Audible Illusions M3B question


I month ago I decided to trade in my older AI Modulus 2 for a new M3B, sending in my money for a trade-in and have heard nothing since. My emails have gone without response, and phone calls to Jerry (described as service manager) are not answered and with no voice message ability--just rings. Needless to say, I am becoming worried that I've been scammed by these folks. Has anyone encountered similar issues? Any suggestions?
aquaticdoc
Try using someon else’s phone between 10:00-11:30 am EST. He’s a master at call screening.

Didn't you do a search regarding their service issues?
I just mentioned this in a post a week or so ago, have had 3 Audible Illusion Modules preamps going back 26 years, Modulas, Modulas 3A and a Modulas 3B. Sent in my 10 year old 3A for some repairs and was offered the trade in for the 3B that was just getting ready to be introduced and went for it, New preamp arrived 16 months later, I called every week to hear Al say just waiting on the fets for the JC phone stage and they should be here shortly, needless to say I love the preamps but since I was getting ready to retire really did not want the future frustration of dealing with them again and moved on to a Lamm LL2.1 Deluxe/Allnic H1500 SE ll phono combo that cost almost 4 times more. Sorry to hear that things have not changed much.
AI is not a scam company, but I believe it is something like a 3 person operation.  I have had all 3 Modulus preamps, Modulus 3, Modulus 3A and Modulus 3B.  I got tired of the stepped volume controls where I couldn't find a comfortable setting.  They are extremely slow to respond, think snails pace.  If you are in a hurry, I would look elsewhere.
tooblue,
You are probably very happy with your Lamm. They sound great, and Vladimir is very responsive.Great service. There are too many companies that are run the right way today, making good products to put up with that nonsense. I would ask for my money to be returned. 
Did manage to speak with Jerry this morning, and he retrieved all of my information quickly and accurately. He said that it should "not be long now." Did not give specifics as to what precisely that meant, and I believe it is as stereo5 said, that it is probably a 3 person company, but the price of something equivalent in quality is a multiple and I'm not in a hurry so I'll hang for the moment.
I called AI on Dec 18 2017 to get new tubes for my M3A. Jerry told me they were running a special price on trade in for a new M3B. I was aware of this program and decided to take the plunge. They billed my credit card that day. I have called and talked to Jerry several times. It's always the same. He looks up my info and tells me it won't be long now, just a few ahead of me. In March he told me I was about ten days out. So it's going on six months now. I will probably call again later today. If I had known it was going to take this long I would have gone a different way. It really burns me that they charged my credit card five and a half months ago and I still have nothing to show for it. I just wish they would be up front about how long it is going to take to get the new one in my hands.
Sorry to have yet another living in my world. Same response, same frustration. It would be useful to know if anyone has actually gotten their promised M3B unit in the last year. 
You should bail before it turns into six months just as it did with so many others. 
Keep in mind those lame assed duel stepped attenuators. 
"Keep in mind those lame assed duel stepped attenuators. "

Not to mention the unnecessarily high gain. Unless that's finally been addressed.
slow to respond? check.
lame ass stepped attenuators? check.
Unnecessary high gain? check.
You all forgot about eating $200 worth of tubes a year..

Still, I love the modulus 3A. 
@elader 

They will not eat 200 worth of tubes a year if you purchase the recommended tubes.  I believe they are the 6h23neb tubes.
@aquaticdoc Has Art Ferris sent your upgraded unit to you?
I’ve gotten more than 3 recent calls each about my order, and all promising delivery in early August, all consistent as to what remains finishing (at this point connecting power supply and burn-in testing), all from Jerry so I believe it will happen. I’ll post when it arrives.


Let me tell my factory story. I obtained a M3A with Gold phono board from a gentleman who was connected with the music industry. He obtained it new from AI and paid industry pricing for it (cost). I sent it to AI for a checkout and update. I specifically paid to have them swap out the black face plate for a silver face plate and paid for the return of the black knobs so I could use them when I wanted to swap out the silver knobs. So I essentially paid for a new silver face plate and silver knob set, as well as return of the original black knobs with the understanding that AI would keep the black faceplate only.

When AI received my unit, Art Ferris called me about this unit. He told me that he was livid that the original owner sold it to me and asked how much I paid for the unit. He then told me that updating the unit would be done as an out-of-warranty situation. He said their preliminary finding was that over $800 of work was needed to bring the unit up to spec, plus the up-charge for the faceplate/knob set exchange. That was in like October of 2005. I waited about 4 months before calling AI to inquire about my unit. Another guy named Jerry told me that my unit was next up for repair and updating. After waiting another 3 months, I called AI to inquire about my unit. This time Art answered and told me they were testing the unit and that it would ship soon. After another 3 months, I left several nasty voice messages with Art, complaining about the fact my unit was in the AI factory for over 10 months. About one month later, I got my unit back. They charged me for new tubes, which I didn’t ask for. I never got my original black knobs back either. Art said he didn’t recall that agreement.
I think part of the delay was that AI planned to move their facility from CA to FL. But that is really no excuse for delaying as long as they did, because the majority of the work was done in their AI factory in CA and my unit shipped from their CA facility. After realizing that Art shorted me on the original black knob set, I called him at the phone number of the AI factory in CA. The voice mail message directed me to contact AI at an area code associated with a FL location.
Finally received my Audible Illusions Modulus 3B last week, ordered in late April, so quite a wait. I kept my functioning trade-in unit until this guy arrived. The unit arrived perfectly packed, and plugged it in. The manual states that it needs a week's time to run in, so I've left it running--even though it sounded wonderful immediately on plugging it in. While there may be a difference since, I cannot tell. The unit is beautiful, with the blue lights behind the knobs. I do not find stepped attenuators problematic. The packaging fit my old Modulus perfectly so sending the old unit back was not an issue. They now do live in FL. 
Congratulations.  The M3B is an excellent preamp, very true to the sound.  I have had all 3 Modulus series, the 3, 3A and 3B.  Ther3B was extremely quiet, especially with the relay switching.  My problem was on digital, I could not get the volume controls past 9 o clock.  Another notch up it was way too loud and lower was too soft.  That was my only reason for selling it.  I really loved the sound of the preamp and you will too.  The inside of the preamp is a thing of beauty, expensive parts, double epoxy boards, ceramic  tube holders.  I hope you get many years of pleasure with it.  
Thanks. I mostly listen to digital content, although I have a high end turntable but have donated much of my vinyl content to NPR. I'm happy with the volume level thus far. We're moving to a new listening environment and time will tell. But the acoustic environment in my current study is amazing. So I'm a happy camper.
BTW, I did remove the 12 beautiful gold hex screws fastening the top ands the beautiful guts of the unit. 
OP. You’re lucky only having to wait 6 months for the new unit. I’m glad you are happy with the unit. 
Post removed 
It is very sad to see this wonderful sounding product suffer due to the very poorest imaginable customer service. 

I have owned an M3A and now own an M3B. I also went through a very long wait with many ignored phone calls and many broken promises to get my M3B.

I have always used the factory tubes and in about 25 years of use between the two preamps, have lost but one single tube.

I hope my money, my wife and my M3B outlive me. If my M3B dies, I shall regrettably look elsewhere.
I certainly can understand the frustrations. My first AI M1 provided faultless service for over 15 years, with no new tube replacements needed. This new M3B sounds superb, and thus far. no issues whatsoever. Personally, I have no issue with the stepped attenuators. The unit is dead quiet. The soundstage open and clear. Diane Krall sounds like she is in the room. 
I’m pretty sure Art Ferris prioritizes Audible Illusions products to his dealer network. That could explain these prolonged delays to customers who deal directly with Audible Illusions. 
celander464 posts09-23-2018 5:11pmI’m pretty sure Art Ferris prioritizes Audible Illusions products to his dealer network. That could explain these prolonged delays to customers who deal directly with Audible Illusions.
You're pretty sure? Considering what they put you through you must be a very nice person.
 
Yeah, they moved their plastic folding tables mobil wire shelving and the desks from the small Pleasanton commercial park location some years ago.  
Of all the excuses I was given prioritizing their dealer network was never mentioned but I can just hear them using it, and soon. 
  
How's this for naïveté: If he/they would simply be forthcoming that the work could take six months to a year to complete would we be sharing our aggravations? We're just informing those contemplating an upgrade the reality of time, misinformation and the little or lack of communication involved after they cash that check.

On the other hand they do follow through, eventually.

For now the OP seems to be satisfied. A few years with the dual mono (revised attenuation taper, pa-leaze) and when the power supply begins to hum the reality of substantial improvements that can be had on the used market for the same money. He'll likely consider the luxury of finding the perfect volume by twisting just one knob past 9 o'clock without having to look.    
Ordered my new M3B with trade in  Dec. 2017 and still haven't received the new one. Just talked to Jerry and got a song and dance about a supplier in Switzerland and waiting for switches. Every time I talk to that guy he has some story and then it won't be much longer. aquaticdoc from what I have read here you ordered yours in April and have received your M3B recently. Now I'm really burned. I might turn this over to my credit card company and get them to get me a refund and go elsewhere.
My experience was somewhat the same, in that there were always reasons or excuses for the delay, but when I finally did get a projected delivery date, it was accurate. I was pretty convinced that I might have to go through legal avenues, but that did not happen, and the company has been on the money with the return process--and I am extremely pleased with the product. It was both worth the money and the wait.
I feel very fortunate with the service and turn-around I received from AI after reading these tales of woe.  I bought a refurbished L3A from a dealer who sent it directly to AI for a warranty check. But only after I expressed my concerns to the dealer about just these service-related horror stories.  I got a prompt call from Art when they received it and it shipped +/- a week or maybe 2 of the promised delivery. I think the dealer does a lot of biz with AI so that probably helped.  Or maybe the audio gods just happened to be smiling on me that day.  Love the L3A though am tempted to take a listen to the PS Audio BHK preamp as I have BHK 300s.  In all though great sound - and perhaps uncharacteristically good service to report as well.  Wishing the same to you all.