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iFI iMixup, Amazon [Caution] & Avatar Acoustics [Great!]


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So after being incredibly surprised with the quality and general awesomeness of my new iFi nano iDSD, I decided to try iFi's iPhono as my next phono pre-amp upgrade. I used Amazon to take advantage of my Prime shipping, and placed an order from 3rd party seller "Avatar Acoustics" with 1-day shipping for an extra $3 or so...

 

When the package arrived, I immediately noticed they had sent me the wrong iFi - the iFi iDAC! I don't know if anyone's ever had a problem with Amazon, but the support part of their website is not very user friendly, but it seemed like the only way to get this resolved through them would be to file for a return, wait for it to get back to them, then finally get the correct product in another, what, 7 business days or so? I desperately needed to use a new phono for a reissue I am doing, so time was of the essence. Instead of using Amazon, I looked up Avatar Acoustics and contacted them directly.

 

I spoke to Darren around 6 PM via his listed cell phone, since this is when I found out about the wrong product, and he actually answered. He stated what I had already figured, that Amazon actually keeps some of Avatar's stock in their distribution warehouses, and that is where the mistake was made. I told him about my time issue, and he agreed to cross-ship the correct device to me, which we agreed on. We then started talking audiophile talk but his bluetooth died, so I waited to confirm everything until the next business day.

 

He seemed like a really nice guy, so I did what anyone would do these days and immediately looked up everything I could about Avatar Acoustics online; looks like Avatar makes appearances at trade shows and has some seriously legit gear and credentials. It's good to know that they treated a customer that is probably buying the cheapest product they sell (and I didn't even buy it directly through them) so well.

 

I've only put in a few hours on the pre-amp right now, but I'm impressed with iFi's packaging and presentation again. I wanted to mainly point out that you all may want to be careful if you're iFi shopping from Amazon, as that is honestly a pretty easy mistake for someone working 10 hour shifts in those warehouses could make, iFi iDSD/iDAC/iETC look quite the same! Instead, go right to Avatar, they were responsive via phone and email, and it's real people.

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I've bought several items from Avatar Acoustics over the years and highly recommend them. Darren and his wife are extremely helpful. I would definitely buy from them instead of Amazon or other re-sellers.

 

P.S. As an aviation enthusiast, I also think it is cool that Darren is an F-16 pilot.

Speakers: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen/URendu | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator Plus/Lampizator Golden Gate | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | Revel B112 subs  

Headphones: Lampizator Golden Atlantic/Holo Spring 3 KTE | Blue Circle Audio SBT pre|  Eddie Current Zana Deux Super | Hifiman HE-1000SE/Arya Stealth/Audeze LCD-4z

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The folks at Avatar Acoustics are good people.... I'll also mention that they are the USA distributor for iFi Audio gear (and AMR) and hence where USA iFi dealers (like me) get our iFi Audio product (and support) from. The iPhono is a sweet little piece. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

---------------

Rich Brkich

Owner, Signature Sound

Liverpool, New York USA

Website: http://www.sigsound.com

FaceBook Page: http://www.facebook.com/Signature.Sound.HiFi

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FWIW, some of the best customer service I've ever had (at least online) has been w/ Amazon. If you go to Customer Service and find the "Contact Us" link, you get the opportunity to request a phone call from them. I must have done this three times and it's never gone close to 60 seconds before the phone is ringing. In each case, my issue was resolved quickly and professionally. I wish everybody was this good.

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I second all the other positive comments about Avatar. I recently acquired a nano iDSD but wanted to make sure I got one with the current firmware. I got in touch with Avatar, and like the other posters, was rewarded with some of the best customer service I've ever experienced (not to mention a nice little DAC). They bent over backwards to be accommodating, all for a quite inexpensive piece of kit.

 

At my little company, we like to think we provide good customer service, but we could learn a thing or two from Avatar.

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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So after being incredibly surprised with the quality and general awesomeness of my new iFi nano iDSD, I decided to try iFi's iPhono as my next phono pre-amp upgrade. I used Amazon to take advantage of my Prime shipping, and placed an order from 3rd party seller "Avatar Acoustics" with 1-day shipping for an extra $3 or so...

 

When the package arrived, I immediately noticed they had sent me the wrong iFi - the iFi iDAC! I don't know if anyone's ever had a problem with Amazon, but the support part of their website is not very user friendly, but it seemed like the only way to get this resolved through them would be to file for a return, wait for it to get back to them, then finally get the correct product in another, what, 7 business days or so? I desperately needed to use a new phono for a reissue I am doing, so time was of the essence. Instead of using Amazon, I looked up Avatar Acoustics and contacted them directly.

 

I spoke to Darren around 6 PM via his listed cell phone, since this is when I found out about the wrong product, and he actually answered. He stated what I had already figured, that Amazon actually keeps some of Avatar's stock in their distribution warehouses, and that is where the mistake was made. I told him about my time issue, and he agreed to cross-ship the correct device to me, which we agreed on. We then started talking audiophile talk but his bluetooth died, so I waited to confirm everything until the next business day.

 

He seemed like a really nice guy, so I did what anyone would do these days and immediately looked up everything I could about Avatar Acoustics online; looks like Avatar makes appearances at trade shows and has some seriously legit gear and credentials. It's good to know that they treated a customer that is probably buying the cheapest product they sell (and I didn't even buy it directly through them) so well.

 

I've only put in a few hours on the pre-amp right now, but I'm impressed with iFi's packaging and presentation again. I wanted to mainly point out that you all may want to be careful if you're iFi shopping from Amazon, as that is honestly a pretty easy mistake for someone working 10 hour shifts in those warehouses could make, iFi iDSD/iDAC/iETC look quite the same! Instead, go right to Avatar, they were responsive via phone and email, and it's real people.

 

Bonnie and Darren are the BEST! Love those people.

 

When he has the time Darren can talk audio for hours. So engaging. Bonnie is a swetheart and they are sooo very efficient! I bought all my ifi gear from them and have sent all my pals to buy from them as well.

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The folks at Avatar Acoustics are good people.... I'll also mention that they are the USA distributor for iFi Audio gear (and AMR) and hence where USA iFi dealers (like me) get our iFi Audio product (and support) from. The iPhono is a sweet little piece. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

 

My pal bought 2 iPhonos…second one for insurance and to have it before iFi came to their senses and discovered that they underpriced them. LoL

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FWIW, some of the best customer service I've ever had (at least online) has been w/ Amazon. If you go to Customer Service and find the "Contact Us" link, you get the opportunity to request a phone call from them. I must have done this three times and it's never gone close to 60 seconds before the phone is ringing. In each case, my issue was resolved quickly and professionally. I wish everybody was this good.

Certainly I can echo this experience with amazon.co.uk.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I concur that Avatar Acoustics have always been of service when I ordered my iFi Audio components. I recommend them with no reserve.

 

As for Amazon, while I only order CDs, I lost a CD once, either through delivery or the seller closed his doors. I tried to contact the seller, to no aval. t was a cheap buy, so I let it go.

Alain

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