Thursday, June 17, 2010

Onward in the DIY stakes

Ok, enough of the bad experience with A'gon, best to turn my thoughts to more positive experiences. I spent a few hours over the last weeks assembling the TB Kit 3.1 speaker. I'll be writing up the process and reviewing the resulting sounds for Affordable Audio next so not too much info here other than to say there is something totally liberating about building audio stuff! Not only does this give you a sense of where the money goes in audio gear, but it seems listening to something that you had a hand in putting together really does make listening more fun. I've been putting the kit speakers through their paces with the totally enjoyable Elekit integrated I assembled back in April, and with an Ebay-sourced old Sansui integrated (soon to do duty in my patio system) and they really do create a sonic picture that is both unique and pleasing. More in due course.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Caveat emptor? Not on Audiogon....

Ok, I've had it with Audiogon. I hate to rant on my own blog but two apparently well-rated Audiogon members both left me in the lurch this week after bidding on my item and when I accepted, promising me the money was 'on the way'. In both cases, the money never arrived (thank you PayPal). Consider the following excuses both issued:

[Member name close to a large breed of dog]"I didn't realize I was so close to maxing out my credit cards" bid on $2k worth of gear and only then realize you don't have the money? And this after you make me measure the parcel size to get you an accurate shipping quote?

[Member name close to Oz value] "Sorry for the late reply. I'm out of the country due to my job and I have no return date yet, so I'm unable to continue with deal."

Oh, you bid, accept my counter-offer price, make arrangements for drop off, and THEN find out you are in another country with no planned return date. You must living in a movie!

Audiogon to the rescue by protecting the seller? Not so. Cleverly, Mr'Ozl' (positive feedback 24) had confirmed the final deal by emailing me directly, not via the 'Gon's mailer. So A'gon feel it's just bad protocol rather than failure to comply on a binding deal (even though for 24 hours I could not mod the ad or update other offers as a formal deal was pending). My attempt to offer constructive feedback on these 'members' is subject to their acknowledgment that I am telling the truth. Now, how likely do you think that will be? I have the full email trail which I'll happily share here if either party feels this is inaccurate but really, when did people become such plonkers?

Meanwhile, if you are in the market for a gently used component or two, and have the funds to back up your promises to buy, please watch for my listings from now on here or on Audio Circle, where there is a better breed of audiophile. And if you are buying via A'gon, congrats, simply following through on your offer might make you that rarest of creatures, a normal buyer. Mr Dane and Mr really should get to know each other.

Friday, June 4, 2010

HiFi Mag launches today

A new online magazine aimed at audio enthusiasts launches today: HiFizine . I interviewed Albert von Schweikert for the inaugural issue and he was very open, as you can see. There are lots of good articles produced by volunteer writers and there is a general open invitation to all to get involved, as the magazine aims to leverage the audiophile crowd's enthusiasm for discussion and analysis. Check it out.