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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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@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.

 

Well thought out I would say. The dryer we bought almost three years ago is still covered under the extended warranty from the credit card I used, but we expect it to service our needs for close to 10 years with perhaps, one repair. That is something Consumer Reports provides extremely good and useful information about. And the data is drawn from - consumers who reported their experiences. :)

 

The alternate is that Consumer Research thing, which charges manufactures for "good reports that people will trust" - in their own words. Gads...

 

-Paul

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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=Paul.Raulerson;357310 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)

-Paul

 

Well, it's my intention to see that I leave behind a sufficient amount of tubes, Paul :).. so that those including my wife and grandchildren who love the sound and engagement of my system will continue to do so. In the end, I think we all choose how we wish to hear music out of the times and culture from which we come. Mine began in vinyl... my grandchildren from the iPod. I am clear the each generation doesn't hear or experience music or sound, for that matter, the same way. So whether it be solid state, tubes... or five cans attached by a cord... where music lives for you is where it lives for 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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The alternate is that Consumer Research thing, which charges manufactures for "good reports that people will trust" - in their own words. Gads...

 

-Paul

 

No, I definitely can get that...

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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Ha! Now I get it Paul. You had to work on those damn wire wrap computers in the 80's. My apologies. Ugh...

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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This reminds me of a friend who was hard sold then harangued by Google for not wanting to pay $400/mth to be "Google approved" or what have you.

The alternate is that Consumer Research thing, which charges manufactures for "good reports that people will trust" - in their own words. Gads...

 

-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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I'm baffled to say the least, that any manufacturer can get away with measly 1 year warranty on any electrical equipment this day and age.

You get a minimum of 2 years warranty in the EU - by law.

 

All my Genelec equipment has 4 years warranty if you register it online.

They pay the shipping and repair without questioning the use of the equipment.

That's how the PRO's roll !!!

Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt2 ->
MacBook Pro M1 Pro -> Motu 8D -> AES/EBU ->
Main: Genelec 5 x 8260A + 2 x 8250 + 2 x 8330 + 7271A sub
Boat: Genelec 8010 + 5040 sub

Hifiman Sundara, Sennheiser PXC 550 II
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile”

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I'm baffled to say the least, that any manufacturer can get away with measly 1 year warranty on any electrical equipment this day and age.

You get a minimum of 2 years warranty in the EU - by law.

 

All my Genelec equipment has 4 years warranty if you register it online.

They pay the shipping and repair without questioning the use of the equipment.

That's how the PRO's roll !!!

 

In the US the emphasis on cost cutting often has a profound effect on things. Cutting corners on warranty is often one measure companies engage in. 90 Day warranty's are becoming not common. Or denying warranty service on some pretext.

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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In the US the emphasis on cost cutting often has a profound effect on things. Cutting corners on warranty is often one measure companies engage in. 90 Day warranty's are becoming not common. Or denying warranty service on some pretext.

 

I find that companies like Trustpilot makes it increasingly difficult to cheat consumers out of reasonable service and warranty.

Works great in my back yard.

Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt2 ->
MacBook Pro M1 Pro -> Motu 8D -> AES/EBU ->
Main: Genelec 5 x 8260A + 2 x 8250 + 2 x 8330 + 7271A sub
Boat: Genelec 8010 + 5040 sub

Hifiman Sundara, Sennheiser PXC 550 II
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile”

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I find that companies like Trustpilot makes it increasingly difficult to cheat consumers out of reasonable service and warranty.

Works great in my back yard.

 

Nice web site. This is very much like what Consumer Reports does here, except CR has been doing it for many decades. Just in case anyone doesn't realize it, I do support Consumer Reports, and think they do a very good job with very complex and difficult testing. They were, after all, correct about Bose! :)

 

-Paul

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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So what's the product make/model that failed here? If it was mentioned, I missed it.

 

It is not being mentioned intentionally. Please read my initial post. I'm not interested or intending - as one member said so appropriately - a "ratting out" session or holding a kangaroo court. I feel the issues and concerns around it are of larger importance to our community than my gripes or grievances at a particular manufacturer. Read the post through and I think you will get the drift of the direction. Thanks.

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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I'm baffled to say the least, that any manufacturer can get away with measly 1 year warranty on any electrical equipment this day and age.

You get a minimum of 2 years warranty in the EU - by law.

 

All my Genelec equipment has 4 years warranty if you register it online.

They pay the shipping and repair without questioning the use of the equipment.

That's how the PRO's roll !!!

 

Yes, absolutely. But, what's interesting - and what I am hoping this discussion might further - is that the product has been on the market for 3+years (I believe)... and this particular issue of a one-year warranty to my knowledge hasn't surfaced as an important concern to be addressed. And what it might indicate.

 

You have that limitation show up in a comparative written review of DACs... or openly voiced by enough potential buyers... you might see some changes. Maybe not.

 

But, it's not only about of warranty length or this particular manufacturer... it's having our down-the-line ownership concerns be known and prevalent in our auditioning and purchasing discussions. Our sonic and design conversations are very loud and clear... our ownership ones are way in the background most often.

 

BTW, you bring up an important fact: that the product must have a 2-year warranty in EU while only extending a one-year in that States. And, if length of warranty is an issue of law, I guess some companies will go for minimum liability and responsibility.

 

And Paul's post flushes that out even more.

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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It is not being mentioned intentionally. Please read my initial post. I'm not interested or intending - as one member said so appropriately - a "ratting out" session or holding a kangaroo court. I feel the issues and concerns around it are of larger importance to our community than my gripes or grievances at a particular manufacturer. Read the post through and I think you will get the drift of the direction. Thanks.

 

Well, your original post is extremely verbose. No offense, but in my opinion, unnecessarily so. The point seems to be that when buying something expensive, like a DAC in this case, that you should take into account other factors beyond sound. Like the manufacture quality and warranty. Again, no offense, but that's pretty obvious.

 

Your last paragraph talks all about community and sharing knowledge. The way I see it, you're doing us a disservice by not naming the make and model of the DAC. I don't think it is "ratting out" at all. Why do magazines like Consumer Reports exist? They're not ratting out anyone, they're giving solid (arguably) metrics on quality so people can make informed decisions. People pay for this and appreciate it. Criticism can be an impetus for change. Maybe this manufacturer will improve their product, but without some visibility, even in a forum like this, you're essentially letting them get away with making an unreliable product and perpetuating the behavior. Unless you just like writing huge posts for the sake of the attention.

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Well, your original post is extremely verbose. No offense, but in my opinion, unnecessarily so. The point seems to be that when buying something expensive, like a DAC in this case, that you should take into account other factors beyond sound. Like the manufacture quality and warranty. Again, no offense, but that's pretty obvious.

 

Your last paragraph talks all about community and sharing knowledge. The way I see it, you're doing us a disservice by not naming the make and model of the DAC. I don't think it is "ratting out" at all. Why do magazines like Consumer Reports exist? They're not ratting out anyone, they're giving solid (arguably) metrics on quality so people can make informed decisions. People pay for this and appreciate it. Criticism can be an impetus for change. Maybe this manufacturer will improve their product, but without some visibility, even in a forum like this, you're essentially letting them get away with making an unreliable product and perpetuating the behavior. Unless you just like writing huge posts for the sake of the attention.

 

Or he is being cautious. Not all that long ago, a member here posted about a vendor who told him to basically get effed. A great number of people here blamed the poster, when without question, it was the vendor who was out of line. (shrug)

 

The way Alex posted was classy, and probably appreciated by quite a few people.

 

Note that is this case, a very simple search on the system would probably "reveal" what equipment Alex is talking about, if you are really interested. It really sounds to me like more of a sevice center problem than an issue with the real company, but who knows?

 

There is also a member's only area of the forum where this kind of issue is discussed, with names. You might consider subscribing and checking out that area.

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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Well, your original post is extremely verbose. No offense, but in my opinion, unnecessarily so. The point seems to be that when buying something expensive, like a DAC in this case, that you should take into account other factors beyond sound. Like the manufacture quality and warranty. Again, no offense, but that's pretty obvious.

 

Your last paragraph talks all about community and sharing knowledge. The way I see it, you're doing us a disservice by not naming the make and model of the DAC. I don't think it is "ratting out" at all. Why do magazines like Consumer Reports exist? They're not ratting out anyone, they're giving solid (arguably) metrics on quality so people can make informed decisions. People pay for this and appreciate it. Criticism can be an impetus for change. Maybe this manufacturer will improve their product, but without some visibility, even in a forum like this, you're essentially letting them get away with making an unreliable product and perpetuating the behavior. Unless you just like writing huge posts for the sake of the attention.

 

I'm sorry you feel that way about the post. And, my response wasn't intended to be offensive to your inquiry. I just wanted to let you know that I had no intentions of naming names. Period. I didn't want the post to turn into a dishing session. I don't see any power or effectiveness in that. I have enormous respect for the designer, but not the way in which his company or his distributor have dealt with the situation. And, I thought there may be value in discussing some of the issues in which i myself had overlooked or not held as initially relevant. My experience doesn't mark the product as unreliable... just what I found to be a lack of responsibility and commitment to their product. And, I disagree... I don't think change will come from an individual situation... but from a more collective conversation as we've been discussing in post.

 

And, rhmmm,... look... we are members of the same community, we don't need to extend snide or caustic remarks to the other. And while you diplomatically couch your punches, it hards not to find them offensive. You may not agree with my reasoning, but please respect my right to them.

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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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.

Just a correction Panelhead ... Bryston warranties their amplifiers for 20 years; I believe that digital products only have a 5 year warranty. 5 year seams reasonable to me though ... especially anything over perhaps $1500 / £1000.

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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It occurred to me Paul that the OP's traditional socket wired Emotive Audio stuff is not what failed, but his circuit board based DAC with sockets on the PCB did.

 

And I am with Eloise once again. 5 years seems like a reasonable time frame for a properly designed. I cannot help but wonder if the EU required 2 yr warranty could not also be forced even though it was exported?

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

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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It occurred to me Paul that the OP's traditional socket wired Emotive Audio stuff is not what failed, but his circuit board based DAC with sockets on the PCB did.

 

And I am with Eloise once again. 5 years seems like a reasonable time frame for a properly designed. I cannot help but wonder if the EU required 2 yr warranty could not also be forced even though it was exported?

 

Yes, I would agree with you and Eloise here. Five years seems reasonable to me, and would be one of my purchase critera. The amount of snears that requirement can generate from some vendors is, all by itself, pretty awesome. ;)

 

On the other paw, it is true that really well designed equipment tends to either fail in the first six months, or run nearly forever. A two year warranty on most stuff is also reasonable. Again why I buy with a crecit card that doubles or adds a year onto the standard warranty, from vendors I do not absolutely trust.

 

Especially for expensive stuff!

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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Yes, I would agree with you and Eloise here. Five years seems reasonable to me, and would be one of my purchase critera. The amount of snears that requirement can generate from some vendors is, all by itself, pretty awesome. ;)

 

On the other paw, it is true that really well designed equipment tends to either fail in the first six months, or run nearly forever. A two year warranty on most stuff is also reasonable. Again why I buy with a crecit card that doubles or adds a year onto the standard warranty, from vendors I do not absolutely trust.

 

Especially for expensive stuff!

Listen I would have been grateful for two. :) But, not withstanding the length of warranty, what really surprised me was the lack of concern and responsibility towards a primary operational function failing in their product during the second year of use. Some sense of "this should have happened in our product!" Obviously, they felt that it was an acceptable length of time for that function to fail and hold the customer responsible for that failure. I don't understand that kind of thinking or decision. I expected them to step beyond that..

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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Listen I would have been grateful for two. :) But, not withstanding the length of warranty, what really surprised me was the lack of concern and responsibility towards a primary operational function failing in their product during the second year of use. Some sense of "this should have happened in our product!" Obviously, they felt that it was an acceptable length of time for that function to fail and hold the customer responsible for that failure. I don't understand that kind of thinking or decision. I expected them to step beyond that..

 

Yes, we all expect better from high end vendors, but then, the vendors get squeezed too and feel trapped. Part of that I think, is that they are overcharging for some of the equipment anyway, at least in some cases. And, in computer audio, the "state of the art" is a rapidly moving target! For example, DAC today, without DSD capability, is an immediate non-starter - for me.

 

That is certainly frustrating to vendors, and it leads to expectations of an 18-24month lifecycle for equipment. Vendors are pretty much depending upon people buying their latest and greatest every two years or so.

 

It becomes even more frustrating to the music loving audiophile, and certainly more costly!

 

To me, it isn't worth the high cost unless it comes with equally good warranties and service. Admittedly, I am a bit of a perfectionist, and like to spend my money wisely. A stupid or untrustworthy salesperson, or a dealer overly cautious about warranty and repair service, is an immediate "no go!" signal to me. YMMV of course...

 

-Paul

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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Yes, we all expect better from high end vendors, but then, the vendors get squeezed too and feel trapped. Part of that I think, is that they are overcharging for some of the equipment anyway, at least in some cases. And, in computer audio, the "state of the art" is a rapidly moving target! For example, DAC today, without DSD capability, is an immediate non-starter - for me.

 

That is certainly frustrating to vendors, and it leads to expectations of an 18-24month lifecycle for equipment. Vendors are pretty much depending upon people buying their latest and greatest every two years or so.

 

It becomes even more frustrating to the music loving audiophile, and certainly more costly!

 

To me, it isn't worth the high cost unless it comes with equally good warranties and service. Admittedly, I am a bit of a perfectionist, and like to spend my money wisely. A stupid or untrustworthy salesperson, or a dealer overly cautious about warranty and repair service, is an immediate "no go!" signal to me. YMMV of course...

 

-Paul

 

Yes, and if you extend that customer care, go that extra mile, be there for the client... it is more likely that the he will stay with you and the certainty that you offer him... and go the distance with you. It's just good business... unless you start to get a distorted sense of who you are in the industry ;)

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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