Anyone else treated poorly by AVA?

Back at the end of December 2020, I placed an order with Frank at Audio by Van Alstine for a Vision SLR preamp. Heard so many good reviews about Frank and his products, I felt that was just what the doctor ordered for my system. At first I was told the custom building of my unit would take up to 3 weeks. Then, as nothing happened, I inquired and was told due to an unexpected high volume of orders, mine would take another 2 weeks. I then told Frank, please tell me if there are any further delays because not knowing is worse than getting bad news. Three weeks past, not a word from Frank. So, almost 2 months past the order date, I called him and he tells me they have a problem, the master technician who builds these units left for another state to care for his wife who got sick. I get that and I hope with all my heart she will be ok. But bottom line is Frank fed me multiple excuses for not performing while not communicating about any of it. It was completely inexcusable. He had my money for nearly two months and did not bother to keep me updated of what was going on. I could not ever recommend AVA to anyone and felt compelled to relate this on this site since I usually see only praise for Frank and I frankly felt the opposite. Worst audio purchasing experience in my 66 years.


Asked for the money and returned immediately. Now it's time for the punishment phase.

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I met Frank years ago and have purchased amplifiers from him. When I lived in Minnesota, I visited his shop in Burnsville, a Minneapolis suburb. He builds excellent equipment but, in my limited but direct experience with him, he can come off as crusty, highly opinionated and an acquired taste.

OPs problem though seems different. He needed communication but did not get it. Small outfit so it is not hard to see how something like this can fall between the cracks. I guess I would place more emphasis on how he responded to his shortcoming being pointed out to him than to the screw up of the initial mistake.

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