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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Beware: Amplivox Portable Buddy Not What They Say! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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todd75
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I have been having problems with my sound system lately so I decided to buy something new. I wanted something compact that did not much require running 10 wires, killing my back, etc. etc. etc.

After much research I found a company called Amplivox who sells something they call a PORTABLE BUDDY. What a joke! They advertise and market that the thing can handle up to 1000 people in a 10,000 square foot room. No way whatsoever! I bought it becuase I was impressed by the size. I've also heard others talk about Amplivox so I thought I was getting a good deal. Boy was I wrong!

I took it to a school show in a small Caféteria with 200 students and guess what? They could not hear me at all. It was terrrible. The mic. kept cutting out and the system sounded like crap...period! I immediately called Amplivox and demanded my money be refunded and I would ship it back to them. I was informed that I would have to have an authorization # before I could return it.

Here is the problem: I spent 30 minutes on the phone with the guy that sold it to me. I explained to him in detail that I do school shows with sometimes 500 kids in a gym. He told not to worry that this system could more than handle it and that many magicians own this system. Who are these other performers? I was so mad as that made my show suffer because no one could hear me. I have worked in many many schools and know that sound is different in every room. I was lied to! I was then told that it would take about 3 days to get the return auth. # and then my credit card would be credited. Here we are 3 weeks later and I have yet to see any money or hear anything from them. I call everyday and am told that someone will be calling me back. That never happens! I've gotten down right ruse with them and still nothing.

Bottom line: don't buy Amplivox. They are junk! Has anyone else bought anything by them and had problems? I was impressed by the 6 year warranty they offer. Everything they SAY sounds great until it comes down to crunch time.
Magicalpro
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I only know that many years, okay many decades ago, there was a great little portable system by Perma Power, they put out a PA system in a briefcase, it was all self enclosed the speaker was mounted in the brief case, this was pre wireless mike days, inside the briefcase was a mike stand that you screwed together, in it's day, (70 & 80's)this system was used by many full time school assembly workers, as matter of fact National School Assemblies endorsed it for thier workers, Magic INC carried it, anyways about 10-13 years ago Amplivox bought out Perma Power, at the time they did, they continued to put out the PA Attache, and it continued to be a top product, the last time that I had any dealings with them, probably around 1995 thereabouts they were good company to deal with, at that time I was pleased with them, they were extremely customer orented, am sorry to hear that you had such problems, hopefully they will come thru in the end.
Kurt "Lee Curtis the Magical Wizard" Flickner
Magic Estate Sale
http://www.MagicEstateSale.com
todd75
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Thanks for the kind words my friend!

I was told the same thing by another performer a few days ago. Perma Power was indeed bought out by Amplivox. The system you described is exactly what I have. The speaker is mounted inside of a briefcase and it's pretty unique. It is very lightweight and perfect for what I do except one thing....it stinks as far as sound quality and power.

The worst part of the whole deal was talking to the guy on the phone for 30 minutes before I bought it and him telling me how wonderful it was, etc. etc. etc. I explained to him that I work in a lot of school gym's and that I needed to make sure this would work. He assured me more than once that it would, even for 500 kids at a time. Now this same guy claims that it is not good for school gym's and that I should upgrade to their more expensive system. I don't think so!

At one point and time I used the Florida Magic PAS767 until I finally used it so much it gave out. Not the greatest system in the world but it would handle 500 kids at a time and I ended up liking it in the end.

However, the Portable Buddy caught my eye for a number of reasons:

1. Size
2. Extra mic. input for principal to introduce
3. 6 year warranty
4. Claim (1000 people in a 10,000 sq. foot room)

Huge disappointment!

Anyone else have one of these systems? I am curious what others think of it. I have heard that other performers are also using it and I would like their comments.
Tony S
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Todd,
Call your credit card company and tell them you want to dispute the charge. Explain to them what happened and how the company is non-responsive. They will usually happily put the charge in dispute, which prevents the vendor from getting paid and prevents you from having to pay interest on the charge. My guess is, once the vendor does not get their money, and you have their product, you will receive your autorization number pretty quickly.

Tony
We are all about as successful as we choose to be.



www.anthonysisti.com
todd75
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I've done this already! I guess I am going to have to demand to talk to the top dog in the company and get very nasty with him / her.
James Munton
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Todd,

Sorry about your bad experience. I hope you get your money back.

Most school show performers use a Fender Passport (PD150 - which is what I have or PD250). They have been discussed here quite often. Was there a particular reason why you decided not to go with a Fender?

Best,
James
todd75
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James:

I am well aware of the Fender systems and I know many people use them. For me, I don't like the idea of a heavy suitcase that has takes 5 minutes tosetup and multiple wires. Also, unless you buy the built in wireless system, you have to purchase a mic. system as well which means even more wires and speaker stands. Just seems like too much work for me.

I like the all in one units with the built in wireless receivers that you simply turn on and go.

I have heard that at one time Ampivox use to be pretty good. I was reading some books today on marketing and noticed 2 performers who praised the company but that was sometime ago. I guess things change. Today is seems like PAY MORE AND GET LESS.
Amazing Magic Co
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What company sold this system to you so we can be certain t avoid any future patronage? When I sometimes see I customer complaints such as this, I may call the vendor and remind them why they are not getting my business.

Good luck.
Dan.
todd75
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It was Amplivox themselve! Don't buy anything from them...they are crooks!
wizardofsorts
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Magic Inc still has at least one of the Perma Power/Amplivox systems you are talking about. I can't remember if its an older (heavier) one or the newer Amplivox (lighter) one. But its there, for sale.
Edd
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
todd75
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Very interesting! This seems to be a different system from what I have though. The system that Magic Inc. sells says it is 22 lbs. The one I have is 4 lbs.
wizardofsorts
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Yeah, the older model is a little heavy. The newer one, because the cases are plastic (compared to the old metal ones) is slightly lighter.
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Magicalpro
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Todd
I am curious, did they offer to exchange it for you, any system, no matter how expensive can arrive, not working properly, an internal connection can jiggle loose in transport.
I have looked at what you bought on thier website, and it is not the same as the older perma power unit, but why would it be, electronics have improved vastily, and the new one comes wireless, all electronics get lighter and better.

Personally I prefer the anchor system.
Kurt "Lee Curtis the Magical Wizard" Flickner
Magic Estate Sale
http://www.MagicEstateSale.com
todd75
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I too prefer Anchor but they are expensive and heavy.

Seems as thought the old Amplivix systems were a lot better than the new ones. I did try another wireless mic. and seemed to get better quality sound and more power. Maybe it was just a bad mic.
todd75
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O.K. I am going to totally contredict myself here....

I tried another mic. and guess what...it's awesome! I was finally able to get somone on the phone that was helpful at Amplivox and guess what? They sent me a companion speaker to the Buddy system at NO CHARGE and even went as far as to overnight it so that I would have it right away.

It seems as though the problem was in the microphone and not the system itself. I used the unit last night for a family show at a school. There was about 200-250 people in the audience and it rocked, kicked butt, sounded awesome.

Now I guess you can say that I have changed my tune. It still upsets me that they never would call me back and showed no desire to refund my money but my patience ended up paying off in the end.

Now I would recommend the PORTABLE BUDDY to anyone looking for something lightweight. It has a 6 year warranty that I hope they will honor in the event that something happens to it. It is a little pricy for but considering that it comes with built in wireless receiver, etc. I guess it is worth it not to have to kill yourself over a heavy PA system.

I've changed my mind afterall- what do you know- I like it afterall!
Amazing Magic Co
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Todd,

I'm delighted to hear that everything worked out for you and that finally is a positive reflection on AMplivox. I tried to figure out which exact system you had but didn't see a model named Portable Buddy.

Dan.
todd75
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Go to http://www.ampli.com and click on Portabee Buddy. It was a total oversight on my part and now I guess you could say that I am love with the thing.

As a matter of fact here is what I did that just makes me love it that much more. I went to an office store and bought a really nice aluminum briefcase and took the padding out. I then took some spray 90 and lined the inside with some thin soft carper fabric and guess what...the entire pa system fits inside and won't get beat up or even scratched. I also bought some bank bags that are meant for money. One holds the beltpack for the mic. and the other holds the AC adapter. This is my whole entire system. I simply set it on a table open it up, plug in it and I am ready to go. I have already used it in 3 shows and everytime I have had people come up and ask me where I got such a neat little thing. One guy even said, I'll bet that thing is very heavy because of the pwer in it." He was amazed to find out that it weighs a wopping 4 lbs. He was blown away!
Amazing Magic Co
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Todd,

Thanks. Neat looking system. Have you pumped music through it or just the mike. I just got a PD-150 and it is hard to beat.

Thanks again.
Dan.
todd75
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Yes, I have music in every show. I once had a passport system long ago but got tired of running wires and did not want to add speaker stands. I am all about in and out in one trip.

This is a neat little system. I think the sound quality is excellent for such a msall unit. If you are looking for something very small and compact, this is it!
paulajayne
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Todd

The "1000 people in a 10,000 square foot room" is in optimum conditions.

A guide for sound systems is :-

1 watt per person in a good room (clean)
3 watt per person in a bad room (lots of drapes and soft furnishings)

The Portable Buddy is rated at 50 watts stereo (25 watts per side) so I wold not expect it to be able to handle a big room.

Speakers need to be above the audience head height other wise you are trying to send the sound through bodies ( a very effective baffle).

Paula
Paula Jay - Magic to Remember -
---------------------------------
I once wrote a book on elephants, I think paper would have been better.
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