Class D Audio Brand does not honor warranty---AVOID!!


About a year and a half ago, I purchased a budget two channel class d amp from the internet company with the same name, "Class D Audio", and wanted to warn others of my bad experience. 

After about year of using the amp, I started to get static and other nasty sounds coming from my speakers. After checking and confirming that is was the amp and not any other components, I sent it back for repair under warranty. The owner, Tom, was my contact person, as well as the person that checked it out.

Tom said he found nothing wrong with it after thoroughly looking it over and assured me it was fine. After about three weeks he returned it, but it wasn't fixed. In fact, it was probably worse. After again checking all my equipment out, I was certain that the amp was defective.

I contacted Tom about the problem, asking for some guidance about what to do next, but he initially didn't return my emails. After over two weeks he finally emailed me and again insisted that the amp checked out fine. 
I said that I wanted to send it back, but Tom again took a long time to get back. In fact I had to send him several emails. When he did, he said he had a family problem, and that he was having a difficult time returning emails. I told Tom I was sorry for his troubles and to take a LITTLE TIME if he needed it, but emphasized that I needed this fixed asap. (It had been months now since it was fully functional.)

That was the last I heard from Tom. I emailed him a couple of times, with no response, so I've given up. He stated that the warranty is three years, but he he avoids customers like the plague if they have any problems.

His website is still up, so I don't think he's out of business.
Anyone have any idea what's going on,or had a similar experience?
This guy is a deadbeat as far as I'm concerned.


jonasandezekiel
Can you relate how you know the problem is the amp?  Have you tried swapping in a  different amp in to determine that the problem was in fact the amp?  

Sure. I have that amp driving my rear speakers on my multichannel system, so I moved the amp to the front speakers and got the same results. I have monoblocks on the front speakers, so I moved them to the rears,and everything worked well. I swapped speaker cables, interconnects, and even took my prepro into a repair shop to have the balanced inputs checked.

I did everything I felt I could to be absolutely certain it was the amp, and I believe it’s the amp. Either way, I emailed the guy several times begging him to get back and help me out with advice. Maybe he could have troubleshooted something else and save him the problem of a return, but he didn’t want to even do that.
I gave him AMPLE time, but I’ve finally had enough. He’s a deadbeat.
Few things you can do:

1. Call BBB or fill-out complaint
2. Call Attorney General of the area where the business is located or fill-out complaint either via website(if applies) or mailed form.
 
When you punch instead of saying you'll do so, you get respect and things solved.
What is the warranty on teh product?

That should be honored without question else I would think its a legal issue that gives you leverage.

If not under warranty, there is still such a thing as good customer service, offering advice, answering questions, even going beyond the norm and replacing. Good companies take care of their customers.

This is a line I have followed and  I might consider down the road at some point so I am very interested how it works out. I avoid companies that demonstrate poor customer service.

jonasandezekiel,

Do you have a friend or relative that lives in an area other than yours that you could take the amp to and try it out? Outside your neighborhood.

The amp maybe picking up some interference being generated by something in your home that does not affect your other amps. Are the other amps Class D amps?


How well do the power supplies of Class D amps do in rejecting AC noise on the power mains?


That's a very good point.

Another test might be to try the amp in different physical locations and see if any difference.    Also see if fiddling with IC location going in makes any difference.

Class D amps can themselves be source of considerable noise if not done well.   It more a problem with older deigns than new but certainly a possibility.

Also are your ICs shielded?  That could easily make a difference as well.
Folks, 
another amp doesn't as mentioned by OP.
It's very simple equation: Mr A can do job and Mr B can't. Who is to blame?
czar,

Its still the amp to blame if more susceptible to noise issues. Just saying that its not unheard of for some Class D architecture switching amps to be the source of noise. It happens. These amps switch at very high frequency. Noise suppression is part of the design. Its not an issue I find with newer better designs (which are perhaps the quietest overall of any I have heard over the years) but can be with older lesser ones perhaps even if operating "properly". If that’s the case there are ways to determine it and possibly address as well as I outlined above. If it turns out to be par for the course and cannot be addressed, then time for a different Class D or other amp I would say.

If the vendor is not being helpful in any way to address noise issues might be time to look elsewhere.

I've had excellent success overall including with noise with both my Bel Canto Class D amps, both older ref1000m monoblocks and newer C5i integrated and can easily recommend Bel Canto, though these cost a bit more.    Class D brand/company amps are perhaps lowest cost overall of any popular in these parts.   Dealing with noise issues might well be part of the deal with them.  But have not heard or used them so do not know for sure.
Their website indicates " We also provide customer service and support that's second to none. " They have a testimonials section where seemingly anyone can post a review. It is certainly suspicious that of those that have posted, the score is 10/10. 

One suggestion I have depends on whether or not you have access to a known good electronics repair facility. Granted, the item is under warranty and you shouldn't have to pay anything. Also their range of products is relatively inexpensive to begin with. Nevertheless, if you were otherwise happy with the sound/purchase prior to having the problem, an electronic repair shop may be able to diagnose for $75 or so and then apply that to whatever fix may be needed. Then submit your bill to classd or you can take other legal action such as small claims court because at that point you would have a reputable place that verified there was a problem and classd who said there was none. Just my .02.
OP if vendor says amps are working as they should, might be worth while to take up the noise issue with them specifically and ask for advice on how to best diagnose and address it. They should know their products best.

If they say its operating normally and you hear the noise, then that just means that the amp has noise issues when operating properly. They should offer to help resolve it. Maybe even let you return and offer some kind of refund if unit can no longer function at the same level as it did for you earlier. If not, then live and learn and move on I would say. Lessons learned by all. You should be able to post a suitable review to their site if they offer public reviews there. If not, then something is surely rotten in Denmark.  You might be able to take some kind of legal action but have to judge whether that has needed value for you.  It may not be worth the time and aggravation especially if the amp did not cost much.   Its a very personal decision at that point. 
This is the prime reason I stay away from small audio companies like this,  The customer is usually left in the lurch when problems arise.  Any company can give a 3 year warranty, but not all of them will honor it.
Buy from a known Co in the future sorry about your problem.
Buy from a known Co in the future sorry about your problem.


What's this, a kinder, gentler ebm ?
Tom is a very busy guy. I think he means well, but is doing too much with too little, it seems. I have built a couple of their kits, one I converted to a three channel with an additional amp module, the other, I installed an additional module to run in bridged mono, for 500 Wpc.

I had a bit of an issue that Tom never got back to me on, until I posted about it here on Audiogon, after which he contacted me. Hopefully, this thread will get his attention, and your issue will be resolved.

Best of luck,
Dan
Iman have have you encountered any noise issues with yours?

I have owned his SDS 470C amp for at least 3 years - it has been superb. It sounds as good as my JC-1s.

About a year ago I returned it for repair of the right channel (low volume).  He repaired and upgrade it without charge. It has been superb since. No issues.

He is a bit slow in responding to emails, which is not unusual for a small business. But, that’s part of the compromise when you buy a product from a small vendor that would otherwise cost you 10x more from a brand name vendor.

There is no rational reason he would not repair the amp if it has a problem - the parts are not that expensive and he could likely repair it in an hour. And I’m sure he would not risk ruining his reputation.

If he’s unresponsive, most likely it’s because he’s had some personal issues - since it seems inconsistent with his past behavior.

If I were you I would take the amp to your local electronics repair shop and have them test it, before proceeding with other action. That’s the only way you can verify whether it has an issue, or not.

If you can confirm it has an issue, I’d be surprised if he won’t repair it without charge.




Islandmandan.....I thought about exactly your point, that he's a small company and probably slow to get back, but it just became ridiculous.
I'm as reasonable a guy as there is, and I felt I gave him ample time to return my emails. I also felt I was genuinely sympathetic to his issues, but I started to feel that he was taking advantage of me. 
The clincher was when my good friend who was a business owner, told me that it should be no problem for him to take just a little time out of his day to write me an email or call me. (I left him my number and he said he would call...but he didn't.) All he had to do was to literally take 10 minutes to help solve my problem. I hadn't had my amp functioning properly for MONTHS, and I was just plain pissed.
Bassdude....ditto to your points. The last thing I wanted to do was to slam a small business guy just trying to compete with the big guys, but I really felt like he was disrespecting me. And you're right, I really liked the amp. It was more than pretty darn good.
Mapman....It's a three year warranty. Like I said, it's a good sounding amp and frankly, it mated really well with the speakers I have, but as my buddy said, it should have been no trouble for one call.
Jea48 and mapman.....great points. But those are the things ONE MEASLY LITTLE CALL would have resolved. That’s why I’m so angry.

Yes, I do in fact have three other class d monoblocks connected to the same power conditioner. I did think that it may be causing interference. Could that be the problem? I tried moving the plug to different receptacles on the conditioner, but it didn’t help. The only thing is, I had been using it with these amps for a couple of months with no issues. The other amps are all Wyred 4 sound monos. In fact, I disconnected the other amps from the power conditioner and got the same problem.
I have an older Proceed amp5 in need of refurbishing. Although I love the sound of good class d amps, maybe I should just forget about them, and fix the big, inefficient, and heavy Proceed and get back to good old class A/B basics.
Mapman...the noise issues that you mention are not tolerable. Just a lot of popping sounds back and forth between speakers. Not sure if it's the high frequency noise of class d, but I don't think so--just a defective amp. And I tried to post a review on the website, but surprise, they wouldn't allow it. All you see is five-star glowing reviews, nothing negative. Something is definitely rotten in Denmark as you say.
jon I had a similar problem with one of my Bel Canto ref1000m amps  that I acquired used after a bit.   Similar noise as you describe with one.   Bel Canto service was fast and reliable.   No warranty but cost to repair was nominal and all good ever since.   In my case, the foil on a part of a circuit board has started to separate.  I sent the amp to them and they replaced the board and had it back in a few weeks in perfect working order.   That's how these  things should work.
Thanks! for sharing your story- jonasandezekiel

it is imperative that we post both positive/negative experiences when dealing w/ these companies. Small or large, it does not matter if they do not provide customer service.
Map...I agree. Bel Canto is a high end respectable company. I'm sure they're much easier to work with. I was looking at their stuff, but at the time I just wanted a cheaper two channel amp to tide me over. I learned a lesson that inexpensive, internet only companies are a big risk. I'll never do this again. I grew to like the amp though, and 700 dollars is still money I don't want to throw out the window. 
For inexpensive class D amp for surrounds you can’t go wrong with Crown XLS series that you can’t go wrong with. Compare the reputation indeed.
I want to 2nd all of BassDude's point. What I am hearing makes no sense to me. You really ought to make sure that it isn't something with your system / set up. I am a ClassD customer and have been since 2010. I started out with the CDA 250, just recently upgraded to the CDA 1000 (4 channels) and will likely add 2 more channels for an active crossover project that I am working on. I have had an incredibly positive exeprience with Tom and am very happy with his amps. He bent over backwards answering my questions and helping me get the amp up and running. He bent over backwards when I upgraded to the CDA 1000 ( he had me send my original unit back and he sent me 2 new amp modules that he matched at the factory). A few weeks later I blew a channel mucking around with the LEDs. He had me send the amp back to him and he fixed it no charge and returned to me no charge. This took a couple of weeks but communication was very good (as always). The two things that are consistent across ALL of the ClassD reviews that I have seen is that people are very satisfied with his products and very satisfied with the customer service that they receive from Tom..... in fact most are amazed at how responsive he is and the overal service that receive.
Frame...if you don't think he publishes only the five star reviews, respectfully, you're kidding yourself. I wrote a negative review on his site, hoping it would catch his attention and have him finally contact me, but it never saw the light of day. I checked just to be sure, but my review never made the cut. 

And if you read my posts, I checked everything to make absolute certain it was the amp and not something else. I emailed him and asked him to call me, just to be sure it wasn't something I was doing wrong. A fifteen minute call would have answered a lot of questions, maybe even fixed the problem, and been no trouble for him. But he didn't give a damn. I'm sorry, but that's terrible customer service. I was patient, I didn't badger him. Maybe that was my mistake.
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Jonasandezekial,
To reiterate, my comments were based on my own personal experience which involved multiple transactions and interactions over 6+ years and what I have seen in various forums and personally discussed with other ClassD customers. The reviews on his site were not even a consideration. It just doesn't sound like the company that I have been dealing with. 

Either way, I hope you get it sorted out.

I seriously doubt he has any interest in helping me at this point. I'm going to the BBB.
When relating impressions of various class d amps it would help to also mention what speakers were involved.  

As I mentioned earlier Clas D will distinguish itself with certain kinds of speakers whereas with others it a harder call and some they will just not shine.   Nobody is saying they will always sound best rather they up the game in terms of what is possible out of a package more people might like but only if given the chance to do what they do best. 
I agree. That's pretty much the same thing with all amps, isn't it? Some interface better with certain speakers, not all. Unless you can afford a Krell.

jonasandezekiel,

By chance did you read this thread?

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/intermittent-electrical-noise-in-system

It would be nice if you could take the amp completely from your home to someone else's house and see if the amp has the same problem there. Then you would know 100% the amp is bad if you hear the same noise as you did in your house.


Jea48,
No I haven't read that but I'll check it out. Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a try as well.

Hi all. IMHO regardless of the amp issue(or no issue) the man should be getting responses from the manufacturer promptly. We shell out good $$ for our gear, and expect/demand to be taken seriously when issues arise, and dealt with in a timely manner. When we are left out in the cold with no communication, we are being treated disrespectfully. It seems that this is the way our society works these days. Thanks for your hard earned $$ sucker, now go away and don't bother us. This seems to be the prevailing attitude in commerce these days. I'm going through a similar issue at the moment with some motorcycle parts and my blood is boiling !! mostly due to the fact that I'm being ignored.

I own a small business as well, and when any issues arise from one of my customers, I give it top priority!! Being a small business is NO EXCUSE for not having time to address the customers concerns quickly.  MAKE THE TIME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crazyeddy.....+1
Crazyeddy ... +1 more
Crazyeddy...
You nailed it. All he had to do is take a few minutes and CALL ME. I wasn't asking for any more than was needed. In fact, I was trying to save the guy an unnecessary return. I feel totally disrespected. He may have once been great for customer service, but something has apparently changed quite dramatically. It's a mystery.

This is, IMHO, what separates a good business from a bad one. WE are the ones who support them with our hard earned $$, so, in turn, they must support us as well. It's got to be a two way street.

I do hope that your issue gets resolved, and hope to hear back from you if it does (or doesn't)

Please keep us posted, and good luck to you

I think the guy has no interest in helping me. In fact, posting this thread probably made it less likely he contacts me. He doesn't give a damn anymore. I need to troubleshoot the problem myself, so I guess I'll take it to a repair shop to diagnose it and make certain that I'm correct.
get in touch with channel 5 news INVESTIGATES out of chicago, they have helped thousands of people with things like this, there is nothing worse for a company than being on live tv and getting told your business sucks, and its not worth buying from them.

just do it. nbc 5 investigates, GO, TALK, GET RESULTS.
don’t wait, get on the horn with them, and thank me later when your new unit shows up :)
I just received a classdaudio SDS-470C UPG
listened to it all day with diferent preamps, diferent speakers, connected directly to dac.
My First impression was tigh bass and not aggressive hiighs.
it sounded good, clean and airy
After a long Session and tests, i switched to my (main)vintage amp 44 years old(not restored), and I INSTANTLY understood that class d sounds extremely good BUT ITS UNABLE TO PRODUCE MUSIC!
this amp is no different for all the crap audio gear that is made today! which is analitycal, extremly detailed , tight here smooth there, measure extremely well, BUT THEY ARE UNABLE TO PRODUCE WHAT THEY ARE MEANING FOR!!!!!!!!! MUSIC!
ps:to manufacturers GO TO HELL with your cheap and expensive crap gear!
dont’ buy classdaudio you have been warned!

classdaudio is just stupid hype! When i emailed "TOM" ( who made it) saying that his amp was total crap he anwered me:


"Very strange… we have thousands of these running all over the world with nothing but fantastic reviews. We have customers that have sold $50,000.00 amps and switched to ours after hearing them. Our amps were voted one of the best products of the year. We have been chosen as the best class d amps. Are you sure you have it connected correctly? We have been making these for 9 years and everyone loves them."


come on!!!! he didn’t ask if it were a problem with the amp or so.....JUST STUPID HYPE! DON’T BUY ITS PURE SH*T

maybe chinese make Something better for 10x cheaper....
Markolino, you didn't say what amp you had, I'm guessing it's a class a? 
 Who makes it?