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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Calypte]
      #5962867 - 07/09/13 07:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:

BTW - it is comments like this that hurt Meade's sales, and put them in the death spiral.



Most astronomy enthusiasts I know never look at this forum.




To be honest I never looked at these forums until it was time to finally upgrade. I did the google search thing.

I found CN, and then I thought, cool, a hangout for astronomers globally!

Get some tech questions if I find a glitch.
Experiences from others.
How to stuff.
Questions on this video astronomy thing.
Hang with fellow astronomers.

My guess is most folks do this, especially when buying a new telescope.

Now?

I find a lot of discussions quite emotional (heck I am riled up!). Sometimes, not a fun place here. Some of the discussions have been good on this topic, and very informative. Others? Bullying at its finest, I reckon. Makes me feel like I need to protect the kid from bullying.

Astronomers here I find can be some mean people! Outside of a couple of topics, I am really staying out.

This is also why avoid some astro-clubs. Pretty snooty folks. Very inclusive. Some downright put folks off. BTW - I like this little club in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Nothing fancy, or epic. Just friendly folks who just want to enjoy astronomy (what a concept!). VERY inclusive to beginners and folks who do not want to own a telescope, but want to just enjoy the hobby without the expense. (WHAT? YOU DON'T HAVE AN AP MOUNT? Snort!).

Where was I?

Oh, yes many folks do not see this site. But shoppers likely do.

Do you google when you shop for some items? I do. My kids do. My friends do...

Edited by Cotts (07/10/13 09:02 AM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5962890 - 07/09/13 08:14 PM

Andrew,

I'll try another approach. Do you think if you called up Meade, right now, and said, "Hello, Meade, I want to buy all of your available usable stock today" they would say, "Woohoo! We're saved!" and $20 million worth of telescopes would be waiting in your driveway Friday evening?

You seem to think they are just a couple of sales away from being whole. The numbers say something very sadly different. This is well beyond a little magic thinking and the two Dutch admirals trick turning everything around.

I remember when the RCX first came out, and the idea of having a composite OTA (I did lots of composites work for the first half of my career so this resonates with me), electronic focusing built-in, and finally seemed to be set for the 21st century with features like USB support. Then there was the artice in S&T where the question, "Why are you calling something which clearly isn't a Ritchey Chretien a Ritchey Chretien?" came up, followed by one of the worst answers I ever heard- "We had to call it something. Maybe I should have named it after myself." The name was obviously aspirational. And then the units shipped weren't flawless like Takahashis, despite high prices. It was disappointing. I don't recall anyone gloating when the lawsuit came around. We all knew our supplier base was at war with itself over this. We weren't going to get electronic collimation and focusing. The dream scopes slipped away. Meade never seemed to recover from that. They went to Mexico, cut support for US made scopes, pulled Coronado out of the US as well, and went into a peculiar hunt for the next product as LX200s grew long in the tooth.

What was someone supposed to post to CN to make this OK? What was sales volume going to do, now? They tried to do mass market selling from Wal-Mart, to a customer base completely unfamiliar with CN, a staff completely unfamiliar with astronomy, and a no questions asked return policy. And as others have pointed out, those sales cost the company money. Other stumbles appeared. Then we got the trio of the LX80, LX800, and LX600, advertized long before they could ship. They had eyewatering specs. And yes, folks had become circumspect of a shop which seemed to be barely making it was going to suddenly put out dream machines. Then they shipped the LX800 and the LX80, and the skepticism was proved to be optimisitic as the systems proved to be far beyond teething problems.

The LX80 never got fixed. Are we supposed to post disinformation saying people should run out and buy them? I don't recall you saying you ordered one in the past 24 hours.

The LX800 got replaced with the LX850 rebuild. We never were able to get field reports everyone could understand and agree had viable data, so I'm not sure what to say about that. Something got done to the LX800 to make an LX850 out of it. Should anyone on the Mach1 GTO list cancel for an LX850? We'd need some data to back that up, wouldn't we?

What is it you think CN's members should be posting now that Meade is in the midst of either buy-out or bankruptcy, with a very uncertain path as to what would happen with any products sold in the past 6 months?

I keep hearing how you disagree with me. Well, your site says you're a mechanical engineer. Let's see what data you're looking at to reach different conclusions.

I'm all ears.

-Rich


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5962898 - 07/09/13 08:19 PM

The outdated one way street is alive and well here .



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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: gmartin02]
      #5962910 - 07/09/13 08:23 PM

Quote:

The comments on Cloudy Nights are not the cause of Meade's demise, but are a result of Meade's implosion.




To add another link in the chain:

The comments on Cloudy Nights are the result of Meade's implosion.

It is unfortunate that Meade finds itself essentially crippled and wounded. Not being a financial person, the numbers don't strike home, I am sure many of you can look at the numbers and see immediately the situation. It's not until this moment that it really sank in to me that Meade cannot continue as it has, it has been drained of it's life's blood, the once great Meade is no longer.

I was looking through an old Meade glossy catalog yesterday... those days are gone..

Hopefully the surgeons can bring Meade back to life.

Jon


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5962924 - 07/09/13 08:34 PM

Quote:

YES - Issues of the LX800, LX80 DID NOT HELP. This was VERY expensive to Meade in poor sales/no sales, repairs and of course poor PR.

BUT PLEASE DO NOT KID YOURSELF. CN and the web has a powerful influence on buying.




Let's summarize what happened with the LX800.

Meade shipped a new product at a premium price, far higher than typical for them. When users started receiving their equipment, it soon became clear that 100% of the shipped units did not work. In response to the problem, Meade recalled every single shipped unit. The first ones were returned to the customers many months later (the better part of a year, if I recall). They felt it necessary to discontinue the original product with no functional samples in the market and replace it with a new model number.

It would not surprise me if future business classes use this as an example of how a failed product launch can take down a company.

And you somehow feel that CN bares any responsibility for this disaster? If anything, CN should be hailed for every potential buyer that they saved from wandering into this mess.

Now lest you think that I am a Meade "hater", I would suggest that you search out posts I made when this ordeal started. I came out in defense of Meade and took the position that they would take care of their customers. I've also made it clear a number of times that I wish Meade success.

But to deflect blame for any of this anywhere but squarely back on Meade is bizarre.


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: WadeH237]
      #5962978 - 07/09/13 09:02 PM

Quote:

My guess is most folks do this, especially when buying a new telescope.



My guess is that most do not. I often have people tell me they've bought a new scope, but I can't recall a time when someone has said they consulted CN first.


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: WadeH237]
      #5963003 - 07/09/13 09:15 PM

Quote:

Quote:

YES - Issues of the LX800, LX80 DID NOT HELP. This was VERY expensive to Meade in poor sales/no sales, repairs and of course poor PR.

BUT PLEASE DO NOT KID YOURSELF. CN and the web has a powerful influence on buying.




Let's summarize what happened with the LX800.

Meade shipped a new product at a premium price, far higher than typical for them. When users started receiving their equipment, it soon became clear that 100% of the shipped units did not work. In response to the problem, Meade recalled every single shipped unit. The first ones were returned to the customers many months later (the better part of a year, if I recall). They felt it necessary to discontinue the original product with no functional samples in the market and replace it with a new model number.

It would not surprise me if future business classes use this as an example of how a failed product launch can take down a company.

And you somehow feel that CN bares any responsibility for this disaster? If anything, CN should be hailed for every potential buyer that they saved from wandering into this mess.

Now lest you think that I am a Meade "hater", I would suggest that you search out posts I made when this ordeal started. I came out in defense of Meade and took the position that they would take care of their customers. I've also made it clear a number of times that I wish Meade success.

But to deflect blame for any of this anywhere but squarely back on Meade is bizarre.





I think I am speaking in Latin...no one gets it.

I never, never, never said (pretty certain!) CN is responsible for the disaster.




And I am VERY certain I said the LX800/LX80 disaster spread like wild fire on the internet. And I think I said this was bad on Meade's part to release a product with problems and needed to realize the power of the internet.

What I find bizarre is my statements are being taken out of context. I see it in politics all the time, and I get it. Pretty darn certain I said all comments on the internet have influence, and bad ones can impact a company even if they have great products.

So I will make this real easy, because I am wasting my typing on this forum.

All of you are right. The internet has no influence.

CN has no influence.

Saying many times on CN and on a message board "Do not buy Meade" has no influence at all. In no way is it scaring off sales.

The power of the internet is over rated.

CN is meek.

I need to stop wasting my time reading blogs and get myself a newspaper to read.

I need to stop reading reviews of the Z25EQ. It won't influence my buying decision anyways. Why bother. Best I stick with the glossy ads.

Celestron must think all those comments on CN "Buy Celestron EdgeHD" is a complete and utter waste of storage on the internet. They must think the blogs talking about the AVX will have no influence at all.

Weird.

Absolutely weird....


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5963066 - 07/09/13 10:03 PM

Quote:

I never, never, never said (pretty certain!) CN is responsible for the disaster.




I don't dispute this...but you have said many times that the internet in general, and CN in particular, are responsible for Meade's financial troubles. In particular, I see this in posts 593162, 5931680, 5934746, 5946054, 5950206 and 5962573 on this thread.

This is the misplaced blame to which I refer.

I apologize if my quoting of your previous post did not make that clear. In retrospect, it seems it may look as if I suggested you said that CN was somehow responsible for the failed LX800 launch. In fact, I was addressing your earlier comments that CN was somehow responsible for Meade's present situation.

Sorry for the confusion,
-Wade


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5963071 - 07/09/13 10:06 PM

Andrew,

Internet reviews do influence purchasing decisions, no argument. The fact is the warnings against purchasing the "not ready for prime time" Meade equipment was justified. Those that had one and influenced others to purchase one have no credibility. The fact remains that the management of Meade is responsible for the downfall and not those that saved me from some poor buying decisions. My thanks to all on cloudynights that warned me away from some poor purchases.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5963116 - 07/09/13 10:27 PM

Quote:

I never, never, never said (pretty certain!) CN is responsible for the disaster.




So, just what did you mean when you wrote?:

"BTW - it is comments like this that hurt Meade's sales, and put them in the death spiral."

That certainly seems to clearly state that it is comments made here that resulted in a loss of sales and "put them in a death spiral."

Meade Death Spiral

Jon


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Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Stew57]
      #5963139 - 07/09/13 10:38 PM

While the Internet and all increases speed of information transmission such transmission occurred even before everyone was so connected. Believe it or not. Amateur astronomy has and remains an in-group and many people across the country knew one another and communicated regularly. Any hint of poor products traveled almost as far then.
If people are "Meade bashing" now there was a time before the Internet when a period of Celestron bashing occurred. It was the post-Halley era when Celestron International was parent-owned by a European consortium. I was observing with a couple of friends one of whom was a telescope vendor. The third fellow showed pictures he had taken with a Celestron Schmidt-camera and we all noted one corner of the field came to a different focus than the rest of the image. The vendor remarked Celestron's quality control was down the drain. I said, "Next time you talk to them tell them a proud owner of one of their products for 10 years said he was shocked at the lapse of quality control". He replied, "And they won't care".
While Celestron sales did not dry up it was during this time that Meade sales and ownership blossomed. I truly believe it was because those in the hobby, like me, were telling newbies "Right now I would buy Meade".
The next owners of Celestron greatly improved the quality control and they eventually came back. Now, a similar fate has come to Meade and we hope they will comeback. Too soon to tell.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5963162 - 07/09/13 10:51 PM

I think what you are missing is we get your point. We get it just fine- if someone knowingly suppresses information and seeds disinformation in its place, they can, at least temporarily, push popular perception to believe something other than reality.

What you don't seem to understand is the concept of integrity. The only reason CN has any influence is folks checking in here don't find propaganda in place of information. The manufacturers make plenty of hype of their own. Having a site filled with people aping it and inventing new spin is just BS, and everyone knows it. So we aren't real big on spending our time on CN with the purpose of lying to people about products.

If Celestron ships something with probs, they get called on it. And when it gets fixed, that gets reported too, so things work out.

Maybe you'd like to have your own business run where instead of fixing a product you would put out stories on the net saying all is well, and apparenty it would be even better if some schills would repeat the disinformtion. But I expect you don't, because hopefully you realize every shred of your credibility would be gone overnight, and nothing you said would get it back.

-Rich

Quote:


I think I am speaking in Latin...no one gets it.
[...]
What I find bizarre is my statements are being taken out of context. I see it in politics all the time, and I get it. Pretty darn certain I said all comments on the internet have influence, and bad ones can impact a company even if they have great products.

[...]

Celestron must think all those comments on CN "Buy Celestron EdgeHD" is a complete and utter waste of storage on the internet. They must think the blogs talking about the AVX will have no influence at all.






Edited by Starhawk (07/09/13 11:03 PM)


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5963206 - 07/09/13 11:14 PM

Bottom line here is this ;
If Meade wouldn't have dumped the LXD75 lineup , everything would be just roses .


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: starrancher]
      #5963218 - 07/09/13 11:24 PM

Not turning off a good thing until something truly better is available is a good start.

-Rich


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gmartin02
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5963224 - 07/09/13 11:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:



Example: Although I really like both of my Celestron mounts, I was REALLY UPSET with Celestron after buying the CGEM specifically for astrophotography and discovering the problem with Dec guiding. I ranted on the TeamCelestron forums and sent a threatening letter to Celestron management (along with others that did the same). Luckily, Celestron provided a firmware fix for this (still in Beta) that eliminates the problem, so I am happy with the mount and Celestron again (for now).



Greg




WOW,

You just proved my point. The power of the internet!

Q.E.D.




Which point? That the internet, Cloudy Nights in particular, is a powerful force that can put the largest astronomy products companies into death spirals?

We've been hearing for a long time, more and more the farther back you go, on these forums of the inferior quality of Chinese/Taiwanese optics compared to US, Japanese, or European manufactured optics.

Have so many negative posts on Cloudy Nights from the last 10 years caused Synta, Orion, or Guan Sheng to go into death spirals?

Quite the contrary - these companies continue to thrive and grow. Over the years they have slowly improved their quality and now offer decent products, much better than they were years ago.


For astronomy products companies that sell only "boutique" or "premium" products, such as Astro-Physics, TEC, Teeters, etc., these forums are very important to the companies success, because almost all of the prospective buyers are "enthusiasts", and this is probably the most visited site for amateur telescope enthusiasts.

For a company such as Meade, Celestron/Synta, or Orion, the overall effect of posts on an enthusiast web site such as this have relatively little effect, because most of their customers are not enthusiasts.

I have four business colleges that own telescopes. Two own 8" Meade SCTs, the other two own Celestron 8" SCTs, and none of the four have heard about Cloudy Nights forums. All four of them purchased their telescopes at brick and mortar stores at the recommendation of the salespersons in the store, and purchase their accessories at places like Orion, Amazon, or Adorama. If they read any review at all for accessories such as eyepieces, they read the buyer reviews on the sales web sites.

Meade did themselves in with a bad business model and too many mediocre or bad product releases over the last several years from the very top to the very bottom of their product line.

You can paint Meade's failures any color you want to make yourself feel better, but Cloudy Nights posts are not the reason for Meade's tailspin.

This is not to say that Meade only has bad products - they have had and continue to have good products as well (some of which I have owned or still own, as previously described).


By the way, I haven't seen Celestron go into a death spiral the last couple of years because of the CGEM dec cogging issue that I and others ranted about above - so how does that prove your point?


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rcdk
super member


Reged: 11/13/10

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5963227 - 07/09/13 11:27 PM

If I am reading the posts here correctly, Meade has revenues of $17 million while they were spending $20 million.

And this has gone on for years. That fairly screams that there is a management problem. They simply have been in denial for a very long time. You can't continually run in the red with no plan to get out besides underfunded "Hail Mary" passes. The RCX, LX800 and LX80 are probably more symptoms of a deeper problem than the actual problem that is killing the company. Botched product launches definitely hurt, but when you can't muster the willpower to balance the books, that trumps everything.

The other side of this is Coronado, LX90, LX200, the series 5000 eyepieces, and now the LX850, (possibly the LX600, the jury may still be out on that one) all great products, worthy of building a business around. I suspect that in more capable hands, these could be the basis for a successful addition to the JOC/ES business. Something will probably have to go, but I am pretty sure no one here knows what that will be yet.


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gmartin02
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5963241 - 07/09/13 11:35 PM

Quote:


I need to stop wasting my time reading blogs and get myself a newspaper to read.




Does this mean no more Meade fanboy posts? Really? But then where will I get my daily entertainment? (I am a cheap date).


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: gmartin02]
      #5963346 - 07/10/13 12:45 AM



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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5963409 - 07/10/13 01:36 AM

Quote:

I was looking through an old Meade glossy catalog yesterday... those days are gone..






"Those days" never existed except on the pages of those glossy catalogs. All show and no go.


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jimb1001
sage
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Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: Florida
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: gmartin02]
      #5963411 - 07/10/13 01:39 AM

Oh, those incompetent Meade executives!

Here they have a tiny little hobbyist company, designing complex systems for the mass market.

Competing with a Chinese conglomerate on one side and a handful of boutique manufacturers on the other.

Further, they are a publicly traded company, a holdover from the days when they and their other mass market competitor, Celestron were in the same boat.

What we need from the business savvy pundits on this site is a business plan that takes these conditions into account and comes up with profits!

What's happening with Meade was inevitable, given the circumstances and the drama is playing out according to the business case. Meade will be bought by some entity better able to go head to head with Synta or it will be bought by an entity who has a different customer base in mind.

This is why the internet is so much less influential than it was a few years ago. The loudest voices have an ax to grind and they seem to have all day to grind away in places like CN.

Even on the big review sites like CNET, every blogger has a narrow bias that has to be taken into account when reading reviews.

All the car mags have fallen into the same trap. Its hard to figure what editors today contribute because so much biased information gets printed as well reasoned and balanced it makes me wonder.


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