That’s an interesting question... http://www.coincidentspeaker.com/about.htm On their website they go over many details of their designs, including speakers and electronics. As far as where they are made they have an entire section declaring: "Coincident Speaker Technology is proud to still state that unlike the majority of current speaker companies (i.e. Revel, Aerial, Von Schweikert, Red Rose etc.) all its speaker models are designed and completely manufactured in Canada." and then go into detail regarding the construction quality of their speakers. No mention is made of where their electronics are being manufactured which seems questionable from its omission. They make many claims like their electronics have no peer at any price, but no mention I can find of where they are manufactured.
Looking at their construction details, over the years I’ve suspected that they’re OEM built to their specifications likely by Antique Sound Labs in China. Doing a quick search I’ve found some references like this one quoting a review from a former dealer stating that they are made in China by ASL: http://audioasylumtrader.com/ca/listing/Amplifier-Tube/Coincident/MP-300B/Parallel-300B-SET/135791
It is of course entirely possible that they’ve changed the source for their tube electronics over the years so they could be made elsewhere now. A likely connection is that the North American importer for ASL is also based in Canada.
I heard from an industry member, who knew Israel well, that they are all made in China. If memory serves me correctly he had a brief previous affiliation with ASL so bill k could be right.
Even though they are made in China that wouldn’t scare me off, it’s more the deception that caused me to turn away. Plus Israel just totally rubs me the wrong way.
I have owned ASL gear and it’s great stuff, fantastic bang for the buck.
I always assumed made in Canada, but like @bill_k I've seen some indications that they may be made (and also sometimes copied) in China. I can't remember the brand, but I saw someone post an almost verbatim "copy" of a Dynamo with a Chinese face plate one time. I suspect it was just made by the same people and sold without markup (and with some minor changes).
I'll also note that you should take any claims made by Mr. Blume with a grain of salt. While I've loved my Coincident gear, over the years I've found that a number of his very explicit claims are simply not true.
For example, he once stated that no capacitors were used in the signal path of the Frankensteins, but there's a coupling capacitor right in the middle of the 6em7. He also states that the Coincident PRE's only use the finest capacitors from Mundorf, but mine had a cheap solen instead. He also likes to claim that he uses custom drivers in his designs, but upon contacting the manufacturer (Accuton), I learned that this was not the case. He just blacks out the model number so you can't look up parts as easily, and then charges almost double the true part cost.
Similarly, if you look at Arthur Salvatore's reviews of Coincident gear, you'll likely find that he has some different (better) parts than the model you'll receive upon ordering...
Love the gear, hate the approach.
Thanks for your responses. Reason for posting question was since I couldn´t not find any clues as to where they were manufactured, either in literature or in photos of the back plates of the components themselves I suspected a Chinese origin, which would be ok if tight quality control were maintained in parts selection and assembly which appears to not be the case above per cal3713.
Also Salvatores reviews consider all their offerings : electronics, speakers and even their wires top notch. So by his reckoning if you are looking for the best only Coincident rises above all in all categories. Salvatore has a section ¨Reviewing the Reviewers¨. Maybe he should be subject to the same.
I own the Frankenstein 300Bs, the CSL pre-amp, and the little Dynamo EL34 tube amp. The workmanship inside all three pieces is superb. I don't know and don't really care where they were assembled as long as the workmanship is there. On the other hand, one cannot help but observe that every AG thread on Coincident gear eventually ends up with owners recounting their unfortunate interactions with the owner. I've had my own. I'm not selling what I currently own, but I'm also not buying any new Coincident gear no matter how good it is. I just don't need the frustration.
@rost Don't know that I'd say that they don't maintain "tight quality control... in parts selection and assembly."
As @brownsfan suggests, everything in my equipment seemed well made. I did read that there were quality control issues with the remote version of the CSL line-stage, which is presumably why it was discontinued. I do think Isreal gives Arthur Salvatore "special" gear which is essentially factory upgraded to maximize quality. And I suppose AS deserves as much given the number of sales he's no doubt created for Coincident. Unfortunately he ignores this fact and does things like comment on how amazing the default part selection is... leading to conclusions like those expressed in the quote above.
@grannyring You know that's not true! The replacement driver didn't have the model number blacked out! Finally the additional cost makes sense... it's just a labor charge for the pulling the drivers and using the sharpie. Obviously Mr. Blume's time does not come cheap.
So different than dealing with Thiel back in the day. They'd send you a new driver completely free of charge, even when you bought used and the unit was way out of warranty. I used to think that was standard in high-end. You pay a big premium, but also get premium service. Boy was I wrong.
I’ve been an owner of the Coincident Frankenstein MK II and the Statement Line Stage for 10 years (Both purchased new directly from Israel Blume. I purchased the Coincident Total Eclipse II speakers used a few months before acquiring the new electronics.
I’ve read complaints from some of the posters on this thread and I’ve no reason at all to doubt them. Maybe it is just luck but Israel has without fail been kind, polite and very responsive to me over the years. I regret that this hasn’t been the case for every Coincident owner.
I just assumed the products were made in Canada but certainly I could be wrong. There shouldn’t be any ambiguity regarding place of origin. Israel should be clear and open about this. In my experience I haven’t had any reliability issues as they have been workhorse products in my system that in my opinion sound magnificent.
I do agree that the claim of no signal path capacitor in the Frankenstein is false. There’s a Solens cap in the first stage. It however has excellent sound quality sound with this stock capacitor. Nonetheless I replaced it with an upgrade copper foil capacitor that yielded a modest but noticeable improvement.
I am not certain that Salvatore gets versions other than stock. He removed his Solens cap in the Frankenstein for a V cap .
Israel should also be clear in regard to what the 8 watt Frankenstein can drive. There is variation in his own speakers for example. The Total Eclipse II, Super Eclipse and Triumph Extreme are models that work very well with the Frankenstein. Other Coincident models do better with more power.
My stance is just be upfront and clear. Yes the Frankenstein is a superb 300b SET but isn’t the right choice for some of its sibbling speakers.
When I had the input jacks of my Frankensteins changed, the technician commented, without any prompting from me, that he was impressed with the build quality and that there wasn't much to improve upon the design, except for maybe he would go with better wiring and capacitors. He did say the existing wiring and caps were of good quality. Fast forward another year, and those are the upgrades that Israel is offering to the newest version of the Franks. Mine have been trouble free for over 3 years now. It doesn't matter to me where they were made. The reliability and sound quality are what matters.
While I accept the notion the Coincident products are manufactured in China I dispute that the output, power and interstage transformers are Chinese made. Israel is adamant that these double C core transformers are made in Japan. People who have more intimate knowledge of the company than I do support Israel’s statement. I have no reason to question this unless someone can provide actual contrary evidence.
In a sense a moot point in that as I, Brownsfan, cal3713,Thaluza, grannyring and mikirob attest to, they produce superb sound. To be clear I am referring to the transformers in the Frankenstein MK II, Dragon, Turbo 845 mono blocks and the Statement Line Stage (and phono stage). The lower priced Dynalmo may be the exception in using Japanese transformers. Even so the Dynamo has excellent sound quality per word of mouth from many owners.
I've been an active Audiogon participant for 10 years and have really enjoyed the interaction and exchanges. I same as you have noticed a change for the worse in the past couple of years. Definitely an increase in trolling and a general negativity. I do miss the comarderie and closer knit vibe of the past.
yes, the change for the worst is why I don't often post anymore. I truly value you, brownsfan, grannyring, almarg and numerous others. Teajay provides a real service rooting out real value products by talented designers. Too bad the trolling and negativity has become so loud and ruin otherwise collegial threads. The personal attacks are just wrong. Hopefully this will change for the betterment of Audiogon over time. In the meantime I will continue to lurk and follow kind folks like you. Best mikirob
If you feel the Frankenstein SET mono blocks sound like Chinese junk , well we'll just respectfully disagree and chalk it up to different ears and taste. I can say without reservation it's one of the very best sounding amplifiers I have ever heard. Sorry about your bad experience with Israel Blume. Again, the polar opposite of my experience.
I think we are wandering a bit, but I think the comments from Charles and Mikirob warrant a response. I have also become an infrequent contributor, but for the most part, that is not due to an increase in negativity on the boards. Some of that sort of thing was always present, and I was able to ignore it or give as good as I got, which ever seemed appropriate. I too, miss the camaraderie of days gone by, and the opportunity to learn from the more knowledgeable folks on a daily basis. As for Coincident management, I can only go by my own personal experience, which has not been even close to being on a par with my dealings with others such as Dan Wright, Ralph Karsten, Steve McCormack, and others. I have had far less frustrations in dealing with customer service from large companies like Sony. I am not being negative, I am being transparent. It would seem others have had experiences that parallel my own. Look, I spent most of my life dealing with Harvard PhDs. My skin is not thin. I've probably had 6-8 interactions and or transactions with the Coincident proprietor, and i am still waiting for one that is satisfactory or neutral. What Bill said above is most certainly true, and I am well aware that I can try the patience of anyone at times. But, you know, that is part of the skill set for running a small business in a competitive field. Coincident gear is good, but its not that good.
bigkidz, Excellent question. My comment related only to the quality of workmanship, since that is the heart of the question with respect to Chinese assembly. My comment is not a commentary on the design or parts selection. Point to point wiring can end up looking like a rat's nest. Sloppy soldering, when observed, puts me off. When I look inside Coincident gear, it looks like it was assembled by someone who cared what they were doing. That is not always the case, regardless of latitude and longitude.
Hi all, and especially @charles1dad
I certainly don't want to contribute to the negativity around here, but I do think that people need to be aware of the Coincident issues. As noted above, I've been lied to multiple times by Mr. Blume. I want to love the company based on owning the gear (I still do), but it's difficult when you get lied to and charged double for replacement parts.
When my used PREs were damaged in shipping, I eventually had to ship them to Coincident for full repair. $5k later (paid by the seller since since they underinsured), I got them back and eventually a midrange driver failed. I was charged double for the accuton driver and when I went to install it, discovered that a capacitor lead was stuck to back of the black anti-resonance cutout. That metal had been vibrating on the driver and the entire surface of the ceramic was pitted like the moon. When I told Isreal, he claimed that having a two inch metal piece vibrating on the back would a) have no effect on the sound, and b) could not have contributed to the failed driver. That was "accuton's issue" and they have horrible, arrogant customer service. My cost to fix. In fairness, I will note that I had a forced one-year move, so it'd been a year since the original fix. Of course the only way a capacitor lead could get stuck in that cabinet was during original damage or repair, but that didn't matter at all, instead I just got charged an additional $1450 for a "custom driver."
I guess people have to make money.
Again, I think the gear sounds great. And fortunately the designs/circuits are relatively straightforward, so any competent local tech should be able to repair. And if something goes out on a speaker, you can just pull the driver and order a replacement yourself, so I don't think the gear needs to be avoided. And finally, I don't care at all if it is made in China.
Not trying to contribute to the negativity, but the truth is the truth.
@charles1dad Regarding AS's review pieces, I don't know that he purposefully gets different pieces, but you can see his Franks' stock caps here: http://www.high-endaudio.com/RC-Frankenstein.html. He's got a Solen FEP/SN coupling cap and a Solen SCR FEP decoupling cap. My newer Franks (made in 2015) had significantly lower value Solens in both positions. Either AS gets better parts or over time Blume has started using lower quality parts in the amps, who knows.
Also, please hang in there through the general negativity on the site. I miss the older days, but you're such a great resource to this place. Despite the above issues, I'm so happy that you have recommended Coincident gear, your ears have so improved my music experience. Sorry again for contributing to the negative atmosphere, I just think people should know the truth of the situation.
@bigkidz wrote I am just wondering when people say built like a tank or great build quality what do they actually mean? Are they familiar with audio designs? Do they make their own equipment? Just how do they know this? What makes a great design or build quality in their opinion?I've never built a car, but through ownership of various vehicles, I can appreciate the level of workmanship, engineering and technology associated with my Mercedes.
Look, it’s not the transparent, clear critical comments made by brownsfan that I complain about; it is the folks who go way out of bounds to insult, fabricate, embroider their negative view of people or products. Clearly, Coincident is one of the better amps period at reasonable cost. Anecdotally and coincidentally I have noticed that designers and dealers that provide excellent bang for buck products seem, to me, to come in for especially harsh treatment on Audiogon. Deal at Primaluna, Eric of Tekton, Teajay as reviewer. Some of the folks who come on threads clearly have agendas that are extremely suspect. Best, mikirob
@brownsfan - I understand completely. In building components the PTP wiring does look messy but the sound is much better when we did the comparisons. On the PLUS side, if you keep things long term, there are no circuit boards that tend to cause issues over time. PLUS I can install large caps, etc. for better sound quality. You can see some of what we do under my member name and stuff here on Agon.
I have heard the issues with dealing with the owner of Coincident from a few dealers and owners. But that is a small sample and I do not have first hand knowledge. For the build quality, I have modified the preamp and amps, they are decent quality for the price point and as long as the owners enjoy the sound, then that is what counts.
I've had nothing but good experiences communicating w/Israel since 2007 when I bought his Partial Eclipse II's which I've never had the urge to swap out -- yes, they are that good. I owned his various cables over the years and a Dynamo SE amp all of which I bought from him direct all very direct and pleasant experiences.
Thank you for your kind words. When you, brownsfan and others share your experiences that were unfortunately negative I have no problems with that what so ever. The truth is the truth and I accept reality. I can't explain why I, rpehare, mikirob and sci-fi (and others) had very positive interaction with Israel Blume and you, brownsfan and others did not. I have no clue but I don't question your accounts of what transpired. It disappoints me that the positive interactions could not be universal. On the positive side I'm very happy that the Coincident Frankenstein has brought you much musical joy and fabulous sound quality.
Interesting to read the comments on this thread. I’m in the camp of not knowing where the electronics are made currently. Just like the car industry, there is a percentage of local content that must be achieved to qualify for the domestic status. For all I know there could be sub-assemblies made in China on the current models, yet it qualifies as a Canadian produced amp.
I understand from people in the know the first amps like the MP-300b (well before the Frankenstein’s) were done in collaboration with ASL. All you have to do is look at the cosmetics and it’s abundantly apparent where it came from. However, If all of Israel’s amps are well made and sound good, and can be serviced if need be, that is the core of the matter – regardless of where they come from.
There so many wonderful businesses people in the industry, like others, I’ve had outstanding interaction and support from Dan Schmalle from Bottlehead, Dan Wright from Modwright and Ralph Karsten from Atma-Sphere. (Ralph who is a regular contributor to the community’s is a shining example on the forum) All of these guys are passionate helpers, giving of time, talent, with full transparency and integrity. Israel is closer to the other end of the spectrum from what I’ve experienced, that’s unfortunate.
In the end I love what’s he’s done with the Franks MkII, They sound wonderful, other than a single cap issue, they have been rock steady for 7 years.