A few weeks ago, I visited Altronics to have a listen to their range of outdoor speakers. See, part of my plan for the new pergola includes a 5.1 audio setup for outdoor movies and entertaining. Weatherproof speakers added to renovations shopping list.
I must have auditioned almost a dozen pairs of speakers before settling on the Opus One (aka Redback) C0911 (IP54-rated) 45W model. At $225.00 per pair, four speakers would have worked at at $464.90 including delivery and insurance. They had no new ones in stock and the salesperson was terrible at closing a sale. So, I decided to hold-off until a little closer to when I needed them in the hope they might have them on sale.
Fast forward to Wednesday last week. I was having a poke about on eBay and decide to have a look for a suitable centre channel speaker. Didn’t find one that I liked but I did stumble-upon this listing:
OUTDOOR SPEAKERS NEW COMMERCIAL & MARINE 2WAY 90W PAIR
The photo piqued my interest and then I read, in part:
These high power Redback® Monitor Series music speakers feature exceptional sound quality for professional sound reinforcement…
…sealed speaker with 5.25″ bass driver and mylar dome tweeter. Best suited to foreground music systems and PA music extension speakers in commercial applications….
Power Rating Each: 45W RMS, 90W MAX, 8 Ohms
SPL (1W @ 1m): 88dB
Freq. Response: 61Hz – 20kHz
Dimensions: 180W x 150D x 238H
Weight: 2.5kg/ speaker…”
Hang on. Major déjà vu moment. Where have I read that blurb and those specs before? Oh, that’s right – HERE! It’s almost word for word and number for number. No branding shown in the photos, but most certainly looks the part otherwise.
The seller, “Audio Australia” seemed to have a great reputation, and I knew I could always do a credit card chargeback if I got burned with a cheap and nasty rip-off item. So, I took my chances and ordered two pairs for $258.00 delivered (just under half the price quoted by Altronics).
Today – just two days later – a box arrived, with one particularly intriguing label on the front. “ALTRONIC DRIVER (0050)”. WHAAA?! I ripped the carton open. There were two boxes of Opus One C0911 speakers and, in between them, an Altronics box used for extra padding!
I have no idea what Altronics is playing at, but I know that I’ll never buy from their website or store again without checking eBay first.