A strange business model for audio


I purchased a Technic sug700 integrated amp used on here and while it is not perfect (only70 watts aside from class d) I  am enjoying my time with it, as Ricardo would say it looks and sounds marvelous. There were a number of factors I took into consideration including two stellar reviews.
So naturally, I am interested in Panasonic/Technics and what they might be planning. So the buzz is they are getting back in the USA in a big way. Yet when I try to contact either the parent corp. or Technics I either get a nonworking number, nonworking email address, or some useless computer directing me to those nonworking numbers. I also found out if something went wrong with the amp.it  would have to be shipped 2000mi to fla. When I called their dealers none of the locals had any of my amps in inventory and were awaiting their first shipments. I have not run across any ads or other reviews son I guess they are not reaching out to them why not I  wonder,if it was a kef LS50 there would be a dozen reviews. This product line has been out for at least 3 years. It is as if they abandoned the US market or the marketing and distribution  depts. are incompetent. Just saying my experence.

scott22
This happens a lot. Happened to me even. A lot of people make the same mistake, but I am sure you will agree when you see it is really Billy Crystal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gbDgptNlvA
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Sounds like there in a world of hurt ill pass.
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 Perhaps Billy Crystal's best piece of wisdom so enjoy the music regardless how loud. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xaAM23ShVw&ab_


I have seen a number of advertisements for different Technics products, including yours, in those e-mails from Stereophile and its other publications.
You think huge conglomerates like Technics/Panasonic give a s**t about what any of us think, or care whether we can reach their corporate offices (to do what?)?  Think again!
I don't think Technics / Panasonic is unique. I submitted an inquiry to a US based speaker company and it took them almost 3 months to respond back, with 1001 apologies....   I've had better luck with getting timely (w/in 48 hours) response back from the likes of Vinshine (Singapore) and other Asian manufacturers (Korea, China, Taiwan, HongKong) and that includes the 12+ hour time difference... But sometimes the language barrier can be challenging... 
THEE most important criteria for me is; Are the people at the company passionate about their products? Will one of them answer the phone if I call? I've had great electronics but dumped them for this very reason. Classe was one of them. Actually, I currently own a pair of Pioneer speakers that feature trickle down technology from the TAD speakers. They sound great BUT when I wanted to pick someone's brain from Pioneer? Forget about it! They may or may not stay. Joe  
It is interesting to see how deeply people get involved with their electronics, knowing that electronics these days is usable and, eventually, a throw-away product.

It is a little annoying knowing the track record of a company not supporting their products after a while (SONY, for example) so it does become planned obsolence, but that is how it goes.
  • Philgo you are spot on. I try to avoid the conglomerates in favor of local small operations. the big corporations, in general, could give a rats patoot about the consumer. Unfortunately, when it comes to big-ticket items above my means I must go to the used market, such was this case. For the 99% of us life is about compromise. I might add for 30% of families in the USA who live check to check as we are seeing it's about survival.
A lot of the local small operations fold for unknown reasons and then there is when the owner dies, the company dies as well.  I try to stay away from those small companies. 
Once, I tried to contact JBL for some info on their 3419 monitors. I live just 14 miles from their corporate headquarters in Northridge, Ca. Just getting past the rep who answered gave me pause. When they finally got me in touch with someone, they had no idea their speaker was being sold by Music Direct, which had been selling them for quite some time, or that they were available anywhere for sale stateside.

The fish rots from the head, and that head can be from anywhere.

All the best,
Nonoise
It is hard to find any love for any piece if the company's CS is also
a piece. Smaller company the better in my book. Then I look at my
gear and have to admit that Tannoy is pretty slow to respond. Pass
Labs is as good as I could ask for. Innuos in Portugal responds same day. My man Vlad in MN makes Audio Mirror DACs (part-time, one man show) so his response time can be 2-3 days. But when he responds you get the answer you hope to get and more. It is all about managing expectations. When people/companies are A-holes, liars or non-responsive I will gladly pass. Why reward poorly run companies?
If I remember correctly in Tom Peter’s book in search of excellence he said the best corporations had three driving characteristics they took care of their employees, customers, and their local community while in pursuit of profit. Such a culture is I believe inherent in small enterprises and lost in larger ones whose goal is only to maximize profits above all.
I believe most of us have had positive experiences with the small audio companies that when we call we get the owner or a person willing to spend time with us or who have policies that are consumer centered such as free 30 day trial in home with shipping covered both ways. Such a policy could threaten the very survival of the small shop but clearly puts the interest of the consumer first. Thanks for your insightful responses.
What a lot of people don;t realize is that many companies that used to manufacture equipment, now just slap on their name onto something that companies such as FoxCom design and build.   This is even true with cars.  For example, an Austrian company, called Steyer something, makes the current Supra that everyone thinks is a BMW.  The fact is  that the BMW is also a Steyer, as are all 5 series BMW's, the Mercedes G series etc. Porsche even had a deal in place for them toi make the Boxter, but suddenly bought Ghia, as in the VW Karmann Ghia, to make them.  Look at your television. It might have a gluisd on brand name plus a decal on the back.  Don't get too excited if a holding company buys the right to a brand name. Just remember, one oriental investment company sells its brands, Denon, Marantz, and McIntosh, as if these companies still exist as separate entities.
Is that Recardo Montalban,  Daniel Ricardo, or Ricky Recardo?
Your handy tell them apart reference:
Ricardo Montalban https://youtu.be/BoVv1a354Bo?t=66
Danny Ric https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qkN5CxjN2w
Ricky Ricardo https://youtu.be/_9ivqXzmrZ0?t=41
Granted it is kinda hard to tell Danny Ric and Ricky Ricardo apart.
It sounds like a sign of the times because their are no dealer and distribution networks anymore audio products have become throw away items and they are being built as such it is a sad state of affairs.
This is even true with cars. For example, an Austrian company, called Steyer something, makes the current Supra that everyone thinks is a BMW. The fact is that the BMW is also a Steyer, as are all 5 series BMW's, the Mercedes G series etc.



You mean Magna Steyr, who would be similar to Foxconn in that they are a contract manufacturer, but in the same sense Apple phones are very much Apple products and not Foxconn, the Supra is very much a Toyota, as BMWs are BMWs.  Yes there are companies that simply sell products that are made by someone else, called private labelling, your examples are not an accurate representation of this even if Foxconn especially participates in this practice.


Everyone wants everything cheap, now, and from anywhere in the world. Support costs money.  Given the choice of paying $1,100 with support of $1,000 without, most will take $1,000.  What does a 15 minute phone call cost a company?  Every time you need to "touch" the customer, it costs money.  That comes out of profit which after everyone is paid may not be much. Companies makes choices. I suspect most here own cars. How much direct contact have you had directly with the car manufacturer and not their independently operated dealers?  If you a customer that expects lots of support, pick companies that specialize in that and expect to pay a premium.
Purchased a Mytek DAC from Music Direct.  Had a problem with it, contacted Mytek, 3 days to respond only to tell me to do a reset.  That did not work. Never heard from them again.  Packed it up and sent it back to Music Direct for refund.  The only way to change this behavior is for people like us to get the word out about manufacturers who do not respond.  I will never buy another Mytek device.
Purchased a Mytek DAC from Music Direct.  Had a problem with it, contacted Mytek, 3 days to respond only to tell me to do a reset.  That did not work. Never heard from them again.  Packed it up and sent it back to Music Direct for refund.  The only way to change this behavior is for people like us to get the word out about manufacturers who do not respond.  I will never buy another Mytek device.
Mytek is a very small company.  Michal ran it out of an apartment in NY for many years, handled everything himself.  He's quite bright, which is why Mytek is ahead of many others in product development.  One of the reasons Mytek is affordable is due to far lower operating costs than say, a Panasonic, which has legions of people to feed all over the world.   Panasonic needs to multiply their build cost times 6 at least to stay in business.  Mytek likely marks build cost up by 1.5 to stay in business.  In this way they can deliver a much higher performance product than Panasonic for a much lower price.  Given all that, logic says they are smaller, fewer people, with those people doing more jobs than a big company to keep costs down.   So you want to trash them because they didn't call you back fast enough?    What "behavior" are you are trying to change?   
Lone Mountain