Interesting... if you read this page, they price their watts by the pound... WTF?
Bound for Sound # 9904, Page 4:
Confusion: Is it Odyssey or is it ODL ?
About two years ago an affordable line of electronics emerged from the corporate shadows of Symphonic Line (of Germany) - the Odyssey Design Group (ODG). The Odyssey line of electronics showed an amp that promised stunning performance coming from one of the premier design teams in audio, at real world prices. In Chicago last June, Klaus Bunge was showing the newest of the amplifiers to be sold, and we reported on it in our Stereophile HI-FI 99 show report.
Now it seems that Dr. James Martin II, a former officer of ODG, started his own company which he initially called Odyssey Design Labs (ODL). One problem, ODG owned the trademark for "Odyssey", so this second company started by Martin took the name "ODL" and left it at that. The question became, what would ODL make and sell? Since Martin was familiar with the products designed by Symphonic Line for ODG, the new ODL simply went to the builder of the ODG products and had a few built for themselves. So now, the second company is marketing and selling the amplifier that Symphonic Line developed for the original ODG.
It should be obvious that the original ODG is very upset about the copycat amp from ODL, so they are doing something about it. First, a desist letter from ODG's attorney has been sent to ODL, a first step prior to the initiation of legal action for trademark infringement, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, misappropriation o trade secrets, etc. Second, ODG has dropped the price of their products by almost 50 % by going direct. Hence, the Stratos stereo power amplifier now only costs $ 895, and the mono amps only $ 1,795. Mind you, the ODL and the much less ODG amps are exactly the same circuitry, made by the same manufacturer, but one costs much less than the other.
(This information was primarily derived from press releases sent to BFS by ODL, and the Odyssey Design Group. For more information, the companies can be contacted.)
Martin DeWulf from Bound for Sound has been forwarded all legal documentation prior to him publishing this very comprehensive report. Mr. DeWulf is an accomplished attorney himself, recognizing the legal details and the consequences of ODL's actions.
For months, Odyssey was holding back an official statement like this or the press release Mr. DeWulf referred to. However, unfortunately for us, the penalties for trying to be as discreet as possible about the situation with ODL., were mounting. Vicious rumors, misinformation, and confusion regarding our company and our products still exist, and we don't see any other way to set the record straight and to protect our livelihoods and track record of 12 years, than to release these statements.
The amplifier and preamplifier advertised and sold by ODL are unauthorized copies of our Symphonic Line designs. Again, neither Odyssey nor Symphonic Line authorized the sale of these designs as ODL products. These products currently bear the names ODL HT-2, HT-3, HT-5. The advertised multi-channel amplifiers also incorporate the same identical circuitry. Unfortunately, they are the exact same products as ours.
All legal situations aside, ODL still advertises and sells our products through their dealer network with the help of Bob Finch of Custom House. B. Finch is not only acting and profiting from ODL as a sales manager, but in addition, he is also a founding director of ODL's board of directors.
While ODL has been established just recently in March 1999, they've nevertheless established a dealer network based on the performance of the (our) products and a review of the amp (our amp) in Stereotimes. (see "Reviews"). If you've happened to audition the ODL products at a dealer, we'd like to invite you to compare them to the original Odyssey designs and purchase these products from us with confidence, considerable service and savings.
Lastly, all of us at Odyssey are truly saddened that we're forced to give these statements in public. However, due to the actions of ODL we have no other choice than to protect our interest, livelihood, and 12 years of hard work in this manner. We feel that you, the customer has the right to know where the products that you purchase come from. We certainly invite you to talk with us if you have any questions and to clear up any above mentioned misinformation. Furthermore, we don't want you to spend more than you should. The best value and price-performance ratio possible, this is after all why we started Odyssey.
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