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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think its common knowledge by now that RF bought MBQ and was then sold to Maxxsonics which led to the MBQ name being downgraded in terms of a leader in sound quality for various reasons. personally, I think speaker that was mfg'd in Germany regardless of who owned them is/was still good quality until they moved production to china where build quality went downhill imo.

MBQ is no longer a name that people associate with SQ (unless its pre-Maxxsonics era gear), I hope to show some history as to what happened to MBQ and to some extent, what happened to car audio in general. I know some will already know or have direct experience, I'm just trying to enlighten those who have an interest.

Here's a translated article that very briefly touches on what happened. Source material is in the picture. Also, it's a review for a set of tower speakers made by GermanMaestro if you care to look at the product specs.

http://www.german-maestro.de/downloads/test_reports/stereoplay_9_09_linea_s_en.pdf

Second piece of information is from head-fi.org. Peter Grooff, headphones product mgr at MBQ from 04-08, provides his recollection of events from that timeframe.

Hi Y'all,

to put some things as straight as possible as the former Product & Sales Manager Headphones and Headsets at MB Quart (Jan 2004 - Mai 2008), this is what happened (I'm still working on a proper history on Wikipedia): in 2000 Rockford Fosgate bought MB Quart...mid September 2004, they literally left MB Quart for bankruptcy overnight. Mid September 2005, after one year in receivership, Maxxsonics USA, Inc. acquired MB Quart and established Maxxsonics GmbH. After 2 years (again mid September, meanwhile 2007), Maxxsonics GmbH was apparently bankrupted (I'm still checking on this, but it's hard to get exact info) and Maxxsonics took engineering and production to China. This ment, for the original MB Quart crew that they lost the brand name "MB Quart". Since October 2007, the brand name MB Quart is used for products made in China only, no NEW German Made products were developed under name MB Quart anymore... The future of the original MB Quart crew (including myself) was unsure month after month. After I accepted the Product Manager Headphones/Headsets/Headzone ProAudio job at beyerdynamic, the rest of the crew (approx. 30 employes were left over) joined forces, together with a German investor and purchased the assets of the German trustee. In May 2008 the original crew of MB Quart continued to produce, develop and engineer high quality German made products under the new name "German-Maestro Badenia" (G-MB).

It's strange....for a long time nobody really opened up and told the real story, at least the real story including all of the rumours etc.
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/german-maestro-really-mb-quart.409886/page-2

For those who don't know, MBHO (MBHO GmbH Mikrofonbau Haun - handmade microphones) is the company owned by the legendary Herbert Haun (one of the first engineers at the original "MB", founded in 1962). Herbert Haun came from beyerdynamic... MBHO still produces and engineers the MB microphones, including the original Jecklin Disc.[\quote]

excerpt from an Aug 2005 press release:
Due to continued losses at Rockford's MB Quart GmbH subsidiary in Germany, Rockford will discontinue the German operations of its subsidiary MB Quart GmbH. After considering several options, Rockford has decided to place MB Quart GmbH into receivership under German law. This action will eliminate approximately $750 thousand in operating loss per quarter and is expected to have a minimal cash impact. Rockford will continue to own and develop the MB Quart brand in North America. This will result in a reserve against its investment in the MB Quart German operations in the third quarter.
 

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In a weird way, Maxxonics helped a lot of old fans- by ruining the brand rep, Maxxsonics made it so the old Reference gear is really inexpensive to buy these days. Pennies on the dollar.

I used to work as a quart dealer during the late 80's early 90's, then I left the industry. When I left, Quart was the ONLY option if you were a serious autosound player. 20 some odd years later, I have come back to the hobby and there's a lot of changes- outsourcing, no more retail shops (Internet distribution), brand consolidation, etc. Unfortunately Quart got robbed of it's name.

However, I still use old MBQ simply because

1)- with the lack of good audio shops to demo gear I'm finding it extremely hard to take a chance by word of mouth. All the Quart I have is either NOS (a few Q pieces and Reference) or well worn used- it's cheap enough sucking a bad piece now and then doesn't hurt.

2)- I like the way they sound, and I have trained my ears to expect it.

I haven't yet found a reliable source for German Maestro yet, fortunately I have enough tested good MBQ that I'll likely die before I run out.

Here's to hoping someday, they come back.
 

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What I'd really like to know is why Mid-September RF left MBQ "for bankruptcy over night".

RF is smart, wealthy and thriving. They are a company that has changed with the times and understands market demands. I don't think they'd just drop a company for no reason.. There's more behind this then what's been said..
 

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Very interesting. Glad now, that I bought all those sets with the QM 100 mids with the titanium dust on the cones,and the silk/titanium 1" tweeters. Lol they sound even better in my living room than they did in my car..
 

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RF is smart, wealthy and thriving. They are a company that has changed with the times and understands market demands. I don't think they'd just drop a company for no reason.. There's more behind this then what's been said..
Speaking from experience as an M&A consultant, it is very difficult for an American company that is, relatively, small and inexperienced to own and run a German company. Germans have no interest in taking orders from Americans. They are "better, smarter, faster, more efficient, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc." and the parent company is "a burden to their German engineering perfection."

RF may have just wanted their IP.

Other than the 360.3, I have no interest in anything from RF today.
 

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Anyone need a single QWD130 unused, new with grille hit me up. I'll sell it cheap if anyone needs a spare.

I'm getting out of Q. If you're interested I'll send pics with my name all that, yada yada. PM me.
 
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Speaking from experience as an M&A consultant, it is very difficult for an American company that is, relatively, small and inexperienced to own and run a German company. Germans have no interest in taking orders from Americans. They are "better, smarter, faster, more efficient, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc." and the parent company is "a burden to their German engineering perfection."

RF may have just wanted their IP.

Other than the 360.3, I have no interest in anything from RF today.
Exactly. I used to work at Daimler / Freightliner as PMO Business Analyst , the people in Germany gave zero control to to the Mericans, and killed them off in upper management. Forget even asking what WE think- they put one of their own in charge there. This is FREIGHTLINER, an American company.

Pretty uncool work environment as a result.

OH and yes, traditionally in Europe, society puts the Business Owner as higher status- above the customer. The customer is just a peasant and obviously doesn't understand the product if there's something wrong. The owners take offense if the customer complains about the product.
 
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Speaking from experience as an M&A consultant, it is very difficult for an American company that is, relatively, small and inexperienced to own and run a German company. Germans have no interest in taking orders from Americans. They are "better, smarter, faster, more efficient, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc." and the parent company is "a burden to their German engineering perfection."

RF may have just wanted their IP.

Other than the 360.3, I have no interest in anything from RF today.
I think the brain of Germans is prewired to think that way. At least that's been my observation with my family between the full blooded Germans and German hybrids like myself.
 

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I have an MB Quart ONYX 4.60 amp that I picked up brand new in 2012. I've never installed... should I preemptively get rid of it, now that I know the quality went downhill???
 

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Sounds like almost the same story as...........

Eclipse
Alpine
Clarion
Infinity
Phoenix Gold
Cadence
Memphis
Xtant
Image Dynamics

I miss the stereo shop I used to manage. We had almost all those brands in their heyday plus DD, Crystal, Rainbow, Interfire (literally, they all caught on fire), etc... They all had a purpose and a price range/demographic that made them all viable products in the same ecosystem.

Then much like EVERYTHING ELSE I USE IN LIFE the NWO decided the WHOLE WORLD could have mediocre car audio with a massive profit margin instead if we just make it with slaves in China............ And if we whore it all out on the internet for $1 over dealer we won't even need car audio stores anymore....

"Why did RF buy it and bankrupt it overnight?"

Easy also. Same thing that happened with alot of home audio brands in '08 when things hit the skids. Buy your competition and eliminate them....



Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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It seems like Harman International practice to buy and shut down good manufacturers to put away competition.

I met with a few German Maestro speaker sets, but I got feeling that they are of lower quality than old Quarts were
 

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I think the brain of Germans is prewired to think that way. At least that's been my observation with my family between the full blooded Germans and German hybrids like myself.
Q: What would an Amp Topology look like that was German and American?
A: Das Fukt! :)
 

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Very Interesting Info. I worked installing car audio and selling mostly mid to higher end gear (Orion, Fosgate ,Canton, Pioneer) at retail from 1982 until 1990. Then became Product Manager and ran the National Installation Center for Pioneer Electronics of Canada for 6 years. Built their demo car fleet, ran the tech support and was part of the new product development team, incl IMPP subs, GMH amps and the ODR reference system. Funny how a redneck installer knew things about installing the engineers at head office didn't think of or comprende until you showed them, lol........ We surpassed Alpine as the largest car audio company in Canada in '92 when we hit over $30M in sales. Pioneer was the worldwide leader in (aftermarket)car audio sales and still a private company then. Despite the history of developing the world;s first dynamic loudspeaker in 1938, they were usually real good value for the money until you got into the top end stuff which had its own sound but wasn;t any better than the MB, Boston or some of the other specialty brands. Competing products like the ceramic/carbon dome tweeters T31 and the ODR stuff was eye wateringly expensive. I judged a ton of IASCA cars containing MB Quart and always really liked the warmth and detail. Can't comment on the amps, but the speakers were some of my favourites and certainly a target for our higher end product planning at Pioneer.

Like the OP, I have recently gotten back into car audio in a relatively serious way. Purchased three dozen different amps (mostly Orion HCCA and Fosgate) as well as piles of subs and components - mostly MB and Focal as well as some Alpine stuff. Just like newer digital amps offer a different experience (and I'm being gentle in my Germanic way), so too, new speakers seem to lack some of the nuances that were present in the early 90s reference level stuff. I'm guessing dollar value today is much higher for entry level products (maybe cause the OEM is no longer rancid dogshit, only crap now) but in my mind nothing comes close to the golden era of the early 90s when everyone was competing on performance, not cost. Low impedance bridging, and real sound Q with hardwired, phased and tuned passive crossovers, except for of course the subs. Still the way I design and install most of my systems.
Old skool, analog (except for a CD source) and half German, half Austrian.....don't ask for my opinion if you don' like the truth, lol. I lived in Germany Switzerland and Austria, have family there and certainly carry the DNA of Germanic self assured superiority......altho I am wrong on the rare occasion......

Thx for the history on what occurred between two of the prime brands of the most important era of our hobby. Installed and owned my first The Punch amp/booster in 1982........
 

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What speakers don't have the nuances? There is some really good stuff out there
The whole mishmash of new brands I've heard in various cars over the past few years. Not talking about $1200 Focal components but mostly mid ranged $$ Chinese made stuff. Not even close to the old MB or Boston that sold for $300/set.
 
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