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In the Forum: Audio Discussions
In the Thread: Truth stretched out via Feastrex prism.
Post Subject: Feastrex Flow-up.Posted by Romy the Cat on: 2/12/2007
I was pointed out to me that my Feastrex thread is mapped to the search engines and some folks searching for limited information about Feastrex find given thread as some kind of reference. It is important to point of that I had juts one and juts momentary exposure to the Feastrex during the event at CES a few years ago and it was it. Also the regular readers of my site know that I have generally an attitude toward any attends to get sound forma single driver… Anyhow, since this thread is Mapped to the site’s Knowledge Tree I would like to give a chance to justness. So, since this thread will remain in internet’s archive here is a folowup of a Feastrex’s, I presume distributor: Christopher Witmer. It was made on February 11, 2007 and posted somewhere with the Audio Sewers:
"Tristan, if you can get a pair of Dimension 5 speakers for $4K including shipping, I hope you'll get a pair for me too while you're at it. Such a low price is unheard of hear in Japan.
I assume you are referring to Romy the Cat's criticisms. Did you know that Feastrex's website actually links to those very criticisms? They have nothing to hide. Because the principals of Feastrex have very poor English skills, they hired me to be their interpreter at CES 2006 and I was in the room when Romy dropped by. I remember the whole thing very well, and I can assure you, I don't blame Romy in the least for coming away with a negative impression. Here's why:
1) At that time, all of the Feastrex products still had some bugs in them. They were very good, but not yet ready for prime time. In the case of every product they brought to CES, although the basics of the product have remained unchanged, they have made extensive refinements in the last year, and those refinements make a world of difference. They changed the formulation of their paper. They got rid of dust caps and went to phase plugs instead. They changed the configurations of their cones. They changed the content of the varnish that they apply to the cones. They improved the materials that they use in their yokes. They eliminated bottlenecks in their magnetic circuits. They slightly repositioned their voice coils. The frames were redesigned. They tweaked their enclosures to eliminate certain weak areas of the sound. In other words, the products they are bringing to market are significantly improved over what they brought to CES 2006.
2) Romy stopped by early on the first day of Feastrex's first show ever. Just reading that last sentence should bring a knowing smile to the face of any small manufacturer who has participated in one of these shows. Murphy's law definitely applies. The electricity sucked. The acoustics of the room sucked. Their amplifier broke and they spent precious time dealing with that when they should have been trying to figure out what to do about the horrid acoustics of the room. They finally did eliminate much of the problem, and the solution was ridiculously simple, but by that time Romy's visit was already history. If he had come by late in the show, after they had figured out how to deal with the room's horrid acoustics, perhaps he would have felt differently about them.
3) They fired their chief engineer shortly after CES 2006, and they seem to be much better off without him. (To those who know about Feastrex's earlier relationship with Exact's Mr. Sano, I'm not talking about Mr. Sano. Mr. Sano got the boot half a year before CES, and this fellow was brought in to replace Mr. Sano.) They had high expectations that he would be able to head up their development project, but he had a very hard time thinking in terms of "a startup venture on a limited budget." One mistake that they made was allowing him to determine their pricing structure, which made absolutely no sense whatsoever. One of the things that got Romy pissed off was the screwy way they had their prices set up. Romy wasn't the only one pissed off about that, but I guess a combination of factors made him decide to write about it in his characteristic style -- a style which has gotten him permanently banned from this forum, by the way. Anyway, that side of things has also been addressed.
It took Feastrex nearly all of 2006 to get everything worked out to where they felt confident in starting to bring products to market. It has only been in the past few months that they shipped out anything to anyone. That's one reason why Dick Olsher's glowing comments about the D5nf just recently came out.
I have not heard the most recent Dimension 5 speakers that have all the above improvements made to them, but I had on loan for four months a pair of the type that went to CES -- starting two months before CES, and I returned them two months afterward. I thought they were wonderful, but I couldn't possibly afford them. Fortunately for me, I have had a chance to hear the D5nf speakers a few times as improvements were being made during the past year, because there have been several demonstrations here in Tokyo. I have not heard the final version, which Mr. Teramoto tells me is much better than the ones I heard,but the ones I heard knocked my socks off. I was preparing to get the basic black model but got a good deal on a pair of the gold model because they had some cosmetic blemishes in the gold finish of the yoke.
If the Dimension 5 was within my budget I would be listening to it again before buying, but it's not so I only made it a point to listen to the D5nf. If the Dimension 5 has improved as much in the past year as the D5nf has, it is sure to be one fantastic speaker.
Finally, to go back to Romy, have you seen his personal speaker system? It is a five-way compression driver horn system. Knowing him, I don't doubt for a moment that it is truly fantastic, but I wonder if he would ever be pleased with any single driver solution. "Different strokes for different folks," as they say. I hope that someday Romy has a chance to hear the Feastrex drivers that are actually being brought to market. It would be interesting to see if his final opinion would be any different.
As always, "Your mileage may vary." Still, that's an incredible price if it's correct. I know some people in Japan who would love to be able to buy a pair at that price."
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