© Steve Neil 2017
Dural HiFi and Home Theatre
Steve’s Blog
Tuesday 18th July I really don’t know why people ring up and ask for advice on set ups then, when given that advice, tell us we’re wrong and it should really be the way they think as they’ve researched it on line. A little knowledge is dangerous and the wanker who tried to abuse me this morning (I have a particularly thick skin so it didn’t affect me personally - just my hopes for the future of the human race) thought he had it all sorted out. I ended up telling him we weren’t the store for him and to ring someone else as whoever gets the sale will end up with a right mess. Tuesday 11th July Price, price, price - it seems that money is the most important aspect of any purchase these days. Personally, I prefer to pay a little more for service (I rarely shop around when buying a car for instance as I trust Mark - MD of Lexus Parramatta - to look after me). Some people just shoot themselves in the foot however. We had a guy asking about Emotiva pricing, I gave him a hot price and he came back quite aggressively saying he could get it for 40% less on line from the Emotive store direct. The genius never worked out however that by the time you converted the US dollars to Australian dollars, added shipping and GST, our price was exactly the same and offered local warranty (if you purchase from overseas, that’s where you have to send the goods for any warranty issues). When he finally works all that out and comes back to us, I’ll send him elsewhere as I don’t suffer fools gladly! Tuesday 4th July Usually, I grab a copy of an Audio/Video Magazine (I subscribe to quite a few), read the editorials (Greg Borrowman is always good for a laugh) then I read the reviews on the equipment and generally ignore them as the reviewers all tend to use the same terminology but shuffle the phrasing around. I’ve said before that there must be a bag full of phrases written on slips of paper (a bit like in fortune cookies) that get put in a bag and randomly pulled out then printed in that order which describe the speaker/amplifier/source. Much the same way reviews in car magazines are spewed out. Today however, I read a review that made me reach for the bucket I keep under my desk for moments of unexpected gag reflex. No names, no pack drill but the last thing you need to know about an Amplifier is that it produces the sound of a piano like a delicate gossamer thread winding through the lyric and delivered with studio like accuracy. F#%K me!, unless I knew the speakers he was using, that statement means less than nothing! Yes, amplifiers do sound different (although, in a perfect world, they shouldn’t add any signature of their own), the differences however are minimal when compared to the differences between speakers given a variation of price. And you wonder why I’m perpetually pissed (or drunk if you’re an American reading this). Incidentally, if you want an unbiased review on a speaker, always ask someone with better ears than you - hence my comparison using C1 and C2 (I think C1 may be missing a woofer) Wednesday 28th June Goodie, this will be the best turnover month we’ve had since December. I need the money as there’s a motorbike with my name on it in the Bike shop below us. I wonder what I can put it in my company tax return as? Answers please to steven@eastwoodhifi.com.au  I wish I could print the pricing on our upmarket Aventage range - specifically the RX-A3060. It’s the best A/V Receiver on the market and retails for $2999 - just call me on 02 9651 4922 and be surprised. After 27 years, my son is moving into his own place in July so I’ll have my own room for music, both for listening and recording. As it will be relatively small (about 5 X 3.5 metres) I’ll need a good pair of bookshelf speakers and a musical sub. Looks like the Martin Logan Motion 35XT’s and Dynamo 700 get the gig. Amplification will be a bitch, ideally a Yamaha A-S2100 with a Cambridge Audio CXN streamer (the dual built in DAC’s are the killer) but that may be a bit bulky - must do more research. Saturday 24th June Again with the arseholes! Guy walks in (older guy which surprised me), Sucked the life out of one of the sales guys for about 20 hours, e-mails that night and said he’d seen the product he’d decided to buy at 10% less from an Internet Cowboy (you know the ones, no staff, no knowledge, no demonstrations) and he’d buy it from us if we’d match their price. I wouldn’t sell it to the sniveling bastard even if he came in and paid double (well maybe…) I just don’t get the morality (or lack of) that some of these people exhibit. More Bourbon for Steve tonight. On a brighter note, we’ve had the biggest sales week in a year since we announced the sale on Aventage A/V Receivers (too hot to even print - you have to call), that plus the RX-V681’s at $699 (down from $1299). Another good thing is our sales of Q Acoustics speakers which are moving like shit off a Teflon coated shovel! (hey, don’t like the language - go back to eastwoodhifi.com.au which is now written by Mike who is way more discrete than I both linguistically and in affability) Monday 19th June It’s not that I’ve been slack (although…) I’ve been in Perth for the last week with the beautiful Noelene for a bit of R&R. Whilst there, I met a long time customer, Alex, who manages the most amazing jewellery store situated in the very hotel we were staying in https://www.linneys.com.au/ Next time I win the lottery, I’ll shower Noelene with gifts from their amazing collection. So, from a fantastic week away to the worst Saturday ever. Talk about arseholes - a family of around 100 came in to listen to a particular product and spent over an hour with our guys questioning how to operate the stuff and how to stream etc. After an hour, one of the sales guys finally asked if they’d like to take it with them - Oh no, they said, it was on sale at Bing Lee (in an obsolete colour) and bought it there but Bing Lee couldn’t demonstrate or answer any technical questions. This was on a Saturday with a store full of people, I reckon I lost around three to five sales due to lack of customer service thanks to those %&*#@%$. You can’t imagine how much Bourbon it took that night to calm me down! Thursday 8th June I learned my lesson in customer relations early in life. I bought a new BMW back in the early ‘80’s and it cost me a heap (relative to my earnings back in those days). The gearbox failed and jammed after three days so I spat the dummy and threatened all sorts of things if I didn’t get it fixed immediately, I swore at the salesman, rang the dealer principal and made all sorts of nasty comments. It got me nowhere as the new gearbox had to come from Germany and it was going to take 6  - 8 weeks before I got my new toy back. I was in retail at that time so I put on my thinking cap and asked myself how I would react if a customer came in and yelled at me about a problem - I’d probably get my back up and do what I was legally obliged to do but no more. So, next day, I went back to the dealership, apologized to the dealer principal for being an arsehole and asked him nicely if there was some way he could help me. He got the mechanics to pull a gearbox out of a stock car and replaced it into mine the next day so I got my car back within two days. I say this as we currently are dealing with a guy who is getting rather belligerent about getting his amplifier fixed (which is just out of warranty incidentally) and insists we give him a new one. All he needed to do was say to me “Steve, can you please help me out with this problem” and I would have gone to the importer and organised a new unit for him but I’m buggered if I’m going to help anyone who abuses me and insists it’s his right for us to help him immediately. I’ll do everything I’m legally obliged to do and that’s it! Tuesday 6th June So, if I had shares in Kogan, I’d dump them immediately. I ordered a little trinket from them last week and the ETA is end this week or early next week. Now, I don’t know where the heck it’s coming from but I do know that I ordered an item from Amazon in the US and received the product within two days from the US. When Amazon get their act together in Australia, I suspect it’ll be same or maximum next day delivery and since I’m an impatient bastard, Kogan will get the arse! Saturday 3rd June I’ve had an avalanche of e-mails (I didn’t know that many people actually read this rubbish) saying that the Anthem equipment is too large to fit into said orifice (see 1st June Blog). Not true! It’s amazing what one can do with a shoe horn and a can of Vaseline. Just don’t expect Paul Clarke to be grinning anytime soon however. (no offense Paul - I still love you). Thursday 1st June If you want an honest answer to a question regarding “the best” of any piece of audio equipment, don’t ask a HiFi Dealer. The majority of them are like a bunch of babies who go blubbering to Momma (the importer) as soon as someone buckets a product they stock. I’ve always said that there is no “best” of anything, only the best in a specific price range. The proof of this happened this week when a guy e-mailed about an Anthem MRX-1120 (an excellent unit) and asked about alternatives. I gave my thoughts about the Yamaha RX-A3060 (winner, best A/V Receiver over $2000 of 2016/2017 from Sound and Image Magazine). If the guys at Sound and Image gave it the nod over the Anthem then who am I to argue, especially given the $2000 cheaper price of the Yamaha. The consumer passed my e-mail on to another dealer (obviously I’m not to be trusted) and the dealer passed it on to the importer. As I said, a bunch of cry baby non-technical wimps who go running to momma. So, the importer has a go at me, I naturally get shitty about the whole “lets tell the consumer selective truths so he’ll buy a specific product” and tell the importer to stick Anthem up his anus. This isn’t necessarily a blight on the importer but the other dealers who have little or no idea on technicalities and feed the consumer misinformation. So, note to importers  - if you lie down with dogs, you’ll get fleas!   Friday 26th May Soundbars are now the fastest growing product in the A/V market. They’ve taken off like a brides nightie on honeymoon. We now stock Yamaha, Cambridge Audio, Definitive Technology, Q Acoustics, Martin Logan, Paradigm and a few others that due to the haze of Bourbon induced memory loss, eludes me. When choosing a Bar, you need to work out the primary purpose. The cheaper ones are not suitable for music reproduction (they sound like a couple of tin cans on the end of a piece of string) but are fine for bringing out the vocals on TV and Movies. If you want real surround then Yamaha have the only units with the technology to offer full
© Steve Neil 2017
Dural HiFi and Home Theatre
Steve’s Blog
Tuesday 18th July I really don’t know why people ring up and ask for advice on set ups then, when given that advice, tell us we’re wrong and it should really be the way they think as they’ve researched it on line. A little knowledge is dangerous and the wanker who tried to abuse me this morning (I have a particularly thick skin so it didn’t affect me personally - just my hopes for the future of the human race) thought he had it all sorted out. I ended up telling him we weren’t the store for him and to ring someone else as whoever gets the sale will end up with a right mess. Tuesday 11th July Price, price, price - it seems that money is the most important aspect of any purchase these days. Personally, I prefer to pay a little more for service (I rarely shop around when buying a car for instance as I trust Mark - MD of Lexus Parramatta - to look after me). Some people just shoot themselves in the foot however. We had a guy asking about Emotiva pricing, I gave him a hot price and he came back quite aggressively saying he could get it for 40% less on line from the Emotive store direct. The genius never worked out however that by the time you converted the US dollars to Australian dollars, added shipping and GST, our price was exactly the same and offered local warranty (if you purchase from overseas, that’s where you have to send the goods for any warranty issues). When he finally works all that out and comes back to us, I’ll send him elsewhere as I don’t suffer fools gladly! Tuesday 4th July Usually, I grab a copy of an Audio/Video Magazine (I subscribe to quite a few), read the editorials (Greg Borrowman is always good for a laugh) then I read the reviews on the equipment and generally ignore them as the reviewers all tend to use the same terminology but shuffle the phrasing around. I’ve said before that there must be a bag full of phrases written on slips of paper (a bit like in fortune cookies) that get put in a bag and randomly pulled out then printed in that order which describe the speaker/amplifier/source. Much the same way reviews in car magazines are spewed out. Today however, I read a review that made me reach for the bucket I keep under my desk for moments of unexpected gag reflex. No names, no pack drill but the last thing you need to know about an Amplifier is that it produces the sound of a piano like a delicate gossamer thread winding through the lyric and delivered with studio like accuracy. F#%K me!, unless I knew the speakers he was using, that statement means less than nothing! Yes, amplifiers do sound different (although, in a perfect world, they shouldn’t add any signature of their own), the differences however are minimal when compared to the differences between speakers given a variation of price. And you wonder why I’m perpetually pissed (or drunk if you’re an American reading this). Incidentally, if you want an unbiased review on a speaker, always ask someone with better ears than you - hence my comparison using C1 and C2 (I think C1 may be missing a woofer) Wednesday 28th June Goodie, this will be the best turnover month we’ve had since December. I need the money as there’s a motorbike with my name on it in the Bike shop below us. I wonder what I can put it in my company tax return as? Answers please to steven@eastwoodhifi.com.au  I wish I could print the pricing on our upmarket Aventage range - specifically the RX-A3060. It’s the best A/V Receiver on the market and retails for $2999 - just call me on 02 9651 4922 and be surprised. After 27 years, my son is moving into his own place in July so I’ll have my own room for music, both for listening and recording. As it will be relatively small (about 5 X 3.5 metres) I’ll need a good pair of bookshelf speakers and a musical sub. Looks like the Martin Logan Motion 35XT’s and Dynamo 700 get the gig. Amplification will be a bitch, ideally a Yamaha A-S2100 with a Cambridge Audio CXN streamer (the dual built in DAC’s are the killer) but that may be a bit bulky - must do more research. Saturday 24th June Again with the arseholes! Guy walks in (older guy which surprised me), Sucked the life out of one of the sales guys for about 20 hours, e-mails that night and said he’d seen the product he’d decided to buy at 10% less from an Internet Cowboy (you know the ones, no staff, no knowledge, no demonstrations) and he’d buy it from us if we’d match their price. I wouldn’t sell it to the sniveling bastard even if he came in and paid double (well maybe…) I just don’t get the morality (or lack of) that some of these people exhibit. More Bourbon for Steve tonight. On a brighter note, we’ve had the biggest sales week in a year since we announced the sale on Aventage A/V Receivers (too hot to even print - you have to call), that plus the RX- V681’s at $699 (down from $1299). Another good thing is our sales of Q Acoustics speakers which are moving like shit off a Teflon coated shovel! (hey, don’t like the language - go back to eastwoodhifi.com.au which is now written by Mike who is way more discrete than I both linguistically and in affability) Monday 19th June It’s not that I’ve been slack (although…) I’ve been in Perth for the last week with the beautiful Noelene for a bit of R&R. Whilst there, I met a long time customer, Alex, who manages the most amazing jewellery store situated in the very hotel we were staying in https://www.linneys.com.au/ Next time I win the lottery, I’ll shower Noelene with gifts from their amazing collection. So, from a fantastic week away to the worst Saturday ever. Talk about arseholes - a family of around 100 came in to listen to a particular product and spent over an hour with our guys questioning how to operate the stuff and how to stream etc. After an hour, one of the sales guys finally asked if they’d like to take it with them - Oh no, they said, it was on sale at Bing Lee (in an obsolete colour) and bought it there but Bing Lee couldn’t demonstrate or answer any technical questions. This was on a Saturday with a store full of people, I reckon I lost around three to five sales due to lack of customer service thanks to those %&*#@%$. You can’t imagine how much Bourbon it took that night to calm me down! Thursday 8th June I learned my lesson in customer relations early in life. I bought a new BMW back in the early ‘80’s and it cost me a heap (relative to my earnings back in those days). The gearbox failed and jammed after three days so I spat the dummy and threatened all sorts of things if I didn’t get it fixed immediately, I swore at the salesman, rang the dealer principal and made all sorts of nasty comments. It got me nowhere as the new gearbox had to come from Germany and it was going to take 6  - 8 weeks before I got my new toy back. I was in retail at that time so I put on my thinking cap and asked myself how I would react if a customer came in and yelled at me about a problem - I’d probably get my back up and do what I was legally obliged to do but no more. So, next day, I went back to the dealership, apologized to the dealer principal for being an arsehole and asked him nicely if there was some way he could help me. He got the mechanics to pull a gearbox out of a stock car and replaced it into mine the next day so I got my car back within two days. I say this as we currently are dealing with a guy who is getting rather belligerent about getting his amplifier fixed (which is just out of warranty incidentally) and insists we give him a new one. All he needed to do was say to me “Steve, can you please help me out with this problem” and I would have gone to the importer and organised a new unit for him but I’m buggered if I’m going to help anyone who abuses me and insists it’s his right for us to help him immediately. I’ll do everything I’m legally obliged to do and that’s it! Tuesday 6th June So, if I had shares in Kogan, I’d dump them immediately. I ordered a little trinket from them last week and the ETA is end this week or early next week. Now, I don’t know where the heck it’s coming from but I do know that I ordered an item from Amazon in the US and received the product within two days from the US. When Amazon get their act together in Australia, I suspect it’ll be same or maximum next day delivery and since I’m an impatient bastard, Kogan will get the arse! Saturday 3rd June I’ve had an avalanche of e-mails (I didn’t know that many people actually read this rubbish) saying that the Anthem equipment is too large to fit into said orifice (see 1st June Blog). Not true! It’s amazing what one can do with a shoe horn and a can of Vaseline. Just don’t expect Paul Clarke to be grinning anytime soon however. (no offense Paul - I still love you). Thursday 1st June If you want an honest answer to a question regarding “the best” of any piece of audio equipment, don’t ask a HiFi Dealer. The majority of them are like a bunch of babies who go blubbering to Momma (the importer) as soon as someone buckets a product they stock. I’ve always said that there is no “best” of anything, only the best in a specific price range. The proof of this happened this week when a guy e-mailed about an Anthem MRX-1120 (an excellent unit) and asked about alternatives. I gave my thoughts about the Yamaha RX- A3060 (winner, best A/V Receiver over $2000 of 2016/2017 from Sound and Image Magazine). If the guys at Sound and Image gave it the nod over the Anthem then who am I to argue, especially given the $2000 cheaper price of the Yamaha. The consumer passed my e-mail on to another dealer (obviously I’m