Over the last few months I’ve had three occasions to ask the makers of my audio gear for help and, without exception, the support has been considerably beyond my expectations.
Raven Audio — I bought a used Raven Audio Blackhawk LE. The sonics and build quality of the amp itself are the best of any piece of gear I’ve owned in decades of swapping gear. The only issue was that the remote didn’t work properly. I contacted Raven to ask if I could buy a replacement. I didn’t buy the amp from them and didn’t expect them to take responsibility for the remote not working. The owner, Dave Thomson, got in touch immediately and what followed was numerous email exchanges and four or five phone calls, all to analyze and fix the problem. His attention to a user he wasn’t going to make a dime off of was both surprising and reassuring. In addition to solving the problem I learned a lot of useful information about my amp in the process.
Wyred 4 Sound — I bought a used Remedy Reclocker to tame the jitter from an iMac and couldn’t get any output from it. I wrote the support number on the W4S site on a Saturday evening, not expecting to hear anything until Monday at the earliest. Early the next morning I found a message in my inbox from W4S sent at 1 a.m. asking some questions and suggesting some things to try. I’d simply hooked things up wrong. When I looked again at the message I saw it was signed by E.J. Sarmento. That sounded familiar and a quick search confirmed it was, indeed, from the president of Wyred 4 Sound, who’d seen a request for help in their support queue at 1 a.m. on a Sunday and responded.
Nola Speakers — I sold a pair of Nola Boxers to a friend and in the process of rearranging some gear he shorted a speaker lead and blew out a woofer. He wrote to the contact address for Nola explaining what had happened and asking if a replacement woofer was available. This was also on a Saturday evening but he immediately got a reply from Carl Marchisotto saying they no longer used that woofer but he would try to find one at their shop. He was writing late on a Saturday evening while showing his gear at the Denver audio show but said he would look into it as soon as he was back home. He did, found the proper woofer and sent it to my friend.
It’s clear that a lot of the people who make great gear do it out of a love for what they produce and want their customers to love it as much as they do.
Great Post! I think it is always a good thing to post about positive experiences. And, yes, many small/medium/ and a few large manufacturers offer great customer service out of love for their craft. Bob
I'll have to say PS Audio, Cullen Cable, Tortuga Audio and Eminent Technology. Each of these vendors/companies have excellent customer service; the type of people you can call/email with a question or their opinion, help. It reminds me of vendors 25 or 30 years ago.
Bruce Thigpen has sometimes answered the phone when I have called Eminent Technology. Funny, he sounds like a normal guy (he's not, he's brilliant). I've gotten Roger Modjeski when I've called Music Reference too. And Keith Herron as well. I love designer/engineer-owned companies!