"A bit of noise is completley normal" ??

I have a high end integrated amplifier. The input (source)selector switch on my unit created some audible static when I switched sources. While I had the integrated at the manuf. for an upgrade, I asked them to check out the source selector switch. After I got my integrated back from the manuf. one of their reps replied:

A bit of noise when you switch from one input to another is completely normal. After all you are switching contacts. The switch is fine.

That does not ring true to me. Do you consider "a bit of noise" in a switch from switching contacts to be normal? It's not normal to me. For me it meant dust is in the switch. Not satisified with that response.
You are right in believing that you were fed absolute ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhbullshit!

There may be some preamps that have noise associated with switching sources. These are called "noisy preamps with crappy switches." Acceptable only to those who buy into the crapola that your manuf. rep. tried to feed you.

"I have a high end integrated amplifier."

Well. I'm not going to call YOU a liar, but I might have a few choice words for the manufacturers rep!

OK, yes, it's "normal" if:
The unit is over 10 years old and needs to have the switches and volume/balance controls cleaned.
It's a new unit however the manufacturer uses inexpensive parts which are "normally" noisy. But then it's not a "high end" unit, is it?!

And to prove my point further, many manufacturers (as you may have noticed) offer 'upgrades' to their "high end units" which usually invlolve more expensive volume controls and switches ;-)
If the switch used is not a type called 'make before break' (where the connection to the new position is made before the old position is released) then it is quite normal to hear a bit of a pop or click between positions.

However- in audio applications it is a standard practice to use a 'make before break' switch in volume controls and selectors.

Other things that can affect popping or noise in the switch:

RF from your sources (digital noise can do this too)
DC coming from a tube that has internal leakage or a short.

If a tube has some slight microphonics it can also ring or react slightly when the switch is moved. If this is the case moving the switch very slowly and deliberately will prove this out.
You forgot to disclose the rest of their reply!

"Given the time and resources required to diagnose this switch which in the end was not found to be faulty or a manufacturers defect, we will accomodate you this one time only by waving our usual $500 diagnostic fee.

As a courtesy, we therefore enclose an invoice for only $300 in addition to your $2000 upgrade charge.

Please note the limited warrantee associated with your upgrade is a generous 90 days.

Please allow at least 3 months for burn in before fulling appreciating the dramatic benefits of your upgrade."
Cw, you almost had me!! But now I'd really like to know the identity of the unit in question, something I think Mr. Foster should have provided in his original post.
3 Questions:
1. If manufacturer feels that this noise is normal, why the diagnostic charge?
2. $500 diagnostic charge????? You have got to be kidding me??? Local techs in my area charge less than 1/10 of that ($30-40). Please let us know the manufacturer.
3. What was the $300 for?

Obviously you don't live in New York. Lucky you, and if I need anything repaired, I hope I can write and get some advice.

As Nsgarch noticed, I was only joking. But in the words of Sigmund Freud, there is no such thing as a joke.

I wouldn't have had that stream of consciousness if I hadn't been ripped off so many times by companies and service people whose only real concern was how much they could charge for as little work and value as possible.

I, too, would love to know the name of the manufacturer and the rep, as well as every other manufacturer and rep who is lazy and/or arrogant with their customers.


Swampwalker you missed the fact that Cwlondon made up the services, costs, and scenario mentioned in his post. He was having his fun.

I finally heard from the head of the company and he says the switch was checked out and is operating fine. Once I receive my new speakers I'll be able to hear for myself.

By the way Cwlondon, the upgrade and service was all inexpensive. I wanted to share my experience in order to hear the perspectives of other audiophiles. It's possible that the noise with the switch may have been issues I was not aware of like those mentioned by Atmasphere rather than anything else. I would never believe a cheap switch would be on this int. I'm not going to mention the name of this company since I don't want to bash a good company with good products. I also may have to work with the owner again. Sometimes one knucklehead can hurt the image of a company. I will deal directly with the company owner from here on out and bypass this rep with his flip attitude.
Oooops, my bad.
Foster, if your piece of equipment is of reasonably high caliber, as you now imply, then even without being technically sophisticated, you really could have answered your own question, bypassed the rep, and taken the issue right to the top, as you did,

In fact, had you revealed the item's identity right at the start, most of us I bet would have advised you to do just that -- without any bashing -- since this story is clearly about inferior reps; not about inferior products?
Nsgarch, I actually did answer my own question when I said "it's not normal to me," and then sought the perspective of other philes here. I initially emailed the owner and his staff member. This knucklehead on his staff responded first. It took the owner a few days to respond. I'm satisfied with the owner's response to me other than his not commenting about his staff member's lack of service.