[TenTec] My First Ten-Tec - Marketing

Richards jruing at ameritech.net
Thu Jul 5 11:40:11 PDT 2012

I suspect Rick might, today, select word other than "intimidating" to 
make his point, and so would I, but I think get his drift.

The OMNI VII is my first transceiver of any kind.  Before getting my 
license, I was an SWL using SONY, and KENWOOD, receivers (among others) 
and if you think about it, KENWOOD and the other JA companies are BIG, 
with many retail vendors.  There is a certain security in that.  Buying 
from a small company, with no retail chain, in a frail, uncertain 
economy, which claims it makes more money making little metal boxes than 
it does building radios, just might seem a little less certain or secure 
than buying from a big company with a bigger established customer base, 
and an equally long history in the business.

Supposedly, the big JA companies have bigger labs, more R&D people and 
money, larger test pools, greater customer feedback, larger, more modern 
and better equipped factories, all benefiting from those "corporate 
economies of scale" that we study about in Economics 101, than a small 
plant in Tennessee.

So, yeah, I get the point, and I felt that sort of pull when I went 
shopping for my first transceiver - but I decided to take the chance, 
and bet the farm on just a few poignant factors:  1) competitive feature 
set,   2) company reputation for making good stuff,  3) company 
reputation for innovation - TT seems to have been first with some really 
cool technology - so maybe its engineers have a longer leash than 
competing monolithic leviathan-sized corporations,   4) reputation for 
super service after the sale,  and 5) the caliber of guys owning it.

This last point could cheese off some guys, but it is my unquantified 
subjective, gut feeling (i.e. WAG) that TenTec owners are often more 
technologically and technically inclined.  Now, I don't have any 
negative thoughts about appliance operators, there is room in ham radio 
for everybody - but it just seems like more TT guys are the type to open 
the hood, and tweak the engine, than JA rig owners.  It just "seems" 
like TenTec guys are more likely to try fixing their own radios than 
owners of other radios.  (Early Elecraft rigs are kits, so maybe they 
are this type of guy, also... I am thinking here more of the JA rig 
owners...)  I came to this observation slowly after reading a great many 
posts on this reflector - and meeting a lot of TT owners - the technical 
detail becomes apparent whenever somebody asks how to fix something.  I 
just have not observed the same sort of schematic-level understanding, 
and the same sort of done-that-been-there-fixed-it-myself, shared 
experience in groups dealing with other gear.

This is, of course, totally subjective and based on limited experience, 
but that is my take, and I am sticking to it.

So, while I was willing to accept the "risk" of dealing with a very 
small player in the business, I can understand why other guys might opt 
to buy form the bigger, supposedly more stable and better financed, 
larger entities in the business.

So far ... so good.   The gamble has paid off.

Anyway, that is MY take on what Rick might have intended to convey when 
he said "intimidating..."

(And I like Jim's notion of the value of being able to
get one's hands on somebody - in person - if something
goes awry !   Cannot do that with the big outfits...
certainly you cannot lay a guilt trip on them like
you can with a real person in the flesh.  )

-------------------- K8JHR  -------------------

On 7/5/2012 2:05 PM, Jim Lowman wrote:

> "Inditidating to buy direct" - I'm not so sure.  Obviously, if buying
> new from Ten-Tec or Elecraft, that's the only option.  But both
> companies go over and above for customer satisfaction, and I have
> no doubt that they will correct any problem that arises.
> Of course, there's always something to be said for getting one's
> hands around someone's throat if things go south.

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