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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I posted this earlier today on another thread:
I want to warn people about doing business with Audible Illusions. I initiated a trade in on July 17, 2021. I made the final payment for the new unit on August 16, 2021 when Art told me that the new preamp would “ship by the end of the week.”
It did not ship by the end of the week. Nor did it ship by the end of that month. I spoke to Art in the first week of every month since then and he kept telling me that it would “ship by the end of the month.”
It’s now January, 2022 and I still don’t have the unit. I told Art that I’ve decided I don’t want to deal with him anymore and that I want a refund. He refused to give me a refund and told me that he doesn’t have any money to refund. He called me back about 20 min later and pleaded with me to take the new unit which he said he’ll “ship by the end of the month.” I told him please not to send the unit (I don’t believe his promises anymore anyway) because I just want my money back at this point. He said during this second phone conversation that he’d do his best to refund my money “by the end of the month.”
There are many companies out there. Please think twice about working with Audible Illusions. I have been mislead pretty much from the word go.
In the interest of being fair I will post if and when I get a refund.
My M3B took forever, but has worked perfectly, used no new tubes, and sounds wonderful..Jerry may not even have a 3 person operation, I’m a very satisfied user though, and have not needed anything better than this preamp, especially as my hearing deteriorates… Sad but ubiquitous as another association with the fact that there is no cure for the common birthday, as John Glenn commented.
Happened on this thread by chance while browsing other audiophile stuff... Read every single post and laugh-cried all the way through. I owned the M3A back in the 90's. In time, AI announced the backlit knob and stepped attenuator upgrade. I remember driving my unit to the Pleasanton, CA location once they'd confirmed by phone that the upgrade was indeed possible with the edition I had. I have long since forgotten how many months I had to wait for the overhauled piece to be returned to me, but reading the stories in this thread I do recall it was a very long time, with excuses made along the way. Like many here, I did love the M3A before, and even more after those upgrades, but I eventually moved on to better tube preamp offerings, of which there have been many...
Can you please post a list @sundaycomix ?
I have an AI purchased in ‘98. I have been thinking about upgrading, but I do not know what I would upgrade too, as it seems like it is very nice.
The main thing that I dislike is that it is 120v, and it is in Australia now, so I use a transformer. The upgrade cost to go to a 230v power supply was $450, but then I think that they wanted me to send the unit in… I honestly cannot recall exactly… it was like ~6 months ago. And secondly it takes up a bit of shelf space.
But it sounds so good, that I cannot imagine what I would replace it with.
I happened to have both M3B MM (used) and M3B MC (new). After realizing that the used sounds as good as the new, and the MC is not as quite good compared to Allnic H1202 MC and Hashimoto based SUT, I sold M3B MC.
I like to hear from anybody who had owned M3B and happened to upgrade it. Which preamp did they upgrade to? How much better the upgraded preamp is compared to M3B in sound quality?
I had a Modulus3, Modulus3A, and Modulus3B. I upgraded from each previous model. I sold my 3B for 2 reasons. First was there was too much gain! I could not put the volume controls past 9 o clock and the detects didn’t help. The other reason is I am much older now and wanted a remote.
My speaker is 6ohm 87dB, and on my MB3, the volume control always stays at past 10 o’clock. Most of times I set it to between 11 and 1 o’clock. So the high gain is not a problem for me.
I wonder whether C2500 would be a lateral move regarding the sound quality. I don’t miss a remote yet, so I will stay with M3B for a while. ;-)
Anyway, I like the sound of M3B a lot. It beats my Plinius M16 preamp easily. I use M16 in another setup for casual listening, and I also ordered a spare tubes for M3B from AI, so I hope I should be good for many more years to come.
Well here’s my story. Had a 3a. Asked about the trade in program for the 3B and was told I qualified and it would take 3-4 weeks to get my unit. Paid in full up front. Well it took almost 6 months. I have an acquaintance that waited 14 months for his line stage preamp from them.
Also, later ordered a set of new tubes from them. Again, paid up front. Told in stock and would ship within the week. Took 3 months, and would have taken longer except I mentioned to Jerry I had posted on an audio forum about the issues I and others had had. He was livid. Tubes arrived the next week, and the office manager (a lady) refunded my money for the tubes.
i believe this is just an issue of them being a small company, getting older, and not wanting to give up the glory they once had.
Very sad, because their products are very good. Their service is about as bad as service can get.