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Old 4th January 2011
Gear Maniac
mister sunshine's Avatar

Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Wow - I just read that thread as well... what struck me, even before the post that pointed it out [and I understand that you posted it on "High End" before it was moved to "Geekslutz"] is that you never seemed in search of a solution.

I understand how you got to the point you got to... I can understand the subsequent frustration... at the same time I can't understand how or why you would post such a thing on a public forum without having given it at least a day [work day, I understand there was a gig and a holiday weekend involved] for the company to try to "make it right".

You purchased a high end unit, and it failed. It could have been a "transit bounce" that caused the failure [I see your location is "Europe"], it could have been any of a whole lot of things. I understand you waited 2 months for the unit - which could be a failing of the factory, or that your dealer doesn't carry inventory as many dealers are prone not to do [which kind of makes the "dealer model" irrelevant - but I digress]... and the real fact of the matter is that the dealer should have run an additional level of "QC" before shipping you the unit -- which obviously they didn't do, presumably because you had been waiting 2 months for the piece.

I've seen things like this more times than I care to remember. Yes - sometimes things fall through the cracks at a manufacturer... could have been somebody's first day - either in production or "QC" - and the problem slipped through a crack. Could have been that the 2 month wait was caused by the distributor waiting until they had a large enough order to help mitigate the shipping costs [and wasn't a factory delay]... that same distributor -- if they were smart -- should have "QC"ed the unit prior to shipping it to the dealer [who may or may not have had facilities to "burn in" and "QC" the unit prior to delivery to you].

My point is that your real problem was that one of the channels didn't work. Not the flux on the board, not anything else. I'll bet even money [I could probably be persuaded to give odds] that the unit checked out of the factory perfect... and the off channel was due to a transit bounce. If proper "QC" had happened on the receiving end you might have had to wait an additional week - but it would have been "right"... and more importantly you would have had no reason to open the unit -- which would have meant that you'd be smiling great big smiles of joy with your properly working El-Op.

When I worked for a Manley dealer I don't know how many of those units came through the shop... I would think over 100 in 18-19 years I was there. In that time I don't specifically recall any failure with any El-Op. I do recall that anytime we did have an issue with a Manley unit the repair was prompt - and more importantly perfect.

Yeah - there was a problem. **** happens. Its how the company addresses the problem that is the sign of a good company or a **** one... in my 18+ years of direct interaction with Manley - I've seen nothing but prompt response and ruthless attention to detail when there was a problem... then again, the company I worked for gave them a minute to deal with the actual problem rather than dealing with an internet "crisis public relations" issue on top of the actual problem. Yeah - PR and "tech solutions" are two different departments at Toshiba or LG... not so much in a small company like a Manley Laboratories.

From what I saw on that thread... the whole problem could have easily been avoided if you had waited a couple of days to make your post... you didn't, the unit was returned... and this topic of discussion [or perhaps "information" from a dissatisfied customer] should be deader that fried chicken... but something tells me this won't be the last time its seen on these boards... I just wish I could see a more valid reason for your being as pissed off as you seem to be.

Best of luck with all you do.


Hi Fletcher,

I spoke with Manley's official service representative 3 times before I sent that letter to him. The conversation went on for a week.

I had followed specific printed instructions to contact the service rep. but he seemed to wonder why I contacted him and I was left with the impression that he isn't on the time clock until Manley tells him he is.

Manley's service representative doesn't work at the Manley facility... he's several hundred miles away and so he kept saying... call your dealer... send it back to them and they'll contact us.

All I asked of Manley was the assurance that if I did so that I would receive a replacement rather than that ugly piece of workmanship they sent me.

When my letter to the service department was forwarded to Ms Manley she replied and explained that she would not replace the unit but rather have it repaired.

When the lame excuse was offered that the units were "built by humans" I decided to walk away.

I'll build gear as well... I'm a human... and I know what that means.

Humans are capable of top quality workmanship. I thought that excusing sloppy workmanship as "made by humans" was a terrible excuse.

In fact I thought the inclusion of any excuse was insulting... I didn't need an excuse... I needed a commitment to move forward.

Here's an example of the kind of workmanship I expect of myself:

That's just a simple home made guitar amp... but it was assembled with care.

I certainly didn't expect to hear a bunch of excuses about why I should accept the sort of workmanship I saw in my ELOP.

I'd like to add that from the moment I first called Manley I was met with incredulity and suspicion and it was only after the third phone call when the service rep took the time to look up my serial number that the mood changed and people understood that the unit was indeed straight from the factory and that I was probably not some criminal trying to work a scam in some manner.

I was a merchant in another technical hi-end industry so I am accustomed to skipping through the middle men and speaking with the source when I need actual real life assistance.

Fletcher, I know that if I bought that unit from you that you could have advocated for me and helped me get a fresh unit... but I once I saw how the operation works at Manley... and only after Ms. Manley disclosed the name of the gear in those photos, in what I considered a offensive-defense move, did I decide to walk away from that outfit.

Ms Manley never gave me the opportunity to let me do the right thing. I would have happily let the matter rest and never intended to state whom made the item in the photo. It was just another example of being suspected of the worst when in fact I was actually just a customer.

I decided to buy gear from an outfit that agrees with my understanding of electronics. Tube gear can bounce of the flight deck of an aircraft carrier and still work fine. It's not fragile as the Manley literature suggests and I took that as just another form of excuse making. When I read thru the Tube Tech website and saw the mention that tube gear persisted in the military for many years specifically because it is robust I knew that I had found a like minded company to buy gear from.

I'd like to also add that each and every slut-grade preamp that I own has had it's cover off and I have inspected them myself. In fact before I purchased each one of those units I was able to see a photo of the guts. Many company owners, people whom you know personally, sent me photos of interiors prior to my purchase. One fella... a good friend of yours... borrowed his wife's camera and sent me the photos the next day. Another guy you know very well told me he was contractually obligated to not distribute photos of the circuit board... and then slipped me a hi res photo because he understood my curiosity. The owners of all the other Made in USA companies were proud to share that info with me.

I say this to explain that I was sort of surprised that I was treated like a criminal for having viewed the guts of dead on arrival Manley ELOP.

I'm sure Manley makes good gear. As my letter said I have been aware of Manley since the early VTL days.

I was very disappointed to learn that Ms Manley was just as likely to make excuses as to simply commit to helping me out.

I could have hoped that when Manley saw my returned unit first hand that they would have elected to meet my request but personally, I wasn't going to trust any one who is so quick with the excuse making OR the finger pointing.

Anyways... that's my story.

I do think the extra money may be helpful to the Manley operation and the need to charge more makes perfect sense to me.

best regards,

BTW I live in USA that's why I like to buy domestic product.