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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Ultimate Control review thread (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magicbern
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Inner circle
Hong Kong, China
1217 Posts

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I recently purchased a Ultimate Control music control system from Brian Foshee - having had much success with his Happie Amp 2.0

There were some teething problems - similar to those mentioned above, and I was nearly on the verge of taking advantage of the 30-Day refund offer. However, I decided what could be better than going to the source - Brian himself? So at 10:30 pm in Hong Kong, I sent him 2 emails detailing the various problems I was having with this product. To my amazement, Brian sent a very detailed email with his solutions to my problems. Suffice it to say, ALL PROBLEMS were solved and I now look forward to a long and happy relationship with my UC!

In this day and age where we can find surly service and poor attitudes everywhere, it's refreshing to find that good old-fashioned professionalism and care for one's customers is alive and kicking - in the very person of Brian Foshee!

Here is the email of gratitude I sent Brian about half an hour later...

Hi Brian,

Received your email and I am in total AWE as to the speed and efficiency of your after-sales service! I've read about it on the Café, but never experienced it until now (not that I would want to as it implies a problem with your products!).

Thanks for all the detailed replies to each and every problem - and by following all your suggestions, every SINGLE problem was solved:

1/ The main problem contributing to the slow response (at setup) as well as the inability to read the playlist folders on my computer was the SD card! Once it was removed (using that double thumb release method - should be patented!), then those 2 problems cleared up! I think with that 4 gb internal storage, I don't need the sd card at the present!

2/ As for the minor gripes about the casing, mp3 formatting, pdf version of instructional manual - these are all inconsequential because as you said in a post on the Café, when you do a show, you just want the durability and reliabilty of a device like the UC.

Despite my seemingly negative comments, I want to reiterate that I believe strongly in all your products and this one integrates seamlessly with my Happie Amp 2.0. The sound quality is really clear - actually better than my iPod nano which tended to distort the music when turned to a higher volume. The colored screens for each song are vibrant and clear from a distance and the remote control is solid and very responsive to touch! Another plus factor is the fact that the display can be set to remain ON at all times - which is very necessary. As for the other features, such as fade in etc, I havent explored them yet, but I'm sure they will be superb.

Brian, thank you again for your prompt and highly professional service - you have put my mind at ease and I will be a customer of your products FOR LIFE!

Wishing you every success in this venture and I, for one, will be singing your praises and that of your products to all the magicians in Hong Kong.

Warmest regards,

Bernard


How many of you have similar stories to tell based on the excellent service and attention Brian places on his clientele? Truly awesome!
Kevinh5
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Regular user
108 Posts

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Brian is correct. I was using Windows XP when I tried to re-name files.

Because my computers are on a network, I've stuck with XP instead of Windows 7. For some reason, XP works better on networks.

Most won't have that problem.

I do have W-7 on my laptop, but don't have my music library stored there on I-tunes.
korttihai_82
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Inner circle
Finland
1775 Posts

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My first impressions review

I was little skeptical to buy this cos Happie Amp applifier looks like a toy (no offence). However since I am from Finland (Nokia for the win) and I dislike Apple sound cues wasn’t an option for me. Besides getting iphone or ipad are 300-500euros anyway so getting a software and remote would raise the price quite high as well. So after first reviews were in I decided to give Ultimate control a go. I am glad I did.

Even with slower priority mail I received the packet in little over a week. That’s great considering it was stuck few days at Finland’s custom. I had to pay little VAT for it but it was expected. Euro is still little stronger than dollar so in all together with customs and shipping the Ultimate control costed me around 380euros. That’s not even one gig.

Right from the packet I plugged the thing to computer to charge it. I don’t even think this was needed but I am used to do that with electronic devices. Transfering my songs to device were easy and setting it up was really easy with Youtube videos. I have to admit that it might have been harder if I had to do it with just manual that was included since manual was only text and no pictures. But Youtube videos covered that. Creating and altering playlists were also really easy to do. By watching the youtube video I was totally ready to go within 45minutes of opening the packet. I mean I had my songs added to device, play list created and the controller plugged to my sound system up and working.

The user interface of the player is easy to use. Making changes to playlists and creating new ones is easy. Altering sound levels of different tracks is also made really easy. Adding and deleting songs from playlist is easy and fast. But this doesn’t matter if the thing doesn’t work in performance.

The good thing is that it does work! For me the most important thing was to be able to switch tracks and music invisibly and have fade out in the end of the songs. Sometimes I work to 30 people, some nights up to 300 people. I simply cant adjust my song lengths when getting someone up on stage beforehand. With Ultimate control I don’t have to worry about it. I just press a button and song ends right when I want to. And it ends with a fade out. Press again and my next song is automatically playing. All this is invisible to spectators and looks 10 times more professional that my old method looked (hand held remote and pointing at the speaker).

A friend has mp3 tech that does the same things but costs 1100$ more. So at the moment I am really happy about my purchase. It does what it is supposed to do and what is important to me. The time will tell how it will work on shows and if it is made to last. I can highly recommend it to any working pro. You are not losing anything by trying it out. After all, if you are unhappy, you have 30 days to get your money back.

Its busiest time of the year for me right now. that's 3-5 shows a week for the next month so I have plenty of gigs to use ultimate control on the road and when the dust settles down before christmas I come back to report my findings Smile

Juha-Matti
Jim Sparx
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Inner circle
Far Out, Texas
1144 Posts

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After reading these reviews and responses from Happie Amp, I will purchase after Christmas. There is such a wealth of honesty in this thread from both owners and mfg., that Happie Amp might want to link this thread on their web site. It is refreshing to read a response from a mfg. that they are listening to their customers.
korttihai_82
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Inner circle
Finland
1775 Posts

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Had the unit now for little over month. During this time I have used it on 15 different gigs. I started with 9 tracks/sound effects and last weekend I finished with 16 tracks/sounds effects on my 35-40min stand-up set. Sometimes I used my own sound system where I plugged the ultimate control and sometimes I plugged it to larger house systems. Not single hickup, problem or anything like that. Every time it worked like charm. And this is great considering I got to plug it to many different types of sound systems and usually my sound check took like 3mins. That inlcuded plugging the player up, powering it up, selecting playlist for soundcheck and testing the volume.

My best investments in years. It really raised my show up to next level. Everything just is soo much more professional since I have total control of all my music in my belt and I can control it invisibly. Anyone performing any way seriously, and not owning Mp3 tech, mediastar or similar system should get this.

Just imagine...
- Having walk in music
- Having walk out music
- Having music every time you get someone on stage
- Having music every time someone gets off stage
- Having music play on background on certain pieces to create atmosphere
- Have music to kill dead time (writing predictions for cody Fishers confabulation for example)
- Do Shoe Business by Puck and Scott Alexander if you want to... Or any routine with voice over (paul Romhany has some good ones)
- Have fanfaires on few strong pieces to mark "TAD AH"
- Use music to create jokes (Ardan James, Jeff Hobson, David Kaplan all use it)

Cant imagine doing my show without it anymore Smile

Juha-Matti
SleepNow
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New user
57 Posts

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Wow Juha-Matti, that was the kind of review I like to read. You told us what you like about the unit and that you have had no problems with it. You mentioned two other products and you didn't put them down or complain about the other products.

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Like Spartacus, I might buy one of these early in 2013 and I like hearing from present users about their experiances.
Ken Dumm
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Inner circle
1195 Posts

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I have to report that the Ultimate Control is "working through walls". I've used it for a little over a month now, and it's working like a champ! I'm working the particular comedy club this weekend that I referenced earlier in the thread, (the green room with the audio connections is 50 feet away from the stage and of course behind walls. When I start the music, I'm actually even farther away, and behind yet another set of walls) Anyways, it's worked great for the shows so far. Thanks Brian for a great product!

Ken
bhappie
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B. Happie Entertainment, LLC
124 Posts

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Just wanted to chime in here- a couple things-
we have an extended range remote for a $50 upgrade that works at 200 feet inside your pocket without obstruction. I imagine 10 walls would not be an issue :o) so, if you are lost in a rat maze you can still start your show.

We have a toe switch. $179 that uses an extended range remote (that uses a extended range remote tucked in your sock)

We have a rent to own option. Check out with code rent2own and you will pay 10% of your order and your order ships right away. A total of a year of 10% payments each month and it is yours free and clear!

Thanks ya-all.
trickychris
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Loyal user
England
257 Posts

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Bumping for any recent updates our reviews?
Amazing Magic Co
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Inner circle
1682 Posts

Profile of Amazing Magic Co
Chris,

Three years later, I still happily use the UCC. I am using the extended remote but never had a problem with the prior remote. The unit has served me without fail time and time again as I use it regularly. My only criticism is that I experience a slight loss in total volume when connected to my PA vs. connecting my iPhone/iPod directly. I use this regularly on my MiPro MA-202, Fender PD-150 and Anchor Beacon. The controller easily Velcro's directly to PA making everything relatively self contained. I even used this flawlessly to control all of the processional music for my daughter's Wedding. Brian offers a service plan for a nominal fee which completely covers the UCC but I have never had to submit a claim. I have called in for technical support and was very pleased in how exhaustive they were in detail. I have absolutely no connection with this company other than being a customer.

Dan.
arthur stead
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Inner circle
When I played soccer, I hit
1790 Posts

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I'm also very satisfied with my Ultimate Control. Unlike other systems I have used in the past, it has never let me down. And I love the fact that you can pre-set volume levels for individual tracks. Another very useful feature is that, at the touch of a button (on the remote), a currently playing track will fade out, and the UC will automatically set itself up in pause mode, ready to play the next track! Those features have made controlling music easy and flawless in my shows.
Arthur Stead
royalty-free music and interactive routines
www.arthurstead.com
magicshowprod
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Regular user
Seattle, WA
109 Posts

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I just got my Ultimate Control a few days ago and successfully had it running in less than 15 minutes. And that included loading it with my music. So happy I never have to use ITunes again. Ugh! I was kind of skeptical and purchased it through their pay-per-month plan.

As soon as I opened it and played with it a bit I ran to the computer to buy the special warranty. Because I thought it would break? Nope! Because I never want to be without this device again! And for a few dollars a month I'm guaranteed that!

Top quality and much more than I expected. We will be using it for our costumed-character business also.

So impressed and happy we made this purchase!! I highly recommend it.
Don Shock
The Magical World of Don Shock
arthur stead
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Inner circle
When I played soccer, I hit
1790 Posts

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Congratulations, Don! You made a wise choice. I keep telling folks about the Ultimate Control's amazing reliability and features. Plus, Brian Foshee's extra warrantee and customer service is unparalleled in this business.
Arthur Stead
royalty-free music and interactive routines
www.arthurstead.com
Ken Dumm
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Inner circle
1195 Posts

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I love my UC. And, I love the toe switch. It has a "click" feel to it when it is depressed, so you know when you've hit the button with your toe. Sleight of foot at it's best! The remote is so small, I even use it when I have shorts on. It tucks nicely into my sock. Will not do a show without it.

Ken
KyleSW
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31 Posts

Profile of KyleSW
I got mine a week ago and so far my main impression is that for the money it costs a little more effort with its instructions might have gone a long way. The "manual" is unreadable for anyone over 40 and its online You Tube demo is not what I'd expect for a product that cost over £400. The You Tube demo is reminiscent of those kids unpacking magic tricks and has very little baring on Mac users. I'm sure I will eventually get to grips with it, but the reason I bought it was to make life easier. So far it has not come close to that.
Joey Evans
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Special user
Fort Myers, FL
534 Posts

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I had to laugh a little reading this. What kind of venues do people perform at that you need your sound system to be on the other side of a wall? I must be missing out on some sort of performance avenue.

That being said, I've never tried to go hide my UC and leave the room and use it. However, I did have one strange situation when, although my rider said otherwise, there was no audio input on the stage. So I had to stick my UC way back on the soundboard in the back of a 750 seat theater. The UC worked like a champ, from my pocket without any hiccups. Although I was sweating the whole time, it made me a believer that day.
The Visual Comedy and Magic of Joey Evans

http://www.Evansmagic.com/



The Impossible Has Never Been So Funny!
Investigative Mentalist
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Elite user
Seattle, WA
491 Posts

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I am looking to buy an Ultimate Control system (preferably with toe switch).

Sadly it is no longer available from the dealer.

If you are no longer using yours and wants to sell it, please PM me.

Thanks!

Steve
Investigative Mentalist
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Elite user
Seattle, WA
491 Posts

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Got one.

Thanks!
TDS
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New user
53 Posts

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Seattle Steve,

It looks like Ultimate Control is gone. The site says, "CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR NEW CUSTOMERS. ONLY AVAILABLE FOR WARRANTY REPLACEMENTS AND SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES." http://empowersound.com/ultimate-control......ice.html

If you're interested in a music player with more features and better visibility at a distance, you should consider Cue Command. Check out our video: http://www.deceptivelysimple.com/webpages/video_tour.html

Best always,

Team Deceptively Simple
www.DeceptivelySimple.com
arthur stead
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Inner circle
When I played soccer, I hit
1790 Posts

Profile of arthur stead
The Ultimate Control units are only temporarily unavailable because they are doing some re-designing. I would recommend waiting for the "new and improved" version.
Arthur Stead
royalty-free music and interactive routines
www.arthurstead.com
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