© Steve Neil 2017
Dural HiFi and Home Theatre
Steve’s Blog
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. This is a product that won the award as the best streaming product of 2017/2018 from EISA but Fred just couldn’t work it out and got so frustrated his balls knotted themselves. I’m more than happy to refund on that one as continued use would lead to continued abuse and, as you know, I’m a delicate little thing who gets upset easily. On the plus side, last night (after reading Fred’s e-mail) I took some mind altering substances (I think that’s what they call Bourbon these days) and picked up my trusty Telecaster. I was out of it enough that I remembered songs I played back in the 60’s and they sounded great (well, they did to me anyway). More good times! Saturday 18th November Just had an e-mail from a guy who had been “researching” subwoofers for a whole six months (so naturally is now the worlds expert) and asked if we stocked a particular brand. I said no as we’d tried that particular model and found it to be OK for movies but crap for music. I told him this and he implied I didn’t know what I was talking about as he (now having researched for six months) was an expert. I often wish I was 30 years younger as I would be a lot smarter and knowledgeable. Tuesday 7th November Bugger all going on today as Australia is virtually shut due to a bloody horse race (The Melbourne Cup) The State of Victoria actually does close down as it’s slated as a public holiday there. We must be one of the only countries in the world that gives four weeks annual leave (with some companies actually paying employees extra for taking holidays), slated maternity leave, employers having to cough up around 10% on top of their employees wages as superannuation (you small business owners know what I mean) - and then we have a holiday for a horse race! Ah, well, can’t complain I suppose, I still have plenty of hay in the trough. Friday 3rd November Just back from holidays in Honolulu, depression has now set in! Not helping was reading a review on the new Yamaha RX-A3070 in What HiFi (that somewhat less than accurate Pommie rag) in which they gave it three stars out of five. This is interesting as I’ve just put one in at home after using the RX-A3060 for the last year. What HiFi gave the 3060 five stars last year so why did the 3070 only get three? I suspect Yamaha reduced their advertising with them as, from my testing at home (same speakers, source, cables and acoustic environment), any analogue signal was identical (not surprising as the output stage and pre-amp is the same) with any digital source improved upon by the upgraded Sabre ESS 32 Bit Ultra DAC. As Stephen Dawson wrote in Australian Sound and Image magazine after reviewing the 3070 “There are very few that will find the Yamaha Aventage RX-A3070 anything short of entirely satisfying” And you wonder why I have no regrets upon leaving the Old Dart in my youth! Friday 20th October The problem for me is that, at the end of the month, some wholesalers need to move stock to reach targets. This means I get offers I can’t refuse, this costs a heap of money so I need to onsell to you guys, but we sure have some bargains! Yamaha NS-SW1000 subwoofer RRP $2999 now $1499 Yamaha CD-S1000 CD Player (Gloss Black) RRP $2299 now $1299 Martin Logan Balanceforce 212 Subwoofer, RRP $8000 now $3790 in Gloss Cherrywood. Paradigm Prestige 75F Floor Standing Speakers in Gloss Black, RRP $4799 now $2999 pair. All new with full factory warranty. Good times!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tuesday 17th October Occasionally I get a real laugh out of this job. Like this morning when a guy comes in to buy a Rega turntable. Nothing wrong with that - they’re one of the best on the market. The reasoning however had me in stitches, he was tossing up between the Rega and a similarly priced Project but after hearing a comparison OVER THE INTERNET decided the Rega sounded better. Now, if you had to think about that, please go straight to your local Psychiatric Facility. Friday October 13th A couple of years ago I decided I’d be honest with customers rather than pander to their needs. It’s cost me quite a few sales as some people just won’t listen (usually as a result of their “sound engineer” friend offering advice). I had one this morning from a gentleman from up the North Coast who was told by an American design engineer to use on wall 12” dual concentric speakers for LCR then Martin Logan Motion FX as surrounds. Now, as you all know, for a matched system that works as well as tomato sauce over Lobster Mornay (although……..) I told him so and explained the massive tonal differentiation. But alas, no. His American designer obviously knows better. The guy nearly shit himself when I suggested he call another store as I wasn’t prepared to sell him mismatched gear (even though we’re the cheapest in Australia on his specific request). Ah, the joys of self sufficiency. As you’ve read this far, I’ll put my latest specials here before sending out my “specials” newsletter, you’ll need to call me or Mike direct - no e-mails on these (02 9651 4922) Some new, some open box - Definitive Technology StudioMonitor Bookshelf or Stand speakers. StudioMonitor 45’s, RRP $895 pair, now $399 pair. StudioMonitor 55’s, RRP 1295 pair now $499 pair. StudioMonitor 65’s RRP $1945 pair now $699 pair. (now sold out) Monday October 9th Imagine if you can, a miner working on the bottom level of  the AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng mine in South Africa (over 3.2km deep) and the miner wanted to do a number 2 (or poo, if you like). He finds a hole in the ground of indeterminable depth and does his “thing” in said hole. I can guarantee that, regardless of the depth of that hole, the turd so deposited would still not be lower than the piece of putrid decay passing himself off as a potential customer who came into the store last week to audition some quite expensive speakers. He called and asked if we had them for demo (we did) and could he bring in his music to listen (he could) so we spent over two hours with him after which time was asked if he’d like to purchase them - no, he said, as he’d seen them on e-Bay for way less than we could even buy them wholesale for, he just wanted to hear them before bidding. Tuesday September 26th Speaking of intolerance (last Blog) or not suffering fools gladly (same sort of thing) - I nearly lost it this morning when a phone call started like this - “I want a pair of in-ceiling speakers in Black and my electrician says they must be 200 watts”. OK, all the in-ceiling speakers I know of have white paint-able covers. but no, they had to be black (obviously a quick spray job was out of the question) and when questioned about needing 200 Watts for a small pergola. well, the electrician sure knows better than us. I wasn’t exactly rude but as the lady concerned wasn’t listening to what we had to say, I let that one go. Imagine if you were a tyre salesman and someone rang wanting a set of car tyres in hot pink with a 500km/h speed rating! Shit! 9.30AM and I feel like a bourbon already. Thursday September 21st Went to Dubbo over the weekend for a music festival of ‘80’s bands. Trouble was, it was held in a vineyard. That meant I was pissed before the first act and don’t even remember the last. The next day we visited the Western Plains Zoo. I should have twigged the moment we entered and it offered binoculars for hire. With my eye’s (without the binoculars) I couldn’t see any of the animals as they were all around half a kilometre away. Still. it was a nice outing. I don’t mind helping people out with problems and certainly sympathise with anyone who has purchased a product which has failed but asking for a replacement after two years (for a $599 soundbar) is a bit of a stretch. It always amazes me when people “demand” service like that. Bring the bloody thing in and we’ll get it fixed! I wonder if he had a problem with a car after two years and asked for a replacement if he’d get a positive response. If customers treated the sales guy’s as they’d like to be treated themselves, they’d get a lot better service (and as you know, that’s true for every aspect of life in general). Hmm, it seems the older I get, the less tolerant I become. Either that or the expectations of the newer generation of hominids are greater than in my era. Wednesday September 13th Just put the Lexus RC350 F in for service and they gave me an IS 200t for the day. Interesting, it’s the same motor as in Noelene’s NX200t SUV but in her car, it’s seamless and torquey, in the IS200t it feels sluggish and has more turbo lag - it’s quite unpleasant and we’re I to purchase another IS, it’d be the IS350. The spec’s read the same but you’d swear it’s a different motor. Reminds me a lot of HiFi specs, even within the same manufacturers range, the specs’ mean bugger all, the proof of the pudding is the eating (what a stupid analogy, still, I’m feeling a little peckish at the moment). Saturday September 9th I’m not sure how much longer I can deal with the public after this morning - guy calls up wanting a CD player and starts asking about frequency range and signal to noise, I ask him about his gear and he says he’s perfectly happy with his 1979 JBL’s and Sansui AU777 amp. Both excellent in their day but choosing a CD player to suit on it’s spec’s? I don’t think so. Extra Bourbon ration for Steve tonight! Wednesday September 6th So, July and August were record months (about time). Looking at the figures it was down to Yamaha running out their A/V Range and a resurgence in stereo systems as opposed to A/V systems. The main determinant of any music system is the speakers (room acoustics not withstanding) and with consumers now prepared to spend what I would call “serious” money $2000 - $10,000 pair - on speakers, I reckon we’ve killed it. Sure, you can spend $500,000 plus on speakers but generally up at that end of the market, the acoustics are so finicky that the room needs to be specially treated otherwise it’s money wasted. All do-able but can you really hear a major difference and, more to the point, is that the true sound? I digress however, what I’m trying to say (and no, I haven’t started drinking yet) is that there are some
© Steve Neil 2017
Dural HiFi and Home Theatre
Steve’s Blog
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. This is a product that won the award as the best streaming product of 2017/2018 from EISA but Fred just couldn’t work it out and got so frustrated his balls knotted themselves. I’m more than happy to refund on that one as continued use would lead to continued abuse and, as you know, I’m a delicate little thing who gets upset easily. On the plus side, last night (after reading Fred’s e-mail) I took some mind altering substances (I think that’s what they call Bourbon these days) and picked up my trusty Telecaster. I was out of it enough that I remembered songs I played back in the 60’s and they sounded great (well, they did to me anyway). More good times! Saturday 18th November Just had an e-mail from a guy who had been “researching” subwoofers for a whole six months (so naturally is now the worlds expert) and asked if we stocked a particular brand. I said no as we’d tried that particular model and found it to be OK for movies but crap for music. I told him this and he implied I didn’t know what I was talking about as he (now having researched for six months) was an expert. I often wish I was 30 years younger as I would be a lot smarter and knowledgeable. Tuesday 7th November Bugger all going on today as Australia is virtually shut due to a bloody horse race (The Melbourne Cup) The State of Victoria actually does close down as it’s slated as a public holiday there. We must be one of the only countries in the world that gives four weeks annual leave (with some companies actually paying employees extra for taking holidays), slated maternity leave, employers having to cough up around 10% on top of their employees wages as superannuation (you small business owners know what I mean) - and then we have a holiday for a horse race! Ah, well, can’t complain I suppose, I still have plenty of hay in the trough. Friday 3rd November Just back from holidays in Honolulu, depression has now set in! Not helping was reading a review on the new Yamaha RX-A3070 in What HiFi (that somewhat less than accurate Pommie rag) in which they gave it three stars out of five. This is interesting as I’ve just put one in at home after using the RX-A3060 for the last year. What HiFi gave the 3060 five stars last year so why did the 3070 only get three? I suspect Yamaha reduced their advertising with them as, from my testing at home (same speakers, source, cables and acoustic environment), any analogue signal was identical (not surprising as the output stage and pre-amp is the same) with any digital source improved upon by the upgraded Sabre ESS 32 Bit Ultra DAC. As Stephen Dawson wrote in Australian Sound and Image magazine after reviewing the 3070 “There are very few that will find the Yamaha Aventage RX-A3070 anything short of entirely satisfying” And you wonder why I have no regrets upon leaving the Old Dart in my youth! Friday 20th October The problem for me is that, at the end of the month, some wholesalers need to move stock to reach targets. This means I get offers I can’t refuse, this costs a heap of money so I need to onsell to you guys, but we sure have some bargains! Yamaha NS-SW1000 subwoofer RRP $2999 now $1499 Yamaha CD-S1000 CD Player (Gloss Black) RRP $2299 now $1299 Martin Logan Balanceforce 212 Subwoofer, RRP $8000 now $3790 in Gloss Cherrywood. Paradigm Prestige 75F Floor Standing Speakers in Gloss Black, RRP $4799 now $2999 pair. All new with full factory warranty. Good times!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tuesday 17th October Occasionally I get a real laugh out of this job. Like this morning when a guy comes in to buy a Rega turntable. Nothing wrong with that - they’re one of the best on the market. The reasoning however had me in stitches, he was tossing up between the Rega and a similarly priced Project but after hearing a comparison OVER THE INTERNET decided the Rega sounded better. Now, if you had to think about that, please go straight to your local Psychiatric Facility. Friday October 13th A couple of years ago I decided I’d be honest with customers rather than pander to their needs. It’s cost me quite a few sales as some people just won’t listen (usually as a result of their “sound engineer” friend offering advice). I had one this morning from a gentleman from up the North Coast who was told by an American design engineer to use on wall 12” dual concentric speakers for LCR then Martin Logan Motion FX as surrounds. Now, as you all know, for a matched system that works as well as tomato sauce over Lobster Mornay (although……..) I told him so and explained the massive tonal differentiation. But alas, no. His American designer obviously knows better. The guy nearly shit himself when I suggested he call another store as I wasn’t prepared to sell him mismatched gear (even though we’re the cheapest in Australia on his specific request). Ah, the joys of self sufficiency. As you’ve read this far, I’ll put my latest specials here before sending out my “specials” newsletter, you’ll need to call me or Mike direct - no e-mails on these (02 9651 4922) Some new, some open box - Definitive Technology StudioMonitor Bookshelf or Stand speakers. StudioMonitor 45’s, RRP $895 pair, now $399 pair. StudioMonitor 55’s, RRP 1295 pair now $499 pair. StudioMonitor 65’s RRP $1945 pair now $699 pair. (now sold out) Monday October 9th Imagine if you can, a miner working on the bottom level of  the AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng mine in South Africa (over 3.2km deep) and the miner wanted to do a number 2 (or poo, if you like). He finds a hole in the ground of indeterminable depth and does his “thing” in said hole. I can guarantee that, regardless of the depth of that hole, the turd so deposited would still not be lower than the piece of putrid decay passing himself off as a potential customer who came into the store last week to audition some quite expensive speakers. He called and asked if we had them for demo (we did) and could he bring in his music to listen (he could) so we spent over two hours with him after which time was asked if he’d like to purchase them - no, he said, as he’d seen them on e-Bay for way less than we could even buy them wholesale for, he just wanted to hear them before bidding. Tuesday September 26th Speaking of intolerance (last Blog) or not suffering fools gladly (same sort of thing) - I nearly lost it this morning when a phone call started like this - “I want a pair of in-ceiling speakers in Black and my electrician says they must be 200 watts”. OK, all the in-ceiling speakers I know of have white paint-able covers. but no, they had to be black (obviously a quick spray job was out of the question) and when questioned about needing 200 Watts for a small pergola. well, the electrician sure knows better than us. I wasn’t exactly rude but as the lady concerned wasn’t listening to what we had to say, I let that one go. Imagine if you were a tyre salesman and someone rang wanting a set of car tyres in hot pink with a 500km/h speed rating! Shit! 9.30AM and I feel like a bourbon already. Thursday September 21st Went to Dubbo over the weekend for a music festival of ‘80’s bands. Trouble was, it was held in a vineyard. That meant I was pissed before the first act and don’t even remember the last. The next day we visited the Western Plains Zoo. I should have twigged the moment we entered and it offered binoculars for hire. With my eye’s (without the binoculars) I couldn’t see any of the animals as they were all around half a kilometre away. Still. it was a nice outing. I don’t mind helping people out with problems and certainly sympathise with anyone who has purchased a product which has failed but asking for a replacement after two years (for a $599 soundbar) is a bit of a stretch. It always amazes me when people “demand” service like that. Bring the bloody thing in and we’ll get it fixed! I wonder if he had a problem with a car after two years and asked for a replacement if he’d get a positive response. If customers treated the sales guy’s as they’d like to be treated themselves, they’d get a lot better service (and as you know, that’s true for every aspect of life in general). Hmm, it seems the older I get, the less tolerant I become. Either that or the expectations of the newer generation of hominids are greater than in my era. Wednesday September 13th Just put the Lexus RC350 F in for service and they gave me an IS 200t for the day. Interesting, it’s the same motor as in Noelene’s NX200t SUV but in her car, it’s seamless and torquey, in the IS200t it feels sluggish and has more turbo lag - it’s quite unpleasant and we’re I to purchase another IS, it’d be the IS350. The spec’s read the same but you’d swear it’s a different motor. Reminds me a lot of HiFi specs, even within the same manufacturers range, the specs’ mean bugger all, the proof of the pudding is the eating (what a stupid analogy, still, I’m feeling a little peckish at the moment). Saturday September 9th I’m not sure how much longer I can deal with the public after this morning - guy calls up wanting a CD player and starts asking about frequency range and signal to noise, I ask him about his gear and he says he’s perfectly happy with his 1979 JBL’s and Sansui AU777