A real brawl about Daniel Hertz M1 speakers at the Axpona show!

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
140
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#1
I was reading the Axpona show report on the S'phile web page and came across this very interesting
--"discussion"-- regarding the Daniel Hertz M1 speakers. Some fascinating information about Mark Levinson and David Wilson in this "discussion"; may be rumor or :confused:

Here's the link: http://www.stereophile.com/content/daniel-hertz-m1


BTW, since the M1's are $100K a pair, and look like they are rejects from the Pro-Audio world,where they would cost less than $10,000- a pair, I for one can see what some of the concern is about:eek:

Wow!
 
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RogerD

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2010
3,549
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BiggestLittleCity
#2
And the "bubble" continues.
 

Robh3606

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2010
1,041
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145
Destiny
#3
For those interested.

http://danielhertz.com/products/m1

There is no useful information about the speakers posted on the site and the add copy has mistakes and doesn't really tell you anything to boot.

Nice conversation in the blog.

Rob:)
 
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RogerD

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2010
3,549
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BiggestLittleCity
#4
"The Daniel Hertz M1 ($100,000/pair), designed by Mark Levinson (the man), uses a high-frequency horn, a 12” mid-woofer, and an 18” woofer. The stainless steel frame surrounding the horn is said to optimize waveform termination and imaging quality, while those frames surrounding the woofers are used to increase the rigidity of the drivers. The speaker is divided internally into two sections: One section for the horn and 12” driver, damped using sheep’s wool for its high mass and absorptive properties, and one section with two tuned ports for the 18” driver. "

You have to love the marketing hype......Sheeps wool....is speaker wool that most speaker builders have used for years.

Notice how the speakers are positioned against the wall,with that 18" driver,the bass should be very impressive,as for the SS frame.....yawn.

Of course at 150kilos a piece (330lbs),that's about $1500lb.

My stereo sub(300lb) cost me $450 back in 1990.

Franz Pick was right.....the minidollar continues to shrink.
 
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Mark Seaton

WBF Technical Expert (Speaker & Acoustics)
May 21, 2010
332
27
28
43
Chicago, IL
www.seatonsound.net
#5
For those interested.

http://danielhertz.com/products/m1

There is no useful information about the speakers posted on the site and the add copy has mistakes and doesn't really tell you anything to boot.

Nice conversation in the blog.

Rob:)
Quite amusing, and typical. The extremes of either position are a bit out of touch, and truth lies somewhere in the middle. Back when I first saw the announcements of these speakers to be coming I both chuckled and smiled. I suspect Levinson went far enough to the dynamic extreme to really separate himself from more expected hi-fi offerings, and the difference will go a long way with his marketing skill. Remember that mystery and concealed parts have potential for much greater valuation than any tangible explanation... ;)
 

RUR

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
647
0
0
SoCal
#6
I was reading the Axpona show report on the S'phile web page and came across this very interesting
--"discussion"-- regarding the Daniel Hertz M1 speakers.....
I'm sorry I clicked the link to read the discussion, which is typical of why I never visit the S-phile forum or read the comments. I don't need to listen to a guy with a Heinrich Himmler avatar calling people f-wits, no matter what he may have to say.
 

JasonI

New Member
Dec 3, 2010
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#7
I wonder if high dollar speaker owners feel they are getting conned or stiffed in any way. There are common sense arguments to be made about diminishing returns and measurements other behaviors but in the end, and if one has the means, it's a personal thing. I don't know if I'll ever have the dough to throw at audio in the way that Lamm, Levinson, Teac, and Wilson would like me to, and even if I did I don't know that I would. It's a personal thing.

Also, I find it perfectly reasonable for that guy to get angsty over the price of the Levinson speaker if his arguments are true. Specifically, that this is a pro derived product. If that's the case it shouldn't sound or measure any better than Meyer, Quested or other high end pro design. Unfortunately specs are non-existent and we're unlikely to see this speaker in Stereophile anytime soon. His combativeness is offputting, but his points are valid.
 
#8
I wonder if high dollar speaker owners feel they are getting conned or stiffed in any way. There are common sense arguments to be made about diminishing returns and measurements other behaviors but in the end, and if one has the means, it's a personal thing. I don't know if I'll ever have the dough to throw at audio in the way that Lamm, Levinson, Teac, and Wilson would like me to, and even if I did I don't know that I would. It's a personal thing.

Also, I find it perfectly reasonable for that guy to get angsty over the price of the Levinson speaker if his arguments are true. Specifically, that this is a pro derived product. If that's the case it shouldn't sound or measure any better than Meyer, Quested or other high end pro design. Unfortunately specs are non-existent and we're unlikely to see this speaker in Stereophile anytime soon. His combativeness is offputting, but his points are valid.
Pro compression horn drivers can be quite expensive. I know that the compression horn drivers in my speakers are extremely costly. It is not only the drivers but the crossover parts, design, speaker cabinet, and finishing that all contribute to the cost and performance/sound of the speakers.

Rich
 

es347

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,572
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Midwest fly over state..
#9
I'm sorry I clicked the link to read the discussion, which is typical of why I never visit the S-phile forum or read the comments. I don't need to listen to a guy with a Heinrich Himmler avatar calling people f-wits, no matter what he may have to say.
Agreed RUR! But whoever "Heinrich" is, he's one helluva writer...obviously a progressive with a capital P and no doubt with a BA in journalism. What would this country be without these guys....I can only fantasize about that one.
 

RogerD

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2010
3,549
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BiggestLittleCity
#10
Agreed RUR! But whoever "Heinrich" is, he's one helluva writer...obviously a progressive with a capital P and no doubt with a BA in journalism. What would this country be without these guys....I can only fantasize about that one.
Maybe Matt Taibi is a audiophile.
 

JasonI

New Member
Dec 3, 2010
67
0
0
#12
Pro compression horn drivers can be quite expensive. I know that the compression horn drivers in my speakers are extremely costly. It is not only the drivers but the crossover parts, design, speaker cabinet, and finishing that all contribute to the cost and performance/sound of the speakers.

Rich
Understood, and that's why I chose Meyer and Quested as examples in my post. I could have just as easily brought up JBL and Danley to have a real price/performance fight.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
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#14
I'm sorry I clicked the link to read the discussion, which is typical of why I never visit the S-phile forum or read the comments. I don't need to listen to a guy with a Heinrich Himmler avatar calling people f-wits, no matter what he may have to say.
Personally, I thought that guy was a scream. I'm still laughing at the things he said. WBF compared to the Stereophile forum is night and day. They start right in with your mama on that forum. Over here, we're more like Mr. Rogers singing "It's a lovely day in the neighborhood."
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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#15
Charles Hansen(Ayre Acoustics) recently provided some insight into Mark Levinson the man and the company over on AA in this thread: http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/vt.mpl?f=critics&m=56913

"There aren't any right or wrong answers. Personally I would say that there are other things that matter besides the product itself. Let's look at one well-known example -- Levinson.

Mark Levinson started up his company with a feature-laden preamp designed by Richard Burwen. But he gained his fame with a minimalist preamp designed by John Curl. JC was supposed to have been paid on a royalty basis. ML didn't pay, so JC published the secret schematics for the potted modules he designed for Levinson in The Audio Amateur magazine.

So now maybe it isn't just about the product. Does it matter that the company owner (that is presumably making all of the profit) has stolen the design from the engineer he commissioned? You might have one opinion. John Curl might have another. You could ask him -- he posts here from time to time.

The story keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. As Levinson (the company) grew more famous, it also grew more and more mis-managed. Enter one Sandy Berlin. He recognized a good take-over target when he saw one. He made an investment, then forced out the founder. (Does this sound all too familiar -- much like another audio company three decades later?)

But that's not all, oh no, that is not all (to quote one of my favorite authors, Theodore Geisl). Sandy Berlin bankrupted the company and then purchased the assets (the tradename and designs) for something silly like $100. Then he needed investors to fuel the engine. So who does he turn to? The top ten or fifteen retailers in the country!

This is a deal too good to pass up. They can make money selling the gear and also make money building up the company for an eventual sale! Which they did a couple of decades later to Harman. So now is it only the product that matters? Does it matter that you helped your dealer buy a Ferrari or second home with the money he made when the company was sold to Harman?

Did it matter that Harman ran the company into the ground? Did it matter when the closed the Connecticut factory and laid off over 100 worker with no notice? Just came into work one day and were handed their pink slips...

Their plan then was to take ten key employees up to the Lexicon factory outside of Boston. They wanted to do this because Lexicon was profitable, while Levinson (and Proceed) were losing money. (Of course, it is pretty easy to be profitable when you purchase disc players from another manufacturer, stick them in a new box, and mark them up tremendously.) But the story I heard was that only one of the key employees took Harman up on the offer to relocate. That's why Levinson was shut down for over a year. That's why they lost all of their dealers and most of their distributors. That's why there isn't anybody left that knows how to repair any of the original Levinson equipment. Is it still OK? Is it still just about the product?"
There have been many articles written about the shenanigans Mark Levinson the man has pulled over the years. He has run every company he has owned into the ground. Mike Kay gave a very good interview in TAS before where he detailed lots of the crap Levinson pulled on people. Bottom line is that he is a terrible businessman.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,464
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#16
Personally, I thought that guy was a scream. I'm still laughing at the things he said. WBF compared to the Stereophile forum is night and day. They start right in with your mama on that forum. Over here, we're more like Mr. Rogers singing "It's a lovely day in the neighborhood."
:D :D .. I do prefer our way though more civil and at the end more educative and entertaining ...

I must however say that what applies to the fellow we are naming here in this thread could apply to several others in the High End Audio Industry ... I for one find audiophiles quite naive on the cut-throat and money gouging tendencies of this industry ... I wish I were wrong on those last qualifiers ..
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
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#17
:D :D .. I do prefer our way though more civil and at the end more educative and entertaining ...

I must however say that what applies to the fellow we are naming here in this thread could apply to several others in the High End Audio Industry ... I for one find audiophiles quite naive on the cut-throat and money gouging tendencies of this industry ... I wish I were wrong on those last qualifiers ..
Frantz-I agree with both of your points. There are people that sell well designed and well made products at prices that are very high. There are other people that sell poorly designed and poorly made junk for prices that are absurd. There are people who make all kinds of wacky claims that have no scientific basis. It's a jungle out there I tell ya.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,464
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#18
#19
JasonI writes;
“I could have just as easily brought up JBL and Danley to have a real price/performance fight.”

Well I have to say at least in my opinion, based on what it appears to be, there is nothing used materially or technically in pro-sound or commercial sound that explains that kind of cost by a factor of say ten or more.
I suppose there could be room at the top seeking the title “you simply can’t pay more, for sound this good” but why go that way?.

I don’t recall the exact figure but in the real world where I have to live, one can do a modest ‘home theater” this size with four subwoofers and four full range speakers for less than 100K in speakers.

A large theater;
http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/danleyport.asp?ID=58

Best,
Tom Danley
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,464
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#20
Hi

I did go and read the thread at Stereophile and it is HILARIOUS and sadly a lot of what's said about the High End Audio Industry can be verified ... Not that the overpricing and bilking will stop ... We are too docile and compliant for that ...

Truly 100K for this speaker? Really ?!?

Any specs.. Any graphs? No measurements?
 

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