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New member and yes, another behringer question

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Paul Andrews, Jan 6, 2004.

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  1. Paul Andrews

    Paul Andrews Guest

    Hi everyone
    This is my first post here and I'd like to ask a couple of questions..

    Before posting I wanted to get a feel of the place and how people react to questions and opinions... so I did a search on a few items from Behringer to Xenon..

    I notice that most poster here will type out the name of their supposedly favourite piece of expensive gear in full Mackie will never be posted as M...ckie... Neumann will never be written as n..mann

    But when it comes to Behringer stuff I see B..ringer ... Be...inger... and anything in between...

    Finally my questions.
    1. Given that the purpose of this forum is to discuss how to record music dont you think it would be more sensible to type out the proper spelling of a manufacturers name so that people can at least search for pre answered questions and see your responses?

    2. Why is there such a snobbery in this business when people mention Behringer products ?

    We all know that cheaper products are not as good as the top end products, that holds true in all things whether it be comparing a PRS guitar to a LP copy.... or a Neumann mic to a Shure

    We all have to work within a budget some are lucky enough not to have to fund that budget and can use the very best, other are not so lucky.

    Surely objective and honest is the best response. but unless someone searches for b....(exact dots please)...ringer no one will find your posts on the subject.
  2. Because Behringer has a doubly bad reputation.

    1) They make cheap Chinese junk - no QC, no consistency, no reliability.

    2) They rip off other companies directly and with impunity. From Aphex's Aural Exciter to Mackie's VLZ-Pro mixer line to Ebtech's SwizzArmy Tester, they've reverse engineered dozens of products in order to make their copycats, and then tie up those whose patents and copyrights they infringed upon in court for years, thus ensuring their ability to make gobs of money off said product before relenting with an out of court settlement.

    There's a really big difference between a company like Marshall Electronics or Nady who make cheap products that they design themselves, and someone like Behringer who cuts the whole R&D step right out of their equation.

    Behringer is a direct threat to audio innovation, simply because the small companies they prey on these days (like Ebtech) are less inclined to even release a new product for fear that Behringer will hijack their design and undercut them with a clone.
  3. Paul Andrews

    Paul Andrews Guest

    Those opinions are valid Griffinator.

    And can be applied more so to the guitar industry where more Fender and Gibson clones have been made than anything I can think of.

    And I see no problem with you or anyone else saying exactly what you think the probs and business practices of a company are.

    This whole Behringer thing seems to me to be a re-recording of the old computer arguement that used to circulate in the early days of computing ...if it's not IBM its a rip off and shouldnt be on the shelves.

    Where would we be if we had to rely only on IBM for our computers? or their designs hadnt been copied.

    Maybe Behringer need to rename their stuff Mackie compatable to satisfy people.
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Nice reply Griffinator ... very astute and concise. I would add the main reason a lot of us don't type the whole word behringer is because everytime it appears in a thread, a new link on the web is created... some of us don't want to do that for them..

    To be fair, Behringer isn't the only company to get this treatment.. I do this regularly with other stuff too.
  5. Paul Andrews

    Paul Andrews Guest

    I'd be interested to know which of Behringer's mixers you guys think is/are a clone/rip off(s) of the Mackie VLZ pro range.

    And whether you also consider the Mackie CFX and DFX ranges to be unique in their designs.
  6. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

  7. No, now you're comparing apples and oranges.

    First off, Gibson and Fender clones didn't start surfacing until their respective patents expired. There's nothing illegal about what any of the "clone" companies did. Behringer ignored the patents and copyrights on all the equipment they copied. They got sued, twice. Once by Aphex (out-of-court settlement) and once by Mackie (whose established patents in the US weren't considered valid enough to protect their interests in a German courtroom)

    I spoke personally with the R&D man at Ebtech when Behringer first dropped their direct clone of the Ebtech Swizz Army Tester. He explained to me that they weren't going to sue because

    1) They felt that litigation would bring negative publicity to their company, and
    2) They were concerned about Behringer's ability to tie the case up in court until Ebtech was bankrupt from the legal fees.

    All you need for evidence is a quick Google search - "Behringer", "patent infringment"

    The legal battles with Mackie and Aphex are well known and well documented.
  8. Oh - and IBM licensed their designs to other manufacturers. There was no theft involved.
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I did the google search and all I found was that mackie and behringer settled out of courts but there were no details... if anyone has a link to something with more substance, I'd like to read more on it...
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Much of the info that was on the web regarding this question was placed by Mackie and was removed a couple of months ago in concordance with an out of court settlement Berhringer reached with Mackie. It was (and is) however a real issue and many of us have seen and followed this issue over the years. This is not something we all made up.

    Behringers 8 bus mixer was at the center of this debate and it is well known that Behringer continues to make crappy knock offs of many products.. If you wish to turn a blind eye to this so that you can save a buck and still sleep, go for it. Owning the product should be punishment enough. This reminds me of neo ultra-right-wingers that insist that the holocoust never happened.
  11. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    on the contrary to turning a blind eye I really wanted to know since I have never read anything concrete on the subject-
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    OK... I am a bit sensitive to this because we have had a few flames on this subject.. there are actually some much nastier things that have been said regarding Behringer but it is difficult, if not impossible to substanciate. Anyway it is a thorny subject. But most of us who have been doing audio for any length of time, know the stories.
  13. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    It's a free market society, and if you want to buy their stuff, you are welcome to. Since freedom also means freedom to slam their stuff, please let people do that also if they wish.

    I own a couple of Behringer things, the Aphex Exciter ripoff and a pair of their ECM8000 omni mics. The Exciter was given to me as a gift, and it works ok for the one in a hundred times I need that sort of weird distortion. The mics were highly recommended by Harvey Gerst, and he was right about their bang-for-the-buck value.

    I may actually buy their Ultra-Whatever the name is digital EQ/RTA just for the RTA, if my research shows it to be decently accurate.

    They ripped off a few designs, for sure. I think Aphex and Mackie nailed them with a lawsuit and Behringer settled with them. Theft is indeed still theft, and if a design is patented, then the courts are the best recourse.

    But if you really look at what's going on, Vintech is making nice Rupert Neve designed preamps, John Oram is making crap with the Trident name on it, Stephen Paul invented the technology for 3 micron, 1.5 micron and sub micron diaphragms, and got almost zero recognition for his amazing innovations while others cloned and profited from his work, Chandler is making EMI designs, OSA is making API stuff, and this tiny little industry goes round and round and round while everyone makes stuff that someone else designed.

    How many royalty checks or even thank you's do you think George Massenburg gets from this industry for inventing the parametric eq?

    Buy something because it works for you, Paul. If people don't like it, tough cookies on them. Show them up by the quality of work you're able to conjure out of a Behringer Ultra-Whatever.

    But respect other's right to not like it, not buy it, or even slam it if they wish.
  14. Paul Andrews

    Paul Andrews Guest

    Hi Screws thanks for the post
    Yes I do buy stuff I like whether or not people have issues with it.

    And I most certainly do respect anyones right to bag any product if they feel there is something 'dodgy' about it.

    I'm still interested in some of the statements made that I havent been able to substantiate ... I like to research things thoroughly then make my own mind up based on facts.

    I still don't see any direct comparisons between the VLZ pro range and any of Behringers products and even if web pages were removed because of a settlement agreement there should be reference to material in the law society documents, I have yet to find any, in any country so far, so if someone has that info I'd like a pointer to it.

    Thanks everyone for your replies.
  15. Dr.Blackwell

    Dr.Blackwell Guest

  16. Paul Andrews

    Paul Andrews Guest

    Thats a bit sad cos ultimately what gets posted here reflects on the whole of the site ... and one of the reasons I joined was because this site was promoted as a no BS site.
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Criticism can be leveled at almost anything regardless if it is called for or not. I think in this particular situation, it is not. I would like to ask how would you do it differently Paul? Should we delete posts and threads that are deemed "BS"? And who should be the arbitrator of what is and is not "BS"?

    In an effort to be more responsive to the registered members of RO and due to many comments they have made in the past regarding how this upsets them, we have recently been going to great lengths to not delete topics and posts.

    On the other hand I see it as unreasonable to expect that moderators or administrators should not have opinions or take a stand on any subject. Moderators are members too and as was pointed out, everyone should be free to express themselves. Mods too!

    When someone levels this type of uncalled for criticism at RO, the mods and administration, it only makes us want to start deleting things if for no other reason than to keep the peace. Along with the “right” to “free speech”, comes the responsibility of using it in a constructive manner. You do not have a right to go into a crowded theater and shout “FIRE!”.

    We promote the site as no "BS" because we try not to allow personal attacks and insults, indecent language and we ask that members treat each other with a modicum of respect. Other than those kinds of posts and posts that fall outside of editorial boundaries (posting of reviews on the BB), our policy is to allow everything to stand.
  18. Paul Andrews

    Paul Andrews Guest

    Thanks Kurt for your reply
    I was replying to point in the post which said "they jump on me" just because he posts about his Behringer gear

    I agree that anyone has the right to their opinions I just like to see hard facts before I take what people on the internet say as the truth.

    Of course as far as me asking someone "what does a Pair of Westlakes sound like" and having them telling me what they sound like to them ... I have to believe them and take their opinions and obviously far greater experience as fact.. cos I'll never get close enough to find out myself.

    But as I said before I did a few searches and it was rather sad to see the bashing going on.... fair comment I enjoy .. and even light hearted ragging of gear but some seem to bash without real knowledge or experience.

    I've seen some of your posts Kurt and while I dont agree with some of your comments I reckon you talk through experience most of the time (I dont know what experience you've had with the cheaper mixers) but I like that straight talking no nonsense attitude.

    I have no experience of either Behringer or Mackie desks so I can't comment on any aspect of either of them if someone tells me something is good/bad I'll take their comments on board and make my own decisions based on my own experiences.

    I certainly wasnt trying to shout FIRE!!! or anything else.. just asking what I thought were reasonable questions ... if you or any other mod feel those questions or any of my comments were innapropriate please feel free to zap em ... or me if you have to.

    As for the bit about me doing it differently I would say probably not.. and not even probably as good but I think the big picture IS important... like spelling the name properly so peeps can search and giving a honest answer based on experience .. overall thats the impression folks get of a site when they first visit and if they see a lot of bashing they are less likely to stay and contribute.

    I wasnt at any stage levelling complaints at you or any particular member here or anywhere else ... rather saying lets keep it objective ... thats all.
  19. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    What is there to really compare? Since the B-boys steal, copy and clone from others, it is likely to sound the same but is very highly unlikely that it is going to sound any better. And since the B-boys take many additional shortcuts, it is very likley it is going to sound worse and be less reliable as a product on top of that. So any bashing of these butt-heads is welcome and justified because they have gone out of their way to make it so.
  20. Paul Andrews

    Paul Andrews Guest

    Well the whole quote was this

    "I still don't see any direct comparisons between the VLZ pro range and any of Behringers products and even if web pages were removed because of a settlement agreement there should be reference to material in the law society documents, I have yet to find any, in any country so far, so if someone has that info I'd like a pointer to it."

    And it was dealing with the question of whether the law suit actually proved that a patent design had been copied.

    I found some info .. it relates to 1997 and was from the UK seems the judge threw the case out on a loophole in the then UK patent law ... so in my book nothing was proved by either party and I see no mention of any out of court agreement.

    I also noticed that "100" companies where cited by Mackie re alleged patent copying, I can't (yet) find the outcomes of any of those cases either but it looks like Behringer wasn't the only company involved just that they seem to be getting ALL the blame.

    Which Behringer model are you saying is the copy of the VZL? and what "additional shortcuts" do they take ?
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