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A rant for your reading please

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  • A rant for your reading please

    I just need to vent here... I received the last bits to set up my studio today (Middle Atlantic desk, Mackie 824s, and some more memory for the DAW, some more bass traps are coming next week.) So I tore down the entire studio in preperation for building it all back up again around the new desk. I got into putting the desk together and they only shipped 2 leg mounts, instead of 4. So I'm completely screwed for the whole weekend and probably until wednesday before they get me a replacement.

    And clearly it was a return, though not marked as such when sold. The box containing the legs had clearly been through more than one trip around the block and retaped up, and probably that's why it's missing two backets because whoever returned it probably didn't put them in there. The overbridge part was broken as well, cracked, because it had come partly out of the box, again probably because it had gone through now four rounds of shipping, more than the box was intended to take.

    They were good enough about replacing the overbridge at no cost, and it would have worked in the meantime until I got the replacement. But the missing leg brackets just leave me completely screwed until next week, and I'm seriously pissed off. I knew when I saw that everything was actually going to make it here today that something had to go wrong because it was too good to be true, and sure enough it did.

    Did I mention I'm seriously pissed off?
    Dean Roddey
    Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

  • #2
    From Sam Ash or GC?

    Sounds like a Fry's Electronics re-pack. Never, ever, buy anything at Fry's with the white Fry's sticker on it.

    "They F&%K YOU at the drive-thru, okay? They F&%K YOU at the drive-thru! They know you're gonna be miles away before you find out you got f&%ked! They know you're not gonna turn around and go back, they don't care. So who gets f&%ked?" - Leo Getz
    "Record companies and broadcasters ... have long since abdicated their cultural responsibility." - Donald Clarke

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    • #3
      "And what Leo wants, Leo Getz. Get it? Get it?"

      Sorry to hear you got short-changed on the desk parts Dean. That sucks.
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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      • #4
        It was from zzounds, who otherwise have done me pretty well, but this is just a serious screwup. I can only assume that not only is it a return but they didn't even bother to verify that the return had all the parts.
        Dean Roddey
        Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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        • #5
          It's not been my day. After turning right back around and putting the old configuration back together, I set up the new Mackies 824s. And one of them has something loose inside of it and it's rattling around and buzzing at certain frequencies. So I'm going to have to send one of those back and get it replaced. I mean what are the odds?

          Oh well, I'm trying to make forward progress despite the problems. I got my two current super-duper bass traps mounted. I've got 3 more coming next week, and I'm definitely going to have to come up with some money to get probably 5 more after that before I really get this room under control. And I've started doing some room measurement and rough sub placement to see what I can do to minimize peaks and dips just with optimal sub position and orientation. That'll still be relevant even after I finally get the new desk set up and the speakers in their new positions. And to get a baseline to compare against after putting in the new traps.

          I also got a Behringer DCX2496, which is a pretty little box. I provides a nice xover and EQ system, which I'm using on my monitor outputs. So I can use it's much nicer low/high pass filters instead of the ones in my sub to split out the signal. And it offers EQing on any of the channels, so once I find the sub placement with the fewest dips, I can then knock down the worst peaks with the EQ.

          Oh, and besides the rattle, the Mackies are pretty awesome. They are fairly imposing physically and look great and sound great. The imaging is truely stunning. I was listening to Sia's Breathe Me, which I use for imaging testing, because of the first part where she's singing very softly and practically eating the mic and you can hear every little lip smack. And she practically had her tongue down my throat it was so amazingly well imaged.

          They do hiss kind of bad unless you down crank the sensitivity down and send it a hotter signal to make up. At first I thought I had yet another defect, but I read up on it and that's just the way they are if you set them to their normal sensitivity setting. I've got then cranked down quite low and I'm still not really using a fraction of my RME's output at the standard +4dB.
          Dean Roddey
          Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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          • #6
            I got a little more subwoofer tuning done and even just some simple placement tests got a lot of improvement. And then I sat down here at the end of the day and just listened to some more music. Wow. I have to say that I'm stunned at how good those Mackies sound. These are all CDs that I've had for years and years and listened to so many times, and it was like I'd never heard them before. The imaging and detail is just amazing. I couldn't stop listening. That's the widest, most crisp, most detailed image I've ever heard before. I was listening to some stuff from Natalie Merchant's Tiger Lilly and it was just amazing, the accoustic version of Such Great Heights, Colin Hay's Just Can't Get Over You, some Jellyfish, Joan Osborne's Relish, Fiona Apple's Tidal, Mia Doi Todd's Golden State, Tool's Lateralus, and some other stuff. In every case it was a jaw dropper. I had to pull myself away to get to sleep.
            Dean Roddey
            Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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            • #7
              On my 824s I particularly like chamber music or solo cello. The detail and stereo image really sends me to faraway lands of sonic bliss.

              They don't seem to handle really thick mixes quite as well, material with 90% of the audible spectrum going all ways at the same time...the sounds don't seem to "stack up" with the optimum degree of focus.

              But still, I really have no complaints with my Mackies - the bass does take some tweaking in the room or the listening setup, but that to me is a small thing.

              nat whilk ii

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              • #8
                BTW, while I'm ranting, I just want to say something here about UPS. During my recent spate of shipping things out, as I've sold off all my home theater stuff to create my new studio, UPS lost one of my shipments. OK, fine, what are the odds that out of that relatively small number of shipments that I made that one of them would get lost? One hopes that's not a statistic that could be extended to their whole system, but mistakes happen.

                However, the result of that lost package is a perfect example of what happens to a company when it gets taken over by bean counters who have absolutely no sense of honor or what running a company is about. It was completely not like "Oh, we are so sorry. We screwed up, we've cost you time and embarrased you in front of the buyer, how can we make this up to you' or anything like that.

                Instead, it was all about how can we absolutely minimize our obligation to this customer and meet the absolute minimum legal requirements for making up for our mistake. It was the antithesis of what a company that had any sense of obligation to its customers would have done. A real company, run by someone who takes pride in his company and who takes his obligations seriously would have done something like offer a rebate on a future shipment or some other token to compensate for the failure of his company to do what it was paid to do and for the time and disruption that his company's mistake cost the shipper.

                I think it happens to every big company. Even if it's started by someone with vision and who understands that a business is about doing right by your customers and taking responsibility for your mistakes, eventually it ends up run by mindless accounting droids who are not at all real business people, and so they are so myopically concentrated on the bottom line that they fail to even take into consideration where that money comes from and that when you screw up, you owe that customer more than the bare legal requirement (which they have to jump through hoops to prove), you should make it up to that customer. Investment in customer good will is something entrepreneurs understand but bean counters have no clue about.
                Dean Roddey
                Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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                • #9
                  Dean,
                  That sucks, I feel for you.
                  Keep your head up. Eventually you`ll get going and can start rocking.
                  Peace,
                  EB

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                  • #10
                    I will prevail in the end, because truth and justice are on my side
                    Dean Roddey
                    Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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                    • #11
                      And the blessed day has arrived, and the people were glad, and they did feast upon the lamb, and the calf, and the shoat, for in that day the dream became a reality. I finally got the studio into its basically final configuration today, other than adding more bass traps when I can afford to.

                      I've got four traps in there now. I thought I'd ordered three new ones, but actually what I did was order one new 6" bag and one batch of insulation. I had one 6" bag left over from before, which is why I did that I guess, to use up that other bag. So, though I've only got four so far, they are 6" thick, so they should be doing the job way down low and soaking up some serious bass. I've just got the ones in the corners sitting on some boxes and tied off on the top to keep them from falling over, since it's easier to keep them in the right position and out further from the corner and without squishing the curtains.


                      Though the new desk is bigger, since it's really a corner type desk, it leaves more space out into the room than the smaller old table did, and of course having the two layered desk makes way better use of the space available.



                      Here you can see the Behringer DCX2496, which provides the crossover and EQ for the monitors and sub, and the little Presonus volume/headphone controller, and the padKontrol. And of course the new Mackie HR824's. There was just enough room to slip in the little speakers between them and the monitors.



                      On this side I've got the Solo/610 and the M-Audio keyboard. The computer is just down there on behind the desk on this side.



                      I've got a 6" trap on either side on the wall/ceiling corners (which were pretty challenging to get up by myself)



                      So there it is. Be it ever so humble, I'm glad to finally get it all worked out. Now I can concentrate on making music.
                      Dean Roddey
                      Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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                      • #12
                        Your pix gave me some ideas for my place because I have a similiar setup. Its funny how more and more studios are going mixerless... still getting used to that.

                        EB

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                        • #13
                          Yeh, I couldn't imagine going any other way starting off at this point in studio history. There's just so much flexibility and much lower cost and it's much more space efficient.

                          Oh, and I was told it would be a month before I get a replacement for my Mackie with the loose screw. That sucks. I was told that they were back ordered at this point. You'd think that distributors would keep some stock to handle replacements.
                          Dean Roddey
                          Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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                          • #14
                            I put up some better pictures. I had to break out the big flash, which I didn't think about before. That finally got them bright enough.
                            Dean Roddey
                            Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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