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An open letter to Uli Behringer
Old 3rd March 2013
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggo View Post
yeah, right. With multiple retailer 'partners' in Australia each privately claiming they are 'the Behringer distributor for Australia' and the resulting market confusion and infighting which commenced when Kosmic first took over national distribution and stock wasnt available. No one would argue the Goldsmith's ability to sell stuff, but they dont have a history of after-market "customer care".
..........
Dear Diggo,

Thank you for your comments. What I can tell you is that for close to ten years we had our own Care Center and Spare Parts depot in Australia which serviced all customers directly. As I stated before Galactic took over as the sole distributor in Australia and New Zealand at the start of the year. In this transaction, they also took over the Care center and Spare Parts distribution. Through this process, they have acquired a new service center on the outskirts of Melbourne and have invested significantly to insure that they could provide a high level of service. In addition, they hired all of my service employees so we have the same employees managing the service delivery as we have for years.

I can tell you that through working with them on the transition, they understand the urgency behind the service and the direct relationship between service and company growth.

If you are in the area, I am sure that Galactic would love to show you the facility, and meet with you to address any concerns that you may have. If you would like to schedule a visit, or if you need to get service, please feel free to contact them at any time. I have listed their contact details below for your convenience.

Galactic Music
5 Monomeeth Drive
MITCHAM VIC 3132
Ph: +61 3 9873 4037
Email: [email protected]

If you have any other questions or concerns, you are always welcome to reach out to me directly. I am always glad to help where I can.

Pat Ferdig
VP, CARE
MUSIC Group
Old 4th March 2013
  #92
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real MC View Post
Uli - challenge accepted

Presented as exhibit "A" is the infamous "behringer megathread", which is a depository for behringer threads of questionable nature under the moderation of longtime Harmony Central moderator Craigv. Feel free to initiate contact with him over abuse of the forum at the hands of behringer shills, paid or not.

One of them threatened to ban members from the forum by twisting their innocent words to fit the definition of "harassment" under the TOS of the forum - all because they dared to criticize the product. It's all in that 59 page thread.

And before you accuse me of libel, be advised upon reading the exhibit that I am not the only one who questions the intent of behringer shills.

Behringer is a company in Germany with a history of being deceptive and evasive, and I will answer nothing more from someone claiming to be a german named Uli Behringer who lists his location in Manila Philippines.
I would like chime in here as The Real MC has made statements in post #84 that are just plain false.

By way of introduction, I am the Senior Vice President of Marketing for the MUSIC Group. Anyone who wants to know more about me personally can check out my LinkedIn profile.

I would also encourage "The Real MC" to come forward with their real name so that we can all communicate openly without question as to one's affiliations and motivations. Anonimity sometimes shields important details that add greatly to the conversation.

For starters, allow me to clarify that Uli is Swiss, not German. He founded the BEHRINGER company in Germany in 1989 and it has since grown to over 3500 employees in 10 locations across the globe, but many people still view it is a German company and incorrectly assume that Uli is also German.

The facts about BEHRINGER’s participation in forums
I take exception to several of the writer's assertions but most particularly the suggestion that we somehow directly manipulate public forums or encourage our users/supporters to do so by proxy. The Real MC claimed that “we have paid people” to manipulate forums under false names, but upon request has failed to provide any evidence. Making false accusations is as unethical as the act itself.

As the senior marketing officer of this company, any public outreach and commentary is my responsibility and the people who are empowered to post officially on the company's behalf report to me. Any employee of the company clearly represents himself as such which you can see on multiple forums.

In post #84 the writer points to the Harmony Central thread as "evidence" of alleged manipulation. A quick read through the thread shows that in fact most of the commentary is negative rhetoric posted against BEHRINGER. In several cases owners and users of our products posted their positive experiences and were summarily shouted down by haters. That lead moderator Craigv rightly shut down the thread, "To some extent because there was no useful discussion, only the same old speculation and flaming whenever Behringer is mentioned."

The facts around the Mackie dispute
The author offers two links in an attempt to substantiate his erroneous claims about our business practices. The first refers to an editorial piece posted on the CDM website in 2009 and written by Peter Kirn, in which Mr. Kirn makes claims about the legal dispute between Mackie and BEHRINGER, initiated by Mackie in 1997. An ill-informed (but exuberant) Mr. Kirn claims that it was some peculiarities of US intellectual property law that saw BEHRINGER vindicated, and not a substantive win on the strength of the evidence presented.

Having joined Mackie in late 1998 I have intimate knowledge of this case and the claims against BEHRINGER. I also have the benefit of hearing and seeing for myself the grounds on which my current employer mounted their defense. More importantly, I witnessed first-hand as the then-dominant Mackie attempted in a relentless marketing campaign to discredit the up-and-coming competitor through an array of tactics, up to and including claims of theft of intellectual property, despite the fact that their technology was not patented.

Now, you might say that this is all fair in war and commerce; after all, it is part of the cycle of innovation, renewal and competition. But it is also a lesson in the diffusion of propaganda, that no matter how outrageous the claim, how vitriolic the rhetoric, he who speaks last speaks loudest. As a marketer, I look back at those times of dispute between the two companies and for the life of me I could not understand why Uli didn't stand up for his brand against the onslaught of press coming from our Mackie camp. Today, I understand that at that time, BEHRINGER was a tiny company compared to the much larger Mackie, with only around 50 people on staff and lacking the resources and experience to mount a public defense.

It is a matter of public record that BEHRINGER won all court cases in multiple jurisdictions (Mackie used the "litigation-smother" technique and sued in several countries in attempt to bankrupt BEHRINGER) because it proved that its actions were legitimate and Mackie did not have the IP protection that they claimed. The dispute between the companies ended in a settlement agreement where no money changed hands.

Very few people were privy to the final agreement and I can tell you with certainty that the press were most decidedly not informed. My understanding of the legal case comes from the unique opportunity to see it from both sides. Consequently my opinion of Mr. Kirn's conclusions and by extension those made in post #84 can only be categorized as false and sheer fantasy.

The facts about the FCC fine
The second link in post #84 leads to an FCC release dating to 2006 where the government agency announces the proposed fine against BEHRINGER for unstated violations. Well, if one takes the time to read the actual Notice of Apparent Liability and then follows the case through closure, they would see the real issues. In fact the imported products were in general compliant with EU certification standards, however due to sloppy and missing internal processes as well as lack of communication between our US and Asian offices, we did not pay proper attention to the urgency of the matter.

Due to inexperience we also missed the mandatory filing of the 740 Form, a document that has to be filed with the authorities prior to importation of products into the US as well as the standard FCC compliance statements in the Owner's Manuals. In addition, BEHRINGER was fined for announcing new and as-yet unshipped products on their website and in price lists without the required FCC disclaimer that these products were in fact pending certification.

However the major screw up had occurred; that the initial FCC inquiry was left in limbo for over a year and no wonder the government came down hard on the company.

Again, competitors and the press were quick to distribute the link to the initial FCC release and once again BEHRINGER did little to dispel the growing negative sentiment. Don't get me wrong, we are not crying foul here; if the company failed to follow regulations in labeling their products and sat on the initial notice for over a year, then they deserve to be fined; no matter who they are. But this also means, all other manufacturers should be treated equally.

However little is known that the regulations are not that clear. For example simply publishing the introduction of new products on a website, catalogue or a price list without FCC certification already constitutes a breach of law. Same goes for tradeshow samples that do not carry a disclaimer. The law requires FCC disclaimers which you will find on our website for new products that are still going through the certification process. Pick up a new digital product that we are showing at a trade show and you'll see FCC disclaimer stickers on it!

Now, have you seen any of these items with any of our competitors? How many of our competitors introduce preliminary products without an FCC disclaimer on their website and by doing so breach the law?

Or have you ever checked out DMX lighting products? Those digital products require FCC labels, however upon closer inspection you will find out that the vast majority of the lighting industry is selling non-compliant and hence illegal products. There are many more examples across the industry.

In the end, BEHRINGER learned from the experience, and in turn invested many millions of dollars in its own EMC and Safety labs and implemented a massive series of process enhancements that ensure such an oversight can never happen again. All our products are tested in our own emissions lab and certified by external labs to ensure compliance, and the certification procedure is baked into our product development process. We also have an automated system whereby all product documentation is automatically updated based on the certification status. And by the way that also goes for the UL Safety approval process.

Now, let's take a quick look at some of the FCC's activity in our industry and several other manufacturers who have had issues in compliance. I'll leave it to readers to dig as deep as they like to determine the causes for these actions.

FCC Overview
EB - Equipment Marketing Violations

In particular:
PreSonus US$125,000
http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/...-11-754A1.html

Loud (Mackie, EAW, Ampeg, etc.) US$ 85,000
http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/...12-2009A1.html

American Music & Sound US$ 72,000
http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/...-12-270A1.html

Sennheiser US$7,000
http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/...09-1031A1.html

St. Louis Music (Crate) US$ 42,000
http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/...A-05-42A1.html

Marshall Amplification US$ 7,000
http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/...11-1468A1.html

Samson US$ 35,000
http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/...C-04-39A1.html

Monster Cable US$ 12,500
http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/...09-1050A1.html

As for the Roland Boss pedal issue I think I should leave it to Uli to address that one as the back-story is actually fascinating to know. Hopefully he can address it here in the near future along with answering legitimate questions posted by users of our products and those who are generally interested in what we are doing and how we are consistently trying to make our products better, more desirable and an even better value than they are already.

Thanks all,

Costa Lakoumentas
SVP Marketing
MUSIC Group
Old 4th March 2013
  #93
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JohnRoberts's Avatar
 

Not to continue this veer but...... I have been an interested observer in this over a few decades. I can not be objective as I have had products and even one invention used as "inspiration". So take my comments with a grain of salt.

I see little value in rehashing old court cases that have been settled or dismissed. They are what they are. Some other cases were just not worth suing over if design patents were not in place, an expense few companies in the industry routinely pursue.

I will only ask the obvious question why did these sundry companies decide to charge Behringer with such bad corporate behavior? Surely they believed they were copied (I know I do). Even if the courts did not find legal basis for claims of injury (in most cases).

Note: it is not unusual for large companies to attract nuisance lawsuits, small companies are not generally that attractive to pursue without cause.

=====

I congratulate you on the X-32 design that appears to be a winner, and Behringer's improved customer service that appears to be well received by customers.

JR

PS: If you want to go chapter and verse I will, but losing in court is enough to discourage me. I followed the case about my patent out of personal interest and was disappointed when it was dismissed.
Old 6th March 2013
  #94
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dualflip's Avatar
 

This is called "Damage Control", although to be fair its good to see they are trying to make it right. And again, if you pay scraps for something, why would you expect to recieve premium parts and customer service?
Old 6th March 2013
  #95
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualflip View Post
This is called "Damage Control", although to be fair its good to see they are trying to make it right. And again, if you pay scraps for something, why would you expect to recieve premium parts and customer service?
Maybe. If you can call Radardoug's rant "damage". His entire "complaint" is constructed on a foundation of several invalid assumptions and unreasonable expectations. And of course Behringer is a favorite whipping-boy and target of brand snobs.

Quality is what it is (or isn't), no matter what brand label is on the outside. Performance is performance. Not every job needs the most expensive (or most famous brand name) gear.
Old 6th March 2013
  #96
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bobule's Avatar
 

wow, what a thread! fascinating stuff, i wish all companies would engage with users like this, but i guess its a fiery path!! looking forward to the ada-8200!
Old 6th March 2013
  #97
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Radardoug's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Maybe. If you can call Radardoug's rant "damage". His entire "complaint" is constructed on a foundation of several invalid assumptions and unreasonable expectations. And of course Behringer is a favorite whipping-boy and target of brand snobs.

Quality is what it is (or isn't), no matter what brand label is on the outside. Performance is performance. Not every job needs the most expensive (or most famous brand name) gear.
Mr Crowley, what would those invalid assumptions and unreasonable expectations be?
I would remind you that consumer law in most countries is predicated on the product being ' fit for purpose'. That means that no matter what it costs, it is expected to work for a reasonable time.
I take the attitude that if you are selling a product, then reasonable service goes along with it.
Remind me not to buy anything from you, or get you to service it.
Old 7th March 2013
  #98
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Would that be the common law(?) implied warranty of fitness and merchantability?

Customer service at the end of the world is challenging for all companies.

Thats why caveat emptor was first uttered in Latin.

JR
Old 7th March 2013
  #99
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radardoug View Post
Mr Crowley, what would those invalid assumptions and unreasonable expectations be?
Well, I didn't really want to beat this dead horse, but since you asked, here are a few things that seemed unreasonable to me:

Offering to repair something before confirming the parts were available.

Passing ones self off as someone who repairs Behringer gear with no apparent connection to an official source of service information or parts.

Assuming that this place in NZ was a valid "agent" when there is no evidence to support that. The fact that they gave you such an ignorant response would appear to confirm that they were NOT officially connected to Behringer.

Expecting that every company have a stocking parts depot in every country on earth.

Not pursuing contacting an official source, even if they are in another country a few hundred miles away.

Sending a transformer off to be rewound without adequate specifications.

Concluding that speculative, custom rewinding is a viable alternative to acquiring an OEM replacement part for a commodity guitar amp.

Complaining that the thermal fuse in the transformer opened when that was its job: to protect the gear, the user, and the building from catching fire.

Assuming that the transformer design or construction is inherently flawed based on one bad sample (1 out of 100,000) .

Assuming that your transformer rewinding expert can second-guess what is proper. And especially after his "redeisign" yielded a transformer with improper output voltages.

Telling the customer that they had to pay for a custom rewinding because due diligence was not done to acquire a replacement part. Especially when you claim that you have "a network of good suppliers".

Quote:
I would remind you that consumer law in most countries is predicated on the product being ' fit for purpose'. That means that no matter what it costs, it is expected to work for a reasonable time.
Since you never mentioned anything about the age (or warranty status) of the gear, this seems like a specious argument. Furthermore expecting that nothing will ever fail flies in the face of the need for repair people like you (and me).

Quote:
I take the attitude that if you are selling a product, then reasonable service goes along with it.
Perhaps it would have been better to refer the customer directly to the official Behringer service agent and not get in the middle of it if you have such distain for that brand.

Quote:
Remind me not to buy anything from you, or get you to service it.
Excellent, we have a deal then. I won't sell you anything.
Old 7th March 2013
  #100
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Radardoug's Avatar
 

Gosh Richard, lots of ASSumptions by you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Offering to repair something before confirming the parts were available.
I was asked to repair it. I am often asked to repair things without knowing what parts I will need.

Quote:
Passing ones self off as someone who repairs Behringer gear with no apparent connection to an official source of service information or parts.
I do not and did not pass my self off as in any way connected to Behringer.

Quote:
Assuming that this place in NZ was a valid "agent" when there is no evidence to support that. The fact that they gave you such an ignorant response would appear to confirm that they were NOT officially connected to Behringer.
The first thing I did when I got the unit in and discovered the problem was to look on Behringers website and send them a parts request. Then I went to their international distributors page and found The Rockshop as their NZ agent. I also sent them a parts request.
Quote:
Expecting that every company have a stocking parts depot in every country on earth.
Now that's just silly Richard, I don't expect that.
Quote:
Not pursuing contacting an official source, even if they are in another country a few hundred miles away.
See above.
Quote:
Sending a transformer off to be rewound without adequate specifications.
Bearing in mind that I haven't at this stage even been able to obtain a schematic, what specs would I have? Actually good rewinders can ascertain the information they need from the old transformer. Perhaps you don't know that.
Quote:
Concluding that speculative, custom rewinding is a viable alternative to acquiring an OEM replacement part for a commodity guitar amp.
A week gone, and no information from Behringer, except the supposed local agent saying that they have trouble getting parts from Behringer.
Also please note I repair a lot of older equipment, and you often have to be a bit creative in the parts area.
Quote:
Complaining that the thermal fuse in the transformer opened when that was its job: to protect the gear, the user, and the building from catching fire.
I don't think I complained about that, and I am quite happy for fuses to do their job.

Quote:
Assuming that the transformer design or construction is inherently flawed based on one bad sample (1 out of 100,000) .
I take it you don't know much about transformers, and certainly nothing about the difference in design for a transformer on 50 Hz as against 60 Hz.
A transformer with a high circulating current under no load is not a good look.
Quote:
Assuming that your transformer rewinding expert can second-guess what is proper. And especially after his "redeisign" yielded a transformer with improper output voltages.
The transformer had three windings, two were fine, and the third which is used in an unusual way was a bit high, or was it? I was not happy with the regulator dissipation, but maybe that was the way it was built. I am getting a new one sent to me, I will be able to measure it running and find out.
Quote:
Telling the customer that they had to pay for a custom rewinding because due diligence was not done to acquire a replacement part. Especially when you claim that you have "a network of good suppliers".
You have no idea what I charged the client, and I can tell you they got a cheap repair.
Quote:
Since you never mentioned anything about the age (or warranty status) of the gear, this seems like a specious argument. Furthermore expecting that nothing will ever fail flies in the face of the need for repair people like you (and me).
I don't know the exact age, but 5 years or less. Of course things fail, but in some cases that failure is premature.
Quote:
Perhaps it would have been better to refer the customer directly to the official Behringer service agent and not get in the middle of it if you have such distain for that brand.
The customer would still be waiting. After a slow start, Behringer have now come to the party. Presumably they think I might have a point.
Old 9th March 2013
  #101
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Radardoug's Avatar
 

An update on this thread. The kind people at Galactic in Australia sent me over a new transformer. Unfortunately it wasn't packed too well, and being heavy one of the wires got cut in transit, but no biggy.
So I put the transformer onto a variac and powered it upwith no load.
At about 200 volts the transformer starts humming, and by 230 volts it is drawing .3 amps. So with no load the transformer is already dissipating some 70 odd watts.
I would say there is a shortage of copper as suggested by my rewinder.
So it looks like I will stick with the rewind.
But thanks to Galactic, they came through!
Back to the drawing board maybe chaps?
Old 9th March 2013
  #102
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JohnRoberts's Avatar
 

Interesting...

They get points for sending a new transformer, but not for a marginal design.


JR
Old 11th March 2013
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radardoug View Post
Unfortunately it wasn't packed too well, and being heavy one of the wires got cut in transit, but no biggy.
So I put the transformer onto a variac and powered it upwith no load.
At about 200 volts the transformer starts humming, and by 230 volts it is drawing .3 amps. So with no load the transformer is already dissipating some 70 odd watts.
I would say there is a shortage of copper as suggested by my rewinder.
So it looks like I will stick with the rewind.
But thanks to Galactic, they came through!
Back to the drawing board maybe chaps?
Dear Radardoug,

Per my PM, I need to arrange to get the transformer shipped by Galactic back to validate the shipping damage claim and have our quality and RnD team validate the output and noise you mentioned in your post.

For those watching this post, I will update our findings as soon as they are available.

Best Regards,

Pat Ferdig
VP, Care
MUSIC Group
Old 13th March 2013
  #104
Deleted User
Guest
Behringer is great stuff for the cheap money it costs despite the issues. Rather than ripping on Behringer, mow a few lawns to get enough money for a better preamp. And when your Behringer breaks, just buy a new one because they are that inexpensive. I'm not a Behringer hater. They serve their niche market very well. If you need better build quality then Behringer then spend more money. Problem solved.

LOL.
Old 13th March 2013
  #105
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dualflip's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Behringer is great stuff for the cheap money it costs despite the issues. Rather than ripping on Behringer, mow a few lawns to get enough money for a better preamp. And when your Behringer breaks, just buy a new one because they are that inexpensive. I'm not a Behringer hater. They serve their niche market very well. If you need better build quality then Behringer then spend more money. Problem solved.

LOL.
My exact same thoughts!, people measure the quality of Behringer compared to the time it takes to break down, well let me tell you its not only Behringer, is the way the market works nowadays, most of the stuff is not designed to last that long, for example Ive seen flat screen TVs from big brands such as Samsung, LG, etc, last around 3 years before the PSU caps explode... so Yeah we are used to a different standard in audio, but remember that you get what you pay for and everything today is disposable.
Old 13th March 2013
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dualflip View Post
My exact same thoughts!, people measure the quality of Behringer compared to the time it takes to break down, well let me tell you its not only Behringer, is the way the market works nowadays, most of the stuff is not designed to last that long, for example Ive seen flat screen TVs from big brands such as Samsung, LG, etc, last around 3 years before the PSU caps explode... so Yeah we are used to a different standard in audio, but remember that you get what you pay for and everything today is disposable.
One of the main causes of the shorter lifespans of electronics is power supply to the property being outside of optimal. In some countries (such as Australia, for example), constant excess voltage is a MAJOR problem which shortens the life of components.
Old 13th March 2013
  #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggo View Post
One of the main causes of the shorter lifespans of electronics is power supply to the property being outside of optimal. In some countries (such as Australia, for example), constant excess voltage is a MAJOR problem which shortens the life of components.
That and the "kung fu" brand capacitors they choose to save some pennies
Old 13th March 2013
  #108
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JohnRoberts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dualflip View Post
That and the "kung fu" brand capacitors they choose to save some pennies
The customers are guilty for rewarding price cutting, over robust long term reliability at point of sale. If you give the customers more product than they are willing to pay for, they don't buy and you don't prosper in a competitive marketplace.

I am not defending anything, just observing that the customers are not innocent victims, but complicit in the state of things.

JR
Old 14th March 2013
  #109
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dualflip's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRoberts View Post
The customers are guilty for rewarding price cutting, over robust long term reliability at point of sale. If you give the customers more product than they are willing to pay for, they don't buy and you don't prosper in a competitive marketplace.

I am not defending anything, just observing that the customers are not innocent victims, but complicit in the state of things.

JR
And I agree, which is why I still defend my previous comment, that if you want quality you have to pay for quality, rather than pay scraps and expect premium..
Old 17th March 2013
  #110
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Uli Behringer's Avatar
 

Why are BEHRINGER products so affordable?

Frankly, this is THE most asked question in the 24 years since I started the company. Allow me to re-post a response I published on www.soundforums.net some time ago.

This is such an important question because there is a lingering perception that we must somehow be cutting corners to reduce cost. I have seen people claim that we must be using poor quality parts, not following quality control processes or somehow designing in obsolescence.

While I can tell you that this is absolutely not the case, it may be best if I offer some insights into our business model to explain.

There are four fundamental elements that comprise the selling price of our products; materials, labor, overhead and profit.

Achieving low prices and delivering great value for our customers requires great discipline and hard work in each of these areas. It is my responsibility as the CEO to set the pace and ensure that we reduce costs while always increasing quality; because without quality, we cannot maintain low costs.

We reduce the cost of raw materials in two ways:
First, we buy direct from manufacturers and not through a second source, distributor or contract manufacturer.
Second, we buy in enormous quantities and leverage this volume in negotiating lower prices.

Of course owning the factory where we build our products allows us to cut out at least 30% of the margin demanded by contract manufacturers who are supplying some of our competitors.

Consider that we buy our A/D and D/A converters from Cirrus Logic; the same parts (CS5368 and CS4385) that you will find in a $200k console; we encourage anyone interested to look further into this. We have also been told that we are the single largest Cirrus Logic customer behind only Apple!

You will find similar examples with Analog Devices, makers of the SHARC DSPs that we use or Mabuchi, who make the motors for our motor-faders (and those of Penny & Giles, Alps, etc.) and the list goes on. We are buying the very best parts, from the very best manufacturers, direct and in huge quantities.

That means we pay the lowest possible prices.

Likewise we have two major ways in which we reduce the cost of labor to build our products. First, we own the factory and this means we are paying workers directly and not through a third party that is making a markup.

Again, this results in up to 30% savings. Second, we have invested in massive amount of automation to a far greater extent than many in China in order to reduce cost while increasing quality.

This past year for example we converted the placement of electrolytic capacitors and other through-hole components from hand-insertion to full automation.
Each of the machines that now place e-caps in rapid-fire succession cost over $500k US so the savings in cost will take some time to be realized.

But we have seen an immediate improvement in first-pass yield by eliminating the chance of human error, and that is both improving quality and reducing the cost of re-work.

We run our company with a very low overhead relative to some competitors, and we do this not by cutting corners but rather by working smarter.

First off we invest heavily in systems that improve productivity and reduce redundancy. For example our engineering management software Agile talks to our website content management system so when we enter a product’s specifications we do it once and it is automatically replicated across several departments and is immediately posted to the web. Or take our service manuals which are created automatically, in real-time and with the very latest schematics, parts lists and engineering changes - all available through an on-line portal.

Another way we reduce overhead is by re-investing profits in our company to purchase machinery, land and buildings. For example we have purchased new buildings in Manchester, UK and Las Vegas, USA in the past year. We have also purchased land and we are building a $50 million state-of-the-art campus to contain a new factory, research center, logistics hub and residential village in China. These investments not only give us greater control over quality and production but they also reduce our operating costs over the long term.

Finally it is important to know that we operate on what would be considered to be a slim margin by industry standards. While some manufacturers price their products according to what they think the market will accept, we do it very differently.

We calculate our costs and add a fair markup that will allow us to continue to grow our business and nothing more. Again, we have all seen strategies where manufacturers release new products at high prices only to reduce them as other competitors come into the market. We prefer to offer a fair price from the beginning and not play such games.

The reality of our company is that we are a highly efficient organization of 3,500 people including over 250 engineers and in-house manufacturing. We build up to 5 million products a year and consequently buy parts at the lowest possible cost.

Since I started the company 24 years ago, it has been our philosophy to pass on savings to the customer and this will always be our philosophy.
Offering excellent products at affordable prices has gained us millions of loyal customers who in return reward us by buying our products.

Yes, we are a very different kind of company, we want to be different and I am immensely proud of our team.

Warm regards

Uli
Old 17th March 2013
  #111
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JohnRoberts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dualflip View Post
And I agree, which is why I still defend my previous comment, that if you want quality you have to pay for quality, rather than pay scraps and expect premium..
This is an old theme of mine. (low) "Quality" is not the opposite or inverse of "premium". Premium doesn't even mean high quality or high feature content, it is more associated with higher price points, so kind of literally saying expensive. One ASSumes high price means high quality, but generally it means more features.

There is an old saw in (value) product design that costs designed into a product that the customer does not perceive, especially at point of sale, are costs that actually detract from the products competitive position in the market place, because side by side with a product that doesn't have the extra hidden content cost, it will just appear more expensive for no apparent reason, so not be perceived as a good value.

I noticed a shift in the competitive landscape while working at Peavey back in the late '80s. Prior to this point I was free to get away with designing extra content inside the units, mainly to please myself, because customers never knew, and still enjoy competitive pricing in the marketplace keeping customers happy too. Back around then a few competitors caught up with similarly low manufacturing costs, and forced me to get more disciplined about the subtle under the hood features, that customers have to pay for, but don't see and count while making their POS purchase decision.

A simple question for Uli to write another article about, is the price difference between Behringer and Midas, because Midas is higher quality, or because the Midas product has a more professional feature set and content? Surely Midas enjoys the same low cost manufacturing advantages as the parent company.

So I repeat it is the customers, voting with their pocketbooks that they don't want to pay for the full professional load of features, that drives the design decisions for what to include for a given price point.

Not to change the subject back to the threads actual topic, and I do not have any specific information about the actual headroom or extra output capability of the transformer in this thread's subject product, besides what we all have read, this walks and quacks like the kind of duck, that is precisely one of the invisible costs, inside a product that the customer never perceives as long as the product "works". The difference between the transformer being 1% or 10% oversize is invisible to the customer, but not to the sharp pencil accountants. This is exactly the kind of cost conflict that design engineers, earn their keep managing well, or less well. Too much transformer and you get criticized by the bean counters in cost engineering, not enough transformer and you hear from users in the field (or not).

Caveat: I repeat I have no actual information about this product's transformer design. If it was significantly undersized I would expect more widespread reports of problems. While the symptoms of a marginal transformer design may not be that obvious for typical consumers to interpret.

JR
Old 17th March 2013
  #112
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Radardoug's Avatar
 

Hi Uli,
Good to see you are still keeping an eye on this thread.

The transformer has been sent back to your factory in China for checking.
I'm not sure what frequency the mains is in China, but you need to check the transformer at 50 Hz. It will probably work fine at 60 Hz.
I am surprised that you have not had more failures with this transformer, but I would say it is probably marginal, and will work at 60 Hz. There was comment that you had made 100,000 of these amplifiers, but how many did you make for 230 volt 50 Hz?

Anyway, please keep us informed of what you find in your tests.
Old 22nd March 2013
  #113
Uli I have a question for you.When Behringer NEKKST K8 will be available in Europe?Also,any news about frequency response?
Old 22nd March 2013
  #114
Gear Maniac
 
neil.johnson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radardoug View Post
I'm not sure what frequency the mains is in China, but you need to check the transformer at 50 Hz. It will probably work fine at 60 Hz.
China is 220V, 50Hz.
Old 29th March 2013
  #115
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radardoug View Post
Anyway, please keep us informed of what you find in your tests.
Dear Radardoug,

We inspected the returned transformer to identify any material defects and to validate your concern regarding the proper level of windings, noise, and voltage output. Based on the results of our extensive testing, the transformer passed all mechanical and voltage tests. We did find that there was a louder than normal ‘hum’ being emitted, but we were able to identify this was a result of as physical damage to the transformer, not a mechanical defect.

The first thing that we noticed was the obvious shipping damage. The transformer was shipped to customer using the original packing method from supplier. This method of packaging would typically be fine unless the package was dropped on the corner, which appeared had happened. You can see slight damage on the right corner shown below. Also, we noticed one of the wires was severed as you can see (grey wire)

An open letter to Uli Behringer-physical-damage.png

Next, we measured the returned transformer with the specifications created for the device and found that the transformer within specification. Our specifications for the transformer and our test results are below. Again, all of the output voltages are within the specification. This would not be the case if there was an insufficient number of windings.

Secondary Wiring : S1
Input Voltage : 230V
Material Specification, Output Voltage at No load : 2X27.5 +/- 5%
Actual Measurement Value (V) : 2x25.773
Result: PASSED

An open letter to Uli Behringer-s1.png

Secondary Wiring : S2
Input Voltage : 230V
Material Specification, Output Voltage at No load : 2X17.5 +/- 5%
Actual Measurement Value (V) : 2x17.172
Result: PASSED

An open letter to Uli Behringer-s2.png

Secondary Wiring : S3
Input Voltage : 230V
Material Specification, Output Voltage at No load : 10.5 +/- 5%
Actual Measurement Value (V) : 10.295
Result: PASSED

An open letter to Uli Behringer-s3.png

We then tested the transformer’s Reactive Load to address the concerns over the reported 70W measurements.

It appears that the initial report of 70W was incorrectly measured using a Resistive Load based on Ohm's Law. This is because in a resistive load, there is no phase shift between voltage and current. Therefore, when voltage is at it's peak, so is the current. Reactive loads, however, cause a phase shift between the voltage and current peaks.

In our tests, the proper Reactive Load measurement is 15.92W, which is within tolerance.

An open letter to Uli Behringer-pic5.png

Finally, we used a standard SPL meter to to evaluate the hum. The returned transformer measured 66 dBSPL and the known good one measured 54 dBSPL. Clearly, there was a difference in the two with regards to noise.

An open letter to Uli Behringer-capture6.png

As stated above, the shield was dented when it was returned and one of the corners of the laminated core was dented. The increased noise is attributed primarily to the damage. Because the bonds between the laminates being damaged and causing the whole structure to physically vibrate.

In conclusion, we have determined that the only defect found was the louder than normal hum as stated above. There is no mechanical failure with the transformer when measured properly.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Regards,

Pat Ferdig
VP, Care
MUSIC Group
Old 29th March 2013
  #116
Lives for gear
I lost track of the number of Behringer employees who responded to this thread, but the collective value of the time spent on this whole issue probably exceeds the purchase price of the gear when it was purchased new several times over by now.

Mr. Behringer defends his company very well, IMO.
Old 30th March 2013
  #117
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JohnRoberts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by patferdig View Post
Dear Radardoug,

We inspected the returned transformer to identify any material defects and to validate your concern regarding the proper level of windings, noise, and voltage output. Based on the results of our extensive testing, the transformer passed all mechanical and voltage tests.
Not to inject myself into somebody else's scrum, but your post raises additional questions.

No-load winding voltage tests are popular QA tests for transformer manufacturers to confirm that the factory workers put the right number of turns in each transformer, but does not quantify the transformer's ability to deliver that voltage at appropriate current levels, to power the circuitry.

Reading the OP's original paraphrase of his winder's observation... "He unwound it and found that there were insufficient turns on the primary." Is not likely a criticism of the turns ratio, since adding more primary turns would lower the secondary voltage.

My interpretation is that he is questioning the amount of magnetic field being created by the primary winding as inadequate to support secondary output load. To test this requires loading all the secondaries simultaneously as they would be in use to confirm voltages as used.

This pictures you posted do not appear to be loading the secondary windings.
Quote:
We did find that there was a louder than normal ‘hum’ being emitted, but we were able to identify this was a result of as physical damage to the transformer, not a mechanical defect.

The first thing that we noticed was the obvious shipping damage. The transformer was shipped to customer using the original packing method from supplier. This method of packaging would typically be fine unless the package was dropped on the corner, which appeared had happened. You can see slight damage on the right corner shown below. Also, we noticed one of the wires was severed as you can see (grey wire)

Attachment 337502

Next, we measured the returned transformer with the specifications created for the device and found that the transformer within specification. Our specifications for the transformer and our test results are below. Again, all of the output voltages are within the specification. This would not be the case if there was an insufficient number of windings.

Secondary Wiring : S1
Input Voltage : 230V
Material Specification, Output Voltage at No load : 2X27.5 +/- 5%
Actual Measurement Value (V) : 2x25.773
Result: PASSED

Attachment 337503

Secondary Wiring : S2
Input Voltage : 230V
Material Specification, Output Voltage at No load : 2X17.5 +/- 5%
Actual Measurement Value (V) : 2x17.172
Result: PASSED

Attachment 337504

Secondary Wiring : S3
Input Voltage : 230V
Material Specification, Output Voltage at No load : 10.5 +/- 5%
Actual Measurement Value (V) : 10.295
Result: PASSED

Attachment 337505

We then tested the transformer’s Reactive Load to address the concerns over the reported 70W measurements.

It appears that the initial report of 70W was incorrectly measured using a Resistive Load based on Ohm's Law. This is because in a resistive load, there is no phase shift between voltage and current. Therefore, when voltage is at it's peak, so is the current. Reactive loads, however, cause a phase shift between the voltage and current peaks.

In our tests, the proper Reactive Load measurement is 15.92W, which is within tolerance.

Attachment 337506

Finally, we used a standard SPL meter to to evaluate the hum. The returned transformer measured 66 dBSPL and the known good one measured 54 dBSPL. Clearly, there was a difference in the two with regards to noise.

Attachment 337507

As stated above, the shield was dented when it was returned and one of the corners of the laminated core was dented. The increased noise is attributed primarily to the damage. Because the bonds between the laminates being damaged and causing the whole structure to physically vibrate.

In conclusion, we have determined that the only defect found was the louder than normal hum as stated above. There is no mechanical failure with the transformer when measured properly.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Regards,

Pat Ferdig
VP, Care
MUSIC Group
It is nice that you choose to do this so publicly but if your measurements are unloaded (as they appear) you haven't really addressed whether the transformer design was robust, only that it was built to the arbitrary design voltage targets.

This is probably impossible to fully resolve without a far more detailed inspection, and "adequate" transformer design has subjective aspects. Good enough to not electrocute users and not catch fire, may satisfy the safety agency, while not satisfying an old school transformer winder with more conservative esthetics.

Good luck since a complete inspection to fully vet this transformer design is a bit beyond typical audio forum discussion. The non-engineering public will not have appropriate experience to form subjective opinions in this area.

We'll see.

JR
Old 30th March 2013
  #118
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Radardoug's Avatar
 

JR, thanks for your answer, and feel free to chime in. I respect your opinions, and this helps clarify.

As to the reactive issue. I measured the standing current with no load. Issues of reactivity do not apply. The current being drawn was purely that of the transformer.

Also the old 'quacks like a duck' applies, if a transformer hums with no load, and the lams are reasonably tight, this tells me it is drawing energy.

Too much? That will be determined by the failure history. My question to you Pat is, having looked more closely at this transformer, do you feel it might be better with a bit more copper in it?
The rewound transformer certainly is.

Pat, did you do the same current tests on the quiet transformer? What were the results?
Old 30th March 2013
  #119
S21
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S21's Avatar
 

The most recent complaint was about no-load power draw. The results show the transformer doesn't draw the amount of power claimed by the OP.

Now people are asking why the no-load power draw was measured with no-load ????


And would a bigger transformer be better? Well, a bigger transformer would be heavier and more expensive. If the original transformer has a low failure rate in service then it was the correct part.


Time to give it a rest guys.
Old 31st March 2013
  #120
Lives for gear
 
Uli Behringer's Avatar
 

Dear JR,

thank you for your comment.

We have responded to RadarDoug's concern about the potential defect of the transformer we sent him. We deliberately focused on the investigation of the power consumption under a no-load condition and the noise, which he had reported.

As demonstrated, the transfomer works exactly as designed but unfortunately both shielding and lamination got damaged during transportation, which led to the increased noise level. However all electrical specifications were met and the transformer was fully functional.

If you or RadarDoug would like to investigate this further and have the transformer examined by an independent lab, we are more than happy to assist you with all supporting documents.

The GMX212 guitar amp meets all power and safety specifications, is fully UL certified and comes with a 3-Year Warranty program.

The amp has been in the market for close to 10 years and with 100,000 sold units and basically no reported transformer failures in our RMA system, it is fair to assume that the design is perfectly fine. A quick google search has equally turned out no other results.

Transformers are designed to specifications and not by "adding a bit more copper and windings". If RadarDoug feels his self-made transformer provides a better solution for him, we gladly accept his opinion and gracefully bow out of the discussion. However, we must state that the amp no longer meets compliance requirements and we as a manufacturer obviously cannot be held responsible for any possible consequences.

I hope this answers all questions. Thanks everyone for contributing to this passionate and interesting discussion.

Warm regards

Uli
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