VPI service problems


Am I the only one having a problem with service from VPI? After buying
a HW-27 Typhoon record cleaning machine from them based on the positive
reviews and recommendations of all the audio mags (not an inexpensive
purchase) and using it carefully and sparingly and enjoying it
immensely, the vacuum motor blew out it's gasket and began leaking like
a sieve. I was disappointed but thought OK stuff happens. Then my real
problems began. To say that their after the sale service is lacking
would be a huge understatement. Emails went unreturned for weeks,
attempts at phoning resulted in many messages left ignored and then
being told that they only respond to email inquiries, which again go
unanswered for weeks! Contacting all of their authorized dealers
doesn't help as no one seems to be able to get or stock the parts and
they tell me that it would take weeks for them to get them as well.
Finally after five months of effort I received my replacement motor
(which cost $240 plus shipping) and now six months later the second
motor has blown it's gasket and is leaking all over the place again and
I am right back to square one. No returned emails for weeks and weeks
and a pricey record cleaning machine ($2200) that is inoperative and
will be down for months and months again. Is their business so good
that they can just ignore their customers? Are the dealers really
unable to help as well? Am I the only one with this problem? Anybody
have any thoughts or ideas on how to help?
A9ee140c 4e08 48dd b592 ead06b61c985dcbluesplayer
I must say that I have also been down the same road with VPI.....Some days are good and some are not so good....I had a Plinth repaired there, It was repaired expertly and without flaws......But it took a long time and I had some problems with communications.....I just tried to buy some parts this week but again bad communications......I got a answer from Mike on my first e-mail about a tonearm base and price but when I e-mailed again about the payment I got no answer, so I e-mailed again and again and again, still no answers....To give credit, VPI makes a wonderfully made in USA product......But they need better communication or they will not survive in this business world of today.......Will
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
Thomas




The world has moved on, thomaswagner
yet 10 plus years after the fact the OP’s post, bad mouthing VPI, still insists on turning up with with a simple search for "collection tank VPI 16.5"

bad mouthing a good outfit regarding one of the most important things of all when making a buying decision; is their customer service/product support any good?

not to mention the fact that last I looked, VPI was still in business

the internet is forever, unfortunately, "tablejockey"

my post was absolutely relevant and should be seen by anyone considering one of VPI's products today

rational and based in fact rather than self-absorbed frustrations

have a nice night
Thomas