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LMS Ultra Clone - Page 2

post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looneybomber View Post

Hmm, I missed out on the FTW-21 awesome buy since cash flow was tight then. Who is the build house, because I really thought TC was a build house for high end drivers like the LMS?

Note the future tense in that statement.

Still, they legally own the IP and did the design, so I cannot see how a decent and civilized person could be anything but appalled at the notion of saving a few bucks by cutting out the rightful IP owner (pirated Lab Gruppen amps euphemistically called "clones" here, this driver, etc.) from the process.

And frankly TC products, while often innovative, have never been known for standout build quality no matter where they were made. Ask John Janowitz about that...there are also plenty of posts here on AVS about quality control issues from legit TC Sounds drivers shipped by them or by Parts Express. So why would anyone expect anything good from parts being shoved out a side door of the factory in the dead of night?
post #32 of 64
Somewhere P.T. Barnum is chuckling yet again.
post #33 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

.....pirated Lab Gruppen amps euphemistically called "clones".....

It's well-documented that the internal topology between the "clone" and the real Lab Gruppen is different. Second, you are assuming that the same person that plunks down $1000 for the clone is the same guy that would have normally spent $7000+ on the real LG amp, which is clearly not the case. And without doing a full intellectual asset review, it is a bit premature to say that the company making the clone is infringing on anything Lab Gruppen does.

But this driver, on the other hand, does hit the nail on the head if it is in-fact the real driver without the logo. But even then, TC Sounds has made public their intent to transfer manufacturing back to the United States as a strategy to improve their quality. We simply don't know what the contractual arrangement between TC Sounds and this OEM is (again, if in-fact it is TC Sounds' OEM). Perhaps to get out of their manufacturing contract, TC Sounds authorized the OEM to liquidate all remaining inventory. We'll probably never know because it most-likely falls under confidentiality obligations.

Assuming that the OEM is doing the right thing and liquidating inventory (or otherwise has a license to manufacture and sell the design in other parts of the world) and only shipping to designated countries, and the OP is doing the right thing by trying to orchestrate a group buy and trans-Pacific shipping, there's nothing wrong or illegal or immoral about any of it. That's the nature of global commerce and the free market.
post #34 of 64
Yeah... but wich is it?
post #35 of 64
hmmm I would use pay pal with a credit card. How you going to catch these people if you get a bag of rocks? Plus I would NOT be the ginny pig.
post #36 of 64
This appears to be the same OEM who delivers to PE. They could be authorized to sell in other countries where TC is not distributed, or it could be quietly shipping out the back door. When this was mentioned in the other thread, prior to the original posts being deleted, I posted this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

FYI, there are 1 or more US patents that cover some aspects of the driver. I'm sure they can sell whatever they want where there is no patent filing. I doubt it would take too long for any public/forum US sales to make it back to those who will loose money from it...

Also figure that by the time you ship these very heavy drivers and pay duties & taxes, you could easily hit $600 with no warranty... on a product with a history of QC issues.
post #37 of 64
Recently someone on here reported that they had a new TC sub that was shipped without being magnetized. Turns out all the others Parts Express had received were not magnetized either. I have bought 3 TC subs over the years and had issues with 2 of them right out of the box. The sellers were quick to help get me a replacement driver and once I had replacement drivers they have performed flawlessly. While I lam all for saving money, if I were buying a TC Sub I would want the benefit of a warranty and seller like PE that will help to resolve any issues.
post #38 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

This is one example of why we can't have nice things.

Hahahahahaha that's funny
post #39 of 64
The price delta between a real LG and the clone is what, $7-10k? AND, Notnyt got samples and tested the water for everyone on those...

Taking a risk on this for what, ~$300?? Yikes.
post #40 of 64
I don't think it's an excessive risk.
post #41 of 64
I can see how it might be a reasonable gamble if you want two. The chances of having problems with both of them is almost negligible. So, you get two for the price of one - one is bad, so you replace it with a retail version, and your total expense is the same as retail. On the other hand, if you're buying these because you can't afford full price in a replacement, you end up with a serious problem if you don't get something that works for you. Of course if these turn out to be entirely inferior - designed to a different spec - then everyone loses.
post #42 of 64
My sense is the guys who can afford the risk are the guys who wouldn't touch this deal.
post #43 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeamdman View Post

The price delta between a real LG and the clone is what, $7-10k? AND, Notnyt got samples and tested the water for everyone on those...

Taking a risk on this for what, ~$300?? Yikes.

Exactly and that is really just one of the reasons why I will not buy one of these.
post #44 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

.....pirated Lab Gruppen amps euphemistically called "clones".....

It's well-documented that the internal topology between the "clone" and the real Lab Gruppen is different.

They look the same and carry the same model numbering scheme, and are hyped by their purchasers as "clones." So the Sanways, etc. are just pirated, counterfeit copies of LG amps, no matter what's inside. And their owners should be ashamed of themselves for knowingly and willfully purchasing counterfeit goods.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

Second, you are assuming that the same person that plunks down $1000 for the clone is the same guy that would have normally spent $7000+ on the real LG amp, which is clearly not the case..

I make no such assumption, nor do I care one way or the other what others can afford.

Morality is, when talking about luxury goods such as high-powered amps to drive home theater subwoofers, entirely uncoupled from affordability.

One can make a moral argument for stealing a loaf of bread when one is starving. One cannot make a moral argument for pirating a luxury good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

Assuming that the OEM is doing the right thing and liquidating inventory (or otherwise has a license to manufacture and sell the design in other parts of the world) and only shipping to designated countries, and the OP is doing the right thing by trying to orchestrate a group buy and trans-Pacific shipping, there's nothing wrong or illegal or immoral about any of it. That's the nature of global commerce and the free market.

You make quite a few assumptions, though none of them are the least bit relevant to the basic immorality at the core of this whole sordid pirate business. Be it "clone" counterfeit LG amps, backdoor TC Ultras, counterfeit Coke bottles, or whatever.

I start from the known fact that we have a design at that is protected by the legal intellectual property framework in this country.
post #45 of 64
They are not authorized to sell that design, and I doubt they won't be warrantied if anything is made wrong. Buyer be warned.
post #46 of 64
Whats funny is this price is a lot lower than TC's price from their overseas builder, lol. Maybe TC should buy them too smile.gif
post #47 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by djarchow View Post

Recently someone on here reported that they had a new TC sub that was shipped without being magnetized. Turns out all the others Parts Express had received were not magnetized either. I have bought 3 TC subs over the years and had issues with 2 of them right out of the box. The sellers were quick to help get me a replacement driver and once I had replacement drivers they have performed flawlessly. While I lam all for saving money, if I were buying a TC Sub I would want the benefit of a warranty and seller like PE that will help to resolve any issues.

what does it mean when a sub is not magnetized? How can you tell?
post #48 of 64
He was putting metal objects right up to the magnet stack and not feeling it at all. In fact, he even put a screwdriver down inside where the voice coil usually sits - nothing. On my UXL-18, for example, I can feel the magnets if I have a metal object just outside the enclosure. I'm sure if I stuck a screwdriver inside the magnet stack it would be a bit of a fight to get it back out.
post #49 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by kutlow View Post

what does it mean when a sub is not magnetized? How can you tell?

In his case, the sub didn't make any (or not much) sound.
post #50 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyleLee View Post

Whats funny is this price is a lot lower than TC's price from their overseas builder, lol. Maybe TC should buy them too smile.gif

I know. LOL. Seems to be the typical Chinese manufacturing price renegotation strategy.
post #51 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricci View Post

I know. LOL. Seems to be the typical Chinese manufacturing price renegotation strategy.

I think once you spend the money on the initial design, tooling, molds, set up etc... The cost produce afterwards something you have already done is much cheaper.

It's not a scam. That is how these things work.

If I was a MFG and someone paid me to make something and stopped, and I realized I could keep making it pretty cheap- I might look to sell it cheaper than originally now that the initial cost of set up has been paid for.

Order one part it's pretty expensive. Order the second it's always cheaper.
post #52 of 64
They're no doubt drivers that didn't pass QC. Someone grabs them up and sells them vs what Haskins did with his defective drivers. I agree with that philosophy, but prefer that the situation be spelled out up front. Beats the hell outta tossing them in the scrap pile. Just my opinion. It sickened me to read Haskins telling customers to toss them in the dumpster. Lots of raw materials and energy went into making them and the fix was not that big a deal.

That obviously doesn't mean that if you buy the TC from PE that it's a sure thing it will be 100% defect free.

QC in China is the same as QC in any country. Skilled labor is an endangered species. I worked in a machine shop out of high school in the 70s. Ten clowns for every good man. Nothing much has changed since then except it's gotten worse because young folk generally want nothing to do with learning a blue collar skill.

Soon enough it will all be done by robots and the humans will sell each other insurance and mow each other's lawns.

BTW, if the price is "a lot lower than TC's price" (which I don't buy), TC is getting hosed.
post #53 of 64
Bottom line: It is unethical to buy them not to mention be a middleman and distribute them when someone else has obviously paid the dues to develop the product.

If you guys want to know why there is a shortage of good drivers on the market yet at the same time are willing to entertain buying these.... then I don't know what to say. You get what you deserve.
post #54 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think once you spend the money on the initial design, tooling, molds, set up etc... The cost produce afterwards something you have already done is much cheaper.

It's not a scam. That is how these things work.

If I was a MFG and someone paid me to make something and stopped, and I realized I could keep making it pretty cheap- I might look to sell it cheaper than originally now that the initial cost of set up has been paid for.

Order one part it's pretty expensive. Order the second it's always cheaper.

Not sure what any of that has to do with my post.

Note: I have worked at an electronics manufacturer for the past 10 years and deal with tooling and machines all day every day. Also one of our main facilities is in China and I have been there twice to train people and have toured a few tooling manufacturers while there. I also have many contacts who either live or travel to China to work in various technical fields...Most not related to speakers or audio. I do know how these things work as you say which is exactly what I meant by my post.

Very briefly you would negotiate a quantity unit price to have a product produced and you would pay for all or most of the tooling, dies, whatever to get production ready. Your company would own those. If your product is covered by patents or has other sensitive information related to it there would be contracts and agreements about protecting that information, not selling or distributing the product to anyone other than your company, etc,etc. Typically this stuff would be also be haggled over at the end of the partnership, molds, tooling, and dies owned would be retrieved etc and existing product still at the build house bought up. Now I have no idea what TC's story with this place and how things were handled so who knows. I do know that there is a LOT of bribe taking, intellectual property theft, patent infringement, product dumping and counterfiting or blatant copying of designs there and it is very difficult and costly to effectively win any type of legal battle over it. Sometimes even when you do everything that you could to cover your companies interests it doesn't work. (The safest practice appears to be hand picking people starting your own facility and tightly monitoring things.) I know for a fact that many large businesses that operate in the People's Republic have large accounts set aside just for the purpose of greasing the wheels of commerce there, if you know what I mean. I don't want you to get the idea that I'm ragging on them or I dislike them or anything...We have some absolutley great people over there and they are hard workers but as far as business ethics and regulation is a little wild west. Again I have no idea what the actual story is in this case...It could be anything but I don't get the warm fuzzies over it.

The design work and patent work was done and paid for by someone else as was the tooling most likely...They are not authorized to sell them it seems and good luck with any type of warranty.


I wouldn't buy any of these personally. YMMV.
Edited by Ricci - 8/30/13 at 10:08am
post #55 of 64
I wouldn't buy clones for the various reasons mentioned, be it the LG amps or the LMS drivers or anything else. The $300-400 price range is what a normal LMS should cost, currently it is extremely overpriced for what it can do since you can get more displacement for less money. If TC sounds officially authorized these guys for other parts of the world then the price is spot on and I'm sure a lot of people would bite.
post #56 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricci View Post

Not sure what any of that has to do with my post.

Note: I have worked at an electronics manufacturer for the past 10 years and deal with tooling and machines all day every day. Also one of our main facilities is in China and I have been there twice to train people and have toured a few tooling manufacturers while there. I also have many contacts who either live or travel to China to work in various technical fields...Most not related to speakers or audio. I do know how these things work as you say which is exactly what I meant by my post.

Very briefly you would negotiate a quantity unit price to have a product produced and you would pay for all or most of the tooling, dies, whatever to get production ready. Your company would own those. If your product is covered by patents or has other sensitive information related to it there would be contracts and agreements about protecting that information, not selling or distributing the product to anyone other than your company, etc,etc. Typically this stuff would be also be haggled over at the end of the partnership, molds, tooling, and dies owned would be retrieved etc and existing product still at the build house bought up. Now I have no idea what TC's story with this place and how things were handled so who knows. I do know that there is a LOT of bribe taking, intellectual property theft, patent infringement, product dumping and counterfiting or blatant copying of designs there and it is very difficult and costly to effectively win any type of legal battle over it. Sometimes even when you do everything that you could to cover your companies interests it doesn't work. (The safest practice appears to be hand picking people starting your own facility and tightly monitoring things.) I know for a fact that many large businesses that operate in the People's Republic have large accounts set aside just for the purpose of greasing the wheels of commerce there, if you know what I mean. I don't want you to get the idea that I'm ragging on them or I dislike them or anything...We have some absolutley great people over there and they are hard workers but as far as business ethics and regulation is a little wild west. Again I have no idea what the actual story is in this case...It could be anything but I don't get the warm fuzzies over it.

The design work and patent work was done and paid for by someone else as was the tooling most likely...They are not authorized to sell them it seems and good luck with any type of warranty.


I wouldn't buy any of these personally. YMMV.
LET'S FLIP IT ALL AROUND:

If I owned a USA company, and someone from China paid my company to make something; Then that company in China stopped it's orders and said they were going to have it made locally instead, and I so lost that business. ..... Even if they had a Patent in China and sold the product locally in CHINA, I would have no issues selling the same product in the USA or NorthAmerica provided there was no patents or contracts or legal repercussions I might face preventing me from doing that. Even if I had a contract that said I would not do it, if there way no way for them to enforce it in my local country of MFG I would not worry much about that.

They wanted to do business and decided to stop, fine. Go kick rocks or piss up a rope then, I am going to get mine. Why is this attitude any different when it works in reverse ? It seems it is only wrong to people like you that are in the industry or have a moral judgement. If things were reversed many American business owners would have no issues screwing over customer that ceased doing business to order from another part of the world instead. I don't see how it's any different in reverse. This seems normal to me, and the only difference is USA courts protect things a little better. But USA courts don't do much damage to people living in Asia half way across the world that do not do any MFG inside the USA.

For the record- I am not buying any and I don't really care. But I am not very surprised or upset either. The only people taking a strong stance are the ones that this hits closer to home. With a global economy these things happen. If you don't want it to happen, then don't go overseas in the first place. If you go overseas, then you must accept this liability it could happen.

I blame them going overseas in the first place.

It is not natural to protect things with patents. If this was 500 years ago and I traveled to China and saw they had a cool way of doing stuff, I would come back to my country and start doing it. I would copy the good idea. This is natural.

Now there is a place for patents and protection of intellectual property- but it's hard to police is across the world in different court systems in different countries. If you care about such things- then make it in a place where you can control them. IE: Have it made in the USA where USA law protects you with your USA patent- and have the MFG in the USA so it's easy to legally enforce it.

Or- Canada, Mexico, Europe, or any country that has a legal system that would allow you do it it. If you go overseas and you don't have an overseas patent in that country, and that country does not have a legal system that allows you to enforce anything then you are taking very big risk in having it made- and if it happens you have no one to blame but yourself. Perhaps it would have been smarter to pay a little more to protect yourself and your intellectual property.

Lastly,

I truly believe in the capitalist way - so if they want to MFG it cheap in Asia and try selling it as "knock offs" without warranty or the expertise of the original MFG then the value is much degraded. We have has some serious discussion already that the lack of warranty support, quality control, etc... really does diminish the value as compared to a legit drive purchased in USA from PE. So perhaps the PE version that has a warranty locally is worth $400- how much is the knock off worth ? Not $400 right? Probably not $300 either. Once you factor in expensive shipping ($60) I would guess it's probably worth about $100 each.

So now you have someone making a knock off that can only sell it for $100- the reduced margin is a direct result of the product quality and willingness of people to pay for it. I am not sure my numbers or prices are correct but at some point there reaches a point where it will make sense to people. I know they would sell like crazy if you could buy one for $49 each. It would be worth the risk IMO of getting a lemon or a defect.

If people care about warranty, or moral values then show it with your wallet. Buy the local version that is legit. If MFG care about this stuff happening, then choose wisely who you have MFG your products- and don't just take the lowest bidder.

This is how the world works today. Some people need to just realize it. I am not saying it's right or wrong- just that it is what it is.
post #57 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decadent_Spectre View Post

I wouldn't buy clones for the various reasons mentioned, be it the LG amps or the LMS drivers or anything else. The $300-400 price range is what a normal LMS should cost, currently it is extremely overpriced for what it can do since you can get more displacement for less money. If TC sounds officially authorized these guys for other parts of the world then the price is spot on and I'm sure a lot of people would bite.


Pretty much dead nuts, here. I think- ok, I KNOW- I rub some here the wrong way here because I simply think all of the time effort space and money spent on an additional 3-6dbs is nuts, but this adds even more fuel to the fire: completely warranty-less, unknowns of questionable reliability that don't REALLY "destroy" anything at their price points. Perform better? Sure...or perhaps in some cases. But man, is it REALLY worth it (not even considering valid ethical concerns and other matters)? Thankfully, everyone can decide for themselves.

Have a great LDW!

James
post #58 of 64
It's not like these clones will hurt TC business anyways, the guys buying them likely have no thoughs about buying a real LMS since the price is... lets face it, grossly high for what you are getting vs the other companys and the guys who will buy them, will by the real LMS regardless of the clones.
post #59 of 64
Did anyone ever buy any of these? If so - what were the results?
post #60 of 64
I don't think it happened
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