Author Topic: The worst case of anti-competitive behavior we have ever seen in this industry !  (Read 567 times)

MichaelH

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This topic was split from our previous thread about stereonet censoring our brand from their forum because we believe it deserves its very own thread and for good reason !

Check it out. People paying good money to stereonet to become a sponsor only to have their sponsorship undermined by stereonets own moderators in favour of what appears to be a non-spaying sponsor ! You just canít make this stuff up. Backed up by credible evidence the apathy and arrogance towards it by the forums owner is truly astonishing and yet to this day nothing gets done and the corruption is allowed to perpetuate. Instead the whistle blowers are silenced and banished from the forum but the blatant corruption is allowed to continue unabated and nobody can say a single thing for fear of being shouted down or banned !!

Even well-paying sponsors forking out thousands if not tens of thousands a year in sponsorship money are oblivious to what is going on right before their very eyes but the evidence doesnít lie. And all because of one particular brand who for all intents and purpose is not a paying sponsor !! Whatís the real deal Stereonet ?? Even if there are vested interests in this particular brand shouldnít all of this be disclosed to the relevant parties before they hand over their hard earned $$$ to you ? Even if there is a vested interest what are these moderators doing favouring this brand over the paying sponsors brands ? None of it makes any sense but one thing is for sure be very careful before you start handing over your money to the stereonet coffers. You are not getting value for money from them and just underwriting this particular vendors amplifier products. Itís buyer beware !!


I think it's the other way around when it comes to apologies !

My dispute with Mark (Marc) Rushton that got me banned and all my comments completely deleted had to do with the constant plugging by his moderators of a non paying sponsor, ELEKTRA over a paying sponsor being Anthony Holton. I have over 40 screen shots where Betty Boop has tried to sway forum members away from paying sponsors like Holton and OAD etc. towards Elektra. I bought this to Marcs (Marks) attention and was told on the forum how Stereonet forum is run as a comercial enterprise and Marc (Mark) would do whatever he sees fit.

This is what happened next.

I let Anthony know what was going on, that I had an unsolicited PM from a forum member offering me a substantial discount on 4 ELEKTRA amplifiers to power my 4 way active. Armed with this evidence Holton then approached Rushton. Holton then sent me this email.

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From: "Holton Precision Audio" <info@holtonprecisionaudio.com>
Date: 5 Mar 2018 13:19
Subject: RE: Stereonet and the moderators.
To: "Michael Hope" <mickiboi007@gmail.com>
Cc:

Hi Mick

 

When I received your email last week I was somewhat shocked that you actually

Approached Marc the way you did, I did respond to Marc following your email asking him to clean up his moderators behaviour.

He did not respond well to me and denied he or his moderators had done anything wrong and then accused me of offending him deeply and proceeded to tell me what I knew to be more lies about you and my good friend Matt Pullen.

All very typical Narcissistic behaviour on his part, I have had the misfortune to have encountered many times in my life from these types of people.

Matt has now been banned from the SNA forum and Marc basically said to me if I wasn't happy leave and do not renew the $2000 invoice for a year subscription on SNA.

He also added if I believed what you had said about him was true he did not want me there anyway.

The fact is I witnessed it all in any case over the last 12 months with my own eyes I did not need any convincing it was going on from you.

Marc shutdown the SNA forum for about 4 hrs the other day, most likely to redact all of the evidence on his site that might incriminate him;

So at this stage I intend to leave SNA at the end of March when the subscription runs out.

It's been a tough road for me over the last 2 years or so financially and frankly I am getting very tired. No doubt I have lost sales from these moderators behaviour to Electra.

 

Matt and I are talking about setting our own forum up, but we will see.

 

 

Cheers Anthony

 

 

 

 

Kind Regards

 

Anthony E Holton

Holton Audio

Tasmania, Australia

holtonaudio.com

holtonprecisionaudio.com

https://www.facebook.com/HoltonAudio

https://www.facebook.com/DIYHoltonAudio

Phone inside of Australia: 0417 787 659

Phone outside of Australia: 61 417 787 659

SkypeID's : aholton


This is the PM I was sent, with my reply to the unsolicited offer. The mobile phone number has been removed. I have not called that number but I believe it matches up to one of the moderators mobile phones.

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Hi Mick.
I see you are after some amplifiers for your 4 way active build.I see you are looking at Holton on the thread you started but I can get you Elektra at a substantial discount compared to whatís being offered in store especially seeing as though you will need 4 of them.You can audition the amplifiers at Sonic Purity and I can get you Reference HD for $2500 each if you buy 4.This is a very good offer giving you massive savings over the retail price.This would only be open to you and I would respectfully request that this offer not be made public.If you are interested then reply to this PM with your phone number and someone will be in contact with you or call 0412 XXX XXX and tell him who you are and you want to buy some Elektra amps.Good luck with the build Iím sure it will sound fabulous.

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Whoever you are.
Iím not really interested in Elektra amps. You may have seen my posts on the forum about the internal build quality of the Elektra amps, I think they are rubbish and I have no interest them, I would prefer Holton as I have stated in the thread. Iím not sure how forum sponsors who pay money to Stereonet and expect a return on their investment via people frequenting their shops and paying full price would react to this unsolicited offer depriving them of revenue, which I think is very deceitful.
I will be informing Mark Rushton and Anthony Holton of this. Do not contact me again.

Mick Hope

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some screen shots from SNA showing the constant plugging by stereonet moderators.





 


There is no conspiracy theory here! Really???? I suppose those posts from Betty Boop above have come from a different time continuum. I will testify in a court of law as to the veracity and sequence of events to the above. 

In the second post you can see Betty Boop has promoted Elektra above the following paying sponsors who sell Parasound A52+. Audio Trends in Melbourne, Douglas HiFi in Perth and Sydney HiFi in Mona Vale. I would not be too happy paying $2000 a year or whatever is demanded of them, in order to have a potential customer being swayed to the direction of another product who doesn't pay any money but gets his advertising free courtesy of Stereonets' moderators. Unbelievable. I wonder how many sales were lost by these paying sponsors. Just like Holton did. In the third post Betty throws Rotel under the bus too. The guy doesn't even mention Rotel but Betty gets a dig in at them anyway. Klapp, Space HiFi, Tivoli, Todds and West Coast HiFi all have one of their products slammed as TOO EXPENSIVE by this moderator. Nice work Stereonet.


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Tranquility Bass

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Talk about shooting the messenger !! Let me get this straight. You reported this clandestine operation to the forum owner and instead of reprimanding or standing down the mods involved he then bans you and deletes all of your content whilst allowing the same mods to keep spruiking the same brand of equipment, till this day, and at any opportunity for a brand that for all intents and purposes is not a payed up sponsor ? You'd have to be totally daft to pay this forum owner 2K a year only to be compromised by this sordid arrangement. And yet nobody is allowed to say anything for fear of being banned or like myself have posting and PM rights removed :(

And for 2K a year just to have some iddy biddy forum space allocated to your brand and as soon as you stop paying your renewals your forum space and all of its posts disappear into the ether whilst this same vendor keeps getting continual free plugs at every opportunity. You've got to be kidding me, this must be noddy land :(

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MichaelH

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Yes he deleted me to delete the evidence. What he didn't delete is the posts of his mods, I have 40 of these screen shots. Holton and I pulled him up on it and here he is 2 years later still allowing the same thing, undermining Stereonets paid sponsors. You would be better off pissing your 2k up against the wall.

So he deleted any rights for you to post but you can still sign in and access the forums? Essentially he has kept you on there to stack the numbers. Sounds like the Labor party of the 70's. I wonder how many people don't exist in his "MASSIVE USER DATABASE". Something for companies in the future to think about if they are going to do any sponsorship or paid advertising with Stereonet.
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Tranquility Bass

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Check it out. Just more evidence of the cover-ups ! I dug this up from a past facebook messenger chat back in 24-Apr-2019 I was having with the owner of stereonet when I was still on speaking terms with him, Apparently it's always a conspiracy theory and he is in total denial whilst the evidence above paints a completely different picture. What's even worse is he allows this brazen activity to perpetuate even at the expense of other paying sponsors whilst silencing any dissent on his own forum. I'd say busted Marc - well and truly ! The game is up ! How many local businesses have been ruined because of this nefarious behaviour ?? I hastened to think :( This is not what Australia needs or deserves :(

And for those playing along at home even if you write stuff he doesn't approve of on another site but has no control over it, you will surely get threatening emails with fake legal threats at all hours of the night as I have got from him. He will never debate anything in public he does not feel comfortable with and that's why so much gets deleted on his own forum.  For those not used to this type of corporate bully tactics you need to see through it for what it is and don't fall for it :(

 




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MichaelH

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Wednesday 28 February 2018 was the date I received the the unsolicited offer for the Elektra amplifiers.

By Saturday 3 March 2018 I was involved in a full blown slanging match with Rushton about their behavior and then he banned me whilst allowing the same people to keep spruiking the same brand.

The forum was shutdown for 4 hours from 11am to 3pm on Saturday 3 March 2018, as Anthony noted in his email above. All the evidence was cleaned out. Well it didn't do any good as his moderators have continued on with the destruction of paying sponsors businesses. And its still going on.

There is no conspiracy theory here. The evidence above speaks for itself.
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MichaelH

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My apology to Marc was not in fact for the conspiracy theory, it was to do with a customer spreading rumours about the Ultimate Preamp. I still have that email. It had to do with Matthew P telling me he had been offered two DEQX units to compete with the Ultimate Preamp via a PM on Stereonet for a lower than retail price which subsequently was found out to be false !!

Quote
From: Michael Hope <mickiboi007@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, 5 September 2018 1:51 PM
To: Marc - Sound Media Group (Australia) <marc@soundmedia.com.au>; David S <dspdude@gmail.com>
Subject: An apology

 

Hi Marc,

 

This is Mick.

 

I owe you an apology which I hope you will accept. Turns out Matty P lied to me about the offer of DEQX equipment being offered by PM and dodgy deals being done behind Holtons back with Elektra. He is a pathological liar and I have caught him out on the many phone calls I have had with him while trying to sort out the issues he is having with Daves preamp.

 

I hope you will accept my apology, Im not asking to rejoin SNA.

 

Im man enough to own up to my fuck ups.

 

Mick

As it turns out Matt was half right, dodgy deals were being done with Elektra via PM even though Marc convinced me the offer I received in February did not come from a moderator. BUT HE STILL BANNED ME ON SATURDAY 3 MARCH 2018 DELETED ALL MY POSTS TO DO WITH HIS MODERATORS PUSHING ELEKTRA OVER PAYING SPONSORS. ITS STILL HAPPENING.

Quote

On Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 1:26 PM, Marc - Sound Media Group (Australia) <marc@soundmedia.com.au> wrote:

Mick, I genuinely appreciate your apology and yes, it does take a lot to suck it up when you do realise you are / were wrong, so I am grateful.

 

You can imagine my surprise when I discovered the conspiracy that was forming and being reported back to me, when it was actually so far from the truth. I was gobsmacked. Iíve been doing what I do for nearly 20 years, and I pride myself on transparency and running a tight ship.

 

You have discovered exactly what many of us have had the misfortune of discovering with Matthew. I am also privy to the disgusting behaviour shown towards Dave, and I am sorry for him that he is now on the receiving end of Matthewís vitriol.

 

Without rambling, apology accepted and thank you.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Marc Rushton

Managing Director



So more bullshit. Rushton needs to get his facts straight.
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MichaelH

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Denon cops it here.


Denon
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR
SOUND UNITED AUSTRALIA
Contact InformationDenon
DENON : ASSOCIATED RETAILERS
AUDIOTRENDS
Store details
(03) 9874 8233
view on map
DIGITAL CINEMA
Store details
1300 859 905
view on map
KLAPP AUDIO VISUAL
Store details
1300 668 398
view on map
SPACE HI-FI
Store details
1300 977 223
view on map
TIVOLI HIFI
Store details
(03) 9813 3533
view on map
WEST COAST HIFI (CANNINGTON)
Store details
(08) 9356 2177
view on map
WEST COAST HIFI (MIDLAND)
Store details
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Tranquility Bass

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I didn't know moderators were supposed to be in charge of sales ? I thought they were just supposed to police a forum and not get involved with promoting selected brands at the expense of others but this betty boop character just can't help him or herself :( The question here is how many prospective sales have been lost because of the continual promotion of this one competing brand by this particular mod ?

cheers
The home of the Ultimate-Preamplifier and Ultimate-Amplifier ! https://www.analog-precision.com/

MichaelH

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OPINION: MATTER OF TRUST I HEAR YOU SAY?

I take it with Focal Loudspeakers being the front and centre picture in this article that Rushton wrote about a distributor "Transgressing the normal relationship", is Busisoft. Seems like Hell have hath no fury like a woman scorned!

https://www.stereonet.com/au/opinion/opinion-matter-of-trust/

He has a hide to talk about "TRUST" when his moderators have been undermining paying sponsors for years. Perhaps Busisoft got tired of his constant pushing of Harmon products and thought their sponsorship payments weren't really getting them any value for money.

Who knows, but TRUST does not appear to very high up the list of priorities. Look at what he has been allowing his moderators to get away with. Its all there people, dates, names, comments, everything.

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Tranquility Bass

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OPINION: MATTER OF TRUST I HEAR YOU SAY?

I take it with Focal Loudspeakers being the front and centre picture in this article that Rushton wrote about a distributor "Transgressing the normal relationship", is Busisoft. Seems like Hell have hath no fury like a woman scorned!

https://www.stereonet.com/au/opinion/opinion-matter-of-trust/

He has a hide to talk about "TRUST" when his moderators have been undermining paying sponsors for years. Perhaps Busisoft got tired of his constant pushing of Harmon products and thought their sponsorship payments weren't really getting them any value for money.

Who knows, but TRUST does not appear to very high up the list of priorities. Look at what he has been allowing his moderators to get away with. Its all there people, dates, names, comments, everything.

Which ever way you cut it these are still electronic devices which process electrical signals and need to be treated as such no matter how many flashing lights and buttons or how much they cost or how easy to use !! Without valid measurements these types of reviews are not worth the paper they are written on and are no more than someones opinion and likewise with the nonsense that is published by stereonet. There are only a handful of publishers that possess the relevant test equipment needed to evaluate equipment properly such as stereophile, ASR, Australian Hifi and to a lesser extent HNRR. The rest of them are either a waste of trees or internet bandwidth with stereonet no exception :(

Honestly speaking reviewing an amplifier without at least testing its power output and/or distortion, FR etc is like reviewing a car without driving it. There is only so many times you can wheel out the same old sound stage width and depth cliche before people wake up to the fact that they are just reading propaganda designed to suck then into buying something which is what websites like stereonet are designed to do :( Some of the best reviews I ever came across were from Audio magazine which would not only measure and listen to equipment but more often than not would often discuss the underlying technology using either a full or simplified schematic diagram provided by the vendor ;)

Having said that there are still some uses for a plain vanilla descriptive write-up of gear even if it is ones own opinion especially if there are some decent pictures of both the insides and outsides but I wouldn't really call it a full review unless it was accompanied by some decent measurements in order to confirm the manufactures specs ;)

cheers
david
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MichaelH

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Which ever way you cut it these are still electronic devices which process electrical signals and need to be treated as such no matter how many flashing lights and buttons or how much they cost or how easy to use !! Without valid measurements these types of reviews are not worth the paper they are written on and are no more than someones opinion and likewise with the nonsense that is published by stereonet. There are only a handful of publishers that possess the relevant test equipment needed to evaluate equipment properly such as stereophile, ASR, Australian Hifi and to a lesser extent HNRR. The rest of them are either a waste of trees or internet bandwidth with stereonet no exception :(

Honestly speaking reviewing an amplifier without at least testing its power output and/or distortion, FR etc is like reviewing a car without driving it. There is only so many times you can wheel out the same old sound stage width and depth cliche before people wake up to the fact that they are just reading propaganda designed to suck then into buying something which is what websites like stereonet are designed to do :(


https://www.stereonet.com/au/reviews/hegel-h390-integrated-amplifier-review
https://www.stereonet.com/au/reviews/classe-audio-delta-preamplifier-and-delta-stereo-amplifier-review


Here is some good examples of what has been described above to a TEE.

Not a single technical measurement in sight, parroting the manufacturers power output figures, and the bloody soundstage just as predicted. Its always the soundstage and the depth but never any technical measurement of any description. Why no technical measurements?  WHY?WHY?DELILAH.

Now compare this review from Audio Science review, Measurements to verify the manufacturers claims

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/trinnov-altitude-16-review-av-processor.23763/

To this.

https://www.stereonet.com/au/reviews/trinnov-audio-altitude16-16-channel-av-processor-review

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MichaelH

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Thanks to our eagle eyed supporters we have just been informed that Betty Boop is no longer a moderator. Probably happened this morning or yesterday. Anyway the damage he has done has been done, look at his posts above when he was a moderator. Looks like he has been demoted. I guess we will see from now on what transgressions other moderators carry out. To all those people that send us your screen shots keep them coming. We love you guys for what you are doing to help clean up the industry and rid us all of this type of behavior.

THIS IS NOT A VENDETTA AGAINST STEREONET, ITS A VENDETTA AGAINST DISHONEST AND ANTI COMPETITIVE BEHAVIOR.
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Tranquility Bass

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With over 60,000 posts to their name he or she should have been banned and not demoted. Anyone else spruiking or continually plugging a particular brand would have been pulled up very quickly by the owner and either warned or banned outright according to their own forum rules and yet nothing happened even after complaints were made years ago :( I too more or less got banned for only writing two sentences that the owner of stereonet did not like as well as having the only thread on my product completely removed so go figure !! He guards it like a hawk and yet this is allowed to go on for years :(

Do these people honestly think that Australia is like the wild west and they can do what they like with impunity and absolutely no accountability ?

And that other monsieur coffee making character that appears to have written that damning PM with his phone number on it doesn't get let off the hook either !! He's up to his neck in it as well. :(

cheers

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MichaelH

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You mean this guy?

He is asked "What speakers do you use?" and throws in "8 channels of Elektra".

What car do you drive? "A Ford Ranger and I have 8 channels of Elektra".

One goes another one pops up. Dear oh dear another moderator plugging a non-sponsored product AGAIN. This is real value for money for all those paying sponsors.

 
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Tranquility Bass

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OPINION: MATTER OF TRUST I HEAR YOU SAY?

I take it with Focal Loudspeakers being the front and centre picture in this article that Rushton wrote about a distributor "Transgressing the normal relationship", is Busisoft. Seems like Hell have hath no fury like a woman scorned!

https://www.stereonet.com/au/opinion/opinion-matter-of-trust/

He has a hide to talk about "TRUST" when his moderators have been undermining paying sponsors for years. Perhaps Busisoft got tired of his constant pushing of Harmon products and thought their sponsorship payments weren't really getting them any value for money.

Who knows, but TRUST does not appear to very high up the list of priorities. Look at what he has been allowing his moderators to get away with. Its all there people, dates, names, comments, everything.

I've heard the other side of this story and it's at complete odds with what is written in this article, so much so that it reminds me of an episode of Minder :D LOL This article smacks of sour grapes over someone who was no longer willing to pay their protection money to the stereonet coffers ! Good on them for standing by their own principles and not let themselves be bullied by thugs !!

cheers
The home of the Ultimate-Preamplifier and Ultimate-Amplifier ! https://www.analog-precision.com/

 

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