Look forward to your review
Look forward to your review
Congratulations Indigorose! It might be an advantage to get the table running for a while and then adding the Schroeder later. You'll be able to know what benefits each is bringing to the music.
Good questions, Groovey. I think part of the reason for the long wait is due to Chris's efforts to get the DD controller working the way he thinks it should. I heard the 360 back in March and he was still tweaking the circuitry and software. Still, a wonderful sound!
I've been running a VPI Scoutmaster (with standard JMW-9 arm) and a Lyra Argo cartridge for the past two years or so. I can't say I was disappointed with that combo at all (I'm a new convert to vinyl), but once you get a taste, it makes you want just a little bit more... :)
I was originally going to purchase a Teres 340, and then decided to scale back and get a 320. However, after placing my order, Chris "complicated" the decision a bit with some interesting developments. Here are some excerpts that describe the new 350, along with some of my comments where helpful:
We will soon be offering a new model 350 turntable that will replace the 340. It is essentially a 320 base paired with the 66 pound platter and bearing
from the model 360.
The plan is to use the 360 motor and clamp (my edit here: the same wood & brass motor and clamp as the 360). Both single and dual tonearm
versions will be available. The feet will be the Brass/lead ones used on the
The 350 will also be the first turntable to use magnetic damping on
the platter. This is a new idea that we have found to be very
beneficial. New 360's will also have the feature but the 350 will
be the first to feature it.
The nickel finish is standard.
And from September:
Also since your table has been delayed for so long we will be using
the newer platter that is used on the soon to be announced 400
series table. The advantage is that should you decide in the future
to upgrade to the direct drive motor this platter will be compatible.
So - there you have! I asked Chris a while ago if he minded that I mention the 350, as there is still no word of it on the Teres website, and he was OK with it. Interesting developments for sure!
BTW - Larry, I have ZYX 3 that I've been waiting to use.
Just one question Audio (Bill) Fiel- Since you are a dealer/distributor for two competing tonearms, why did you order a Schroeder? Is it a better product that you want for your own use, or ......? Its getting more than a bit tiresome to see you regularly trashing others products. BTW, my tonearm is neither Schroeder or Hadcock or Triplanar. Many of the products you sell are outstanding, but you really should disclose your business interest so new-comers here can judge for themselves what weight to give your comments. I know that may come across as rudes, but its late and this has just struck me as wrong.
I don't think you're being rude at all; your concerns are legitimate and fair. I take no offense and will address them for you.
BTW, when no email or phone call regarding a product that was ordered 14 months ago is received, I think a little criticism is deserved. What would you do? I think my post was justified a little sarcasm nothwithstanding.
Regarding the Schroeder, I don't know if it's better or not. I have 4 turntables here using a Vector 3, Tri-Planar, and Hadcock. I've always wanted a Schroeder and ordered one last November. Do you think all retailers restrict themselves only to products in their line?
If you read all of my posts I do my best adding a disclaimer when there is a business interest involved. Furthermore I'm very careful about not discussing products I sell and try not to do that unlike some other vendors here. I send private emails when necessary. My apologies if it has happened and I expect to be called out if and when it does. No big deal to me.
Trashing? Your words not mine. I call them as I hear them which you should find refreshing unless of course you own one of the products that I've called out (your Origin tonearm is a good example). Do you think every component is really Class A as some magazines seem to indicate? I don't because I've heard, touched, and opened up many of them over the past 45+ years. No apologies for what I feel is the truth.
If you would like to discuss further, send a private email or call me. I read your posts and enjoy them.
Well ... as Frank's show guide entry on page 71 of this year's Rocky Mountain Audiofest states "worth waiting for ...".
Having said that, it's my opinion that your dealer should provide you with a bi-monthly status update. It's difficult for some folks to e-mail or make a phone call to essentially say "I don't know", and I think that this is the source of the problem for many individuals - they're just not that good at holding someone's hand through the process.
For the record, I have a couple of Reference orders dating back to Thanksgiving of 2005. If the stars align, I'll receive delivery of them at this year's CES. So, if you're waiting for 14-15 months, you are not alone. Much as all of us wish this were not the case, the good news is that when it arrives, the waiting will have been forgotten and the joy will begin.
Thom @ Galibier
I know that the waits for a Schroeder Arm are extremely long, but I think in the end you will find it well worth it. My arm took a bit over 14 months, but I don't regret the wait at all for what I am able to now enjoy.
As you know, Frank is a one-man show and does all of the design, production, accounting, communication, traveling and marketing. Since the Arms are all hand made (Frank's), there is no way to speed up the process. I know that at times the communication is slow, but that is a result of him spending time at the workbench. Personally, I would rather have him at the bench instead of typing emails. If the waits seem unreasonable, I would suggest that they are only a by-product of the number people that want and have ordered a Schroeder Reference.
Frank works like a slave into the wee hours of the night and the delays are not born out of a lack of a work ethic. For those of you contemplating getting a Schroder Arm but are tentative about the wait ..I can only tell you that I do not regret the wait even a bit and would go through the process again.
Hopefully, you will see you arm soon and feel that the wait was well worth it.
We have are all in a bit of a "Catch-22" that Cello alluded to. The more time Frank spends with support e-mails, phone contacts, etc., the less time he has to perform his main task - which is building tonearms.
Frank has a hand-picked dealer network, which in the U.S. consists of:
1. Me (Galibier)
2. Chris (Teres)
3. Hart (Audio Advancements)
You would do well to work directly with us, and if we are in some way unable to help you, Frank needs to know this.
Since I work both sides of the fence (both selling product as well as being a manufacturer), I am by nature extremely sensitive to the necessity of a manufacturer having a quality dealer support network.
Wearing my manufacturer's hat, I would very much want to know if a dealer is unable to do their job - knowing of course that there are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances.
It is this single point (dealer responsiveness) which has resulted in my treading very carefully.
In many ways, the evolution of the Galibier Design business model is tracking Frank's, with me being the primary point of contact at present. This will likely evolve and I will face the same challenges that Frank currently does.
One of Frank's challenges is that he's very accessible - he hates to say "no" and is very generous with his time. If you, as the customer base collectively insist on consuming his time, then the wait time on Schröder tonearms can only increase. It's your choice.
There are other issues involving failed communications. I have one customer for example, who continues to e-mail me from an e-mail account which has a full mailbox. E-mail replies I spend half an hour composing to him bounce, and he follows up with questions as to my whereabouts. Can I be the only one who's e-mails don't get through? I doubt it. Is my job now to be an e-mail desktop support resource?
So, my humble advice to you is to give your dealer a chance to support you. Also, know that Cello's comments - about a 14 month wait - are not out of the ordinary. You're Schröder tonearm will soon be riding on your turntable.
Collectively, we can improve matters or we can make them worse.
Thom @ Galibier
Poor customer service is never the hallmark of a successful business, no matter how good the product. Not to question Mr. Schroeder's work ethic but he is clearly a better audio engineer than business man. One would think for the price of the product he could hire a minimum wage subordinate to answer his emails.
It would be a shame if this shortcoming was the ultimate undoing of a company that - by all reports - makes an exceptional product.
I hope someday to buy one but I would never tollerate 14 months without a word from the supplier. I wish you luck Indigorose and look forward to the report on the Teres!
No, but I can only imagine it would be like heaven from the comments posted on by owners on A'gon. Are you offering invitations to hear yours? I'm in the market for a new TT / arm / cart over the next 6 mos. and the Schroeder would certainly have been on my short list but for the service concerns expressed here.
I would be happy to extend an invitation to you so you can hear a Schröder arm.
I think you may understand the supply/demand situation for the Schröder a little better after you hear and see one. While much ink has been devoted to how the Schröder sounds, not much has been written on the high level of craftsmanship that is delivered. The attention to detail that Frank puts into each and every arm he builds is really quite amazing and therefore time consuming. If I could swing it, I would hang an extra Reference on the wall as art, although that would be akin to owning a Porsche Carrera GT and not driving it...fast.
Merry Christmas, Steve
Just for the record. I never left anyone's mails unanswered for 14 months. If mails from a specific individual/server are blocked by my provider or the firewall, why not give me a call? Many audiophiles have done this, quite a few of them to gather tips on future system upgrades totally unrelated to my tonearms. I don't think spending up to two hours on the phone per DAY(!) answering questions deserves to be called poor customer service.
I do experience my own emails(replies) being blocked by the recipient from time to time. What would you do in such cases?
A minimum wage subordinate, as you like it to call would certainly NOT be able to answer all these questions with the same expertise or devotion. But you may be right. I should consider hiring low wage helpers or better, start a production line in China(or any other low wage country that gives a d*#n about workers rights or the environment), so that the world would be enriched by yet another mass-produced item that is a mere shadow of what it was intended to be. No lead time, flashy advertisements, dealers that offer to undersell their competition, all the blessings of todays fast way of doing business....
Now, from my point of view, that IS the ultimate undoing of a company.
I'd rather keep on producing something I can stand behind, something you don't see flogged on ebay or other sales platforms, something that, most importantly, will make you smile...
My apologies for sounding defensive, but I mailed those (2) people who said they never got a reply. Did I get a reply? No! Only so much one can do.
Still enjoying what I'm doing, despite the madness...
You would be more than welcome to come for a listen (email me off line).
I think once some one has heard what the Schroeder Reference can do for an otherwise revealing system, the concern about waiting would be tossed aside and the focus would turn to how do I place an order.
I have never had problems with communicating with Frank. I usually email or pick up the phone. Frank has, on occasion over the last few years missed getting some of my emails and I have missed some of his replies due to spam filter issues or whatever. The phone always works and Frank has been more than generous with his time and excellent advice (try to remember that there is a 6 hour time difference if you call him .he does sleep on the rare occasion).
I know of no one who waited for one of Frank's Arm's that begrudged the wait after dropping the Arm in their system.....most just smile a whole lot.
Frank is a gem of a person and you will certainly enjoy knowing and working with him.
Thank you, Mr. Schroeder for your response. I'm sure you have better things to with your time than respond to my posts on A'gon. I was only responding to what I heard from other posters about responsiveness issues and I'm glad for all concerned that you set the record straight regarding your commitment to customer service - NOW GET BACK TO WORK! ;)
Seriously, however, I work as a business strategy consultant in the financial services industry. My observations reflect that fact that I have seen companies with fantastic products take their customers for granted only to see them flee the minute a competitor came along with a comparable product and better service. Innovation attracts new customers, service makes the innovation sustainable and I am pleased to hear you have a commitment to it.
As for production levels, obviously moving production to China is not the answer. Is there any answer short of cloning Frank Schroeder? It seems you may not be interested in being bigger even though you have the demand that many entrepreneurs would die for. That's you decision. But quality need not be completely compromised for the sake of improving productivity as I think many fine audio and non-audio companies have demonstrated.
Alles Besten und Froeliche Weihnachten,
Just to support Frank, I ordered my Schroeder thru Thom at Galibier and recieved excellent communication from both of them. I tried not to bother Frank much, out of respect for everyone else who was waiting too, but when I did he was always quick to reply. Also, I have had numerous problems with another manufacturer trying to get emails to work and in the end we have resorted to phone calls because niether of us can figure out why our computers seem to dislike eachother:-). Sometimes you gotta go with what works.
BTW, I am willing to be a Frank Schroeder clone if that job is available!
Thanks for the kind words. I actually started to "train" friends that were out of a job twice. One architect and model builder, the other a master piano maker. I spent about three months before either was able to make a usable part. And each time, After another month they got a job offer and went back to their old job(can you say deja vu?). Can't blame them, they have a family to support and I can't afford to pay as much as they're making now.
But it's not as if there are thousands of retired watchmakers out there, waiting to make a few bucks/Euros on the side.
And I am currently training yet another candidate. If that one takes off, I'll just bag the whole idea...
Back to the bench(I left it 4.15 a.m. this morning :-()
A relaxing holiday season to all of you,