Ottoman Amplifiers aka Soundgate.net YOU NOW HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!!


I had a parallel single ended 2A3 built by Ken Uesugi at Ottoman, aka Soundgate, and received it in January 2019.  I paid $4000 for the very best components he had. It was supposed to be modeled after the Kondo Niero.  He didn't even follow the schematic that he sent to me via email.  I also paid $400 to have it shipped from Japan.  Upon receipt I realized that something was loose in the amp and opened it up to find a nightmare. I took the amp to a technician to fix it and had to spend another $500 just to get it to work. The workmanship was absolutely the opposite you would expect from a Japanese amp builder, the soldering joints were so bad that capacitors were falling off. Nothing was secured. The technician and an amp builder both said that they would not even plug it in for fear of an electrical fire. I have some friends that build amps and they thought it was shameful. Another friend bought a 50 tube amp from him and only paid $1400 for a SET amp.  Same issues. Could not get it to work, had to spend money to fix it.  Meanwhile I spoke to PayPal and they suggested I try to work it out with him. So I tried that with no success because he kept telling me to try other tubes. Nothing worked. So he offered to fix the amp if I paid the shipping back to Japan, another $400. I did not want the amp to be fixed because of how bad the soldering and layout was. I tried to compromise with him, but no success there as well. I have a very long email string documenting everything as well as photos. Let the buyer beware. If you buy his amps, you will for sure receive an inferior attempt. The transformers were Tango, but everything else was just average parts.  Be careful out there.
tropicaldiver
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.
Perhaps a second go with PayPal will get you your money back....
You got ripped off big time.I think you should kick ass and take names ASAP!!Why would you go to Japan to buy an amp as there are so many good ones from reputable people in the USA??Sorry for your problems.
Agree, get PayPal more involved.  They always side with the buyer.  
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.

To add more, when I was removing the components and use for my new rebuild.. Gosh.. The soldering quality is very bad. Many are not solder correctly, "cold solder".. Components can be removed with slight pull or few movement..
How safe is that.. 
Hi Voorafphile,

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.

Good luck!!!
Voorafphile,

Where did you hear he was not Japanese? Not that it matters, but it’s funny considering all his auctions on Yahoo Japan talk about Japan being "country of manner" and warning specifically against Chinese and Vietnamese bidders not knowing "the manner".


Thinking about order an amp ad preamp with him, received very nice feedbacks this days about his work..