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    Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

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    Bob Latino
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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by Bob Latino on Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:34 pm

    Your experience doesn't really say much for Edcor's quality control ... That miswired output transformer should never have left the factory ..

    Bob

    bktheking

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by bktheking on Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:03 am

    Your telling me and then on top of that the customer service dept told me it would be 3 weeks after I return it on my dime that they would send out a replacement. They do not stock ANY transformers, it is a one off company. Time to do some checking on Hammond to see if they are any better.

    In their defence, for the price they do sound good.

    Luddite

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by Luddite on Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:49 pm

    bktheking wrote:Your telling me and then on top of that the customer service dept told me it would be 3 weeks after I return it on my dime that they would send out a replacement. They do not stock ANY transformers, it is a one off company. Time to do some checking on Hammond to see if they are any better.

    In their defence, for the price they do sound good.

    Being a manufacturer's representative of commercial audio and video products, I would consider Edcor's response inadequate. While they are free to set their own policies, they are still shirking their responsibility. If you plan to return the defective transformer, you should insist that Edcor sends you a "call tag" for pick-up by their preferred carrier (FEDEX or UPS). In addition you could also ask for an advance replacement, returning the defective product afterwards. Most manufacturers are anxious to please their customers (although there are exceptions), especally when the issue is a manufacturing defect. They certainly have an ethical obligation to do so.

    Best Regards,
    Charlie

    bktheking

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by bktheking on Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:02 pm

    I too also thought that was the norm, an advanced replacement policy similar too most companies. In speaking with their technical support rep on the phone I asked if what I was seeing was normal and then asked when I'd see a replacement. He told me he "has never heard of it" and that if it were a fault of theirs (which it clearly was, i'm not a crackhead) my transformer would be at the "front of the line". In other words, sorry we screwed up building it but we don't have replacements. His excuse was that in order to keep their prices low they kept no stock. When I asked if they had replacements for defective transformers I was told no as there are just too many variables. You have a product line that offers "standard" PP transformers , this wasn't a custom transformer with windings I came up with, it was one off of their website. I guess Edcor has interest in making customers wait while they sell transformers at a lower price. I'd rather pay a little more and get the support if they "screwed up" vs waiting a month to get a replacement cause they don't have stock. If I get into the biz of building these st-70's I'll make sure I get good support on all facets of the build. Bob and Roy are great, that's why they get my money on the board side. Needless to say it's one of those "you get what you pay for" statements. I'm just glad I figured out how they wired it instead of having to wait for a replacement.

    In all honesty when I spoke to the 2 reps at Edcor it sounded like I was calling a sweat shop. I've been in the IT business for close to 16 years and have dealt with darn near every manufacturer in the IT world- everything from Novell and Microsoft to Dell IBM and HP and never have I been spoke to with such "I don't really care about your issues" attitude. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.



    wharf-creek

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by wharf-creek on Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:21 pm

    I'm going to play Devil's Advocate for a moment and stick up for Edcor for just a bit! I spent over a decade as a "Customer Relations Manager" for a major US Automotive Manufacturer in Detroit, so I've got a bit of experience in this area! I'm not saying BT is out of line here, but Customer expectations 'can' run AWFUL high....and sometimes be unreasonable. As a large business....we generally would confirm a defect prior to making ANY type of commitment, and most certainly so outside the warranty period. And, just as a quick 'aside'....the term 'defect' has a LOT of open space in it. But, it's generally defined as: That which fails within the term of the warranty. Beyond that, it's simply a failure; albeit materials, workmanship, or even design. But, manufacturers are VERY specific about, what, how, and when they cover these failures, and when they don't. Further, they generally EXCLUDE things like 'damage', 'misuse', or 'abuse'....even when a product is within the warranty period. If I'm not mistaken.....BT's OT was not purchased by him 'new', which is also most generally another stipulation that most manufacturer's put on their 'warranty'. Generally, a 'warranty' related repair will ONLY be afforded to an original owner unless the product specifically comes with coverage based only on time from original purchase.

    As we've all been in the 'electronics world' for a while, we all know how easy it is to make a simple mistake and see something go 'poof'! So....again, from a manufacturer's perspective.....and in a SMALL COMPANY at that....the idea that they would be willing to look at a 'used' transformer and cover it to a 'second owner' after simply wanting to confirm a mis-build....to me is VERY GOOD policy! Granted, there may be a time-lag involved, but very few companies will send parts in advance.....and frankly, I know of none! I can't conceive that Bob or Roy would send out another board without having their old one back first.....but maybe! If so, GREAT! But most companies need their product back to be able to confirm responsibility....OR...get one of their vendors involved in the cost of replacement/repair! 'Vendor Recovery' is another HUGE part of Warranty Cost Administration!!......I know.....I did this job for another 10 years as well!!

    So......having said all that....I know the frustration of being faced with a 'bum' part......or getting 'bad service'! Clearly, it appears Edcor screwed up! But, sounds to me like they were trying to offer a way to make it right! Granted, some postal costs may have been involved......but again....I find that pretty 'normal'! It's great that BT was able to 'fix' this on his own.....my last experience did not turn out quite as well. I had to get another whole OT made.....but 'my manufacturer' made good on replacing the bad one at N/C (except postage) and cut me a good deal on a matching unit so I'd have a 'pair' for my next build! Honestly, that delighted me! But, from a 'time' perspective, the 'fix' took nearly 2 months....so consider that when looking at Edcor's 2 weeks or so!

    Anyway.......two sides to this! We all tend to think from a customer's perspective, and rightfully so! But trust me, if these were made in Asia or elsewhere, you'd NEVER get anything done about the problem!! Suddenly what ever English was used to make the purchase, it would disappear when it came to sorting out a problem!! Just went through that mess too.....and I'll keep ALL my business here in the USA if I possibly can! Edcor has a pretty good reputation for performance.....maybe their Cust. Relations practices aren't so good.....but I'm guessing if they grow and continue to be a viable company here in the US, they'll get better. So, I hope my 'support' of them is not misplaced!! I'd like to try a set of their transformers some time.....and I'm really anxious to hear how BT feels about these units after he has a chance to listen to them for a while.

    Again........good luck!!

    Tom D.

    Luddite

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by Luddite on Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:08 pm

    There are both good and not so good results that come with purchasing directly from a manufacturer. Better pricing and more options would be a couple of good reasons. However, customer service is too frequently the first area of complaint. When purchasing from a dealer or distributor, you have a sympathetic advocate on your side. Manufacturers will most always respond more quickly and with more attention to a customer that purchases their products in volume. Also in many cases, there is a regional manufacturer's representative (like myself) who can intervene for the dealer/distributors. Although reps are actually paid by the manufacturers we represent, we are primarily concerned with the well being of our customers.

    When buying directly, you are your only advocate and unfortunately some manufacturers aren't overly concerned with individual complaints. That being said, I've had excellent service from Roy at VTA, Kevin at Dynakitparts, Gary at Annandale Acoustics, Mouser, Digi-Key, and Antique Electronicsw, to name a few. Edcor is a copmpany that has been in business for over 40 years and has always had a good reputation as far as I know. Finally, Wharf is correct in that if these transformers were purchased used, then Edcor can and should be more restrictive on their warranty.

    Best Regards,
    Charlie

    bktheking

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by bktheking on Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:06 am

    While I respect the responses from everyone I have to disagree on this point:

    They still had the original length wires, these were used for less that 10 hrs, they were merely tested by the original owner to see if he wanted to go bigger. If they were 10 years old I could understand but they came out of the box looking new after I got them. The original owner even contacted Edcor and got the same crappy response. Let's face it, they don't have a support system in place if they were new or not, that in itself is what my complaint is. If the owner had of noticed that it was wired wrong he'd be in the same boat, they don't have a replacement on the shelf to replace the defect that they built. If I got a bad component from Bob/Roy of Kevin they'd replace it no questions asked, it's all about reputation. I'm not saying edcor sells bad product , the transformer now wired properly sounds fantastic, what I'm saying is that their policy on replacement is making the consumer wait while they investigate why their assembler fell asleep at his job, that in itself isn't anyone's fault but their QA staff. I had a BBQ from my work that had issues with the burner. I called up the company and they shipped me parts the next day , it's all about after sales support. The bbq was 4 years old!!!

    Worse things have happened with cheaper product. Look at the guy on AK with the blob of crap in his amp that came out of an overheated transformer, it's not a question of new or used, it's a question of "oops we'd better fix that." IIRC he contacted the vendor and they took good care of him.

    wharf-creek

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by wharf-creek on Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:41 am

    I saw that thread on the 'blob'......WHEW!!..........what a mess! I agree with you on the concept that as a 'stock' unit that they offer for sale as part of their advertised line of products, they ought to have a few on the shelf for orders from customers OR for that RARE instance where a defect is confirmed and a replacement is warranted. I don't agree that products should be sent in advance as a general policy! I too have a good relationship with Kevin at Dynakit, I think a pretty good relationship with Bob...and perhaps even Roy to some degree. Enough so that I think if I described a problem and we all agreed it was a defect, they would all send me a part in advance of receiving the old one. BUT, this is due to a personal relationship with the company's owners....and me! I doubt if I purchased a transformer from Parts Express that they would replace it for me in advance no matter how well I described a defect. I'm sure they'd want to get it back first and confirm that I didn't 'damage' the unit.....even if I was claiming it was a mis-wired product. I also agree that if the 'original owner' was getting the same responses when he inquired as if on his own behalf.....that too shows bad form at Edcor. But, in all BT.....the bottom line is that they WERE going to help you! Your expectation that they immediately drop a replacement transformer in the mail to you based on your description may simply be outside their policies, let alone stock capability. So....it all boils down to knowing in advance what you're bargaining for when you buy something. That's why the government implied regulations that manufacturers had to supply WRITTEN warranties.....so people would know in advance what they were entitled to and what they were NOT entitled to. It's also why some businesses...automobile dealers for one....make a customer sign a document stating that the warranty has been explained to them....so they can't come back with the old 'But you said......' line!! If it ain't in writing....it ain't so!! Hopefully you'll come down a few thousand feet from the frustration and emotion of all this and in the end, enjoy all the fruits of your labors!! You did a GREAT job on your amp! I'm jealous of Ed! I guess now it just has a bit more 'personality' due to it's improper wiring color code!.....lol. Just be glad the problem is behind you and you're not still dealing with it! (Fatherly advice.....lol).

    bktheking

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by bktheking on Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:46 am

    I'm not frustrated anymore, i'm overjoyed that I won't have an st-70 on my bench for another month lol.



    I had no problem sending it in, should of been on their dime but hey nothings perfect. It's the wait while they made another one that was going to be the issue. Having 1 of all of the transformers on your shelf so you can address issues like this isn't asking for the world, they simply don't have after sales support. That is the BIG issue. Every other company I know of has spares of what they make, it's called "replacement parts". Edcor does not have replacement parts, that is what baffles me. To me there is no defence. It's not like it would have arrived and jo tester measured it and then went ok it's bad, here's another one to put in the mail.

    Could you imagine it was your car. Sorry sir your alternator is bad out of the factory, ship it back to japan and we'll see what's wrong with it and make you another one while your car sits in the shop for a month.


    wharf-creek

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by wharf-creek on Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:06 am

    Bk.....I agree with you! As a 'stock' item offered for sale in their web site, there SHOULD be a replacement on the shelf. I'd bet it wouldn't take them more than an hour or two to wind one up and put it together.....so that whole discussion should never have taken place!!! Clearly, someone 'goofed' in more ways than one! Honestly, even if the DON'T stock spares....and even if it DID take more than a day to whip up a new one.......NO ONE at the company should have been ...shall we say 'dumb' enough.....to have told you 2 weeks! It should have been more like 'get it to us, we'll evaluate it and make an immediate turn-around when we confirm your claim.' That at least leaves the ambiguity of 'immediate' as wiggle-room for them to take the time to make a new one if they don't already have one. BTW, if I'm not mistaken, the guy with the gooey OTs on AK.....his were of some Asian variety, were they not? And.....again, in keeping with my experience with this stuff.....he ended up having to 'fix' his own problem.....and never got any real affirmative action from who ever made that product....is that not true? I think he wrote to them and ended up with a lot of mumbo-jumbo that never really ended up being any help to him, or so I recall. That was a LOT of black potting material!

    Just what are the models of these OTs you're using in this build? I still would like to try a set just to see how they sound. I also dragged my VTA board out of moth balls! Hopefully, if I can finish up these household obligation in preparation for a Father's Day gig here at my place....HOPEFULLY I can return to my soldering iron! I REALLY want to hear this VTA board in action!!

    REgards,

    Tom D.

    bktheking

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by bktheking on Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:17 am

    The VTA boards sound great and are stable, I'd like to try the octal version on my next build. I thought the vendor was having him ship the amp back for immediate replacement. It was chinese but the vendor was in the states. I guess when AK decides to come back up i'll search, I think they forgot to renew the domain Shocked

    The opt's were the 30watt 6.6 K push pull outputs.

    wharf-creek

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    Re: Low gain vta board - the new one with LM334 voltage regulators

    Post by wharf-creek on Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:57 pm

    Got it! Thanks, Tom!

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