NS&L can't sell me a QSC PLX2!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by millard, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. millard


    Jul 27, 2004

    After getting good tips from another thread on both Northern Sound and Light and the QSC PLX2 1804, I got an email price quote from NS&L. I called back today to order it.

    QSC has decided to limit distirbution and refuse access to companies such as NS&L to the new PLX2 line. :eek: The sales guy has a little prepared speech he reads at this point in the process. He also offered me contact information for QSC and the FTC.

    Having pulled together the money for this, I'm completely bummed. As an Orange County (CA) local, I'm a bit of a QSC bigot, own several and always recommend them. Hard to turn to another brand, though it looks like the thing wouldn't have shipped until April anyway (it's about $200 more at SameDayMusic.com with estimated availability of March 31).

    Dang. I had the new rig all planned out and everything...

  2. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    PM Bob Lee and have him change QSC's policy. He'd do it for us...;)
  3. millard


    Jul 27, 2004
    "As part of our overall brand strategy, QSC has limited the number of
    distribution points of certain products. This is not new for QSC and not
    unique to the PLX2 line. We currently manufacture a number of products
    which a specified, limited group of dealers have authorization to advertise
    and sell. To date, this has been a formula for success for QSC, our dealers
    and their customers.

    ... With regards to the PLX2 series however, at this time, you will need to seek
    NSL's recommendation of an alternative product to the PLX1804. If you are
    not able to find a suitable substitute for the PLX1804 at NSL, then likely
    you will want to source the product from another dealer. "
  4. ashbory


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Hammer

    "...this has been a formula for success for QSC, our dealers and their customers."

    ... With regards to the PLX2 series however, at this time, you will need to seek NSL's recommendation of an alternative product to the PLX1804."

    Formula for success?
    Wouldn't the alternative product have to come from another manufacturer, since QSC does not make another model with the same specs?
  5. Stevem627


    Nov 30, 2005
    Corinth, TX
    Sorry you can't get what you want...but if you want the original PLX series, Musicians Fiend has a very nice sale on them right now. You can buy a PLX2402 for $699, the PLX3002 for $799 and the PLX3402 for $899.
  6. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Power amps are a commodity.
    There are plenty of competitive amps with essentially the same specs and reliability available.
  7. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Light and low-priced power amps with good performance and reliability are still NOT a commodity. But as with neo speakers, the situation seems destined to improve...
  8. You can always shun the product, if the manufacturer has decided to make it artificially scarce and expensive.

    Shunning works well on Ford and GM products.
  9. millard


    Jul 27, 2004
    Ah, but there's the rub. Even the artificially inflated price on the PLX1804 is only $699. I was about to buy a 3x02 when Munji or Charlie turned me onto the 1804, which nails my requirements. So the main issue for me is wait until the 1804 comes down to the low $500s or pay the extra $200 now.

    If I have an issue with the 1804 it is that it only supports Speakon outputs and I have a couple cabs without Speakon connectors so I'll need some sort of adapter.

  10. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Sorry for being the ignorant one here, but how do the PLX2's differ from the standard PLX's?
  11. millard


    Jul 27, 2004
    The "04" models are simpler and lighter. They do not support bridged mono mode or 2-ohm operation. In exchange, you get 550W per channel at 8 ohms and 800W at 4 ohms (in the 1804) at only 13 lbs. And QSC's 6-year warranty. For under $700, even at the artificially inflated price.

    That's comparable to a PLX 3002 that weighs 21 lbs and, even at recently lowered prices, costs $800. Can't imagine using the PLX3002 in bridged mono mode -- at 4 ohms it would deliver 3000W. So with the PLX2 line, you save at least $100 and 7 lbs without sacrificing QSC quality or reliability.

    They ought to ship me one just for being willing to still write that. :D

  12. BassikLee

    BassikLee Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    It has more to do with not letting them get too low. There are a few retailers who do so much volume that they feel they can afford to sell for WAY too cheap. This hurts everybody else, as well as the lines they do this to, in a way. QSC did a thing a few years ago where they enforced a minimum selling price for the PL2 line, followed by only putting some lines in certain retailers. If the handful of sellers out there known for selling that cheaply would sell for closer to what it actually costs to run a business, makers like QSC and others would not have to do what they do to protect the little guys.

  13. AlembicBob


    Dec 28, 2004
    MA, US

    Any retailer who sells product "Way too cheap" doesn't stay in business for very long. They may be selling too cheap for their competitors to match because they can do a better job of managing cost or because they are happy with a lesser profit. They may be selling a few items too cheap in order to create store loyalty and lure in customers to buy other items at better markups. Maybe there are other reasons that aren't coming to me at the moment.

    In any case, retailers like NS&L are selling product at prices that relate to what it costs them to run their businesses or they wouldn't have been around for over 15 years. Certainly, those prices may not reflect what it costs a local business with small volume to operate. If that small business doesn't want to match the large dealer pricing, then they have to provide some other reason that buyers are willing to pay a bit more to keep them around. The only thing they can provide is service.

    I have purchased things locally to be told that I still have to ship the product direct to the manufacturer if I have a problem. Why should I pay that retailer an extra 10% for the product if they aren't providing any value above the remote dealer? I expect that local seller to deal with the manufacturer for me and get the product repaired or replaced more rapidly than I could get it done for myself. That's what I am paying the extra for when I do.

    Also, many manufacturers offer quantity discounts to their larger volume customers. That is a factor that really tips the scales. I have been able to buy products from some large-volume dealers at below what small businesses pay for them.

    As you may have gathered, I don't believe in any enforcement of minimum pricing. I do believe, however, that a manufacturer should have the right to end any distribution relationship for any reason. As such, I don't see much of a problem with QSC's decision to withhold this product line from dealers that historically sell at too deep a discount for the competition. As a consumer, I certainly wish they would sell through NS&L, but they are just doing what they feel is necessary to run their business like a business. Same as everybody else.
  14. BassikLee

    BassikLee Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    I agree. I was a QSC dealer when they came out with PL2 and started the MSP thing. I told Brian English at the time, "dude, you can't actually do this, FTC, etc" and he said I was correct. I was not upset at them for doing it, in fact I thought it was a great idea. They did it to protect little shops like mine from the likes of NS&L, Soundpro, and Short. That said, in the case of the PL236, the MSP was roughly 20% over cost. The "big three" were known for selling stuff WAY below that number. (in fact, it was often CHEAPER for my "good friends" to buy from soundpro than thru me, for MY COST plus state sales tax!!!!!!!!!!!) So, now we were on an even playing field, or so I thought. Call me, get a PL236 for $1296. Call them, get a PL236 for $1296, oh, and which active DI did you want with that, BSS or Countryman?? I don't know if they, or the other guys who enforce MSP, Mesa, sounds like Orange amps too, hell Saturn automobiles, unless the "stores" are company owned, are in violation of the "price fixing" intent of the FTC issue with all this. I guess only selling certain lines thru certain outlets is another way of doing it. It might also serve to futher separate the lines, meaning PLX2 is the MI line, sold at your local Banjo Emporium, while PL2 is the pro stuff, sold only thru pro sound outlets. I don't know if that was part of the decision or not. When I had QSC, I had several lines that had been intended not for my segment, so much so that when I moved to FL, the rep down here was shocked at all the lines I'd had. FWIW, I have not yet re-upped with QSC. Great company, great folks, great product.

  15. AlembicBob


    Dec 28, 2004
    MA, US
    I don't know how they get around the FTC rules either. I thought that MAP was okay and MSP was not unless the manufacturer retained title to the product and sold it in a consignment fashion, but then I haven't looked into it lately. Not that I want to see it, but I think it will take some form of interstate sales tax as well to even up the playing field a bit. But I am drawing us off topic here so I will stop...
  16. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    NS&L=Northern Sound & Light.

    What are the full names of Soundpro & Short? I'd like to give these guys a look.

  17. m2o03


    Feb 27, 2006
    you should also give life-effects a call. Mark has some really good prices.
  18. FTR, if you're still looking, I got a great price from Lord Valve in Denver on a PLX2 1804.


    Give him a call, he's a GREAT guy to talk to and deal with.