Revelations from Emerald Physics & PS Audio

Admittedly, the title seems almost melodramatic, if not messianic. But after Emerald Physics' handicapped presentation at, I believe, the last Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, I was not expecting to hear such fine and pleasing sounds. While ample credit is due PS Audio's brand new DirectStream pure 1-bit DSD-decoding DAC ($6000), thanks also be to Mark Schifter's canny programming of the DSP2.4 DSP crossover/equalizer ($850) that comes with Emerald Physics' CSE MK2 Controlled Dispersion, DSP-controlled, open-baffle loudspeakers ($3500/pair). Thanks as well to the new Emerald Physics EP 100.2 power amplifier ($1600), DSPeaker preamp/DAC ($1200), and REL T9 active subwoofer that filled in from 25Hz to 48Hz.

"This room is a concrete box that shakes like hell," said Mark of the 4th floor room with 8' high ceilings. "It has 8dB peaks at 70 and 140Hz, and a small peak at 210." Yet, thanks to DSP, what I heard was really good sound, with highs fine enough for Diana Krall to smoothly peal herself a grape without a single squeak.

PekaJ's picture

Is this the same Mark Schifter of Perpetual Technologies/ infamy that was indicted and I believe convicted of multiple counts of fraud, running fake charities, lying to people, etc.?  Is he working at Emerald Physics now?  Sort of shocking an audio company would hire this guy and even more having them out in the public representing them.  Who would buy anything from an admitted and convicted fraudster?

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Mark Schifter has acknowledged his wrongdoings, and continues to pay the price. While some people, fired up by the non-stop anti-Schifter campaign waged by the so-called Chu Gai and other irrepressible internet forum posters, would prefer that he wear a scarlet letter around his neck for the rest of his life or be burned at the stake, others have accepted his apology and choose to practice forgiveness.

PekaJ's picture

but ridiculousness is another.  I believe in forgiveness, and I am not saying convicted felons, even those convicted of fraud, should never be allowed to work again.  They definately should.  They should be allowed to earn a living, earn money toward restitution if needed, and try to turn themselves around and be productive members of society.  But that doesn't mean they should work in the same industry in which they perpetuated their frauds or other crimes - the audio industry in this case, and it unquestionably does mean they should not be in a job where they handle other peoples money or come into contact with members of the public.  If Emerald Physics thinks this guy should continue in the audio industry, put him in a back room working somewhere - not representing your brand to the public.  It's bad for Emerald Physic, bad for the public, and bad for him - too many temptations and opportunities to return to his ways even if trying to turn things around.

underwoodwally's picture

I normally don't get involved in Internet chat as I stay too busy. However, in this case since I was being mentioned I thought I would make a single post. It is interesting that the poster has decided to remain anonymous and has not posted an email link with his post.
Yes, I hired Mark to do PR work for Emerald Physics about 2 years ago. I have known him for over 35 years and consider him a friend. I bought Audio Alchemy products as well as Genesis products from him at my former company. Yes, Mark has made some severe mistakes and he has paid the price for those, and continues to do so. Sometimes good people do bad things and Mark freely admits his mistakes and is in the process of paying back all the money involved and apologizing appropriately. He has worked two jobs over the last few years working 70-80 hours a week to make proper restitution for his crimes.
However, once he has paid the price that society decided was proper punishment for his crimes I for one believe in forgiveness and the ability to get on with one’s life. Mark has been in the audio industry his entire life and in some ways the industry is his life. He is an extremely talented product designer with great passion for what he does. To say that Mark should not be allowed to work in the audio industry is absurd in my opinion. This is not the financial services industry where people handle millions of dollars of other people’s money. All financial transactions come thru me in the end I take responsibility for all my sales.
Some time ago Mark started contributing design work for me and now comes to shows as well. I am not ashamed to put him in front of the public or to call him my friend. He has done great work in transforming Emerald Physics into a far better company than when I bought it a few years ago. He now works with customers in our Emerald Physics Showplace in Colorado as well. He has permission to do this. It is interesting to note that almost everyone that has contact with Mark loves him and the high quality of customer service that they have received. The outpouring of industry support has also been extraordinary. In the end the buck stops here and I would be glad to speak personally to anyone who wants to call me and discuss this at 770-667-5633.

Walter Liederman
Owner Emerald Physics & Underwood Hifi

jive420's picture

I followed the Schifter debacle for a few years posting on the forum. I had already figured out he was scamming his followers so I took a lot of slings and arrows for saying that too. Maybe it was more than followers. Maybe more cult like. And in the end, and even before that, he repaid them by taking complete advantage of them by promising this and that, writng long letters, and then finally taking their money with the raffle scams. Even up until the very end, he was still working his scam with the TADG group. Do you remember that Wally? You say that you have been a friend for 35 years. Surely if you were such a good friend, you would have seen what he was doing to himself and others. Where were you then?

I believe in redemption, but I've heard that the "Main character," as I used to call him, made just as many enemies with his attitude as friends. You also declare that "the outpouring of industry support has also been extraordinary." Just remember Wally, Doctors and Lawyers stick together too. I won't be calling you. Hey, didn't Mark use that schtick too.

Pro-Audio-Tech's picture

Running fake charities, what will high end audio endure next, I will pass.

jdskycaster's picture

Just stumbled on this article and could not believe what I am reading in the comments here. It is great that mr shifter still has close friends in the industry and those that are willing to defend his character and forgive him. I beg to differ on the "paid in full" commentary. In some small way he has but don't forget the hundreds and possibly thousands of us smaller victims of his scams that will never be repaid for our losses. I still have an MFW 15 sitting in the corner of my HT waiting for a solution to its premature and complete failure. Thrusting this guy back into the public eye knowing there is a multitude of audio enthusiasts that have been scammed is beyond my comprehension. There are many ways for this guy to earn a living and in much wider circles outside of the direct audience he so willingly deceived and cheated. If he was so bent on returning to the industry he dumped on maybe the first thing he would do is come up with a fix and/or some kind of remedy for the hundreds of people sitting on useless products.

KlipschHead's picture

As somebody who bought two MFW15's and several other products I feel I can chime in. You say here he is an employee but in your video tours he is called a partner, there is a huge difference between the two.
I don't know how somebody can commit that much fraud and not still be behind bars, it staggers the mind. I have two of the MFW's that STILL require new amplifiers, they have since the company was still open. The last joke of an amplifier they bragged was built in the US is in the stack of other junk amplifiers in my basement. We have turned the MFW's into end tables because unlike Mark, I will NOT sell this junk to anybody. One day, they will be offered to somebody for free, or maybe I'll go through with the option of replacing the driver and buying the Motor City replacement parts which turn these things into real subs.
I understand he apologized, but seriously, that's easy and means nothing to those who bought from him and couldn't return failed equipment or get their money back after trying to help others through his fraudulent raffles. I know businesses close, but this one closed due to purposeful fraud on customers as well as and this is the stickler for most, he did this to people through fake charity raffles that he pocketed for his own gain.
So, he apologized and is now in another business partnership... I didn't agree with Chu Gai while he was going after Mark, but he turned out to be right so now you say "and other irrepressible internet forum posters", so they are irrepressible and Mark isn't? They were RIGHT, many of them lost money and you defend Mark, that says something about you as well, and it isn't positive.
Last note and I only mean well by this, if you're going to sell expensive products, put up a website worthy of it.