Bought a pair of Dali Euphonia MS5 speakers. They must have fallen over during shipping. They were upside down on the pallet when they got to my house. 155Lbs for each box. My question is, what could have happened internally? Could drivers be harmed? Crossovers? I refused delivery, but now the seller wants them re-delivered so the insurance agent can look them over. I never took them out of the (destroyed) boxes, but now I’ll have a chance to, and check them out. What should I look for (even if they still sound good)?
Are you sure the seller didn't accidentally ship them upside down? Not sure how they could flip over when packed on a pallet. ( or do you think they fell off the pallet and the shipping company put them back on the pallet? )
If there's no cosmetic issues with the cabinets, I bet you will be ok. But you will want to figure out if you can get replacement boxes in case you ever want to sell them on your end.
Nope I had shipper send photos before, just in case this happened. He even wrapped them together in shipping cellophane (which had been removed by the time they reached me). DON’T EVER USE ESTES SHIPPING COMPANY!!! I paid $800 just for the shipping. At least the seller bought insurance.
The problem with crating is they assume a forklift will be used and that everything will be kept upright. Cardboard boxes actually work better because they require padding all the way around. That is for example what Tekton does. They are marked UPRIGHT but because of the way they are packaged it hardly matters.
Anyway with crates they can do things like bolt the speaker to the crate using the speakers threads. These are intended for floor spikes, not for holding the whole speaker up in the air upside down or sideways. Subjected to these kinds of loads they can pull out, leaving the speaker to bang around inside the crate. So look first for damage to these thread inserts.
If these are really strong and don’t pull out then the next thing that can go is the cabinet. This wasn’t designed for side loads either. So inspect carefully along every cabinet joint, corner, and edge. Of course it kind of goes without saying the driver cones, but you would spot that immediately. About the only thing there is soft dome tweeters can dent in and pop back out and it looks horrible but does no lasting damage and after a while even the crease disappears.
Almost always the crossover is build on a piece of MDF. Caps, inductors and resistors are simply zip-tied or hot-glued to the board. The board in turn is hot glued to a cross brace or something inside the cabinet. From the crossover wires go to each driver. There’s foam or batting in there. Bottom line, nothing in there to be damaged. The one thing that could happen is the board breaks off. Stand the speaker up, and tilt it to one side and then the other. Anything loose inside will shift around and you will hear it.
As far as the drivers being shock damaged, could happen I guess. What happens is the voice coil gap is very very small. The voice coil fits in a gap formed between the outer magnet and the inner pole piece. It takes a lot of force to do this but it is possible to shift the pole piece enough to freeze the voice coil and destroy the driver. (Ask me how I know!) The test for this one is simple- tap on the cone. If it moves freely you are good to go. Won't work for tweeters but if the woofers and mids are good they are far more massive and subject to damage so if they are good the tweeters should be as well.
This is all from actual experience. My Talon Khorus were crated. They had to send THREE to get ONE here in good shape. All the damage explained above happened to the others. Now I know why Eric uses cardboard and styrofoam.
If Talon was dumb enough to pack any speaker that way, they deserve the incurred cost to replace them. Honestly, that is pathetic. I have received two different speakers that were factory crated and the packing was by far better than any cardboard box and foam packaging I have ever received on any speaker, including a pair of Tekton Electrons. Of all the packaging I have seen, I would describe the Electron packing as adequate, nothing more.
In the pictures the seller sent, were the crates banded to the pallet? I would be surprised if a freight company accepted them without banding, but you never know. If they were not banded to the pallet, I can see how they could be easily dumped off with a forklift. It would also likely be the sellers problem.
There were no crates, just two large (original-mint) boxes wrapped together in cellophane, sitting on a pallet with no strapping (seller's mistake). We figure the forklift driver had them off center on the tines, and they fell. Who knows. Someone was curious to know what high end speakers looked like because one side of the beautiful black cardboard box was torn down about 2 feet, but since they were upside down at that point, they must have given up. MORONS!!! The trucker that attempted delivery said that probaby 4-5 different companies would have been involved in getting them to me. So it could have happened anywhere/when.
I had a similar experience with one of a pair Totem Acoustic speakers. They were shipped by the dealer in their factory boxes. One speaker arrived a day later than the other and when I looked at the second speaker box I suspected there would be a problem, as one corner of the box was damaged. I opened the second box and after unpacking found the bass driver had a large, readily visible hole in it. I had to ship the speaker directly to the manufacturer for repair. Totem advised that the crossover assembly had become detached and came through the back of the bass driver! Totem suspected that the box had to have been dropped from a considerable height (like off the back of a truck 5-6' or so). The dealer, who shipped the product to me, covered the repair (replacement of bass driver and crossover) and was unable to recover anything from FEDEX even though the shipment was insured, I provided photos of the damaged box and driver, and the damage was not due to improper or non-factory packaging.
Look for any holes, deformation or cracks in the driver cones of the mid- or bass- drivers. Also, if the speaker is not too heavy to slide along a carpeted floor, listen to see if you can hear anything moving inside the cabinet as you move the speaker. Obviously, you should not hear anything. And you need not move the cabinet very strongly to hear something, if anything is loose. Those are my suggestions for identifying potential damage in addition to what @millercarbon explained.
Totem did a great job with the damaged speaker. They match drivers when they make a pair, have records of the drivers used and had a replacement driver and crossover on hand to install. I have listened to the speakers for around a thousand hours and am quite pleased with them, noticing no difference in the reproduction quality of the two speakers. Obviously if you can get the dealer to provide a new pair instead, that would be a great alternative.
I always thought Vandersteen’s Furniture boxes were a good idea. Who want to beat up on furniture? Our fedex guy left a subwoofer on my lawn under a tree in the rain. Wouldn’t do that with furniture. The boxes were destroyed you say?
Anyone who would put speakers on a pallet without strapping them down is pretty much guaranteeing that they will be damaged. I can’t believe anyone would do that. Tell him that was his mistake and he is responsible for what happened.
If there is a shipper who specializes in huge, heavy, yet lovely and delicate furniture-grade loudspeakers, I don't know about it. To those responsible for hands-on physical movement, cargo is cargo. "A mind that's weak and a back that's strong," to quote Merle Travis with a nod to Mark Knopfler.
$800 and it's not "white glove?" That's why, if ever again I buy giant loudspeakers, I will drive directly to the US manufacturer or in-stock dealer and collect them in person. Any fault will be my own or that of the insured bozo who rear-ends me. Like Miller (albeit with far less technical knowledge), something learned from experience.
Tekton uses Dominion. My speakers arrived in perfect condition. One box had a small hole or tear, the driver waited and let me open and inspect before signing. It was such a small thing I was sure it was okay but he was happy to wait. These are big boxes, way over 6ft tall, 150 lbs, and arrived almost without a dent. That to me is remarkable. So it can be done.
You guys are making me nervous. I have a brand new pair of speakers coming from Utah ( I live in New Hampshire) in route as we speak. Old Dominion has them. Anyone have any experience with Old Dominion? They are coming direct from the manufacturer.
Based on the time signature, likely midostyn was typing the response concurrent to millercarbon's post. A truly rude reply by millercarbon. I suggest he pull back and scrutinize his behavior on this forum, as it has been consistently snarky. :(
Thanks for everyone's help. I'm contacting Dali today to price out driver and crossover replacements so I have some ammo when the insurance adjuster comes (who will probably know nothing about speakers)
Sad to here, and common. My thinking a person uses an insured reputable company pays everything offered for perfect shipment and don’t except anything but just that. Unfortunately all the BS about other companies and their shipping Practises do nothing for you at this point. Who cares what..I bought and how well they got here...does zero for you. Moral of the story get what you paid for period.
I’m contacting Dali today to price out driver and crossover replacements so I have some ammo when the insurance adjuster comes
The seller is the insured party so it’s up to him to file a claim and deal with the insurance. The insurance company will not deal with you because you did not buy the insurance. You are not the insured party. Once you accept the delivery they are yours, as is.
If you can be convinced that the speakers are undamaged (by close inspection and hooking them up and listening to them before you accept delivery) you might want to keep them. If not, don’t accept delivery. Send them back.
Always pay for online purchases with a credit card. If the guy doesn’t want to refund your money, set up a dispute with either Paypal or the bank that issued the credit card. The first question they will ask is, "Do you have possession of the speakers?"
MC is always blowing his horn over Tekton. I found their packaging the flimsiest in the business, no better than the kind of cardboard you would get a dress shirt in. This is my experience from 2012 when I bought the Pendragons. Both speakers arrived damaged and the cheap styrofoam corners in the box had completely disintegrated by the time they reached my home. FedEx delivered them. Eric Alexander was quite the A hole to me when I called about the damage and complained how flimsy the shipping cartons were. I wouldn’t buy a toothpick from that company and all the tweeters in his MOAB speakers are made in........CHINA.
After MC bashes everything from China, he buys a speaker with many Chinese made tweeters. His Melody amp may be based in Australia but it too is built in China. Can we say hypocrite?
@1111art - you should refuse shipment to get the speakers back to DALI for them to inspect/fix, then send you out a inspected/new pair. Accepting them then trying to fix yourself may opening a can of worms - a lot of uncertain additional time and effort invested to fix the speakers with no guarantee that they'll perform as new.
If they are strapped flat on the pallet much less chance of damage they should have plastic wrap around them also, if designed properly there should be thick sponge type foam ,not white styrofoam which is outdated and cheap. There should be no physical damage maybe tighten drivers the screws around surround can be loose ,Xover is soldered it would take a lot to break ,if Xover is glued inside the glue could break away. For sure I would not except any box damaged period, once you except it it’s your problem.
The speakers are being re-delivered today. I'll inspect them, then an insurance adjuster will. Then I'll either offer a lower price to the buyer (who's already fully refunded me), or let the shipping company do whatever they do at that point. The seller is a lawyer, so he's having me write a disclaimer on the delivery notice.
Artisan Shipping in NY has brought expensive delicate musical instruments to me from all over the country. I can't imagine the size and weight of these speakers would be an issue, and his pricing is comparable to motor freight, especially if the freight is not being discounted (my motor freight account has a 70% discount, and I'm an extremely small-time operator). The guy knows how to handle priceless art and antiques with care and respect. He picks up anywhere and delivers to your door. Highly recommended, and the only shipper I'll use for something I care about. Message me for his contact information if interested.
Hello Sir,I’m really sorry to hear about your situation.But after driving tractor trailer for almost 20 years,this does not surprise me at all.Most times when freight is loaded,the pallet is pushed up to the one in front of it,rarely strapped in.Any top heavy freight runs the chance of falling forward,or to the side,I’ve seen it literally hundreds of times.The forklift loaders run on a tight schedule,usually many trailers to load in one shift.In a perfect world,this wouldn’t happen,but like I said,it does every day,I’ve seen it in my own trailer happen,without any evasive moves on behalf of the driver,gravity is tough on freight.The bottom line,it’s up to the original shipper to wrap the heck out of the pallet to keep everything intact.Don’t blame Estes,because odds are it would tipped over no matter what shipping company you used.I hope this opinion helps in some way,you or everyone else someday. John
The speakers can look perfect and sound OK and a month from now develop an issue. If the guy you purchased the speakers from paid for the shipping, you are going to be caught in the middle. Any money will go to the person, that paid for the shipping. One OUT the shipper has is when something is not packed correctly. If the seller put the speaker on a pallet without band straps, they were not packaged correctly. I agree with Kennyc:
you should refuse shipment to get the speakers back to DALI for them to inspect/fix, then send you out a inspected/new pair.
North American Van lines has a service that will come to your house and pick up you item, stretch and blanket wrap, then deliver it. I have shipped 30+ old jukeboxes without crates and only had one get damaged. They returned the jukebox to me and paid me for the repair and re-delivered it for free. Shipping a jukebox (400/500 lbs) from the east coast to the west coast is usually $500 or so. They will even take them in the house for an extra fee.
Interesting subject, About a year ago I found a decent pair of JBL L-150A's I wanted to purchase, from a business ( not an individual) I inquired about shipping these brutes roughly 600 miles away. I was told they ship all over the country & not a problem. So they are placed on a pallet, strapped down & well protected, they arrive at my home & removed from the trailer on a lift, I proceed to unpack & remove them, I inspect them with no visible damage so I'm happy, then I go and hook them up to my amp, well the first speaker is working fine (so far so good) the second speaker is hooked up, but no sound coming from the woofer. I check everything on the outside but it all checks out. So next I remove the big 12" woofer to inspect the X-over to see if everything is wired properly, well there you have it, a big heavy inductor that was glued onto the X-over some 40 yrs. ago has broken free & is resting on the bottom of the cabinet, wires pulled apart, so I guess my question to the seller should have been, not just is it possible to ship these to me, but is it going to be possible to ship them to me "damage free" live & learn.
Update: Had the local speaker pro over. He tested drivers and all are working fine.No cracks or concerns are visible anywhere. They sound wonderful. Huge sound, fine details. Even better than I expected. (I'm upgrading from the smaller Helikon 400's). Seller already fully refunded me. Now we wait for the insurance company.Then seller and I will re-negotiate. He's been quite a gentleman throughout the ordeal.
I must be missing something here, but IMHO I wouldn’t even think about accepting these, unless you got a crazy / ridiculous low price on them, where the risks are low. Even then the potential (longer term) that something goes amiss, it will always come back to this very situation.
What’s the harm in just getting another pair and being done with it?
All this talk about packaging, fixing, inspecting this or that, dealing with insurance seems way over the top IMO. To each their own I guess, I hope it works out nonetheless.
Sale concluded peacefully and fairly for both parties. He suggested a new slightly lower price and I accepted. Lovely, almost scary powerful sound when cranked. Not quite as musical as my Dali Helicon 400's, but close. I've heard these at someone else's house (who knew nothing about treating a room). My high ceilings, rug, and treatments really bring out the sweetness. I highly recommend these 15K speakers, that you can occasionally find for around 5K. I posted photos here: https://www.avforums.com/threads/dali-owners-thread.1762652/page-44#post-28925665