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An open letter to Uli Behringer
Old 12th February 2013
  #61
S21
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🎧 5 years
Puffery is common in commerce. If you read a lot of audio industry claims they really aren't claiming greatness - there are a lot of words with indistinct meanings and the engineering numbers are stated with insufficient detail to be useful in a detailed assessment.

This isn't just from company B. Just look at any company that sells cables...
Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #62
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JohnRoberts's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley ➡️
You get what you pay for. "Commercial puffery" notwithstanding. We do a disservice to customers when we act as enablers of the deceit. Having a power transformer custom rewound for a Behringer guitar amp is like having a custom crankshaft machined for an old rusted out Yugo. Sure, you can do it, buy why would you waste the money?
I thought kids would be smarter by now about discounting marketing hyperbole.

Yugo?? Wasn't that a cheap copy of a Fiat (interesting example)?

There has been a certain democratization of audio performance thanks to technology. Modern $0.25 opamps can outperform high end designs from a few decades ago. So cheap stuff doesn't suck as bad as it used to.

The new PR campaign seems to generating a love fest in some forums. Not here, so far.

JR
Old 13th February 2013 | Show parent
  #63
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Radardoug's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley ➡️
You get what you pay for. "Commercial puffery" notwithstanding. We do a disservice to customers when we act as enablers of the deceit. Having a power transformer custom rewound for a Behringer guitar amp is like having a custom crankshaft machined for an old rusted out Yugo. Sure, you can do it, buy why would you waste the money?
To provide the customer with service actually, something he's not getting from Behringer.
Old 13th February 2013 | Show parent
  #64
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Jazz Noise's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radardoug ➡️
To provide the customer with service actually, something he's not getting from Behringer.
To reiterate, it's no one's fault he lives in New Zealand.

I live in Ireland and I don't expect to be able to walk into town and pick up a Behringer trafo. Ordering it from England would probably be annoying. But it's just economics. I'd have to do it in most situations where I'm part of a niche market.

Part of me just wants to say you got offended because everyone treats New Zealand and Australia like the same place.
Old 25th February 2013 | Show parent
  #65
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Uli Behringer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Dear Radardoug,

Apologies for not joining the conversation sooner but I have been busy of late and not had the opportunity to see what's being discussed on this forum. This is a rather lengthy response, however I felt it is important to address these topics.

Background
Before I address your particular experience allow me to offer some background on the core issues here; the transformer and obtaining factory service in New Zealand.

It is clear to me from your posts that you are an experienced technician so I won't waste everyone's time by recounting the many reasons why we as a manufacturer would prefer that our products are repaired using only genuine factory parts other than to say that using any other safety critical parts could actually be unsafe, potentially dangerous and will also automatically revoke the product's safety certification.

The point of this response is to address the issues you have raised.

By way of background, the GMX212 is a guitar amplifier that was introduced around 10 years ago and without more detailed information we cannot tell how long the amp in question has been in service by your customer.

The model of transformer used in the GMX212 is used exclusively in this product. While we sometimes use a standard transformer model across several products, in this case the part was designed only for this product and is not used anywhere else.

And while I don't have exact numbers, I can tell you that we have sold something over 100,000 amplifiers using this same transformer! Whatever the exact number may be, we do know that there are more than enough of them out there to generate accurate statistics.

Since we have no office in New Zealand, our service and support would have to come from the nearest location, in Australia. And, while I recognize that New Zealanders are a very independent bunch, I think it is also widely accepted that because of the size of the market there are few factory-direct service facilities in the country, especially in pro audio or MI.
While we don't have agents in New Zealand, perhaps you spoke with a dealer who either didn’t know how to get, or was not interested in supplying, the needed part. In any event they were not our agent and certainly did not appear to follow the accepted practice.

Designing and Building Transformers
As mentioned above, every one of our power transformers is designed for the application by qualified engineers using best practices. This includes proper load calculations and safety requirements built around common globally-accepted safety standards, including UL.
We only buy from reputable and UL accredited transformer manufacturers who provide complete UL safety certificates which later form part of the product safety certification documentation.
However we do not only rely on vendor information, but also test all our products in our own UL-accredited safety lab to ensure the integrity of the design. This lab is very sophisticated and we are proud of the facility and the people who run it.

It is critically important that I stress how much we invest in putting all of our products through the safety approval process.
UL product safety tests are not mandatory, even for products sold in the United States where the agency is based. However we have invested millions of dollars in building a world-class testing facility and putting all of the products we make through the rigorous testing protocol defined by UL and other agencies.
This includes hi-pot and temperature rise testing to ensure that our products meet the industry’s toughest safety and reliability standards.

At the moment we do not wind our own transformers although we wind voice coils and make cable harnesses in our own factory. Instead, we rely on a small number of accredited manufacturers to build our transformers to our specifications, with UL approved material and based on UL approved designs.

The comments from your transformer rewinder do not match our observations and are not in line with our designs. It seems very obvious that the transformer seem to have had a short circuit in the primary winding which caused the safety fuse to fail.

I am proud to say that all of our transformer vendors have been valued suppliers for several years and statistically, have delivered some of the most reliable parts.
Obviously a faulty power transformer can cause much more than mere inconvenience, so absolute reliability and safety are our main goals.

It is important that I point out the design and specification process here; note that we start with the power requirements first. The system engineer on the project will determine the overall power needs based on the designs rendered by the engineers assigned to the various sections of the product - preamplifier, power amplifier, etc. Power supplies are designed to meet those needs and then in turn the transformer is specified.

Is Planned Obsolescence Good Business Practice?
I have answered before on the issue and the myth of "planned obsolescence" but it clearly bears repeating here. Even after 25 years of designing and building products I cannot conceive of any good reason to build products that have a limited life-span.

In fact, I don't know how one would do accomplish it, even if they were somehow convinced that it was a good idea (which it isn't).
What would one do? Buy sub-standard parts, purposely use poor design practices or apply some other means? What if the unit broke down during the warranty period? What would be the purpose if the customer decided that they would replace the product with that of another manufacturer?

This does not make any business sense and I flatly reject any such notion for our products. Nothing is more expensive for a Company than a defective product; both from a commercial as well as reputational point of view.

We Focus on Core Competencies
Just after we celebrated our 20th anniversary as a company in 2009 we set about to re-invigorate our organization and set our sights on the next two decades.

As part of that process we determined that our core strengths (and interest) lay in product design, engineering and manufacturing.
We also discovered that historically we were not particularly good at several areas of our business which included service, support and distribution and so we set about to make fundamental changes across the business.
These changes include a massive investment in after-sale service through our newly-formed CARE group.

In fact, we renamed Service to CARE because it underlines what we believe is the central theme of the department - to care for our customers. This investment has added some incredible people, the best tools available and new, fully-stocked repair and support facilities across the world.

We opened our own CARE centers in Las Vegas as well as Kidderminster UK where we increased the stock of repair parts nearly fivefold and implemented a new service manual process driven by our Agile PLM system.

MUSIC Group Opens Best-in-Class CARE Centers

The goal has been to ensure that we are there with the requisite support in the event that a product fails.

The Economics of Reliable Products
It is important that I also frame the discussion around the sheer number of products that we produce each year. With annual production volumes hovering around 5 million units, it is very likely that there is a much larger user base of BEHRINGER products in many product categories than other manufacturers' products.
And with that sort of volume, a runaway failure rate would quickly bankrupt our company in warranty claims. But it is precisely in this climate that we have taken the ultimate show of faith by offering a full 3-Year Warranty program in support of our products in users' hands.

I mentioned that our self-assessment showed us that we were not particularly adept at the distribution of our own products and so we started to do something about that as well.
We decided to exit direct distribution of our products and instead sought out qualified and committed distributors instead. This transition has happened at different rates across the world but in the New Zealand and Australia markets our shift to Galactic Music in only very recent.
But I am certain that customers across the region will see huge improvements in supply and support from Galactic as they are planning to open a service center also in New Zealand.

Customer Care is our Priority
Despite the tone of your initial post I was amused when I read that you had taken the failed transformer to a specialist to wind. Only a perfectionist would do such a thing and while I don't think it makes business sense, I fully respect your commitment to the end customer by doing so.

It is unfortunate that none of our company or distributor staff knew about your need for a replacement transformer as we have literally hundreds on hand and it would be our pleasure to send you one.
Whomever you refer to as the agent should have been better informed on how to get parts from us, but that is likely our fault and we will follow it up.

Thank you Radardoug for helping a BEHRINGER owner get their amp back up and running.
I would love to connect you with John and Paul Goldsmith at Galactic Music to see how they may best serve you in the future.

Warm Regards

Uli
Old 26th February 2013
  #66
Gear Head
 
Sloan's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
lol, all this for a $300 amp?
Old 26th February 2013 | Show parent
  #67
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by S21 ➡️
I don't think the CEO of a large company is going to be contacting you any time soon.
I think he just did .. And it was one of the more well considered and balanced responses I've seen from a CEO in some time. Encouraging.
Old 26th February 2013 | Show parent
  #68
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazz Noise ➡️
Part of me just wants to say you got offended because everyone treats New Zealand and Australia like the same place.
And all this time I thought they were (???) heh heh heh heh

I'll stop now .. Carry on ..
Old 26th February 2013
  #69
S21
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S21's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
An excellent and unexpected response.
Old 26th February 2013
  #70
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Jazz Noise's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Go back to New Zealand, the pair of you!
Old 26th February 2013 | Show parent
  #71
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Radardoug's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Very nice response Uli, however you took your time!
There are a couple of problems you should address though. When I tried to find an agent in New Zealand, I first contacted Behringer via your website. If you have the systems in place that you say you do, then they should have initiated action. They did not and were slow to reply to my email.
I got a very prompt email response from what was then your agency, and their comment was that they have trouble getting parts from you. Again this comes back to your service response.

The rewind was done for me for free by a friend of mine, and that was a great help to me.

However the fact remains that the transformer failed. There is no reason that a well designed transformer should fail like this. The main problem with the transformer seemed to be lack of iron and copper, which is a common fault in transformers made to a price. Considering the number of these you say are out there, it seems very odd that one fails like this.
Old 26th February 2013 | Show parent
  #72
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Radardoug's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_subsonic ➡️
And all this time I thought they were (???) heh heh heh heh

I'll stop now .. Carry on ..
Bloody Australians!
May your chooks turn into emu's and kick your dunny down!
Old 26th February 2013 | Show parent
  #73
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Uli Behringer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Dear Radardoug,

Thank you for your response.

As stated earlier the external “agency” you have contacted might not have taken all steps to support and we unfortunately cannot speak for them.

Our email address for service issues and spare parts is [email protected] which is linked to our own Care centers. We employ over 125 people in our worldwide Care facilities who are more than happy to help and also answer in multiple languages. We cordially invite you to come visit us in our Las Vegas or Kidderminster Care facilities and see for yourself.

As mentioned earlier, we have a very well equipped Australian service center and spare depot which is managed by our distributor Galactic. If a particular part is not in stock, it can be ordered from our factory depot even though this might take a little longer.

Like all components, even the best designed transformers can fail too and this for multiple reasons. Usually a transformer winding will fail open in the hot spot deepest in the windings, or where it is connected to the leads.
The most common failure however is in the primary section where the insulation breaks down between two or more windings, causing a high current in that small area, which subsequently melts the wires and triggers the thermal fuse.

None of our transformers “lack iron or copper” as you suggested. Transformers are built to a specification and any lack of material would cause an unacceptable temperature raise and a failure to pass the safety relevant compliance test. On the contrary, we generally over-specify components for safety and EMC critical components.

Again we salute you for having helped the customer and I hope we can provide you with a great experience in the future.

Warm regards

Uli

CEO
MUSIC Group
www.music-group.com
Old 26th February 2013
  #74
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JohnRoberts's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
As I've probably posted already "stuff happens" and even well designed transformers fail. Agency participation in that design is mainly to insure that they don't catch fire or put humans at risk from shock hazards (valid concerns).

There may be some subjective opinion about how much iron and copper is appropriate. The right amount is enough that the customer never notices.

I hope you take this opportunity to replace your broken transformer with a new original equipment one. Keep your reworked one as spare, in case you are correct and the new one fails too, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

JR
Old 27th February 2013 | Show parent
  #75
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hi
I have a decent pile of transformers from mostly expensive gear.
None of them are from Behringer. It is not a vast sample, just an observation.
Matt S
Old 27th February 2013
  #76
Lives for gear
 
Uli Behringer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Dear all,

allow me to respond to post 21 by The Real MC.

The Real MC claims that “we have paid people to infiltrate review sites and forums”, inferring that we somehow try to manipulate sentiment. Nothing could be further from the truth and I openly challenge him to post here any such evidence.

I have personally posted and participated in conversations on many sites such as Soundforums etc., and done so openly and under my own name. The same rule applies to all of our people who are active online; we don’t post without making it clear that they are an employee of our company.

You have seen our policy of extending customer support to public forums and other places online where our users seek help. Today’s users are much more likely to seek help online through user forums and other, non-traditional channels than they are to call tech support.
The old support model of putting people on hold is rapidly becoming obsolete as users look for more immediate and impartial advice and assistance. We are truly committed to provide great customer experience.

It has never been our policy or method to post anonymously or under false pretenses as users. The net effect of such posts is to merely add to the noise and we think that users are sophisticated enough to easily pick out the fakers. We want no part of that because it is untruthful, adds no value and can lead to an opposite and severe backlash. All of which are good reasons to never go down that road.

I am the first to admit where we have stumbled or even failed in the past and after 24 years of company history we’re still far from being perfect.

To be absolutely clear I am not here to sell but to listen and answer your questions in an open and honest way. As the Founder and CEO I am the first one to stand up and accept responsibility if we screwed up in any area; but I will also stand up for the Company and our people if I feel criticism is not justified. I will try to answer all questions where I can respond with facts and leave out the ones where I can’t contribute in a meaningful way.

I also understand that some people don’t like us and/or our products and I respect that, too. All I ask is that we engage one another in a polite and respectful manner and make this a useful discussion. In the meantime I will try to better explain who I am, what the Company stands for and what our future direction is.

If I can't respond immediately to your questions it's because I have a very busy schedule and travel quite a bit but I will try to find time.

Our goal is to be the very best manufacturer of professional audio equipment that people can count on possible. That is irrelevant of price or product category; we want to deliver exceptional value but also products that perform as expected.
We think that this principle combined with the best support is the right way to run our business and to win your respect.

Thanks again for the opportunity to speak with you all.

Warm regards

Uli

CEO
MUSIC Group
www.music-group.com
Old 27th February 2013 | Show parent
  #77
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Radardoug's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Uli,
Like I said before several times, I first contacted Behringer through your website direct! You don't seem to understand this statement.

OK, how do I now contact the agent that you are currently working with in Australia/New Zealand?

How about a new mains transformer for your client, to keep the product standard.

We can all talk and write Uli, actions are what counts.
Old 27th February 2013 | Show parent
  #78
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Radardoug's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Uli,
As mentioned earlier, we have a very well equipped Australian service center and spare depot which is managed by our distributor Galactic. If a particular part is not in stock, it can be ordered from our factory depot even though this might take a little longer.
These guys, Music Ways Musical Instrument Wholesaler Home, seem to be your agent too. Could you confirm or deny??
Old 27th February 2013
  #79
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I don't see anywhere in that website that they appear to be a parts depot or even a distributor for Behringer. And Behringer isn't even mentioned in their list of brands. There is nothing about that vendor's website that would impress me that they would have any access to Behringer parts. And Music Ways is never mentioned on the Behringer website. Not clear how you came to the conclusion that Music Ways is a Behringer agent?
Old 28th February 2013
  #80
Lives for gear
 
adrianww's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley ➡️
I don't see anywhere in that website that they appear to be a parts depot or even a distributor for Behringer. And Behringer isn't even mentioned in their list of brands. There is nothing about that vendor's website that would impress me that they would have any access to Behringer parts. And Music Ways is never mentioned on the Behringer website. Not clear how you came to the conclusion that Music Ways is a Behringer agent?
The left-hand sidebar on their website lists Behringer and links to a range of Behringer products, but I'm not sure it's the full range and I didn't get any impression that they were some kind of full-service agent (i.e. national/regional distribution and parts). The Behringer website lists rockshop.co.nz as the only authorised partner of any sort in New Zealand and lists no authorised service centre in NZ, although there's a few listed for Australia.

If I'd been in that situation and had no joy contacting Behringer directly, I'd have tried some of the Aussie service centres I guess.
Old 28th February 2013 | Show parent
  #81
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radardoug ➡️
Uli,
Like I said before several times, I first contacted Behringer through your website direct! You don't seem to understand this statement.

OK, how do I now contact the agent that you are currently working with in Australia/New Zealand?
Dear Radardoug,

Please allow me to introduce myself. I am the VP, Care for MUSIC Group and want to step in to help get this issue resolved.

As Uli has stated in past posts, we have invested significantly in our support operations over the course of the last 12 months. As such, we have built two state of the art Care facilities in Las Vegas, NV (USA) and Kidderminster, UK to support our customers. We currently employ 125 employees and provide support in 7 different languages out of our two facilities.

In order to support our customers in Australia and New Zealand, we have transitioned the service to our distribution partner, Galactic Music at the first of the year. We continue to work with them to insure the proper level of service is provided to customers in this region.

Now to get back to your specific issue. I would like to reach out to Galactic myself to assist in getting your issue resolved. If you can please send me a PM with your direct contact details, I will take ownership and accountability for resolving this.

For future reference, you can also contact Galactic Music directly for any service needs. You can reach them contact information is:

GALACTIC MUSIC
5 Monomeeth Drive
Mitcham, Vic 3132 Australia
[email protected]

In response to your question regarding Music Ways, they are not an authorized reseller through MUSIC Group. You can find an updated list at http://www.music-group.com/partners.html .

If you ever need any assistance, or if you are not getting the support you need, please contact us at [email protected] or send me a PM. We are more than happy to assist in any way that we can.

Pat Ferdig
VP, Care
MUSIC Group
Old 28th February 2013
  #82
Lives for gear
 
Radardoug's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks Pat, PM'd.
Old 3rd March 2013
  #83
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
A review of "The Real MC's" post history seems to be filled with the same sort of "hard line internet tough-guy whos done and seen it all" type of assertions.

I'm anxious to see his response to the challenge.
Old 3rd March 2013 | Show parent
  #84
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
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.
Old 3rd March 2013
  #85
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Uli I have a question for you.When Behringer NEKKST K8 will be available in Europe?Also,any news about frequency response?
Old 3rd March 2013 | Show parent
  #86
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by patferdig ➡️
In order to support our customers in Australia and New Zealand, we have transitioned the service to our distribution partner, Galactic Music at the first of the year. We continue to work with them to insure the proper level of service is provided to customers in this region.
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".

I applaud what Behringer has been doing over the last year or so and I'm looking forward to buying some of the new "Coming Soon" gear announced at NAMM, but re-writing history is a big ask..........
Old 3rd March 2013 | Show parent
  #87
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hi
Mr Behringer and his company are allowing millions of people to enjoy making music in their own way. It may or may not be 'the best' but then for the vast majority, affordable and reliable is key.
Most if not all the 'detractions' can be applied to many other companies especially those that get beyond the couple of hundred 'staff' levels.
The whole point of music is FUN and interactions between people, which seems to be lost.
Matt S
Old 3rd March 2013
  #88
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Good point,Matt!
Old 3rd March 2013 | Show parent
  #89
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real MC ➡️
I will answer nothing more from someone claiming to be a german named Uli Behringer who lists his location in Manila Philippines.
No offence but that's probably a very good idea. Following on from that logic, I assume you won't want to talk to either of my Brother-In-Laws .. A Bavarian and a Tirolian who both live in Australia
Old 3rd March 2013 | Show parent
  #90
Lives for gear
 
JohnRoberts's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real MC ➡️

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 see no reason to dispute whether this is the real "Uli". He is undertaking a charm offensive using the internet (very effectively IMO) to promote his company.

I have challenged him on a few of his comments, but he is not here to wrestle with opinion leaders. There are millions of new eyeballs who do not have old first hand experience to forget. So every post and thread is an opportunity for new first impressions and more free advertising.

He deserve the opportunity to walk his new talk, and the X-32 is a notable accomplishment despite industry-wide hopes from his competition that he would stumble.

The only thing remarkable about this thread is how long it took the Berhringer service organization to notice it and make it go away (with actual customer service).

It is what it is, and ancient history in the music business is for the ancients (like me) to fret about.

JR
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