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AI Speaker Professional Reviews?
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scredly@hotmail.com
Prenoob

Joined: 29/07/2010 02:22:53
Messages: 14
Location: Providence, RI
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Now that SL Control Room is released, will review units be available to the press? There are NO reviews of these speakers in any of the major US pro-audio trade publications.

There are none available to demo in ANY Guitar Centre within 100-miles of my home. All say "Ship To Store".

I'm not buying until there are professional reviews and I can hear them for myself.

What gives?
"I use to be disgusted, now I try to be amused..."
lowdbrent
Presonic
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Joined: 13/11/2010 22:17:51
Messages: 396
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The Ai is a top teir MI product or lower end pro product. I also sell Fulcrum Acoustics. If I have an application where the budget doesn't work for the Fulcrum + high-end power amps and high-end DSP, then I will work the Ais in. InfoComm is coming up. PreSonus will be there. I am going to go by and ask about white or unfinished boxes. I sell those.

I would not put too much stock in "professional reviews" in trade publications. There are so many products reviewed that never see the light of day, because Yamaha or some other mega power threatens the publications with pulling ad revenue. This happens all the time. PreSonus is a mom and pop compared to Harman, Yamaha, etc. They don't have the cash to throw around like those big machine companies. Ever wonder why a JBL whatever sounds like crap and has a high failure rate but has been pushed heavily and praised loudly? That's why. It's all about duh mo-nay.

You may not ever find them in Guitar Centers. Who knows? You are not going to find much of anything soon at Guitar Center at some point. They are having money issues. Manufacturers like Behringer, Fender, etc are pulling product or pulling out completely. Fender laid off 1/3 of it's labor as a result.

Here is what you need to know about box houses. Because it is there doesn't mean the product is good. It means the palms have been greased. Manufacturers have had to place inventory in those stores for free on the front side. They take all of the risk. All of the returns on them. The unsold merchandise is on them. Then, manufacturers pay for space on the floor. If I were PreSonus, I would not want to be sold in GC. Too much cash outlay and risk.

MI stores are going to stock what walks. Right now, EV and QSC have the two best selling hiss and boom, two-way speaker lines on the planet. That is what the majority of MI shops are selling the most of now. The Ai line is new, not completely finished (cards for Dante networking, etc) Ai is in a different class. It is going to be a harder sell to the MI walk-in customer because of the professional features and it sounds better. You read it right. It sounds better than the hottest selling two way boxes. It has midrange. Ask Community how MI sales went for boxes with midrange. It didn't. They no longer offer MI boxes to MI stores. MI store sales people didn't know how to demo and sell full -range speakers with mids. Most stores do not have adequate demo systems or practices. Salesmen will sell what is asked for and what is easy. EV and QSC it is.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 31/05/2014 17:31:47

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scredly@hotmail.com
Prenoob

Joined: 29/07/2010 02:22:53
Messages: 14
Location: Providence, RI
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Thanks for the insights Brent.

I still won't buy a box I can't demo in person, preferably next to one or two comparable units.

I have have e-mailed three of the non-GC retailers within 100-miles of my home. If no one is stocking them. No sale.
"I use to be disgusted, now I try to be amused..."
andguent
Prenoob
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Joined: 22/02/2013 06:54:29
Messages: 98
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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If you post your location, some nearby forum members might let you try out their gear.
Church gear: SL 32.4.2AI, MacBook Pro 13" 2.5Ghz i5, iPad 2, 4x Sennheiser ew100 G3, 3x Yamaha SM12V wedges, crummy main speakers
lowdbrent
Presonic
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Joined: 13/11/2010 22:17:51
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Yeah, where are you? If you are close, I will get you a demo.
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scredly@hotmail.com
Prenoob

Joined: 29/07/2010 02:22:53
Messages: 14
Location: Providence, RI
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Providence, RI .
"I use to be disgusted, now I try to be amused..."
scredly@hotmail.com
Prenoob

Joined: 29/07/2010 02:22:53
Messages: 14
Location: Providence, RI
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Came across a sweet deal on a pair of 312AI from an authorised dealer for $999 each shipped, no tax. If I don't like them on FOH, I'll try them on monitor duty.
"I use to be disgusted, now I try to be amused..."
lowdbrent
Presonic
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Joined: 13/11/2010 22:17:51
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Ha. I have relatives there. That isn't really the mecca for live sound. It is going to be hard to find a demo unless you call the local rep. Contact PreSonus, see who the rep is. The reps have samples.
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rockstardave
Presonic
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Joined: 29/07/2010 01:02:17
Messages: 322
Location: buffalo ny
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brent may be right about a few things, but i can assure you that he's also wrong about a few other things.

first off - they are brand new speakers and many places don't have them yet. it's one thing to look at a Sweetwater or Amazon, versus a brick-and-morter store like Guitar Center which has 200+ stores of varying sizes, not to mention their "traditional" warehouse for shipping (just like sweetwater, amazon, etc) so I'm sure distribution is a lot more work.

second - JBL speakers that sound like junk are the cheap ones. you can't compare a 250$ passive speaker to a $1200 powered speaker - OF COURSE one will sound better than the other. Why not take a listen to the premium offerings from JBL and compare that to premium offerings from another company. You're equating a cheap Kia to a premium Lexus. JBL is known for their high-end stuff - Vertec, VRX, even SR/SRX/STX series. Frankly, I do think that JBL is probably hurting themselves by keeping stuff like JRX around.

i do agree that magazine reviews tend to ALWAYS come up with a positive result (because of advertising revenue; could you imagine a magazine giving product X a lousy write up and then ask the manufacturer to advertise??). magazine reviews are for product awareness - not critical / clinical analysis.

oh, and here's what you need to know about box houses. It is certainly not there because palms have been greased. the name of the game is sales, NOT returns. people give stores (NOT limited to MI Retail) a hard time about high pressure sales , bullying , and aggressive tactics. BUT EVERYONE OF THOSE STORES OFFERS RETURN POLICIES. so for anyone who is more than a "try to get rich quick" type (which, you'll quickly find would take a lot of knowledge in product awareness, as well as sales knowledge, as well as having a mass of contacts and clients in the music industry - and none of that is QUICKLY gained), the end result matters; that is to say that when I buy a piece of equipment that is not what I want, I am 100% free to return it for my money back. suddenly it doesn't matter about high pressure sales because in the end - i'll just return the piece. Consequently - box stores like GC (or best buy, or sears, or home depot, or ANYONE) are more interested in having you KEEP your purchase. And if you're into high tech stuff - like Presonus - with digital mixers that require time with the unit before a gig, with studio monitors that you want to hear before you buy, with live PA speakers that function with a custom App - you absolutely want prospective customers to be able to demo and hear things ahead of time. So if I were presonus, one of my primary marketing strategies would be to GET IT INTO STORES - mom and pop , guitar center , whatever - for those exact purposes. Because once you have it in Guitar Center, you have it in 200+ stores in every major market (plus Buffalo) in the US.

In fact, Brent completely contradicted himself - from "Because it is there doesn't mean the product is good" to "MI stores are going to stock what walks". Which one is it??

Anyways, I'd agree that they stock what walks because - as I mentioned - they want you to buy and KEEP your purchase. why stock the garbage if you'll just return it and order a K12 somewhere else, ya know?

oh, and Third point - I don't think that places like GC are going anywhere yet - they lost behringer (or did behringer lose GC?). If you keep up, you'll read that GC just reduced something like 30 million in debt and has lots of liquid assets now. for better or worse, depending on your point of view.

thanks,
2xSL16 , KW-series , Macbook pro / ipad , fairly decent mics and DI boxes.
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lowdbrent
Presonic
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Joined: 13/11/2010 22:17:51
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Dude, the words I give come from manufacturers and manufacturer's reps themselves. What I said is true. Obviously you are not on the MI side, where companies like Gibson, for example, want the retailer to pay them $50k or so to have the line. Then they shove product down the retailer's throats. Obviously you have not tried to place product yourself. There are numerous blogs and sites from former GC purchasing guys telling what goes on, telling of the inferior quality of the big name brand manufacturers, and how much better products could be had for less money.

There is tech in our city who used to work for Gibson. He told me how QC goes out the window. They have to ship "x" numbers of guitars per day. If that doesn't happen, the final QC guys get fired. There were lots of great guitar techs who wanted to be a part of a legacy, trying to make guitars the best they could, but they were rolled because they kept holding up the line, refusing to pass guitars. We used to have guitars arrive with the frets not yet filed, without being set up. These were $5k Les Pauls. Come on. Just because it is in GC or any other store, and it sells, does not mean it is any good at all.

What sells for GC walk in customers is under $200. I used to work there. That is their bread and butter. $199. They know they can pop that cheap crap like candy. So, it IS about what sells and much of what sells SUCKS. We could go into the their house lines of speakers, amps, etc as examples. The JBLs I was referencing were just for conversation. But since you want more, consider the PRX600 series. It got lots of good press and a big push. People on the forums praised it. These were people with little exposure to anything better and little money for anything else. JBL had a HIGH failure rate. They didn't sound that good. So, Harman fixed it, sort of, with the PRX700. These are not $250 speakers.
Look at low end Alto, Harbinger, Behringer, Casio, etc, etc. It all sells because it is cheap, not because it is great.

PreSonus may place AI's in GC. But, like I said, other people are pulling out. GC likes to get their gear in for free or on terms and then wants to take a while to pay. The big boys want COD because GC's credit is now junk. GC is cash lite right now. I just don't see it when GC can't keep some of their bigger product lines.

The review comment I stand buy 100%. I know of manufacturer's who have had products reviewed. The reviews were stellar. The product was said to eliminate the need for "this and that". The product was tested and praised by industry pros. The manufacturer was stoked. He geared up for it. The manufacturer was told the review would go unpublished. Company "Y" has threatened to pull ads. They need to sell the very gear the reviewed equipment endangered. And so it goes.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 03/06/2014 19:50:49

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