Seismic Audio

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by DaveSill, Jan 18, 2014.


  1. DaveSill

    DaveSill Supporting Member

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    Sorry, this long and detailed...

    I was looking for a small powered monitor for the not-ear-splittingly-loud gigs I play, mostly in restaurants. The Seismic Audio FL-10MP PW looked perfect: small, not too expensive, good layout and controls, 99.9% positive feedback on eBay. I ordered one on December 31 and got it on the 2nd. Not bad.

    It looked well made: solid, nice feel to the controls. Since it has a 3.5MM input, I hooked up my phone and played some music, and it sounded quite good.

    Then I plugged in my bass via my Zoom B3 and I immediately heard a rattling/buzzing sound on lower notes that sounded like the driver was bottoming out. Crap. To make it go away I had to lower the volume too much for it to be useful, even for our not-terribly-loud gigs. So I fired off an email to Seismic's Customer Service explaining the situation and asking if it was likely that I had a defective unit or if this model is just not up to the task of being a bass monitor.

    The next day I got an automated reply telling me to call the Tech Support. That was disappointing because if I wanted to deal with a phone call, I'd have called in the first place. I don't have good cell coverage at home so I called from the office. No answer, didn't leave a message. Next time I called I talked to a tech and explained the situation. He asked which input level setting I was using, and not being next to the unit, I couldn't answer. I didn't think the unit had an input level setting, and when I got home, I confirmed that. Next day I called back and got a different tech. Explained everything again and he suggested that the problem could be hum caused by other electronics on the same circuit. I told him it wasn't hum--it wasn't constant and only happened for lower notes. He also suggested I try a different instrument cable. I told him I'd try different circuits/cords and offered to email him a recording so he could hear it. He gave me his email address.

    Of course, different circuits/cords didn't help. I made a recording and sent it to him. The buzzing/rattling is surprisingly hard to capture, but I managed. Next day, no response, so I sent him another message saying "hey, what do you think?" Nothing. Next I said "OK, how about I send the unit back and you check it out. If it's defective, you send a replacement. If it's OK, you send a refund." No response.

    At this point I've been trying for a full week to get them to take this thing back.

    Another phone call--by the way, every call/email was initiated by me, except the first autoresponse--and said "OK, I need to return this unit." Guy gave me an RMA and said Fedex would send a label. Next day, still no label. I call back and a different guy says "Oh, thanks for reminding me...I'm the person who requests the labels". Next day, no label. I call again. Yet another guy says "The label was emailed to you, check your spam folder." I did: no label. So I give him another address--GMail, this time. Next day, no label. I call. "Fedex sent the label."

    At this point, I start to lose my patience and explain to the dude that I've been trying for two weeks to return this thing, been through a week of just trying to get a label, and if they can't send me one, I'll ship it back myself. I tell him I'll wait till that night for a label from FedEx. That night, I get a label from FedEx.

    All throughout the process, everyone I've talked to has been polite and helpful--said pretty much "the right things"--so I don't know whether they're intentionally stalling or just dysfunctional. It's entirely possible that really think their customer service is not horrible, but if that's the case, they're wrong.

    Now I've got to drop the package at FedEx and wait for them to decide whether or not I owe them shipping charges (if they deem the unit OK). I'll report back.

    But you've been warned.
     
  2. ggunn

    ggunn

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    Is the input a line input or a mic input? You may be sending it too hot a signal.
     
  3. modulusman

    modulusman

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    So you buy a $125.00 POS monitor from Seismic audio {crap} and want to run your bass through it. Yeah like that is going to work.:rollno: Maybe spend 5x more and you might have a prayer of making it work. Look at decent brands like JBL, QSC, or Yamaha.
     
  4. DaveSill

    DaveSill Supporting Member

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    It's 1/4", so I'd expect it's line, but there's no documentation.

    Even plugging my passive bass directly into the monitor causes the buzzing problem.

    But the story is really about customer service, not the monitor.
     
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  6. DaveSill

    DaveSill Supporting Member

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    It was $200, and although it may well be a POS, I didn't know that when I bought it. Unfortunately $600+ isn't in my budget.

    Thanks for your advice.
     
  7. modulusman

    modulusman

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    Is this the monitor?http://www.seismicaudiospeakers.com/Powered-10-Inch-Wedge-Monitor-250W-p/sa-10mt-pw.htm Seriously it is hard to find a cab with a single 10" speaker that will handle bass frequencies. If you do an internet search you will find that Seismic audio is considered junk.
     
  8. BassCliff

    BassCliff

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    Hi,

    The link above points to this unit: http://www.seismicaudiospeakers.com/Powered-10-Inch-Wedge-Monitor-250W-p/sa-10mt-pw.htm

    [​IMG]


    Was this the unit you bought? There's something amiss about the model number you stated. ;)

    http://www.seismicaudiospeakers.com/Powered-10-Inch-Speaker-p/pws-10.htm

    [​IMG]

    Reading the manufacturer's page it seems this unit was not really designed for what you are using it for.

    You might want to find a used Hartke Kickback amp, or similar, for a dedicated bass monitor on stage.

    [​IMG]


    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
     
  9. DaveSill

    DaveSill Supporting Member

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  10. BassCliff

    BassCliff

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    Hi,

    Just because I like pictures. ;)

    [​IMG]

    OK, I didn't look hard enough for the proper unit. Sorry.

    Customer service is a tricky thing. I work in customer service and even though I try to be conscientious and do the best job I can, sometimes the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Your experience has been very inconvenient for you. You have shown great patience and persistence to this point. Sometimes that's what it takes to get what you need from a large or unorganized institution.

    Yes, their customer service could certainly be better but we're only human. Perhaps they need better tools, centralized computerized help ticket system, better training, better motivation, etc. Even in my own organization there are differing levels of skill and experience, some have different procedures and techniques. We try to standardize as much as possible but things happen. All you can do is the best you can.

    I wish you luck with your return. Keep us informed.

    EDIT: As Mr. modulusman points out in the next post, SA is not a high-end component company. Sometimes you can find a "bang for your buck" deal that will fill your needs. Sometimes not.

    My favorite "bang for your buck" gear is Carvin. Have a look at these:
    http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/PM10A
    http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/LS1202MA

    I bet you'll get better customer service too. ;)


    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
     
  11. modulusman

    modulusman

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    Well the company sells junk with a one year warranty. Their customer service is what you would expect. Looking at the specs on the cab the SPL is 105. My guess is if you are trying to run bass frequencies through it then it is probably closer to 100db. No way that would work in a band situation. I have some JBL PRX 512ms that would be 4 times as loud.
     
  12. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

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    Seismic produces products that give you less than you paid for. You've been forewarned!
     
  13. DaveSill

    DaveSill Supporting Member

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    Thanks, BassCliff. That Carvin stuff looks pretty good. Lighter, louder, better inputs/controls, better reputation.

    My point in posting this thread is to maybe help prevent the next TalkBass user looking at Seismic from making the same mistake I made. I searched TB before I bought mine and found zero negative comments.
     
  14. modulusman

    modulusman

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    Go to a live sound forum such as http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Live-Sound-Production/bd-p/acapella-33 or http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?board=10.0 when looking for advise on PA gear or live sound.
     
  15. DaveSill

    DaveSill Supporting Member

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    Thanks, modulusman. I thought--incorrectly, obviously--that TB would be a good place to look since I'm looking for a bass monitor. At least the next sucker has a chance of seeing this thread.
     
  16. ggunn

    ggunn

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    Just from looking at the picture, it appears to me that it's not a bass monitor, it's a vocal monitor. Whether or not it is junk (I had never heard of the brand before now so I dunno) it is the wrong tool for the job. Vocal monitors are not engineered to produce the low end that you want to hear.
     
  17. DaveSill

    DaveSill Supporting Member

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    Hmm... A quick google doesn't turn up any bass monitors. And, in my opinion, a stage monitor should be able reproduce any instrument in the mix.
     
  18. modulusman

    modulusman

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    And a good one will. But they cost money.:)
     
  19. Dave Curran

    Dave Curran Lilduke Supporting Member

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    And most don't reproduce accurately/much below 60hz. I run my monitors with a 100hz HPF. Don't need the rumble, distortion, or wasted power. Subs cover that range. If your not using subs, you should be using a bass cab.
     
  20. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

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    Why would you run subs with stage monitors?
     
  21. kikstand454

    kikstand454 Supporting Member

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    Fwiw I have a seismic 115 that I run and have been using for about 2 years.
    it handles everything I throw at it...including my low A ( 5 string tuned down a whole step) at gig volume - with ease.
    I wouldn't in anyway call them "professional" equipment...... but then again... I use mine to make money. So that's technically professional.

    Seismic makes " good for the money" type equipment that must be used delicately and with its intended purpose.

    Likewise, you don't see many Kia Soul's towing boats........
     

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