Universal Components Letters You'll Never Believe

Sidebar: Letters You'll Never Believe

From a well-known amplifier manufacturer

Editor: Thank you for your letter expressing your dissatisfaction with our SPA-140 amplifier. The "hardness" that you hear in the sound is not due to your associated equipment, but stems from a drastic increase in the amplifier's distortion at low power levels. This, we hasten to add, is really quite a common thing in solid-state amplifiers that were designed in a hurry in order to meet the New York hi-fi show deadline.

There is nothing you can do about the problem, except to buy our next-year's model, which will probably have other problems that you never dreamed of.

Sincerely, etc...

From an importer of foreign-made pickup cartridges

Editor: We checked your pickup for you and found it to be within specifications, so we are returning it. Of course, there will be no charge for this service.

The 5dB difference in channel outputs and the 8dB peak at 9kHz in one channel are normal for average-production pickups. Foreigners have quality-control problems too, you know.

If you are unhappy with the pickup, we suggest that you trade it in on one of our special HP (hand-picked) models, which is the same as the standard models except that it is tested before being shipped from the factory.

Sincerely, etc...

From a leading loudspeaker manufacturer

Editor: We are dismayed to hear that you are so unhappy with the Omnipotent 500 speaker system that you purchased. It is true, of course, that they are horribly overpriced and as ugly as a baboon's butt, and we are sorry to hear that one of them fell through your living-room floor, but we do not really feel that they sound as bad as all that.

You must understand that these were not designed to sound realistic. Our market researchers have found that normal people prefer hi-fi to music, and if a speaker has to be shrill and boomy to sell—well, our team of design engineers hasn't failed us yet, bless their hearts.

Perhaps you should stop going to orchestra concerts and learn what true hi-fi is.

Very truly yours...

From a manufacturer of modestly priced tape recorders

Editor: Of course your Model 152STA battery-operated portable has battery problems! If I told our design department once I told them a thousand times, one penlight battery just won't be enough to run the motor and the record amplifier and the 10W monitor amplifier for 40 minutes, but no, they wouldn't listen.

I suppose you could buy one of our AC converters and use the recorder from a wall outlet, but if I were you I would try to palm the thing off on somebody and buy one made by an outfit that knows what it is doing.


From the editor & publisher of The Stereophile

We can understand your dissatisfaction with the Acme Super 2000 receiver that you bought on the basis of our excellent review. We too found that the outputs were out of phase and that it took a pair of gas pliers to turn the Function switch, but since Acme buys a full-color four-page foldout in each issue, we felt it unnecessary to add any more test criteria to the already comprehensive objective measurements that we make on every product.

As a matter of fact, we felt at first that the unit was so bad that our readers would not be interested in reading about it at all, but the manufacturer magnanimously agreed to continue his advertising support if we ran the report without mention of the phasing, the stiff switch, the unreadable dial markings, the thunderous switching pops, and the subtle odor of burning insulation that we observed. We are confident that you will understand our position.


From a real reader

Editor: Where did you ever get ahold of those hilarious letters from manufacturers that you printed in the Summer issue? I didn't think any hi-fi manufacturers could be as brutally frank as those letters were.—Arnold Wren, Sacramento, CA

Those "Letters," you may recall, were printed under the title "Letters You'll Never Believe." Well, you shouldn't have believed them. Every one of them was a fictitious figment of our imagination, freely fabricated from whole cloth for the sole purpose of entertaining our readers, at the expense of some manufacturers who might conceivably have written such letters but didn't, as far as we know.J. Gordon Holt

Footnote 1: "Letters You'll Never Believe" first appeared in Vol.2 No.9, our "Summer (2) 1968" issue.—John Atkinson