Posted by: performanceproduction | January 25, 2010

Double Standards

I have been following the Live Audio Board (LAB) for many years now.  I’m not one of the original usenet users, but I’ve been hanging around them for almost ten years now.  I remember when it was truly a Pro Audio forum.

It is not anymore, and hasn’t been for a long time.  At some point..I’m not sure when…status on that forum ceased to come from real live experience and became based on post count.  There were people on there with thousands of posts, and because of that, they gave off the impression of being wizened veterans to the  influx of other new people.  They started handing out their words of wisdom and judgement as if they were in any position to, and because of that all-mighty post count number, they were believed.  Now, some quick googling showed that a hell of a lot of these guys were anklebiters.  They did high school dances and bar bands with speakers on sticks on the occasional weekend, and that was it.

Yet, their word became gospel.  These words were often just a rehash of something that they had overheard someone else say, or read somewhere on the internet, or had just made it up, based on their very limited experience.  Yet they were so adamant about it, and they banded together and all voiced the same “gospel” until between herd mentality and sheer ignorance of fact, they convinced everyone else that they were right.

This pisses me off (and has been pissing me off for years now, watching it unfold) on many levels.  These guys, through their internet reputation (whatever the FUCK that means) got gigs.  Cushy gigs.  Sales gigs.  Touring gigs!! They got free shit.  They got demo gear.

Another aspect that hadn’t really bothered me until a recent discovery set off this whole rant here.  These people shit-talk certain manufacturers.  One of these manufacturers in particular, Behringer, evokes such derision that you would think that old Uli was the Anti-Christ himself.  Now, I don’t like Behringer gear either.  It is cheaply made, and they have a tendency to blatantly copy and steal designs, even if only visually.  Bear in mind, for this rant, that it is this last point that seems to raise the ire of these people the most.

Because you see, they also talk up their favourite brands.  One of these is a company called EWI.  Now, I’ve never used anything by EWI, and not because I ever had anything against them, but we use professional products at my level of work.  EWI costs less, and is made cheaper.  You wouldn’t think that if you listened to these people though.  They insinuated that you were just a fool if you went out and bought an Anvil or R&R case for several hundred dollars when you could get the same thing and just as good (or better!) for $50.

Now, like I said, I never had anything against EWI, just an annoyance at the people harping on their products.  Recently, however, I was browsing an EWI dealer’s site looking for some odds and ends.  I clicked on some of the EWI “gadgets” page.  Then the DI’s.  I couldn’t fucking believe it…this is what I saw:

For comparison, I own one of these:

The layout, the knob, the silkscreening…the fucking pin sticking out in the middle!! How is that acceptable?  And it doesn’t stop there friends…here’s another example:

Compared to….

I know the guys at Whirlwind pretty well.  They make a great product, I work with several of them very often, and hell..they’re right up the street a couple miles.  Before I saw this, I thought EWI was just another good American company, trying to make a few bucks by providing audio gear for guys who have a stricter budget than you see at the level I work in.  Nothing wrong with that.  But THIS?  Direct copying of a competitor’s design, and a steep markdown?  That, my friends, is bullshit, and I will never ever buy anything from EWI.

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Responses

  1. Hi,

    don’t know and have never used kit from Whirlwind or EWI but I bought a near identical tester from Adam Hall around ten years ago. This went walkabout a year or so ago and we replaced it with another identical model but in blue and from another company available here in the UK.

    I’ve also seen a third (fifth?) model in canary yellow.
    Whoever came up with this design first, well I have no idea but there seems to be enough models that this thing seems to get licensed out.

    But yeah, that DI looks a little too similar …

  2. Licensing is an aspect I thought of as I was angrily bashing this one out.

    I should ask Sam at Whirlwind what he knows about it – to which he’ll probably say “how the fuck should I know…I just design shit.”


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