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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Robert Weston on November 13, 2012, 01:57:19 pm

Title: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Robert Weston on November 13, 2012, 01:57:19 pm
Is the quality of Yamaha products on the decline?

I recently purchased (new) 4 CM speakers -monitors and 4 C speakers –FOH (all w/12” woofers) for a small vocal PA.  Upon opening the boxes , here’s what was observed:

  4 x speaker cabinets had a very noticeable amount of saw dust in the speaker grills and loose in the plastic bag the cabinets were in
  4 x speaker cabinets (same as above) all had wood screws about ¾ way out of the holes they were intended for (these screws secure the horns)
  1 x speaker had a blown woofer
  1 x speaker had cabinet damage

All speakers tested good (expect for the one with the blown – buzzing - woofer).  I ended up replacing it instead of having warranty work; I don’t trust the company that is authorized by Yamaha to conduct any work.

These were all purchased from Guitar Center and were in Yamaha boxes that did not look like they were opened previously to my ownership.  I’ve done business with this same GC and same salesmen over the past many years… never any issues from GC.

I called Yamaha to talk to someone about the perceived quality control of their CM speaker product; the only live person I talked to was a rude receptionist -- that if she had to wait longer than 20 milli-seconds for an answer from me, she was repeating her questions again.  I was placed into an infinite loop of "hold" music.

Is this the “new” Yamaha?
   
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Josh Billings on November 13, 2012, 06:53:51 pm
All I can say is the DSR cabs are incredible.
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: David Parker on November 13, 2012, 08:48:19 pm
Is the quality of Yamaha products on the decline?

I recently purchased (new) 4 CM speakers -monitors and 4 C speakers –FOH (all w/12” woofers) for a small vocal PA.  Upon opening the boxes , here’s what was observed:

  4 x speaker cabinets had a very noticeable amount of saw dust in the speaker grills and loose in the plastic bag the cabinets were in
  4 x speaker cabinets (same as above) all had wood screws about ¾ way out of the holes they were intended for (these screws secure the horns)
  1 x speaker had a blown woofer
  1 x speaker had cabinet damage

All speakers tested good (expect for the one with the blown – buzzing - woofer).  I ended up replacing it instead of having warranty work; I don’t trust the company that is authorized by Yamaha to conduct any work.

These were all purchased from Guitar Center and were in Yamaha boxes that did not look like they were opened previously to my ownership.  I’ve done business with this same GC and same salesmen over the past many years… never any issues from GC.

I called Yamaha to talk to someone about the perceived quality control of their CM speaker product; the only live person I talked to was a rude receptionist -- that if she had to wait longer than 20 milli-seconds for an answer from me, she was repeating her questions again.  I was placed into an infinite loop of "hold" music.

Is this the “new” Yamaha?
 

I bought a pair of SM15IV monitors new about 10 years ago. One had a dragging voice coil right out of the box. It happens.
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: George Friedman-Jimenez on November 13, 2012, 09:16:17 pm
I don't think this trend, if it is really a trend, is limited to Yamaha. I bought an EV ZXA1 new several years ago. All 4 of the bolts holding the 8" driver were less than halfway in and I could hear the driver rattling around when I moved the speaker. I tightened the bolts, didn't even bother to call EV, and have had no problem since. I bought an EV ZX3 new also and about half of all the bolts used in the entire unit, inside and outside, were completely corroded, I mean seriously ugly. No way any QC or final inspector could have missed that. Two emails later, with no questions asked and no explanation, EV sent me a complete set of new bolts, which I installed. Absolutely no problems since.

I would hypothesize that some companies may indeed be cutting back on the quality control and final inspection stages of production with the intent to shift some of the QC burden onto the consumer and the warranty replacement department, the new manufacturing philosophy being to do everything more quickly, not worry so much about doing it right, let the buyers become the QC inspectors, and, for the more reputable companies, to then replace things if and when the buyers complain. The entire cost to EV of those 2 interactions over a total of $1300 worth of speakers was the cost of 1 bolt set plus 1 way shipping, maybe 1% of the total cost or 2% of the wholesale cost. Probably cheaper to the manufacturer than hiring another inspector and slowing the assembly workers down a bit so they can do a better job.

Does anyone from the industry have any reliable information to refute that hypothesis?
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Nicolas Poisson on November 14, 2012, 03:07:51 am
let the buyers become the QC inspectors

Well, it reminds me of a software company having its operating system debugged by early customers. But I cannot remember its name. Any help ?
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Robert Weston on November 14, 2012, 07:34:40 am
Well, it reminds me of a software company having its operating system debugged by early customers. But I cannot remember its name. Any help ?

Yes - another good reason I haven't used that OS in 12 years; especially with alternatives sitting out there for free.


Good point on the use (rather lack of) QC people.  I wasn't looking forward to dealing with quality issues from Yamaha, but it appears this is the direction they are going.  And it seems odd EV would have the same issues.  I've put EV above Yamaha for years... hmmm
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: David Parker on November 14, 2012, 07:42:21 am
Yes - another good reason I haven't used that OS in 12 years; especially with alternatives sitting out there for free.


Good point on the use (rather lack of) QC people.  I wasn't looking forward to dealing with quality issues from Yamaha, but it appears this is the direction they are going.  And it seems odd EV would have the same issues.  I've put EV above Yamaha for years... hmmm

American made cars used to be junk. They counted on the buyer to be quality control and the dealerships to do the warranty work. A man named Deming from the U.S. had a quality program that the U.S. wasn't interested in. He took it to Japan, and the rest is history. They started producing high quality vehicles that were right when you bought them, and the U.S. manufacturers had to catch up. All the cars are much higher quality now. Maybe what the speaker manufacturers need is someone to kick their butts with higher quality gear. Or maybe not, everybody seems to be looking for that LOW price.
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: paul bell on November 14, 2012, 08:29:05 am
I'm pretty sure the EV ZXA1 speakers are made in China. Where are these Yamaha speakers made?

Many of the EV (wood) cabinets are made in North Carolina in a shop where quality and testing applies to every single cabinet.

There's been a lot of talk of "re-shoring" products that have been moved from US made to off-shore. The quality of off-shore made products is not where it should be and the added months from order to delivery is a problem.
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Steve Milner on November 14, 2012, 10:18:40 am
All speakers tested good (expect for the one with the blown – buzzing - woofer).  I ended up replacing it instead of having warranty work; I don’t trust the company that is authorized by Yamaha to conduct any work.

 When you say you ended up replacing it, you mean hopefully, that you returned it to the store where you purchased it and they replaced it with a new unit? It is astounding to me to hear how other folks on these forums get a bad product in their hands, and don't let the manufacturer handle the repair/replacement...

 I've owned and used a LOT of Yamaha gear over the years, and have never once had an issue with their quality. Hopefully what you experienced was an unfortunate mistake, and hopefully your returning them to the dealer has solved the problem.

 Steve
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Chuck Simon on November 14, 2012, 11:27:26 am
Quote
I don't think this trend, if it is really a trend, is limited to Yamaha.
I agree.  With the first pair of JBL PRX618S-XLF that I purchased, one of them did not have the speaker wire connected.  That is the first failure I have had with JBL in over 25 years!
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Pete Bansen on November 14, 2012, 01:02:31 pm
I'm pretty sure the EV ZXA1 speakers are made in China.

My ZXA1's have printed on the cabinet and the shipping box that they were made in the US.

Pete
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Randall Hyde on November 14, 2012, 07:39:02 pm
I agree.  With the first pair of JBL PRX618S-XLF that I purchased, one of them did not have the speaker wire connected.  That is the first failure I have had with JBL in over 25 years!

OTOH, I've had three out of four PRX 625 cabs die on me (the Crown amp, not the speakers) and two out of two PRX 635 cabs needed a gasket put on the horn (not designed in, only added as necessary after the fact) to prevent them from buzzing at 105-110Hz.

The PRX 635 cabs have worked fine since the gasket was added. I've used the PRX 625 cabs at an indoor show since they were fixed and they worked fine for that. I was going to buy some PRX 618s XLF cabs and PRX 615m wedges, but that purchase decision has been put off to see how well the 625 cabs hold up in a month long show I've got starting a week from Friday. If they hold up, I'll write it off as the luck of the draw (and JBL trying to hit a price point). I'm a huge JBL fan (my "A" rig is all SRX gear), but down at the MI level (e.g., PRX), I suspect one needs to be a little more careful.

FWIW, I was using the PRX 625 cabs outdoors (as delay stacks) when I blew them up. The PRX 615 cabs are very effective outdoors, to be perfectly honest, so I may have been pushing them a bit too far. OTOH, one would expect things like limiters to kick in before resistors burn up on the circuit board (which seems to be a problem with those Crown amps; I believe the same amp is used in the PRX 618s XLF, which is why I have a hold on buying those).  Yes, *lots* of people have told me how awesome the 618s XLF subs are, but I want to see the PRX 625 columns work before I make that decision.

I'm not ready to say that JBL's quality has gone down hill (even on the MI stuff) yet; but I own some JBL MI gear (Mpro stuff) that has served me very well for 8-10 years now and lots of Crown amps. I might have been an extremely rare situation and I'm willing to suggest that this might very well be the case, but problems with five out of six cabinets is not a good sign.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: duane massey on November 14, 2012, 07:44:12 pm
Several things:
I have had several products purchased from GC that were sold as new, but were obviously pre-opened and possibly even used. These were all online orders, not in-store purchases.

I just installed 2 Yamaha S115V speakers. One 15" had a loose magnet, but it didn't show up until after the install. Obviously warranty, but local warranty takes 3 weeks, and they had to have the whole cabinet, not just the woofer. I made arrangements to get the speaker fixed thru a friend, and installed a spare woofer for a few days.

I have yet to have ANY manufacturer have a 100% no-failure rate in the first 2-3 weeks. The really good guys don't quibble, they get it taken care of immediately (or they used to).
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Ryan McLeod on November 14, 2012, 11:22:25 pm
I was under the impression that all of the C and S series Yamaha speakers had been phased-out, an that more speakers were Not being produced.

I used to have several pairs in my rental fleet, and I believe that all were USA made.
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Nicolas Poisson on November 15, 2012, 02:53:03 am
I guess there is some kind of tacit agreement on entry level products from renown manufacturers. The deal is: "dear customer, if we had performed full testing there would be 99% chance it works; Given that we lowered the QC there is only 95% chance it works. Costs are lower and you pay less. If you have any problem, please contact your local support".

So is a lot cheaper and slightly less reliable. More reliable products still exist, they are more expensive.
Title: Re: Yamaha speaker quality going down...?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 15, 2012, 09:25:41 am
25 years ago Yamaha shipped components from Japan to the USA.  The woodwork was done in Georgia, IIRC, and the components stuffed inside at that factory.  No idea if that is still the case...