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Rode Stole My Friend's Mic!


A String

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My friend sent his Rode NT2 off to the repair shop to be repaired. Apparently, just over 15 years ago, Neumann sued Rode over the NT2 and Rode lost. As a result, they have kept my friend's NT2 are are not sending it back. They told him they would give him a discount off a new mic.

 

First, has anyone heard of anything like this? Second, what would a good replacement be?

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I would file a small claims court for the mic back. They would either have to return it or pay to replace. It was his property and they took it in in good faith, then kept it. Easy enuff to do and he recoup court costs while he is there.

1997 PRS CE24, 1981 Greco MSV 850, 1991 Greco V 900, 2 2006 Dean Inferno Flying Vs, 1987 Gibson Flying V, 2000s Jackson Dinky/Soloist, 1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio,

 

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Never heard of anything like that before. I would demand a refund of every penny he originally spent (including any taxes and/or shipping costs). Or, the next step up in their line, gratis.

 

At first I thought to suggest that he should get his entire purchase price toward another mic, but that is, in a way, strong-arming him into spending more money that he wouldn't have otherwise spent. Not cool.

 

Rode's legal problems aren't their customer's problems. They need to make your friend, as they say in the legal system, "whole".

My ears are haunted.
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Yeah, pretty much their issue is between each other, not with your buddy, unless there is some as-yet-unrevealed court order allowing them to remove the things from the market.

 

Those are rare.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

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I don't think he would have much luck filing a small claims civil case if it's been 15 years (we only have 3 years to file in Calif.) I think your buddy should take their offer on a discounted new mic as they may or may not be repairing the old ones anymore...
Take care, Larryz
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if it's been 15 years

 

Sorry I was a bit vague. I was in a rush and typed it fairly quickly.

 

15 years ago, Neumann sued Rode over there NT2 microphone. Neumann won the case and Rode was ordered to stop making and selling them.

 

Unaware of this, a few weeks ago, my friend had an old NT2 that was acting up and he decided to have it repaired. He gave it to a shop that sent it directly to Rode (or at least the Canadian branch) for repairs.

 

A week later, he got word back that, because of the lawsuit, 15 years ago, they were not able to fix the mic. In fact they were going to be keeping it and destroying it. In return for his mic, they are offering him a discount off of one of their other mics.

 

It's hard to place a value on a 15 year old mic. They were $1200 when they came out. They sounded like one of the VERY expensive Neumann mics. Now, they are sought after and very hard to come by. However, I've seen them as low as $200 when they are around.

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First problem is that any answer I could give would be based on U.S. law, which doesn't apply here.

 

I'm not sure what gives Rode the legal grounds to seize your friend's property. It would seem that the suit prevents them from making and distributing any product that infringes on the Neumann patents or copyrights - I'm not sure how that applies to your friend's mic, which was sold before the case would have been settled. From my perspective, not being involved in international trade, it would seem that Rode should have either returned the mic to your friend, with an explanation as to why they were unable to fix it, or just fixed the damned thing, if they have the parts.

 

I suspect it's a bit of both. They may no longer have parts for the lawsuit mics, so this gives them an avenue to create sales, making up for lost revenue and court costs. They're using the suit to make people pay them. Hell of a way to treat your customer. Here in the U.S., I would suggest writing to someone in office, who deals with trade, or some office of consumer affairs. Good luck to your friend. If he does choose the new mic, I would suggest that it be the last purchase he ever makes from Rode.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

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This sounds like a load of crap to me. But not being an attorney, I wouldn't know what recourse is possible. even if I WAS an attorney, I'd be a U.S. attorney, and STILL wouldn't be sure what's possible.

 

One thing is sure...it's easy to see why Rode gets sued. In the U.S. there are many lawyers who will offer 30 minutes free legal advice to prospective clients. He might try to see if that's a possibility.

 

At any rate, no matter the outcome, there's one "repair" shop I'd stop dealing with. He took it to THEM to repair. Otherwise, he could have sent it to Rode himself!

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Like I said, it could very well be the case that the orders of the court include language that makes confiscation and destruction of infringing microphones part of the end result. However, it is also possible that, as WPS suggested, that they are using the case as an excuse to generate new business.

 

Without knowing the details...

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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I think Rode should return the mic to the repair shop and the repair shop should return the mic to your buddy. The explanation is sorry we cannot fix it due to a law suit 15 years ago. Unless there is a 15 year (or more) warranty on the mic and your buddy was the original purchaser, I think he's SOL.

 

Even though it is old equipment, it still belongs to your buddy and he should be able to take legal action if it is not returned. It may not be worth the cost, unless the authorities would consider it a theft and do it for free. Getting back a broken mic is not really a great idea, so I would still take a look at their offer of a discount on a new mic (if I really wanted to spend the money). Finding a used one for $200 may be the best way to go.

Take care, Larryz
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So your friend has actually had correspondence with Rode then? Or is he getting his info from the repair shop? Something just doesn't feel right about the whole deal. I'd make sure the shop isn't feeding him a line of crap, trying to pull a fast one.

 

I still wouldn't entertain a discount on the NT2A. Then he'd have whatever he pays, plus the $1200 he already has into the old one...for a $400 mic. I'd still tell them I will take my original purchase price towards one of their mics, nothing less. Maybe they'll tell him to pound sand, who knows. And as far as depreciation and all that, that shouldn't apply to this situation.

My ears are haunted.
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He's going to wait and hear the offer on Monday then decide what to do. He is considering taking the discount on a mic and getting the NT2-a, rather than demanding back a broken mic.

 

I would expect a buy-back from Rode as the only legally defensible solution. I, personally, would apply that payment toward a mic from any company BUT Rode. They could, if business ethics have a place at Rode, simply swap the lawsuit mic for a current equivalent model, with a note of appreciation for a loyal customer. I know, when pigs fly.

Scott Fraser
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Røde is an Australian company, correct?

 

If the lawsuit found the mics to be tantamount to "forgeries" whose resemblance and characteristics inspire sales by confusing or misleading the consumer into thinking they are Neumann mics then the mics themselves could be "illegal," and illegal to own or possess. Røde might be legally bound to destroy any they come into contact with... even shipping it back might be violating the court order and be labelled as mail fraud or something. You'd have to look up the verdict of the lawsuit, those can be whacky... but it isn't Røde who insisted on those terms, it would be Neumann.

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Røde is an Australian company, correct?

 

Yes. Their first product was a Chinese made knockoff of the Neumann U87, long before everybody else started making knockoffs of U87s. It was said to look much more like an 87 than to sound like one.

 

If the lawsuit found the mics to be tantamount to "forgeries" whose resemblance and characteristics inspire sales by confusing or misleading the consumer into thinking they are Neumann mics then the mics themselves could be "illegal," and illegal to own or possess. Røde might be legally bound to destroy any they come into contact with... even shipping it back might be violating the court order and be labelled as mail fraud or something. You'd have to look up the verdict of the lawsuit, those can be whacky... but it isn't Røde who insisted on those terms, it would be Neumann.

 

Neumann has trademark rights to the distinctive wedge shape of the U87 & U67 capsule. This may have been what Rode is accused of infringing, or they may have simply copied the internal electronics design. Don't know, but it sounds like they aren't legally allowed to repair the outlawed mics, & in fact are required to remove them from circulation.

Scott Fraser
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Røde is an Australian company, correct?

 

Yes. Their first product was a Chinese made knockoff of the Neumann U87, long before everybody else started making knockoffs of U87s. It was said to look much more like an 87 than to sound like one.

 

If the lawsuit found the mics to be tantamount to "forgeries" whose resemblance and characteristics inspire sales by confusing or misleading the consumer into thinking they are Neumann mics then the mics themselves could be "illegal," and illegal to own or possess. Røde might be legally bound to destroy any they come into contact with... even shipping it back might be violating the court order and be labelled as mail fraud or something. You'd have to look up the verdict of the lawsuit, those can be whacky... but it isn't Røde who insisted on those terms, it would be Neumann.

 

Neumann has trademark rights to the distinctive wedge shape of the U87 & U67 capsule. This may have been what Rode is accused of infringing, or they may have simply copied the internal electronics design. Don't know, but it sounds like they aren't legally allowed to repair the outlawed mics, & in fact are required to remove them from circulation.

My first thought is that the requirement to remove them from circulation would be in the sales aspect. To confiscate one sent in for repair shouldn't count, because at that age, the mic has no real serious retail value, and if your BUDDY sold it, Rode wouldn't get a dime anyway.

 

But as Russ mentioned, I DO wonder how all the communication is handled. Did this guy communicate with Rode about the seziure and discount for a replacement, or is it all being done through the repair shop? If the latter, I'd smell a rat.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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So your friend has actually had correspondence with Rode then? Or is he getting his info from the repair shop? Something just doesn't feel right about the whole deal. I'd make sure the shop isn't feeding him a line of crap, trying to pull a fast one.

 

Saw this on another forum, concerning Rode's service reputation:

"Here in Australia, Røde's customer support is a thing of legend; they don't charge for repairs, you hear of mics being sent off to them coming back in new flight cases because they've updated the model package, etc. etc. After about 3 years of flawless performance mine started having issues with phantom power, it's currently with Røde getting a new capsule, even though it's miles out of warranty. All I paid was a few bucks to post it to them."

 

I'd be asking the local service center some hard questions.

Scott Fraser
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He has been in direct contact with Rode. Or at least the Canadian branch. I believe the current situation is that they have agreed to either send back the broken mic or keep the mic and give him a discount on a new one. Could be the original guy didn't have the authority to keep it? Or maybe they were hoping he wouldn't argue?

 

Either way, he has a better, less forced, choice now and I'll let you know what he decides to do.

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He has been in direct contact with Rode. Or at least the Canadian branch. I believe the current situation is that they have agreed to either send back the broken mic or keep the mic and give him a discount on a new one. Could be the original guy didn't have the authority to keep it? Or maybe they were hoping he wouldn't argue?

Either way, he has a better, less forced, choice now and I'll let you know what he decides to do.

 

I hope it's a pretty substantial discount. The current Rode mics are miles better than those first several models & he'll end up with a more useful mic, if the price is right.

Scott Fraser
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I think I'd ask for the mic back. Was listening to a recording podcast a while back (can't remember which one, it's been a while), and heard about some aftermarket companies that sell replacement/upgrade guts that turn cheapo mics into clones of the popular, extremely expensive studio staples. Not perfect, mind you, but A/B tests showed them to be very close.

 

So, that's an option...and I think the kits run around a couple hundred bucks (some are cheaper, of course, depending on what you want).

 

Or, at this point, if he gets the mic back, he can tinker around with it and maybe figure out what's wrong. I mean, he's got nothing to lose, right? Well, except his..."discount"...

My ears are haunted.
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I think I'd ask for the mic back. Was listening to a recording podcast a while back (can't remember which one, it's been a while), and heard about some aftermarket companies that sell replacement/upgrade guts that turn cheapo mics into clones of the popular, extremely expensive studio staples. Not perfect, mind you, but A/B tests showed them to be very close.

So, that's an option...and I think the kits run around a couple hundred bucks (some are cheaper, of course, depending on what you want).

Or, at this point, if he gets the mic back, he can tinker around with it and maybe figure out what's wrong. I mean, he's got nothing to lose, right? Well, except his..."discount"...

 

Check my post of several days ago about the Oktavamod upgrades for Rode mics. The advantage of this direction would be upgrading a current mic that started out much better than the model which is presently in repair limbo.

Scott Fraser
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