Barclay Digital - the biggest scam of the 90s ?

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
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Silicon Valley
#23
It pays to do your research and shop smart.
 

Elberoth

Member Sponsor
Dec 16, 2012
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Poland
#25
Yes, the infameous Goldmund Eidos 18 BR player. They put a $300 Pioneer BR player inside their $4000 Eidos 18 model. So did Lexicon with Oppo.

Still, those manufacturers have introduced those models as their entry level oferings (probably beeing asked by their dealers) and never claimed they are state of the art.

What Barclay Digital did was just a blatant lie and mystification. Now imagine you bought this thing instead of Mark Levinson 31 ...
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
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#26
Really great report with excellent images too, Adam!

It exposes a dark side of High End audio that some steadfastly seem to refuse to acknowledge that it exists. Not all is healthy in this hobby of ours.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
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#27
Wow
 
May 30, 2010
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Portugal
#28
(...) It exposes a dark side of High End audio that some steadfastly seem to refuse to acknowledge that it exists. Not all is healthy in this hobby of ours.
Well, IMHO it is a minority case from more than twenty years ago. What can we conclude from it? That forgeries and scams exist in expensive audio, as in all other expensive hobbies. We had several other well documented cases in the past, digital audio was a good candidate for scams at that period.

All we see in forums are references from cold cases, such as the usual radiographic images of network cables and poor quality components in expensive electronics. From the data exposed we could be lead to consider that currently the hobby is very healthy, it learned from the past! ;)
 

Kal Rubinson

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2010
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#29
Well, IMHO it is a minority case from more than twenty years ago. .........................................From the data exposed we could be lead to consider that currently the hobby is very healthy, it learned from the past! ;)
I think your optimism is unjustified. There have been many similar cases since that time and it is unlikely that the existence of such dishonest behavior has disappeared. Perhaps, the egregiousness of this example is extreme but Lexicon's insertion of an intact Oppo player into their fancy case is no less dishonest. Today, it is easier to contract with a Chinese manufacturer to make a cheap but snazzy product but that just makes the misrepresentation more subtle.

Frankly, the audio Internet community is probably the best monitor of this behavior.
 
May 30, 2010
15,197
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Portugal
#30
I think your optimism is unjustified. There have been many similar cases since that time and it is unlikely that the existence of such dishonest behavior has disappeared. Perhaps, the egregiousness of this example is extreme but Lexicon's insertion of an intact Oppo player into their fancy case is no less dishonest. Today, it is easier to contract with a Chinese manufacturer to make a cheap but snazzy product but that just makes the misrepresentation more subtle.

Frankly, the audio Internet community is probably the best monitor of this behavior.
Another report of a public case from almost 10 years ago that is not high-end in my view.

IMHO the permanent survey from the Internet community is our best warranty for being an optimist. Chinese forgery is a problem, particularly in expensive cables and accessories - people trying to bypass common distribution channels to get bargains should not be optimists. :)

My point is that the number of such frauds and scams in the high-end is small, contrary to the beliefs of some people.
 
Feb 8, 2011
21,141
435
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Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#31
Yes, the infameous Goldmund Eidos 18 BR player. They put a $300 Pioneer BR player inside their $4000 Eidos 18 model. So did Lexicon with Oppo.

Still, those manufacturers have introduced those models as their entry level oferings (probably beeing asked by their dealers) and never claimed they are state of the art.

What Barclay Digital did was just a blatant lie and mystification. Now imagine you bought this thing instead of Mark Levinson 31 ...
What you brought here in your first post is the grand slam of high scale scam.
The other ones are small peanuts in comparison.

I like to see more grand slams....great thread Adam.
 

Kal Rubinson

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2010
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#32
Another report of a public case from almost 10 years ago that is not high-end in my view.
That is debatable. Do you make the decision only on the basis of the asking price?

My point is that the number of such frauds and scams in the high-end is small, contrary to the beliefs of some people.
I guess you are excluding all the products made from the ground up in-house which are, yet, priced orders of magnitude more than their true value and/or more than products with equal performance.

Where do you stand on the issue of audio jewelry?
 
May 30, 2010
15,197
557
113
Portugal
#33
That is debatable. Do you make the decision only on the basis of the asking price?
Surely not. But for me this particular equipment in not high-end.

I guess you are excluding all the products made from the ground up in-house which are, yet, priced orders of magnitude more than their true value and/or more than products with equal performance.
Where do you stand on the issue of audio jewelry?
My comment was direct and simple to understand. If you want to add direct examples of current scams and frauds to warn people you are welcome and I (and others, I am sure) will be happy to learn from you.
 

Stacore

Industry Expert
Feb 23, 2017
514
87
28
Gdańsk, Poland
stacore.pl
#34
Oh my! One more myth gone :(
I had recently the opposite experience - opened Sony CDP-557 digged out from my storage.
What a beauty! The level of engineering and the care for the detail simply stunning.

Cheers,
 

jzzmn88

New Member
Feb 14, 2017
15
1
3
#35
This reminds me of an article I came across regarding the Theta Universal Transport from the 90's:

http://lampizator.eu/LAMPIZATOR/REFERENCES/THETA Universal/theta.html

Basically it was an entire Philips player housed in a Theta shell. What a scam!

The same author (designer of Lampizator dacs) wrote another article regarding transports, which led me to looking into Spectral and buying a Spectral SDR-3000 a couple of years ago. One of the best audio decisions I've made in all my years of purchasing equipment. Taught me to look at the designer and question what's inside, rather than buying solely with my eyes.

http://lampizator.eu/LAMPIZATOR/TRANSPORT/CD_transport_DIY.html
 
Likes: Lagonda

audioguy

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
2,754
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Near Atlanta, GA but not too near!
#36
A perfect example of how a product looks (and its attendant price) create "expectation bias". And why, for electronics (and cables) blind testing (in your own home and under your own conditions) makes sense. I know blind testing is considered a "no-no" on this forum by most, but FOR ME, it is still a very useful (and potentially cost savings) worthwhile endeavor.
 
Aug 10, 2018
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36
18
Southern California
#37
This is an example of why I'm still holding onto my Levinson 32. Its' functionality was and is still SOA, its' build quality and engineering were second to none. I find its' SQ still rates well when compared to current models from other vendors. (The amps of the period were perhaps over engineered and subsequent designs seem to have been prone to failure from thermal issues). I haven't tried the latest versions but notice that the product design has definitely been downgraded.
 
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Likes: jzzmn88

astrotoy

VIP/Donor
May 25, 2010
932
171
43
SF Bay Area
#38
This is a great thread. However, I would like to see the posters who mention names of companies with negative connotations to make sure those companies have actually appropriated other companies products, and are not just companies that sell high priced equipment.

Pricing of equipment, except for commodity goods and high volume products with lots of competition, tend to be based on perceived value rather than cost. I don't think we are criticizing companies for selling expensive equipment per se, or whether the parts they use are worth the price charged. That is a separate topic.

Larry
 

xjr15

New Member
Apr 9, 2019
10
0
1
66
#39
I have a Barclay F-1 Gold in my living room right now. I don't use it, it's part of my 'industrial design' collection. I bought it because I like the way it looks. I acquired it for about 20K USD on eBay a couple of years ago from a lady in Germany.

Another cool-looking player in my collection is an Altis Centauri. This one is NOS from an eBay seller in Germany, again. The shipping container was HUGE, too big for the Post Office or UPS, et al, so it was delivered by a trucking company. I got the matching Altis DAC from a record store in Kansas for peanuts.

Yet another cool one is the Chinese Shanling CD-5000. It looks really good next to the Centauri as they both have a big X on the top. The Shanling sits atop the Altis Reference DAC. I bought the Shanling from a Canadian dealer who specializes in Chinese high end audio equipment.

If company comes to visit I tell them that extra-terrestrial aliens left the 3 wild-looking pieces behind following a Close Encounter in the living room one evening.
 

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xjr15

New Member
Apr 9, 2019
10
0
1
66
#40
I have a Barclay F-1 Gold in my living room right now. I don't use it, it's part of my 'industrial design' collection. I bought it because I like the way it looks. I acquired it for about 20K USD on eBay a couple of years ago from a lady in Germany.

Another cool-looking player in my collection is an Altis Centauri. This one is NOS from an eBay seller in Germany, again. The shipping container was HUGE, too big for the Post Office or UPS, et al, so it was delivered by a trucking company. I got the matching Altis DAC from a record store in Kansas for peanuts.

Yet another cool one is the Chinese Shanling CD-5000. It looks really good next to the Centauri as they both have a big X on the top. The Shanling sits atop the Altis Reference DAC. I bought the Shanling from a Canadian dealer who specializes in Chinese high end audio equipment.

If company comes to visit I tell them that extra-terrestrial aliens left the 3 wild-looking pieces behind following a Close Encounter in the living room one evening.
I couldn't find any photos of the Barclay in my living room and my digital camera is dead, so I looked it up on eBay. The sale went down on Oct 3, 2017 from budgiemusic in Germany and cost me a cool US $17,455.33 + shipping. Thanks again US stock market for making it possible!
 

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