Star Technologies, Sistrum Stands and Audio Points - are they still in busienss ?


I hate to inquire on a public forum such as this but based on what has occurred over the past 6 weeks leaves me to believe that there may be an issue here. I contacted Star Technologies and left a message for the owner ; Robert on this phone back on November 18th or so of this year. I did not hear any response back and thinking it was Thanksgiving that he may have taken a needed rest. I called after Thanksgiving and left a message and still no response. I went to the Star Technologies web site and then sent an email thinking that this may be the best way to contact Robert using their web-site figuring. Still nothing and we are now going on three weeks. This is odd as I have done business with Robert in the past he was always very responsive. I called once more and left a message and got a phone call back about an hour later and I was delighted to hear from him. This all started when I wanted to replace the stock speaker spikes on my Wilson Benesch Square 5 speakers with his Audio Points. ( which btw are very good ) Seeing how the points are metric and I wanted to make sure that the spikes that I would be buying from him to replace the existing ones would be '' built '' correctly ; I sent him one of my spikes as per Robert's request ; '' Yes , go ahead and send me one of those spikes so I know I have the right size for your speaker ''.  So I sent him the spike one month ago …...I have not heard back from and even after 4 left messages. I left a message last week saying this BS …...just send me the spike back and I will mail you a check for all of your efforts and shipping. Still nothing and I want my GD speaker spike back !  So, if any one knows what's going on with this business it would be very helpful. Thank you in advance.                
garebear
Damm ; that should read Business.....not a good typist.    
While I haven’t purchased anything from Robert in many years, I simply love their products and even posted a link to a white paper on their site just yesterday.

Perhaps Robert is ill.  Please keep us posted.

I wish I could attach pictures of the various Starsound accessories I have from them, including speaker stands which now keep my subs well above the floor.  
This is Dale Humphrey, with Star Sound. Everything is fine and in fact the company is entering a new phase of growth and product development. In addition there will be a rebranding to Soundstage Audio - Design & Manufacturing. One of the most significant developments has been the formation of an in-house machine shop. Those familiar with our products understand our intense focus on quality and continual refinement. The manufacturing partners we have utilized have been, generally, reliable and attentive but we had to step-up another level in terms of turnaround times and quality control. 

On the product side we introduced, at Capital Audio Fest (check out the reviews), a new line of stands/racks manufactured, primarily, of wood. This is a materially that we have purposely avoided although after repeated requests from the market we began to investigate how we could combine the appeal of wood with our historic emphasis on vibration management - which we control through metals, proprietary shaping, etc. WE ARE NOT A FURNITURE COMPANY! For us to produce anything that interfaces with electronics, speakers and acoustics it must have a beneficial impact and audible results. The Timbre Platforms use 2" thick cherry and pure copper rods and inlays for resonance flow and ultimately grounding. Our new website is under development and you can view one of the racks at: https://soundstageaudio.com. Note:the primary Star Sound site is still active and the product set supported. There is no intention of moving away from our steel and brass product line and still consider those the most effective devices in the respective product category. In that regard we will be launching a new product line called Listening Session which will borrow from our higher-end devices although at lower price points. 

garebear: we have your spike and will address your needs. We were baffled at the thread which was ultimately determined to be M14 - 1.5. Please excuse the delay in Robert's response. He has encountered some challenges but myself and others can assist. 6083453253

As a final note check-out my virtual system for a look at our Energy Room. Thank you for your time and consideration. 
Hello Dave and thank you for taking the time out and getting back to me. Thank you also to the fellow Audiogon members who also responded and got me in touch with you. Glad to hear that you are expanding and your product line is also growing. I am also glad to hear that you have my spike and are working on it and the delay was due to your company's growth which is understandable. I will say again that your products including the Audio Points, are still some of the best sounding after market products that I have owned. I will contact you later in the week and hopefully you will be able to machine the threads for my Wilson Benesch Speakers.          
Just as a follow up -  I finally received the Audio Points for my Wilson Benesch speakers on 02/14 and much to my surprise the threads were incorrect after a nearly 2 month wait. I sent them back and spoke to Robert around the same time and I have never heard back from them and they still have one of my spikes. I just hope they are okay and not hit by this awful Covid 19 virus but this journey for me has come to end with them. I will look elsewhere and needless to say that I am disappointed with them as this inquiry started back in mid November and from a company that used to make such good products with excellent customer service.  
The best of it all is ; They NEVER sent my spike back !

Hello garebear,

Wish you telephoned prior to airing your wares on a public forum as I am more than happy to present the second side to every story.

Threads are extremely complex.

We’ve been manufacturing all sizes of threads for Audio Points since 1990 matching and manufacturing threads but this experience was a first for us.

Spinning up a rare thread for a cheap steel spike replacement that does nothing for sound improvement is one thing, however customizing a set of Audio Points using the mass, material science and taking the sonic to a much higher level of performance involves a commitment of time, prototyping and engineering.


The first Wilson Benesch thread you supplied was determined to be a 14M-1.5H pitch that matched and fit our thread gauges. When you informed us that the custom Audio Points did not fit, we had difficulty understanding why.

Both the WB spike and Custom Audio Points fit perfectly into two different thread gauges @ 14M-1.5H pitch. We also manufactured a thread insert for testing where both the WB steel spike and brass Audio Points fit perfectly as well.

We also researched and discovered the existence of a narrower thread that also fits a “1.5H” thread pitch. It is a 14M-1.5G thread. The difference between the thread tolerances are approximately 1/1000th (.001) of an inch. The thickness of a human hair is 1/1500 to 1/500 of an inch.


The irony is the “H” fits the “G” but the G will not work in the H insert. Never did we encounter or realize two different threads could fit into one sized socket.


The answer to this dilemma or drama might be the rarest use of a thread related to speaker system we’ve ever encountered or there is an outside possibility this speaker company makes their own privatized thread pitch.

A lot of companies in many industries will alter a thread pitch to their own as a security measure making an outside manufactured replacement more difficult to locate, replace or size.  

In your case garebear, who knew or who knows? We were willing to find you a solution at our expense. If that kind of effort aggravated you to the point of attempting to sully our reputation or airing a grievance through a public forum instead of making a call to Dale (mentioned earlier in this thread) or myself, then maybe it is best we do part ways. .


they still have one of my spikes

Initially you supplied us a damaged spike that could have easily twisted the thread insert on your speaker. This damaged spike sample was returned to you with the eight Audio Points we custom manufactured.

After your complaint, we requested you send us a non-damaged spike to help us understand why the Audio Points did not fit. You sent another spike - call it sample number two. As stated, this taller version was sent to you by Wilson Bensch to replace your original damaged spike.


You also stated the WB replacement thread was machined too high in comparison to what the speaker required. It appears the parent manufacturer makes mistakes too and with their own products; proof that situations happen and everyone makes mistakes. Did you bother to put that complaint on a public forum as well?

We were informed to keep the sample number two spike as long as needed because it was not being used in your system. We never prevented you in any way from listening to your system as our investigation proceeded.


And please keep in mind that we too were delayed a couple of weeks waiting for your return of the Audio Points with the second spike sample.


Unfortunately Covid intervened and disrupted everything so we made adjustments to our scheduling, tooling and machining commitments in order to support a major company in the fight against the disease.


Client neglect is not a practice of ours as decades in business backs out that statement. I accept full responsibility for extending Star Sound deadlines due to the pandemic and not keeping you informed as to the issues surrounding your project.  


There is one more “IMPORTANT” thing you forgot to mention in your latest public criticism of our company:

You were never charged a deposit and never paid a dime for our service and delivery of the initial set (prototypes) of Audio Points. In fact the total selling price for this purchase was a minimalist charge slightly above our standard retail pricing for threaded Audio Points.

At the very least you now know more about your speaker system as we provided you a couple possibilities in solving the problem.


The best of it all is ; They NEVER sent my spike back !

Today I was directed to this thread by a much happier client of ours and on the same day - today 04/02/2020, I received your email at 10:29AM requesting your spike be returned. No record of phone calls, messages or similar requests anywhere in our systems since we last communicated in late February. A lot has happened since then most of which was beyond anyone’s control..

To keep you more informed, this morning at 10:50AM, I attempted to halt the machining on your second set of Audio Points with the G thread but was too late. Secondly, your career is in sales, and underwriting where communications plays a key role - right?; why not pick up the phone and talk to us? Lastly, we have done nothing but work for you free of charge knowing we have the capacity in taking your system to a higher level. I do not understand your ill will.

Hope you locate someone who will do more for you and at breakneck speed now that the difficult part of the equation is close to being solved.

Your precious unique spike will be in your hands shortly, I promise. 

Sorry to take up everyone’s time in this matter.

Robert Maicks - Star Sound

Any Wilson Benesch owners out there, give us a call. We have reduced the price of eight 14M-1.5G threaded Audio Points to free for the asking. First come first served.


It's a two way street my friend …… I called / emailed you and I have not  have heard back from you since mid February check your emails. I do not want to get in pissing match here as that is not the way I do business and I do realize,  that a lot has happened since we last spoke in February, and I have been patient but don't make me look like the bad guy here as I said ; it is a two way street and I never heard back from you and isn't that the responsibility of you the seller to keep me the buyer informed ? You are a great business with really great products and this one did work out but this has been going on since November. Stay well            
But you have to admit that was one helluva marketing pitch. Not as long as we’re used to but very good. Kudos, Robert!

.......well it does appear that airing my grievance out in a public forum was the only way that I got this business to respond. They may have been very busy but I could have been contacted. See the date of my OP which goes back to 01/03/20. My plan worked again as I finally got a response from this business. I am the customer here and really I really don't think that Wilson Benesch machines anything ; ''cheap'' as was noted. This is a $19,000 speaker and they make speakers that go into the $250,000 range. They  know what they are doing here . Also to clear the record, it was just the tip that was bent on the spike which brought me to this business and the statement made that the original Audio Points didn't work could be the result of the threads also being damaged, is plain BS because the spike worked ! This business has the clear right to defend their actions here and what they thought transpired but making it personal in some regards may just demonstrate that this business was clearly challenged by this thread size and that's okay....these things do happen, just tell me and we close the request and move on. That's all I was looking for but I guess it had to get this point. No pun intended ....... 

The customer should not have to repeatedly chase down a manufacture for a response.  The OP just wanted a simple status update and when pressed, he got an info commercial response.
And the other OEM spike you were sent was of no use because it was too long and bottomed out inside the threaded insert on the speaker base..probably causing the speaker to wobble and tilt off axis? Maybe someone could cut or machine down the shaft length so this oversized point would work for you if needed. Tom..Tone Acoustics ...Star Sound. Machine shops in my area are shut down. Maybe there are shops flying solo here and there.