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#318763 - 08/16/10 04:36 PM Re: R.I.P. AV123 [Re: grunt]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4078
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: grunt
That is so cool and it took way to long.




Yup. Not surprising in the least.
_________________________
I’m armed and I’m drinking. You don’t want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#318764 - 08/16/10 04:38 PM Re: R.I.P. AV123 [Re: CatBrat]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4078
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: CatBrat
I'm glad I took someone's advice here and bought Axiom subwoofer instead of the AV123 one I was thinking about.


I know Grunt and myself would have made you stay clear of the MFW-15.
_________________________
I’m armed and I’m drinking. You don’t want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#318773 - 08/16/10 05:58 PM Re: R.I.P. AV123 [Re: michael_d]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
Michael,

It's a nasty and long story nasty and long story.

As Peter mentioned, it's a shame for the employees who worked there and were likely without fault, but IMO (and that of many others) it's about time that they shut 'er down.

Competition is usually a good thing, but when there's alleged fraud occurring, how could they possibly continue?

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#318774 - 08/16/10 06:03 PM Re: R.I.P. AV123 [Re: michael_d]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Originally Posted By: michael_d
I never did follow all the drama and have no idea what you guys are referring to. What's the abbreviated version of the story? Or is it even worth getting into? If not, forget I asked.


Michael the most recent drama surrounds two primary things, criminal charges of charity fraud against MLS (the owner?) and increasing QC problems culminating with the MFW-15 subwoofer. More generally from the way it looks to me the history of MLS problems date way back even prior to AV123 with his bad habits finally catching up with him in the aforementioned issues.

Essentially MLS has always been known for operating beyond his means. Relying on investors, prepays, and promises to meet operating/lifestyle costs. The result has been a string of business one of which was sold off going under shortly after. Most recently AV123 as far as I can tell never really was anything much more than a glorified “buyers clubs” which kept some inventory on hand but usually took orders until enough volume was created to fill a shipping container. So there was never a high capital investment in either production or research like Axiom.

AV123 seemed to operate primarily on hype dished out by MLS and spread by his fan base. When issues arose and they have for some years, like substandard crossovers, the fan base quickly stamped out any dissent. The occasional problem they could not quell was turned into a positive by the personal intervention of MLS who would take extraordinary measures to “take care of the person” usually creating a new fan and invigorating the existing fans with his awesomeness. So essentially AV123 existed primarily on the “good will” (in an accounting sense) of it’s rather rabid fan base and their spreading of the “word.” Any time someone really got tenacious about taking MLS to task in a forum he would play a sympathy card, he’s sick, family member sick, dog sick, and his fans would take the dissenter to task for being so mean to pick on someone when he’s down.

The first big hole in the armour was the MFW-15 amp problems which seem to be driven by AV123’s need to find ever cheaper suppliers, possibly cause by the economic downturn, resulting in even more QC problems than usual. They probably would have survived this if not for MLS and his fans pissing off one particular person who took it upon himself to shine a light on the workings of MLS and AV123.

The primary angle he(?), the vigilante, used was various charity raffles which word from some recipients (forum members) was that they never got all the money. This vigilantly seems to have collected enough information that when presented to the office of the Colorado State Attorney General they found sufficient grounds to start an investigation which finally lead to multiple charges of charity fraud against MLS.

The alleged fraud against various charities was enough to silence most of the AV123 fan base (a few diehards held out for a while) which allowed all the other problems AV123 was having to get the full air time that they deserved. With the “good will” evaporated there was really nothing left to keep AV123 afloat except for the greed of those willing to buy steeply discounted products. Real discounts this time and not the over inflated MSRP discounts they were always having.

AFAIK that’s it in a nutshell.
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#318781 - 08/16/10 06:34 PM Re: R.I.P. AV123 [Re: Kruncher]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4078
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: Kruncher
Michael,

It's a nasty and long story nasty and long story.

As Peter mentioned, it's a shame for the employees who worked there and were likely without fault, but IMO (and that of many others) it's about time that they shut 'er down.

Competition is usually a good thing, but when there's alleged fraud occurring, how could they possibly continue?


At the end of the day there was the president, CFO and 1 or 2 other employees from what I understand. Most of their additional staff, long time suppliers and engineers either moved on or due to restructuring were let go, up to a few years. The writing has been on the wall for the last few years. There is/was lots of time to find other/additional employment if one wished before the ship finally sank. This is not a surprise at all to the audio community, so it shouldn't be a shock to any of the employees working for them.
_________________________
I’m armed and I’m drinking. You don’t want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#318791 - 08/16/10 07:55 PM Re: R.I.P. AV123 [Re: BlueJays1]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4078
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Grunt pretty much nailed it. AV123 also had a laundry list of vaporware and individuals waiting for refunds on defective merchandise or non-delivered product for years (up to 1-3 years). There were certain ethical and business practice issues which you also have to look at to get the bigger picture along with the alleged charity fraud.

Like Grunt eloquently pointed out, the customers acted as a buyers club. Then in time, this policy changed and the customers were still a "buyers club" but when you pre-ordered goods now to get the "sales price", that money was then turned into "store credit" which was then non refundable. This conveniently set up a lot of hype for in development/napkin sketch products which you can then pre-pay for a special once in a lifetime discount. People felt very comfortable doing this because of the re-enforcement from the AV123 following (their forum) and the company front man who had a lot of charisma and charm.

The infamous RSL-II vaporware was the latest and greatest vaporware from AV123. They even set up a fake company Act 3? or something to make these when they were initially looking for these pre-pays. Unfortunately, many individuals were taken in at $6000 a pair. This is just one example, there are plenty of other cases were people never received a product or their refund. The misdeeds go well beyond the alleged charity fraud, it is one big cluster ^%%$#.


_________________________
I’m armed and I’m drinking. You don’t want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#318792 - 08/16/10 07:55 PM Re: R.I.P. AV123 [Re: BlueJays1]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3903
Loc: Up yonder
Wow. Thanks for the information. That’s quite a story and one I had not paid any attention to. I do not participate on other forums in general. Just this one. About all I know of AV123 is when I was looking to buy some speakers after divorcing my second wife who wouldn’t let me spend any money on AV stuff. (so my first financial binge once single had to be speakers, of course). I heard about Axiom and Rockets at Audioholics, posted my first post here, which was the typical Rocket verses Axiom question. I really wanted the Rosewood 750’s, but their shipping costs killed the deal for me, so I ended up with Axioms and you guys have been stuck with me ever since. I did not visit the AV123 sight after that. The allegations are quite horrible in my opinion. I give a lot to charities every year, year after year, always have. Hearing the allegations disturbs me.
_________________________


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#318796 - 08/16/10 08:48 PM Re: R.I.P. AV123 [Re: michael_d]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
As the Dr. eludes to the sordid details of AV123s workings abound. I have no sympathy for it’s employees, venders and most of the customers who were duped. IMO they got what they deserved for not doing due diligence before entering into a relationship with AV123.

It’s also why I hesitate to enter into a business relationship with any company or individual that I know was in a business relationship with MLS. If I can spot a con from just internet form posts then they should have been able to see what they were dealing with. If they didn’t then they are to clueless to get a long term commitment out of me. If they did see it and carried on anyway then they are to shady to get anything out of me. Those that severed the relationship early score some points but not a full pardon.

Likewise I hesitate to enter into a business relationship with any company that promotes a rabid fan base. Thankfully Axiom doesn’t have a heavy employee presence in this forum and that which it does have isn’t likely to promote a “cult of personality.” This, coupled with the un-moderated nature of this forum (well occasionally some members get a bit zealous), and the open criticism of a few members, tends to “keep things real” here more than many other places devoted to a single brand.

Maybe a good time to resurrect this thread:

Online shopping: who are you really buy from
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#318801 - 08/16/10 09:50 PM Re: R.I.P. AV123 [Re: grunt]
casey01 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/03/08
Posts: 768
Loc: Toronto
It is interesting to note that in their formative years of existence and then limited product line which were basically "Sunfire" clones, Emotiva sold their products through AVS123.

In the ensuing years of their departure from AVS, Emotiva and its product line has expanded exponentially. Perhaps the principals already saw what was happening and thought "better to take our chances on our own then eventually getting caught up in a doomsday scenario for our business".

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#318802 - 08/16/10 09:59 PM Re: R.I.P. AV123 [Re: casey01]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4078
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Emotiva's debauchery of their latest pre-pro (UMC-1) has been discussed at great length as being a ToneWinner clone.
_________________________
I’m armed and I’m drinking. You don’t want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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