Very cool :-)!
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I had an original Bryston 4B which developed a mechanical buzz in one the transformers. Since Bryston was within an hours drive, I drove the amp to their factory. I was brought into the repair area where the tech removed the cover and said that Bryston now used the new toroidal transformer in their amps.
They asked if I would you like to change out both transformers for the new toroidal ones. I asked how much, and they said no charge. They did the full upgrade while I waited and benched test the amp to ensure it exceeds factory specs. Great company!
In a slightly different vein, YG Acoustics is here in the Denver area. A couple years ago, I called them and asked if they had a listening room, since I had never heard their speakers, and there isn't a local dealer. Not only was I invited to visit, Yoav Geva met me at the door, gave me a personal and extensive tour of the factory, introduced me to everyone who happened to be there, patiently answered every question I could think of, and then sat me down in a listening room with the Anat References (though I made it clear they were way out of my price range). He left me to soak up the sound for over an hour, checking in periodically to ask about my music preferences, offer me a snack and answer any more questions. Spectacular hospitality and, by the way, spectacular sound.
A quick story...I bought a Nakamichi deck that had been modified when new and the owner had added an interchangeable electric cord, by Kimber Kable. The cord had a short in it so I contacted Kimber and they asked me to send it to them and they would determine if it could be repaired. I got a call back from Nate at the Kimber factory who told me that he had not seen one of these, but that it was as good as anything they make today. Anyway, he sent me a replacement without charge. Great customer service! By contrast, imagine calling GM and telling them that your 20-year old Chevy is running rough. Do you think they would offer to replace it without charge. Fat chance!
Once I've purchased Sunfire 300 amp for very low price($755 from ebay NIB) and also once I had to service it in 15 years of ownership(Due to 60hz buzz filter caps replaced). Price paid + price of service still justifies vs. presumed same class of Bryston 4B-ST. I also had a number of upgrade attempts(some of them with a/b-ing with my amp), but every time I felt that invested money wouldn't justify and remained and still remaining with my current amp.
Balanced Audio Technology is great. I have returned both a VK-200 and VK-3i for work. Victor Khomenko and Vladimir Shutov did a great job in diagnosing, repairing, testing, and communicating. These were older pieces and out of warranty, but I was happy to pay for their expert, authoritative and fast service. Extending the life of this great gear another 10 to 15 years and refreshing the sound for a few hundred bucks was a no brainer.
Rello - I did tell the Bryston tech that it was struck by lightening, just waited until he'd had a chance to see it. It seemed like it made it a more interesting job for him.
Happen to me with the iPod that was also on the same circuit . . . the repair guys called me back and asked WTF happened? They said it started smoking when they plugged it in. Said they'd never seen one do that . . . and could they keep it? "So cool" they said.
You forget that our trivals often are the highlight of their day, at least with real repair techs . . . not with the ones who are just taught enough to sway parts but the ones who love gear as much as we do.
Actually, I've got another one...about Thiel. Called them when my son tipped over my 1.5s and caused a tiny chip in the black paint.
I called Thiel hopeing to get a paint color number that I could go match. The nice young gal who answered, hearing my story, asked "Could we send you some of the actual paint?" Uh, sure.
When the box arrived (free), they had included a brush. Geeeeewhizzzzz!
You told him after he mentioned there was something unusual about the piece but not before when you sent it in. The entire point of this thread is about companies that do great customer service things and its all good My point with you is its seems you might have been trying to take advantage of that good nature by just not mentioning it and seeing what they would do. In the end they fixed it anyway so good for you. So your saying you did not mention it because you thought it would make it more interesting for them? really? Wouldn't have more sense to mention it upfront to same him time.? To get to heart of the problem and get fixed?
Times have changed but there are still some companies where you interact with people and not corporate policies. These are the companies I interact and buy from. I also think this is why it is imperative to go to the regional audio conventions. Meet the principals and designers of the products.
Synergistic Research was been the audio company that has meet and exceeded all my expectations. They have spent considerable time on the phone discussing my system. Products needing repair have been done expeditiously. Their descriptions on how their products sound have been accurate and helpful.