That's a real shame and I feel bad for you. What a terrible experience. You looked forward to this new amp and when it comes it's a piece of garbage. Guys like him should be making license plates.
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Why would you go to Japan to buy an amp as there are so many good ones from reputable people in the USA?This is a good question.
There are more manufacturers of tube audio in the US now than there was in 1957. Seems to me it would be easy to find a reputable American manufacturer that made an amp that was musical, reliable and well built without having to look to Japan. I can name a few off the top of my head without even scratching it :)
I have a friend that has a couple of Kondo amplifiers and he had his Ongaku cloned and the clone sounded amazing. I thought I would do the same with a Japanese amp builder cloning a Kondo Niero. I have a couple of Dennis Had amps, I have a Gordon Rankin preamp, and will be purchasing a ToolShed amp soon. I was obsessed with Kondo amplifiers. Now not so much. I have regret no doubt and have learned a lesson. Thank you for the support.
I had the same exact experienced as you faced..
I ordered pair of monos 300b PSE at about 3k.. I fabricated my own top plate and added some components and sent to him.
When I got the system back in Jan 2019, it was a total dissapointing.
Hooked them up, and there was sound and no noise.. That's a bit relief..
However the workmanship and material used is totally bad. The placement of components is rather scattered.
So I decided to rebuild the unit.. I tried to get schematic from him but he provided not accurate and many missing info.
He even condemned me not to do anything if I'm not familiar.
Yes, I'm not familiar with tube amp design but I'm good at electronics and DIY stuff.. Then he was not cooperative..
I then started to draft the schematic from the system. I asked many stupid question from others and friends..
And I'm almost done with them now.. And prayed and hope it will be good..
I then tried to find info on this Ken from various search..
I find out that he is Vietnamese lives in Japan, that's trigger me why he does speak like a Jap in his email.
He collect old audio system, recondition them and sell. He also collect tone arms and sell them. These items are good to buy with careful clarification and know what u are getting.
On the tube amps he build are just based on clone and some own modifications. Workmanship sucks. And totally not recommended to consider.
Today, I filed a dispute with my credit card company, luckily I used my credit card for the $3000 deposit. I will only be able to get that back, but it's better than nothing. People really need to be warned about this guy and his terrible work. I'm a novice at soldering and I can solder better than this guy. I hope you can file a dispute as well.