole Grado RA-1 clone debacle put a chilling effect on Grado and any future possibilities of a new amp from him, but that's just my conjecture. But if true, the short term economic gain of buying a clone killed the long term chances of me getting a newly designed cool amp from Grado. If this is the case, I as the consumer got screwed. I think that's the point Jude's trying to make, no?
Very very well put, Jahn...and something that we all ought to remember after this whole unfortunate matter.
post #134 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by spraggih View Post
....Robert stole. Ok. Done....
On this we agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spraggih View Post
....I still think the mods/administrators should play a role in resolving these kinds of disputes privately.... obviously they don't)....
From a few posts of mine back:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
....Something I haven't yet mentioned is that a few days after this first broke open on the forums, I contacted Robert, imploring him to come clean and settle this quickly....
Should I have flown to Germany and arbitrated?

This morning, I found a message in my inbox from Robert, in response to a message I sent to him after his admission. In it, he seems to be pulling back from his admission, saying (among other things)"I used the same resitore/cap values and made my own amp of this...."

I seriously do not believe that any publicly expressed contrition was genuine. I have no desire, at this point, to read another word from him. And it also leads me to believe that you were right when you said this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by spraggih View Post
....'Nuff said-- I cannot change them and stuff like this will play out all over again.
And, with that, I'm done with this matter, because it seems clear as crystal to me.

And now I will take administrator's privilege and close this thread, which I'm sure will tick off at least 1% of you.
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