Cheated by Stealth Audio cables


I own a pair of Indra RCA i/c that show a failure only in one of cables of the pair. Trought a local hifi dealer I sent this pair at the end of 2016 to the Stealth Audio factory in USA in order to be repaired.

After some mails seems, according to his CEO Serguei Timachev, that was impossible to repair this cable. Then they offer to me to upgrade to a new Indra pair. As the amount was too much I tell to Serguei to send back to me the broken pair. Then they told me that the broken cable was absolutely dismounted and impossible to be used for nothing. My answer was that for me that doesn't matter and please send me the good one and the rest of the disassembled cable. Then they never answered my mails. And my lasts four mails from the middle of June still remain unanswered by Stealth Audio.

In all this process I lost my cables, and spended 6 months of time, mostly waiting mainly due to the slowness in answering mi mails by Stealth.

I want to share this very bad experience with Stealth Audio Cables with all the members, and also to know if someone have an idea to recuperate my cables. If not I will feel absolutely cheated/stolen by this 'reputed' brand.

Thanks
jaimecanto
Very sorry what happened to you hope things turn out good.I had many Stealth cables V12and V14 etc when i sold them i found out there is 0 resale value in the USA.I would never use them again as i lost big bucks on these overpriced high markup cables.Im sure as you said the service is a big joke.I replaced them with Purist and Furutech which sounded much better in my high resolution system.I would never use Stealth again or would i recommend them to anybody lesson learnt. 
Because you stated that you sent these cables back through your local hi-fi dealer, I'd get the dealer involved with this. They have an interest in protecting you as a customer.
i lost big bucks on these overpriced high markup cables.Im sure as you said the service is a big joke.
Yes ebm, seems that these cables have a after-sales service worst than a joke: they stay with your cables!

cleeds, this dealer sent the cables to Stealth as a personal favour, and have try to obtain response from Mr. Timachev many times, and really cannot do much more than me: put a legal claim and give difussion to this situation.

Hope everything turns out good however you now know Stealth cables are over priced very high markup rip-off cables with 0 resale in the USA.Look at Purist which is much better sounding made much better with great service and good resale.Good luck and be well.
It is called a theft. They must send you your cables back. I suggest you write a letter addressed personally to Sergei and express your thoughts on this matter to him withut accusing him directly of stealing. He is Russian, you should be forcefull enough or he wouldn't listen. Mail the letter as a certified letter with his personal signature confirmation and return receipt not just signature confirmation. Keep a copy of it for yourself.
What could've happened to the cable that it could not be repaired, I wonder?
Speak with a lawyer, and the local police.
And a federal diversity lawsuit will get their attention. Just having their lawyer look at the suit will cost them 100 times the value of the cables, so they may pay you the cost of the cables and your court costs to settle it.
For diversity jurisdiction the amount in controversy must exceed $75,000.
State court is the better option.
Jaime thank you, I will never buy stealth cables then, this is not acceptable how they treated you..
The people from Stealth might've simply lost the cables and don't want to compensate. But they have to even if the cables were not worth anything when they received them.
Talking to lawyers, sueing etc. would definitely be premature, and the whole matter might not be worth pursuing too far anyway unless it is a matter of principle.
Purist Audio cables have lifetime warranty, by the way, non-transferrable, I think.
It would be a shame to have to go to court for some cables. Sergei should make another cable and charge for replacement. Should be done right away, promptly. I think some  Audiogon members should contact him regarding the issue. I'm thinking about doing that.
BTW: This guy (inna) should not be pushing Purist cables or any other cable line. It is off topic and not directly helping with your issue. 
Stealth cables do seem to be odd. I have a pair of speaker cables (or rather they are 4 separate lengths). They had difficult spades on them so I asked Missing Link in UK to re-terminate them to bananas. He did so at a quite expensive cost as he said there were a whole load of strands to be reconnected and was a pain of a job. He also said he did not rate them technically.
I however as a user found them very pleasant and put them above my Chord signatures in my pecking order. I am taking them out of my second system now to replace them with Audioquest wel signature, so a comparison may not be too fair!
What could've happened to the cable that it could not be repaired, I wonder?
inna They say that the conductor of the broken cable was absolutely distroyed!!  But really I don't know how happen this in a normal use of a ic.

mani-2, paul8060, gpgr4blu  thanks for your recommendations to try to do something with lawyer, court.. the problem is that I live in Spain and isn't easy for me to follow the legal way.

It would be a shame to have to go to court for some cables. Sergei should make another cable and charge for replacement. Should be done right away, promptly. I think some  Audiogon members should contact him regarding the issue. I'm thinking about doing that.
rilbr, your proposal would seems to be the best option... someone can help?

Thanks to all.


Jaime if the conductor was destroyed , it means they are not well made cables...
Not necessarily and perhaps the cable has been roughly treated during its life. Some cables do not bend well and the cable sounds like it is old and perhaps the wire is nolonger available. Stealth made an update offer, which is good, but was too expensive for you, so nonetheless Stealth should return your cables, in pieces or not, to the Dealer. Seems strange that the Dealer cannot organise this for you, without issue. Why hasn’t the Dealer refunded you or given you another offer? Is there something else to this story that we should know about?
Yping- I agree - there has to be something more to this story.  I have had Sergei repair cables that I bought used a couple of times and that was not a problem - it was done in a timely and with a minimal amount of cost.  Sergei did try and upgrade me to new connectors while he was at it, but I passed and it was no harm- no foul.  Something about this is not being told in the story - like perhaps the cable was counterfeit?  If that was the case, and I was a manufacturer,I wouldn't send it back out on the market either.
Counterfeit or not the cables belong to the owner and must be returned. As for possibly something else to the story, it is not our business - we respond to what was said.
Jaimecanto, so sorry to hear about your situation.  Just reading the lies and nonsensical stuff on his website would keep me away.  You sent it via your local dealer, what does he have to say?  I doubt some Audiogon members attempting to call is going to resolve anything, so pressure your local dealer.
I walk my dog with my Transparent Reference cables. He seems to listen better. His bark also has a three dimensional quality with excellent detail!
Joe
Wow that is real funny ho ho!!!!!
Jnovak- funny but not helpful.

Regarding Inna's post - I asked Audioquest about reterminating my Wel's, and part of their reply is below:

"I feel duty bound to make you aware that we have, in the past, received counterfeit cables from customers who have purchased them pre-owned and want to get them re-terminated. Are you able to get any proof from your friend that they are genuine cables, as our policy is to keep any counterfeit cables returned to us, to prevent them from entering the market place again."


Seems strange that the Dealer cannot organise this for you, without
issue. Why hasn’t the Dealer refunded you or given you another offer? Is there something else to this story that we should know about?
The dealer don't carry this brand and I bought this cables from a private person. The dealer is a good friend and don't have any profit in all this, only to make a personal favour to me. This dealer sent a lot of mails and also contacted with the distributor (former) of Stealth in Spain, and he have no more things to do apart of put a legal claim. I have a copy of all the mails, and there isn't nothing else to know, for sure.

Of course, the cables aren't not a counterfeit, Stealth never says nothing about that.

And yes,  I know some people that sent in the past cables to Stealth to be serviced ( to change broken spades of speakers cables..) and all was ok. I don't know why I have suffered this foolish situation to be  cheat by Stealth Audio

Live and learn get some Purist cable great company that would not rip you off and sounds wonderful . Enjoy!!!!!
You know, this absolutely sucks and there's no excuse for this type of behavior but honestly, is it worth your peace of mind? Maybe consider it a lesson learned and just move on (unless these are like $10K cables)....

Hello, everyone! Of one my customers brought my attention to this discussion, so I feel obliged to fill you in. As some of you may know, the Indra cables – a subject to this discussion – are made of extremely thin, three times as thin as human hair (!) amorphous allow wire (the cost of that wire, by weight,  is considerably, many times more that 24 carat  - 99.9% pure gold).  Inside the cables, this wire is wrapped around a Kevlar core – to make sure the wire doesn’t break with normal use. All the tension, if a cable is pulled, is absorbed by this core. The Kevlar core is so strong that once we did a demo: pulled a car with the Indra cable, and it worked fine after that. I have no idea what happened to Carles cables that he sent back to us: we disassembled his cables, and wire was all broken into pieces. Trying to figure out what happened, we ended up with a bunch of stripped insulation (porous Teflon), pieces of outer jacket, loose pieces of wire and the cut-off ends of the cables (which are unusable - since the center Kevlar core goes through the central pin of the RCAs and is crimped inside that pin; the connectors are an integrated part of the cables, once the cables are assembled). An ugly mess – as I think you can see, from my description. Since we do support our products, and we do care about our customers, I offered an upgrade, with options (both RCA and balanced, since the customer expressed an interest in getting balanced instead). The quoted cost of the upgrade was simply the difference between the published price for the older Indra cables (made over 10 years ago) and the current Indra version. ONLY the difference. To be exact: 20 percent of the cost of the current price of a new pair. If this is too much – what else can I offer? Eat the cost and send a customer a brand new, current version pair at no charge? Charge 10 percent? 5 percent? Nothing? .. Let’s vote:

  1. who thinks that we should send back an ugly mess of disassembled cables and the ends that have been cut off?

  2. Who thinks that we should send back a brand new pair of current version?

  3. Who can name a reasonable price of upgrade/replacement cables in this case?

  4. Any other opinions?

 

Since this is public, here’s my word: I will do as the majority suggests. It is YOUR turn – please vote!!!

 Thank you

 Serguei Timachev

Owner and Director of Engineering

STEALTH Audio Cables

Enter your text ...
While your offer to upgrade the Indra cables may be generous and more than fair, I would send the man his cables, since that is what he requested. 

They are, after all, still his cables.
I have to agree with acman3. Regardless of anything else, the customer should get his cables back.
I vote for sending the customers cables back to him, after all, they are his cables,even in pieces.
Option 1. And you should comp all shipping costs.
It's also unacceptable to stop responding to a customer who's issue was not resolved. Your preferred resolution was more than reasonable considering the age and condition of the cables sent in. When that is declined though, it is your obligation to ensure the issue is resolved within reason which their request was. Your sole job now is to try to restore confidence in your company's customer relations but that doesn't mean you need to hand out prizes. Resolve their issue per their request and pay for shipping costs as an apology for not responding in a timely manner and for causing this level of frustration.
Respectfully, just because he declined to send you any more money for an upgrade, no matter how fair you think your offer was, doesn't end your responsibility to your customer.
He claims you have not responded to his repeated requests for the return of his cables, which you do not deny. He says he doesn't care about the cable's condition, yet you used that excuse to delay their  return. Return them or compensate him if you can not. 
 Jaime ,If the offer of the new cable is good for 20% difference take it.Sergei is at least giving you this option.i believe Sergei is telling the truth here, why not upgrade ? True you have the right to get your cables back . Decide for the best.Sergei thanks for responding,
This is an odd story as it is hard to understand where Stealth Audio has been all this time.  I think, based on your lack of response to the customer that you should send him his originals with a new pair of comparable cables.

If you do so, please post it here so your actions now could begin to repair damage done to the Stealth Cable brand.
#1

Return the ugly mess of disassembled cables and ends that have been cut off and if you wish, bill him the shipping cost.
joecasey
Return the ugly mess of disassembled cables and ends that have been cut off and if you wish, bill him the shipping cost.
Agreed. And if I were the customer, I wouldn't spend another penny on this company's product. I'd cut my losses and move on - lesson learned.

just send him back the broken cable pieces and his one working good cable.. if you destroyed the working cable.. comp him some new ones
I think Sergei has done a stand-up think by responding publicly with the offer. These are expensive cables. $3k for a half meter of wire is a lot of money. They should be reliable and the company should stand behind them. On the other hand, It’s not the company’s fault if they were abused somehow and ruined. In that case, OP caused the problem and it's his issue. Or, OP has a dispute with the previous owner to get his money back. However, he can’t do that without the cables in hand.

So:
- the offer of an upgrade is generous. You have no obligation to offer anything.  But if he doesn’t want it, do the best you can to repair, and send them back. If not repairable in any way, then send his cable back as is. It’s his, he paid for it. It’s not yours, Sergei.
- OP, seriously consider the upgrade. If you can get the new ones at 20% of retail, that’s good. Even if you buy used, you’ll probably still pay more for a cable at this level. 80% discount is unheard of.
- learn the lesson, Sergei. Don’t just ignore the customer. That’s rude, and not ever expected when buying a premium product. Imagine you bought a very expensive BMW and it stopped working. Even if not repairable, you expect the dealer to talk to you about options. And if it can’t be fixed, you want the broken car back, if only for parts or scrap.

I don't know anything about the company or product, so won't comment on that. 

So my vote is #1. OP takes the upgrade offer, OR he gets his cables back.
Jamie,

Thank you for the heads up on the business practices of Stealth Audio Cables.


Serguei,

You put up a poll and asked for our input....

  1. who thinks that we should send back an ugly mess of disassembled cables and the ends that have been cut off?

  2. Who thinks that we should send back a brand new pair of current version?

  3. Who can name a reasonable price of upgrade/replacement cables in this case?

  4. Any other opinions?



You should send back the cables as was requested, presumably at least 4 times in June alone...  I assume by your comment you cut up both cables.

I don't know what your time is worth.  To me, my time is my most treasured commodity.  As a business owner I can only believe yours is as well.  Ask yourself this..... what do you think Jamies time is worth?  How about his frustration in dealing with a slow/non responsive owner for the past half year?  Life is to short to have to deal with bullcrap like that.



In your option 2 you ask who thinks that you should send a new pair of cables.  I think you should send a new pair of cables AND a bottle of his favorite Scotch.  Not to replace the broken/damaged cable, but for your lack of business ethics and jerking him around.  Again, life is to short to have to deal with that kind of frustration.




The balls in your court.... put his old cables, and a new set, in the mail on Monday. 







Agree with andrewmr.  The OP needs to be compensated somehow for the lousy experience you provided.  Where I am from, what you were planning on doing, by not returning his property, is called THEFT. Since public shaming has now forced you to do the right thing, do it!  No need for a poll.
Gentlemen … there's so much erroneous and irrelevant discussion here, that everyone needs to take a deep breath and relax. I’m a retired trial attorney who also owns a high-end custom specialist audio business, carrying the Stealth line for 15 years. Last night, one of my clients brought this discussion to my attention … having given the matter considerable thought, felt I could provide both the appropriate clarity on various issues mentioned, and then also potentially “broker” a resolution favorable to all involved.

It’s unfortunate that Jaime didn’t simply reach out to Stealth directly, as opposed to having the Spanish audio dealer serve as an intermediary (as this dealer does not handle the Stealth line). While it may not be fair, the fact is manufacturers treat end user customers and authorized dealers with the greatest level of customer service, wherein a third-party circumstance like this one is often viewed as an industry accommodation (with dramatically reduced priority levels). That said, it doesn’t excuse the unprofessional lack of responsiveness by Stealth … a shocking revelation based upon my own 15+ year history with the company being 180 degrees opposite of this circumstance.

A. The legal rhetoric needs to be reined in, as I can assure everyone that absolutely NO crime has been committed …

- first, it’s inappropriate for Jaime to suggest he’s been “cheated” … he’s apparently never had a direct communication with Stealth, nor has he paid any monies to Stealth for either a repair or upgrade exchange, so he’s not been cheated … he’s been understandably disappointed, frustrated and offended by the lax manner in which his issue has been handled,

- further, contrary to our “jailhouse lawyers” on the thread, absolutely no theft has transpired … you cannot voluntarily surrender the custody or possession of an item, then thereafter suggest you’ve been a victim of theft (if the item is ultimately never returned, then there is legal recourse available along different lines).

The only “sin” committed by Stealth was their clear failure to reasonably communicate on the matter, and once Jaime opted against any exchange or upgrade path offered, the property should have been promptly returned. That said, there are certainly other elements that have been ignored:

- Stealth would have every right to some form of “bench fee” for evaluation of the cable (just like any other electronics repair that’s out of warranty, or the warranty has been voided by virtue of abuse or misuse, as appears to be the case with this cable),

- Stealth would have every right to the advance payment of return shipping expenses,

- lastly, in some 40yrs around high-end audio, I have never seen a manufacturer willing to return any defective, unusable product in a broken down, disassembled state (and there are very good legal reasons for such).

Notwithstanding these legitimate reasons why a return dispatch could have been rightly delayed, it appears that these were not issues/objections that were presented by Stealth … this was simply Stealth dropping the ball re communications in this matter.

B. Resolution …

Having been a Stealth dealer for many years, I’ve got an assortment of their “vintage” cables on hand in my collection … turns out, I’ve currently got the ideal set of ICs to remedy this situation … a mint condition set of 1.5m Indra V7 Balanced that I’m going to offer Jaime at no charge (I’ll also pay the shipping cost to him). During my 15yr business relationship with Stealth, my clients have routinely experienced extraordinary levels of customer service and generosity from Serguei … he’s done so repeatedly, often absorbing financial loss to make certain that customer expectations were met or exceeded. As a result, I feel this offer is the least I could do to demonstrate my appreciation for everything Stealth and Serguei have done for me and my clients over the years … I’ll speak with Serguei at some point tomorrow in regard to the cables sent into service … I suspect there will be no objection to me including those in the package.

Jaime, please reach out to me directly to arrange your shipment. Stealth is local to me (about 90min round trip drive), but I’m currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments, so it may take me the better part of a week to get all of this coordinated and your package outbound (at which time I’ll provide the tracking information).

Best regards to all …

Mark  
Impressive Mark. I know nothing about Stealth or you, but I know 2 people - Jaime and Serguei - who ought to be thrilled with your offer to bail them out.  Nicely done.

PS. What's your shops website URL?  I think many of us might appreciate doing business with a standup guy in the audio business. 
+1 papafrog

Mark no idea who you are but well done and you are obviously an excellent dealer who "get's it". Cheers!
Mark you are extremely generous man, I salute you.You defeated the spirit of selfishness, These days many likes to take than to give, The only way for me to live is to give. You must be a happy person full of joy😀. Thank you for showing us kindness and generosity...👍
+1 mark8957
Mark, I like your writing style and what you had to say.
Bravo!

Mark  you are something else....

I myself am a very happy owner of STEALTH cables (2 NANOFIBER IC and HYPERPHONO).IMHO they are the best of the best and impeccably made 

 

Mr. Serguei, as other members tell you before, it is unnaceptable that you stop to respond the mails of your customers and force them to open threads like this.

As the dealer told you, 2300$ for an upgrade is too much for me, and, sincerely, seeing your after sales service, I prefer to spend such amount in other brands.

And, with all the respect to the rest of members, I'm the only one that have to decide what to do with my own pair of cables, and my decision was take three months ago.

As you aren't able to repair this cable, please send me both cables of the pair: the 1,5 meter length that have a flawless function in the same good condition that was when I send it to you. Probably I will use this one for my home-cinema system.

just send him back the broken cable pieces and his one working good cable.. if you destroyed the working cable.. comp him some new ones

Perhaps  as uncola told, the problem is that for any reason that escape to me,  have dismounted also the cable that was ok. In such case that this cable has been also disassembled, you are the only responsible of this action and you should send me another as replacement.

And don't forget to send also the other, the disassembled cable with all his RCA terminnals.

mark 8957 wrote:

 Having been a Stealth dealer for many years, I’ve got an assortment of their “vintage” cables on hand in my collection … turns out, I’ve currently got the ideal set of ICs to remedy this situation … a mint condition set of 1.5m Indra V7 Balanced that I’m going to offer Jaime at no charge (I’ll also pay the shipping cost to him). During my 15yr business relationship with Stealth, my clients have routinely experienced extraordinary levels of customer service and generosity from Serguei … he’s done so repeatedly, often absorbing financial loss to make certain that customer expectations were met or exceeded. As a result, I feel this offer is the least I could do to demonstrate my appreciation for everything Stealth and Serguei have done for me and my clients over the years … I’ll speak with Serguei at some point tomorrow in regard to the cables sent into service … I suspect there will be no objection to me including those in the package.

Jaime, please reach out to me directly to arrange your shipment. Stealth is local to me (about 90min round trip drive), but I’m currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments, so it may take me the better part of a week to get all of this coordinated and your package outbound (at which time I’ll provide the tracking information).
I'm very surprised by your offer, if you don't have any relation with Stealth you proposal is very, very generous, much more than I expected to obtain from Stealth.

I want to stated also that your proposal will be a positive reason to have faith with the people, but don't ameliorate my frustration with Stealth.

Anyway, if you are able to recuperate my cables (especially the one that was ok) and act as intermediate between us I will be very pleased to accept your offer.

I will send you my contact details



Jaime done deal,time to move on Mark is very gracious to offer you his own...Peace to you.  Please post how the new cables compare to your old one...
Stealth is the 0 resale rip-off cable only popular in Viet Nam by the rip-off artists.Buy an honest cable Purist is much better with great sound and great service.