Behringer sued for $1 million by FCC

Behringer, the world's cheekiest music-gear company (previously here, here and here) have been threatened with a $1m fine from the American Federal Communications Commission for selling 100,304 'digital devices' which hadn't been tested and approved by the FCC. Story here, full complaint here, which contains a few interesting details: The BCR2000 hasn't sold well* (4,000 imported but only 1,000 sold), and their biggest non-approved seller* is the decidedly unglamorous DSP1124P Feedback Destroyer, which shifted over 11,000 units. If you've ever wondered why they don't just make a cool boutique analog synth for cheap, there's your answer. (Thanks, Anonymous)
*It's been pointed out that I may have totally misrepresented these figures, as they could have sold a million BCR2000s after applying the appropriate CE sticker. Ignore me.

Hmmm, so does this mean if there's any Behringer gear on your list you'd better buy it now??

Does anyone know if this will affect the sale of said devices??
Greg Mackie does the dance of joy!
Technically, those devices are not approved for resale in the USA. I'm not sure what this means to dealers and distributors "in the real world." It may be cause for a flood of dealer returns.

The FCC approval process used to be quite onerous, but one can "self declare" FCC approval with a label that says, "this Class A/B device complies with... etc." However, that declaration must be backed up with a test report from an approved RF lab. The cost is about $3000.
I'm surprised that the BCR2000 hasn't done well - I bought one and I love it.
yeah, it seems everyone i know and everyone they know has a bcr2000 or bcf2000
I do wonder who called in the hit on Behringer--surely it was a competitor.

Interestingly, there is no accusation that the products actually violated RF emissions standards--only that the products were not "certified". Typical anti-competitive government regulation.

Yay federal bureaucracy and corporate lawyers. Thank you for "protecting the consumer".
I wouldn't freak on the 1200 sold versus 5000 imported or so, I purchased a BCR2000 a week ago, and it had an FCC sticker as well as the Cert ID on it - so it's just marking the number of *unauthorized* devices sold. I bet that Bear-rink-er got most of their hot items out of the crosshairs by certifying them.
agreed - whatever you think of the quality of the other gear, the BC series of control surfaces are great. A little too great perhaps - i spend more time tweaking my setup than actually recording...
are any of the devices in question the Boss look alike $20 stompboxes?
can anyone explain me why my BCF2000 just won't work with Logic 7?
i can only control one track at a time and it screws the display big time as soon as i turn it on.i hate that thing.
It sucks that while I find Behringer deplorable as a company, my first thought on this is... "What?? I was going to buy that FCB1010!"

Truth of the matter is that they make some pretty cool gear at darn reasonable prices. A friend of mine has one of their "Eurorack" mixers, and it's a decent lil' board for half the price of the same from other companies.

I wish I could tell you about a cheap piece of kit that totally fell apart on me from them, but none of it has.

Behringer, why did you teach me to love you so when I have to pretend that I don't, you know.

Oh, and really is a Million bucks going to hurt Behringer's bottom line?? Hmmm.... Maybe... From Behringer's IPO in 2004... "Behringer said its unaudited FY2004 earnings were US$28.5 million" Less that 5% of yearly earnings.... More of a smack on the bottom that a slap on the wrist, but not a grounding.
The fine isn't what's going to hurt them, their inability to sell any product until they get things formatlly tested is.

I'm surprised they didn't just label everything under Part 15 though, which IIRC applies for any device which doesn't have its own built-in AC power supply (which is why so many cheap devices come with wallwarts, because then the wallwart is all that needs to be tested for FCC compliance). I could very well be wrong about that though, and I guess since it's intended to be used in a "professional" capacity the rules might be different anyway.
We've all had to "stoop" to Behringer equipment at one time or another, but the truth is- and well put in a previous comment - that none of the gear I ever bought ever crapped out on me (like Radio Shack stuff I got when I was much younger).

Of course, having something work and something work well is very different. I can imagine myself in a hospital bed with a massive brain tumor thinking, "Well, at least it had low self-noise..."
However, this might just be your brain tumor thinking, then. :)
Instead of stooping to Behringer which is known to make cheap knockoffs - why not look to Crate Audio or TAPCO?
Let's not be too hard on Behringer.

The build quality of their products is still better than some of the bigger name manufacturers and their prices can't be beat, which is good news for entry level musicians.

I bought an MX-602a in 2000 and it's still working just fine, which is more that I can say about some of the other more popular mixers I have owned.

Also, the low price of Behringer equipment just goes to show you how much of a markup most of the other manufacturers put on their gear, regardless of R&D costs.

If your main beef with Behringer is their "unoriginal" designs and shifty, if non-existant R&D dept., may I point out that even giants such as Roland/Boss haven't put out anything original in years, preferring instead to try and pull the wool over our eyes by naming rehashes of recent products after their older gear, and using fancy paint jobs to camouflage the embarassingly small number of knobs and sliders on their instruments.
In fact, Roland should probably strike some sort of deal with Behringer to include a BCR2000 with any MC-XXX product sold, which would make up for the lack of proper controls on Roland gear and possibly prevent further lawsuits over those Boss knock-off pedals.
I have a number of Behringer units in my rack. A composer, which after all while stopped lighting one channel's level meters, and the other channel has an intermittent jack socket.

I have three of the patchbays, where many connections are crapping out and more often than not I have to try and reach around the back to "wiggle" the connections to get them to come back.

And I have an Ultrafex that I never use, that to the best of my knowledge works ok.

If you have had good experiences with your Behringer gear, then cool. Maybe I'm just unlucky...
Let's face it - Behringer is the present state of the art in free market enterprise. Why create anything, when you can just take the existing best selling products over to China, copy them with you name on them, and then pay off any bumps in the way to the bank....
"Lookie here, Ma! I gots me some Reeeeverb! Aw, dang. My skin's flakin' off..."
Obviously, if any Behringer lawyers are reading, it is NOT the position of Music Thing Incorporated that using Behringer gear causes brain tumors or skin flaking...

No, it doesn't cause brain tumors or your skin to flake off - just a loss of innocence....and an urge to flip off anyone who sees our discomfort.
I spoke to our Behringer rep and asked him about it. He said that it was just that some of the unit put out "Too Much Radiation". I pointed out that that sounded really bad and even though the radiation we are talking about is more about interfereing with your cell phone than human damage. Still I don't think I could sell Fairchild Compressors for $150 if they had a "Emits High Amounts of Radiation" sticker on them. People just don't like their gear to kill them. Weird. But you can assured that all units now let out just the right amount of radiation and that Behringer was hit with a fine of $7k for each unathorized unit sold.
Er...I doubt very much that by "radiation" we are talking about ionizing radiation - the kind that damages living tissue. They are talking about radio emissions that are likely to interfere with surrounding equipment most likely.
Yea' well radiation or no radiation, the other guys', I mean Mackie and such companies better lower their pricing or else we Behringer folk are going to take over the world, in our radiated parched Earth from using Behringer products of course, like Zombies in a bad horror movie.
Like cheapo' consumers, consuming Behringer gear only, and like the ravaging cheap consumers that they are, they don't have good paying jobs to buy any other products so they are stuck with Behringer boo' hoo'.
Sticker price shocks them into being loyal consumers of cheap prices and cheap music gear.
Oh the horror of seeing Mackie products taken over by the Behringer group', the horror I tell you........
A Sad day indeed for Mackie and others. Lower your damn prices thank you and good night.
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