Ever wondered where the amazingly cheap sets of huge hifi speakers on eBay actually some from? Well, read on and take note, as there are many brands that are well worth avoiding...
Everyone by now must have heard of the "White Van Speaker Scam"; it goes on all over the world, and involves members of the public being approached by dodgy indivuduals, usually in a rented white van, who claim that they've somehow got their hands on some allegedly high-end (but in reality, rubbish) hifi speakers that they are willing to sell for a suspiciously low price. (Search "White Van Speakers" on Wikipedia for more details on this).
The problem is that, although they claim these speakers are worth several thousand pounds, the reality is that the scamsters are flogging them for £200 or so and still turning a profit! The speakers are usually knocked out in massive quantities in Chinese factories and can be bought in bulk for about £40 a set. The quality is reflected in this price - they are shoddily built using dirt-cheap, badly-made components.
Very often the unwitting buyer/mug gets home and sets his speakers up, only to find that they either don't work, or if they do they sound utterly awful. Hence they frequently end up on eBay as people try to get shot of them and recover the money they wasted on lousy speakers!
The following "brand names" are commonly found on these speakers:
- Acoustic Monitor (or Acoustic Studio Monitor)
- Acoustic Response, Acoustic Image, Acoustic Lab Technology
- AST (Advanced Sound Technologies)
- Dogg Digital, Digital Dogg Audio
- Digital Research
- Digital Pro Audio, Pro Audio, Digital Audio, Digital Audio Professional Speaker Systems, Digital Audio Skyline Digital Research
- Epiphany Audio
- Elite Audio
- Genesis Media Labs
- Omni Audio
- Matrix Audio
- Proline Acoustics
- Pro Dynamics
- Theater Innovations
- Theater (sometimes Theatre) Research
These brands really are best left alone no matter how much of a bargain they may appear.
Instead, spend your hard-earned hi-fi fund on some second-hand speakers from a reputable manufacturer. The 5-foot-tall speakers with hordes of big drive units for £150 may look impressive; the truth is that, in terms of sound quality, an unassuming pair of bookshelf speakers from a proper manufacturer will wipe the floor with the big cheap ones.
This chap has some more useful info on these dodgy speakers. (eBay review page - click link to view)