It might be worthwhile checking the price of a new faceplate with the manufacturer. Then, ask the seller to reimburse you for the cost of the part, plus labor to install it.
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Well, too bad about the damage, looks like the seller missed one of the pieces of padding and if that correlated to where the damage is, then what it is worth comes down to what the two of you agree on. I would generally consider the front faceplate to be significant and worth maybe 20% so ~$200 off. You'll have to negotiate with the seller for what seems acceptable to both of you. For $900 I would consider it a good buy, for $1,100 in that shape I wouldn't.
Just my 0.02.
I think the above suggestions are adequate fair and responsible... if no other recourse is available. ie., the cariier.
Everytime, and I do mean everytime, a carrier will submit it is the fault of poor packing. It's just what they do the majority of the time. it's like their default answer to any claim.
I even know of an occasion in which the carrier said it was due to poor packing, and the carrier did the packing! They failed to notice the checked box on the shipping bill where they had provided the service.
Carriers, I think, feel a package should be able to withstand a drop from a tenth story window right onto the street below.
Not trying to mitigate for the packer/seller, just some alternative thinking.
IMO it would be difficult to resell the amplifier with the damage shown in the photos. Possibly its present retail value for resale is around $500.00. Your photos don't show the area of the box that was damaged in transit, if there is any damage.
The box that is shown is intended for transport from a manufacturer to a distributor/retailer in bulk on a pallet, not for shipping through a ground carrier with multiple hub transfers, conveyor belts and the potential for mishandling.
I suggest returning it for a full refund. Faceplate damage has significant value consequences, just look at the Audiogon rating scale. The seller must assume responsiblity during shipping.
It might be a blessing in disguise. I don't think you'll find the Aragon to be that much of an improvement over your old Adcom. Those Thiels of yours, will benefit from a powerfull, real high end amp.
Thanks for all the helpful comments. This is my first foray into real "hi-fi", other than a Thiel CS3.5 purchase, so I'm operating in new territory, nice to have a source of sound advice. The seller has agreed to refund 20% and I've accepted. I'm not going to be "happy" with the overall transaction given what has transpired (and neither is he), but it is something I believe I can live with. The damage is entirely cosmetic, the amp sounds incredible with the Thiels and I may very well have agreed to buy that amp with the defect at that price, ideally for a bit less, but not enough to quibble over. I intend on keeping it for quite a while, so resale value is secondary.
The seller was naive to believe that the packing was sufficient to withstand the rigors of UPS and showed poor judgement in doing so. It is a given they are going to drop the unit from a 3-4' height. The foam is flexible and only engages the unit for about an inch on either side. It was obvious to me that it was inadequate when I opened the box and it sounds from others' experience that UPS would agree. From what I have read on other sites, both the Postal Service and FedEx are superior shipping alternatives with regards to package care, though I would pack for the accidental drop no matter who was involved.
This is the souped up 8008 with 2 1100VA toroids instead of a single 2000VA as in the base unit, and twice the capacitance. To my admittedly rookie ears, the improvement is substantial over the Adcom, much more detail and the though the Adcom had plenty of bass, it just sound much more natural with this unit. I feel I made the right choice in amp, which helps somewhat temper the disappoint over the damage.
The photos do not show any damage to the shipping box. The box would have sustained obvious damage that correlates to the position of the good sized ding on the faceplate. IMO, there would have been a hole in the box. Is there any damage to the shipping box?
If the shipping foam fit snugly, which would indicate it was the original packing material, then I agree with Samhar that it is unlikely the damage occurred during the shipment of the amp to you, and therefore it's possible the damage was pre-existing.
I see there are a few Ellery Queen fans out there. Yes, there are a couple of things that don't add up here. When I first opened the box, I noticed the unit had shifted out of its right foam holder towards the left and the feet on the right side were directly on the cardboard box bottom. You can see the indentations they left in the photograph of my previously posted slideshow of crime scene photos. If you still think that this puny foam provides adequate protection for a 75 pound weight, please leave the room. The left side, where the damage was done, therefore, would need to be snug in its foam holder, and it was. My initial conclusion was that the seller had damaged it by dropping it while packing (his photos were legitimate and showed an intact unit outside of its point of use) and my first communication to him suggested that was the case. His response was that the unit was perfect, as it was in his posted photos, when he packed it and that the damage must have occurred during shipping. For that to have happened, the box would have had to hit a hard surface with the side facing the front of the unit downward. Also, the unit would have had to, on impact, be cocked just a bit and outside of its foam holder so that the left front edge would hit the floor through the two layers of cardboard. The faceplate of this unit has a triangular profile with the peak at the switch location, that is why you see the damage at that location. The angle of attack of the crushed face (which, by the way is plastic) suggests this is how it hit the surface, if you look at it from the side, you don't see the damage, the worst of it faces front. To have caused that much damage, I would certainly expect to see a crushed portion of cardboard at the location of impact in roughly the shape of the damage. It is not there. I've attached two additional photos, one from the inside of the box at the location where the unit would have had to have come out of its holder and impact the box and one from the front where you would expect a crush mark near the word "VOLTAGE.". Neither of these seem to me to indicate that they were subjected to the trauma one would expect from such an incident. The left side foam holder at this location though, is cracked and crushed a bit, whereas all the other portions of both holders are intact. Could the unit have been crushed and not leave a mark on the cardboard? Most likely not, but stranger things do and have happened. Only one person knows for sure.
Regardless of whether the damage was done just before shipping or during shipping, it is there and I now own the unit. The seller has credited $200 as we agreed. I'm not happy about the experience, it was totally unnecessary. I am particularly annoyed about the fact that I advised the seller to pack the box in another box lined with insulation or peanuts, which is how I ship stuff worth 1/20 of the value of this unit and he ignored the advice. He had it shipped to him as was shipped to me and it arrived intact, so the extra work was not necessary, he claimed. There was another UPS label on the box, so this was the case. Clearly, he got lucky the first go around. If the box would have been properly packed, then there would be no question as to when the damage, if it showed up at all, happened.
The damage appears to be entirely cosmetic, I've enjoyed the unit for the last two days and everything I've put through it sounds great which was not the case most of the time with the Adcom. I'm also rediscovering how poorly recorded so many of my CDs truly are. On to the next crisis!
Appreciate further comments regarding my purchase, but the amp has been performing perfectly the last few days and I'm going to keep it. I did find out that the Aragon/Acurus brand has been acquired by Indy Audio and I'm going to check on the availability of a front panel there. Long shot, but you never know.
First off hand I am truly sorry about all the trouble you have experience with your recent transaction. I have taken the time to read and understand others responds/opinions on the issue.
I took a interest reading the thread, because I personally experience a similar circumstance and IMO found that using UPS very risky. Ups dropped a product shipped by me that I took the time and patience to properly secure before shipping and when the buyer receive the product it had damages at the corner similar to yours.
When I spoke to the Ups agent they explained to me that they were entitled to drop up to 6 ft. Needless to say I will never use there services again! I do not think securing beyond at any level guarantees safe delivery with them.
I understand this does not correct the problem but to the sellers integrity packing unit in the original manufactures packaging and box demonstrates proper judgment.
I also have Thiels cs-3.5 and had a Aragon dual mono 4004 amp driving them which I regret selling. Thiels had always endorsed Aragon as the Amp of choice for there speakers. The 3.5's certainly does require high current amperes such as the Aragon flagship 8008 BB.
Thanks for the fine words Audiogalore. The damage I experienced went beyond the cosmetic, I have since found additional damage within the unit related to UPS's treatment. A shame for such a great piece, and yes, it sounds very much at home with my CS3.5 speakers. The seller did insure and we are in the process of resolving the issue with UPS one way or another, I am aware that UPS does not own up to its end most of the time. In fact, I had advised the seller not to use UPS initially, but from what I have found out, even the USPS contracts out its handling of 70lb+ packages to UPS, so it may not have made any difference. Very little can be done other than cross ones fingers and hope there is no dropping of the package. One lesson learned: never ship a package of this type, chances are quite good it will be destroyed.
If their is internal damage as well and the seller didn't insure it (and you asked) you should have your money refunded, FWIW I don't think any one shipper is much better than any other, the heavy items (like amps) simply tolerate 'acceptable' falls worse than lighter units, simple physics really, but....
The UPS Store that shipped it told me that even the postal service is subcontracting out work to UPS, especially the harder to handle, overweight items like this, so it may be true that it does not make a difference who you ship it with, it may end up in UPS's slippery hands.
The BB model is particularly subject to damage because the transformers are stacked and secured with a threaded rod. If it falls face or back first, there is quite a bit of moment at the end of the rod, that upper transformer will shift quite a bit being 20 lbs or so. A package situation whereas there are successive layers of softer to harder packing materials 8" thick or more would be needed to slow this unit down on impact to avoid shock damage.
I have no reason to doubt the sellers intention to refund me the money. Anyway, the transaction was through Paypal via credit card which offers a dispute process that can result in a charge back to the card.
I believe the UPS Store owner told me the seller had asked his opinion of the package when it was brought in and he felt it was acceptable. For normal handling and drops from lets say 2' or so, the original manufacturer's packaging would be fine, but apparently UPS has to drop their packages from 4' and above as part of their service. I read somewhere that if the packaging cannot survive 4' drop, then UPS would deem it unacceptable, in which case I'd have to agree, it would not survive that kind of drop. Very risky to ship this particular item because of the transformer layout I described.
Since most products come up often on Audiogon and many in near mint condition, trying to sell one with damage takes a lot off the original used price, figure at least 30 % but probably more like half.
I recently had this problem with fedex and was amazed when I filed a claim and they refunded what I asked for quickly and with no questions asked. I passed on the savings to the buyer and we made the situation work... explore your options.