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Thread: Would like answer on soundelux debacle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Would like answer on soundelux debacle

    OK, I’m new here and I need some education...that’s what message boards are made for, right? Information? I own an older U95 that I hardly use these days because of some buzz I got in it after a nasty fall it took a while back. I need to get it fixed one of these days...anywho....

    Articles I found online by Ty Ford and Barry Rudolph at Mix Magazine:

    Mix Magazine: on the <font face="verdana" color="blue" size="8">Soundelux ELUX 251
    <font face="verdana" color="blue" size="3">Oct 1, 2001 12:00 PM

    [...The point-to-point, internal handwiring on the ELUX is silver-plated copper with Teflon insulation for maximum conductivity and, over time, minimal oxidation and negligible temperature influence within the heated microphone body.
    Although some early Soundelux U95 mics were Chinese-made, all of the company's mics — ...]

    I was directed to this thread after trying to bid on one of those “U95S” mics on ebay yesterday. I read all the posts here and I am disappointed to see envision’s comments deleted, don’t know if he was “covering his tracks” or fearing for his life [grins] In any case, am I missing something here? I remember reading, after the fact (after I bought one) that the first Soundelux U95 mics were made in China! Which is probably why Bock had them discontinued, they didn’t hold up or people weren't willing to pay high dollar for a Chinese mic [built in china, and “assembled in America” or whatever the case]. But apparently this Chinese U95S on ebay might be a Chinese modified or upgraded version of Soundelux’s original U95 with all Chinese parts instead, from the looks of the insides. I'm sure its not as good as the rest of Soundelux’s mics, but it aint $3k either. Most importantly, it seems, that it’s David Bock who should be criticized for having Soundelux mics made in China to begin with, with ot without a couple American parts added to it. I found Ty Ford’s old review on the U95 where Ty asks David if the capsule is made in China, for which David declined to answer. What kind of crap is THAT????? HUH???? Is it the same as when Ricky Martin was asked if he was gay by Barbara Walters and didn’t reply or more recently when Mark McGuire was asked if he took steroids and declined to answer? (uhh...we know how most people concluded those non-answers)


    To me, the most important issue isn't about this “fake” U95S on ebay or the sellers intensions, but instead, getting a straight “yes” or “no” answer out of David Bock himself, and no one else, on the following question: Were the FIRST Soundelux U95 mics made in China with your design or NOT? Or, for that matter, were ANY Soundelux mics made in China at ANY capacity? We have a right to know, don’t we?

    <font face="verdana" color="red" size="4">Soundelux Debuts Two New Mics

    Ty Ford Baltimore, MD

    Pros: Well made, quiet, nice response
    Cons: Slightly pricey, U195 has lower output

    <font face="verdana" color="blue" size="2">[ ...After a few weeks of listening to the high frequency response of the U95 and U195, I got a sense that the diaphragms were stretched more tightly than the Neumanns and Gefells. Bock confirmed it. According to him, other than the fact that the U95 has two diaphragms and the U195 has one, the capsules are the same. The membranes are six micron Mylar on which 100% gold is vacuum deposited. When I mentioned that there seemed to be a lot of negative chatter in the market about capsules made in China and asked where the capsules were made, Bock declined to say. However, he did say that he hand-assembles the the mics himself. ]

    So regardless of all that, it would seem that one of the posters here, Brad from TransAudio, hit the nail on the head when he stated what, in fact, the Chinese company(s) did, or is (are) doing.

    Originally posted by Brad Lunde:
    <STRONG> 797 is so hungry to grow, they sell you your own custom mic [hmmm, you mean they sold Soundelux their “OWN” custom U95 mic initially????....ok...ok...go on....] and then offer the same thing (with small changes that are easy to miss) to anyone else that will buy it. [ok, so you are referring then to this envision guy here who bought the ripoff with all Chinese parts?, ok, continue...] If there's a big demand for a "look" (say the Sm58 or the AKG C12) they will copy that look and sell them. The insides are all the same, even though the company SWEARS its completely different.....[ok, SO this knockoff U95 mic’s INSIDES ARE the SAME as the original U95 or what?,and are they based on Bock’s original design that Soundelux gave 797Audio to produce at the beginning?...ok....go on] I've seen fortunes made right here in the US by some people on this stuff. If money drives you, there's a lot of ways to make it in this arena. Brad</STRONG>
    [ok, so were enough Chinese U95 mics that were made for Soundelux actually sold worldwide to be one of these “US fortune makers” you’re referring to? Probably not, but enlighten us? Maybe Soundelux could tell us how many of these Chinese U95 mics were distributed by them back when they started? I’d like to know, I own one. What are the serial numbers? Can I give the serial to someone at Soundelux so they can tell me? I think I need to take mine apart and look at the capsule a little closer...and if it IS Chinese, I don’t care, but then will it be worth $400 or $3000 if I sell it? I don’t want someone accusing me of selling them a Soundelux with a less expensive Chinese capsule with 2 American parts in it.]

    Is that what happened here with this guy selling these mics on eBay? He was the “anyone else that will buy it” and Sundelux U95 was Bock’s, “own custom mic” with the Chinese company “offer[ing] the same thing”?

    Brad goes on to say, “The insides are all the same, even though the company SWEARS its completely different” is that implying that the INSIDES of this knockoff U95, which are the most important part to me, are all the same as the original sans the American parts? Furthermore, I’ve read a lot of old threads from a few years back that David Bock might have contracted with this Chinese company to make the mic initially. And so if the cost on the original U95 mics were about $150 as Lynn figured and stated in an earlier post, and that was what this guy probably paid, then with the upgraded American transformer and American tube might put Soundelux’s cost at around $200 , yet they listed for $2500 or $3k? So then whats the problem here? Is it true that maybe Soundelux got smart and knew they couldn’t sell Chinese mics and still demand big bucks so they stopped using the 797Audio company in China and started building better quailty mics with German and American parts?

    But still, what does that say for them charging $2500-$3000 for those original U95 mics (I paid $2200) that may only have cost them $200+shipping?? Oh yeah, plus disty and advertising costs, whatever they were. Should Soundelux be COMMENDED for discontinuing using the Chinese company or CRITIZISED for having them built there to begin with? Ask me, the envision guy was smart to grab a few of these mics in China while he was there if all the above is true. Heck, I wouldn’t know the answers for sure to all of this, but Bock does, who remains mysteriously silent, as stated before, since his one and only post on this thread. Why cant he come on the record and clear this up once and for all?

    If Soundelux says they had U95 mics made in China at the beginning, then should anyone pay a used price of more than $800 for these? Are the American parts and tubes really worth all that more? Thanx...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
    Originally posted by universal:
    <STRONG>I was directed to this thread after trying to bid on one of those “U95S” mics on ebay yesterday. I read all the posts here and I am disappointed to see envision’s comments deleted</STRONG>
    I fail to understand why Envision would delete all his posts and then direct potential buyers to this site to stir things up again. This is starting to smell like trolling.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    New York
    Originally posted by 3D Audio Inc.:
    <STRONG>I fail to understand why Envision would delete all his posts and then direct potential buyers to this site to stir things up again. This is starting to smell like trolling.</STRONG>
    Lynn, I've yet to direct anyone here besides my buddy "k", who was the person I mentioned to you who worked with you on that project. Lynn, you would be quite surprised the number of emails I have received and continue to receive about this thread from people who bought the mic, bid on the mic or put the auction on their "watch list". In fact, a guy from Canada who bought that last mic just emailed me today having discovered the thread and his exact words were,

    "Hi Dana,
    I just came across a forum and I have to say a lotta people don't like you for selliing these mics. I'm still looking foward to hearing it. Anyway I'm not worried since you told me you would take it back if I was not satisfied. My phone number is ***-***-**** call me tommorow (Sunday) we can chat."

    Thats a real email, verbatum, so you can understand, I keep getting emails such as the one above where everyones impression of the thread is likened to the guy's above? :: You wonder why I'm Although I would love to know if you actually think universal made any point in HIS inquiry??

    In any event, apparently you have quite a popular site here which is how I found the thread in the first place. I recvd and email during that last auction from someone I've never met who simply said "there are people talking about you on the link below, if you are interested."

    Goodness gracious...

    I hope you werent accusing ME of this "trolling" were you? I'm not such a avid poster or messageboard hanger-outer, so I thought trolling was something you do when you're fishing with a small motor at low speeds, somehow I dont think that's what you meant. I had to look up "trolling" on the net to be sure.

    44. troll, trolling
    a member of an internet forum who continually harangues and harrasses others. Someone with nothing to add to the party but rather contributes to the downfall consistantly. A person who continually threadjacks or changes the subject of a conversation, as well as thinks every member of the forum is talking about them end only them.
    And goes by other personas as well.

    I hope I dont turn into a diabolical person such as the one described in that definition!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    New York
    Now that I think about it, I got a feeling someone went to the auction on ebay and emailed people through ebay's "contact member" page of those who bid or won the auction for those mics.

    I'm not "trolling" now, I hope??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Hollywood, CA
    Hello all,
    Since there seems to be more confusion than warranted on this topic I'll make a final re-statement of facts and myth surrounding 797's manufacture of Soundelux mics.
    1) As I stated before, the "U95S" that was for sale on Ebay recently is a complete impostor, neither looking like an original U95S not containing any of the critical components (capsule!, transformer, tube, circuitry) needed to make it sound like a U95S. 797 did indeed make bodies and headgrilles for the U95S, but that's it, even the plating was done here. And the story about having leftover parts on thier end is a complete falsification since the mic they are selling now does not have the same dimensions or engraving. Pure counterfit of name only. If they called it a U94, U96S, etc, I wouldn't care. They're obviously using a successful model number to sell something they aren't confident enough to give it's own model number. Sad but true, and hey, they've lied to me before and I've done more business with them than you likely ever will, I'm not surprised if they lie to someone who buys "six" microphones.
    2) Yes, the first hundred of each original U95 and U195 were built entirely in China and then entirely rebuilt here due to poor quality there. No surprises here. After that onlt mic bodies and capsules were made there. Again, no surprises.
    3) We have been building our mics here in Hollywood for about eight years now. Components come from North Hollywood, Hollywood, Tennessee, Indiana, Kansas, Sweeden, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Sri Lanka, China, and probably some other countries that make semiconductors. It ALL gets put together here by Americans who appear to be of assorted origins and heritage including English, Irish, Chzeck, German, Italian, Jewish, Vietnamese, Mexican, etc.
    Our products are purchased by an even wider group and we are happy to serve.
    4) You can rest assured none of the Soundelux Microphones built since 1997 have been built in China, even if they have Chinese metalwork.
    Hopefully this clears up some of the confusion.
    David Bock
    Soundelux Microphones

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
    Well, I don't think you'll find a more authoritative or reputable source of info than Mr. Bock himself.

    I hope that finally satisfies your curiosity.

    Case closed.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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