Originally Posted by ssrock64
I have not had anywhere near the same experience with hi-fi shops as you have. Though they were aware that I owned and often bought flagships, I was never pressured to purchase one from them. I actually never bought anything totaling over $300 from that shop at a time, but they were perfectly courteous about it and were helpful whenever anything broke and the warranty information advised to check in with the retailer. The shop didn't mind me coming in to test their top-end speaker rigs or TOTL headphone either, even when I made it clear to them I wasn't buying. That shop is among the most helpful specialized shops I've ever had the service of going to (there's a small-town bike shop that I was once at that still holds the first-place crown, though), and I am happy to pay a premium to keep them open. I think that if MAP wasn't as insanely enforced on brick-and-mortar retailers, or perhaps some leeway was given to make up for the costs of establishment, then we could see a proliferation of customer base and prosperity for these shops.
Fair enough - I know all shops are different after-all. Having said that, your one shop doesn't characterize all shops, it characterizes the exception to the rule. And I don't see how forcing them to raise their prices (remember, ADVERTISED, not actual sold) hurts them...they can still sell under MAP if the price quote is requested by the customer and is not advertised anywhere. J&R and B&H do this all the time. If they tell you the price is "fixed" by the manufacturer, it's a lazy salesman who doesn't understand negotiation, and just wants to sell things like the Apple store.
Originally Posted by ssrock64
Back on topic (again)...can anyone else find such blatant lies on other headphone manufacturers' sites, or at least tech-sounding gibberish that amounts to no real information?
I posted in the other thread a list of companies that have more insane claims; look up any cable manufacturer for examples.
Originally Posted by ssrock64
i thought I'd find myself something from a more respected name in audio, and my mind drifted to the listing for the ESP/950 from earlier, which may have been written in the 1980s but is full of crap today.
Their electrostatic transducer is so revolutionary and cutting-edge that they've been producing it in the same headphone for over 20 years. They seem to have never heard of Stax, also, nor of the current dynamics that beat it in SQ. I love my ESP/950, but I have no delusions about it being the most modern, best-sounding can on earth.
The Koss v STAX thing is always curious - I'm actually wondering if Koss is truly unaware of STAX or at least intentionally ignores them because STAX doesn't market in the US (there's Yama's, but c'mon). Regarding the marketing lit for the ESP/950s - it isn't full of any crap; headphones "beating" the 950 in SQ is subjective and not objectively quantifiable, you can't hold that up in a court of law or even a discussion thread on Head-Fi (to beat on this some more (if you want to get technical) - what are you qualifications for judging the sound quality of a product, and are you recognized as an expert in that field?), and in objective measurements the ESPs (be them STAX or Koss) consistently stand above the rest (the HD 800 is probably one of the only exceptions) in terms of distortion and linear output. That's measured and verified. They used to make the claim that the 950 had lower distortion/etc than could be measured, and perhaps that was absolutely true in 1991-1992 when the 950s came out. They don't make that claim anymore afaik. The "revolutionary" claim is absolutely accurate as well - nobody else has the Koss ESP/950 panel (it's very different from the STAX design, in true Koss fashion), and it's the largest of it's kind. Everything about them *is* unique and it doesn't matter that it's been around for 21 years.
As far as the "it isn't new technology" gripe (which seems to be a purely American fascination - I blame the automotive industry - people want everything to be "new and improved" all the time), dynamic headphones haven't really changed since before WW2.
Finally, I'm not trying to tear into you - I applaud the underlying point of being skeptical and questioning dubious claims. I just like the devil's advocate position. I also like the 950s (which I see you have and enjoy too!) -
I'll also add that outside of the Koss website and the owner's manual for my 950s, I've never seen this marketing. So I don't think Koss tries very hard to sell these with adverts. I see stuff for Beats plastered allover everything.
Originally Posted by mbamg
If you watch the John Koss video on their website, you'll find that they purposely depicted the electrostatics as if they pioneered it.
And this is a weird debate. According to Wikiphonia, STAX "beat" Koss to market with the electrostatic headphone by a year or two, but Koss claims otherwise - where it gets contentious is that Koss doesn't claim to have invented electrostatic transducers or headphones, but electrostatic STEREOphones. So this goes back to the loophole argument to some extent; Koss doesn't make headphones, they make STEREOphones, which are somehow different entities. And they own rights to that word iirc (just like STAX doesn't make headphones, they make earspeakers
). I'm not sure if this is trolling on their part, but the history of the ESP headphone is fairly interesting in that two manufacturers both claim to have invented it, and every manufacturer that has ever produced them makes the same claims about non-existent distortion, perfect extension, etc. Sony claimed that their model (the ECR-800) was resolving enough that listeners could tell the differences between the painted-on color of the insulation of the signal wires, for example (and this is probably the most ostentatious claim I've ever heard in audio).
I think the "real" history (if there is such a thing) is that STAX was first to market with their set, and Koss was first to market with a closed-back, consumer-oriented set (that was transportable at least). As far as who actually invented them, I doubt we'll ever know.
Originally Posted by devhen
That Grado sales copy doesn't mention isolation at all. I think he was confusing isolation with distortion.
I saw it that way too. Looks like we're grasping at straws just to knock people on the head to justify hating a product we don't like at this point.
I don't see the point of this being a "revolution" or a "crusade" as some members have pointed out - what is there to revolt against? What is there to "win?"
Originally Posted by disastermouse
I really enjoy the insightfulness of your posts. That said, I don't think the Occupy movement is ethically equal to the Tea Party.
The Beats guys are doing something wrong to everyone by pretending to be 'hi-fi' when they aren't and thereby robbing a lot of people of the actual hi-fi experience. But you're right, the nerd-rage is a bit extreme, IMHO. They aren't drowning puppies and they're just cynical - they're not innovating new ways to be evil like, say, Walmart.
I think they're similar movements - they're fulfilling the same sociocultural purpose, I'm not concerned with their messages.
Regarding the "Beats guys" - you'd have to define "hi-fi" in some quantifiable way. Do you mean the "hi-fi smile" v-curve sound of the 1970s and 1980s? Because if so, they're absolutely doing that. Do you mean premium/luxury audio equipment? They've got that too. So what about their equipment isn't "hi-fi" - it isn't high performance? Or what?
And yeah, +1 with the nerd-rage thing. I think it's endemic though - wanting to kick the "evil" marketing types in the face or similar. I think the irony is that Grado and Koss very quickly came under fire, one of them doesn't engage in any direct marketing of their products, and the other does so very minimally and selectively. Of course Saint Sennheiser and HRM Beyerdynamic are never challenged because they're "our friends in science" and "want to help" - that's the interesting phenomenon imho. That some companies can so easily establish that "ex-corporate" image where people relate to them as persons and view them as "friends" (Nintendo is another example). And I think those companies are the "dangerous" ones - and indeed we've seen massive price hikes and documented losses in quality (and shilling, and all of that) from those kinds of companies, historically. But it's okay, they hurt us because they love us, and don't actually mean it - we had it coming, and need to learn to behave ourselves and have things in order the next time they come home. Edited by obobskivich - 7/25/12 at 4:50am