Sound Advice? Don't Think So!

Discuss the latest feature articles in Genii.

Postby Guest » 08/27/02 09:39 AM

I do not know if the recent Genii article on direct on-stage controls of music was written to stir controversy,create a competitive buzz, or just to be a put down of one innovative product while introducing another new one that does not seem to be savvy to the needs of performers-- other than price.

As a one man show on stage, I spent much of my magic life battling with technicians who could never get cues quite right, or would misread a cut number, or lighting color, in the middle of a performance.

Then remote control for music happened. IR, AM, and now FM controls became affordale. Sure beat running off the stage to push a button! Any miscues of music would be MY fault.

For several years I resisted the siren song of the professional level Showtech by Kerry Pollock. I thought I could cheap my act through by using foot controllers for lights and a sequenced set of music cues controlled by my hand (or ankles) and I bought a different system.

The system worked as long as I did not want to look too polished or too professional with everything well coordinated. My music was swell! I am very happy with the results and service I got from Jay Errol Nelson while I worked with his Cuemaster System...but I also realized that just working with the music alone -- in sequence for every show -- limited my ability to quickly change up things between shows. Music is only PART of the picture. I thank Jay for providing me with a reason ably priced system that did help me move my skill and show a notch.

Then, I realized that foot controls and switches for effects and lights were cluttering the stage and tying me to a position that I needed to be at to push a button for every light transition. That does not work dramatically in all situations,
particularly if you need a light transition in the middle of an effect where you are elsewhere on stage with music already running. Only Showtrech would deliver all I needed.

I finally met Kerry in Tucson and discussed my needs to go to the next level with him.Then I saw his act -- and using his technology, he was there -- just where I wanted to get. I had seen others using his stuff look great too. Never a miscue in a well rehearsed show.

As an engineer turned performer, Kerry massaged his two crafts together to make a state of the art interface that marries the technology of stage cont rol to the art of performing.

Since I had, with my Cuemaster, been using similar AM coded technnology for control -- I knew Kerry's circuitry was sound and worked in every situation I would be performing in. I also knew it would also carry a wide range of light and sound
programs for quick variations of shows between venues. Then I saw him work a major venue in a big modern theater controling his cues from his ankles with precision! The sound booth and light controls were above a balcony in a steel cage for the 1200 seat hall.

I had, while evaluating systems, contacted Magiloon for information on their "new" system (the subject of the Genii article) and found that, while well engineered for sound control (something I had been using with Cuemaster for the past several years) their "new" products is bigger to carry on my body than my ankle switches, and, I was told it did not control lights and effects . So I would be paying less than I would be for Showtech, but I would be getting less.

I have gone with Showtech! I T IS A COMPLETE PROFESSIONAL LEVEL TOOL.

If you want truly professional performance features that work well -- you do have TO LEARN TO USE THEM CONSISTANTLY. I do not know a magician a live who hasn't blown a trick or cue. There is a skill to using ankle switches. Running the cues off a cigarette pack or pager sized box on my belt does not seem to me tobe a skillful approach to the craft of performance. But to each his own.

Yes, it does take some learning to program Showtech and interface it with lights, effects and sound. But the end result is top level and professional....not a half-way solution. And it is a lot cheaper than reputation damage caused by techs who don't really care whether the gell is red or blue, and/or whether track 1 or 7 is cued up.

I am dissapointed in Genii for not doing a FULL review of all the systems.
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Postby warren » 08/27/02 07:59 PM

I recently read the article by David Oliver comparing the Virtual Soundman Remote Commander and the ShowTech. I dont know what planet Oliver is living on, but his description of the ShowTech is a joke. I am probably as qualified to speak about the reliability and value of the ShowTech as anyone in the country. Although I have never tried the Virtual Soundman Remote Commander, I am certainly more qualified than David Oliver to speak about the merits of the ShowTech.

I have used the ShowTech since opening Warren & Annabelles in Lahaina, Maui 3 years ago. The ShowTech has performed flawlessly two shows per night, six nights per week for over three years (approximately 2000 shows). If anyone were going to have technical difficulties with a ShowTech, it would have been me. Not only has it run my music, the ShowTech has run my entire lightboard and several other gimmicks without an error.

Oliver writes that he has seen the ShowTech misfire numerous times and performers have told him, The system wasnt getting the signal..properly. In all honesty, my ShowTech has misfired on a number of occasions, too. Why? Well, the performer (ah.that would be me) failed to change the battery in the remote for over a year. The receiver did not get the signal from a weak battery and guess what, misfires. Change the battery, no misfires for another year! (Yeah, I forgot the following year, also.)

Now the ShowTech miscues that Oliver refers to is another matter. I have had numerous ShowTech miscues. Well, I call them miscues. The cues that the ShowTech sent were the cues that the performer (ah.that would be me, again) had programmed to be next in the show.just a little problem remembering from time-to-time what comes next! Halfheimers!

Oliver also writes that performers have said the ShowTech goes to sleep. Doesnt happen, period. If it did, one would think that somewhere along the way in 2000 shows I would have experienced it. He goes on to say that some performers have stated certain venues have interfered with the ShowTechs radio frequency. Once again, not in my experience. And I have three different wireless systems hot 24/7, as well as all of the other electronic gimmicks and controllers running at Warren & Annabelles.

Look, every time I have screwed up a music or lighting cue in the show, it has always been my fault. I have checked the ShowTech in each instance and it has always been correct and I have been wrong.

The crux of the matter is, like Oliver, many part-time performers who have had problems with a ShowTech are quick to fault the ShowTech for their own mistakes. If they could blame the missed card or their failed illusion on the ShowTech, Im sure they would do that, as well. Hey, blame the computer, it cant argue back! Believe me, the ShowTech simply sends the ones and zeros just like they are programmed. And that is the reason that working pros use the ShowTech more than all other show-controller devices combined.it works and it works flawlessly.

Sure the ShowTech costs more than the VSRC, as it should; it does more. And that is not to say that the Virtual Soundman Remote Commander (huh? Beam me up Scotty) is bad, but lets call a spade a spade, it is a cheap alternative for a guy who performs infrequently and doesnt mind having a box stuck to his waist. But for my money, I dont want the audience to see me fumbling around with a garage-door opener on my belt every time I need a simple music cue.

When I walk on stage, I dont want a cheap substitute. Give me the industry standard and then let me screw-up on my own.

Aloha,

Warren
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/27/02 08:10 PM

Warren, I'm not in a position to write about either of these soundsystems, however I can tell you that David Oliver is a full-time professional magician and has been for years. He is not a "part-time" magician or someone who performs "infrequently."
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Postby warren » 08/28/02 02:12 AM

Richard,

Maybe I wasn't very clear about my point. Let me try again.

Like many "part-time" performers (who perform infrequently and therefore may not fully understand their ShowTech), Oliver wants to blame the ShowTech for mistakes, when in fact, it was the performer who screwed-up. It's just easier to place the blame elsewhere rather than for us to admit we made a mistake.

Having said that, I've never heard of David Oliver, and once again, part-time, full-time.... don't care, but maybe he should stick to magic versus writing. I just hope his magic is better prepared than his writing.

And if he insists on writing, at the very least, he should do some homework before he denigrates an excellent product, which he obviously knows nothing about.

Aloha,

Warren
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Postby Guest » 08/28/02 08:36 AM

The ShowTech can be a great product, but I also know more than a couple fulltime pro's who have had a horrible time and lots of frustrated calls to tech support getting things to work right. I used to work as a sound and lighting designer/consultant/operator for a good friend's large illusion show, and a number of times the ShowTech went kapooey and I ended up having to run the show manually.

If you have the time to deal with it and get it working smoothly, and you need the extra features, go for it.

If you only need the music, then the choice is between the MiniTech and the VSM, neither of which I've used, so I won't try to comment on them.

As always, though, YMMV (or, as Dennis Miller would say, "That's just my opinion, I could be wrong!".
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Postby warren » 08/28/02 05:44 PM

Aloha Andy,

I also know several "full-time pros" who have had trouble with the ShowTech, including myself. I had the ShowTech go "kapooey" on me several times in my early experience with it at Warren & Annabelle's. Why? I kept doing things wrong while programming it. But all that stopped when I started using the manual and began programming step-by-step through the instructions.

The ShowTech is a computer no different than my laptop. And learning new programs can be frustrating. The ShowTech is no different (except it is much easier if you just read the manual). When I stopped skipping through the manual and started following each step in the instructions, all of my problems went away.

I find it telling that you said, "but I also know more than a couple fulltime pro's who have had a horrible time and lots of frustrated calls to tech support getting things to work right."

What this says is that there never were any hardware or reliability problems with the ShowTech, but rather programming issues. Otherwise they couldn't have gotten the "problems" fixed over the phone. More than likely what happened is that the guys at ShowTech had to hold the magician's hand through the programming process until they understood it. (Been there done that).

Look, my mom and dad always had problems with their VCR, too. They simply wouldn't take the time to read the manual. They would rant and rave about how it never worked right until I sat down with my dad and showed him how to operate it properly. End of problems.

Andy, like any product, I am sure there is a very small percentage of ShowTechs that go out that don't work properly. Same for the VSRC. Show me a product that has never had a problem. But from my experience and the experience of several close friends, the problems we have all had with the ShowTech were our fault. And believe me, if the ShowTech was a piece of crap I would be the first one here screaming about it.

But the truth is, the ShowTech has saved me countless problems with lighting and sound techs, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in salaries over the last several years. The ShowTech is a dream come true for any working pro, but one just needs to take the time to learn how to operate it properly (about one afternoon!)

Whether the product is the ShowTech, MiniTech or VSRC, the truth is, they all have contributed greatly to making many performers much more professional and that is good for magic. But Oliver's smear campaign is not good for magic.

Oliver is clearly a shill for the VSRC. Had he just written a glowing article about the VSRC (which would have been the professional thing to do), I would have simply remained here in paradise, as invisible as ever. But my concern with this whole matter is the damage that Oliver's lack of professionalism can do to a small business. Hey, if he learns to use a ShowTech and then doesn't like it, no problem, but don't pretend to be writing about one product and then use half the article to smear another product that you have no personal experience with.

A pen in an irresponsilbe child's hand can be just as dangerous as a loaded gun, it just kills with a lot less noise.

Aloha,

Warren
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Postby Guest » 08/28/02 06:26 PM

I won't go into whether I think David is right or wrong. I will say that I go with the Show-Tech. This isn't even my point. My point is, Kerry and Tim, the fine folks at Wireless Wizardry, were going to release a VIDEO on learning to program your Show-Tech. I think this is a GREAT idea. I just wish they did it. Perhaps we can push them a bit to do so. Anyone with me? Call them, E mail them, whatever. They're fine folks, with a fine product and a fine idea (the video). Let's get them to produce it!
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Postby Guest » 08/28/02 06:47 PM

I too am one of those ShowTech users that had a couple of problems with the unit before I read the manual and took Kerry's advise, "Read the manualand learn to record on the MD recorder before you program your ShowTech". Maybe David Oliver bought into the other company??? He can't have used a ShowTech himself, or he would not have made some of the inaccurate statements he did.
His article should have been labeled "Advertisement". I have personal knowledge of many performers using Kerry Pollock's systems and don't know of one that had a problem that was not 'pilot error'.
Someone who hopes to have any credibility should really have used the product themselves before expressing opinion that border on libel.
David Oliver did not even compare it to the proper level of equipment... that being the MiniTech which has been on the market for over three years.
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Postby Guest » 08/28/02 10:21 PM

David Oliver wrote the article, not David Stone, and he outright said that he had not personally used the ShowTech, and had not had an oppurtunity to use a MiniTech, but that many of his acquaintances has used the ShowTech and had many problems.

I am not saying whether the ST is a good or bad product, I am not saying whether David was right or wrong. All I'm saying is that I know more than a few people who have had lots of trouble with it, even after programming it while being walked through the process by tech support. I also know people who have it and love it.

I agree that the troubles are with the programming, and not the device itself. Personally, I would never use the ST, I would only use the MT or VSM, because most lighting systems really are best operated by a light board with a knowlegeable human operator who can see the stage and compensate for the inevitable problems, and I've always been taught that pyro on RC is a very bad thing (both of these coming from my background in the theatre industry, where I've worked as an electrician, sound engineer, lighting designer, and sound designer).

FWIW, I'm eventually planning to by the MT or the VSM for my own show; looking at the info, I see benefits to both. Certain plusses the MT has over the VSM, and vice versa. I just don't see a need, personally, for the functionality of the ST. It's just as quick for me to shuffle a new CD and reburn it from my notebook computer, and then have it and always know for sure that I have the right show order, without having to worry that I've forgotten to select the right program in the controller or that the computer's glitched. But, then again, I'm a sound engineer by trade as well as a mentalist, so I can do that thing more deftly than some folks might.

And don't get me started on the unreliability of MD's! I don't know a single person working in the field of audio in the theatre who doesn't have an MD horror story or three. I've seen five machines from various brands fail (in various ways, some more spectacular than others) over the last two years or so (that would be five out of the eight I've worked with, and one of the remaining three also had its share of weird glitches). I will add that portables oddly enough seem more reliable than decks (both consumer and pro level), but still, when it counts, my money is on CDs. I used to spec MD's on shows I sound designed all the time, now you couldn't pay me to (he says, staring at the CD/MD combo deck sitting atop his desk which is now a fully functioning CD-only deck, the MD portion having suddenly given up the ghost about six months ago).

As always, YMMV.

--Andy
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Postby warren » 08/29/02 01:30 AM

Andy,

Give me a ShowTech any day to run my lights over a live person. My Showtech has never missed a light cue yet when programmed properly! Can't say the same for most tech's I've seen. ;)

Aloha,

Warren
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Postby Guest » 08/29/02 01:36 AM

Warren,
Go into a union house with a large light rig, and try getting them to let you hook your ST up to run your own lights. Ain't gonna happen. Even if you bring in your own lights in a union house, it's gotta be a union electrician running it.

That aside, did you give those human light techs appropriate well-written cue sheets and a tech rehearsal? Most professional lighting, sound, etc. operators are highly competent at what we do. To judge many based on a few isn't fair. Do you like it when somebody find out you're a magician and says they hate magicians because of that one bad clown they had at their birthday party when they were 12, and they're obnoxious Uncle Ernie who pulled coins from their ear and pulled off their nose every holiday? This is the same sort of thing--people run into a few bad non-professional sound or light ops and immediately write the entire lot of us off as incompetent.
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Postby warren » 08/29/02 02:46 AM

Andy,

Eeeeeasy.

Unions have a lot in common with dinosaurs, they will eventually be extinct someday! Hopefully sooner than later.

But that's another discussion for another day. I don't want this thread to get sidetracked. This topic is about the ShowTech, an excellent product being smeared by a jerk.

Information is now coming to light that Oliver emailed guys asking them for their experience with either the ShowTech or the VSRC, and especially feedback from anyone preferring one over the other. I know of one instance where one guy communicated back to Oliver (prior to his article) that he "upgraded" FROM the VSRC > TO the MiniTech because the MiniTech was simply a better product.

Oliver not only ignored his glowing remarks about the MiniTech, but he also ignored feedback from other very happy ShowTech owners.

Oliver was even stupid enough to put into his email that no one should mention that he was looking for feedback on the ShowTech because he didn't want them to ruin the surprise.

What surprise was that, I wonder? I guess he meant the libelous crap that he wrote.

Well, what goes around comes around and I hope he gets his.

Aloha,

Warren
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Postby Guest » 08/29/02 03:00 AM

Again, I'm neither defending nor attacking David's article, but does somebody want to explain to me how writing a subjective opinion article about a product is libel, yet calling somebody stupid, an unprofessional jerk, a shill, or an irresponsible child in a public forum isn't?
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Postby warren » 08/29/02 03:42 AM

Come on Andy, quit acting like you are unbiased, "I'm neither defending nor attacking David's article".

And another: "I am not saying whether David was right or wrong."

Well, you should be saying he was wrong. Did you ever hear of "principles". If you don't care that he had an agenda and was out to smear a reputable product, then that speaks volumes about you, as well. There is nothing subjective when someone knowingly prints false information.

And careful, his next article might denigrate lighting and sound techs! Boy, I bet we get a pocket-full of principles real quickly!

Aloha,

Warren
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Postby Guest » 08/29/02 07:58 AM

Time for me to get back into the arguement.

1. After working as a journalist (and investigative reporter on substantial stories for NBC and the Pulitzer people) I must say that the article in question was a very unprofessional mixture of a product introduction puff piece and a not so hidden, negatively skewed review of the leading piece of equipment in the field.

2. I am happy Genii ran it so many magicians can become aware of the differences in how to tech a show. I am unhappy that the journalism was not balanced -- but it is a magician's magazine, not a scholarly journal.

3. If a magician needs to move in incremental stages -- JUST controlling music is great and the three systems available all do good jobs -- but controlling lights and sound together is a higher level of performance than most will ever need. Only Showtech and really high end complete computer theater control systems (usually well out of the reach of this bunch) or midi-rigs well programmed can do the job I need on stage (replacing a sound tech, a lighting man and a gaffer.)

4. I have seen tooooooo many "magicians" buy a great piece of equipment than NOT use it properly - they even using sub trunks just to store props and never make it to the stage. Using Showtech JUST for sound control is a function that I would consider similar to using a sub trunk for permanant storage.

5. Learn to use the stage and magic tools to the MAX -- then, if you need a better tool, move up. To me Showtech is a move up from singular sound control units.

GC
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Postby Jim Morton » 08/29/02 09:14 AM

Okay Mara, I'm also a writer, with more than a few books and magazine articles to my name (I don't think that really matters, but you do, so I thought I'd mention it ;) ). I don't believe that David Oliver's article was unprofessional. It was, however, a review disguised as an article, and I think that is why we are seeing such strong reactions to it. David is exactly right about the divisions over Showtech's value. I know a couple magicians who bought Showtech and curse at it roundly. I know others that say it's the greatest thing since indoor plumbing. People who like it always say that the ones who don't like it, "just don't know how to operate it," but that answer is a cop-out. I use to hear the same thing said about those who complained about Ventura Publisher. Remember that monstrosity? Showtech definitely has advangtages over the VSRC, and I think Mr. Oliver did a good job of pointing those out. But it obviously has some disadvantages with regards to its learning curve. This is the area that Showtech needs to address the most.

It would be interesting to have David Oliver fitted out with a Showtech system and be forced to use it for a couple months, then report back how it went. Sometimes superficial impressions are misleading. I remember when I first picked up Adobe Illustrator, I thought it was the dumbest program I ever saw. Within a year, I became so proficient at it, that I was hired by Adobe to write the Color Guide for the next version.

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Postby Todd » 08/29/02 10:31 PM

I never write letters in response to articles, but after reading David Olivers "review" of the "ShowTech", I felt compelled. After using the "ShowTech" for the past 6 years, performing an average of 300 shows a year, I feel that Im an expert and an authority on the subject. David Oliver never owned or even used one, so his opinion of the unit has absolutely no credibility.

David mentions that hes "witnessed" numerous performers(me included), some of whom are listed as references for the ShowTech(me included), who "constantly rave about the device"(yes, me included. I RAVE about it, and have had MANY performers purchase it based on my recommendation, and what theyve seen in my performance). David goes on, "yet every time I have seen their shows, theres always a miscue or other sound-related problem". Okay Dave, lets go back to this years Hank Lees Cape Cod Conclave. You were the "stage manager", remember? On the show was myself(and my trusty ShowTech), as well as Kerry Pollack, owner of Wireless Wizardry, and his ShowTech. The two units sat downstage left, next to each other, out of everybodys way. Between Kerry and myself we had about 30 cues, and YES, neither one of us had A SINGLE SOUND-RELATED PROBLEM OR MISCUE! I guess you forgot about that.

Also, I stood there as you criticized the ShowTech to Kerrys face not once, but at least 4 times. It was rude and very unprofessional, especially at his Dealers Booth. I also heard him tell you that he had a lower priced model called the "Mini-Tech", that you inaccurately wrote was released after you wrote the article, but this was back in April, 2002. You wouldnt compare a Cadillac with a Hyundai, why do you compare the ShowTech with the VSRC?

Yes, I have had problems with the ShowTech miscuing, and not responding to the remote. But EVERYTIME I discovered the fault was my own. If you properly read the owners manual, it stresses the point of "making sure you leave a couple of seconds of silence" at the end of each track, so as to avoid miscues. If you visit Wireless Wizardrys web-site, he again stresses this point. This is THE reason it miscues. Also, my biggest problem was hitting the remote and nothing would happen. Oh yea, IT NEEDED A NEW BATTERY! If you dont put gasoline into a car, it will not run. Im very busy, my act is very technical and theres alot of maintenence, I forget about the batteries. Once again, human error.

Ive been a full-time professional for the past 16 years, my entire livelyhood depends on my success on stage. If I didnt have 100% confidence in the ShowTech, why would I take such a chance with my career, not to mention in very important shows in front of thousands of people. Two days ago I performed at the Garden State Arts Center(NJ) in front of 6000 people. The booking agent was in attendance, plus many powerful people in the entertainment field. Why would I "take a risk" with an iffy product, when my livelyhood is at stake? Because the ShowTech is NOT an iffy product, it is 100% dependable, considering you know how to use it, have read the manual, and have good batteries in the remotes. Because I am so dependent on the ShowTech, I have considered purchasing a second unit as a "back-up", just in case. But after using it for SIX YEARS, I know and Im completely confident that it will always work, and that Ill never need a back-up. But, Im not-so-confident of the mini-disc player itself. This is a SONY product, and theyre great, but they dont last forever, especially with all the moving parts. So I now have a back-up Mini-Disc player, although the original that came with my ShowTech is still working great, after 6 years and close to 2 thousand shows.

I understand that some people are on a budget, and can only afford a cheaper unit. I think the VSRC is great for those people, as well as the MiniTech, which was created by the originator. Im a pro, working pro gigs around the world, and I prefer using THE CHOICE of all the other pros.

p.s. If anybody saw me perform at the IBM in San Diego, you witnessed a flawless performance of the ShowTech. I had 17 cues, and my only "flub" was when I forgot that I had programmed my "Jamaican Juggling" music, and was leading towards the banjo. ooops, my mistake..., again.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/30/02 09:10 AM

I'd suggest that several of you watch the tone of your rhetoric. David Oliver's original piece could not be considered libelous in any way. However, some of what is passing for comment in this thread borders on libel. So tone it down!
I also find the strident tone of the responses odd. I mean, if you don't agree, then you don't agree. Warren will correct me if I'm wrong, but Kerry Pollack is probably a close friend of his since Pollack built his magic/bar theater in Hawaii. That would seem to remove him from making any objective statements on this issue.
I find it really curious that the responses from those who disagree with what David Oliver wrote are from people who are acting as if he has said rotten things about one of their friends, not about a sound system--an inanimate object they own.
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Postby Guest » 08/30/02 09:16 AM

Amen, Todd.
And another: "I am not saying whether David was right or wrong."

Well, you should be saying he was wrong. Did you ever hear of "principles". If you don't care that he had an agenda and was out to smear a reputable product, then that speaks volumes about you, as well. There is nothing subjective when someone knowingly prints false information.

Warren, I didn't know that David had an agenda. I didn't want to rush to judgement, but my eyes are opening a bit now!

Looks like we're all waiting for David Oliver's carefully crafted reply. David?

By the way friends, remember to push Kerry and Tim, to get that video made!

Hey Todd, haven't seen you around in a while. hope all is well.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/30/02 09:18 AM

John, I don't think you should accept as fact something you have read only moments before without any research. I don't believe David Oliver had any hidden agenda, and I don't believe several of the statements that have been made in this thread. So I suggest all of you keep your shirts on until David posts his response, which will be forthcoming shortly.
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Postby Guest » 08/30/02 09:30 AM

Good point, Richard. I wasn't accepting it as fact. I look forward to David's response, as I'm still on the fence!
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Postby warren » 08/30/02 11:04 AM

Aloha Richard,

Yes, Kerry is one of my closest friends.

And you wrote the following nonsense, "Warren will correct me if I'm wrong, but Kerry Pollack is probably a close friend of his since Pollack built his magic/bar theater in Hawaii. That would seem to remove him from making any objective statements on this issue."

Well, Richard correct me if I am wrong. I assume that the guy who manufactures the VSRC is a friend of Oliver's, sooooo.....I guess that means that Oliver couldn't have been objective in his article. But I guess that's different, huh?

The fact that Kerry is a friend of mine doesn't make what Oliver wrote any less wrong? He made statements that he knew were clearly wrong when he wrote them.

And I would expect you to say that what he wrote wasn't libelous, after all, you published it.

Richard, my idea about a lot of things changed when I became a business owner, just like you. The first year of my business was the hardest year of my life. I'm sure you have your story, too. But it really bothers me when I read something so callous and patently untrue about another small business owner, friend or no friend. Business is hard enough for all of us without being handicapped by the likes of Oliver.

You said, "people who are acting as if he has said rotten things about one of their friends, not about a sound system--an inanimate object they own."

Richard what part of this equation are you missing. This is not about, "an inanimate object", as you put it. This is about a good man's livelihood. Wireless Wizardry has sold over a million dollars worth of ShowTechs. I could care less if you, Oliver or anyone else wants to rag on Kerry about the usual magic nonsense, but that is not what this is about. Oliver has potentially caused serious damage to Kerry's business.

And I find it odd that you would see this whole matter as much ado about an "inanimate object". But from a legal perspective, that's obviously the smart thing to say. But I suspect if you were in Kerry's shoes you might have a slightly different viewpoint about this "inanimate object".

I also find it interesting that you continue to address my natterings, but you completely ignore all of the facts that Todd Charles provided that completely destroys Oliver's credibility. (Just an observation).

As I said in an earlier post, what Oliver should have done is simply write a glowing article about the VSRC if he wanted to help his buddy. But to smear an excellent product and a good man's reputation under the guise of helping a friend is patently wrong.

After this fiasco has been resolved, you will probably never see me on your board again. I am very happy to sit over here in paradise and do my thing, but principles are very important to me. I guess that's why I spent almost 10 years in law enforcement before pursuing magic full-time.

I realize this is your board and you have every right to moderate it. And I am sure you can delete my posts if you wish, but that won't change the truth.

Be a stand-up guy, offer to print a retraction about the untruths in Oliver's article and this whole episode will be nothing more than a footnote in history. At least for me, anyway. (Kerry could probably care less about a retraction, but personally, I would have more respect for you if you did the right thing.)

Aloha,

Warren
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/31/02 02:04 PM

I've just deleted a post by Todd Charles and I will delete any others that take the same tactic. I am happy to let Kerry Pollack's friends, and users of his Showtech, post their happy experiences with it. If anyone has had a negative experience with the Virtual Sound Man that David wrote about, feel free to post those as well. As far as writing nasty stuff about David Oliver, that stops now. If you didn't like his piece then don't buy the Virtual Soundman.
I have privately confirmed with several people that people DO have trouble using their Showtechs properly.
Cut the crap or I'll just close the topic!
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Postby Bill McFadden » 08/31/02 03:04 PM

And the gratuitous swipe at the men and women of organized labor ("unions") was uncalled for, and should have no place within a magicians' forum. :mad:
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Postby Guest » 08/31/02 09:14 PM

This is the first time that I have ever written in Genii Forum so please excuse any spelling or gramatical errors. I would like to add my opinion to the battle of the sound systems. First off I would like to say that I consider David and Kerry to be good friends. I have had the pleasure of working and hanging with the two of them several times in the past.

I recieved an e mail from David back in early June asking if he could use my name to endorse the Majiloon Commander in his upcoming Genii article. I informed him in a very detailed e mail which I am including that I had switched to the Mini Tech from Wireless Wizardry. I wanted David to use my findings in his article for I felt that I had some expertise on the subject considering I have used both systems professionally. To my dissapointment my views were not expressed in the column.

After reading the article I felt that it gave the impression that the Mini Tech was either built or being built as a responce to the article. I know that David was aware of the Mini Tech years before he wrote the article. My e mail alone shows that he was aware of the system before his words went to print. I am not sure if this was an oversite on his part but it gives out the wrong impression to the readers. I only wish that he would have compared the Majiloon to the Mini Tech for they are very similar in perfomance capabilities. Comparing the Majiloon to the Show Tech is like comparing a walkman to a dance club sound system. They are just too different to compare.

I am including the e mail that I sent David before he finished his article for Genii. You be the judge- Puck Subject:
Re: Virtual Soundman
Date:
Fri, 07 Jun 2002 20:08:09 -0400
From:

Organization:
The Magic of Puck
To:

References:
1

Hey David,

I received your e mail and wanted to respond before your article is written in
Genii. I recently got rid of my Majiloon Commander and upgraded to the Mini Tech
from our friend Kerry Pollack. When I say the words "upgrade" that is in fact
exactly what I have done. I wrote Kerry to tell him that if I had never come in
contact with the Mini Tech I would have been totally satisfied with the
Majiloon. After using the Mini Tech though there is no comparison between the
two in my opinion.

I like you was raving about the Majiloon Commander especially when it came to the
price. I found out later after using the Mini Tech that spending the extra
$500.00 dollars was well worth it in the long run. To put it plainly the
Majiloon Commander is like comparing a Mak Magic prop to an Owen Magic Supreme
piece.

Here are the differences that I found out after using the two:

1: The Majiloon Commander only gives you one remote that is substantially larger
than the two remotes that come with the Mini Tech. The Mini Tech doesn't have
the unnecessary extended antenna that comes with the Majiloon remote. The second
Mini Tech remote doubles as a hands free ankle switch that comes in very handy
especially for silent acts that don't want music cues to look obvious.

2: The Mini Tech gives you a led light that you can position within view from
the stage to let you know that your cues are being received, and also lets you
know what the unit is doing at all times. This is not offered by the Majillon
Commander.

3: The Mini Tech has a power plug for the mini disc player built in to the unit.
This allows you to omit using an additional plug to power the mini disc player
making for less cords to find a power source for. One plug powers everything
making one convenient package. The mini disc player evens Velcro's to the unit
making it much more attractive and efficient.

4: The Majiloon Commander fades the music and then pauses it at the exact spot in
the music. You then have the responsibility of forwarding to the next track
manually in order to start the next track. With the Mini Tech when you push just
one button the music fades, pauses, and than forwards to the next track
automatically and waits for you to start the music again. I personally have
forgotten to forward the music myself, or have not been sure the signal was
received and started my music at the wrong track with the Majiloon Commander.

5: The mechanics in the Mini Tech work much quicker than the Majiloon Commander
because the Mini Tech works directly through the Mini Tech System. The Majiloon
works through the Mini Disc Player itself and that's why when you fade you see
the volume control on the mini disc move up and down. This doesn't happen with
the Mini Tech allowing the unit to work much faster.

6: The only thing that the Majiloon offers that the Mini Tech doesn't is the
nine volt battery adapter for a power source. They do though offer for an
additional fee a rechargeable power source for the entire package.

All in all I have used both and have found that the more professional system is
with out doubt the Mini Tech. I know that the Show Tech has gotten bad press in
the past by people who have not taken the time to learn how to use the system.
The Mini Tech is affordable at $1,275.00 as compared to the Show Tech at
$2,400.00. I'm not knocking the Show Tech but if you have simple cues and don't
need to run additional electronics the Mini Tech is perfect. Like the Majiloon
if you can press play, pause, forward, reverse,fade, and volume up and down, than
you can effectively run this system. There is basically nothing complicated to
learn or program with the Mini Tech. I highly recommended it for the serious
professional who earns money doing shows.

I just wanted to let you know what I have found out trying the two systems and
hope that you will take this in to consideration when writing your article.

Thanks,
Puck
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Postby Guest » 08/31/02 09:59 PM

I must say, it really doesn't look good for David at this point. But I DO eagerly await his response.
Richard, your forum - your rules. OF COURSE. No dispute from anyone there. I just wish you didn't delete Todd's post. He did make several excellent points. I know he wasn't exactly on David's side on this one, but I don't remember anything being nasty about David to the point of deletion. I could be wrong, I only read it once. Once again, though, you're the boss.
Puck, fancy meeting you here. I own, and like the Show-Tech. To be honest I'm thinking about buying a Mini-Tech as well. Your post, and others have enticed me with its ease of set up. I also like its compact design. Can you record music, starting a song in the middle somewhere? Do you use the CD, minidisc, or mp3, and why? And, since you know Kerry, do you know anything about the status of the instruction video for the Show-Tech? Push them to get this out, it will be a great addition for them!
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Postby Jim Riser » 08/31/02 11:30 PM

My question - Why is it taking David Oliver so long to respond? The longer it takes, the more suspicious things look. Is he trying to "cover his posterior"?

I have other concerns about such a so-called review appearing in a magazine for which I paid. Such sloppy reporting makes me question the other reviews, opinions, etc. in Genii. One reason for buying a magic magazine is for the honest impartial reviews we have come to expect and respect; but this "review" certainly clouds things. If the whole thing was a sham, we should be told so and move on. People make mistakes; but trying to cover them up and trying to justify such misinformation just does not cut it. Genii readers deserve better. Warren indicated how things like this can ruin a person's small business. He is exactly right. The credibility of Genii - another small business - is at stake here too. I am certainly not interested in buying a magazine that publishes incorrect information that I rely upon for major purchases. I would be rather upset if I had bought an inferior device based upon the info provided in this "review".

This stalling for time by David Oliver does not inspire confidence on my part.
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Postby warren » 09/01/02 06:31 AM

Aloha Richard,

Game, set and match.

Before Puck's post you only had a smoking gun, now you have the dead body.

But I suspect you may simply try to dismiss his post as dubious, as well.

You wrote in an earlier post:
"...I don't think you should accept as fact something you have read only moments before without any research. I don't believe David Oliver had any hidden agenda, and I don't believe several of the statements that have been made in this thread."

I presume this was in response to something either I or Todd Charles said. What statements don't you believe Richard? I can provide follow-up for anything I have said and I presume Todd Charles can also. I have refrained from posting other information that I am privy to out of respect for the persons that gave me the information. I don't want to betray their confidences. But after Puck's post, I don't think anything more is needed.

You also wrote, "I have privately confirmed with several people that people DO have trouble using their Showtechs properly."

My advice to anyone reading this comment of yours is, "I don't think you should accept as fact something you have read only moments before without any research." Sound familiar? Remember, these are "your" words from your earlier post that I referenced above!

Who are these "several people"? And if they truly are having problems with their ShowTech's, why are they complaining to others instead of calling Kerry for help? I'm sure some people have a hard time reading your magazine as well, but is it your fault that they refuse to use reading glasses?

Sounds suspicious to me that these "several people" would be telling you and others that they are having problems instead of calling technical support. But then again, maybe that's why they are having problems with their ShowTechs....they AREN'T calling technical support or they are not READING THE MANUAL!

Stop blaming the ShowTech for other people's inability to operate it properly. It's a computer. Not a real complicated one to learn, but it takes a few hours.

There is no doubt now that Oliver had an agenda. He wanted to do a commercial for his buddy's product and simultaneously slam the ShowTech. All he had to do was to borrow a ShowTech, learn to use it and evaluate it accordingly. Then if he "legitimately" thought it was crap, at least he would have had an easier time shoveling it on the rest of us.

And if he didn't want to "audition" the product he was reviewing (which is what all professional reviewers/writers do), then he could have relied on the information that he had from Puck and others BEFORE the article was written!

But he did neither. He didn't use the product himself, nor did he print any flattering information about the ShowTech that he was privy to. Why? Because he had an agenda and it is so clearly obvious now that it is laughable for you or anyone else to try to defend what he wrote anymore.

Richard, I suspect that some of this damaging information is coming to you for the first time, as well. You probably didn't have any reason to suspect that Oliver had an agenda when he wrote the article and you printed the article in good faith. I don't fault you for that if that is the case. I understand that some things fall through the cracks because time is always short in a small business. You probably had no idea that Oliver had lots of "glowing" information about the ShowTech and that he knew the MiniTech was in existence long ago. And I am sure you had no reason to believe that his statement was untrue that, "every time" he had seen a performer use the ShowTech there were miscues.

I presume you simply took Oliver at his word and you just printed the article. There is no possible way for you to research everything that is presented to you for publication, I understand that. At some point, you just have to trust the people submitting the articles.

Well, this time you got burned. It happens to the best of us. Unfortunately, you have been given a lot of rope here, don't hang yourself with it.

Aloha,

Warren
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Postby Guest » 09/01/02 07:29 AM

I can't believe it! I am the manufacturer of the remote control music system called the CueMaster Pro mentioned by C.H. Mara (thanks Greg), and quite a few people have recently contacted me about this Show Tech Vs. Magiloon controversy. So, I decided to look into it. I just can't believe what I'm reading!

You people can't be serious. I went to a friend's house tonight to read his copy of Genii to see what the article said. Here are some of my opinions on this article. Yes, the article was biased in favor of magiloon. Yes, this
bias was not based on the actual facts about both systems. Yes, the article contained misinformation on the Show Tech. Yes, the article was comparing apples & oranges between the Show Tech and the magiloon products (if a comparison was handled correctly, Mr. Oliver would have compared the magiloon system to the MiniTech). Yes, there was a bias toward the magiloon
system for no apparent reason.

In my opinion there was no reason for Mr. Oliver to criticize the Show Tech product specifically in an article that was intended to be a "review " of the magiloon product. If the intent of Mr. Oliver was to compare the two products, rather than just promote the magiloon product, then he should have given the "complete picture" of both systems, rather than just one. As presented, Mr. Oliver's article did not benefit anyone looking to purchase a remote control sound system, wanting a comparison between the two systems. If it was Mr. Oliver's intent to try to boost the perception of consumers view of the magiloon product over the Show Tech by providing misinformation, then he may have succeeded with the uninformed.

Now, here are my opinions on the Show Tech. Yes, the Show Tech is the best all around show control system I know about. Yes, the MiniTech is an
excellent music system, with fewer features that the Show Tech, at less cost.

Though I have not actually seen or used the magiloon product I have readthe information on the web site and here are some more opinions deduced after reading the information. The Genii article was written with the very same disregard for accuracy as the web site for the magiloon product. Legal? Yes. Is it acceptable tactics for a person promoting their product? Yes (though not always looked upon favorably by educated consumers). Is it acceptable in a magazine article that is supposed to be providing
independent information for consumers to make purchasing decisions? NO WAY! This article would embarrass me if I was the publisher of Genii & knew the facts. I would also be angry with Mr. Oliver for submitting an article that I did not realize or know was so misleading and had such a blatant agenda.

Now, here are some of my opinions on the way Kerry Pollock does business versus Kelly Duro. I feel that these observations ARE relevant to a
consumer that may be considering the purchase of one of the products mentioned.

Before I continue here I need to mention that I have never met or communicated with Mr. Duro. Also, I have had a single short phone conversation with Mr. Pollock a couple years ago, and just met him recently at Abbott's a couple weeks ago.

Now, I have talked to MANY people (I estimate more than 100) that have had some type of interaction with Mr. Pollock and I have NEVER heard a single bad comment about him, or the way he does business. Yes, I have heard from one person that they were having trouble with the Show Tech system, but this one incident did NOT reflect at all on Mr. Pollock's character or the way he does business.

On the other hand I have never spoken with Mr. Duro, and have never heard a word about him from anyone. The only thing I have to base the following opinions on about Mr. Duro and how he does business is the information on his web site.

Here are the facts of that information. There is A LOT of misrepresentation in the comparisons between systems. There is a lot of incorrect information in the comparisons between systems. There are blatant lies in the comparison chart between the Show Tech, the CueMaster and the magiloon system.

Here's what the info on Mr. Pollock's web site compares to, versus the information on the magiloon web site. The information on both web sites is similar to the two styles of selling a magic show.

One magician tries to sell his show to a client on the merits of the show, the performance, & the performer alone.

The other magician tries to sell his show by talking about the faults of the competition, and saying negative things about the competition's show. We all know someone like this, don't we?

So, I submit that if I were in the market for a remote control music system & if I had all the information on both web sites to base my choice on, I'd choose the Show Tech or Mini Tech strictly on an ethical basis. I'd rather do business with someone that is able to promote the positive aspects of his products, rather than someone that needs to trash the competition to make a sale. In the same light, the details Mr. Oliver's article sure seems to be guided in the same direction as the information on the magiloon web site. I wonder why this is?

Respectfully Yours,

J. Errol Nelson
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Postby Todd » 09/01/02 08:52 AM

Wow,
I cannot believe you deleted my post. Tnere was nothing nasty there about my friend David Oliver. I was only clearing up your mistake of saying that he did NOT print anything libelous in his "review". Mis-information about a product, that would have a negative impact on the products' sellabilty, is, in my book, libel. I wish you would re-post my reply, just to show any readers that I did NOT say anything nasty about David Oliver, only the truth.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/01/02 09:47 AM

Topic reopened: PLEASE do NOT post anything here until after David Oliver has had a chance to post his response to the previous messages. Thank you.
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Postby David Oliver » 09/04/02 04:51 PM

I have been away. It is time for me to respond to this discussion.

The review in question was my personal and professional review on the Virtual Soundman Remote Commander. Nothing more, nothing less. I mentioned the facts as I saw them, based on my own experiences with a $500 item and a $2400 item. Although I used the ShowTech as a comparison throughout the review, the review was not about the ShowTech.

The facts are simple. I have never owned a ShowTech, and that was clearly stated in the article. Over several years, I have seen the ShowTech succeed, but more often, I have seen it apparently fail. I have not seen the VSRC fail. I wrote, "I'm sure that there are many people with ShowTech systems who have had no problems, (and) are very happy with the unit." And, throughout the review, I suggested user-error, and still gave Mr. Pollock's system the benefit of the doubt, "Maybe it is as simple as improper programming."

As with all the products I have reviewed, I e-mailed some people (who, incidentally, were the only people that I knew of who have owned both systems) and asked for their experiences, and whether they prefer one over the other and why. I have never seen a MiniTech in action. It would be unfair to both the VRSC AND the MiniTech, to write an uninformed piece based on one person's e-mail to me in support of it. At the end of the review I gave Mr. Pollock's contact information, as well as a fair recommendation that the reader should investigate the MiniTech on their own.

It's a shame that some people have tried to turn this into a personal matter. For the record, I have no "agenda." Period. I have not met Kelly Duro (the VRSC's creator). I have only spoken briefly with Mr. Duro over the phone on three or four occasions. First, for information on his system, and subsequently when purchasing (paying full retail for) the two systems that I now own. That is the extent of our "friendship."

For those who misunderstood my review, and took it as a personal attack against Mr. Pollock, and felt you had to defend him because he is a friend of yours, there is nothing I can say, except, you are mistaken. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have no ill-will toward Mr. Pollock. Claims that this was an attack against him on some personal level are simply unfounded. Not once did I question the reputation or integrity of Mr. Pollock, only the reliability of one of his products.

In closing, I stand by my product review. The curious among us will do more research, and decide on their own, which system works better for them.

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully -

-David Oliver
[color:purple]- DO[/color]
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Postby Guest » 09/05/02 01:15 AM

Well, we now have a response from Mr. Oliver. Unfortunately, from his post I am even more convinced that he had an agenda that he is not fessing up to.

In his post Mr. Oliver starts with:
"The review in question was my personal and professional review on the Virtual Soundman Remote Commander. Nothing more, nothing less."

Nothing more, nothing less?

Is there anyone that has read the article and then this comment by Mr. Oliver that can agree with "nothing more, nothing less"? I can't see how anyone reading the article could possibly agree with this statement. Due to this statement alone Mr. Oliver's claim that he doesnt have an agenda is now even more in question. I think it is clear to anyone who reads the article that it was more than a review of the VSRC. Nothing more? I dont think so.

On another point, Mr. Oliver wrote:

I have never seen a MiniTech in action. It would be unfair to both the VRSC AND the MiniTech, to write an uninformed piece based on one person's e-mail to me in support of it.

Unfair? So, you are saying then that it is fair to include the negative Show Tech information in your review of the VSRC unit, without including the positive information about the Show Tech that you were aware of? How would including the MiniTech in the article be any more unfair than what was selectively written about the Show Tech? Or, does fair only apply when it supports your agenda?

Additionally, lets review this previous statement by Todd Charles

Also, I stood there as you (speaking of Mr. Oliver) criticized the Show Tech to Kerrys face not once, but at least 4 times. It was rude and very unprofessional, especially at his Dealers Booth. I also heard him tell you that he had a lower priced model called the "Mini-Tech", that you inaccurately wrote was released after you wrote the article, but this was back in April, 2002.

It seems that not only was there knowledge of the Mini Tech by Mr. Oliver before he wrote his article, but Mr. Oliver had an opinion & agenda concerning Kerrys products at least as far back as April 2002.

Also, Mr. Oliver writes:
It's a shame that some people have tried to turn this into a personal matter. For the record, I have no "agenda." Period.

The only way I see this whole issue as a personal matter is the fact that in a public magazine review of the VRSC Mr. Oliver has taken it upon himself to filter the information he gathered on both systems & slant it in favor of the VRSC. Thus, if I were Mr. Pollock I would definitely take this personally, since it would directly affect my business and my income. It was definitely NOT an impartial review! It definitely was not JUST a review of the VRSC.

In addition, Mr. Oliver completely missed explaining why he put into his email that no one should mention that he was looking for feedback on the Show Tech because he didn't want them to ruin the surprise as Warren has stated in his post above. It would seem to me that if this were true Mr. Oliver not only wrote the article with an agenda, but also with malice, intentional malice with forethought. It would seem that he knew what he wanted to say about BOTH systems and he had a plan to slam the Show Tech via his review of the VRSC when he sent out this email. Now, Warren may have been making up the email with the statement by Mr. Oliver, but to help clear things up Id sure like to either hear an explanation, or a denial. Was Warren misinformed? Did he make up this statement, or was it part of an email Mr. Oliver sent out while gathering information on the VRSC?

Just thought I'd ask.
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Postby warren » 09/05/02 05:03 AM

Aloha Richard,

You mean this is the puff-piece reply from Oliver that you had everyone waiting on! It is truly laughable.

Mr. Oliver,

It is extremely revealing that you did not address one specific bit of evidence that many people have posted here. But I understand, you simply have no rebuttal for the facts.

But let's take a look at a few facts. Why don't we begin with the email that you sent out BEFORE you wrote the article. (Should never put anything in an email that you don't want to come back to bite you in.., David!)

For all that have followed this controversy, here is Olivers ("no 'agenda.' Period.") email.

CASE CLOSED!

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

> Hello all -
>
> Hope all is well with you.
>
> Some of you know that I was writing a Genii review of the Virtual Soundman
> Remote Commander (the "Majiloon" thing). Well, it's been changed slightly.
> First, for those who I ran an initial draft by, it has become a little softer
> (the first draft was a little harsh toward the competition, written under
> duress, while my own system was still missing from the Conclave!). Plus, it's
> no longer going to be a short review, it's going to be written up as a short
> feature story in an upcoming Genii.
>
> Here's why I'm writing to you. I personally recommended the unit to each of
> you, and you all trusted my judgment (why?) and bought one. So far, in
> speaking with you, you each have told me that my recommendation was solid,
> and that you are happy with the unit. That makes me happy. I would like
> permission to use your names in the feature, as a partial list of
> professionals who I personally know are happy with the unit. Some of you, I
> know are former ShowTech owners, and this will be addressed in the same,
> brief paragraph.
>
> Basically, the paragraph will be in the body of the story, and will read
> (something along the lines of):
>
> "In fact, I HAVE bet my reputation on it, by recommending the VSRC to several
> full-time pros, including (list of your names here). They were all amazed at
> how simple, dependable and affordable it is. Some of these performers, and
> others I have not mentioned, were former ShowTech owners, who have since sold
> their ShowTechs, purchased their VSRC's and consider themselves converted.
> And now I'm recommending it to you."
>
> That's about it. This paragraph's not going to change all that drastically,
> if at all (maybe grammatical corrections). However, before I included any of
> your names in the story, I wanted to get your permission first. Also, if you
> have since recommended it to any of our other "name" professional friends,
> who have bought, used and are happy with it, I'd like to know if it's ok to
> use their names as well.
>
> Please e-mail me back by next week (6/13) as to whether or not I can use
> your name in the story. If you'd rather I didn't, I understand, and will not
> include your name in the final version.
>
> In any event, (as with any upcoming magazine article), please, I'd appreciate
> it if you do not let it get too far beyond our immediate circle of friends
> that there is a story coming out. Don't want to spoil the surprise, do we?
>
> Thanks, again.

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

So let's examine your "no agenda"!

You wrote in your email:

"the first draft was a little harsh toward the competition".

What competition is that David? Incredibly damning that you would choose to use the word "competition". If this were an unbiased article from the outset, the appropriate remark would have been, "the first draft was a little harsh toward the SHOWTECH".

Nah...you didn't have an "agenda".

You also wrote:

"I would like permission to use your names in the feature, as a partial list of professionals who I personally know are happy with the unit. Some of you, I know are former ShowTech owners, and this will be addressed in the same, brief paragraph."

What happened to the list of names, David? Did no one give you permission to use their name? Well, we know one person gave you permission - as a matter of fact. He posted a copy of the email in this forum that he sent you. And his reply to you was that the MiniTech was FAR SUPERIOR TO the VSRC. If you were truly writing an objective article, why didn't you include this information when you specifically asked people for feedback and permission to "use their names"? It's very simple. You had an agenda. You didn't want to write one flattering thing about the ShowTech or MiniTech. You went out of your way to do just the opposite.

In your email you wrote:

"Some of you, I know are former ShowTech owners, and this will be addressed in the same, brief paragraph."

This brief paragraph never happened did it, David? You intentionally left Puck's feedback out of your article because it refuted everything you wrote about Kerry's products.

One of the most incriminating passages that you wrote is:

"Basically, the paragraph will be in the body of the story, and will read something along the lines of):

"In fact, I HAVE bet my reputation on it, by recommending the VSRC to several full-time pros, including (list of your names here). They were all amazed at how simple, dependable and affordable it is. Some of these performers, and others I have not mentioned, were former ShowTech owners, who have since sold their ShowTechs, purchased their VSRC's and consider themselves converted. And now I'm recommending it to you."

How did you know PRIOR to getting feedback from owners how the paragraph was going to read: "Basically, the paragraph will be in the body of the story, and will read something along the lines of...."

YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU EVER EVEN RECEIVED ANY FEEDBACK THAT YOU WERE GOING TO SLAM THE SHOWTECH AND RAVE ABOUT THE VSRC!!!!!!!!!

The dumbest thing you could have ever done was to put that in an email (in writing). I cant believe that you put into writing that you knew WHAT you were going to write BEFORE you ever even received any feedback from owners!

And the icing on the cake!

"In any event, (as with any upcoming magazine article), please, I'd appreciate it if you do not let it get too far beyond our immediate circle of friends that there is a story coming out. Don't want to spoil the surprise, do we?"

You mean spoil the lynching? You knew in advance this was not simply going to be a favorable review of the VRSC. No big surprise to WORRY ABOUT when writing a POSITIVE review. But you didn't want to "spoil the surprise" because you knew this review was as damning to the ShowTech as it was complimentary to the VSRC. That was the big surprise! Not smart.

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

Now lets move from your email to your reply that you just posted here in this forum.

You wrote:

"I mentioned the facts as I saw them, based on my own experiences with a $500 item and a $2400 item."

You have no experience with the ShowTech. Be honest. You have never used it once and all of your information is anecdotal. Why didn't you do what all professional reviewers do from Auto magazines, Audio/Video magazines, Gun magazines and Magic magazines (well, most Magic magazines) and use the product before even contemplating writing about it? At least your "agenda" wouldn't have been so transparent.

Here's another damning blunder:

"Over several years, I HAVE SEEN THE SHOWTECH SUCCEED, but more often, I have seen it apparently fail."

However, in your article you wrote:

"Since then, I have personally witnessed the showtech being used by numerous professional performers....who constantly rave about the device. Yet, EVERYTIME I have seen their show, there's always a miscue or other sound related problem."

Which is it, David? Have you seen it SUCCEED or has it failed EVERYTIME?

The truth is, you have never seen it fail to your knowledge. Do you know for sure if the ShowTech has ever failed? No you don't. What you have seen and heard is performers blaming the ShowTech for their mistakes. Period.

You write:

"At the end of the review I gave Mr. Pollock's contact information..."

And you go on to falsely claim that the MiniTech came out after the article was written.

You knew long before the article was written that the MiniTech was available. May I suggest, once again, that you refer to Puck's email to you that he posted here. Is the truth in you, anywhere?

And more:

"And, throughout the review, I suggested user-error,"

Do you call throughout the review....twice? That's how many times you suggested user error.

Oh, and here is the beauty of all beauties:

"I have not seen the VSRC fail."

I believe another performer posted in another forum here that he saw your show and the music stopped twice. And you say, "I have not seen the VSRC fail."

I wont do what you did throughout your article and accept anecdotal evidence as fact, but if your music did stop

.bwaah, ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha....ROTFLMAO! Man do you have gall!

I continue:

"For those who misunderstood my review, and took it as a personal attack against Mr. Pollock.....Claims that this was an attack against him on some personal level are simply unfounded."

Do you really believe that everyone here that is reading your pathetically lame reply is a simple school child and they will eat anything you spoon feed them? You are insulting.

And it's not just the article that confirms your malice toward Kerrys products, there are many witnesses that have seen you harangue Kerry in public numerous times about his products. In front of customers at his dealer booth, no less.

Careful with your reply here David, there are abundant witnesses.

After spending almost 10 years in law enforcement (before pursuing magic full-time) I have seen this type of reprensible behavior many times before. Deny, deny, deny.

But when placed under oath and watching witness after witness and one piece of evidence after another being presented, it is amazing how quickly the accused denials become pleas for mercy.

This entire attack disguised as a review is simply shameful. It is yellow journalism, a discredit to the magic community, a disservice to Richard and an affront to the intelligence of all who have read this article. Everyone sees it for what it is.

It is unfortunate that your petty little game is not simply limited to your, "personal and professional review" of the VSRC. You have quite possibly damaged a respectable man's business by printing information that you knew was untrue and omitting information that you knew was beneficial to the same.

You should be ashamed and I hope the magic community gives you what you deserve.

They should shun you.
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Postby Jeff Eline » 09/05/02 06:28 AM

Wow!! It's amazing that this topic elicits such a response. It has to make you think when someone responds like this. It's also curious that the most vocal respondants all have very high member numbers (1676, 1688, 1681).

The behavior displayed here certainly makes me rethink my decision to visit your establishment. Doesn't seem like the same happy/sane guy that's on your website.

I read the article and saw nothing wrong with it. I took it as one guys opinion. And before you jump all over me, yes Warren, I own my own business. (10 years) And I've been critized before. And I took it like an adult. I even learned from my detractors.

Please let's return to sanity!

J.

P.S. Warren, did you work in law enforcement before magic??
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Postby warren » 09/05/02 07:20 AM

Aloha Jeff,

"It's also curious that the most vocal respondants all have very high member numbers (1676, 1688, 1681)."

I am not sure what the high member numbers have to do with anything. As I said in an earlier post, when this issue has been put to rest, I will disappear probably to never post here again.

"The behavior displayed here certainly makes me rethink my decision to visit your establishment."

I hope my behavior here represents a call for principles and the truth. And I can promise you that if you ever visited my establishment you would be treated with the same respect and courtesy that I would want to be treated with. Unlike the treatment Oliver gave Wireless Wizardry.

And if you choose not to visit my establishment, because I don't, "seem like the same happy/sane guy that's on my website", I'll be sure to tell the other 40,000 guests to my show this year that you said hello.

That is not meant to be arrogant, but rather to illuminate how hollow the threat not to visit my establishment is. I do very little advertising in my market, comparatively speaking, and I feel humbled by the fact that the majority of those 40,000 guests will come to my show this year based on word-of-mouth alone.

"I read the article and saw nothing wrong with it."

Well, I guess we just have a different opinion of how important the truth is.

"And I've been critized before. And I took it like an adult. I even learned from my detractors."

We should all be so mature.

"Please let's return to sanity!"

Hey, Jeff, let's return to the truth and the sanity will follow.

Aloha,

Warren

PS - Yes, I was in law enforcement before magic.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/02 08:10 AM

I've really had enough. If anyone has any reasonable posts to make on this topic, forward them to me by private e-mail and I'll decide whether or not to post them. This topic is closed.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/02 10:03 AM

Puck has asked me to post the following:

I would appreciate it if you would please post this response to Sound Advice? I have allowed myself to get involved in a high combustion topic. I have let a friend down and allowed others to distort my words for their own purposes. I only posted my e mail to David to let people see that the Mini Tech was a better purchase in my opinion considering I have used both for a length of time. I stated that David knew about the Mini Tech before the article because he did. I spoke with David and now understand why my findings were not included. He was not willing to include information from only one source. My information was the opinion of only one person unlike the other information that David had compiled for his article.
As I stated I consider Kerry and David to both be good friends. I sent Kerry a copy of the e mail that I sent David on my comparison of the two units. I am not very computer savvy as anyone can tell you. I didn't know how to delete the e mail that David sent me originally. I had just pressed reply which copies the original e mail. I would never have intentionally sent someone's personal e mail without their permission.
To clear things up though I think that Warren is confusing the e mail as malicious intent when it wasn't. David asked that it not leave the circle of friends not to spoil the surprise of the article being released. Who wants people to have advanced knowledge of their writings before they are published? How many know the cover story of Genii or Magic before it reaches the mailbox. This is how I understood it as it was sent to me. I don't know Warren but am upset that he posted an e-mail that was not meant for him. I don't even know how he got it. All I do know is that this all needs to end and that I am sorry that I got involved. I see how devious people can become over the smallest things. This topic has made people choose sides against people rather than a product. Kerry is a stand up guy as well as an ethical business man. He has become a very successful marketer of electronic items. I don't think that David's article will have any negative effect on his business. I think though that this whole subject will make the buyer do his homework in order to make an educated purchase. I personally believe that you can't skimp on quality and because of this Kerry will have continued success. I have spoken with both of them and can tell that they are tired and would just like to have a beer and move on. I think that I will have a few myself.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/05/02 11:24 AM

I inadvertantly left off the first paragraph of Puck's response, so I have re-posted it in its complete form.
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