What would you do?

I just received a pair of speakers that I have been waiting 6 months for delivery on. One of the mid drivers cone is dented probably because the manufacturer forgot to put plastic protectors they normally use to avoid these issues. My dealer offered to come to my house and replace the mid drivers in both speakers. Is this acceptable? Should I get a new pair of speakers? They cost me $50,000.00.
If the mfgr. touts the speakers as having hand-matched drivers, you need new speakers. If not, then replacement drivers installed at your home should do just fine...

Even if they are hand matched, the manufacturer should have record of this, and obtain drivers that meet the specs yours originally did. In which case they could be installed by the dealer. I would not expect two new speakers because one cone came damaged.
I agree with S7horton. It should be certified from the manufacturer that you are getting a set of matched drivers.

You could order another new set and have other more offensive shipping damage. Then what? I'm assuming the speakers are not that light or easy to ship...
It never ceases to amaze how quickly the members of this site will 'forgive' and 'understand' any outrage, screwup or lack of quality control, as long as the culprit is a so-called high-end manufacturer, and the MSRP is sufficiently outrageous.

$50,000 for a damaged speaker after waitng 6 months!!!
I wonder what the reaction here would have been if it had been a POLK speaker!

In the same vein, I have noticed that there seems to be a lot more problems with the high-end stuff than there is with 'mid-fi' equipment.

Audio is the only hobby where this is accepted. My Rolls Royce arrived with a cracked windshield?? Yeah, Right.

Return the speakers and buy the Polk LSIM 707 and get a BMW 5 series with the change.
I don't know who's at fault here other than the shipping company. The dealer offered to come out and completely fix the problem. Given that, I don't see that there is a problem. You could return them and buy the Polk's like Rok2id says, but they can get damaged in shipping, as well. Then what? Is Matthew Polk going to come to your house and fix them for you? I doubt it.

I say keep the speakers you just bought. I'm sure they sound a hell of a lot better than some pair of crappy Polks. As far as cars go, I don't feel that its any of my business (or anyone else’s, for that matter), to suggest what you should drive. I'm willing to bet, though, given your choice in audio equipment, that you don't have to settle for a crappy BMW 5 series either.


"In the same vein, I have noticed that there seems to be a lot more problems with the high-end stuff than there is with 'mid-fi' equipment."

I'm not saying that you are wrong, but can you tell us where get that information from? Its an interesting statement.
I would call the highest level person in the company that I could get to and politely explain the situation. Express your disappointment. Then ask how they would recommend fixing the problem. At a minimum I would ask to have a certified repair person install matched drivers in both speakers. And I would ask for them to guarantee in writing that the repair would be as good as factory assembled. That includes using the same solder, wire (if needed), sealing (if any) etc. and that the guarantee still applies. Maybe say you are discussing this will fellow audiophiles on line and this was the suggestion from them. You might find that the company might be much more willing to insure a correct solution than the dealer. Maybe they will even send someone to fix the speakers. I would not let the dealer touch them unless they are an authorized repair shop for the speakers and the company agrees that that is the correct solution.

My guess is that the company does not really want this type of publicity on the web and may well go out of their way to correct the situation. These are clearly not high volume speakers and bad word of mouth could be a real problem for them.
Rok2id seems to have it about right. 50k for a set of damaged speakers. How can you not be incensed?
"the manufacturer forgot to put plastic protectors they normally use to avoid these issues."

Totally agree with Dtc. As the consumer of an expensive high end pair of speakers, you have the right (and you owe it to yourself) to require the manufacturer to make the speakers like new again, whatever it takes. This is the manuf's liability. Unless the dealer is a repair service for the manufacturer, and no matter how simple they say the replacement is, you should not settle for anything but the highest quality solution for your new $50k speakers. It get's my blood boiling a little when I hear of any phile getting trifled with when big money is on the table. I cannot afford such speakers, but I cannot imagine accepting half-stepping by the manufacturer. They need people like you way too much! Hold their feet to the fire.. They need to handle the repair to your satisfaction.
My neighbor just got a new Ferrari convertable. Here in Arizona it gets hot so during the day he used the top and at night the top went down...all worked well. Yesterday it rained here in the Sonoran dessert and the top poured water onto his matched hide leather seats et al. The dealer used tape to stop the leakage. My neighbor is outraged. I am very happy in my Porsche.
stringsteen...Must you tell us YOU drive a Porsche?Also, please spell Ferrari correctly. I wouldn't want Enzo spinning in his grave
Both speakers, in their entity need to be replaced at no cost to you. The old ones collected at the dealer's expense. The dealer needs to refund to you 15% of the price of the speakers as an accommodation for your lost time and money. Nothing else would be fair.
If the manufacturer in fact did not pack the speakers with plastic protectors for the mid drivers, as you say, then they made a mistake. One of the drivers is not perfect and has a dent. How often in these forums do we discuss proper packing? The Manufacturer should not get a pass. If the Manufacturer didn't provide all the packing materials, they need to do whatever is necessary to satisfy the buyer.
I had the same type of situation happen to me with a DIY speaker builder which turned into a fiasco here with no resolution that made me happy. So what I would do is let the dealer come to your house and replace the drivers with a contigency that if it does not look right or sound right to you then the company needs to replace the speakers.

It sounds like the company is at least listening to your concerns which is better than the sleeze ball situation I went through.

I would expect perfection for $50000.

As long as the problem gets fixed correctly in a timely manner that is probably the best you can hope for short of returning for a refund if that is an option.
Foster 9,

You, and a few of the other posters, are of a similar opinion. I'm not saying you guys are wrong. I completely understand your argument. In this case, however, even if the manufacturer made a mistake and did not put all the packing materials in place, the person who is responsible for fixing this mess is the dealer. He's the one who made the sale, and a portion of that sale was his profit. Simply put; he's getting paid to deal with this. Thats why they have dealers in the first place. It would be impossible for the manufacturer to properly service customers without having local dealers. Just to clarify, this is not my opinion. In the high end audio industry, this is how it works. The OP did say that his dealer wanted to come out and replace both drivers. That is absolutely the right way to handle this.

More importantly, though, all this back and forth, well meaning as it is, will probably ruin the experience for the person who bought the speakers. As much as I understand all the opinions here, this is a very fixable situation. I say that if the dealer comes out and replaces the drivers, there will be no more problem; just enjoy the new speakers.
I would ask the manufacturer to guarentee that the replacement drivers will be matched and demand an extra year of warranty in writing. Truthfully crap happens. Hense the warranty. If you feel that you will always be unhappy then the dealer should arrange for an exchange or refund. At that price level you should be 100% satisfied. Those speakers probably cost the mfg. 30-40% of the selling price if not less. If they mis packed them then they should stand behind it. But that call is yours to make. If you know that you will be happy getting the replacement drivers then by all means get them and enjoy the music. I doubt you will ever have any further issues. But if you will always listen with a critical ear thinking 'these don't sound right', or 'what was that, did you hear that' then talk about exchange. Spending that kind of money the dealer should want to make you happy and be in your corner against the mfr. on your behalf. After all you sent him a check they sent him an invoice. As mentioned above they should be as new from the factory, same solder, hardware etc. You didn't spend 50K on a repaired pair, you saved and bought new. I would think at least you should get the new drivers and demo unit sales discount. This is just my opinion, but money comes hard and we save for lifes little treats and rewards, be it a new car, boat or speakers. We never dream of a scratched 'vette, cracked hull, or dented drivers. Even if it is a 300.00 Denon receiver, if you ordered new you should get new. Best Wishes
What would I do? Have the factory or its authorized agent fix them. It could be a simple fix, or it could get complicated. You may have to send both speakers back to the factory, or it could be done in your home in 30 minutes. It depends upon the speaker.

Should you get a new set of speakers? Not unless the factory cannot fix the pair you have.

Your having to wait 6 months and the price you paid have no relevance to the dealer/manufacturer being able to deliver to you a set of working speakers in new condition.

Questions: were the speakers delivered directly to you or to the dealer? Who uncovered the defective part?

Remind your neighbor that Ferrari is busy trying to win the F1 world championship. I'm sure they appreciate their customers' contribitions and understanding:)

Thanks to all for responding and putting thought into my situation. The dealer is going to come and install the new drivers and I am pretty certain assuming things go ok that it will be fine.

Thanks again.
".....even if the manufacturer made a mistake and did not put all the packing materials in place, the person who is responsible for fixing this mess is the dealer. He's the one who made the sale, and a portion of that sale was his profit. Simply put; he's getting paid to deal with this. Thats why they have dealers in the first place."

I agree. If your new car had a problem you wouldn't demand the manafacturer step in to resovle it would you. That's what the dealer is for.
Zd542 - there is still a question as to whether the dealer is authorized to make this repair, has the ability to make this repair, and can guarantee the results and can guarantee the warranty. The manufacturer can answer those questions. What do you do if 2 years from now another problem happens and the manufacturer refuses the warranty work because an unauthorized person worked on it. That probably will not happen with a reputable dealer, but i would check anyway. If the manufactures recommendation is to have the dealer do it, then I would go ahead with that. But I would contact the manufacturer for a recommendation on how to proceed. Sounds like the OP is going ahead with the dealer fix, which probably will work out fine. I personally would still call the manufacturer or distributor.
For that price the driver manufacturer, the head of operations and the CEO/President, should visit you personally, install the replacement drivers as matched pairs, sit with you and listen critically for several hours to make sure everything is well, and take you out to dinner before departing so that you will feel that you made the best choice.

I would not have the dealer involved in this.
I purchased a pair of speakers for about half the OP's. A few months after I got them the mid bass driver failed. They were to heavy to bring back but there technician said he would come out and replace it. Well time went on and one day when I was in the shop the technician saw me, said he was very busy, asked me if I new how to solder and handed me the driver. I though it was a bit strange at first but am happy that it was fixed without expense to me.