Manufacturer customer service

I post this here not to seek your support in what I percieve as poor customer service but your genuine thoughts on the matter at hand given the facts as presented (by the consumer).

CONTEXT: Some months ago I ordered / purchased an audio component from a manufacturer after spending months researching and working with them on the successful integration IMS and some customization in the build process. At that time the manufacturer offered this service, and at no additional charge (as long as the parts used did not complicate the build process. In which case there would be a surcharge). After researching this project and the appropreiate / "best" parts (with the designer's ok) I ordered the parts and shipped to him.

One of the upgrade parts was a special hookup wire composed of a seperate Wonder Wire in (blk jacket) silver clad 19ga copper (for ground) and BEAR Labs solid silver 99.99997 pure wire (clear teflon) that totaled 22awg (for current). The wire was supplied by a cable / component manufacturer I had previously admired and after consulting suggested I use the wire used in his 10k pre-amp, which was similar to the "wire" I was familiar. For the job at hand I ordered 5' of the silver wire, and 5' of the Wonder Wire for $49. Along with the wire were explicit instructions (by the manufacturer) for both the directionality / orientation of the supplied wire. That the solid silver was for CURRENT and the Wonder Wire was for GROUND.

PRESENT: I received the component some months ago and have been extremely happy with it. Though I have contacted him a few times since on various production questions / concerns and associated devices that he addressed to an acceptable degree. Just recently the manufacturer I purchased the wire from Emailed me and said "your amp is wired backwards"; that the Wonder Wire is connected to SIGNAL and the solid silver is connected to GROUND. Obviously, not what I or the wire manufacturer intended. I specifically wanted to use a SILVER hookup wire. So I Emailed the manufacturer who built the component, asking him to "check it out". Is it wired as per the instructions / directives supplied or what. In the initial Email I included a link of closeup photos of the wiring along with the original Email alerting me.

The 1st response I received back was simply "You have got to be kidding". I responded, "I wish I were kidding. I'll just have to find someone local to fix it." He replies "fix what?". I send another Email summerizing the first and then he shoots back>

"Mike does the amp, hum, buzz or have a problem? If so we will fix it. If some guy say's his wire is not being used right, you need to send the amp to him. We have done so many blind listening tests that I can't count them all. If you can hear the difference in an 18" piece of wire I have a line cord I would like to sell you. This is why we don't do custom work anymore. There is nothing wrong with the way your amp is wired, but I have no doubt you will hear the difference when it's changed."

I realize the fix is a rather small one that I could do myself and have no intention of him "fixing it" (not local). I was only asking him to look at the Email and the photo(s) in question and let us know if it was connected per our instructions. If it turns out to be incorrect then an apology or "compensation" would be nice. I also realize that we had an extended collaboration on this project and that he may be tired of hearing from him but how can he AFTER THE FACT question the purchase and use of the parts I paid for and expected him to install per my, and manufacturer's (not just "some guy") wishes AND his agreement? If he didn't want his design "tweaked" then he shouldn't have accepted that condition at the time of commission, and why let me supply parts he had no intention of using or installing as intended?

It seems obvious to me he did not intend to do THAT, instead he made a mistake and is now trying to backpedal by discrediting the validity of that product type and "the supplier" while questioning my crediability. That is not even up for debate. I ordered a product with set conditions and supplied parts HE AUTHORIZED as suitable. When I paid for the product my obligation ended. His obiligation was to build the product as agreed apon, and to stand by and service that product. My intent here is not to slander this (unnamed) manuafacturer. I will get it fixed myself but was curious what my peers thought considering the facts reported and our associations, past and present. Thank you.

How does the person who you bought the wire from, know out of the blue that the amp is wired backwards?? I don't see how they were involved in the project other than supplying parts through the mail. Are they Psychic ?? What facts are missing?

You never know, maybe the amp is better wired backwards. That is how all discoveries are made; by mistake.

That is a whole other Audiogon debate that goes on. Is wire directional?
Good question. I posted pictures (as requested) of the underbelly of the component and recently posted pictures of my system (including those pixs) on another forum. The manufacturer who supplied the wire frequents that site and apon viewing my system pixs noticed the inconsistency.

The purpose of my post is not to discuss the validity of wire construction or orienatation. Only the pre-arranged agreement between customer and manufacturer.

Would I find the performance or signature less to my liking once correctly wired? I admit that is a possibility. Based on my experience, reports from end-users and the "wire supplier" himself it would appear a good "risk". Like I said, I specifically wanted to use a silver signal wire to compliment the SET topology. I had previously used and found a very similiar silver wire to my liking and now look forward to reconfiguring the amp to the intended specification.
Too bad it is not easy to do an A/B comparison of the wire mounted both ways!! Any tech or someone who know how could reverse the wire. Considering shipping costs, maybe that is easier.
Dear Intrepid Listener,

First let me say that as long as the manufacturer "knew" of your choices for directionality and which conductors you wanted put in each leg of the circuit, he was obligated to put 'em where and how you wanted 'em. Please let me also say that your "Obligation" to the manufacturer does NOT end as soon as you make payment in full. If this is a product that you had any hand in the design of or parts choices for (as you indicate you did) then is it not reasonalbe to assume some of the "Obligation" of checking things to make sure they were done correctly from the get go? Also, is it not also you "Obligation" to operate the product as intended, with care as to not damage, abuse etc. the product? PLEASE NOTE: I am in NO WAY saying that you used the product improperly. I am however stating that an owner's "Obligation" to a manufacturer is to use the product as intended in ALL cases. We can not say " I paid you and now the item is mine to flog unto death" And then say "Fix it for free please". I realize the latter part of this missive does not pertain to your situation, but I have seen owners totally destroy equipment, return it to the manufacturer and demand replacement or upgrade and claim no responsibility for the damage.

One item comes to mind: Customer buys a used multi-channel amp. He connects it in a way specifically NOT recommended by the manufacturer in the manual he did not get as part of the used transaction. The unit goes KAZZAPPO! Customer tears the unit down. He calls the local dealer (me) and says "I need warranty service". We advise the warranty is to the original purchaser and that it does not transfer (per the manufacturer). "Fine" says he. He bring SOME of the parts of the amp in and says "Ship these to the manufacturer and have them fixed". "OK", off they go. The manufacturer gets the parts, "Fixes" them. In one case the "Fix" is to remove parts they did not put in the product to begin with. We get the boards back, call the customer and say "Come and get 'em". He shows up and throws a coniption fit in the store because the manufacturer wants him to pay for the repairs. Sorry for the boring details, but this is a more common thing than almost anybody would think.

We live and love our hobby. We pursue our "Audio Goals" relentlessly. We all like to tweak and fiddle about with our gear. Should we not also recognize that as owners, we are obligated to use our gear as intended?

Again, I do realize the "Bad Owner" scenario is NOTHING like your experience.

I hope that your re-wire kicks ass.


You are correct in that consumers should use products as they are intended but they can use them (in a safe manner) however they wish. What they shouldn't do is use them incorrectly and either expect warrenty repair or to discount their involvement and slander the company. They should disclose all the facts known that are relevant to the situation. If I seriously thought I needed to check each solder point or look to see if "my parts" were installed correctly I would have purchased elsewhere. As it turned out I gave him more credit than deserved.
Mwalsdor, I think you are correct in wanting the signal lead to be silver in your SET configuration. I also think that the 22 ga. was the proper size for it.

Regarding the manufacturer, he accepted the deal, and did not carry out instructions. He should make good, if for no other reason than good customer relations.

I would take this route. Contact him again and ask him to rewire the unit in the way specified. If he refuses, that is strike one. Then ask him if he will pay at least some portion of the cost of having someone else re-wire it. If he says no, that is strike two. Then ask him if the warranty will be valid if you have someone else re-wire it. If he says no, that is strike three.

Three strikes and he's out. He made a mistake, he won't fix it, or pay to fix it, and he won't warranty the fix. If this happens, I would not have anything to do with them again.

However, if for some reason, you don't want to press this issue with him, you can forget about it. Personally, I would be very dissatisfied with that result(meaning primarily the service question). If a resolution cannot be agreed to, get the service schematics and part # info on the unit, so you can get it serviced properly by your favorite tech, or yourself.
I do not know enough about this stuff to really comment on a technical level. However, If I took the time and care to put something as extensive as this together, I want it the way that I want it. Period. I myself am very meticulous, not having it the way I specified and not changing it would keep me up every night regardless of whether it sounded better changed or not. Change it yourself and be done with it. You will sleep better. Finally, I hate suckey customer service. To bad for them, word of mouth is the best, or in this case worst, reference you can give.

Sorry for your issue,