Please forgive all the typos.....I did developed this posting via my phone, which often allows for undetected mistakes. Try to read through these.
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Here is a less painful read. Sorry about the above!
I purchased a pair of M120's about a month and a half ago knowing of their history of needed maintenance. I bought them from a dealer who sells a lot here and who gave me a reasonable purchasing price. When I received them one kt88 was not functioning. I did not hold the seller liable, feeling that this could have happened during shipping and considering the care he had taken in packing the amp demonstrated due diligence.
After replacing the tube I sat back and enjoy my purchase for a few weeks, during which time I contacted Rogue and inquired about maintenance expectations. They informed me that most of the infield failure were due to bias resistors and the rectifier bridge failing. So, on their recommendations, I bought drop in replacements. I also picked up new binding posts, as those plastic nut jobs really bother me.
Well, I wasn't happy with the low level ground noise I was getting, so back on the phone to Rogue I went. Again, they answered my questions promptly and said it was fine to lift the circuit ground as long as I grounded the chassis, which I did and the problem was solved.
Another few weeks past and I started to hear a buzz during solo trumpet and female vocals. I trouble shot the problem and decided that maybe the rectifier bridge or a biasing resistor might have been the issue. A pleasant call back to Rogue confirmed that would be a safe path to go, so I replaced those. Unfortunately, this did not solve the problem. Well, I think you know where I'm heading. Back to the phone I went and again another pleasant call confirmed that I should send the unit in to them.
Rogue also informed me that they have a flat repair fee of $175.00, and would not only fix it but replace any questionable components, as well as, perform any needed updates. To me, this is a bargain, so last Tuesday I sent it out. Five days later they called and said the repair was done and would send the amp back to me the next day. They informed me that a joint was broken, which require resoldering. They cleaned it up and did a few other minor things and praised the work I had done under their guidance, something I was afraid they might laugh at.
Long story short....this is exceptional customer service. I don't know many manufacturers that would assist a customer who bought their product second hand like this. And, when finally requiring the amp to be sent in, getting it done in less than a week is high praise worthy work. Wow!!!!
BTW, I don't hold the seller liable. Shipping a product like this cross country can certainly take out a tube and break a joint. And, again he took good care to ensure packaging was solid.
The amp should be back to me by Wednesday and back in service. Maybe someday I can upgrade them to the m180's. Rogue has certainly earned my praise and future business, as well as, pleased my ear!
It's great to hear a story about an uplifting experience like yours for a change. Rogue Audio is to be commended for their support and fast turn around of your amp. This is the kind of service EVERY company should provide but all too often, they don't... expecially when dealing with a second hand piece.
BTW, I have a Rogue Medusa amp that I like very much.
Indeed, Rogue should be repeatedly and frequently commended for how they truly stand behind their products, whether past or present, under warranty 1st owner, or out of warranty Nth owner. I strongly dislike manufacturers that won't service 2nd hand gear for reasonable rates, or won't transfer warranties -- to me that says they take NO pride in their workmanship.
Rogue's fees and turnaround times for out of warranty service are so ridiculously reasonable that they make other american tube amp makers' rates & service look like a bad joke.
I've proudly run Rogue's Hera and Apollo in my system for almost 5 years now -- plus I've also owned many other pieces of their gear. The reliability & quality are outstanding; the sound is superb, and I know I'll never get into a hole that can't be reasonably dug out of with Rogue's help.
In addition to Rogue the OP should be commended on his attitude and reasonableness during this process. So many buyers knee jerk reaction to a problem is to blame the seller or manufacturer. You did neither and as a result have a nice amp and a solid relationship with a good manufacturer, I applaud your patience and positive attitude!
Here's another "Bravo !" for Rogue Audio. I have been the proud owner of a Cronus integrated amp since December 2007, and the sound of music (originally through Vandersteen 1C's, and now through Revel F-12's) has always been sublime. Many helpful and thoughtful telephone conversations over the years with Mark and Nick, and incredible service several years ago when I sent the amp back for an upgrade. I never hesitate when it comes to recommending Rogue Audio products ..... fantastic gear from a truly great company.
Still sounding great......and in ultra-linear mode it handles my modified Maggie 3a's quite well. Nice full and extended sound and with my two subs I can dig very deep with almost live sound levels, for those times the family is out.
I've also done a few multi track mixes with them and they have given me an honest window to work through.