The Upgrade Company is a Sham?

L

Leonel R.

Enthusiast
I was a bit reluctant to post this here, but I figured that people should have as much information about a company, both good and bad, as possible.

Link is here

With the amount of enthusiasm that a particular poster posts about this company on every site he frequents, created a fair amount of skepticism for me. Needless to say, I am thankful for the thread linked above, as I almost considered them (only when I first heard about them), but was quickly turned off by the aggressiveness of the poster I mentioned (which also briefly responded in the thread linked above).
 
Ares

Ares

Audioholic Samurai
I have checked out their site and who is going to buy an OPPO BDP-83SE starting at $1599 and goes up to $2299. If you can buy one for $499, what are these guys smoking to justify this insane price for this BDP. I would like to see a comparison on a standard 83SE vs the mod 83SE if there is no difference then this company needs to be called out on this. here his a link http://upgradecompany.com/sales.php
 
Matt34

Matt34

Moderator
That guy and his "company" are not welcomed here. He's a disgrace to the community.
 
Ares

Ares

Audioholic Samurai
Had to post this:

The parts we upgrade to State of the Art typically include but are not limited to new capacitors, new voltage regulators, new diodes, new op-amps, new transistors, and new resistors. We install all-new AC power delivery wiring comprised of highly advanced high-purity tightly wound silver/copper/teflon and only available by advanced military contractors:rolleyes:, not obtainable by consumers, advanced shielding, chassis dampening, and (1) pair of new $145 a pair WBT NextGen top of the line Silver RCA jacks on the 2-channel analog RCA outputs, new IEC inlet, and special materials once classified by the U.S. Government:rolleyes:. Bybee Quantum Purifiers are an option on some models. A portion of our upgrades are always Trade Secret and Proprietary due to their highly unique application and nature. Our unique approaches using advanced parts and techniques provide much higher results then standard upgrade or modification techniques.

If the AC power delivery is only available to as he calls them "advance military contractors" how did he get them? here is a link to their FAQ page where I pulled this from, http://upgradecompany.com/q&a.php#1
 
Z

Zaluss

Audioholic
Had to post this:

The parts we upgrade to State of the Art typically include but are not limited to new capacitors, new voltage regulators, new diodes, new op-amps, new transistors, and new resistors. We install all-new AC power delivery wiring comprised of highly advanced high-purity tightly wound silver/copper/teflon and only available by advanced military contractors:rolleyes:, not obtainable by consumers, advanced shielding, chassis dampening, and (1) pair of new $145 a pair WBT NextGen top of the line Silver RCA jacks on the 2-channel analog RCA outputs, new IEC inlet, and special materials once classified by the U.S. Government:rolleyes:. Bybee Quantum Purifiers are an option on some models. A portion of our upgrades are always Trade Secret and Proprietary due to their highly unique application and nature. Our unique approaches using advanced parts and techniques provide much higher results then standard upgrade or modification techniques.

If the AC power delivery is only available to as he calls them "advance military contractors" how did he get them? here is a link to their FAQ page where I pulled this from, http://upgradecompany.com/q&a.php#1
Sounds like something out of a movie.

Wheres the flux capacitor? :p
 
Knucklehead90

Knucklehead90

Audioholic
If anyone is curious about what this guy's mods look like take a look at these pictures posted on AVS.

The 'mod' appears to be a few bucks (at best) worth the foil tape for shielding and some caps under the poorly placed foil. Certainly doesn't look like hundreds of dollars worth the modifications.

Even with nobody being able to tell the difference between a $100 transport and $1000 worth people willingly throw money at this guy and then make all kinds of wild claims that can't be measured.

For anyone that hasn't read this article comparing 'hi-fi' and 'lo-fi' equipment in a DBX - it may open your eyes to some of what is going on in the audio community with expensive cryogenic wires and mysterious metals I like to call 'unobtainium'. Might save you some of your hard-earned money so you can spend it where it will make a difference.
 
B

Boerd

Full Audioholic
If anyone is curious about what this guy's mods look like take a look at these pictures posted on AVS.

The 'mod' appears to be a few bucks (at best) worth the foil tape for shielding and some caps under the poorly placed foil. Certainly doesn't look like hundreds of dollars worth the modifications.

Even with nobody being able to tell the difference between a $100 transport and $1000 worth people willingly throw money at this guy and then make all kinds of wild claims that can't be measured.

For anyone that hasn't read this article comparing 'hi-fi' and 'lo-fi' equipment in a DBX - it may open your eyes to some of what is going on in the audio community with expensive cryogenic wires and mysterious metals I like to call 'unobtainium'. Might save you some of your hard-earned money so you can spend it where it will make a difference.
I guess ignorance has a price ... I am just curios, how many people pay for this unobtainium :D:D:D ???
Where are the measurements on the unit before/after the mod??? Hellloooo?:eek:
 
Knucklehead90

Knucklehead90

Audioholic
I guess ignorance has a price ... I am just curios, how many people pay for this unobtainium :D:D:D ???
Where are the measurements on the unit before/after the mod??? Hellloooo?:eek:
Actually they are getting the 'placebo unobtainium' - they just don't know it.:D
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
I thought this claim from the TUC site "The Upgrade Company continues to constantly improve upon today's so called "State of the Art". For every 6 month period over the past 2 years our upgrades have improved by about 50% over the previous 6 month period. This says that our upgrades are more then twice as good in now in December 2009 over December 2007. For every $1,000 invested into our upgrades, we guarantee that you will receive a minimum of $10,000 dollars back in performance in terms of retail dollars. For every $1,500 invested you will receive a minimum of $20,000 in performance back in terms of retail dollars. We also guarantee that any one of our Signature Edition upgraded players will best any "modified" player from anywhere in the world, and do so with the utmost in reliability and serviceablity." should be explored.

I want someone to buy one, tell them they didn't get that 10:1 differential in quality and demand a refund. How do they decide how much quality should be had for $10,000?
 
Adam

Adam

Audioholic Jedi
"For every $1,000 invested into our upgrades, we guarantee that you will receive a minimum of $10,000 dollars back in performance in terms of retail dollars. For every $1,500 invested you will receive a minimum of $20,000 in performance back in terms of retail dollars."
So, if I spend $3k, do they guarantee $30k in performance, or $40k?

Maybe statements like that are how they weed out the people smart enough to know that they're getting ripped off. If someone still pays them, then...BAM...get out the foil tape.
 
B

Boerd

Full Audioholic
For every $1,000 invested into our upgrades, we guarantee that you will receive a minimum of $10,000 dollars back in performance in terms of retail dollars. For every $1,500 invested you will receive a minimum of $20,000 in performance back in terms of retail dollars.
This is not even funny anymore... UTC is clearly for people with more money or debt than brains.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
I want someone to buy one, tell them they didn't get that 10:1 differential in quality and demand a refund. How do they decide how much quality should be had for $10,000?
Such claims are not all that uncommon, and often even accepted. It is a widespread acceptance of WmAx's claim that the $2400 in gear he assembled will compare to well chosen $15k speakers that got me to buy the speakers he was/are building.

Of course, WmAx very likely will pull out the resonance and FR charts to back up this claim; but I can understand where those who haven't devoted dozens-to-hundreds of hours to forums and reviews and discussions would have trouble differentiating claims.

Bluntly: I don't know enough to tell one person's review of the mods from aonthers. With only one unit being discussed, and with no actual measurments presented from anyone... well actually I don't care enough to form an opinion because I've yet to be convinced that CD players get better (in a way a human can hear) than with good-quality inexpensive units from Sony or Yamaha. Indeed: the ony difference from one to another (assuming a digital connection) would seem to be the CODEC to convert from WAV to whatever the input on the AVR takes.

So to me: the entire idea is snake oil regardless of the skill (or lack thereof) of the person doing the mods.
 
Shock

Shock

Audioholic General
Damn that thread was addicting, and very informative.

I learned if I wrap the internal wires of my equipment i get massive improvements in sound quality :D :rolleyes:
 
Adam

Adam

Audioholic Jedi
I learned if I wrap the internal wires of my equipment i get massive improvements in sound quality :D :rolleyes:
Oh, heck. Some of us have known that for YEARS. Here's a nice tutorial (and it's Part 3, believe it or not). :rolleyes:


I know that at least some of you all remember this guy! :p

I keep expecting one of his videos to get interrupted by him screaming, "Ma! The meatloaf! F***!!!" :D
 
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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Oh, heck. Some of us have known that for YEARS. Here's a nice tutorial (and it's Part 3, believe it or not). :rolleyes:

I know that at least some of you all remember this guy! :p

I keep expecting one of his videos to get interrupted by him screaming, "Ma! The meatloaf! F***!!!" :D
Nice grade school scissors. Pink, too. I never though Origami would make audio equipment sound better, but I guess I was wrong.
 
Adam

Adam

Audioholic Jedi
If any audio manufacturer hires this guy for their marketing videos, life as we know it will end.
Thanks, man. I hadn't had a nightmarish flashback to engineering classes for years. I guess that I was due.

:)
 

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