That Time Behringer Sued Dave Smith Instruments & 20 Gearslutz Users For A Quarter Of A Million Dollars

Music Group head Uli Behringer

Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn today reported that Music Group – the Philippines-based holding company that owns Behringer, Midas and other music tech brands – recently sued Dave Smith Instruments, a DSI employee and 20 anonymous Gearslutz users for libel.

Behringer/Music Group sued over forum users calling Behringer’s products ‘copies’ and ‘knockoffs’, among other things.

The company’s complaint, filed in June of 2017, asks for $250,000 in damages, plus punitive damages and court costs. The documents are available at the Court’s site.

One of the Gearslutz comments the company complained about suggests that Behringer’s 6-in-1 cable tester, left in the photo below, ‘looks like a blatant copy, except for the paint’ of the Ebtech 6-in-1 cable tester, right:

Behringer’s lawsuit describes the suggestion that the Behringer 6-in-1 cable tester is a copy as a ‘false, defamatory and libelous statement’ and ‘an effort to besmirch Music Group’s hard-earned reputation.’

The Superior Court Of California apparently did not buy the company’s argument.

Instead, they agreed with Dave Smith Instruments argument that the lawsuit was a ‘strategic lawsuit against public participation’ (SLAPP) – a lawsuit intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense.

The Court ruled that “all of Music Group’s claims against it arise from activity protected by the anti-SLAPP statute, because all of the claims are based on statements that were made in a public forum on an issue of public interest.”

The legal proceedings continue, though, as Dave Smith Instruments tries to recover more than $100,000 it spent on legal fees in the case.

212 thoughts on “That Time Behringer Sued Dave Smith Instruments & 20 Gearslutz Users For A Quarter Of A Million Dollars

  1. Well that was pretty rotten to do. Bad enough to shamelessly steal but then to sue people for calling you on it is just pretty abysmal.

    1. I was fine with Behringer’s use of the public domain (making new versions of synths for which the patents have long since expired), but knocking off the exact way another company designed something like a cable tester is a shady way to do business, even if Morley didn’t have a patent and Behringer was legally in the clear.

      Suing people for forum posts about the similarity of your product to another, however, is quite simply over the line.

      1. I hope this stuff doesnt effect the company too much and that it doesnt slow down the testing and work on more new instruments and reissues alike. We’re all here to have fun and make shit happen not to troll each other. . . good luck to the company and its products that’s all i cans ay.

    2. Uli said a on facebook :

      “Why we have taken legal action against DSI

      Several people have asked us what the lawsuit against Dave Smith Synthesizer (DSI) was about. In the spirit of transparency I like to share the complaint which is now attached.

      Some time ago an employee of DSI had posted false and slanderous statements about our company on multiple forums. We put both the employee as well as DSI on notice and received a signed cease-and-desist letter from the employee where he assured us that he would refrain from such future comments. In the reply of DSI, the company also stated that it has instructed all employees to stop making any derogatory statements against us.
      Unfortunately and despite the signed declaration, the individual working for DSI chose to continue to make slanderous claims and hence we were forced to take legal action.

      It is important to understand that this is not a legal action against a mere individual but a representative of a competitor. Any such false and disparaging comments made by DSI’s employee are damaging and inappropriate in a highly competitive market such as ours. If the employee had stopped his actions as agreed, the case would have never been filed.

      We fundamentally believe in free speech and criticism as this is the only way for us to learn. However words do have consequences and those coming from competitors and the media can be very harmful. A litigation is always the last resort and we certainly do not enjoy action of this sort. However we will not allow competitors to step on our Tribe.

      Uli”

      1. That would be BS if he just sued one guy for expressing an opinion in a forum.

        But Uli doesn’t mention the other 20 people he sued that don’t work for DSI.

        Also, HE LOST THE LAWSUIT!

        Time to get over it Uli and stop trying to silence free speech!

    3. Behringer has been copying other companies since day one – it is how they got into business years ago copying more than one companies mixers. In fact amongst professional musicians it is and has been known as the place to get lower cost lower quality versions. If the courts uphold this – it is yet another anti-innovotion stance. As long as greed rules the world is not a nice place for people with insight, creativity, or inventiveness.

    1. Shouldn’t the question be “Why is Behringer trying to shut down public discussion about its products?”

      I’m guessing that the answer to your question, though, is that a DSI employee was one of the Gearslutz commenters, and Behringer sees DSI as one of its main competitors.

      So – if you work for Moog, ragnhild, we’re all screwed!

      1. Exactly, DSI has 15 employees, Behringer is a multinational corporation with around 3500 employees. So seeing DSI “as one of its main competitors” would be quite insane, but maybe that’s whats going on here.

          1. Companies don’t have a team of people soldering boards anymore. They’ll get board custom made for them, the chassis formed and printed, etc.

            I took a tour of the Moog factory a few years ago, and was surprised at how they churned out so many synths with what looked like a dozen or less people. Most of the staff did stuff unrelated to the actual building of synths.

          2. DSI subcontracts out to another local company for manufacturing, but DSI is only a little more than a dozen people. Oberheim is literally just Tom. I don’t think Moog even has more than 30 employees.

  2. Don’t copy and steal stuff if you don’t want people to call you out on it.

    I was mildly interested in the Neutron but not anymore. Too many synths already to support a company that acts like this.

  3. I’m a big fan of Uli but this is just plain strange to do. It doesn’t fit in with his good guy “get it to the public for cheap” image at all. Unless its just another clever ad campaign. negative to positive etc….no idea. Scratching my head on this one Uli mate….

    1. Admin: Personal attack deleted.

      Keep comments on topic and constructive.

      As noted previously – readers are encouraged to discuss/debate/criticize Behringer or any company’s products, decisions, statements, etc, but we will delete comments that are personal attacks or a person or group of people.

  4. This kind of legal nonsense goes on all the time and is nothing new, look at Apple and Samsung suing the hell out of each other on an almost daily basis, this is without even starting about Patent Trolls!

  5. I don’t want to buy products that pay for suing one of the best synths designers on the planet. Invention gains customers not a legal team.

  6. Dave Smith gave us MIDI .Ridiculous he is fighting any battle with a music group that involves his work.

      1. Do you have any links on DIMI that you claim Smith stole and renamed MIDI? I can’t find anything about this. I also don’t remember anything about this despite my being an electronic music pioneer myself, active for 40 years now. Thanks in advance for the links.

        1. Google Erkki Kurenniemi DIMI, if you don’t know it.

          This is just some very basic knowledge on synth history.

      2. DIMI has nothing to do with MIDI. It stands for “DIgital Musical Instrument” and was a series of one off synths, not an interface standard for interoperability.

    1. Yeah I’m now going to buy a Moog Model D in stead at over £3500 just to show Uli who’s boss! Lol, grow up.

  7. All no saints. Dave Smith made great synths but invented nothing himself. Making other faceplates with similar but more integrated technology than Moog/Buchla doesn’t make him greater than Behringer. DS best thing he did was his work on the MIDI-Standard. IMHO!

    1. Behringer products are a joke, and a not original one at that…They are like the oposite Midas, they get gold and they return crap.

    2. Next time try to express a comment relevant to the issue at hand. It’s s little harder to do, but you’re up to the task.

      If all Dave Smith did was create the Prophet 5 and MIDI and then retire, he’d have earned his place as one of the greats.

    3. ‘Dave Smith made great synths but invented nothing himself’. Nothing apart from a communication protocol that literally changed the face of electronic music entirely?

      1. Yeah – MIDI is a technology standard that’s lasted three decades and is used on billions of devices.

        I think he shares credit for inventing it with Roland, but it’s an invention that’s part of just about every piece of electronic music gear made, and built into literally several billion computers and phones.

      2. In all fairness, I’d argue that all Dave Smith did was to streamline an original idea by Raymond Scott, who was really the true inventor of MIDI.

    4. He was awarded the Heyser Memorial lecture and entered into audio engineering societies hall of fame in 2016.
      Only one person a year gets that honor and it is reserved for someone who has made a life long achievement within audio engineering.
      So I do believe he has got one or two original ideas throughout his career!

      http://www.aes.org/press/?ID=371

  8. there are two things: 1. the moralic aspect of copying other ideas and 2. the legal right to copy it. (because of ended patents etc.) behringer is acting at point 2.

    i think behringer is acting 100% legally.

    1. Except for the part where they tried to suppress public criticism of their products, and the judge thought their case was frivolous, and they’re going to have to pay Dave Smith for his legal fees.

      1. that has nothing to do with the above comment. People don’t seem to know how to segregate things, the suppression of criticism doesn’t have anything to do with the legal right to manufacture previously created instruments which has nothing to do with whether you think they should create them.

    2. It’s 100% legal for me to fart in the face of an old blind lady in a wheel chair passing out treats to homeless children.

      Stop with the “100%” legal nonsense. Though this article links to an actual court case it has nothing to do with law. It’s morality.

  9. Wow. Thats a new level of ridiculous. I was considering the neutron and the mini but not anymore. i can`t support this. this is not about music anymore

  10. OMG, never buying anything from those thieves and thugs. Instrument industry was always a bit strange to me in that companies allowed copying from each other (all those clones of 303, what B is doing etc.), but this is some next level bullshit. Unforgivable.

  11. Hahaha….

    It just keeps getting better….

    Keep them coming Uli…. eventually you’ll manage to bring YOURSELF down…. it’s great…

    The list of “never touching them with a barge pole” gets longer by the day

    1. Keep’em comming Uli…I guess Ty is wrong this time. Time will tell…? But we are plenty out here, that don’t take synths too serious and personal;-)

  12. They are getting more Bohringer by the minute.

    I guess you can copy and extend designs that fall in to the public domain.
    I guess you can sue any fart in the world.

    That is not what I’m interested in so i buy products from an other company so the good engineers at Bohringer can leave to work for a company with a more sane management/legal department.

  13. Admin: Personal attack deleted (name calling). Keep comments on topic and constructive.

    Note: Synthtopia encourages active debate discussions, as should be clear from the dozens of comments already on this post. But personal attacks or attacks against groups of people will be deleted when we see them.

    In other words – feel free to restate your comment so that it is a criticism of a Behringer action, statement, decision, product, etc., vs a personal attack.

    1. No thanks, you’re grand. I have no criticisms of Behringer or Music Group :p (I am hella confused about the moderation policy, shoulda screenshotted my comment, pretty sure there was no personal attack.) Even though having a comment deleted from synthtopiary has a certain cachet to it. I feel I can retire from commenting now.

  14. Wow, looks like Uli got to Synth Freaks or Facebook…. I posted this article and it was instantly taken down

  15. As far as I know the patents on all these ‘so called copies’ were expired. This is a capitalistic world. How many folks copied the designs of light bulb, paper clip, hair clip, radios, tv’s, houses, buildings, roads, and highways? I don’t agree with the suing on this issue, and suppressing criticism being done by Behringer, but by law he’s within his rights.

      1. @Torgood: Losing a lawsuit does not mean that a company is without rights. If this would be the case, then most of you could never ever use your iPhones, Androids etc. All the big companies have lost lawsuits and made agreements.

        It is impressive (in a negative way) to read the many comments by people with absolutely no insight in the matter.

        1. Tom

          Clearly you’re mistaken. They lost the case.

          The judge decided that Behringer was not within their rights to use a lawsuit to stifle criticism of their products and business practices.

          And Behringer will have to pay legal costs for making a frivolous case against Dave Smith.

          1. but of course the judge ruled out in the interests of the american company which DSI is. America first, remember? a lost case doesn’t mean anything. today they lost in this court, tomorrow they’ll win in another. or do you think their lawyers are so stupid they’d get involved if they didn’t think they were within their rights? think again. and stop believing in unbiased judges, this is more of an exception in life than a rule 😀

            1. pwm

              Are you suggesting that the judge was wrong, and that companies should sue people one mass for saying things they don’t like?

              Or that Behringer can’t handle being called a ‘copycat?

    1. It doesn’t matter if there are no patents protecting the instruments that Behringer has released and is planning to release. The Model D, Pro-One, 808 and 101 are inexpensive copies of classic instruments that were originally made by Moog, Sequential Circuits and Roland. That’s why people are excited about buying them.

      Suing forum users who call them copies (or less polite versions of that term) is an attempt to suppress criticism and free speech. Members of the general public should also be allowed to form and express opinions about the overall business strategy, whether that opinion is, “Oh, that’s wonderful!” or “Oh, that’s horrible!”

  16. Like millions I’m tired of the culture of hate spreading throughout the world on almost every issue. Seems no one can speak out without some one saying ‘hang’em’! Look how ATT, Amazon, Apple, Google are ravaging….

    I guess you’ll all say hang me to for my continuing to buy Behringer products…and for patronizing ATT, Google, and Apple.

  17. OK, this do look weired.
    BUT, on the other hand: if (conjectured) employees of a competiting company are filling a thread in a public forum with 20 posts bashing against their rival, this leaves a little taste too. At least, it could be called stupid.

  18. This is extremely bad publicity for Behringer and very poor form from a company CEO.
    As a result, I will certainly think twice before buying any of their products!!

    1. Rik MaxSpeed, since Behringer seems to be in the business of making prototypes that never see the light of day, there aren’t many real products to ignore.

  19. Sometimes companies work together on products beneficial to both….so what appears to be a copy is really collaboration or simple licensing agreement in SOME cases. Those companies also have no obligation to divulge any relationships between each other when it comes to licensing product designs. Maybe Behringer bought that design outright to help a industry peer possibly in financial trouble…? What do we know? Nothing actually. For all we know Uli may be paying chunks of revenue to others to produce many of their products. But…suing critics is a shitty thing to do.

    1. “Maybe Behringer bought that design outright to help a industry peer possibly in financial trouble…? What do we know? Nothing actually. For all we know Uli may be paying chunks of revenue to others to produce many of their products”

      Maybe – but in this case, Behringer literally sued Dave Smith, whose classic Pro-One Behringer is making a cheap clone of.

      I don’t think it’s reasonable at all to think that Behringer is secretly paying Dave Smith, or Moog, or Tom Oberheim, or Roland to ‘help a industry peer’. The company has a history of pushing the boundaries of moral and legal norms, until someone like Dave Smith or Roland can fight back.

    2. Behringer does not license design – they copy anything freely and use their lawyer power to get away with it (small companies can’t afford court battles). Some of their copies are in the clear legally though. Regarding the EBTECH cable tester in the article, here’s what an EBTECH representative (demodude) had to say about that:
      http://homerecording.com/bbs/equipment-forums/the-rack/behringer-again-48497/3/

      (I hope this comes through now on the 3rd attempt at posting – perhaps it was the URL format, which I’ve cleaned up now)

  20. Great way of completely undoing all of your marketing efforts to get us to take you all seriously post MIDAS and TC purchases Behringer… it was working briefly for me, as the X32 et at are great value for money – but subsequent experiences with your dismal customer support (e.g. no responses to questions I’ve posed on your own forum), partly undid that impression, and this is the cherry on top. /disappointed.

  21. On the face of it, this seems like odd behaviour, given Uli Behringers direct participation on social media and forums (Gearslutz in particular), where he can directly address issues like this (and ‘haters are always gonna hate’ anway, Behringer should definitely know this). However Behringer and Music Group are not stupid – they are very succesful businesses, so I hope this is not a sign of deeper commercial concerns.

  22. Admin: Personal attack deleted. (Mocking looks).

    Keep comments on topic and constructive.

    As noted elsewhere – it’s ok to criticize products, business practices, statements, opinions, etc, but if we see comments that attack individuals or groups of people, we will delete them.

  23. But they are copies… Meanwhile, I was giving Behringer the benefit of the doubt and taking Uli at his word when he was all: “passionate” about synthesizers. This kind of feels like middle finger to the industry and the synth community. They just lost my respect… It’s this kind of heartless, tone-deaf, capitalist cheap shot that erodes diversity in the market. Lame.

  24. I have no objections to clones of expired patents, but suing forum members for sharing their opinions is ridiculous & counterproductive .
    GearSlutz members were happy when UB appeared live & in person to participate in threads , it helped his reputation & I’m sure was / is a valuable free focus group for him to learn potential customers’ wishes in a new market for him , with not just bedroom newbies but long experienced experts & professionals is the synth field discussing the intricacies of synth history & new design .
    He was free to answer any hostility in the forums & seemed to do so well . Now he has undermined any respect by abusing the underlying principles of a public forum , that people are free to share their opinion .
    Threads are now being closed no sooner than started on GearSlutz , with all references to this courtcase & links to this article or CDM being deleted , as Gearslutz mods seem to have been instructed to allow no mention of the courtcase .
    UB has suceeded in his professed role as Chief Disruptor , he has dirupted freedom of speech on a major MT site & disrupted his own good reputation he had been building .
    I thank CDM & Synthtopia for publishing this story & regret Gearslutz deletion policy .

  25. I have a CT100 but it malfunctions if I jiggle the cord (any cord). I tried repairing it but I can’t get it to work.

    It’s one thing to point out similarities with the products they release. They could openly say “this is a clone of x”. But for them to claim something is their own design (if it isn’t) that would be a problem.

  26. Well… This “Behringer VS The rest of gear manufacturers of all sorts” goes on since the 90s. Just remember the Mackie 8bus vs MX8000 dispute. Probably the only winners are the lawyers. And Uli for selling s***load of gear! 😉

    1. I’ve always found the Neutron filter to sound ver much like the Dendrites and Nucleus filter modules I designed. Except that these can do a lot more. I’d say you could easily assemble something like thee Neutron in eurorack. Except not at that price point. Though perhaps it’s a matter of time before someone with genuine passion for synths designs something similar to thee neutron in open source license for the community. It’s not that hard, the building blocks all exist.

    1. The news of the lawsuit was shared and mentioned in several threads on GS, but they censor away things that don’t fit Behringer’s narrative of being a benevolent organization, pure as the driven snow. There’s no way they’ll stand up to B as long as his marketing threads generates clicks and postings.

  27. Admin: Personal attack deleted.

    Keep comments on topic and constructive.

    As noted elsewhere, our policy is not to stifle discussion or debate, but to keep it constructive and civil, so personal attacks on individuals or groups of people are not allowed.

  28. Admin: Personal attack deleted. (Name calling).

    Keep comments on topic and constructive.

    As noted elsewhere – it’s ok to criticize products, business practices, statements, opinions, etc, but if we see comments that attack individuals or groups of people, we will delete them.

  29. I´m genuinely believe it can be some Music Group insider willing to harm very badly Uli Behringer reputation…probably for some personal revenge reasons from one of the MG employers

  30. I have bought Behringer products in the past and I was definitely considering buying more in the future. Never again. Any company who engages in this kind of legal and economic bullying in not a company that I feel comfortable supporting.

  31. I just canceled my Neutron pre-order. Yes the Neutron is a design from Behringer, but I’m not OK with a company that drops SLAPP type law suits in our community. I am not OK with this ass trying to censor people’s opinions by law suit. Uli you copy other peoples designs, this is called a “knock off” in your own ego fueled mind you might be ok with being a bully, you might think you’re helping, but in truth you’re just a grafter..using cheap chinese labor and copied designs and your lawyers to bully your way to whatever you think success is.
    The truth is that Robert Moog, Dave Smith, Roger Linn, Tom Oberheim, Alan Pearlman, will all be remembered as innovators and Behringer will not, the Behringer legacy contributes little of meaning or value, because you came to enrich yourself at the expense of the community.
    The great thing about the industry right now is that there is choice, despite your efforts to thwart this Behringer. So while there’s choice, my choice is to stop spending my $$ with Behringer.

  32. Sorry Behringer, Did not buy, will not buy. Better come out with a good story, start to replace the legal dept and decision makers starting this lawsuit and do something to save brand image or what is left of it. Looks like something is pretty wrong in the organization.

  33. Behringer keep doing what you do well! Awesome products and it’s about time someone took the lead to make gear more affordable and accessible. Funny how the Moog Minimoog went out of production when the ‘D’ came along 😉

  34. This kind of behavior really upsets me, especially when it come to the arts. Im scared to even voice my opinion about the dubious behavior of berhinger.

  35. copying may be legal but IMHO from a company of that scale it is just bad taste. I respect small companies doing DIY clones as a tribute to the original, or big companies that create products on an ‘inspired by’ basis and with different aesthetic identity. but a big company doing mass production of this kind of product looking for profit for me is bad taste.

  36. I’m sure, that most of the angry commenters in this thread will or even already bought Behringer synth stuff.
    But, of course, they will never tell us about that )

  37. If you don’t approve of B’s actions show them by not spending your $$$ on their products – they will have to change their practices or they will cease to exist.

    Thank you DSI for stepping up – I am happy to own some of your synths and am glad that my money has in a small way contributed to helping you to be able to fight back against this corporate bullying.

    I’d recommend anyone who is curious about the corporate culture at B to check out B’s page at the glass door website.

    The term ” sociopath ” is used quite liberally to describe both the corperate culture at B and also the management style of the company’s CEO by many ex B employees….

    1. I agree. I was considering purchasing both the Behringer D & Neutron synths, but I will not give my money to a company that is doing what Behringer is now doing. I think it will be much wiser for Behringer to drop these bogus lawsuits, then lose a lot of customers over their inability to take any criticism.

  38. If this story proves to be true, then it’s perfectly disgusting. Appalling beyond words for us synths lovers.
    This move is so gross that I still have doubts regarding this information.
    It’s somehow hard to believe Uli B. could act that low.

    1. What do you mean “if”? There is a link to the publicly viewable court documents in the article. This is not speculation or opinion, it happened.

  39. All the alternatives even more expensive dont sound as good IMHO. The Manther sounds cool though…but its kinda a different animal.

  40. Shitty tactics? Yes. Will I still buy Behringer synths? Yes. I look foward to buying all the clones, as well as the Neutron. The only one I am not interested in is the Deep Mind. No one else is making affordable close to original clones……the Roland botique series is for the most part, a joke. I tried to find a semi modular analog synth I liked the sound of better than the Neutron….at any price point…..and couldnt. I really hope they make a polyphonic keyboard version sometime in the future. They may be rude and evil but they are helping out the poor people like me so I will continue to support, but then again I am a rude evil person myself.

    1. I dont care what they do as long they dont work with nestle… Nestle is a company who really did bad things to our world and to the people and their healthy… This is something we need to talk about not what company copies what synth… Sorry you all hating people here keep your hate for companys who really destroy our planet…

    2. Exactly. People just don’t get that the end game for ruthless capitalists like Uli is helping out the poor folk.

      Yeesh.

  41. Muzzling critics while trying to kick a smaller pioneer company like DSI out of the map is a disgusting move.
    Are people conscious enough to dare resist blind hyper consumerism created by capitalistic opportunism?
    I doubt it. Sales figures don’t lie.
    This message was provided by an ‘anonymous user’, using his freedom of speech.

    1. Sadly, too many people are entitled brats and “sell their souls” for cheap synths. E.g. on Gearslutz (biggest gear forum on the planet, who censor away Behringer criticism and let Behringer have free reign of their forum), the most ardent Behringer acolytes have literally renounced concepts like morality and ethics so that they can grab the clone synths for peanuts without any moral dilemmas. By all means, buy cheap synths, but maintain at least a modicum of ethical thinking…

  42. This just solidifies the fact that I will never buy a Behringer product again. If they wipe out their competitors who will the they copy then?

    1. Yeah, seems odd B- would spend all that time on Gearslutz changing perceptions only to do this? Bad decision from my vantage point..

  43. Was really interested in the Neutron but won’t buy. Will not be part of funding a company that behaves like this. Really hope DSi get their legal fees back.

  44. So, when you can not compare to legends and real Pioneers in the field of synthesizers, you are looking for ways to fight them. Shame on you Mr. Uli. There will surely be the opposite of what you want. The real value of Mr. Smith and all other pioneers will haunt you forever. You do not need any help to disgrace you succeeded by yourself with this attitude.I will never buy a Behringer product again.

  45. Almost at 100 comments. Lets keep it up guys! For sure most of the folks who said they wouldnt buy probably have pre-orders already. No shame, but ging forward we should have some standards. The gear at that cheap. When its free, he can sue whoever he wants.

  46. I’ve got nothing else to add. I just want to be the last one to comment. You know, get in the last word.

  47. Even that I generally support Uli, I think it is not very smart action. He should definitely to control his “sociopath” inside of him. He underestimated Americans who love their country and are very patriotic. DSI is famous local vendor who represents a lot of Made in USA great things. I think it will take a lot of time for B to recover from this.

  48. I can’t roll my eyes any harder at the level of drivel recently, in many areas. Adults are beginning to look like an endangered species. 100+ people are keen on a Behringer slag fest, while only 5 of us had any comment concerning the passing of one of Casio’s pillars, Mr. Kashio. I’m ready to put up a filter that discards anything that even mentions Behringer. The signal-to-noise ratio officially smells like a cross between dead seagull guts and a burning Jupiter-8 that was just doused in orange juice by a toddler. I don’t need this crap: I has Mellotron!

  49. I haz no idea who Mr. Kashio is. FYI, my uncle passed away a few weeks ago. But I agree about the Behringer noise. It’s seemed to have taken over Synthtopia with like 3-4 post on the actual gear that has been created, about 35 post on vaporware and about a million on Uli. Maybe it’ll tone down the garbage and stick to the gear and actual news. Not a personal attack, just an observation, don’t sue my comment.

  50. shot in the own foot … trying to shut up customers = less customers.

    I considered to get at least one of behringers synth replicas – copies – but with such company practice NO WAY!

    Am i sued now?

    (ps.: got one very old behringer mixer – still works.)

  51. A comment from Uli Behringer about these cases (from cdm):

    Chinese Media Case

    Allow me to first comment on the previous story related to the Chinese Media case.

    Let me start by saying that we don’t have any problem with people criticizing us. In fact we appreciate constructive criticism as that’s the only way to learn. What we have a problem with is when our employees are being called highly offensive and insulting names by media outlets. Unfortunately your article did not properly reflect the full content and background of the language used, which in the Chinese culture has a highly different sensitivity and legality.

    This was not only raised by our Chinese colleagues but also customers of this media site who felt compelled to contact us. Also publishing pictures of a cancer-fighting colleague in a hospital bed has caused deep concerns among our people.

    We sent the owner of the publishing site a Cease-and-Desist letter, but he was never sued as wrongly reported. We have since spoken with the publisher and they have promised to remove the offensive language and refrain from posting such slur in the future. We consider this case to be resolved and he also has standing invitation to visit us.

    Since our employee welfare and integrity has been severely questioned by this Chinese magazine and whose accusations have later been repeated by CDM and other publishers without fact checking, I like to post a link to a local job portal that may give you a different impression. We also invited you Peter (and everyone else) to visit us, both in Manchester and Zhongshan.

    DSI Case

    Some time ago an employee of DSI had posted incorrect and slanderous statements about our company on multiple forums. We put both the employee as well as DSI on notice and received a signed Cease-and-Desist letter from the employee where he assured us that he would refrain from such future comments. I have attached a copy of the undertaking of the employee to stop making such comments. In the reply of DSI, the company stated that it has instructed all employees to stop making any false or derogatory statements against us.

    It is important to understand that this is not a legal action against a mere individual but a representative of a competitor. Any such false and disparaging comments made by DSI’s employee, are damaging and inappropriate in a highly competitive market such as ours. Unfortunately and despite the signed declaration, the individual working for DSI chose to continue to make such claims and hence we were forced to take legal action. If the employee had stopped his actions as agreed, the case would have never been field. While I am not a lawyer, I can only assume that including 20 “John Does” is part of a standard legal procedure to include other potential individuals related to the company. For clarity purposes, this case has nothing to with any particular forum or individuals other than those related to DSI.

    I am a big believer in free speech and welcome any form of constructive criticism, as this is the only way for us to learn and improve. We also don’t mind any comments made or language used by individuals as this is a matter of personal choice.

    It becomes sensitive when incorrect or defamatory statements are made by competitors and the media. While there is free speech, words do have consequences and since we are all bound by the law, the rules should be applied equally to everyone.
    Once again, I understand that people have their opinions and preferences and I fully respect that. I also understand that some people don’t like me or our company, and chose not to buy our products which I respect, too.

    1. Credit where it’s due: That’s an excellent response from UB. Should be incorporated into the main article.

      1. Read it again.

        Behringer says “I am a big believer in free speech and welcome any form of constructive criticism!”

        Nice statement, but the reality is that Behringer sends threatening letters to media outlets that criticize the company.

        And when people in a public forum talk about Behringer products and some commenters criticize them, Behringer filed a lawsuit to censor them. That’s not my opinion – that’s what the judge decided when Behringer tried to sue Dave Smith.

        And when Behringer says that his factory is inspected and is safe – he’s not talking about the factory where workers walked out and protested, he’s talking about a completely different factory.

        And when Behringer says employees think the company’s a great place to work, he doesn’t mention that Glass Door site, where only 4% of his employees would recommend the company.

        Behringer is trying hard to put their spin on this, but you have to judge them by what they do, not what they say.

        1. “..that Behringer sends threatening letters to media outlets that criticize the company”
          They send Cease-and-Desist letters to people insulting the company or the employees. That’s not the same.

          “..Behringer products and some commenters criticize them, Behringer filed a lawsuit to censor them”
          Any proof of this? There would be hundreds of cases then….

          “about the factory where workers walked out and protested”
          Germany has labour strikes every year. Must be many bad companies there….

          1. WOK

            Maybe you missed the article?

            Because Behringers’ suing people for saying that their products are copies, and the judge ruled that Behringer can’t use lawsuits to censor people.

            1. Have you read Uli’s letter? Not ‘people’ but ‘people working for competitors’ and ‘media outlets’? Subtle difference, but essential. I don’t necessarily agree with Behringer’s move, but get your facts straight, please. ‘Censor people’…. such dramatic.

              1. Mike

                Don’t spread lies.

                Behringer used 20 anonymous Gearslutz users for criticizing the company’s products. He didn’t sue any media outlets, just threatened them.

                The judge shut them down because the lawsuit was designed to censor free speech, not to protect Behringer against slander. It is literally what the judge decided. The legal documents are public. Read them before you spread more lies.

                1. Indeed, about Mediafan you’re right, that was just a cease and desist letter. Even then, I think calling me a liar is a bit strong. You know what the principle of charity is in a discussion?

                  As for the other lawsuit, I’m not expert enough to read 150+ pages of legal documents, so if you could point me to the relevant pages, please do. But from what I understand (and I might be wrong), the judge only decided anti-SLAPP applied. Which meant the end of the court case. I’m curious to hear where you read literally that the judge decided that it was censorship of free speech. Or was that your interpretation?

                  1. Read up on what a SLAPP lawsuit is.

                    The judge decided that the Behringer lawsuit was intended to censor free speech and discussion, and that’s why it was thrown out.

                    You can’t sue people for calling your products ‘copycats’ – especially when Behringer himself has admitted that most of them are.

        2. I didn’t mean to totally defend Behringer, I don’t know enough about it. I just meant that it’s a masterful response.

        3. “Nice statement, but the reality is that Behringer sends threatening letters to media outlets that criticize the company.” Nope. You understand that ‘criticizing’ is something else than ‘falsely accusing’?

          “some commenters criticize them..” Nope. A commenter working for a competitor, and a couple of commenters from the same thread that might be working for the same company.

          As for your other arguments… help me please. Can you tell me how reputable Glass Door is? Or are you (like most I’ve asked this before) just quoting that site because it confirms your bias? And about the workers walking away… are you going to link me to that article on some vague Chinese news site (like most I’ve asked), or do you have something more substantial?

          “Behringer is trying hard to put their spin on this, but you have to judge them by what they do, not what they say.” Fair enough. But you don’t even seem to fully understand what they do.

    2. “since we are all bound by the law”

      Has he said anything since finding out the law he’s bound by is not what he imagined it to be?

  52. It seems the synth world could become very ethical maybe even political. What I play with means very much something to me. I don’t know how I would react if my favorite artist used their products.

  53. I was totally going to buy the UBXA and Pro One clones. Very hyped about them. Not anymore. Will save up for an OB6. This is really sad.

    1. Purchased your ‘original’ 3 OSC. Synthesizer – it’s alright, does the job but one thing you lack is heritage, innovation and magic – my money will go elsewhere and your synth on the 2nd hand market.

  54. Behringer is evil. I never buy or will ever buy any of their products. They are cheap imitations and hurt the industry. Stay away. By the way all those classic products they are ripping off? A lot of them are still around and not in a landfill like old Behringer products. There will never be a market for classic Behringer products.

  55. You all just got played by the biggest troll out there-synthhead. purposefully inflammatory posts to get hits is the oldest trick in the book. It’s like a cannibalistic troll who loves watching trolls devour each other.

    So many people swearing off behringer products. How about swearing off posting on articles of products you’ll never buy?

    I am going to try doing something more worthwhile-instead of reading what most certainly be the debate of ages, I am going to go play (and record) on my synths.

    tro lo looooooooo

  56. Everbody should burn his “D”. 🙂
    I think we see the usual Behringer bashing here. If there was bullshittery going on at GS and if an employee from Dave was involved, this can be called hard competition. Will DS synths get even more expensive after the “Real Donald” puts duties on everything coming from China? Is an OB-6 yet overpriced? I think so! Are there hard working people at DS as there are many at other synth companies? They always look so cool. California livestyle. Pacific, Tequila, extensive breaks…. Reminds me of Atari in the 80’s. 🙂 Both DS and B use social media to place viral marketing and maybe some at DS using GS got too far, i don’t know their comments, but please don’t sue each other. Make good synths! Beside that. The Prophet X should have been a classic sampler with analog interface. This 8DIO sample player thing was a bad decision. IMHO.

  57. DSI needs to get $100.000 back? Make something like a Tempest X, yes, synth, bigger sample selection, get a company that does drums well and mix it all together. $2500-$3000. (pretty please)

  58. Look at glassdoor for comments about Behringer. Because of that I’m not buying B stuff, but it is not easy since they bought TC Electronic. I was waiting for OBX nad other polysynths from B, but right now, I don’t know… what B doing looks unethical.

  59. I just canceled any modular Behringer plans i had.
    I ll just go for the pittsburgh or dreadbox stuff..

  60. oh man.
    ELI, please man, don’t do this. Drop this garbage asap.
    Why would you go after people posting on fucking forums?
    (and yeah, why not go after everyone on Synthtopia in that case?)

    DO NOT put ANY fucking pressure on DSI, or i will personally hunt you down
    and kick your teeth out.

    Having said all this, i should NOT support ANYTHING you do, but i have been
    a big supporter of your cause with remaking classic gear that the original companies
    should have done in the first place.
    I WILL be getting the 808 and the ‘D’, among other things.
    I was going to get the DeepMind 12,
    but now i’m going to get a Rev2, just to spite you for pulling this ridiculous and fucking rude shit!

    However, i DO understand that you MUST be sick of all the slagging off of your company.
    I have done my best to stick up for you, as i see what you’re doing is extremely important,
    and no different to many guitar manufacturers putting out newer version of SG’s/Les Pauls/Fenders/etc…

    But do not; i repeat, DO NOT do anything to cause any financial loss to DSI.

    I also know that i probably don’t know the full story of what has happened, but if what i’ve read here is true
    then i think you’re well aware that you’re out of line, but i get that you’re trying to protect your image which
    is only natural.
    Just don’t fuck with DSI or i will NEVER forgive you.

  61. I’ve go no respect for Behringher pulling this stunt, its indefensible and hypocritical as they do blatantly rip of other companies, but then everyone does it in business, so i’ll still buy there cut price shitty products cos thats where we are in 2018 and thats cos I havn’t got much money!! I really want a Prophet X but at £3300 its very very expensive …

  62. Uli said a on facebook :

    “Why we have taken legal action against DSI

    Several people have asked us what the lawsuit against Dave Smith Synthesizer (DSI) was about. In the spirit of transparency I like to share the complaint which is now attached.

    Some time ago an employee of DSI had posted false and slanderous statements about our company on multiple forums. We put both the employee as well as DSI on notice and received a signed cease-and-desist letter from the employee where he assured us that he would refrain from such future comments. In the reply of DSI, the company also stated that it has instructed all employees to stop making any derogatory statements against us.
    Unfortunately and despite the signed declaration, the individual working for DSI chose to continue to make slanderous claims and hence we were forced to take legal action.

    It is important to understand that this is not a legal action against a mere individual but a representative of a competitor. Any such false and disparaging comments made by DSI’s employee are damaging and inappropriate in a highly competitive market such as ours. If the employee had stopped his actions as agreed, the case would have never been filed.

    We fundamentally believe in free speech and criticism as this is the only way for us to learn. However words do have consequences and those coming from competitors and the media can be very harmful. A litigation is always the last resort and we certainly do not enjoy action of this sort. However we will not allow competitors to step on our Tribe.

    Uli”

    1. Actions speak louder than words.

      (And people, B- has been doing this stuff for a loooong time. This is nothing new. I’ve talked to people in the industry and this has been going on forever. 20 years ago it was blatant copies of Mackie mixers and there have been various examples year by year. I think the DeepMind represents some innovative thinking from the folks in England, but personally I cannot support this company.)

    2. >Some time ago an employee of DSI had posted false and slanderous statements etc etc….. received a signed cease-and-desist letter from the employee where he assured us that he would refrain from such future comments…….. all employees to stop making any derogatory statements against us …….despite the signed declaration, the individual working for DSI chose to continue to make slanderous claims and hence we were forced to take legal action.>

      I want to hear Dave Smith comment on this! Why the hell would anyone continue to comment on Bheringer on GS if the same person previously signed a case and desist letter? Ulis claims sounds fishy to say the least now that we know that the suit was thrown out of court. Besides i cant see any false and slanderous statements regarding comments of the Ebtech v.s C100 cable tester as an example of copying other manufacturers products.

  63. ULI, you lost me. For GOOD. Continue with your vision, make 1dollar copy synths, sell them to the monkeys. Or better, start making photocopiers. You might win a broader consumer base.

  64. AND YOU LOST THE ARGUMENT ULI. The judge didn’t buy it. Stop telling us why you went to court. We don’t care

  65. Dear Uli,

    Make us that Arp 2600 Clone and we will forgive you and you can go back to being our synth lord.

  66. Ugh. Can we stop using that creepy weird-ass photo of Uli with every post about Behringer. It makes me cringe.

  67. Uli is a smart tactician. He wants you guys talking about it. He knows broke musicians will continue using his gear, he knows all the gossip of court fees will keep smaller companies and critics away from slandering his stable company. I don’t like that he’s messing with companies that I like, but his reaction is an aggression to combat slander to his company. Of course people are going to down play him because he’s playing to the weaknesses of the masses, money and features and accessability to previously unattainable products.

    If I was in his situation I’d probably fight bank as well.

    I’m not crazy about cheaply made products. I’ll only buy well made products. The reputation of his company will have to be judged within 10 years if the gear he sold in the past didn’t work anymore… it’ll work itself out in the long run. That being said I’d still buy a behringer product if it suited me. But I don’t have super high standards for hardware, probably because A. I can’t afford it, and B. I mostly use software. Hardware is definetly fun to use though and helps me get creative. That’s what I’m interested in.

    1. Same here. I didn’t care about the business practices as they are legal and who doesn’t want to play with a knockoff…..oh wait i mean clone for $300 but I’m done. This is ridiculous. Uli If you read this and want to sue me I’d be glad for you to come talk in person but we all know your a huge…well lets just say Trump likes to grab things like you

      1. Are you saying that women are weak? How ordinary and insecure of you. Please synthtopia delete sexist garbage posts. I would guess racism isn’t accepted on here so why would hatred of women be ok?

  68. Dear Uli, Make a Jupiter 8, Jupiter 4, and Hatmann Neuron clone and ill forgive you…..oh and CS-80….and TR-808.

    1. Dear Uli, ignore all the haters here and there 🙂 They were never going to buy any of your products anyway, they all just pretend they were. Luckily, the market isn’t a reflection of the commenters of this blog, and the market will happily accept all your perfect clones in the price range you’re currently offering. Nobody in the right mind would buy a 3500$ moog now when there’s an exact replica out for 300$. Those who do though are just plain irrational (or stupid?) and trying to “moralize” the market. Market isn’t about being moral, it’s about being legal and supply vs demand. The same people that whine about those ‘immoral’ synths you sell are happily buying their ‘immoral’ cosmetic products based on animal cruelty, they eat their ‘immoral’ stakes and they smoke their ‘immoral’ cigarettes in public places, ‘immoral’ weed etc. etc. So just ignore those double-standard individuals and please get on with your business model, there’s another part of the market which is bigger and which is not commenting as actively simply because they couldn’t care less 😀

      1. Thee Boog is not at all an exact replica of a Minimoog. It’s a crummy little box that gets you close sound wise (a lot of boxes and plugins gets you close sound wise). The only exact replica of a model D is the reissue of the Model D. What you get when buying the Boog and the Moog is a as different as night and day – equating the Boog to the Moog is a fallacy and has to end::

        The Boog:
        http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2017/09/20/inside-the-behringer-d-analog-synthesizer/
        The Moog:
        http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2016/05/22/inside-the-new-minimoog-model-d/

      2. The Boog is not at all an exact replica of the Moog. It’s a crummy little box that gets you close sound wise (there are lots of boxes and plugins that gets you close sound wise). There is only one exact replica of the Minimoog and that’s the Minimoog reissue. Buying a Boog only gets you a tiny fraction of what a Minimoog is, namely a complete and glorious instrument and a cultural object with an extremely high quality construction and excellent ergonomics. The Moog is on a different level, nay, a different planet! The two are as different as night and day. The fallacy of equating the Boog with the Minimoog has to end.

        The Boog:
        http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2017/09/20/inside-the-behringer-d-analog-synthesizer/

        The Moog:
        http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2016/05/22/inside-the-new-minimoog-model-d/

      3. The Boog is not at all an exact replica of the Moog. It’s a crummy little box that gets you close sound wise (there are lots of boxes and plugins that gets you close sound wise). There is only one exact replica of the Minimoog and that’s the Minimoog reissue. Buying a Boog only gets you a tiny fraction of what a Minimoog is, namely a complete and glorious instrument and a cultural object with an extremely high quality construction and excellent ergonomics. The Moog is on a different level, nay, a different planet! The two are as different as night and day. The fallacy of equating the Boog with the Minimoog has to end.

        Look up these two Synthopia articles to see that they’re nothing alike:

        “Inside The Behringer D Analog Synthesizer”
        “Inside The New Minimoog Model D”

        (I tried to link to those articles, but the posting disappeared when inluding the URLs)

        1. @Admin: the postings with URLs didn’t appear until later and the one without URLs appeared immediately. Please delete the last two duplicate postings and this one if you want to clean up. Also feel free to explain the delayed appearance as well as non appearance of postings with URLs in them.

        2. exact replica soundwise. check the A/B and hear for yourself. and please do it as a blind test. the 3500$ isn’t worth its price compared to 300$ one, if only extra 50$ for the wood cheeks. period.

        3. also, you must be really delusional if you think that exact same electrical components behave and sound differently if they are put in a different case with a MOOG logo on it. 😉 speaking of vst’s versus a 300$ moog replica – have you ever done a proper a/b blind test? i have.

          1. No, I’m not delusional – On the contrary, I’m saying it’s close sound wise, just like a lot of other boxes and software that you’d not catch as non Moog sounding in an a/b test.

            The delusion lies in claiming that the Boog is an exact replica, when most aspects of the product aren’t even on the same planet. There are more sides to a “replica” of an instrument than just being close in sound; that part is easy when you have the schematics. In this case, it’s 18kg of materials, features, construction methods, quality, ergonomics etc.. Not to forget the subjective aspects of it – a musician will feel and react differently when having an actual Minimoog in front of them.

      4. Do you feel that Behringer, a large corporation was also attempting “moralize” the market by shutting down other smaller people’s free speech? To put it another way, if you think people not being ok with large corporations shutting down free speech is a way to “moralize” do you also feel that Behringer suing people is because they think it’s immoral to speak out against them, thus Behringer’s take on “moralizing” the market? I’m guessing you’ll be ok with the power of large corporation’s money until that impacts you directly. Like if you were one of the forum members being sued by a corporation. That has direct impacts on people’s lives.

  69. Streisand effect, textbook example right here kids.
    i was kinda planning to get all of the clones pretty much, but i seriously doubt i will ever get a behringer product, if the headline above is true.

    however, even in the clarification posted by uli b, nowhere has there been any mention of gearslutz randos.
    bad look but some fact checking would be nice to have.

    1. Ehhh, you’re sure about your textbook? Streisand effect means that by trying to censor something, it becomes wider known. Maybe you could tell me how that is the case here? The claim that Behringer copies other peoples’ designs is not exactly new.

      1. Mike – read before you comment next time!

        Behringer sued 20+ people to keep them from criticizing Behringer’s products.

        Behringer suggested that competitor’s were libeling him to have an excuse to censor people. There are other people with criticisms of Behringer!

        Freedom of speech > Behringer

        1. “…that competitor’s were libeling him to have an excuse to censor people”. You seem to have some inside knowledge of why Behringer do what they do. Or is it safe to conclude that it’s pure conjecture?

          Have you read Uli’s explanations? (scroll up a little) If not, please do and the see if you can repeat your statements. Or do you prefer to just hear one side of the story? Of course, you don’t have to believe Uli’s explanations, but if you just give one side credit, then you’re probably trying to bend the facts to your opinion.

          1. Uli’s explanations conveniently gloss over the crucial facts of the case. His writings are self-laudatory as always, designed to paint himself in a good light that is not consistent with the truth. I.e. it’s marketing material. Don’t be fooled by it.

            1. What makes you think I buy Uli’s words? He just told his side of the case, and I take that into account. I can read critically, no worries. I think his reasons for starting a lawsuit are clear, and I don’t think it has anything to do with censorship of free speech. Although I understand that somebody who has an axe to grind with Behringer can easily interpret it like that. I also think the judge made the right decision.

          2. Well the judge also heard the explanations. And guess what ? He ruled against them. Don’t be fooled by Ulis statements – they are mooted by the court already.

      2. lol cute. more like by trying to suppress something it comes under more (negative) scrutiny.
        i can conceed you the “textbook” word, i really dont care.
        but how about: your post ist a textbook example of absolute pedantry?

  70. Well, they’ve well and truly filled their own hole for me. For that I am now NEVER going to buy anything Behringer, even second hand, as that will encourage others to know there’s a second hand market for buying their gear. If you make products that are visually VERY similar looking to a competitor’s AND perform the same function, then can’t accept people remarking on that similarity, then in my mind you don’t deserve my money.

  71. I’m done with Behringer and several other close friends of mine are now done with Behringer because of this. And that is only my closest friends. I know plenty of other people who are now done as well. This is so creepy it makes my skin crawl. The people I know were going to literally buy upcoming instrument releases and now would never consider it. Also: Behringer Ripoffs, Behringer garbage, Behringer Copies, Behringer Steals.

  72. Well, more gear in less waiting time for me. See you at second hand market. Behringer GO GO GO! So much hate my beloved Uli, you must be doing something right! 🙂

    1. “I guarantee all the haters will eventually own a Behringer synthesizer”

      I cancelled my preorder. I’ve had enough crass commercialism to last several lifetimes. I’m sure this will be followed by several posts that read “Bwa-hahaha! Us trolls get more!”

      Good for you. Have fun.

    1. Do you think that any of the comments supporting Behringer censoring people come from actual musicians and not Behringer employees?

      Their comments sound more like PR than something a normal person would say.

      If any of the pro-Behringer commenters isn’t an employee, why do you want to support a company that wants to censor criticism? And don’t give us that “It was Dave Smith” line – everybody already knows that’s BS.

  73. This sound like a media stunt, but funny that most of the users in the comments above swallows it without any doubt.

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