a short diary of some part of my life.



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Ray Samuels Audio

Ray Samuels Audio is a well known manufacturer of Headphone Amplifier and Pre-Amplifier. I almost bought RSA Raptor before I decided to get a Woo Audio 6. Raptor is an OTL design tube amp. From its aesthetics form, it looks good. But what matters the most is the sound it produces, its reliability and the design of the amp itself. I don’t want to buy something that I know may have a possibility to fail. I don’t want to buy a bad design either.

Here are some interesting discussion threads:

What irks me is that RSA gets protection from ****-Fi,org moderators from getting hard questions (RSA is one of their “members of the trade”), his bad designs are also the main reason why I didn’t purchase one of his amps. I almost did, until I found a better forum (Head-Case) where I can get honest answers. Lesson learnt, do more research before you are about to buy something and be sure who to trust when you read reviews; take them as grain of salt.

(08/28/09) :

Now, there are more and more people who start to find out what is actually inside a RSA Predator Amp/DAC; it turned out their customer service isn’t any better than the products themselves ~ http://www.****

In that thread, one member’s trying to find out what chips are used inside the Predator (http://www.**** The member claimed that the DAC chip that Ray is using is a simple cheap mediocre USB DAC that can be installed without any programming or anything complicated. It’s a no surprise for me as Ray seems to be incapable of designing a good (portable/home) Amp or DAC and he never talked about techie stuff at all. A member claimed that Ray ignored him after he’s no longer a member of ****, one example how bad their customer service can be when you are not/no longer a member of ****

Consumers will always find out something like this, we are not as dumb as some manufacturers think. Perhaps audio amplifier manufacturers like RSA should re-consider what they are doing; making dangerous/bad designs, stealing other manufacturer’s customers (Pico) from the manufacturer’s pre-order list (HeadAmp Pico pre-order list), and not using marketing as their main weapon to dodge potential customers from lurking to other products (the Shadowsafety issue) – a good design will speak for itself. I usually avoid buying a product from a manufacturer who speaks a lot of marketing BS when the manufacturer is trying to sell the product.

Unfortunately, this is also the trend on basically every single internet forum, not just audio forums. There are only a couple of forums that I know of which the majority of its members have good understandings of what they are making or buying. In my opinion, most consumers do not know what they are buying. That’s why we often find those who swear by the name of (let’s say) Bose. Brand names play a big part of audio marketing. On ****-fi, the case is simply driven by long-standing members or those who have lots of post counts but they don’t necessarily have the knowledge of what they are buying or reviewing. I read their reviews but I take them as grain of salt just like any other reviews that I read. I can’t believe how some manufacturers can get that much exposé with inferior products. Consumers can be really blinded by the hypes of a product, be a smart buyer!


(12/13/2009) :

Warren Audio

Looks like, there are more and more bad audio companies on ****

The company (Fidelity Audio) recently changed their name to Warren Audio.

They have had some very bad cases:

Another Rick Warren / Warren Audio BS on their cable designs patent pending status:

I can’t understand he is still one of **** sponsors. This guy should be banned for life. BTW, his cables look plain and ugly, that practically gives customers no reason why one should buy his cables.



(4/13/2010) :

Empirical Audio

Steve Nugent (SN: audioengr), who runs Empirical Audio has very low credibility in pro audio world:
Just recently, he’s trying to use his marketing BS to indirectly sell his products: ****, here is the screen capture of what he wrote in case if the post gets deleted: post.

It turned out that there is another Steve’s stupidity, this one clearly shows that he has no understanding about the subject that was being discussed. Wavelength Audio/Gordon Rankin, a very well respected audio designer made corrections to Steve’s claims. Here is the link to it: ****, here is the screen capture of what he wrote in case the post gets deleted: 1 & 2.

I find it amusing when someone who claims he has the skills and know-how of how to design a superb product, making that kind of posts. Now, I’m starting to doubt that he even holds those patents during his time at Intel by himself, it could be… who knows…

In my opinion, it’s better for you (audio manufacturers) to be honest and straightforward if you do not have the expertise on the subject matter, that way you won’t get questioned of your credibilities when what you claimed are false. You would look stupid too. Audio world has too much BS, be careful of what you are buying!

I will compile a list of ‘bad’ audio manufacturers soon.

[update] Here is another example:



(8/6/2010) :

Nagys Audio

Nagys Audio is finally BANNED at AudioCircle.

They basically killed themselves. Read the link above.

or read/download PDF version here:

They are also banned at



(1/24/2011) :

CryoParts / Locus Design Group

I’ve been considering to put Lee Weiland‘s company on my bad audio company list. Finally, I did it. This is not because they sell poor products but rather super duper overpriced products that you can get much cheaper elsewhere. I’m not going to explain anything, I will let you be the judge for the following pictures below:

CryoParts RCA ($57) Vs. Valab RCA ($24)

Perhaps they come from the same factory. I’m pretty sure they do come from the same manufacturer. There are many overpriced products that Lee is selling. The other example is the new SonicWeld Diverter Vs. Wavelength WaveLink HS. Wavelink HS is designed by the renowned Gordon Rankin and Diverter is designed and manufactured by Josh Heiner of SonicWeld. There are many arguments why SonicWeld chose to design a bling-bling chassis, I personally could not find a single reason why you need that kind of chassis for a solid state product. Anyway, here is another example of CryoParts overpriced product: The guy seems to have no idea about what to cryo and what not to cryo, he throws everything he can to be cryo-treated.

Here is a major issue: 99.999% silver cable turning green. The cable manufacturer was promising purity at 99.33% and Lee Weiland was marketing it at 99.999% pure silver.

I don’t read the whole thread but if my suspicion is correct, the cable manufacturer is located somewhere in China. Chinese manufacturers are notoriously known for faking specs, shipping incorrect item (far from specs), or not shipping the correct goods at all.

Maybe Cryo-parts did not know about those issues but they should have lab-tested it before even trying to market it as 99.999whatever% pure silver. The fact that the manufacturer themselves was promising purity at less than what Cryo-parts was marketing it at is just ridiculously wrong.

Anyone who’s shameless enough to sell cables at those prices is shameless enough to lie about its specs. I’m sure some TWag buyers are motivated purely by aesthetics, but it fails even that.

You can add this as one of the many reasons why America is going down. There are very few innovations and so many scammers. It will take a very long time until America can be the country of innovators again. These trends are going to continue as long as there are buyers.


(1/24/2011) :

Reference Audio Mods

Read these link:

The guy has been acting like he knows everything about audio mods. It turned out that he doesn’t understand a thing about electronics. I really don’t understand about this audio mods business. Why would you pay for twice the price of your gear when you clearly can buy a much better product at the same price?? If you are not satisfied with your gear, then sell it. If you want to get a better sound, get the better product. Most of these modders seem to be scammers in hiding. I bet Doug Jesse of ASI-tek also has history of scamming people. ASI-tek was ‘RAM’s friend.


(9/22/2011) :

Cavalli Audio

Read this link:

There are plenty of examples, google them. Basically they are selling inferior (badly designed) products at extraorbitant price.


Vinnie Rossi / Red Wine Audio

Disclaimer: Since the first time I saw Red Wine Audio, I knew this guy is basically selling cheap parts and designs for a ton of money.

But I didn’t expect how he did this:

Downloadable PDF Version

This is basically a con. Yes, he did pull the product but I don’t believe he didn’t know. Please read Red Wine Audio factory tour below. As you can see, his operations are small. Vinnie knows what’s going on inside his house.

Red Wine Audio factory tour:

On personal note, among my hobbies, I find audio is the priciest and full of scams. There are good companies out there, but you have to pick and choose.


One Comment

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  1. April 3, 2011

    Thanks for your efforts. It could be a full time job to call out audio BS. Keep up the good work. I found your page here after searching Nagys audio. They have now moved over to the Parts Express forum and are causing trouble there.

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