My two nominees are Bryston and Vandersteen.
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Kevin Walsh at Homegrown Audio was extremely helpful when I purchased a used silverlace interconnect here at audiogon, and the ic turned out to be misrepresented and damaged. He sent me a replacement part for the rca connector free of charge and I didn't even buy the ic from him. A real stand up guy.
My vote goes to Jud Barber at Joule Electra. As an owner of his OTL 160 monoblocks I can really say he has gone well past the standard of service that any of us should expect and deserve. He is truely just one of us at heart. Loves to talk about audio but never downgrades the competition. When it comes time for service or upgrades it ranges from free to very reasonable. There are many others who stand out but he sets the standard by which I compare all the others. Jud; keep up the good work!
Ralph Karsten at Atmasphere spent many hours on the phone bailing me out when parts modifications went wrong. He did not even profit from sale of the parts being installed. They came from Mike Percy.
In the end the improvements made me happier and Ralph was content that another customer got what they wanted.
Not many of his kind in the audio business anymore.
I have been very happy with the customer service offered to me by the folks at Thiel audio " they can't do enough for you" followed very closely by EAD aka Alpha digital tech and of course Mcintosh labs .These people without exception
have treated me in all cases better than I had expected.I would also like to mention Nordost, everything that I have purchased from their lineup has exceeded my expectations.
Hi-- yep some folks do and some folks don't!--living as I do 1500 miles from a High-End dealer,on the northern tip of Australia--service sorts the chaff from the wheat--the good guys I've had top dealings with and endorse are:
Jim White US/ Theta
Rob Stein US/Cable Company/delivers as promised
SME UK Ltd/ arms/truly exemplary
David MagnanUS/cables--one of audio 's true gentleman
Wilson US/Speaker parts
Peter Qvortrop/ AN UK/ super prompt replies/parts
Richard@ Absolute Sound UK/ jadis parts
Richard Kern /'Audio modder'/superb communication,delivery and workmanship
Walter FieldsUS/NBS cables--delivers when the others are still thinking about it.
As for the negative ones--got a spare week!
The companies that come to mind right off the bat were Bryston and Sunfire.
Bought a used Bryston amp sight unseen that had been used as a piece of pro sound reinforcement gear. It was beat to death and severely damaged. Dennis at Bryston USA fixed it to better than new factory spec. I did have to pay some nominal fee for a chassis due to Bryston not covering physical abuse, but it was a real bargain for the amount of time, effort and parts that went into repairing that "beast". Dennis had told me that it was the WORST looking amp that he had ever come in for repair. The whole ordeal set me back something like $120 or so including return shipping.
I recently sent my Sunfire Signature back to the factory for an inspection. After discussing some things with two different customer service reps, they gave me a rundown on what could be done. As it turns out, Sunfire did several upgrades and a few modifications to better suit my needs, packed the unit up in a fresh box and sent her home free of charge. Can't beat that with a stick. They've also told me how to do some simple internal modifications to my TG II over the phone. Ya gotta luv these companies that work with you AND do it at your convenience. Sean
Thanks for mentioning Jim White at Theta. However you may now praise him for his work at Aesthetix.
Theta's digital genus left and now builds the finest phono stage so we analog guys can get better music.
Should you ever find yourself in need of such, his personality and helpful nature has not changed except now he is perhaps even more excited since making a go of it on his own.
Conrad-Johnson did repairs under warranty to my amp that were neccesitated by tube failure when running aftermarket and NOS tubes they recommended against, for no charge. Thiel sent replacement drivers under warranty for ones that were damaged by my own carelessness in zapping them with high-level feedback, for no charge. Theta repaired my DAC under THE PREVIOUS OWNER'S warranty when it arrived with problems after he shipped it to me, still no charge. The high-end commonly offers a level of service that would be unthinkable in most industries where the profits are much, much bigger. We are lucky to be in a hobby with manufacturers such as these.
I've been extremely happy with the technical support from Pass Labs and Balanced Audio Technologies. ARC is good too - though I feel they charge too much for parts.
For dealers (in Portland OR), I have received great service and advice from Jonathan Tinn of Chambers Audio (chambersaudio.com), and Kurt & Jim at Echo Audio (echohifi.com).
Scott Novak at Synergistic Research; Todd Sutherland at Madrigal Audio; Steve McCormack and Kris Jeter at SMc Audio; Vandersteen Audio in general; Sonic Frontiers Tech. Rep. And dealers that have really treated me well are Bradford's Hifi, Eugene OR., Stewart Marcantoni @ Sanctuary of Sound, Seattle WA., Michael Rice @ Progressive Audio in Ohio, and Galen Carol in TX. Cheers. Craig
I'd also like to add Virtual Dynamics to my list, which I hastily sent in before. I had a huge problem, I mean HUGE, but Rick & Brett up there took care of it.
I also just received a power cord for my Pass pre amp from Peter Perkins at Pass Labs (at no charge & right after I posted the first time). This is after I returned the pre amp to them & they rebuilt the power supply & upgraded the transformer, at no additional charge. I originally sent the pre to them for a complete refurbishing & initially was astounded by the level & quality of service. Yes, I did pay for the work the first time & it was well worth it but they have continued to provide outstanding follow up service.
Lots of people have had good vibes with Brent at Virtual Dynamics. Nice guy, eh?
My best experience to date has been with John Meyer, who is the founder and designer at Newform Research. I spoke with him AFTER buying a used pair of R645's and he insisted that I email my room dimensions to him so he could help me with placement! This guy is something else - a true audiophile gentleman. He's another Canadian by the way - like the VD and Bryston guys. Are you seeing a pattern here?
My hat also goes off to George Tice, who in an absolute pleasure to deal with. I guess some of us Americans are OK too...
Another vote for Thiel and Shari. Replaced free of charge (including free delivery) 14 year old woofer with silver solder, out of warranty 4 years. Called Fiday afternoon, recieved goods Monday afternoon. Recieved phone call Tuesday afternoon to make sure I was satisfied. You bet I am. Bravo, Thiel and Shari!
Shari at Thiel.
The gentleman at Wireworld...David..
All at Magnepan, esp. Mr. Diller...a gentleman.
Roger at InnerSound.
The young gentleman at Classe
Everyone at Magnum Dynalab.
All at Conrad Johnson...superb!.....all of these
are the current "Lions" of the high-end..but what of the
For great service that helped me down this audio path..
The great Henry Kloss...and all of his companies!
Jon Dahlquist and Sal Marantz.
The "L" and "H" of KLH.
All at VPI....hey, their part of the past, present and
It is good to say that the "high-end" of audio has more good
people that any other group that I have had contact with..
Mondial designs (now of Klipsch). Adam Gershon on email, Paul Rosenberg on the phone - offered and delivered free custom work on the output stage of my Act3 to better mate to my Klipsch La Scalas, and were patient and voluminous (and correct!) with help on questions on other units. Professional, courteous, and totally stand-behind-ish. They deserve highest marks.
Two other outstanding gentlemen should be mentioned. Knut at conrad johnson has always been very helpful, prompt and honest in all matters. An outstanding company. Also deserving mention is Don Scott, former stereophile writer and tuner guru. He has been gracious and kind as I have searched out a good vintage tuner.
Atma-Sphere Music Systems, Ralph Karsten & Associates
Marigo Audio Lab, Ron Hedrich
Tri-Planar, Tri Mai
Zcable, Mark Hampton
Although my contact with David Elrod of Elrod Power Sytems has been limited, I suspect he is in the same league as those mentioned above in terms of exceptional customer service and passion for his craft.
Time to add another name to the list. I just received a replacement top cover for my Meridian 508.20 from Meridian & you would've thought they packed a CDP! Double boxed, metal part in a heavy plastic bag, plexiglass top in a separate foam wrap, both pieces in about 15' of bubble wrap & all the empty spaces filled in w/packing peanuts. All that & once I faxed the info in only 3 days for delivery. (from Atlanta, not the UK)
I'm pretty sure this is the same packaging used from the UK to send to Atlanta & then to me, but sure was nice to see this level of shipping quality on a part that cost under $100.00.
XLO Electric. I purchased used pair of signature Interconnects which developed a intermittently loose connection inside the RCA plug I called XLO they instructed me to return the cable for repair which they would cover under warranty. I didn't expect to be covered by warranty. Cable returned three days later sounded great again.
All three of these companies have been very good to me on customer service matters.
Sunfire - They replaced a Theater Grand II I bought with a brand new one with full warranty, when I bought it from a grey marketer who was pretending to be a certified dealer.
Legacy - They worked with me to get my Classics sounding good in my room, even though I bought them used.
Acoustic Zen - They did a repair on some of my cables without charge even though I bought them used.
I will also add two names/companies to my earlier post: Both Mel Schilling of Camelot Technologies and Roger Sanders of InnerSound have been exceptionally helpful, forthcoming, and expansive concerning questions I have discussed with them via telephone and email. I would not anticipate problems for anyone dealing with these fine gentlemen's companies; they are available, concerned, and willing to give of their time and expertise. (I am sorry I cannot say the same about all the companies I have dealt with as of late, but that issue is addressed in other threads, and I will refrain from getting specific in this one, as no one else has allowed the bad to intrude on the good here.)