$18,000 Simaudio AV processor actually a repackaged Denon AVR? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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Audio Theory, Setup, and Chat > $18,000 Simaudio AV processor actually a repackaged Denon AVR?
amirm's Avatar amirm 08:35 AM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Your idea of good ethics and mine simply don't agree. What you view as standard industry practice I view as a sham and a scam. But I feel that way about the high end audio industry from top to bottom.
And that prejudice clouds your judgement. Every Sim2 CP-8 customer got a better deal than if this company had done what you say: design the HDMI/DSP subsystem themselves. They were all told the truth based on the evidence we have. Customer systems are working more reliably because of this "sham." I gave direct examples of our company and our customers suffered when vendors did the typical thing of buying modules from Taiwan.

I absolutely do not put people and companies in a class and beat them up despite the facts. Nothing about our legal system works the way you say in US. You want me to put aside both my principals and facts and data in front me and join in an empty choir in some forum on how evil these companies are. I am not there. I stay with the data as presented in the article and hope to make it a learning experience on how these devices come about.

Sim and all of their dealers are competitors to the products my company sells. So it would reason that I would join you and blast them. But I can't. That would be unethical. To use my personal motivations to twist the data. We are all wired differently. I am wired that way. I will look past the obvious and stereotypes, do my own research to see if the appearances are correct. 35 years of hardware and software development gives me tools to make this analysis quickly and that is what I did here. The case as you, Chu, etc are making is all some emotional personal one which has no place in my book where we are discussing this situation. You want to just rail against high-end companies and gear? Create a thread and say that is what you believe. I will leave you all to do that. But let's not make some silly case of "oh, they did not have rights to a trademark so let me go report them to the authorities." Really? I think not....

FMW's Avatar FMW 08:41 AM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

And that prejudice clouds your judgement. Every Sim2 CP-8 customer got a better deal than if this company had done what you say: design the HDMI/DSP subsystem themselves. They were all told the truth based on the evidence we have. Customer systems are working more reliably because of this "sham." I gave direct examples of our company and our customers suffered when vendors did the typical thing of buying modules from Taiwan.

I absolutely do not put people and companies in a class and beat them up despite the facts. Nothing about our legal system works the way you say in US. You want me to put aside both my principals and facts and data in front me and join in an empty choir in some forum on how evil these companies are. I am not there. I stay with the data as presented in the article and hope to make it a learning experience on how these devices come about.

Sim and all of their dealers are competitors to the products my company sells. So it would reason that I would join you and blast them. But I can't. That would be unethical. To use my personal motivations to twist the data. We are all wired differently. I am wired that way. I will look past the obvious and stereotypes, do my own research to see if the appearances are correct. 35 years of hardware and software development gives me tools to make this analysis quickly and that is what I did here. The case as you, Chu, etc are making is all some emotional personal one which has no place in my book where we are discussing this situation. You want to just rail against high-end companies and gear? Create a thread and say that is what you believe. I will leave you all to do that. But let's not make some silly case of "oh, they did not have rights to a trademark so let me go report them to the authorities." Really? I think not....

I give up. You have your ethics and I have mine. You aren't going to change mine. Too much prejudice, I guess. Or just the way I was raised. Take care.
Jinjuku's Avatar Jinjuku 09:18 AM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

And that honest dealer said this again:
As I said in my first post, I think they created a real market differentiation by using the Denon as the base box. It gave them higher reliability so it reasons what the dealer above is saying is true.. How else would that dealer know this was the case anyway?

Let's see what the original article quoted the Sim people as saying:

"During the interview, Koulisakis lavished praise upon Denon saying “the engine rarely fails…[it is] very reliable.” Koulisakis claims no intended deception, stating: “We don’t hide it. It’s a Denon engine under the hood, and I say it with pride, because it’s reliable and a Denon engine is a high-performance engine.” Lionel Goodfield, Marketing and Media Relations, added “we’ve never hid this fact from our dealers, distributors, or end users...if people asked we told them, it was never secret, and word does spread around pretty quickly...it wasn’t well-known, but it was known.”

I will agree with you if you can scrape SimAudio's website and find a mention of Denon. AnyWhere. Your are pretty much finished in this thread with such a weak argument. "We didn't tell you because you didn't ask" is what a majority of your posts have been about. The other side of this coin is basically a pointing out of the fact that $$ isn't linear to performance.

I'm willing to bet you money that in a SBT you aren't getting $18,000 worth of performance out of the CP-8. That's one of the primary metrics I use when making a purchase.
Chu Gai's Avatar Chu Gai 10:19 AM 11-19-2013
Based on a Denon engine sounds a whole lot better than saying saying we bought some Denon receivers and took out their balls.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 11:44 AM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Based on a Denon engine sounds a whole lot better than saying saying we bought some Denon receivers and took out their balls.

It looks to me like Simaudio used pretty much the whole Denon "car", and not just the engine! ;-)

In fact they didn't even use the whole Denon car, they disemboweled it.
andyc56's Avatar andyc56 11:53 AM 11-19-2013
I wonder if it uses the Denon phono preamp of if they designed their own for it? If it's from the Denon, that's the kind of circuit (single op-amp, negative feedback RIAA EQ) that would ordinarily be pooh-poohed by the type of customer that buys Simaudio products.
FMW's Avatar FMW 12:58 PM 11-19-2013
But what they don't know doesn't hurt them according to Amir.
Chu Gai's Avatar Chu Gai 01:21 PM 11-19-2013
Reminds me of that line from the movie,The Departed, "My theory on Feds is that they're like mushrooms, feed 'em **** and keep 'em in the dark."
Glimmie's Avatar Glimmie 01:24 PM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post

Just in case no one has seen their brochure... They have Dolby, DTS, Audyssey, XM Radio, andSirius logos right on their literature.
http://www.simaudio.com/pdf/MOON_CP-8_DataSheet.pdf

Well this is actually a good assignment for a university law review. Is professor Kingsfield still around? They bought the Denon receiver retail and in theory paid for those licenses. Now can they use those licensed trademarks in their own advertisements provided those advertisements relate to the base Denon product?

Like if a movie theater has purchased legitimate Dolby and DTS hardware can they use the Dolby and DTS trademarks in their advertising? How about when they rent a film which is Dolby or DTS encoded? Can they put the logos on their own advertising?

What about a stereo store with legitimate dealership contracts with let's say Denon. Can they use those logos in their own advertising?
FMW's Avatar FMW 02:09 PM 11-19-2013
I'm not a lawyer but I'll take a guess. I would think that it would be legal for Sim to say that the equipment decodes Dolby, DTS etc. I think it would be illegal for them to use the logos without the permission of the logo owners unless the logo owners have provided some sort of blanket permission.
Jinjuku's Avatar Jinjuku 03:01 PM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

I'm not a lawyer but I'll take a guess. I would think that it would be legal for Sim to say that the equipment decodes Dolby, DTS etc. I think it would be illegal for them to use the logos without the permission of the logo owners unless the logo owners have provided some sort of blanket permission.

They most likely can say they handle those formats. But I would place a bet that they can't use the branding/logos. Denon gets to use that as part of the licensing.
ellisr63's Avatar ellisr63 03:06 PM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Well this is actually a good assignment for a university law review. Is professor Kingsfield still around? They bought the Denon receiver retail and in theory paid for those licenses. Now can they use those licensed trademarks in their own advertisements provided those advertisements relate to the base Denon product?

Like if a movie theater has purchased legitimate Dolby and DTS hardware can they use the Dolby and DTS trademarks in their advertising? How about when they rent a film which is Dolby or DTS encoded? Can they put the logos on their own advertising?

What about a stereo store with legitimate dealership contracts with let's say Denon. Can they use those logos in their own advertising?

I am not a Lawyer either.

I would assume asa average consumer that if the Logos were used to advertise a Trademark authorized product that it would be ok to put the Dolby logos on their literature.
If they handle it like UL does... As soon as it was modified the Trademark fees are no longer good. The unit has been stripped of some parts and for the most part doesn't even look like the original Denon AVR. Since it is being re manufactured with different parts I would think it would require re certification and fees to be paid by SimAudio.

The other scenarios are a different situation I would think... The theater is showing movies that are encoded with Dolby soundtracks and they might even be required to display the Dolby logos. As far as a retail store I would think that they are given the Dolby logos to display by the manufacturers of the products sold. This is all speculation as Dolby knows what their Trademark entails and the courts determine the results if they cannot be resolved out of court.

The big difference think is that the SimAudio AV unit has been modified from what was originally submitted to the Trademark holders for approval. Someone also said that Dolby was going after SimAudio which would imply that SimAudio is in violation of the Dolby Trademark.

If you really want an answer I suggest you contact Dolby Labs and ask them what they think. Everything else (including my posts) in this entire thread as to whether or not they have violated Trademarks is entirely speculation.
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 03:37 PM 11-19-2013
ANY product with the Dolby logos on it, or in the manual, or in an on-screen display, needs to have been approved by Dolby.

If the product is materially similar to another product, then sometimes Dolby will forgo the requirement for parametric audio testing and rely on the testing of the base product (assuming the base product was already tested and approved).

If the product is materially different from another product, then Dolby will require submission of a new suite of testing, and submission of a sample for their own testing. Generally any changes to the audio circuitry and/or power supply will render a product "materially different" in Dolby's eyes.


Seems that Simaudio (and its apologist on here) wants it both ways: They want to say the product is Dolby-approved because it's based off a Denon that was Dolby-approved already, but at the same time they're saying they made material modifications to it that improve/change the sound quality in some way.


Apologies if that has already been stated. I have limited online access right now and didn't get to read through all the posts.
ellisr63's Avatar ellisr63 03:46 PM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

ANY product with the Dolby logos on it, or in the manual, or in an on-screen display, needs to have been approved by Dolby.

If the product is materially similar to another product, then sometimes Dolby will forgo the requirement for parametric audio testing and rely on the testing of the base product (assuming the base product was already tested and approved).

If the product is materially different from another product, then Dolby will require submission of a new suite of testing, and submission of a sample for their own testing. Generally any changes to the audio circuitry and/or power supply will render a product "materially different" in Dolby's eyes.


Seems that Simaudio (and its apologist on here) wants it both ways: They want to say the product is Dolby-approved because it's based off a Denon that was Dolby-approved already, but at the same time they're saying they made material modifications to it that improve/change the sound quality in some way.


Apologies if that has already been stated. I have limited online access right now and didn't get to read through all the posts.
Exactly what I have been trying to convey.
mcnarus's Avatar mcnarus 03:55 PM 11-19-2013
Quote:
I'm not a lawyer but I'll take a guess. I would think that it would be legal for Sim to say that the equipment decodes Dolby, DTS etc. I think it would be illegal for them to use the logos without the permission of the logo owners unless the logo owners have provided some sort of blanket permission.
I'm not a lawyer either, but I would guess that if they can't use the Dolby logo, they can't use the Dolby name, either. That's trademarked, too. The only out would be if they could argue that "Dolby" is now a generic term, like Kleenex. But they'd have to litigate it, and I wouldn't bet against Dolby on that one.

I don't think it's been established yet that they failed to get a Dolby license for their product, however.
ellisr63's Avatar ellisr63 04:02 PM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

I'm not a lawyer either, but I would guess that if they can't use the Dolby logo, they can't use the Dolby name, either. That's trademarked, too. The only out would be if they could argue that "Dolby" is now a generic term, like Kleenex. But they'd have to litigate it, and I wouldn't bet against Dolby on that one.

I don't think it's been established yet that they failed to get a Dolby license for their product, however.

Someone earlier said Dolby was going after them.... I would assume that means they are suspected of violating their Trademark. As far as the word Dolby being generic.... Monster Cable has been suing people for years and winning Royalties (in some cases... The ones that can't afford the Lawyers). I know this is a little different as the word specifically applies to their process of audio processing, whereas Monster goes after anyone who uses the word "Monster" in their business activities.
Chu Gai's Avatar Chu Gai 05:44 PM 11-19-2013
IMO, none of the companies will take it to the point of formally filing a lawsuit. The cost benefit I don't think is there. But I would suspect that there'll be a strongly worded letter sent either by the company or their legal representation demanding a cessation of this practice now and in the future or else. Maybe even a removal of any and all units on dealer shelves. As it stands now, Simaudio has egg on their face and I think this has hurt the resale value of their processor.
ellisr63's Avatar ellisr63 05:54 PM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

IMO, none of the companies will take it to the point of formally filing a lawsuit. The cost benefit I don't think is there. But I would suspect that there'll be a strongly worded letter sent either by the company or their legal representation demanding a cessation of this practice now and in the future or else. Maybe even a removal of any and all units on dealer shelves. As it stands now, Simaudio has egg on their face and I think this has hurt the resale value of their processor.

SimAudio should be glad they didn't put the word "Monster" on their product or they would be in court. Monster Cable doesn't care who you are or why you were using the Monster word... All they want is their money or they will see you in court. If you are a big enough company or have good lawyers they will back down though as seen with Disney. Interesting thing is Dolby is Suing Monster right now for Trademark infringement.

I guess Karma is knocking on Monster Cables door right now.
Glimmie's Avatar Glimmie 05:58 PM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post


If you really want an answer I suggest you contact Dolby Labs and ask them what they think.

Well I'm certainly not that interested in this issue! I personally could care less either way. It's just a good conversation point.
Glimmie's Avatar Glimmie 06:01 PM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

IMO, none of the companies will take it to the point of formally filing a lawsuit. The cost benefit I don't think is there. But I would suspect that there'll be a strongly worded letter sent either by the company or their legal representation demanding a cessation of this practice now and in the future or else. Maybe even a removal of any and all units on dealer shelves. As it stands now, Simaudio has egg on their face and I think this has hurt the resale value of their processor.

Exactly. I mean how many of these things are they going to sell anyway. Even if this fraud was not uncovered I still doubt there is much of a market for this product. People with that kind of money will most likely go after an established brand like Theta, ADA, or McIntosh. Now if they priced it at say $5000, they actually may have made more money with larger sales but at $18K you're right up there with the established brands..
amirm's Avatar amirm 06:18 PM 11-19-2013
In general you get a free trademark license when you sign a contract to implement the technology. So there is no cost for the trademark to repay. Dolby does have a separate trademark license for say, creating DVDs and wanting to use their logo there to represent inclusion of Dolby tracks. That license is free of cost. Note that all of these licenses are confidential so you are not going to be privy to what they do or do not allow.

I am confident no one is taking any action whatsoever including writing a letter to them. What are they going to ask them to do? Stop shipments of a product that is no longer shipping???

Chu, did you call the FCC? What they did tell you?
Chu Gai's Avatar Chu Gai 06:40 PM 11-19-2013
I filled out a form.
amirm's Avatar amirm 06:47 PM 11-19-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

I filled out a form.
Got it. This is the picture of the FCC facility where it will be filed and some day processed:

1.jpg

biggrin.gif
Chu Gai's Avatar Chu Gai 05:15 AM 11-20-2013
Yeah I don't think much will come of it seeing as for some reason the government seems to be having some trouble with their website. BTW, I was informed that they've got one of them value added Simaudio processors up on eBay and the dude is asking $8K for it. Think I can get it for $200?
amirm's Avatar amirm 06:29 PM 11-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Yeah I don't think much will come of it seeing as for some reason the government seems to be having some trouble with their website. BTW, I was informed that they've got one of them value added Simaudio processors up on eBay and the dude is asking $8K for it. Think I can get it for $200?
I just checked and indeed, it is there right now for $8,0000. I contacted the seller and asked him why he is selling it. He said he read here that you contacted FCC and he is worried they will come and seize it from him soon! So my sense is that the closer we get to that deadline, the more desperate he would be. You might want to call your congressman and get him/her to push the violation report fast tracked through FCC!. That's the only way to get it for $200.....
mcnarus's Avatar mcnarus 07:07 PM 11-20-2013
Quote:
I just checked and indeed, it is there right now for $8,0000.
Is that a misplaced comma, or an extra zero?
amirm's Avatar amirm 07:10 PM 11-20-2013
mcnarus's Avatar mcnarus 07:17 PM 11-20-2013
amirm's Avatar amirm 07:27 PM 11-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Good god, you can't even admit to making a typo???
Oh I thought you were saying $8K price was not real. Didn't realize the extra zero in there in my post 'till now. In the context of silly back and forth between Chu and I, was it really worth picking on this number and then escalating this way? frown.gif
Jinjuku's Avatar Jinjuku 07:54 PM 11-20-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Oh I thought you were saying $8K price was not real. Didn't realize the extra zero in there in my post 'till now. In the context of silly back and forth between Chu and I, was it really worth picking on this number and then escalating this way? frown.gif

Yes. We have all seen you make mountains out of much smaller mole hills. Sauce that is good on goose is equally good on gander there Amir.
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