Pay him a visit.
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My interpretation of the Soundsmith's situation: Peter Ledermann is extraordinary in what he is able to do with carts and turntables. His work is absolutely first rate, and he is very fair in his business policies and practices. The problem is, he's one of only a small handful of people on the planet that can do what he does. He tries to keep his prices affordable to as many people as possible. This goes against the laws of supply and demand, resulting in a workload that doesn't lend itself to the best customer communications. Please see Peter's statement of a few months ago:
Turnaround time has always been a problem with SoundSmith. Best not to do business with them until they sort out their operational problems, which have been a problem for the last three years.Nonsense! I had three cartridges re-tipped by Peter in the period of 2007-2009 and he was always good about calling me or writing to me for questions or additional options. And turnaround time was a month or so.
Thanks for all the good suggestions. Going to visit them is to far and to expensive. It would solve the problem, but Sunnyvale, CA to Peekskill, NY is quite a trip right now.
A little hope appear from my cell phone records. I seems that they tired to send a FAX th my cell phone. Must have been confused.
I will call again tomorrow.
I have reposnded to this gentleman - but he does not seem to answer my return calls. I will try again today.
His B&O 4002, which needed unusual obsolete parts, is all but done and has one remaining intermittent problem, which I am determiend to find and repair.
The gentleman above I think is correct in saying that my work is in high demand due to my one year full unit warranty when I am done. I think that no one else works at this level, and warranties at this level. I have serviced B&O for over 40 years, as well as most all other brands!
But the additional story is that due to the economy, I have had to fire half my staff. I have no secretarial support now, get over 200 calls and Emails a day. I work till after midnight many nights to try to answer phoine and Email questions (most often not even involving a repair or one of my products) to do what I can for folks.
Our 800 nunmber does work, our phone DOES work, and one can ring it.
I suggest to those that do not want thorough, one year warranteed repairs, that you go elsewhere. I am one person, I take pride in what I do, and I do my best to answer and communicate. But I am human - some things do get delayed due to unforseen damage - and I do my best to do those on my own time -WITHOUT CHARGE.
I know Peter well and have always found him (and his colleagues) to be very responsive and no BS. I want to point out that he is, at this point, the only person left doing high-end cartridge repair IN THE WORLD - I'm not talking about retipping, which he of course does, but the actual repair of damaged or broken cartridges - he is IT, the other four or five outfits that did this type of work all having shuttered in the last few years. The guy really is a "rocket scientist": he was a research scientist with IBM for many years, and he does factory service for darTZeel, Halcro, Gryphon, etc. - he's the real deal. Finally, he happens to be a lovely person who runs a charity devoted to the abolition of child labor.
I normally don't go to bat for hi-fi people, but Peter is a really impressive guy. With all the charlatans in this business selling 50 cent cork footers made for air conditioning units as "proprietary isolation devices that we designed to breath life, air and nuance into each one of your components" and charging a fortune for them, it's nice to have someone like Peter to deal with.
That should read - 40 year old table.
I got caught up in meetings today - bit I DID work on the table for a few more hours to try to catch the last intermittent speed problem. Will test it some more tomorrow. Please call me - our phone does respond to "9" to ring it, as we describe on our outgoping message. I will try to call you tomorrow as well =-
I had a cartridge re-tip done by them for the first time last year and noticed they were up to their neck with work when I called one time to ask about when the cartridge would come back.
Well, after about 3 or 4 months (can't remember exactly) it did, and the work was of an excellent quality - and I do mean really excellent, they did a fantastic job.
So, I understand any issues with response times, they seem to be very busy. Well worth any wait, though, from my experience.
I had two cartridges done last year. took about 4 months each. Had a few communication problems with email, but got sorted out. However, I have tried to get an RMA on two more cartridges for the past 3 months with no response to email, so I do understand the frustration. I'm not sure why Peter would blame the economy for having to lay off half his staff, when it seems he has more work than he can possibly do. I have a feeling that he is such a perfectionist that he spends way too much time on some projects than his rates allow. case in point is the B&O he references above. sounds like he has spent days on that table already, and is chasing an intermittent bug which we all know can drive you nuts and take a lot of time. I doubt he is charging by the hour to do this, as he would have spent way more time than the table is worth. His work is excellent. i just wish he could train others to do it and have a better turn around time. More importantly, who will do this work when Peter decides to hang it up. A craftsman should have an obligation to ensure his craft continues. Whether Peter has anyone in training is unknown, but it would seem there are plenty of skilled people out of work that could learn the craft.
I will keep trying to get an RMA number.
We had ice and snow storms AGAIN here today - no employees. More tomorrow. Anyone need an RA NUMBER??
We finaly set up an automated RA system for retipping on our website. You can register and get an RA number anytime. 24/7. And when we receive your cartridge, our system EMAILS you. Any updates, it also Emails you. When we are done, it Emails you. We invested in this as a resposne to those who would rather I take time to call everyone constantly instead of work on cartridges. The system seems to work well.
Train people?? You don't know me or my company if you can say that. I have spend 40 years doing that. Many left and went into business competition with me - which is fine. My intent was to train for audio - and more - not to dominate.
Cartrdige rebuilding - I have tried -it was very expensive replacing cartridges for customers out of pocket when a trainee destropyed it. You see, not many people can move in fractions of a thousandths of an inch, AND understand the physics of why they are doing what they are doing. It is not purely a physical skill that's required. That would be like saying that a neurosurgeon can train anyone quickly as long as they can master the physical skill of fine manipulation. It just aint that simple or easy.
I am very sorry for the wording I used in starting this thread. I didn't realize how negative it sounded. The many positive responses speak volumes to Sound-smith credit as a service and product provided. Peter and I talked today and I'm very happy with the results. They have repaired/upgraded my B&O 4002 to better than new. Peter is also mounting their top of the line B&O replacement SMMC20CL+. This cartridge is hand made by them. So I must add my positive response to how professional Peter and Sound-smith handled this whole process.