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After the Honeymoon Is Over – The “Down-The-Line” Issues We Might Miss in Our Equipment Purchases


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The high cost of a recent DAC repair has made me examine and re-evaluate several issues regarding equipment purchases – specifically, a warranty’s length, the cost of repairs when it expires, and knowing where a manufacturer will be in policy and practice if a fundamental function fails early on, but past the warranty period.

 

In my situation, had I not pushed for adjustment, I would have been looking at a repair cost equal to 25% of my original investment for a failure that occurred within two years of ownership – with the manufacturer’s warranty only being one year. But, even more disconcerting was the 60-Day warranty on the repair’s labor and part – the main circuit board. I was confounded by that – and quite concerned. What was my potential risk for another early failure? Nor did I want to find myself once again dependent on the manufacturer’s appointed repair shop, which I found irresponsive, difficult and condescending in their responses.

 

A manufacturer certainly has the right to determine the length of their warranty and the parameters of their responsibility beyond it. That’s not the concern here. The issue is separating out the appreciation for a component’s audio qualities when first auditioning and the potential shortcomings and liabilities that might prove problematic and disconcerting in one’s period of ownership.

 

Much of my concern, to which I never gave full consideration, is that I missed some important issues in my evaluation of the product, or felt them to be unimportant at the time of purchase. Issues that I thought would never come up or be problematic - but in my case certainly did.

 

For me it was a natural pull to focus on the sound qualities as well as the specs and features of the component – all pertinent to the initial discovery and evaluation of a new product. There is certainly no shortage of reviews and promotional material on those aspects. But, I for the most part ignored the post purchase concerns. I’ve heard little or no conversations in the exhibition rooms of shows; have not seen printed articles or critiques addressing the possible issues or potential problems that one might face in the ownership of a particular DAC.

That is, the length of warranty, the quality of service and support, the limitations in repair due to design. If a basic feature fails, can it be isolated and fixed, or will it require a whole new circuit board and the subsequent cost? And, doesn’t one need to consider whether the manufacturer is foreign based, and if so will the unit go back to the designer and his team for evaluation and repair or a designated third party? At the heart of all of this is: where is the manufacturer standing in terms of his long-term commitment to his product? What are his practices and policy should any primary feature fail far earlier than it should regardless of warranty?

 

When I initially shopped for my DAC, I did not fully consider or compare warranties. Why does one company offer only a year while others are giving two, three and beyond? What does the length of time a manufacturer is willing to stand behind his product say about that product? Is it the marketing rationale that most problems and failures will occur during the first year? Or, is it that it is only financially feasible for the manufacturer to carry it for a year, because after that, the potential for problems and cost would be too great a liability? In my recent research, one highly touted and respected DAC manufacturer and designer informed me that to date he has never charged for repairs if it was purchased from an authorized dealership. And, that he intended to continue to do so as long as it continued to be feasible.

 

These questions are obviously appropriate for every component. But, I believe they are particularly pertinent in regards to digital components. They are distinct within themselves: their designs, their circuit boards, their complexity, their tasks. A different species of animal, if you will. And so are the potential problems, which might occur.

 

I am not advocating unlimited warranty and responsibility. What I am advancing is that one needs to step back from the initial attraction and allure: to broaden their conversations and questions at fests, with dealerships and manufactures – in the auditioning process - to go a little further and flesh out questions and concerns related to ownership; to be aware of the liabilities and expenses that might occur; and to know where the manufacturer will stand in such matters. While the initial romance with a component can be sweet and compelling, subsequent repair issues, costs, the way in which customer care is given or not given, etc., can be disappointing and bitter.

 

I’ve learned a lesson. Next time I will not speak only to the quality of sound, the attributes, and features with the manufacturer or dealership ... but address my “down the line” concerns. I will be clearer about what I am walking into...

 

Let me not consider this component in the light that nothing will ever go wrong or be problematic – but it is to my best interest – to think it most likely will.

 

We don’t have – as far as I know – any resources or reviews for evaluating the short and/or long-term performance of a component, the quality of customer care, the manufacturer’s commitment towards his product; nor the frequency and cost of repairs. We don’t have a consumer’s report. For that we have only each other and our community upon which to rely. And what happens when the honeymoon is over? And thus, I hope my post is read and accepted in that light – of not taking a manufacturer or their product to task, which I have no interest in doing here – but to draw some insight out of it, which might be beneficial, and bring up some additional thoughts and conversations the next time we’re evaluating and in the market for a (digital) component.

 

And, perhaps, appropriate as some of us walk into the RMAF.

Alex

Always on the learning curve...


MBPro i5 > Audioquest Coffee USB > Emotive Audio Customized Valve Preamp > Emotive Audio Custom E-Linear 6L6GA Amp > Modified Custom Quad57s (Wayne Piquet)
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In the end, do you trust the manufacturer of that expensive piece of audio equipment you bought? A warranty is nothing more than a piece of paper. If a bad company wants to screw you over on a warranty it will, regardless of what's written. (You can sue, but for anything less than the price of a car it's very unlikely to be worth it.) But a good company will be expected to go above and beyond the letter of the warranty to make you whole. This is why it makes sense to go with small producers, where you can actually interact with the principals of the firm on a personal basis.

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A DAC should be very reliable. This is where modern manufacturing techniques pay off. Motherboard failures should be very rare. Bryston warrenties for 20 years. I think all dacs should come with a 5 year original owner warranty.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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Your statement is extremely well put as well as appreciated. When you ask if I trust the company from which I purchased this equipment... I would say that while I respect its product and consider it excellent within its price range... I find myself disappointed... and not trusting the way it has chosen to represent itself. And I would consider this company a small producer on the rise.

 

Well put Stereolab42.. and thank you

Alex

Always on the learning curve...


MBPro i5 > Audioquest Coffee USB > Emotive Audio Customized Valve Preamp > Emotive Audio Custom E-Linear 6L6GA Amp > Modified Custom Quad57s (Wayne Piquet)
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And I think we need to be more active in communicating to manufacturers what is acceptable to us and what isn't.

Alex

Always on the learning curve...


MBPro i5 > Audioquest Coffee USB > Emotive Audio Customized Valve Preamp > Emotive Audio Custom E-Linear 6L6GA Amp > Modified Custom Quad57s (Wayne Piquet)
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Yep, and don't forget that different technologies present quite different reliability expectations. A hand wired breadboarded design with new/old tubes from an artisan shop may sound delightful, but... It is going to be a real pain to fix. Possibly even to maintain. A mass manufactured solid state design with easily upgraded firmware? Much less concern. All present tradeoffs of course. :)

 

One thing I always do on artisian gear- I pay for it with a credit card that offers extended warranty, damage theft coverage, and sometimes, guaranteed return on products. Pisses off some folks, they want cash, but after a bad experience a few years ago, one that wound up costing me over $500 in wasted cash - almost $1000 in fact - well....

 

By the way, solid state gear is no guarantee of quality either. :)

 

Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Looks like we have two deeper issues worth investigating (and sharing knowledge):

 

1) Reputable well established companies that have poor customer support. You know, the kind of company you felt comfortable spending a lot of cash on and then were surprised to discover the poor support when you became a "problem customer". BTW - I think the key word here is surprised, we are all weary of shady deals and none of have high expectations for junk. It's the ones that surprised you, those are the one that make you stop and think.

 

2) Is this a real design flaw or is it merely an anomaly? I have seen companies make customers feel bad, and mad, about not supporting a repair when in fact it was because of a design flaw that they didn't want to go viral (hmm.. Looks like GM is up to their ears in that right now). I guess I can overlook an anomaly (though poor customer service is never acceptable) but having a known design flaw out on the market hoping they can ride it out is plain wrong.

 

it would be nice if we could somehow share some of this knowledge, but then I hate the thought of ratting out companies.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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Well put and very valid thoughts and points Alex.

 

And I think Jabs1542 very succinctly sums up the 2 major issues as I see them. The audio companies I want to do business with long term are cordial, responsive and care that the guy that spent the $, me, is kept happy if that is reasonably possible. When we shell $3500+ for a piece of digital equipment, use it as intended, we shouldn't have to expect that we may be paying 20-25% more within a couple years to keep it functional.

 

I think Jabs' 2nd point is very important. I know that I personally ditched a well respected and reviewed piece of digital equipment because of issues that I had, covered under warranty to the company's credit, because I was concerned about the potential for continued issues and I kept reading that others were incurring similar issues. To me, a non electronics expert, non engineer, etc, just a long time audio fool, those were signs that something wasn't quite right either in the design, implementation choices, or construction of the product. My suspicions were somewhat supported when I described my issues, on a blind basis as far as brand involved, to a well respected digital equipment pioneer and was advised that the problems should not be happening in a unit that was properly designed, etc with respect to internal grounding schemes--which would seem to me, the non expert, to be of paramount importance when dealing with computer like digital equipment with chips, logic boards, etc.

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My dealer stepped up to the plate when an electrical storm fried one of the boards in my Oppo - I just took it back to him with the receipt and he handled the warranty repair from there. This is one aspect of buying online that many dont factor in when they look at the sticker price - I guess it comes down to taking a calculated risk. My pet hate is dealing with someone from a call centre or 'help line', particularly when they have a script designed to weed out the intellectually impaired - most audiophiles are bright enough to know if the unit is plugged into the power socket .....

 

The other major issue for me is shipping - anything over 3-4kg that would need to be shipped back to the States or wherever simply isnt going to work for me here in Asia. In addition to the cost of shipping, Thai Customs are in no way predictable when it comes to the manner in which they levy duties and I doubt that a 'zero value' declaration would change that.

Just one more headphone and I know I can kick this nasty little habit !

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Looks like we have two deeper issues worth investigating (and sharing knowledge):

 

1) Reputable well established companies that have poor customer support. You know, the kind of company you felt comfortable spending a lot of cash on and then were surprised to discover the poor support when you became a "problem customer". BTW - I think the key word here is surprised, we are all weary of shady deals and none of have high expectations for junk. It's the ones that surprised you, those are the one that make you stop and think.

 

2) Is this a real design flaw or is it merely an anomaly? I have seen companies make customers feel bad, and mad, about not supporting a repair when in fact it was because of a design flaw that they didn't want to go viral (hmm.. Looks like GM is up to their ears in that right now). I guess I can overlook an anomaly (though poor customer service is never acceptable) but having a known design flaw out on the market hoping they can ride it out is plain wrong.

 

it would be nice if we could somehow share some of this knowledge, but then I hate the thought of ratting out companies.

 

It was very surprising... I didn’t expect or see this coming ... And equally disappointing in how it was handled... and where their priorities were in the matter. But, I have a hunch that things of this nature always take you by surprise. Otherwise, you would have had serious second thoughts about making the investment.

 

Let’s say it is an anomaly to give the benefit of the doubt. Even more reason to step out and handle it so it doesn’t generate a conversation, concern about the unit’s design - or a post in a forum.

 

Maybe we should have an Audiophile Consumers Report or our own AudioYelp.com rather than using a forum to air our grievances or “ratting them out”, which has always felt like a cheap or unfair shot to me... plus, it doesn’t really address the questions or concerns at hand. Might make one feel much better though ☺

 

But, it seems far more effective and powerful to generate this kind of discussion and conversation about these “down-the-line” issues and concerns which some or many of us - like myself – have overlooked, taken for granted in our evaluations and auditioning sessions. To give them more relevance in our initial conversations with manufacturer and/or dealerships. You raise your hand in an exhibition room and start speaking and questioning any number of these issues and concerns discussed here. I think it will become very clear very fast where the manufacturer stands in his practices, policies, long-term customer care, and business ethic. It will also make known what you are expecting and wanting in your ownership. An alternative to having to “ratting them out” or kangaroo court.☺

 

Who knows what would have happened if I and others had said, " No way! A year warranty isn't going to work for me."

 

If I wanted any result out of my post, it’s the kind of responses that both you and Audiocycle have contributed – to give the conversation resonance and scope beyond my circumstances – or who the good guys are and who aren’t.

Alex

Always on the learning curve...


MBPro i5 > Audioquest Coffee USB > Emotive Audio Customized Valve Preamp > Emotive Audio Custom E-Linear 6L6GA Amp > Modified Custom Quad57s (Wayne Piquet)
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Grace Designs m920.......great performance & features, 5 years transferrable warranty, US made, great service, solid company, accessible owners......

 

Done.

@boatheelmusic

 

I would really appreciate if responses would not take the post in another direction by listing, comparing, or endorsing manufacturers and product - even if well-intended. It's not fair or supportive to the post and its intent...

 

Like the title says: The “Down-The-Line” Issues We Might Miss in Our Equipment Purchases

Alex

Always on the learning curve...


MBPro i5 > Audioquest Coffee USB > Emotive Audio Customized Valve Preamp > Emotive Audio Custom E-Linear 6L6GA Amp > Modified Custom Quad57s (Wayne Piquet)
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Maybe we should have an Audiophile Consumers Report or our own AudioYelp.com rather than using a forum to air our grievances...

 

Or our good fortune - this looks like something AudioGon should add to their offerings.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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Or our good fortune - this looks like something AudioGon should add to their offerings.

 

I think it would give it more substance and credibility. Take it out of back alley conversation. Plus manufacturers who have gone out of their way... who spend hours uncompensated for their services and product care... would be rewarded with increased sales due to their established reputation. That what one is purchasing is not only a piece of hardware but a manufacturer's commitment to it.

Alex

Always on the learning curve...


MBPro i5 > Audioquest Coffee USB > Emotive Audio Customized Valve Preamp > Emotive Audio Custom E-Linear 6L6GA Amp > Modified Custom Quad57s (Wayne Piquet)
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@boatheelmusic

 

I would really appreciate if responses would not take the post in another direction by listing, comparing, or endorsing manufacturers and product - even if well-intended. It's not fair or supportive to the post and its intent...

 

Like the title says: The “Down-The-Line” Issues We Might Miss in Our Equipment Purchases

 

 

I 'm sorry for the diversion. Equally, I don't think anywhere on the site is a place for those who have problems of their own making as reported on other forums to disparage companies and other members here. "Fanboy", indeed.

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Actually Paul, I feel this displays your bias more than anything. Point to point wiring on simple tube circuits is often easier to repair than a tightly spaced circuit board or SMD items-easier to trouble shoot and easier to remove and replace the parts. Often they are more durable to short term mistakes as they can dissipate better through the leads. Really though, for any high end product there ought to be a pretty damn good (transferable) warranty. This proprietor ought to be disclosed once negotiations are over IMO. I had an issue with a Parasound JC1 that needed a new transformer (the most expensive part). They replaced and returned it to me for no charge. That is how it should be done. Some parts (like a transformer) should never fail. If it does, it is likely a defect and ought to be treated as thus.

Yep, and don't forget that different technologies present quite different reliability expectations. A hand wired breadboarded design with new/old tubes from an artisan shop may sound delightful, but... It is going to be a real pain to fix. Possibly even to maintain. A mass manufactured solid state design with easily upgraded firmware? Much less concern. All present tradeoffs of course. :)

 

One thing I always do on artisian gear- I pay for it with a credit card that offers extended warranty, damage theft coverage, and sometimes, guaranteed return on products. Pisses off some folks, they want cash, but after a bad experience a few years ago, one that wound up costing me over $500 in wasted cash - almost $1000 in fact - well....

 

By the way, solid state gear is no guarantee of quality either. :)

 

Paul

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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Or our good fortune - this looks like something AudioGon should add to their offerings.

 

Lord have mercy- the last thing we need is an organization purporting to be like Consumer Reports while really being driven by nothing more complex thsn to increase their own tidy profits. Comnents on a forum are much more appropriate. Especially here, where vendors can always post a response directly to the aggrevied consumer.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Actually Paul, I feel this displays your bias more than anything. Point to point wiring on simple tube circuits is often easier to repair than a tightly spaced circuit board or SMD items-easier to trouble shoot and easier to remove and replace the parts. Often they are more durable to short term mistakes as they can dissipate better through the leads. Really though, for any high end product there ought to be a pretty damn good (transferable) warranty. This proprietor ought to be disclosed once negotiations are over IMO. I had an issue with a Parasound JC1 that needed a new transformer (the most expensive part). They replaced and returned it to me for no charge. That is how it should be done. Some parts (like a transformer) should never fail. If it does, it is likely a defect and ought to be treated as thus.

 

Perhaps a little, but when I think electronics I think first of either avionics or computers, neither a place where you want anything but very precise and rugged designs. Seems true even in consumer electronics - do you see any high end television sets with tubes? :)

 

As for circuit boards - except for very simole units like power supplies, it it us often far easier, and usually cheaper to replace the entire component than troubleshoot it. (Except for fun of course...)

 

I agree with you about parts and warranties. One of those annoying failing units I mentioned before was an amplifier that was shipped to me, without the huge transformer in it being bolted down. You can imagine for yourself the damage that was wreaked by UPS shipping.

 

The cause! Very poor quality control. And that kind of poor quality control was repeated at a later date with the same company. When well built, their products sound glorious, and come with a very good warranty. The company just seems to feel that delivering carelessly built components to non-reviewers is okay. Obviously, this is also biasing my viewpoint a little.

 

Another small company I deal with for DACs, on the other hand, is so good with quality control, I would trust them with pretty much anything.

 

Yet another DAC company, who outsources production to China, seems to feel that for what the DAC costs, minor problems like blowing out a speaker with a full volume pop when changing sample rates is humorous, until forced to refund the purchase cost.

 

And the same company that Alex is talking about is behind some low cost products I absoluetly love and recommend to many folks. This is not a simple thing.

 

Vendors are going to tend to defend themselves with vigor, and with much justification. Consumers tend to feel a little guilty about being ripped off, partly because of the way vendkrs defend themselves, and partly because they feel abit stupid for getting ripped off in the first place. Dealers tend to either be super or suck, no in between.

 

So yeah, looking at the long term when you spend money as an investment in audio gear is important. Woukd invest your retirement savings unwisely or without careful thought? Or more accurately, without knowing very carefully the risk you were assuming?

 

Same thing with audio. Company, equipment, type of equipment, warranty, cost, reseller or dealer, their reputation, and other factors have to be thought of, as well as how goid a match it is for your system and how it sounds.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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This is not necessarily true with tube circuits- and yes there are no tube TVs that I am aware of. I understand your point but this is not about tubes vs SS, but about reliability and warranty. I'd take tubes mounted to a chassis over those mounted on a PCB FWIW. The same for many other parts in the "audiophile" world. Take Alex Crespi's caps with the nice leads. Is there any advantage to cutting them for a PCB when they can go direct? Good point to point wiring is an art, and the most direct path. If the structural details are dealt with, I see little reason they cannot be as or more durable. I am not saying to glue DIPs or caps to a chassis is a proper btw.

 

Now that we are on this topic however, what do you think is more likely to be repairable in twenty years? People scrounge for old transistors just as they do tubes. They can be even harder to source because they were never intended to be purchased by the general public. I imagine things will only get harder as devices become more and more integrated.

Perhaps a little, but when I think electronics I think first of either avionics or computers, neither a place where you want anything but very precise and rugged designs. Seems true even in consumer electronics - do you see any high end television sets with tubes? :)

 

As for circuit boards - except for very simole units like power supplies, it it us often far easier, and usually cheaper to replace the entire component than troubleshoot it. (Except for fun of course...)

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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And the same company that Alex is talking about is behind some low cost products I absoluetly love and recommend to many folks. This is not a simple thing.

 

Vendors are going to tend to defend themselves with vigor, and with much justification. Consumers tend to feel a little guilty about being ripped off, partly because of the way vendkrs defend themselves, and partly because they feel abit stupid for getting ripped off in the first place. Dealers tend to either be super or suck, no in between.

 

So yeah, looking at the long term when you spend money as an investment in audio gear is important. Woukd invest your retirement savings unwisely or without careful thought? Or more accurately, without knowing very carefully the risk you were assuming?

 

Same thing with audio. Company, equipment, type of equipment, warranty, cost, reseller or dealer, their reputation, and other factors have to be thought of, as well as how good a match it is for your system and how it sounds.

@Paul.Raulerson

 

And, thus have those concerns, those issues more prevalent, more outspoken in our conversations. I may be somewhat idealistic, but I think those kind of issues, concerns, and conversation filling the rooms at places like RMAF, CES... would catch notice of distributors and manufacturers - that their was this focus and concern regarding what one wanted and expected in their ownership.

 

I certainly don't advocate simulating the infrastructure of Consumer Reports, Paul :)... but there might be value in establishing a resource, a reference... to a manufacturer's performance. And that the evaluation was totally the outcome of the consumer's participation and experience in regards to service, warranties, and manufacturer's commitment to their product, etc. And the good guys, if you will, would have no concerns, because they are already operating that way... and in fact, can't conceive of any other way of conducting business. What would the absorption of my repair have actually cost my manufacturer? But, the priority was to be compensated... rather than a commitment to product and customer.

 

We all want to avoid these incidents.... of course, there is no full-proof way... But, there is certainly no scarcity of excellent product out there where the manufacturer bends over backwards, spends endless uncompensated hours to be sure the customer is satisfied... but, moreover that their product performs and services the way it should and the way they intended. That service, that commitment to them is part and parcel of the product itself. Some companies take great pride, immense value in their client relationships. Partly because that is who they are in their dedication and passion for their work... and partly because they are very aware of how small our community really is... and how fast good words travel... and how even faster the bad ones do.

 

And my personal issue and disappointment is not in my experience of the product - sometimes shit just happens... but in my down-the-line ownership. I've been doing this hobby actively for fourteen years, so I am not naive or resentful when a unit fails in some aspect. But when I am surprised and taken aback by a pricey (at least for me) repair bill for the failure of a fundamental operational feature within two years of use - and the repair shop's response? I should compare it to the failure of a household appliance out of warranty... a washing machine...a television. Would I complain then? Would I not be responsible for payment of repairs when it was out of warranty?... And why is this situation different? That I am being naive about it. I go "whoa" there is two different realities going on here. Washing machines, household appliances (like toasters and microwaves) compared in the same category as a supposedly high-end precision intended component? You're in the wrong conversation with the wrong person. In those cases, I step back... pour two fingers or more of my favorite vodka... and realize there has been an unfortunate, regretful, and sad mistake here. And, it's time to move on, but there is some value here besides a gripe, a grievance... an unfairness, at least, in the eyes of this consumer.

Alex

Always on the learning curve...


MBPro i5 > Audioquest Coffee USB > Emotive Audio Customized Valve Preamp > Emotive Audio Custom E-Linear 6L6GA Amp > Modified Custom Quad57s (Wayne Piquet)
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This is not necessarily true with tube circuits- and yes there are no tube TVs that I am aware of. I understand your point but this is not about tubes vs SS, but about reliability and warranty. I'd take tubes mounted to a chassis over those mounted on a PCB FWIW. The same for many other parts in the "audiophile" world. Take Alex Crespi's caps with the nice leads. Is there any advantage to cutting them for a PCB when they can go direct? Good point to point wiring is an art, and the most direct path. If the structural details are dealt with, I see little reason they cannot be as or more durable. I am not saying to glue DIPs or caps to a chassis is a proper btw.

 

Now that we are on this topic however, what do you think is more likely to be repairable in twenty years? People scrounge for old transistors just as they do tubes. They can be even harder to source because they were never intended to be purchased by the general public. I imagine things will only get harder as devices become more and more integrated.

 

Those are some very good and thoughtful points Forrest. Personally, I expect that tube electronics will either be not repairable, or fiendishly expensive to repair in 2034. I also expect that most of our integrated circuit devices will either be non-repairable or else still working perfectly. And I doubt I will be around to see it anyway... (grin)

 

In ay case, I view point to point wiring as in the same class as wire wrapping. A good technology that is not all the useful these days, but that is really just opinion, and I could be as wrong as rain in the desert.

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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