I realize that this is an ancient thread - prehistoric by internet terms actually
But I still feel the need to say something here with regards to VPI and the Weisfeld family’s dedication to what they do and to their customers
The OP’s cleaning machine was leaking in mid to late 2010...........while at the SAME TIME, the matriarch of the Weisfeld family (and co-founder of VPI) Sheila Weisfeld, was dying of cancer
She mercifully passed in 2011
So yeah, there was a time when service was distracted when dealing with VPI............EVERYbody felt it and for those who made a little effort to inquire, KNEW what was going on (it was not a secret)
It was, and still is, a very tiny family run business and a decade ago there were even fewer people working there than today (Sheila answered the phone, at least the few times I had to call with a problem) ALWAYS super kind and pleasant - Harry clearly married "up"
VPI has sent me replacement parts, gratis, for a cleaning machine and a table I bought from a dealer more than 20 years ago (and this in the past couple of years)
All I had to do was ask nicely and explain in detail (they always ask questions first) why I wanted what I needed (they are a bit skeptical about consumers doing "self-diagnostics" and I can’t say as I blame them)
and as for whimpering about the significant cost differential of buying repair/replacement parts from the manufacturer versus a wholesaler (or even retailer for that matter)?
Markup (tremendous) is standard practice in almost every durable goods business in the United States of America (think buying parts at the NEW car dealership rather your local parts house)
or try buying a part for your washing machine or refrigerator on line and see how that goes (items that "they" produce in the millions and often share the identical parts across half a dozen brand names)
Heck, you’d faint if you knew the markup on parts with your local INDEPENDENT mechanic..................
If you think VPI is "bad" take a look at the LEXICON MC-1 (just one example, and a 20 year old model now, that I have PERSONAL hands on experience with)
I bought it NEW - after about 10 years it died - smoked power supply and who knew what else could have possibly been taken out
They wanted over a Grand for a VERY generic switching power supply that is/was WELL documented as routinely failing (blows/burns out resistors) and this was less than 10 years ago, long after that model had been discontinued
Anyway, I digress................
LEXICON informed me that it was a proprietary PS, that THEY were the only source (I had originally requested a schematic and was going to simply repopulate the board with some decent resistors as that was the only fail evident) Unfortunately a few were burned beyond recognition and I didn’t want to guess the values
nor did I want to drop a Grand to find out that the PS failure had taken out something else that possibly WAS proprietary and making a repair not so cost effective a solution, as I would have to deal directly with LEXICON, maybe even an IC which was/is no longer available (the worst words to here in Solid State).................follow my diagnostic logic?
They again insisted "no schematic for you" as this design is PROPRIETARY
Bottom line, thankfully I can do a lot of my own work - I opened it up and the supply is/was little more than an ARTESYN 100-240VAC universal supply switching supply (and the cheapest build in their line up)
I was able to purchase one for about $25 bucks (and I had to switch/reverse the two wires in the plug for the power board) - guess THAT’S what made it "LEXICON/Harman" "proprietary"
a $25 dollar PS, NEW, at retail, in a pre-amp/processor that sold for $5,995 U.S. dollars in 2001, which they made quit clear that they didn’t give a crap whether I ever got working again or not.............not a Mom & Pop outfit like VPI but a multi-national folks
Something to think about
If the OP is still around?:
I am sorry that your RCM developed issues at such a sad and horrible time for the Weisfeld family
and for the record, I have ZERO as in NONE, affiliation with VPI or any of the Weisfeld family except that of being a (happy) owner of some of their products purchased through an authorized dealer
VPI is the EXCEPTION, rather the rule, and I wish there were more out there like them
Sorry for the sermon, but sometimes it’s good to think about both sides of a story