Four-letter word beginning with "B"

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by drurb, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    In several threads, a particular amplifier/electronics manufacturer whose name begins with "B" seems to be the recipient of a fair amount of venom. Yes, I know who is the manufacturer. What I don't fully understand (although I have heard scattered stories here and there) is what, fundamentally, has engendered this ill will. My first bass combo amp was made by this company and it seemed to be a great deal for my meager budget at the time. Are they responsible for deforestation? Do they use slave labor? What's up? Please enlighten.
  2. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    Hey Doc,
    Remember me? I am the former audiophile retail guy.

    From a sales side, I think anyone that didn't sell the line contributed part of the ill-will. B--- have been hugely successful, the most successful in fact and like Microsoft, the target of those who compete against them. That's probably the biggest contribution to the bad rep. Many felt compelled to knock them to sell what they had.

    On the engineering and performance side, it's murkier. I found some of the aspects of the sonic reproduction of the home gear to be better than average. Other aspects worse. And personally, I never bought into some or their fundamental concepts.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    AFAIK, the reason people spell it "B*******" is because the company is reputed to have copied most of its engineering concepts directly from other comanies' products, then turned around and mass produced made in china versions of pretty much exactly the same gear at a fraction of the original cost. They have already been sued by Mackie (for stealing their mixer designs), Aphex (for copying their effects designs), and Boss (for copying their stomp box pedal designs) that I know of, and I hear rumors of many more lawsuits pending. Go to any recording BBS and do a search on the name of the company for more laps around the rumor mill.

    Or right here on TB, you can find "game threads" like This one about which B******** products are exact ripoffs of other preexisting pieces of "legit" audio gear. I'm pretty sure that's why people say "B********". :)
  4. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Hi Chris.
    I'm note sure you are talking of the same company.
    Drurb's one is only four-letter while yours has nine.
    Or am *I* wrong?
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004

    Well, I meant "four-letter" metaphorically. Thanks to all so far who answered. I didn't want to bias the responses to my original post. What Chris' link conatins is evidence for the rumors I heard.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    ...And if you thought that thread was big fun, you'll love This one. I'll stick with my Planet Waves cables, thank you very much. :rollno:
  7. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    "B" makes some good stuff and at a good value.

    On "B" copying too much - Walk into UB store. Aren't they all copies? Sometimes the function of something dictates it's design.

    Some folks think "B" is out to screw the small guy. I'm the small guy who can't afford high priced gear. They're out to help me.
    If "B" stole some IP, I don't believe for a moment that "small" guy can't take the big guy on if there is a real legal issue. There's plenty of lawyers ready to take on big guys pro bono if there's a real solid case against them, just to make a name for themselves.

    Good luck with this thread.
  8. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I doubt it. These cases are long and expensive.
  9. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    It's a question of degree. Imagine this: you form a band called "the Rollings Tones," and you do basically note for note, sound for sound imitations of songs by the Rolling Stones. And you sell them for less.

    In my imaginary example the "Rolling Stones" came up with the original tunes, worked out the arrangements, and recorded them. The "Rollings TONES" just stole them, and sold them for cheaper

    See? Yes, "rollings tones" records would be almost as good or maybe even exactly as good as the originals, and for much less. They'd be sleazy and unethical. But cheap.

    that's what people dislike about the company in question
  10. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    If "B" can make (approximately) the same product for less, then that makes me wonder why the "originals" cost as much as they do.

    If "B" makes a mediocre product that doesn't perform flawlessly or stand the test of time -- even then the company has an important place in the market. People who can't pay for expensive gear can buy something of lower quality for less money. That seems reasonable to me.
  11. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    The original company has to invest in research & design.

    At the end of the day, it's how it sounds and how it lasts. I tried a couple pieces of their gear, and IMO it sounded terrible. Hissy, harsh, noisy, etc. Whatever they make, I bet you could find something used for about the same money that will sound way better and last longer.
  12. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    R&D could be part. ( You beat me to it Larry) It's possible that one manufacturer compensates for labor more fairly than another. The bottom line (economically speaking here) has many consequences.

    Part of the poverty cycle. If you can't afford quality to begin with,
    you wind up saddled with repair costs and having to replace junk with junk.
  13. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    As pointed out, B* has nothing invested in R&D.They ship well-known products out to China to have them cloned. In addition, many of the products are cheaply made.The B* pedals that are clones of BOSS pedal are made of plastic, not cast aluminum. That's a huge price savings at the cost of durability.

    The originals cost as much as they do because that's the market price in a competitive marketplace.

    Theft of intellectual property is not reasonable.

    How would you feel if you made your money recording music, and B* regularly cloned all your CDs, charged half as much, and sold them alongside yours in stores? Or if you invested your savings in producing an independant movie- and went into a store and found them selling copies that you didn't get any royalties from? Is that reasonable?
  14. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    "B" does have RD. They have plenty of invative products. For example I've bee looking at ULTRACURVE PRO DEQ2496 and can't find anything else similar from another manufacturer.

    In any case, as they do research, if they happen to look and see products that they can make, at a better price, with similar quality and features - why not? That's what capitalism is about. As long as they do it within the law. Why should some manufacturer have a lock on look and feel - it's the insides that matter. And look & feel are protected under some laws but not necessarily where it's obvious.

    And BTW - it's not just "B". Usually when I looking for a piece of gear I have several choices from different manufacturers. Usually with little difference between them. And usually with similar pricing. I bet that one manufacturer simply bases their price on what the other guy is selling for. "B" looks like they do something different, that is figure what they can sell it for and still make a profit. I wish more manufacturers would do this.
  15. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    You need to go after the stores who are selling illegal copies of your IP. And you need to go after the producer of the illegal copies.

    Work with the lawmakers and enforcers if you think you see something illegal. In the meantime you can call for a boycott of the stores that sell illegal copies.

    I the US you're innocent until proven guilty. It's not fair to anybody if you accuse the them of doing something illegal without due process of the law.

    But in the meantime, if have proof that a company is somehow unfair, you can let the stores know that you won't shop there if they sell brand-X product. Get other consumers together and call for a boycott.

    I see a lot of criticisms in forums, but not action. I'm not sure there's any momentum or anybody that interested.
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    This is being done - hence the lawsuits.

    Which is kinda why people clue others on internet forums in on just how greasy they feel this comapny's practices are, innit? :)

    Not fair? ROTFLMIENGAO! :D I'll go out on a limb and say here in public that it sures looks like B******* has blatantly ripped off Mackie, Aphex, Boss, and a bunch of other companies. And that the two pieces of gear I've bought from them before I knew better were noisy, grainy-sounding, cheaply constructed pieces of worthless POO POO. Sue me. :)

    My action was to add my .02c about B******** gear here in a public forum. That, and continuing my "for the rest of my life" boycott of their junk. What other "action" do you think those who dislike B******* should be taking?
  17. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Just for the record, has "B" violated patents in the course of making these copies? Obviously, those who have brought suit think that they have. I wonder what the outcomes have been.
  18. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    We'll see:


    General Link

    Looks like a loophole in international law. Still smells just as slimy to this ole country boy. :meh:
  19. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    First I'll mention I like "B" stuff and haven't seen the problems you mentioned. And they seem to have kept other manufacturers from running away with prices. The Wall Mart effect. Cheaper prices means I have more money. Narrow minded - not really, because the same happens for the average person.

    For me, when I saw products that I did not approve of - besides what's already mentioned:
    Let merchants who carry the products know I won't buy from them and why.
    Write to magazines that take their ads.

    I see more and more stores carrying B stuff. Stores that normally don't carry music stuff, when they do the tend to start with B stuff. I don't see much B advertising except in catalogs. Maybe they don't need to.
  20. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Open one up and post the pictures. Anybody who likes B can do the same.

    Here is my gripe about the industry in general. Nobody is serving the role of a watchdog. We don't have our own "Consumer Reports." Seldom if ever does anybody actually check out the performance of a product and report the results. Maybe I am an oddball for doing this...

    Granted, I enjoy the electronics hobby side of this. But we shouldn't even have to do this. We let the industry get away with publishing minimal or useless specs. The biggest culprits are speaker makers, who could publish sensitivity curves, but prefer leaving it completely up to our imaginations. This is why all commercial bass speakers are on my boycott list. One could say that specs should not be the deciding factor, but the lack of specs results in a number of undesirable effects:

    1. Companies that get away with making utter junk, some of it cheap, some of it expensive

    2. Unfair accusations against companies that are making good products, albeit for a lower price

    3. Marketing hype drowning out real information

    4. Pure speculation about reliability and quality of construction