Major EXOGAL Comet/Ion problems


Five years ago I bought an Exogal Comet to use as a DAC with my Rogue Medusa amplifier. It proved itself an excellent unit in all respects and I was positively impressed with the company's support and helpfulness. A year ago I bought the matching Exogal Ion amplifier (at considerable expense) to go with the Comet and was delighted. (The Medusa was wonderful but I wanted something with a smaller footprint). 

Reviewers have invariably criticized the Comet's diminutive window for being extremely difficult to read and the cheapness of the remote control. Noting these deficiencies, the TAS reviewer Vade Forrester (June 24, 2015) wrote, "I learned the Comet is really intended to be operated remotely from an iPhone or iTouch." My experience was that the window and remote were exercises in frustration, but that the Apple application I downloaded from the Exogal site for my iPad was ideal; I had total control over the unit and the app was a delight to use--very Space Age. For the record, I liked the Comet so much I unloaded my Rogue RP 1 and used it as a preamp. 

All was well until I got a new iPad and couldn't download the application. When I called Exogal I received a somewhat garbled account that Apple was no longer permitting them to use the application. Ditto with Android. After a while they announced a remote control module was being developed and in the pipeline. They sent me an experimental prototype that in my opinion wasn't much of an improvement over the original. On the few occasions I can reach them they say it will be ready in a week but weeks have passed. This is tantamount to having a fancy TV where it is a major struggle to perform a simple action like change the channels! 

Exogal is singularly uncommunicative about this problem. Their website is scarcely used and they seem to have moved over to Facebook. The strangest thing is that on the website they list under "Products" a series of four Vortex streamers, described in detail, that apparently were never manufactured! They don't answer their emails. They say their site has been hacked and various other things. In a rare new posting on their website and Facebook they claim the they have just opened a distributorship in Europe. This raises the question how are the European purchasers going to operate their units? None of this inspires consumer confidence.  

My point here is that when someone spends 7k and above on supposedly elite components they deserve responses and explanations. It is Exogal's responsibility to ascertain that these units are operable as designed. I have to question the business sense of relying on an outside entity like Apple that is notorious for being proprietary. It is totally unbusinesslike not to make a public explanation of these issues with a timetable to correct them. Customers should not have to go foraging around Audigon forums to learn what is, or isn't, happening. 

Now the window on the Comet periodically goes blank (it was never even illuminated). Having 7k worth of Exogal equipment that is extremely difficult to operate, I went and bought a Wyred 4 Sound integrated and a Black Ice DAC so I can actually listen to something without a struggle. The Exogal stuff is in a box waiting for who knows what. I am beginning to think that Exogal is indeed out of this galaxy, but for all the wrong reasons. This is very surprising because a couple of years ago they were exemplary in all respects. I would like to hear from other frustrated owners to see what solutions they have devised. 
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Another small audiophile company on the brink of extinction! Good luck if you try to sell the Exogal gear!
I am sympathetic but they need to step forward and let people know what is happening. Being evasive and hoping the problems will go away is not helpful. They are saying they have a European distributer which indicates that possibly the remote module is out. Otherwise you would have to be crazy to buy the brand. 
I still really enjoy my Exogal Comet and have no plans to change, but, I agree with other users frustration of no longer having the iOS or Android app. I recently discussed this with Exogal and they sent me a prototype version of their RF remote and RF receiver called the Pulsar and it is a functionally adequate solution to their challenges of maintaining and distributing an app in the Apple and Google App Stores, but, it not as convenient and elegant as the original app-based approach. It seems like a complicated technical solution for what I believe is a simple business problem. The last thing I wanted was yet another remote.