Manley Chinook


In Dec 2015 I purchased a Manley Chinook SE from Upscale Audio.  The box I received and serial number stated a SE version but it was actually the standard version.  Kevin D. asked if I wanted to return for the SE model and we agreed that he would send me the Philips PCC88 tubes instead.  This weekend when I went to the room for a listening session once I powered up the Chinook a loud hum persisted.  I checked all connections and they were good.  Changed the tubes - still hummed.  Changed the ICs - still hummed.  Moved to another audio setup - still hummed.  But, after being on for about 30 minutes the hum lessened but a scratchy/crackly sound could be heard in the background.  Yesterday I sent it back to Manley for diagnosis.  I estimate there is less than 20 hrs use.  When I bought this unit I did my research and felt that this would be a workhorse with no problems.  Has anyone else experienced this type of phenomena with the Chinook.  I have hooked my VPI TT back up to my onboard phono stage on my McIntosh C2300; as good as the Mc is I miss the Chinook.
miner42
Sorry you had a problem.  Unfortunately, defective gear does occur.  At least it was still under warranty.

Manley equipment is pretty well built and reliable.  Sounds like a ground issue. Maybe a cold solder joint.
YES MINOR I have had the exact same issue!(bad noises and hum)... I have just had my Chinook serviced and upgraded (serial#MCH028) my unit was a early model manufactured in 2012 (purchased from upscale in 2015). I was ordering tubes for my Jumbo Shrimp when I mentioned my Chinook to Paul Fargo (service tech) at Manley Labs, and he had me send the unit in just because it had never been serviced ...so I did...then Paul relayed to me that the factory has seen higher than normal noise levels from these Chinooks ( and I have personally heard noises, and it was driving me crazy trying to figure out why my system had this noise issue). Manley labs has a direct fix for all Chinooks it involves changing the Main board and as far as I can see it adds a very good ground point. Now My Chinook is dead quiet and I am so happy with Manley labs, I cant say enough about how they stand behind their products, AND all this was free and under warranty!?! Go figure.... Awesome company.


Matt Miller
I set up a friend’s stereo in Dec 2015 that included a Chinook purchased directly from Manley. After a couple months it developed the same problem as you and Matt Miller described. Manley repaired it under warranty by installing a new board. The repair took about three months, but the wait could have been that it was one of the first in for the repair and they were diagnosing the problem. Works well now.

I wouldn't be too thrilled @sschmidt if I spent several $K on a preamp, had issues, sent it back and had to sit tight for a quarter of a year so my unit could be the guinea pig..Why wouldn't they just send a new unit...or perhaps a loaner?
I have a used Chinook (purchased from audiogon seller) without noise issues. I also purchased a used Manley Shrimp preamp that I sent to Manley for the upgrade to Jumbo Shrimp (took about 3 weeks). Great company to deal with. Warranty and after-market support is often an overlooked factor when considering a brand.


@asp307, My friend was the person in contact with Manley. He was pleased with the service at Manley and loves his Chinook.


@sschmidt Then that is all that matters. Glad it worked out for your friend.
Miner...I have a chinook, bought it from Audiogon member used. Had it connected to a VPI Prime with an Ortophon Bronze MM. Everything sounded great!  I then bought an Ortophon Cadenza Bronze to experience the MC world. This necessitated I remove the cover and move the dip switches. In my eagerness to hear the new cartridge I placed the cover on and spun a favorite record. Wow...a tremendous hum now and I of course assumed it was my cartridge right. So I tweaked it, reset it, etc etc. still a loud hum. I was pretty concerned and thought it must be the Chinook?  So I re-screwed in all the cover screws since I had just laid the cover on. Thought I would try it again before I sent it to Manley. Well.....NO hum. It was humming/resonating because the cover screws weren't in!  So with all this said since you removed the cover to replace the tubes make sure you re-screw the top down before listening. Good luck...I love the Chinook!
The Chinook has a pre owned price of under $2,000 and new $2500, hardly several K. That's the Stingray!  Still the Chinook is an incredible gateway into awesome vinyl,  And you can roll 4 6922's! I was most impressed at how Manley Labs took less then a month to send it back and did not charge me anything for shipping it back or the service/upgrade. Also, they kept me informed the whole time via emails. I really cant say enough about how an AMERICAN company stands behind their products. Manley is in Chino Ca, not China!!  I wish more people would take the time to really research where there "gear" is made...because most will find its made some where in Asia. I love the sound of American designed and manufactured gear. Speakers?? Thats a whole different thread...LOL


Matt M
Minor42, one more thought or story to leave with you. I am not in any way affiliated with Manley, nor do I have any Manley gear, but I want to pass along a personal experience with Manley.

A few years ago, I was designing a recording studio and spec’d Manley gear. Coincidently, a couple months later while attending a convention in Anaheim, I asked Eva Manley how the equipment build was going. When she heard I would be in the area, she invited my wife and I to take a tour of their manufacturing facility and take a look at the gear being assembled. We saw the amps in final assembly on the bench, processors being packed, and heard the microphones and mic preamps being tested. I talked with the builders and saw first-hand their design and manufacturing facility. Then Eva took us to lunch and back to their house/recording studio for a tour and a listen to master tapes. It was a day that my wife and I fondly remember.  Best with your Chinook.



Eva rules! I used to see her every year at CES in Vegas, and she always remembered me and treated me like an old friend. Very cool person!

I have a friend with a Manley microphone pre-amp in his 16-track 2" 3M analog studio. Great company and products!

It's actually Eveanna and she is really cool.  I've known her for many years along with David and Luke.
 
Here's some trivia:  Eveanna's father ( Albert J. Dauray) owned the guitar amplifier company AMPEG.
I know it will be repaired by why such an issue early on in the life of the unit?  Plus, to send back to them and insured was $80, which in my mind I should not be responsible for.  My cover was screwed back on tightly so I know that was not the culprit.  I had taken out the EH6922s and replaced with Philips PCC88s and hum was still present.
Mofi, the Ampeg SVT has been THE bass amp to own forever!
@miner42 I empathize with you. I would reach out to Manley regarding the shipping fee. Great it's under warranty and they'll fix it but it's not free if you have to shell almost $100 to get it there, especially if it's a faulty unit to begin with. Judging how this thread had turned into a walk down memory lane, Manley advertising, lunch stories and bass amp praise I'm not so sure your're going to get much further here...
Minor, $80 is a steal for what they do to the Chinook, I would have paid three times that! well worth the postage fee IMO. Are we being a little nit picky???


Matt M
@mattmiller how is $80 shipping paid for by the purchaser a ’steal’ if indeed he bought defective gear?

you said you would have paid 3 times that for what they do to the Chinook? You mean make it work as it should’ve from the jump?
Okay folks, I understand both of your viewpoints, but, remember what it was like before the internet?
You had to take the equipment to a dealer, have them ship it to the manufacturer, have the work done, then have it shipped back to the dealer, and finally receive the equipment back.
Though Manley, could have incorporated the shipping into the upgrade, I think $80 to ship it to them isn't a real deal breaker. Perhaps this thread will goad them to crediting you for the shipping, should the equipment be truly at fault.
Gdnrbob, again, are we talking about an upgrade or are we talking about making it right due to a lemon? I have no clue but giving the OP benefit of the doubt, my comment about the customer paying for shipping only applies if and only if he bought a lemon. If his/her noise issues are due to cabling/emi/rfi or another issue that is for him/her to fix and Manley should not reconcile the shipping. I understand we are only talking about $80, but the unit I'm assuming was purchased for over $2k. Not the highest end piece but the results the OP has experienced could have been had spending much less (if indeed this is a lemon.)
Seems to me this is the price of admission for buying over the net vs. from a B&M store.  Sounds like you are paying one way shipping and they are covering the return.  It sucks that the unit is not right, but that's the world we live in now.  Of course, if you want to go back to the day when your local dealer sold at full retail and gave you 10 cents on the dollar for your trade, well, then you probably would not have had to pay one way shipping. 

Now if you were a walk-in customer, Kevin should cover getting it back to the service center. 
Got my Chinook back.  Service tech said noisy Philips PCC88 tubes were part of the issue.  The tubes were an upgrade for the SE version from Upscale.  They will be replaced by quieter tubes.  A PCB was replace along with 2 capacitors.  Put unit back into the system and it sounded like it should BUT now the Manley logo back lights do not work.  Manley will be sending me the light PCB to install myself.  Guys have been pretty forthcoming on what was done yet they did not send me a tracking number when unit was shipped.  I called to check on the unit and was told it was shipped 3 days ago - it showed up in my office that afternoon.  Would I buy from Manley again - yes.  I understand that stuff happends and Manley did back up their product even though it was only 4 mons old.  Now, back to enjoying the sounds of vinyl.
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Glad it's resolved @m
"Put unit back into the system and it sounded like it should BUT now the Manley logo back lights do not work. Manley will be sending me the light PCB to install myself."

Funny you mention the front light not working.
I recently auditioned the Chinook SE to see if it would be an upgrade or lateral move against my tubed phono(Fosgate V.2 now out of production)

The "Manley" billboard on the front panel IMO, is WAY TOO BRIGHT, therefore distracting. It was the first thing to catch my attention as soon as it lit up! If I owned that unit, it would be the first thing I disconnect.

Otherwise, I enjoyed the Chinook. Support AFTER shelling out your hard earned cash is extremely important. It sounds like Manley did the right things for you.

I say this because I sent my 2 year old Foz back to the distributor 2 weeks ago and unfortunately, they have to send it to their repair guys resulting in extended 
down time, AND I may be faced with opening my wallet for the repair bill AND shipping! Meanwhile, I'm listening with a $120 backup. 


I admit that Manley has done a stellar job with the service - but these two issues early on in the life of the unit has me perplexed.  Sure, I am covered for five years but what else might I be looking at down the road.  My confidence has waned a bit but I am really enjoying having the stage back in the system.  My backup MC stage is my onboard stage on my McIntosh C2300 preamp.  Not a bad backup piece to have I might add.
"Sure, I am covered for five years but what else might I be looking at down the road."

5 years? Wow! Miner4, That's an impressive warranty period. My phono amp was 2 years, and naturally a problem came up AFTER,so now this is on my wallet!

I wouldn't be too concerned since the unit was given a once over by Manley. Electronic "stuff" in general is reliable.
Standard warranty was 90 days BUT if you registered the product it bounced it up to 5 yrs.