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Gefell Repair Nightmare Condenser Microphones
Old 27th June 2018
  #1
Gefell Repair Nightmare

Deleted

Last edited by tourtelot; 28th June 2018 at 03:26 PM..
Old 28th June 2018
  #2
Deleted.

Last edited by tourtelot; 28th June 2018 at 03:26 PM..
Old 28th June 2018
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
In the interest of full disclosure, it was pointed out to me by a member of the forum that it might have been DSPDoctor's responsibility to include the paperwork with the returned repair order.

This member claims, from lots of experience, that Gefell always returns the proper papers with each repair.

I edited my original post to open up the question of whose duty was neglected.

This doesn't excuse the overall bad performance of all involved, which is my point, but it may turn out to be shared responsibility.

D.
I would make any bet that Microtech had an invoice included in the return shipping. That's normal procedure and their duty by law. The invoice states the nature of the repair work and the parts involved along with the single costs and a price in total. Since you have not received the return shipment directly, the invoice might got forgotten (or 'forgotten') in/by the US place that took care about the whole thing. Therefore I would ask dspdoc for the original invoice. I don't know the background of your Gefell purchases but in general I consider 15% on top of the repair cost a fair deal for a company that takes care about a repair case and handles the abroad shipping

Anyways, you could have contacted and dealt with them directly in the first place.
Service / Repair

If you get stuck, give Microtech a call, they speak a nice Germlish : ) explain the situation and ask for a copy of the original invoice (via email). With the serial numbers from your mics and any other related info on hand they will know

If you got the original invoice also consider that the first shipping*, from the US to Germany, was probably costly too and isn't a part of Microtech's invoice (but the return probably is). *These shipping costs should be a position in the dspdoc invoice

Last edited by TobyToby; 28th June 2018 at 02:31 AM..
Old 28th June 2018
  #4
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us$ 1300 for matching?! i'd insist on getting copies of what was done and what amount of money was spent on freight/customs etc. you then could ring up the manufacturer and ask for a quote/compare.

the price seems to be way too high: you (almost) could have bought another pair for this or taken a trip over here and visit the factory... - nice mics though!
Old 28th June 2018
  #5
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

To put the record straight...

(I was copied in on the correspondence between Doug, DSP and Gefell.)

In the USA, DSP Doctor consolidate repairs and send them to Gefell in Germany as a single batch.

So a mic. could be waiting while DSP get a batch together - but I'm sure they would give any customer an idea of what is happening.

Gefell *always* give full details of what needs doing to a microphone. In this case they told DSP and DSP included all this information in the original invoice - so this information was not sent back with the microphone as it had already been communicated before Gefell were given the go-ahead to do the repair.

From the price I would guess that both capsules needed replacing, plus some other work, as well as re-matching.

But all this would all have been communicated before the repair was started.

Frequency graphs are not normally sent as standard, but are sent if the customer requests it. This was only requested after the mics were returned and Gefell have now sent these to DSP to be sent on.

I understand that the delay in sending the consolidated batch of repairs back was down to DSP waiting for payment from some other customers, which delayed the return of the whole batch until all had been paid for.

Gefell do take great care in customer service and I have always had excellent service in the UK from any repair from Gefell. If a customer has an urgent requirement, then I have known a repair to be done in a very few days if they know of this in advance. But, in the UK, mics go direct and are not consolidated, so it makes things much faster.

It's simple: mic. goes to Gefell Service - they examine the mic. and give full details and costings of what is required to the distributor/dealer - the customer is sent an invoice with all these details and the costs involved - customer pays - Gefell do the repair and return the mic. No need to send any details with the mic. as this was already communicated earlier. If a customer has requested graphs, then these are e-mailed to the distributor/dealer who will forward them to the customer.

All very good customer service IMHO.

In this case it seems that Doug forgot that he already had all the repair information at the start with his original repair invoice from DSP Doctor. The graphs were not originally requested, but as they have been requested now, Gefell is sending them to DSP who will then send them on. The long time was just down to consolidation delays and people slow to pay DSP Doctor and had nothing to do with Gefell themselves.
Old 28th June 2018
  #6
Okay John. I get the need to defend one of your suppliers. I really do.

I have deleted my original posts which were certainly written out of frustration with the whole fiasco. And my calmer head needs to prevail.

And yes, some of your assumptions are correct; some are not.

For all the talk about charts and invoices and the like, the real problem was how long the repairs took to complete. And yes, there were issues at the factory and yes there were excuses and yes, I am assuming that batch shipping adds to the time it took to get the mics to and from Germany. Seven months?? That is outrageous.

And no John, $1300 bought me one new capsule. Quotes from the factory work order I received today (and that is TOTALLY different than the repair estimate that DSPDoctor sent me)

Mic #1 "check up and measuring of preamplifier, replacing of capsule (M7), electrode mount and matching with (mic #2 ).

Mic #2 "cleaning of capsule, repairing of switch, matching with (mic #1 )."

Plus shipping. Yes, expensive. And did I say that the repair took seven months.

So before rushing to everyone's defense, please bear me the courtesy of venting my frustration. I am still unhappy, and still think I paid a large cost for, let's say so no feathers are ruffled, less than stellar customer service.

"It's simple: mic. goes to Gefell Service - they examine the mic. and give full details and costings of what is required to the distributor/dealer - the customer is sent an invoice with all these details and the costs involved - customer pays - Gefell do the repair and return the mic. No need to send any details with the mic. as this was already communicated earlier. If a customer has requested graphs, then these are e-mailed to the distributor/dealer who will forward them to the customer."

Not so simple. "Gefell (didn't) do the repair" in anything close to a timely manner.

What is simple is that I would never subject myself to this process again, and there are reasons for that. If those reasons don't seem legitimate to some, so be it. I have my choice of which manufacturers and vendors I support and I vote with my wallet.

D.
Old 28th June 2018
  #7
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Okay John. I get the need to defend one of your suppliers. I really do.

I have deleted my original posts which were certainly written out of frustration with the whole fiasco. And my calmer head needs to prevail.

And yes, some of your assumptions are correct; some are not.

For all the talk about charts and invoices and the like, the real problem was how long the repairs took to complete. And yes, there were issues at the factory and yes there were excuses and yes, I am assuming that batch shipping adds to the time it took to get the mics to and from Germany. Seven months?? That is outrageous.

And no John, $1300 bought me one new capsule. Quotes from the factory work order I received today (and that is TOTALLY different than the repair estimate that DSPDoctor sent me)

Mic #1 "check up and measuring of preamplifier, replacing of capsule (M7), electrode mount and matching with (mic #2 ).

Mic #2 "cleaning of capsule, repairing of switch, matching with (mic #1 )."

Plus shipping. Yes, expensive. And did I say that the repair took seven months.

So before rushing to everyone's defense, please bear me the courtesy of venting my frustration. I am still unhappy, and still think I paid a large cost for, let's say so no feathers are ruffled, less than stellar customer service.

"It's simple: mic. goes to Gefell Service - they examine the mic. and give full details and costings of what is required to the distributor/dealer - the customer is sent an invoice with all these details and the costs involved - customer pays - Gefell do the repair and return the mic. No need to send any details with the mic. as this was already communicated earlier. If a customer has requested graphs, then these are e-mailed to the distributor/dealer who will forward them to the customer."

Not so simple. "Gefell (didn't) do the repair" in anything close to a timely manner.

What is simple is that I would never subject myself to this process again, and there are reasons for that. If those reasons don't seem legitimate to some, so be it. I have my choice of which manufacturers and vendors I support and I vote with my wallet.

D.
I cannot explain why the works order was different from the original estimate - you will have to take that up with DSP.

All the repairs done in the UK have *exactly* matched what was originally quoted - there was no difference at all - as the mic. had been properly examined first before you were sent the bill.

I know Gefell had a difficult time earlier this year (the reason you know) and they do have more staff now, so that time has passed. But all repairs I have sent in from the UK, even in this difficult time, were done within about 6 weeks (not months).

Do you know when DSP sent the mics to Gefell? Do you know when DSP told them to send them back? Do you know how many mics were sent?

Consolidation always takes longer as you have to do *all* the repairs and you have to wait for the slowest one.

This is down to consolidation - if you had sent direct and your repair was done on its own and sent back to you it would have been much faster - but the shipping would have been more expensive.

You certainly don't know that Gefell did not do the repair in good time - only that yours had to wait until the slowest one had been done and the slowest payer had paid the bill.

I can understand why you want to vent your spleen over this, but a lot of this is really *not* down to Gefell but to the consolidation process and you having to wait until every mic was repaired and paid for.

Most mics, in my personal experience, have been done in good time - there have been one or two where either parts had to be manufactured, or a shortage of getting a particular component from a supplier has meant a longer than normal time; but I have always been informed of this and have let the customer know. So it may have been that waiting for a component for another mic in the consolidation delayed the whole batch (I don't know, but possible).

But if you need it fast, get DSP to send yours on its own and get it returned as soon as its finished.

If DSP waited until the new year before sending so as to miss the Christmas rush and they sent it by land rather than air and with slow payers and a surface mail return (to keep shipping down) would certainly account for quite a few weeks of that time.
Old 28th June 2018
  #8
I'm moving on.

D.
Old 30th June 2018
  #9
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Haigbabe's Avatar
 

Hi Doug,

Out of interest, how old were the mics in question? Did you buy them new? What led you to send them in for work? Were you sent a repair quote?

I own a few Gefells and so am very curious.

Haigbabe
Old 2nd July 2018
  #10
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Plush's Avatar
Very rude commentary by drpro here.

I have sent several MG repairs through DSP Doctor and received excellent service.

Gefell does take a long time to repair mics it seems. My two repairs each took 5-6 months.

One time I was charged a good amount for the repair. A different time it was done under warranty.

I did write directly to Gefell asking them where is my mic? and received an apologetic letter from Ms. Künast who explained that they were short handed.

I think it is always worth it to wait for your gear to be repaired at the factory.
Old 2nd July 2018
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drpro View Post
Doug I have had John on my ignore list for years, so much easier to enjoy the various threads.
Oh. Maybe I don’t spend enough time on GS then as I have always found John’s input helpful. And he’s seemed very friendly when I’ve chatted with him.

But in relation to waiting for repairs from different manufacturers, sometimes one can have good luck, or bad luck.

Some of us have a share of both. I’ve had recent unfortunate experiences with a manufacturer in the UK and also a very longstanding problem with a manufacturer in the USA. One of these situations involved a third party/broker/dealer and on the other I dealt directly with the maker. Neither method proved to be better than the other.

On the other hand folk such as Earthworks, Lynx, Buzz, and others, have been outstanding.

Haigbabe
Old 2nd July 2018
  #12
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drpro View Post
Doug I have had John on my ignore list for years, so much easier to enjoy the various threads.
This type of comment is better shared as a PM - one is entitled to one's opinion, but in this civil little corner of the interweb, perhaps its better to keep one's opinions to oneself, no? (Just my opinion...) John has been most helpful to me in the past, providing me with Sennheiser info I could not find anywhere.
Old 4th July 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
As I was saying to Doug the other day, my recent experience with having my C700S serviced was just the opposite. I dropped it off at their shop in Santa Cruz. Two weeks later, David Josephson sends me a note to say that the mic is ready. Drove by to pick it up, and had a nice opportunity to talk about the mic with the designer himself! Excellent service, if you ask me. A good argument for buying from a domestic manufacturer.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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nob turner's Avatar
Gefel/DSPdoctor

Reviving an older thread here because I can find nothing more relevant to my situation.

I sent my UMT70S to Gefell via DSPdoctor late last year. Corresponded with Jay Fitzgibbons about it. He warned me that Gefell was slow with repairs, and that it might take 6-8 weeks to get it back.

So I waited patiently. When more than two months had gone by, I tried to contact Jay to find out what was happening. I got no response to multiple emails and phone calls. Finally, this week I contacted Gefell directly. They told me that they’d never received my microphone. Jay Fitzgibbons still doesn’t respond to my messages, even after they reached out to him.

Does anyone else here know this guy? If so, can you attempt to contact him? Whether or not, let this be a warning to everyone: this is not a company to do business with. I seem to have lost a $1000 microphone to them. I hope nobody else gets taken advantage of.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
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boojum's Avatar
There will always be better and lesser manufacturers of everything. GS discusses the issues and the discussion is valuable and informative. I can sustain a delay. Professionals cannot. Delayed service is unforgivable. There is a lot of inane flak published along with the facts. I favor Schoeps for the sound and that they are easily, correctly and promptly fixed by the manufacturer. That is what we all expect. We are not all receiving this service. Buyer beware.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nob turner View Post
Reviving an older thread here because I can find nothing more relevant to my situation.

I sent my UMT70S to Gefell via DSPdoctor late last year. Corresponded with Jay Fitzgibbons about it. He warned me that Gefell was slow with repairs, and that it might take 6-8 weeks to get it back.

So I waited patiently. When more than two months had gone by, I tried to contact Jay to find out what was happening. I got no response to multiple emails and phone calls. Finally, this week I contacted Gefell directly. They told me that they’d never received my microphone. Jay Fitzgibbons still doesn’t respond to my messages, even after they reached out to him.

Does anyone else here know this guy? If so, can you attempt to contact him? Whether or not, let this be a warning to everyone: this is not a company to do business with. I seem to have lost a $1000 microphone to them. I hope nobody else gets taken advantage of.
Here is his Linkedin page https://www.linkedin.com/in/jay-fitz...file-join-page so if you are a member you can contact him through Linkedin.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
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Plush's Avatar
I have had excellent service from Jay Fitz and DSP Doctor. That’s what I have to say. Gefell is a small operation and takes a long time to do testing and repairs. European outlook is oriented towards thoroughness rather than “need it tomorrow” American expectations.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Reading this thread, all I can say is that I am happy I don't own any Gefell equipment. Despite all the "excuses" for the long turn around time for a repair, it still amounts to very poor customer support and service. To some of us, these issues are very important when making decisions about what to purchase.

If Gefell and DSP don't get that, it is their lose. There are plenty of manufacturers of quality equipment that do get it.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildplum View Post
Reading this thread, all I can say is that I am happy I don't own any Gefell equipment. Despite all the "excuses" for the long turn around time for a repair, it still amounts to very poor customer support and service. To some of us, these issues are very important when making decisions about what to purchase.

If Gefell and DSP don't get that, it is their lose. There are plenty of manufacturers of quality equipment that do get it.
Please note that this problem is nothing to do with Gefell - it is the dealer in the USA that seems not to have sent it back.

Also - the time delay in the USA seems to be due to consolodated shipping, where the dealer collects a bundle of mics to send back together - this adds to the time.

I don't have any problem with Gefell repairs in Europe and have had very fast turn-rounds when a studio needs a mic. back - or have had a loan sent.

No problems here.

Gefell have excellent customer support in Europe.

But they do not have an official distributor in the USA and deal with dealers directly. If you want a fast turnround send it directly to Gefell yourself.

However, Gefell now have a contact in New York that can sort things:
Contact Claudia Haase - claudia(at)streamworkv.us
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
No problems here.

Of course, given your position, your experience might be quite different than that of the average person on Gearslutz.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
friends:

Just for a quick synopsis:

Someone asked a simple question.

If you can help get in touch with Jay, please do.

IF YOU NEED TO SEND GEFELL MICS IN FOR SERVICE, reach out to them directly and explain why you don’t want to use Distributor service. Perhaps ask John to help interface if you have trouble.

Feelings are largely irrelevant to this real and ongoing problem. Let’s try to help people solve their troubles and not clutter the thread with our insecure egos.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
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nob turner's Avatar
Thanks to all who expressed concern here. I received an email today from Jay at DSPdoctor. He still has my mic (and several belonging to others) and says he will now ship it to Germany for service. Apparently he will be terminating at least this part of his relationship with Gefell going forward. I've asked him to request that they confirm receipt of the mic to me, and I'll update here when I get that info.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
nob turner -- Thanks for updating us on where things stand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
However, Gefell now have a contact in New York that can sort things:
Contact Claudia Haase - claudia(at)streamworkv.us
John, by "a contact in New York," did you mean that this person functions in a similar capacity to DSP Doctor in terms of collecting mics for repair and organizing consolidated shipments?

i.e. For those of us who own Gefell mics and may want/need prompt and straightforward service in the future, is there any reason NOT to simply contact M.G. directly and bear the additional shipping costs?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildplum View Post
Of course, given your position, your experience might be quite different than that of the average person on Gearslutz.
My experience with MG in Europe, as a customer, is nothing but excellent.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Addict
 
fred2bern's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I favor Schoeps for the sound and that they are easily, correctly and promptly fixed by the manufacturer. That is what we all expect. We are not all receiving this service. Buyer beware.
In Switzerland, from the official Schoeps retailer, 3 months to get a complete order...
On one KC-10 there was a problem, the cable was sent back to the manufactory, they wrote it was in a perfect shape but still changed the cable! (not the plugs). Back home still the same problem. I had to fight to get another serial number that finally works.
Schoeps is not always at its best.

Fred.

Last edited by fred2bern; 2 weeks ago at 11:14 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukedamrosch View Post
John, by "a contact in New York," did you mean that this person functions in a similar capacity to DSP Doctor in terms of collecting mics for repair and organizing consolidated shipments?

i.e. For those of us who own Gefell mics and may want/need prompt and straightforward service in the future, is there any reason NOT to simply contact M.G. directly and bear the additional shipping costs?
As far as I know - yes.

I would certainly contact Claudia first and she will give you the details.

Talk to her about sending direct, without going through consolidation as she may have a way of you being invoiced in $ instead of € - she will know.

In the UK I sort the repairs - the customer sends direct to Gefell themselves as this saves time and shipping costs, and Gefell send back directly to the customer. But I send Gefell the repair order and will chase up if necessary and the customer is invoiced in £.

When it comes to shipping costs, how much do you *really* save by having consolidation as opposed to sending direct? You have double costs as you have to ship to the consolidator first and also extra time added because of this.

If a mic. is needed for a particular urgent project, I have known Gefell to be very fast for an urgent requirement if needed.

I hope this helps.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
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I have a pair of M296s I acquired in 2003. In 2017 I noticed a bit of noise in a test recording, and went to Blackbird Studios (Recording Studio | Nashville | Blackbird Studio ... worth a peek) here in NashVegas to ask who might be able to troubleshoot them locally before attempting a return to Gefell in Germany. Without pause, I was told to go to Shannon at Mic Rehab (Mic Rehab | Keeping the classic microphones alive by restoring capsules with today's new technology.) about 15 minutes from my residence. He accepted the mics, asked the appropriate questions, and proceeded to repair the problem mic and to rehab them both. Last few outings, it's been a pleasure to use them again. He also rehabbed my ancient Sony C55FET pair (acquired in 1979) which had both gotten noisy and one had been physically damaged during a stint over hi-hat.

Recommended, if you are out of warranty, and don't fancy posting your beloveds overseas.

HB

Last edited by hbphotoav; 2 weeks ago at 04:09 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
I have a pair of M296s I acquired in 2003. In 2017 I noticed a bit of noise in a test recording, and went to Blackbird Studios (Recording Studio | Nashville | Blackbird Studio ... worth a peek) here in NashVegas to ask who might be able to troubleshoot them locally before attempting a return to Gefell in Germany. Without pause, I was told to go to Shannon at Mic Rehab (Mic Rehab | Keeping the classic microphones alive by restoring capsules with today's new technology.) about 15 minutes from my residence. He accepted the mics, asked the appropriate questions, and proceeded to repair the problem mic and to rehab them both. Last few outings, it's been a pleasure to use them again. He also rehabbed my ancient Sony C55FET pair (acquired in 1979) which had both gotten noisy and one had been physically damaged during a stint over hi-hat.

Recommended, if you are out of warranty, and don't fancy posting your beloveds overseas.

HB
But be aware that Gefell do not supply spare parts and definitely not capsules.

So repairs would have to be done with non Gefell parts.

And the repairer would not have access to a large anechoic chamber to test and measure and would not have access to the original measurement results.

Personally, with an important acoustic instrument like a microphone, I would always have it repaired by the manufacturer.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #29
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Thanks for that.

Mic Rehab routinely cleans, repairs and rebuilds classic mics, many of which are worth far more than my M296s, and many of which have no OEM parts available. Their reputation is stellar.

I simply wanted my mics checked, cleaned and repaired. They were. I’m a part-timer (several other income streams in audio and imaging) and, as of my last outing, the noise was gone, and the mics worked perfectly in my application (choir and orchestra). I got what I paid for, in three weeks (as opposed to several months) and without the risk of international shipping.

One old guy's opinion. Mileage may vary.

Cheers.

HB
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
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swafford's Avatar
 

MicRehab had my mic for a simple mod/repair from October 2018 till a couple days ago. After responding to a few inquiries with "should be starting repair soon" in January and then again in February and then failing to respond in March to a dozen or so phone messages with polite requests to send it back to me unrepaired wth a shipping label I supply, I had a local contact go over and retrieve my microphone.
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