Bowers Wilkins/Classe - Anyone had service from them as horrible as me?


I have a Classe CA-2300 power amp....or rather I HAD ONE, until I sent it to Classe/B&W for repair FOUR MONTHS AGO. 

It's a 100 pound amp, so at first, I wanted to have it fixed by a local, well regarded electrical engineer (I'm in the Bay Area).  I took it to his shop and he said the power supply was dead. He spent days trying to get a schematic from Classe and they wouldn't give him even the smallest bit of information. They told me I had to send it in to them.  I was hesitant to send a 100lb, $6500 amp across the continent, but I did it anyway.  

That was 4 months ago. 

I've spoken with them on the phone maybe 5 times, now, and every time they assure me that they are just about to get working on my amp.  B&W now owns Classe, so B&W is in charge of it.  I had an issue tracking code and I used to be able to enter it on their website to check the repair status. For 3 months, it said "in queue, awaiting diagnosis", now, however, when I put in my code, it says "Item cannot be found".  

At this point, I'm basically saying that B&W have stolen a $6500 amplifier from me after spending a bunch of time purposely blocking a local technician from fixing it. I'm furious. 

Has anyone else here had a successful or unsuccessful experiences with B&W/Classe service recently?  This is insane. What do I do?

thanks!

Hogarth de la Plante
Oakland, CA
hogarthd
Classe is no longer operational. I would try someone at B&W service center and get a update on pending repair orders. 
Yeah - I have been talking to B&W service the entire time (well for the last 3 months).  They are the ones who keep telling me it's "we're starting on it in a couple days". 
That sux!  Hope you get your pound of flesh!
I feel for you.  I had my Classé 5300 stop working suddenly and it was a nightmare getting it fixed.  My dealer was helpful in getting it sent into B&W but it took nearly 5 months to get it back.  It was frustrating because I could not get any information of the status during this time.   I have it back now but I worry constantly that I might have a problem again.  I tried to ask them what might have caused the problem but could never get an answer.  Everything is good for now........

Thanks! for sharing your story- All.

it is imperative that you post both positive and negative experiences when dealing w/ these companies. Keep us posted on your situation- hogarthd.

I wonder why a competent tech can't fix an amp problem without a schematic.  Obviously it would be easier, but capacitors, transformers, power supplies.....how hard can it be to solve?

Maybe I am in left field....
Somewhat agree with you. However, many amps have protection circuits, some have digital controllers, rebranded components, potted parts etc. A good diagram will have test points with expected voltages. It may not be worth the tech’s time to try decipher the circuitry and make a viable repair.

Didn't B&W just get bought by a Silicon Valley VC firm?? 
The tech who tried to fix the amp locally said that they have a very complicated, proprietary, digital power-supply component that he needed to get a part number for in order to replace it. Classe would not give him any information. This was one week before Classe actually closed their shop in Montreal. 
 What a nightmare story, hogarthd. I really hope you get your unit fixed.  This all goes to prove the points of the risks we take as consumers of high end products that the manufacturer will still be around when the need for a repair arises and also that it is hard to find a good, competent service technician. I am the owner of many McIntosh units, and in 38 years of ownership have found one, just one, good service technician in southern California. I have sent two tuners to the factory for service and they did a great job. Also, I sent another tuner to Audio Classics, who also did a great job. But locally, with the one exception it has been hard to find good help. 
hogarthd,

I sent my Classe CA-5100 in for repair around March of last year. Classe fixed the amp but the time (from sending it to receiving it back) was a little over 2 months. I was told if I needed repairs again it would be a much longer turn-around time because they were so backed up. Now looking back at it I'm not sure if they were really backed up or if they knew of the difficulties they were heading into with the impending sell/buyout or closing of the company. I guess I'm lucky to have had the repair done before B&W took over Classe. I think the B&W group and Classe are still in a state of flux but they reported that they would still honor warranties and perform repairs. Here is an article I saw a few weeks ago.

 https://www.strata-gee.com/surprise-sound-united-acquire-classe/ 

Sorry you are having such a rough time trying to get your amp repaired.
Thanks for all the input, everyone. I'll keep you updated. I'm going to call them tomorrow. I at least have the B&W tech guy's mobile phone number so I can hassle him. 
💲Capitalism to the rescue!!💲