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Who is Crystalphonic over at Ebay?
Old 8th July 2005
  #1
Who is Crystalphonic over at Ebay?

And has anyone here purchased anything from him/her?

All of the auctions are private listings which worries me about doing business.


Old 8th July 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 

Several pieces of equipment for sale correspond with Crystalphonic Studios. The location does as well (Crystalphonic is in Charlottesville; the auctions say Charlottesville too.)

http://www.crystalphonic.com/

For example, I know they used to have ATC 100's, and there is a pair listed for sale... and in the photo I see they have upgraded to a larger model.

Pretty well known place.
Old 8th July 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 

Without commenting specifically on Crystalphonic, who I don't know, I'm currently having trouble getting delivery on a piece of gear from a "private auction" person. The problem is I don't think they have as much motivation to get things right, since they know they are innoculated from bad feedback. I'm starting to doubt that I'll ever see the gear, and I'll approach any "private auctions" with trepidation from now on.

If Crystalphonic has something you really want, I'd suggest getting their number and giving them a call. A quick conversation should sort out if they are for real of not.
Old 8th July 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 

BTW: the feedback from a private auction is posted along with all the other feedback; the difference is that the item number says "Private" and the buyer's I.D. is not shown.
Old 8th July 2005
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Crystalphonic is... me!

I had to finally register here and respond. I am Crystalphonic... I'm Kevin McNoldy, one of the owners of the studio, and the guy who put the place together. We are located in Charlottesville, Virginia, and yes--we have a lot of auctions up right now.

First off: the reason I always do private auctions... I started with Ebay a couple years ago, and within my first few auctions, I found that scammers would steal the ID's of bidders from my auctions, and contact them during and after the sale. They would use lines like "I can sell it to you now and stop the auction, but I need the money quickly because I'm leaving the country" or "The winner didn't follow through, so I can sell the item to you." This increased more and more, until I researched and started using the private auction--which is EXACTLY the same as regular auctions, with one exception: no one can see the ID's of anyone bidding. Therefore, no one can "break in" and commit fraud against anybody bidding on my stuff.

Also within the first few months of my Ebay experience, someone stole my identity, locked me out of my own account, and re-ran several auctions I had already finished. I finally got Ebay to reset everything, and swore at that point that I would never do any auctions that opened me or the bidders up to the outside world in a way that could harm anyone.

I can assure you that everything is legit in our auctions... and regarding the ATC 100's that were mentioned, we've always owned them as well as our 300's. We just never really found a room to fit them in, as A and D already had bigger monitors installed.

Now, regarding feedback and private auctions: you give and receive feedback as normal with any auctions on Ebay. Private auctions are NOT shielded from feedback in any way. I have a a perfect feedback score because I treat people right and I'm honest about what I sell. If there's a problem, I take care of it. So, Albert, if you are being led on by a private auctioneer, then the guy is just a s*$thead on his own, it has nothing to do with hiding behind Ebay in any way.

If anyone wants to verify anything I'm saying, call me anytime. The studio phone number is on our website.

We're moving a lot of stuff right now, but it's only a portion of what we own--we're preparing for a D Control to replace the SSL in the A Room. That's a whole different discussion right there, so I'll just leave it at that.

----
Kevin McNoldy
Crystalphonic Recording Studio
www.crystalphonic.com
Old 8th July 2005
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystalphonic

----
Kevin McNoldy
Crystalphonic Recording Studio
www.crystalphonic.com

Thanks Kevin for the reply and i look foward to doing business hopefully in the future. thumbsup

And so sorry to hear about the news with the SSL(SSL lover & owner here).
Old 8th July 2005
  #7
Here for the gear
 

LOL... no need to be sorry about our SSL, I'm very excited to bring in the D Control. I meant more that I didn't want to get into a discussion of "SSL versus Icon," that sort of thing. I tried the D Control a few months back, and now I've sold my SSL--you can probably tell I really like the D Control!

Thanks...


--Kevin
Old 8th July 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 
indie's Avatar
 

Hey Kevin,
CRAPP! I didn't get a chance to work on your hot rodded SSL!!
Micah
Old 8th July 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 
electric's Avatar
 

hi all,
i have bought a lot of stuff from kevin. everything is always as described and packed perfectly.

electric
Old 8th July 2005
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Kevin,
Did you guys have the work on your SSL done by Phil N.? We've had him do the commisioning on our console and he was mentioning that he had been working on one in VA before. Just wondering...
Good luck with the console change... thumbsup

Irina VS
Old 8th July 2005
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Micah: yes, sorry you didn't get a chance to play with the hotrodded SSL, but we'll make it up to you... we already have a "beta" version of this hybrid wired up in the D Room (minus the Icon), and I'm mixing an album right now on it--you can move so fast with this kind of rig, and it sounds absolutely perfect (of course, we have 64 channels of Apogee AD-16x and DA-16x as the front end).

Electric: Thanks, and glad you liked the stuff you purchased!

Irina: Yes, "Dr. Phil" as we call him was the primary guy on the work. He is absolutely the best SSL guy in the world, as far as I'm concerned--he not only is an absolute expert at every aspect of the console, but he also makes YOU become an expert at every aspect of the console--he's an amazing teacher, and explains all the details at every step of the way. By the time we were finished hotrodding our console, even the shareholders who knew nothing about music or electronics could pop out a console strip, take out the section card that needed repair, and test it. It was amazing to say to a non-technical co-owner, "the meter on 48 isn't responding, can you fix it?" and they could actually take it out, tweak it, completely fix it, and put it back in.

That was all because of Phil--quite an amazing guy, and worth every penny. PAD was also involved, providing newly designed VCA's, mods, and more... they were great to work with as well.

Thanks...


--Kevin McNoldy
Crystalphonic Recording Studio
www.crystalphonic.com
Old 8th July 2005
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Kevin,

We've had the best of times with 'Dr. Phil' as well. And also, not only because of his massive knowledge on 4k/6k consoles, or because of his ability to hotrod them, but because of the fact the he managed to take away the fear factor of doing basic maintenance ourselves. None of us at the studio had a technical knowledge that surpassed the skills required for changing light bulbs. But after a few weeks we were all pretty comfortable at doing some of the maintenance and care taking of the console with a few simple tools (like an eraser!!), and mainly the confidence he gave us to realize that most day-to-day problems can be solved...by us...
We got PAD involved too in the VCA mods. Nothing but raving reviews from the engineers so far.

All The Best,
Irina VS
Old 8th July 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Damn...that is a georgous studio Kevin.
I love to see studios who pride themselves on great sound and great vibe. Beautiful.

Thanks for joining in on the thread!!!
Old 8th July 2005
  #14
Gear Addict
 
CrazyBeast's Avatar
 

Hello-
Just wanted to chime in and say that I've also bought a number of items from Kevin and it has always been a good transaction...
Old 8th July 2005
  #15
Lives for gear
 
indie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystalphonic
Micah: yes, sorry you didn't get a chance to play with the hotrodded SSL, but we'll make it up to you... we already have a "beta" version of this hybrid wired up in the D Room (minus the Icon), and I'm mixing an album right now on it--you can move so fast with this kind of rig, and it sounds absolutely perfect (of course, we have 64 channels of Apogee AD-16x and DA-16x as the front end).
www.crystalphonic.com
I look forward to checking out the new toys...
Micah thumbsup
Old 8th July 2005
  #16
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Kevin is right about the assault on bidders....especially these higher priced items.
Old 8th July 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystalphonic
Now, regarding feedback and private auctions: you give and receive feedback as normal with any auctions on Ebay. Private auctions are NOT shielded from feedback in any way. I have a a perfect feedback score because I treat people right and I'm honest about what I sell. If there's a problem, I take care of it. So, Albert, if you are being led on by a private auctioneer, then the guy is just a s*$thead on his own, it has nothing to do with hiding behind Ebay in any way.
Thanks for posting Kevin!

The issue with private auction feedback is this: while you can see the feedback score, you can't read the comments. It's the buyer/seller comments I find most useful. The reason for this is the quite often people will give a positive feedback but leave a negative remark about a problem they had with the auction. The positive feedback is so there won't be retaliatory feedback, but the truthful comment is to warn other eBayers what really went down with the auction. I've seen this scenario many, many times and for that reason don't trust the eBay feedback rating system as much as I do the actual buyer/seller comments.

Also, the scamming you describe is practically epidemic on high ticket pro audio gear. I understand the problem because it has happened to me several times as well. Since you are dealing with a lot of high ticket items I can understand your interest in protecting yourself as you have. In my case, I rarely sell anything in that price range so I deal with it for the few auctions that I need to.

It was shocking to me how the scammers came out and hassled my buyers and potential buyers by posing as my "associate" among other things, and making completely fraudulent offers. Completely illegal of course, and eBay doesn't do much of anything about it.

So if you are selling a lot of high ticket items I understand your private auction approach. Best of luck to you!
Old 8th July 2005
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert
The issue with private auction feedback is this: while you can see the feedback score, you can't read the comments.
I was under the impression that making your feedback comments private was a wholly separate deal than simply keeping the ID's of bidders private, as in the case of a private auction. Would the feedback comments from a high bidder in a private auction not be visible in the seller's feedback profile? In Crystalphonic's case, the item#'s are unlisted, but the buyer ID and feedback comments are available to anyone. What am I missing?
Old 8th July 2005
  #19
Hey Kev, good to see you here. I shipped your High Speed mic pre a few days ago so it should arrive shortly. Enjoy!

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 8th July 2005
  #20
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
All of the auctions are private listings which worries me about doing business.


Private auctions are great for several reasons, First as a buyer noboby can see who is bidding on the item so nobody can email you. (Just go bid on a G5 (or any high ticket item) and see how many emails you'll get trying to sell sell you one for less than your bid.
As a seller nobody can contact your bidders trying to get them to buy from them.
Plus the seller only see's the high bidder.
I have even bid on items for know good sellers and people have emailed me telling me the auction was a fraud which it was not.
I think all auctions on ebay should be private.
Old 8th July 2005
  #21
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

nice studio welcome
Old 8th July 2005
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments on the studio.

Regarding feedback: look at my Ebay ID, crystalphonic. You can see all the buyers' comments quite clearly, you just can't see their ID's or the auction ID's. I don't know what is missing for you, Albert--perhaps it is a global setting different from the "private auction" setting, but my comments are public.

And with private auctions, we have never had a problem since we started using them. The only thing I've seen people do is steal my pics and text and run their own version of my auctions--someone did this a few days ago, and we had him shut down in a matter of hours. I wish Ebay would run everything like this--buyers should be protected as well as sellers, and private auctions do that.

The biggest drawback as a seller is that I can't see any ID's after the fact--only the high bidder. So when you bid on our auctions you REALLY are protected--I don't even know who you are afterwards. If I do a second chance auction, I can see who bid and offer them the item for their highest bid, in case something fell through with the winner. So there is a bad side in that you can't really establish relationships with other potential future clients. The overall feedback score helps there, though, as more people come to the auction if they can trust your sale.

Jim: Thanks for the heads-up on the preamp! Can't wait to hear it again. By the way, for those who don't know--Jim Williams at Audio Upgrades is absolutely one of the best guys in the business, period. His mods can make gear you thought was the top-of-the-line better than you ever imagined it could sound. His own designs, such as the preamp we're talking about, are also incredible. Like Dr. Phil, whom we were mentioning earlier, Jim is an incredible teacher who just by default makes you smarter about pro audio as he explains his work and his philosophy. He has no shortage of opinions on equipment and recording technique, and from my point of view that's a good thing, as he is correct 100% of the time! He is one of the few geniuses in our industry, and his preamp is absolutely the most transparent one made today, and the fastest...

Thanks again...

Kevin McNoldy
Crystalphonic Recording Studio
www.crystalphonic.com
Old 8th July 2005
  #23
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 

Don't forget the other reason for private auctions...

Some guys have nosey significant others!


(And I feel for those guys!)


Old 8th July 2005
  #24
Lives for gear
Yup, he's absolutely right...

You can read all the feedback comments in a private auction, and if you did, you wouldn't hesitate a second before buying from a guy like Mr. Crystal. I myself am 170/100%, and this is exactly the kind of guy I love to deal with. I've never had one problem following this precaution on eBay.

I wanted that Requisite L2M Mkll he had for sale reeaallll bad, but had to watch the prices soar into the stratosphere on the final day. $3600 for that thing...USED? Wow, ya done good for yourself, Kevin. Congrats!
Old 8th July 2005
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Take a look. There's some asshole with the same name Crystalphonics
They've been a member for 4 months, have (0) feedback and are based in China.
That **** stinks big time.
Old 8th July 2005
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fross
Take a look. There's some asshole with the same name Crystalphonics
They've been a member for 4 months, have (0) feedback and are based in China.
That **** stinks big time.
maybe kev is outsourcing....thats the big trend these days heh
Old 9th July 2005
  #27
Here for the gear
 

Crystalphonics... damn, some guy in China DOES have that ID, and zero feedback history. We'll see if he tries to jump in and steal auction pics at some point. There's always an a*@hole who tries to screw things up.

Truffle, sorry you missed out on the Requisite... it did sell quite high, but usually between all the auctions things balance out.

Next up for me--our Neve Portico just arrived. I will directly A/B against our 1073, so I'll try to post some really decent opinions about the similarities and differences. I keep finding that people respond with "man, it sounds great" which doesn't really move me much.

Thanks...


--Kevin
Old 10th July 2005
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystalphonic
Regarding feedback: look at my Ebay ID, crystalphonic. You can see all the buyers' comments quite clearly, you just can't see their ID's or the auction ID's. I don't know what is missing for you, Albert--perhaps it is a global setting different from the "private auction" setting, but my comments are public.
Your comments are public, but there is an option for the seller to keep the feedback comments private too. I don't like this because you get no sense of the history of the seller. You can't see what they auctioned in the past and you can't read anything about how those auctions went. All you have to go on is the feedback score itself, which as I said can be deceptive.

Incidentally, the seller in the private auction where I was the winning bidder has *finally* shipped the item, 5 weeks after I paid and after many pleasantly professional but firm emails. From now on, I'll only bid on auctions where I can read the feedback comments.
Old 10th July 2005
  #29
Gear Nut
 

Hi. Just wanted to add to the comments on Crystalphonic. I went down to their place to check it out on a break from school and everyone there was absolutly top notch. It's physically an amazing facility but aside from that everyone was interested in making everyone else feel comfortable and of course sounding as amazing as possible. They were generous enough to take the time to let some kid working on a recording degree come bombard them with questions and look around the place. Truly excellent people.

-justin herlocker

ps. kevin- the D control sounds pretty cool. The twin console to yours that was in Boston isn't around anymore, I wish we could afford yours to put in our place!
Old 10th July 2005
  #30
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

nice to hear these kind of comments!
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