© Steve Neil 2017
Dural HiFi and Home Theatre
Steve’s Blog
Tuesday May 8th - The Claw is Back Be afraid, be very afraid! Tuesday April 17th - Tannoy are changing importers so we have some of their great sounding speakers on sale to clear, call for pricing as my price may well be better than that listed on our Eastwood HiFi website (or anyone else’s for that matter). The speakers still come with 10 years warranty. Monday April 16th 2018 There’s a change a comin! Do you really think the HiFi industry can survive on discount pricing alone? Well, yes it can as long as you don’t mind going down the path of our USA cousins. What happens over there is that, if Freddie Fuckwit can’t be bothered reading the manual or mindlessly plugs things in without thinking about the consequences, it quite often doesn’t work straight out of the box, he gets the shits and thinks the system isn’t working because it’s faulty. Freddie sends the gear back as there are no real independent retailers over there who offer technical advice on the phone. That means the original seller (Amazon, or their equivalent of JB’s or Harveys) take the stuff back and send it to the original supplier for credit - even though there’s probably nothing wrong with the gear! The supplier then has to write down the value of the returned goods and those losses are amortized over the whole stock holdings. So the price of goods actually ends up rising due to a lack of dealer support and Freddie’s inability to reason plus the fact that he’s a greedy little prick with price being the only factor in his purchasing decision. You may think the returned number of goods is relatively insignificant but you’d be wrong. We’re talking about thousands of Amplifiers, AV Receivers, Subwoofers etc. every month. Couldn’t happen in Australia? Try talking to the local suppliers here and you’ll find it’s a frightening upwards trend. The solution is for the buying public not to try and screw the arse off the local HiFi dealer and if they offer service such as help with set up over the phone, pay a little extra for that service. The worst offenders are both dealers and the public who trade via on-line outlets such as e-Bay. There’s bugger all comeback in terms of actual support and it leads people to research by visiting and calling shops such as ours for advice then price shopping on-line to do the actual purchase (most stores can’t afford to employ qualified technical staff and offer on-line pricing). We’re pretty lucky being one of the larger stores and can generally match on-line prices but the smaller HiFi dealer is becoming a rare species. So, what’s the change?  You’ll find more and more responsible wholesalers changing their business model to support physical stores. I can’t say too much just yet but there’s at least four suppliers we deal with who are going on the warpath against on-line only sellers. Wednesday 21st March 2018 Picked up the new Lexus GS350 F Sport, had to trade the RC 350 in as I was getting too old to be seen sliding in and out of it. It has lots of goodies to play with, not to mention the best sound system of any car I’ve owned. I see Uncle Paul (Riachi) from Indi Imports have picked up the MK Sound distribution. I have many fond memories of the original M&K brand - I even visited their factory in Culver City CA back in the 80’s before the company went tits up. I’m not sure if the current range remains faithful to the Miller and Kreisel philosophy but it will be interesting to find out. I have a couple of returned Martin Logan Dynamo 700 Subwoofers (repacked as new with full warranty) that I can do for $799 (RRP $1399) call me direct for these however as the guys in store can’t access these. Monday 12th March 2018 The holiday was great (thank you for asking) and the boys looked after the shop in a professional manner whilst I was away, unfortunately I came back to a couple of issues that could only happen in our industry. For instance, the genius who bought a subwoofer from us last week at $999 (retail $2499) and returned it because it didn’t look the same as the picture on the website! (I shit you not) - if ever I needed a reason for another holiday, that guy just gave it to me. I give up. Saturday February 10th For the first time in 20 years, I wish I had a power amp to drive my two main speakers (Martin Logan 60XT’s). I’ll explain - I live in an open plan house and until a couple of weeks ago, there was always someone else to consider when playing my music in terms of volume. I like LOUD. Now the kids have left home and the lovely Noelene goes walking for an hour in the afternoons, I finally get to play at whatever volume I want. The problem is, even at 94dB efficiency, the 120 Watts RMS per channel of my A/V Receiver doesn’t take me to where I’d like. I’m going to sling an Emotiva XP-A2 on the arse end which will give me around 400 Watts RMS per speaker. Fun times. Strangely enough, the Martin Logan Dynamo 700 which is a small (32cm cubed) subwoofer can easily keep up with the bass duties seemingly regardless of overall SPL (sound pressure level) it’s easily the best subwoofer I’ve used in my particular room. Monday January 29th You just have to be in the right place at the right time! I was chatting the the importer of Martin Logan and he told me they had a couple of Motion X SoundBars they needed to move as they had excess stock. So naturally I put my hand up as they’re terrific units and don’t need a subwoofer. Normally $2699, we have a couple at $1299. Wednesday 17th January All our Vincent stock has now been sold (except for a few bits and pieces). The brand has a new distributor in Australia, I’ll let you know if we’re still going to be selling the product after I speak to them. I don’t see why not however as it’s a great sounding product at a reasonable price. The only things we have left are a couple of amplifiers such as the SV237 (silver) at $1499 (RRP $2599) and an SV500 amp at $899 (RRP $1499). Thursday 11th January Well, no real news as the Christmas sales have sucked the life out of me. The only thing to report is an amazing buy from Emotiva of their BASX Sub 12 https://emotiva.com/product/basx-s12/ OK, so they retail in the US for USD$399 but by the time you look at the exchange rate, shipping, tarriff, local warranty and all the other bullshit associated with importing, the local retail is $1099. I managed to snag some at A$699. There’s nothing as good for the money locally (they beat the similar priced SVS’s by quite some margin) Thursday 28th December Still sobering up from the festivities so not much to report. Pity as the trading between Christmas and new Year is the busiest week of the year. Must lay off the morning “Bloody Mary’s” Tuesday 19th December Business is still good apart from the bloody heat - even our industrial sized air-conditioning system has trouble keeping the shop cool. I’ve worked out how to get that “Disco” sound for our New Years Eve revelry however, it consists of using my Yamaha P.A. system along with a Martin Logan Subwoofer with a Yamaha WX-C50 streamer as my main source plus Guitar and Mike for a one off live performance from yours truly and Peter Buckley on vocals who was the singer in our band from 1968 -1972. Pity the neighbours! Tuesday 12th December Yesterday was our biggest trading day in two years - the trouble is, I don’t know why! Sure, we had some Vincent stock and Yamaha gear at ridiculous prices but that didn’t explain the “Big Bang”. I’m not complaining but would love to know why so I can reproduce it. Incidentally, I’d like to thank StereoNet for allowing the listing of our Vincent specials (I’m not sure who did the listing but thanks!), we had a heck of a lot of sales due to their large circulation within the audio community. https://www.stereo.net.au/ Friday 8th December Went to see Cat Stevens last night - Even with the lack of mind altering substances (I gave them the night off) the concert was one of the best I’ve attended. Not necessarily in terms of music but as an overall experience as Yusef / Cat went through the story of his life in words and music. Almost brought a tear to my eyes. Go to the “Specials” page and check out some real deals. The current importer of Vincent Electronics has relinquished the rights to the product and we’re helping them move what stock they have left. It all comes with full two year factory warranty (three months on valves) and most gear is half price or less. Monday 27th November Be afraid - be very afraid. We’ve had complaints from people who have purchased electronics (specifically Onkyo and Yamaha) from on-line retailers cheap and then get no response if they have problems or the product is incorrect. That’s because there are some Internet cowboys out there who are not authorised resellers of those products and get their stock from - who knows where! You can always check by accessing the Onkyo or Yamaha website and seeing if thhey are listed as authorised dealers. Most work out of their garages or a rented warehouse. We get calls every day regarding these guys and we’re expected to help with the set up or operation of the equipment. Note to self - set up a 1900 number! Tuesday 21st November I shouldn’t have got out of bed this morning. After a great couple of trading days, I remembered Tuesdays are normally Dickhead Days. And I was right. I won’t go into details as I’d throw up all over the keyboard but because a person can’t either understand or be bothered to try and understand basic streaming, they bucket the product, call it a piece of crap and want to return it.
© Steve Neil 2017
Dural HiFi and Home Theatre
Steve’s Blog
Tuesday May 8th - The Claw is Back Be afraid, be very afraid! Tuesday April 17th - Tannoy are changing importers so we have some of their great sounding speakers on sale to clear, call for pricing as my price may well be better than that listed on our Eastwood HiFi website (or anyone else’s for that matter). The speakers still come with 10 years warranty. Monday April 16th 2018 There’s a change a comin! Do you really think the HiFi industry can survive on discount pricing alone? Well, yes it can as long as you don’t mind going down the path of our USA cousins. What happens over there is that, if Freddie Fuckwit can’t be bothered reading the manual or mindlessly plugs things in without thinking about the consequences, it quite often doesn’t work straight out of the box, he gets the shits and thinks the system isn’t working because it’s faulty. Freddie sends the gear back as there are no real independent retailers over there who offer technical advice on the phone. That means the original seller (Amazon, or their equivalent of JB’s or Harveys) take the stuff back and send it to the original supplier for credit - even though there’s probably nothing wrong with the gear! The supplier then has to write down the value of the returned goods and those losses are amortized over the whole stock holdings. So the price of goods actually ends up rising due to a lack of dealer support and Freddie’s inability to reason plus the fact that he’s a greedy little prick with price being the only factor in his purchasing decision. You may think the returned number of goods is relatively insignificant but you’d be wrong. We’re talking about thousands of Amplifiers, AV Receivers, Subwoofers etc. every month. Couldn’t happen in Australia? Try talking to the local suppliers here and you’ll find it’s a frightening upwards trend. The solution is for the buying public not to try and screw the arse off the local HiFi dealer and if they offer service such as help with set up over the phone, pay a little extra for that service. The worst offenders are both dealers and the public who trade via on-line outlets such as e-Bay. There’s bugger all comeback in terms of actual support and it leads people to research by visiting and calling shops such as ours for advice then price shopping on-line to do the actual purchase (most stores can’t afford to employ qualified technical staff and offer on-line pricing). We’re pretty lucky being one of the larger stores and can generally match on-line prices but the smaller HiFi dealer is becoming a rare species. So, what’s the change?  You’ll find more and more responsible wholesalers changing their business model to support physical stores. I can’t say too much just yet but there’s at least four suppliers we deal with who are going on the warpath against on-line only sellers. Wednesday 21st March 2018 Picked up the new Lexus GS350 F Sport, had to trade the RC 350 in as I was getting too old to be seen sliding in and out of it. It has lots of goodies to play with, not to mention the best sound system of any car I’ve owned. I see Uncle Paul (Riachi) from Indi Imports have picked up the MK Sound distribution. I have many fond memories of the original M&K brand - I even visited their factory in Culver City CA back in the 80’s before the company went tits up. I’m not sure if the current range remains faithful to the Miller and Kreisel philosophy but it will be interesting to find out. I have a couple of returned Martin Logan Dynamo 700 Subwoofers (repacked as new with full warranty) that I can do for $799 (RRP $1399) call me direct for these however as the guys in store can’t access these. Monday 12th March 2018 The holiday was great (thank you for asking) and the boys looked after the shop in a professional manner whilst I was away, unfortunately I came back to a couple of issues that could only happen in our industry. For instance, the genius who bought a subwoofer from us last week at $999 (retail $2499) and returned it because it didn’t look the same as the picture on the website! (I shit you not) - if ever I needed a reason for another holiday, that guy just gave it to me. I give up. Saturday February 10th For the first time in 20 years, I wish I had a power amp to drive my two main speakers (Martin Logan 60XT’s). I’ll explain - I live in an open plan house and until a couple of weeks ago, there was always someone else to consider when playing my music in terms of volume. I like LOUD. Now the kids have left home and the lovely Noelene goes walking for an hour in the afternoons, I finally get to play at whatever volume I want. The problem is, even at 94dB efficiency, the 120 Watts RMS per channel of my A/V Receiver doesn’t take me to where I’d like. I’m going to sling an Emotiva XP- A2 on the arse end which will give me around 400 Watts RMS per speaker. Fun times. Strangely enough, the Martin Logan Dynamo 700 which is a small (32cm cubed) subwoofer can easily keep up with the bass duties seemingly regardless of overall SPL (sound pressure level) it’s easily the best subwoofer I’ve used in my particular room. Monday January 29th You just have to be in the right place at the right time! I was chatting the the importer of Martin Logan and he told me they had a couple of Motion X SoundBars they needed to move as they had excess stock. So naturally I put my hand up as they’re terrific units and don’t need a subwoofer. Normally $2699, we have a couple at $1299. Wednesday 17th January All our Vincent stock has now been sold (except for a few bits and pieces). The brand has a new distributor in Australia, I’ll let you know if we’re still going to be selling the product after I speak to them. I don’t see why not however as it’s a great sounding product at a reasonable price. The only things we have left are a couple of amplifiers such as the SV237 (silver) at $1499 (RRP $2599) and an SV500 amp at $899 (RRP $1499). Thursday 11th January Well, no real news as the Christmas sales have sucked the life out of me. The only thing to report is an amazing buy from Emotiva of their BASX Sub 12 https://emotiva.com/product/basx-s12/ OK, so they retail in the US for USD$399 but by the time you look at the exchange rate, shipping, tarriff, local warranty and all the other bullshit associated with importing, the local retail is $1099. I managed to snag some at A$699. There’s nothing as good for the money locally (they beat the similar priced SVS’s by quite some margin) Thursday 28th December Still sobering up from the festivities so not much to report. Pity as the trading between Christmas and new Year is the busiest week of the year. Must lay off the morning “Bloody Mary’s” Tuesday 19th December Business is still good apart from the bloody heat - even our industrial sized air-conditioning system has trouble keeping the shop cool. I’ve worked out how to get that “Disco” sound for our New Years Eve revelry however, it consists of using my Yamaha P.A. system along with a Martin Logan Subwoofer with a Yamaha WX-C50 streamer as my main source plus Guitar and Mike for a one off live performance from yours truly and Peter Buckley on vocals who was the singer in our band from 1968 -1972. Pity the neighbours! Tuesday 12th December Yesterday was our biggest trading day in two years - the trouble is, I don’t know why! Sure, we had some Vincent stock and Yamaha gear at ridiculous prices but that didn’t explain the “Big Bang”. I’m not complaining but would love to know why so I can reproduce it. Incidentally, I’d like to thank StereoNet for allowing the listing of our Vincent specials (I’m not sure who did the listing but thanks!), we had a heck of a lot of sales due to their large circulation within the audio community. https://www.stereo.net.au/ Friday 8th December Went to see Cat Stevens last night - Even with the lack of mind altering substances (I gave them the night off) the concert was one of the best I’ve attended. Not necessarily in terms of music but as an overall experience as Yusef / Cat went through the story of his life in words and music. Almost brought a tear to my eyes. Go to the “Specials” page and check out some real deals. The current importer of Vincent Electronics has relinquished the rights to the product and we’re helping them move what stock they have left. It all comes with full two year factory warranty (three months on valves) and most gear is half price or less. Monday 27th November Be afraid - be very afraid. We’ve had complaints from people who have purchased electronics (specifically Onkyo and Yamaha) from on-line retailers cheap and then get no response if they have problems or the product is incorrect. That’s because there are some Internet cowboys out there who are not authorised resellers of those