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First I think you've been hosed by Audio Heaven. You obviously got a lemon and they should have stood by their customer and given you a new unit.
Electrocompaniet is known to make good products so hopefully they would stand behind it. I would write a detailed letter to them explaining the problem, and how the distributer and dealer have let you down. Don't know if this would work, but it would be worth a try. (I would also send a copy to the dealer and distributer).
I am in a similar position. I had e-mailed Electrocompaniet on a faceplate that was damaged in shipping, and they got back to me on a replacement part- one month later! Then I e-mailed them back asking how to proceed, and they e-mailed me back- in three weeks, without any instructions, asking me again to verify and they would contact me. This was two weeks ago. At this rate I'll get next year. Not a big deal, but frustrating on high end products. I would like also to find someone domestic who can work on, even if I have to come out of pocket. Love the products, but service is just not there.
Are you using the amplifier in the US? If so, shouldn't you be using a 110 volt fuse?
The ONLY Electrocompaniet certified technician in the United States is Heinz. HE is the person in Florida you were referred to. His name is Heinz Preiss. and his website address is: http://www.angelfire.com/biz/grundig/
His contact information is on that page.
Grandpad (and others) will be interested to hear this, before I invested in the new Electrocompaniet EMC-1 MkII, I called Heinz and spoke with him about the reliability of Electrocompaniet products. When asked about the reliability of the EMC-1, he said, "I have never seen an EMC-1 in my shop". I then asked him about my preamp and he said, "No one has ever sent me an EC 4.5 before".
As it turns out, the Electrocompaniet gear is as reliable or in many cases more reliable than other products out there. Personally, I have never experienced ANY trouble with my EC gear. After talking to Heinz in person, I felt good about EC products and quite confident that if something DID go wrong, Heinz would be able to fix it fast.
P.S. While the Meridian is a good player, the EMC-1 MkII is far superior in every way - it would be a mistake to let a silly thread like this turn you away from Electrocompaniet.
I take your point Bwhite, but I believe the issue is product support by a manufacturer and its distribution chain. Unfortunately there aren't lemon laws protecting consumers on most products like there are in many states for cars, to my knowledge. So we are left with the integrity of the manufacturer and its agents to stand behind its product. This seems particularly true when one's dealing with "high end" gear costing several thousand dollars, IMHO. While Electrocompaniet has a fine rep, even Rolls Royce can turn out a piece with a defect, and it would be nice to believe that the company's warranty means something (I've assumed all along that Liggi's unit was covered, although he didn't specifically say so). While having someone like Heinz available for out of warranty work is great, I wouldn't expect to have to reach into my pocket to fix something that should be covered.
I once owned an out of warranty Sony hi 8mm tape deck that went wrong. Took it in to my local authorized dealer and after a few weeks got a note from Sony saying they couldn't fix it, and couldn't replace it because the unit was no longer being manufactured, with a phone number to call. When I did I received an apology for the situation, and was given a pro-rated credit on my original purchase against my choice of any product in Sony's current product lineup. To me, that's standing behind ones product.
I'll climb down from my soapbox now, which isn't easy for an old grandpa.
Took me a year to finally get into a serendipitous position to land an EMC-1 MkII at cost, and my-o-my BWhite knows what he's talking about, here: what a fine, ultrarugged player. I frankly don't expect to have to service it, but felt that it was the slight risk, to own such a satisfying player. The amps may be a different conundrum, however...as amps usually are.
It amazes me how long certain "truths" persist. (True not only in audiophile circles, but in society as well. Anyone for an exploding BIC lighter?) Electrocompaniet has had a bad reputation for reliability and service ever since I became aware of the brand back in the mid 1980's, the rap then being that the amps tended to "blow up". I had an AW-100-a great amp by the way-for several years and actually had occasion to send it to Heinz Preiss for an update or mod of some sort, in addition to a relatively modest repair and can't remember that there was any difficulty. (Certainly nothing to compare to delays I endured with Audio Research at about the same time.) (At the time he was, as I recall, located near Philadelphia.) Although there have been. I believe, gaps between distributorships which may have led to some customer service problems, I was able to determine to my satisfaction that this brand has not been any more prone to reliability problems than many other audiophile products, except possibly for its earliest days in the US, and, were a particular piece to fit my requirements, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
Suretyguy - you are absolutely correct. The reliability of EC is as good (if not better) than other high end brands.
I know I read something about Sony and it's "standing behind the product" I would BEG TO DIFFER! From my experience with Sony, they always seem to find a way to avoid doing repairs under warranty and FORCE you to buy a new unit. This does not indicate that they stand behind their products but simply shows they've discovered a way to profit from their products breaking.
My first Sony DVD player $300) had a lip sync problem which took me a long time to figure out. I thought I was going nuts when the video and audio were off of sync. Sony informed me that they would fix the problem by updating my firmware at a cost of 250 dollars. Geez.. Like I was going to spend 250 to fix a 300 DVD player. So they offered me a 100 pro-rate on a new DVD player.
Recently I purchased a Sony 9000es DVD player BRAND NEW which had the very same lip sync problem. I didn't even bother with warranty I took it back to the store and bought a $150 Toshiba and have been fine ever since.
Then... My Sony Camcorder had a tape stuck inside. When the repair guy finally got it out, he said, "too bad it wasn't a Sony tape because then it would be covered under warranty." I had to pay to have the tape removed simply because it wasn't a Sony tape. Sony = Scam
While some can sit and criticize Electrocompaniet for it's apparent lack of customer service in the US, they must also take into account the fact that EC is a small company with a weak distributor. EC's intent to provide good customer service can easily be illustrated by the recent introduction of the EMC-1 upgrade which allows a customer to go to the next level without spending a fortune to get there - or buying a brand new unit.
Tell me, how many Audio products does Sony build that can be upgraded when they become obsolete?
i bought a new pair of aw60ftt's from a european distributor, & proceeded to blow up one of the transformers, trying to convert it to 120v from the 220v eurospec voltage. ec had provided me w/the conversion info, but there was a huge language disconnect which caused me to misunderstand the instructions. i am mechanically inclined, & can solder, but i am not so good w/electronic circuits... ;~)
while it took longer to sort out than i'd have liked, ec confirmed the proper method so i wouldn't blow up the 2nd amp, & they sent me free of charge a brand-new transformer, so i could repair the 1st. they also sent me a box of proper fuses.
these amps are being used vertically bi-amped, in place of an aw75 & an aw100 i previously was using, horizontally bi-amped. until i can afford the care-n-feeding of some mondo tube amps (or completely change gears & go for horns & flea-power amps), i have no interest in changing my amplification. electrocompaniet is great equipment, imo. while their service may be slower than one may hope for, i tend to give 'em the benefit of doubt - they are a relatively tiny company, competing w/big players. i like 'em, i like the product.
ymmv, doug s.