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  1. #1
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    Audio Note UK & Kondo Japan

    The passion:
    TNT-Audio inter.views Kondo San of Audio Note Japan [English]

    The crime:
    Audio Asylum Thread Printer

    Even if I wanted to buy UK I don't think I could bring myself to do so after seeing the history. It would just make it seem like I was part of the sleeze and just feel dirty. Besides that how could any one continue Kondo's legacy which was his passion. Qvortrop can bring in others to try to imagine what Kondo was doing and copy products, reverse engineer etc but it doesn't seem like would have the same result.

    I read PQ arranged to continue making AN cartridges when Kondo was about to stop, I forgot the circumstance, but that still doesn't justify what he done in my book.

  2. #2
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    This should prove interesting.
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  3. #3
    Ajani
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    I'm sure RGA will post Peter Q's response on AA to those claims. I read it years ago but don't remember much about it, other than that the story told by Peter Q is 180 degrees from the claims by Kondo. So clearly one of the two is lying - but I have no idea who and frankly don't care that much. When business relationships go sour it can get nastier than a divorce - all kind of lies get floated around as a result.

  4. #4
    RGA
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    Personally speaking this is a non-issue - if it were not for Peter Qvortrup - no one here would know the brand Audio Note. And because the brand Audio Note became well-known through Peter's Money (he put up all the money) the name Kondo would not be known outside of a small group in Japan.

    Kondo never made any affordable products. He did make the elite products - which is what Peter heard and liked so he invested. By the OP's logic Kondo AN isn't AN either since Kondo died several years ago.

    Re: Audio Note of Japan (KONDO) - Peter Qvortrup - Audio Note (UK) Ltd. - General Asylum

    People will always believe who they want to believe but personally I go with the guy who is not caught out in lies. For one the malicious rumour about Kondo's health - turned out was true - second Peter named the products and has the e-mails to prove it. Before AN UK the Ongaku was called something like the 211.

    The courts sided with Peter Qvortrup as well. And yet there are people who claim well Peter tricked Kondo the poor engineer who didn't understand the contract. PUHLEEASE. This is a university graduate with a degree in metalurgy and worked for Sony for many years - he ran a business. But suddenly he doesn't understand that the guy who puts up all the money - does all the marketing and grows the business has no say in it?

    More on Thieves, Liars & Magpies - Peter Qvortrup - Audio Note (UK) Ltd. - General Asylum

    and

    Still Wondering? - Peter Qvortrup - General Asylum

    Kondo never responded to any of these points - wonder why since he started the conversation on a public forum?

    Personally the whole thing was quite good for both companies because as the saying goes there is no bad advertising - just generated some soap opera curiosity with the brands so now people want to go hear them. Owners of both Ongaku models from Kondo and AN UK prefer the latter by a considerable margin which illustrates that Andy Grove is no slouch. Indeed he was so good that Quad hired him - AN hired him back when Grove felt handcuffed by having to design everything with inexpensive (lesser quality) parts to meet competing prices. Quad since started making it in China.
    Last edited by RGA; 02-20-2012 at 05:48 PM.

  5. #5
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    RGA, you stated in another thread this is an attack on AN, I don't see how you get that but it was not intended that way, I genuinely didn't know of the history until recently. I wanted to promote some discussion on it and get others opinions. However, after reading Qvortrop's response his nastiness and trying to lead people to conclusions that don't make common sense only solidifies my opinion of him and ANUK.

  6. #6
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    However, after reading Qvortrop's response his nastiness and trying to lead people to conclusions that don't make common sense only solidifies my opinion of him and ANUK.
    Like what? How was he nasty? By defending himself against malicious slanderous attacks.

    The fact is no one here including me knows exactly what happened between these two guys. All we have is historical events - there was a massive recession in the late 90s and so it would be pretty obvious to anyone that a company would have to slow production or halt it if there are no buyers.

    Beyond that we have word of the word of two people but I have trouble with Kondo's inconsistencies. The "saving face" culture in many parts of Asia including Japan/South Korea would definitely have me combing over any contract I sign with any of them with much much greater detail than I would in North America. Which is saying something since the west has fine print out the wazoo. That's one reason I don't buy Kondo's story - and the courts sided with PQ.

    I don't really get the issue anyway since what did Kondo lose?

    He still called his company Audio Note - Kondo- Audio Note Japan. PQ called his company Audio Note UK.

    Both make completely different gear.

    PQ was at the disadvantage since his company initially made the lower end products and he had several QC issues with certain Caps that failed prematurely - to the point where they had to go into making their own caps. Kondo was still associated with making the "best" Audio Note amplifiers.

    So I never understand why this is an issue - Kondo still called his stuff Audio Note Japan - and Peter put his name on the map by financing everything and bringing Kondo amps to the west. Basically Kondo ended up having to pay his own flights and hotels and marketing. But it's Peter's fault?

    Plus PQ had to battle on forums as being known as the "lesser" Audio Note stuff and stealing the name. Courts said otherwise.

    I am no legal expert but basically Kondo only made amps - maybe 5-6 of them. AN UK makes 700+ products

    Kondo had nothing to do with any of the speakers, turntables, tone arms, cartridges, cd players (transports or DACS) or all of the amps that could be described as affordable. And he had nothing to do with the Kits.

    To me it comes down to the product. Not the guy running it. And I've met Peter a couple of times and he actually cares about music which can't be said for the box sellers interested in profit margins and market share only and who sell out the first chance they can.

    Audio Note Japan vs. Audio Note UK Gear - Cicerosecundus - Amp/Preamp Asylum

  7. #7
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    However, after reading Qvortrop's response his nastiness and trying to lead people to conclusions that don't make common sense only solidifies my opinion of him and ANUK.
    This really is a case of how different people can read the same material and come to completely different conclusions. I'm not a Peter Q fan by any stretch, but I felt his responses were quite civil and logical considering the initial attack by Kondo.

    I find Peter Q to be a truly annoying salesman (It's bad enough to hear incessant bragging from HiFi designers - but truly intolerable to hear it from someone who doesn't design squat). However I just find it hard to trust Kondo: from his accusation - I would never have realized that the two men were business partners for 20 years. Also, Kondo gives zero credit to ANUK for doing anything - that makes no sense considering how long the two brands were in partnership. Even if all ANUK did was provide lots of capital and market the products, that would be what built the brand. The owner of a company is the one who provides the capital, not the guy with the initial vision (unless the two are the same person).

    However, since none of us know the truth of what went down between the two men we just have to go with what we choose to believe.
    Last edited by Ajani; 02-21-2012 at 02:08 AM.

  8. #8
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Ok...you have got to be kidding me right!

    Asylum Trader - Audio Note Japan - KONDO
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  9. #9
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon View Post
    Ok...you have got to be kidding me right!

    Asylum Trader - Audio Note Japan - KONDO
    Maybe the price is in yen

  10. #10
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    And I betcha you are really paying for a name more so than performance.....I could be wrong but...


    Asylum Trader - Audio Note AN-E SPe HE Special Edition Silver
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  11. #11
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Makes me wonder if this is Levinson himself selling this gear. It sure cost enough.

    Asylum Trader - For-Sale Listings



    Mark Levinson 33 UHC & 32 Refference $14,500.00 levinsontn 2012-01-19
    JBL Paragon D4400 8Ohm single owner $23,000.00 levinsontn 2012-01-19
    JBL Heartfield 16 Ohm Original Owenr $28,500.00 levinsontn 2012-01-19
    B7W 802D Cherrywood Waranty until 2017 $7,000.00 levinsontn
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  12. #12
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    Those AA Traders are either different currency or spam.

  13. #13
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    I prefer the Jolida.net vs Jolida.com pissing contest.

    Jolida audio Official website - Lawsuit victory

  14. #14
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon View Post
    Ok...you have got to be kidding me right!

    Asylum Trader - Audio Note Japan - KONDO
    That link is not selling anything - just an information piece about how the Japan earthquake is affecting lead times.

    And be wary of prices - this link shows AN E speakers at $1,000,000 Audio Note $1,000,000 loudspeakers.mp4 - YouTube

    The price is something like $50k which is still expensive but it ain't a million bucks

  15. #15
    RGA
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    Mr. P

    This one's for you - He notes what you don't like about Peter - the way he bashes you over the head.'

    Audio Note Conquest Amp Reviewed

  16. #16
    RGA
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    Robert Lighton's home. He owns RGA's dream gear

    6moons.com - industry features: Forbidden Fruit Tour

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    Mr. P

    This one's for you - He notes what you don't like about Peter - the way he bashes you over the head.'
    There have always been a few people like that in audio - rather verbose and arrogant in presenting their opinions. PQ reminds me of Irving "Bud" Fried from years gone by.

    The similarities are rather strong - didn't invent much of anything on his own (Fried's first venture into audio was as importer of Lowther & Quad in the late 50s), but he sure knew how to attach his name to the products of others. He also never hesitated to give you his strong opinion about a subject. I recall reading his newsletters in the 60s and 70s.

    The only drawback of this personality type is that they inevitably leaves a substantial percentage of the market with an opinion so negative that they can't hear the person even if they have a good point about an issue, product or design.

  18. #18
    RGA
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    I suppose it depends on what you view as to what people do at a company. Engineers are the people you hire to get the thing you want made. Doesn't really mean they have the vision or are the best at creating the concept. I don't know much about Fried but it seems to me Peter wants X sound and hires the people who can deliver what it is that he wants.

    I do agree with your other point though that if a person has such a negative view of the person they will tune him out even when he raises valid points. I would go one further - they will also have a negative view of said person's products going into auditions. They will likely go in looking for negatives rather than being balanced. The latter is more damaging I should think to sales.

    But hey I had people on forums so pissed off at me that they said they would never ever audition an Audio Note product because of what I said on forums. So even the "fan-boys" as I am called can damage sales.

    On the other hand Peter e-mailed me and said he doesn't give a rat's ass about selling gear to people with that mentality and since he can't meet the demand losing sales here or there isn't big deal.

    I asked him awhile ago - why don;t you make a tuner - they make the complete chain after all - his reply was "we do make a tuner"

    What? Why don't you put it on the website?

    His reply - "because then we'd have to sell them."

    He's actually quite a nice guy in person - he believes his stuff is the best - but then that's not a terrible thing in a company owner. And he does believe it - I can handle a guy who thinks his stuff is best - and he believes it than a guy who just says it but deep down knows it isn't.

    I feel this way about athletes like I do about audio makers - you're not arrogant if you bring the game (got game).

  19. #19
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    At the end of the day people should just buy what they like. Dont bother with the politics or other people. People who can actually buy products in the price ranges of Kondos, AN, Mark Levinson etc... are not moved by forum comments anyway. Happy listening
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  20. #20
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    At the end of the day people should just buy what they like. Dont bother with the politics or other people. People who can actually buy products in the price ranges of Kondos, AN, Mark Levinson etc... are not moved by forum comments anyway. Happy listening
    +1

    frenchmon
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  21. #21
    RGA
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    Correct those people with deep products hardly rely on forums/reviews (hopefully) - but AN isn't priced "just" at those prices and review publications would not be there reviewing $20k+ gear if no one was reading them. So I suspect there is still influence both pro and con.






    As an aside so as to not start a new thread - I recently said how much I liked the ATC 150 and what do you know someone comes out with an AN E review comparing his own reference ATC 40. What he says would be about the same as what I would say comparing the ATC 150 AN Affair of the Heart – Audio Note AN-e/LX | Hifi Pig

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