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DPM
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Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

I would like to hear from owners of the Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista SACD player about their experiences with their machines. The reason is I've been running into some disturbing news online (most recently Audio Asylum) stating that Mr. Michaelson refuses to back up his product, and evidently, many Tri-Vista SACD owners are being left in the lurch with $6500.00 boat anchors.

As an owner of said machine, I find this very disturbing and--if it is true--inexcusable. Luckily, I haven't had any problems--yet. But, judging from what I'm reading and hearing, I will have problems very soon. If these reports are true then Antony Michaelson is a thief and should be drummed out of business. (And Stereophile should grow a pair and state this fact.) Any audiophile who spends well into the four figures on a SACD player has the right to expect supreme build quality, many years of reliability and a manufacturer who will support that product.

I don't want to hear the lame excuse that audiophile gear is twitchy. That is a cop out. A manufacturer should either back up his product like a man or get the hell out of the business.

I am not a wealthy person who can afford to toss away money by the thousands. I also cannot afford to do a trade in on another expensive machine from an (apparently) unreliable company. I purchased the Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista SACD because I wanted something special, something that would last, something I could take pride in owning. I imagine many other Tri-Vista owners bought for the same reason. I guess the joke is on us.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?


Quote:
As an owner of said machine, I find this very disturbing and--if it is true--inexcusable. Luckily, I haven't had any problems--yet. But, judging from what I'm reading and hearing, I will have problems very soon. If these reports are true then Antony Michaelson is a thief and should be drummed out of business. (And Stereophile should grow a pair and state this fact.) Any audiophile who spends well into the four figures on a SACD player has the right to expect supreme build quality, many years of reliability and a manufacturer who will support that product.

1. I hope you do not have problems either with your unit or, if necessary, with MF.
2. Stereophile reviewers do report reliability issues for devices they use. I recall having to return a failed MF DAC prematurely some years ago and included that info in my report.
3. There's no way for Stereophile (or any magazine) to verify and report statistically valid reliability data without performing extensive user surveys. The intenet reports that are agitating you are only anecdotal since you hear mostly the complaints and cannot assess the true numbers. For every complaint, how many satisfied users are there?
4. Your expectations are reasonable.

Kal

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

This is an interesting topic! Not so much for who is involved, but the concept of what role the Hi Fi press may play in the matter.

Since I've seen Art Dudley piss away paragraphs of prose about how internet denizens perseverate about his politics, it seems fair that if there were an internet storm about a certain product, that should qualify as newsworthy and be reported on.

Mr. Rubinson is right about the statistics of the situation, but this cuts both ways - we also don't know how many unhappy consumers there may be who don't know about internet forums or these hobby sites. One could argue that the internet community could well be considered a "representative sample" and a high failure rate amongst Audio Asylum members is likely to be representative of users as a whole.

Further, who has better access to the manufacturers (ESPECIALLY Musical Fidelity [!]) than Stereophile?

This seems a perfect venue for a magazine for consumers to check out what consumers are experiencing.

Anyway, the internet has become such a great venue for the sharing of Hi Fi experiences, that it's even got its own subtitle in "Industry Updates." I think it would behoove Stereophile to keep an eye out for issues like this. Plus, it's a chance for a company to appear the hero when an issue comes up like this one. Musical Fidelity may be happy to hear this and have a chance to make us all "ooh" and "ahh" at their terrific product support!

Cheers.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

Basically, if we don't know, we don't know. You are right that it is possible for the number of failures even to exceed those reported but it is unlikely that the Internet community can serve as a representative sample simply because those reporting are self-selecting. I would guess that the many more of the unhappy make themselves known than do the satisfied.

You are right that this is a big issue but tackling it requires major resources of labor. A casual survey won't be fair.

Bottom line: I think this forum and other audiophile sites are the best routes for the squeeky wheels to get oiled and for the rest of us to know.

Kal

Editor
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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?


Quote:
who has better access to the manufacturers (ESPECIALLY Musical Fidelity [!]) than Stereophile?

Actually, manufacturers would rather sell their mothers into slavery than supply reliability statistics to magazines. The dealers know from first-hand experience, but they, too, are tightlipped. As Kal Rubinson said, we do report all failures we experience in our reviews, but our samples represent such a small proportion of the total population that it is not appropriate to draw general conclusions about any specific product's reliability.

We did review the original TriVista SACD player. Is that the model the original poster bought, or the newer TriVista kW player, I wonder? The former had some problems that we reported -- swapped channels on the digital output, some drawer sticking -- but we haven't reviewed the latter. However, I have heard reports from manufacturers that the control software supplied with the Philips transport mechanism it uses is "buggy." However, this is anecdotal information.

I do agree at the price asked for this player, the owner is entitled to complain.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

mmole
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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

John: Would Stereophile consider conducting a manufacturers reliability survey among the readership and publishing the results? This would certainly be better for the manufacturers than the rumors that seem to propagate so easily through the internet.

DPM
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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

Well, believe me when I say that I hope the reports I've been reading on the web concerning the Tri Vista SACD, the Philips disk drive and Antony Michaelson are either wrong or not representative of most Tri-Vista owner's experiences. And if I'm coming off sounding a bit paranoid, I apologize.

It's just that, I absolutely adore this machine. It sounds great. It looks great. And hopefully, its reliability is equal in measure. $6,500.00 is a lot of money. It's the most I've ever spent on a single piece of audio gear. But I was glad to pay it for what I believed was a supreme product. If my Tri-Vista breaks down and I can't get it fixed it's going to really hurt--both in the pocketbook and in other ways. I certainly will be quite hesitant to spend my money on high end gear that doesn't come from a rock solid manufacturer. (Gee, maybe I should begin checking out McIntosh.)

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

In my experience it is common knowledge among many posters on online forums that most posts about a product are negative because that's who will spend the time and effort to find a place to complain. I've been on many forums over the years and I find myself sometimes looking for a forum to do nothing more than vent about a product or a service. Rarely do I see posts on most online forums that do nothing but praise a product. I take forums for what they are. A place for people to vent and hopefully to gather nuggets of truth about a product, service or manufacturer.

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

The Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista SACD player was, if I recall correctly, a Limited Edition.

Hence not too many were produced in the 1st place.

If out of these, there are a fair number of complaints, then this IS statistically significant, even if every other Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista SACD player has worked perfectly.


Quote:

Mr. Michaelson refuses to back up his product, and evidently, many Tri-Vista SACD owners are being left in the lurch with $6500.00 boat anchors.

The bigger concern is not only about the number that have reportedly failed, but the LACK OF SUPPORT... THAT is a concern of the highest order.

In direct contrast, I have read in the S'phile that Ayre's owner has even mortgaged his house to buy up a stock of transports, so that he can replace failed transports for customers 5 years or later down the line !

THAT, friends, is Commitment & support.

P.S: I own neither MF nor Ayre products.

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?


Quote:

In my experience it is common knowledge among many posters on online forums that most posts about a product are negative because that's who will spend the time and effort to find a place to complain.

I dont totally agree with this.

I am a delighted user of the Prima Luna Prologue-2 integrated, but whenever I have mentioned this, ( in context, I may add) I have been accused of a variety of things...

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?


Quote:
Would Stereophile consider conducting a manufacturers reliability survey among the readership and publishing the results?

It's a great idea; perhaps we will, although not until next year if we do.

We did do such a survey in 1988, but we asked the wrong question: "Would you buy a product again from this company?" It turned out there was not a strong correlation between poor reliability and a positive answer to that question!

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

DPM
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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?


Quote:
The Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista SACD player was, if I recall correctly, a Limited Edition. Hence not too many were produced in the 1st place.

In direct contrast, I have read in the S'phile that Ayre's owner has even mortgaged his house to buy up a stock of transports, so that he can replace failed transports for customers 5 years or later down the line !

There were 800 Tri-Vista SACD machines manufactured. Mine was made in January 2003 (#389).

As for Ayre, well now I can add their name to McIntosh's. I guess Bryston probably backs up their stuff too.

JoeE SP9
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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

Last I heard Bryston had a 20 year guaranty on their products for the original owner.

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

Hi, DPM. I do not own the same Musical Fidelity gear that you do, but I have owned several amplifiers, preamplifiers, phono-stages, in the past, and, currently, I own the Tri-Vista 21 tube DAC. Let me get this right. You read some complaints about Mr. Michaelson's refusal to "back up his product" on Audio Asylum's forum. What does this "refusal" consist of? Is the factory returning units unrepaired? Are dealers refusing to honor warranties? Is any of this beyond the rumor stage? You (apparently) like your CD player, but, because of something you have read, fear that you won't like it tomorrow, that you will "have problems very soon"? Huh?

Have you expressed your concerns to your dealer? Did you buy from an authorized dealer? Did you clarify the warranty conditions with your dealer when you bought the unit? If so, then I do not foresee any "problems very soon."
Nothing I have ever purchased with a Musical Fidelity logo on the box has ever gone wrong. Other notable brands have. For example, my Meridian 508-24 CD player started squeaking and speaking in tongues when asked to perform its assigned task. It was 9 days beyond warranty. I took it to my dealer. He shipped it to Meridian. They fixed it. When I picked it up, I expressed my chagrin that a routine repair, less than 2 weeks beyond warranty, would cost me $600. He shrugged his shoulders, expressed his condolences, and opined that I was unlucky. I don't shop there any more. And I'll never buy Meridian again.

I bought a McIntosh pre-amp -- at the time, their top of the line solid state model (C-42, I believe). $4,000+. Within two months, the volume control went bonkers. I sent it back. They fixed it on warrenty. It cost $200 for shipping and insurance, both ways. I don't buy there any more, either. I bought a cheap replacement, because the repair took a month. The cheap replacement still works, 2 years later, and sounds better than the Mac. So I sold the latter. The cheap replacement is made by Musical Fidelity.

I believe Mr. Michaelson spent a large sum buying enough Tri-Vista tubes to service all the units he produced, even though normal tube life is 8-10 years. You sound, in short, like chicken little. If you have problems with your unit, see your dealer, as per warranty. If you don't, keep in touch. Maybe the Musical Fidelity process is okay, after all. Yes. Much high-end gear goes haywire, even though my experience with Musical Fidelity has been gratifying (value) and problem-free. You must specify problems than have actually occured, not fear the ones that haven't. Cheers, Clifton.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

Clifton hit the nail right on the head. It is always appropriate to gather all the facts. Many of us stopped going to the other forum site just due to this same kind of excessive ranting and raving.

The limited editions that MF has would seem to be a good thing if one was trying to sell their MF product later on. It might retain more of the original purchase price.

I had been told by a dealer that they had some units years ago with some transport issues that MF took care of quickly and the few units in new condition were sold as B stock at great prices. They did not bring them back in and repackage them as sell them off as new.

I would expect we might hear on this issue from AM on this forum as I know most hold MF in the highest regard even if we don't own their gear, but wish we did.

In Clifton's case someone at Meridian and McIntosh did not have their marketing hat on very tight. These kinds of stories worth a couple of hundreds of dollars can undue tens of thousands of dollars of advertising. Very foolish.

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

Like Clifton, I don't own the same SACD player as you but I do own and use on a regular basis some Musical Fidelity equipment - Phono preamp, integrated amp, headphone amp. I also own their X-Ray CD player. This was the bottom line player and has been discontinued in favor of the 3.5. If the problem you fear is that referred to in JA's earlier post - buggy software in the Philips transport mechanism resulting in unreliable tray operation - I did experience that problem. I also experienced about all the support I think anyone might expect from Rick Walker who is the chief technician for Signalpath (the US distributor for MF). He replaced the transport mechanism twice over a period of about six months with reasonable turnaround and at no charge to me other than the transportation and insurance cost of my first shipment to him - this despite the fact that my player was a few weeks out of the warrantee period the first time I sent it to him. That player is in a secondary system now (having been replaced in my main system by a more expensive player with SACD capability) where it performs yeoman service.

Perhaps the problem you fear you'll encounter with your much costlier player has nothing to do with the transport mechanism. Be that as it may, I offer you one first hand experience of good support from the MF US Distributor. I'd like to offer more examples, but I've never had a single problem with any of my other MF hardware. Have you discussed your fears about lack of product support with the Signalpath folks? They're readily accessable and, I suspect, would be more than willing to discuss the matter with you. That would seem to be a better approach than searching the internet forums to correct or confirm rumors.

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

Watch out - remember the Audio Alchemy story. All was well - stories about new products - then - BAM!

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

but it is a real case in Hong Kong... you may read the following url to know the details.

http://www.review33.com/avforum/forum_message.php?topic=77060806234211

according to the official distributor of MF products in HK, following is their reply

Due to the cease production of the Philips digital servo, repair of the Trivista SACD player is impossible. The only offer of the MF(HK) can provides is a trade-in services to a brand new KW SACD player or KW DM25 system (CD transport + DAC). The cost of the trade-in can discuss with Musical Fidelity (HK) directly.

Musical Fidelity (Hong Kong) Ltd.

I would like to ask Antony Michaelson how to solve this problem, but not likely ask the owners to trade in the new product with more than HKD20K trade in price(around US3K)

anyone can help? I'm a owner of the Tri-Vista SACD player.

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

Are you having problems with your unit? The comment about Audio Alchemy's descent into high-end hell doesn't really apply to a large, well-established firm like Musical Fidelity. I had the AA top-of-the line transport, DAC, and anti-jitter box, all lashed up with AudioMagic I2S cabling. It worked fine for about 2 years, when the DAC started sounding like ArtooDeetoo. I called Dusty Vawter after AA had folded, and he fixed it for a reasonable fee, even though he was obviously no longer associated with AA and was starting up his own firm. Musical Fideliy isn't struggling for cash just to stay in business, as AA was (and, for that matter, McCormack).

Your desire to hear from Michaelson on this matter is legitimate, it seems to me, since it was a Musical Fidelity distributor who allegedly made the comment you quote from another forum. He should at least comment on the Hong Kong distributor, if that quote about trading up is, indeed, accurate.

If your unit has gone on the fritz, you should contact the US distributor for "official" confirmation of the Tri-Vista's irrepairibility. As things now stand, it's all rumor and conjecture. Cheers, Clifton

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

In fact I'm a fans form MF. I owned MF-Trivista SACD and Amp and really like the sound.

Can anyone send me the email contact from MF_UK? I would like to ask this question directly to MF_UK to clarify our user concerns.

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Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

Dear Mr. Rubinson,

I just now came across your response regarding reliability issues. In no way do I intend the following to be personal but I really believe that reviewers have no idea how prevalent reliability issues are. I wrote to a reviewer who mentioned in passing in his review about the plugs falling off of $5,000 interconnects. I was not chastising him and in fact praised him for his candor. I did point out how totally unacceptable that is and would be even for it to happen with an interconnect costing $200! He promised to highlight such occurences more. If you have not yet read the following please read on:

Frequency of Repair
#11555 - 08/20/06 08:46 PM (4.232.21.62)

I call the following "the dirty little secret in audio" and that is frequency of repair. I sent a suggestion to Robert Harley (actually based upon an idea HP had many many years ago) but he has never responded.

First a note I wrote to a reviewer a Mr. Nack (on Positive Feeback Online) who wrote that two weeks after testing interconnects that retail for $5,000, the plugs fell off!

Dear Mr. Nack,

Talk about coincidences. Right before I wrote to you I sent an inquiry to Albert Porter at Ultra Audio asking him why after 12 years did he switch from Soundlab instead of trading up to their newer improved models and below is what he replied:

To answer your questions, the Sound-Lab is an incredible speaker that I would have owned forever except for reliability. Most of my friends refer to me as a perfectionist with the patience of Job, but enough problems and even I will give up. During the time I owned (and loved) the Ultimates, I replaced approximately 21 cores, did several repairs to the back plates, finally completely replacing both with new units.

When I made the decision to move away from Sound-Labs, I had lived with crippled performance on both speakers, arcing insulators, burned copper rings and blistered mylar. I waited over seven months for Sound-Lab complete their new cores, stators and diaphragms. By the time these changes were available I had given up hope and was searching for an alternative speaker. I wrote Roger West a complete email explaining my dilemma before selling them and going to the Dali. Roger and Connie are some of the finest people I have ever met, in audio or anywhere !

The final chapter to this story, the fellow that purchased my Ultimates contacted me three months after getting them up and running in his place and emailed me that one of the "new" speakers had failed again. To me, this was confirmation I had made the right choice. I sold those speakers with the latest and greatest of everything, in perfect working order, and in another location with completely different equipment, they FAILED again.

Mr. Nack,

Last month I posted in the Planar Asylum of AudioAsylum with called Quality Control: Here it is:

Posted by SOUNDMAN ( A ) on May 31, 2006 at 16:37:24

Would any/all of you planar 'stat owners address quality control issues (I love cross overless 'stats too and planars)In the Absolute Sound Jonathan Valin stated that during the time he owned CLS's he had to send the panels back FOUR TIMES due to failures...I read a posting where a NEW Quad owner in England states that his speakers have been back to the factory 3 times in 12 months. Then I found this on audioreview...please tell me it is one in a million...I sent a copy to Steve Winey and no reply:

Dear Mr. Winey

I came across this owner's experience ...please tell me if it is a one in a million... also Wendall does not appear in a light that reflects well on your customer service end...read on

mbovaird
(Audio Enthusiast)

Review Date
January 22, 2005
Overall Rating
5 of 5

Value Rating
5 of 5

Used product for
1 to 3 months

Price Paid: $4150.00 from Audio Visions South

Summary:
Let me start by saying I LOVE my Magnepans. Every listening experience is wonderful and I wouldn't trade them for anything 4 or 5 times the price. ***BUYING EXPERIENCE*** I purchased my 3.6's new, about two months ago. At first, Magnepan shipped me a speaker which had a damaged panal resulting in severe crackling. Before accepting return, Wendel at Magnepan insisted I purchase some test CD's like the Sterephile Test CD, a Digital Multimeter and a Sound Level Meter to ensure it wasn't me!! Thankfully, my dealer (over an hour drive away), came down with the necessary equipment and ran the test for me to satisfy Wendel that I wasn't loosing my mind! After testing it, we did specifically find out which panel was damaged, and off they went back to Magnepan. Two weeks later, a brand new replacement pair arrived. After getting them home (again an hour drive from the dealer), I opened up to find one of the speakers cloth completely torn!! Back to Magnepan the speakers went (you can't just ship one speaker back....due to the crappy shipping box Magnepan uses...you need both speakers for support). Three weeks later, the SAME speakers arrived back, and the one with the torn cloth was fixed....but the job was just "OK" at best. There were little bits of cloth "pilling" at the top. A funny side story: before purchasing these speakers, I called Magnepan MANY MANY times asking why I couldn't buy from them direct.....my local dealer only had one pair of 1.6's shoved in a corner (not even hooked up) and he refused to order a pair of 3.6's for me (yep, that's right, I bought the 3.6's UNHEARD). Again....I said to Magnepan, "my dealer is over an hour drive away, he doesn't carry your 3.6's, why can't I buy direct?" The answer, "we value our relationship with our dealers and if we ship it direct, there is too much risk for DAMAGE!!!" HILARIOUS. I am sure my experiences fall into the "one in a million" category....but we definitely didn't get off to a great start. Had Magnepans Customer Service been better....I definitely wouldn't have minded as much. I'm not sure what it is....maybe they have sold so many speakers, they've forgotten the term "customer service"....

People went absolutely biserk. The replies were hateful.

Here is my second post:
Posted by SOUNDMAN (A) on June 01, 2006 at 22:55:51

Many years ago Harry Pearson at the Absolute Sound proposed publishing a column which addressed the frequency of repair issues that readers were having with particular brands, i.e. blown resistors, dead channel etc. as a service to readers much in the same way Consumer Reports publishes Frequency of Repair ratings of cars. A potential consumer can look up a particular car and learn that it is much worse than average in the area of electrics or brakes.
UNFORTUNATELY THIS DOES NOT EXIST FOR THE AUDIOPHILE CUSTOMER! I certainly do not expect the dealer to tell me.

When I graduated from college Consumer Reports gave a great review of the Fiat 128 four door sedan in terms of performance and handling blah blah blah. I bought the car and ended up having an intimate relationship with the mechanic. The following year Consumer Reports based on the feedback from owners created a special frequencey of repair category for this car--VERY MUCH WORSE THAN AVERAGE!

Mr. Pearson suggested the possiblity of this kind of column based on a column written by a woman who reported on her audiophile friends, one who had several turntables in various states of disrepair etc., etc.

I have read ALL of the positive reviews extant of the Sound Labs, Magnepans, Martin Logans and others. I am totally aware of all the good reviews. At the same time I have come across numerous postings of product failures and not so good response to those events. AND THAT IS THE REASON I CAME TO THIS FORUM TO ASK FOR AN HONEST OWNER EXPERIENCES & RESPONSE REGARDING QUALITY CONTROL FOR THESE KINDS OF SPEAKERS.

If you are honest everyone here knows either from experience or has audiophile friends who can tell you that there are certain brands that consistantly seem less reliable than others.

Frankly it appears from my perspective to be the dirty little secret regarding planar/stats and the high end in general too and that is no one wants to address Frequency of Repair among brands.

MY INQUIRY IS MORE THAN REASONABLE GIVEN THE COST OF THESE PRODUCTS.

Instead I got condescending flames which suggests a very clubby club in which no one wants to acknowledge the elephant in the room--(thank you to all who were honest in there responses).

QUICK SURVEY--In the same way there are surveys to see what cartridges members are using how about a survey to see which members in this forum have had problems with planar and or stats in the first five years of ownership? Then we can have a shake out a see which brands show up the most or percentage wise.

Be honest and just a cursory glance at the overall postings reveal the number of maintenance issues people are experiencing--Again, I am not talking about performance. No one is disputing that they all in their way sound great. (My Fiat ran great when it worked)

Still hoping for honest responses. A new Quad owner in England who says his Quads went back 3 times in 12 months is the kind of experience that regardless of how much I may like their reproduction of music is totally off putting --I guess what I am seeing is members here do not seem to care about this side of the coin and are willing to put up with whatever frequency of repairs are necessary. Asked another way is there an overall consensus as to which of this breed HAS THE LEAST problems for both quality control or service issues requiring repairs?

Thank you in advance to all of you who will not get bent out of shape, sensitive and then aggressive about their chosen beloved brand. I am not CHALLENGING anyone so there is no need for the kind of over reactivity that I have been subjected to--I have already been told to "move on" when I have simply come to ask a VERY REASONABLE question.

After more hateful replies (you can verify this for yourself if you go into the Planar section and put in Frequency of Repair) there was a posting saying my question was "eminently reasonable." I replied and in the interim received an email from a television producer in Switzerland. Below is my reply:

In Reply to: Your question is emminently reasonable..... posted by Marc Bratton on June 3, 2006 at 15:33:17:

Thank you so much for agreeing my question is reasonable. I just last night told my wife that this forum is so hostile that I want no more anything to do with it. Apropos "I've just not HEARD of Maggie owners having probs" I just received a private email and what this person shared totally breaks my heart---put your self in his shoes and read on: THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN ABOUT THE DIRTY SECRET IN THE HIGH END AUDIO BUSINESS AND THAT IS FREQUENCY OF REPAIR AMONG BRANDS AND WORSE--OUT AND OUT DISHONESTY OF SOME MANUFACTURERS WHO REPEATEDLY PUT THE BLAME FOR THEIR PRODUCT'S FAILURE BACK UPON THE OWNER--IT FAILED BECAUSE YOU SCREWED IT UP SOMEHOW--TOTALLY UNETHICAL:

It is not easy to share this kind of experience but this gentleman somehow "got me"...the litany in the first few lines alone of product failure is enough to give one pause--

This is the email from a televison producer in Switzerland:

I myself owned Maggies for 15 years (1.0, 2.6, 3.0) and had nothing but problems with them: Broken internal wiring, broken binding-posts, bendig frames, conductors breaking away from the foil, uneven distribution of sound. I finally got wiser and I finished my relationship with this product. I simply do not understand, how companies like Magenplanar survived in the market, as I know, I am not the only one to experience these problems.

5 years ago, I had a pair of Martin Logan CLS 2 ESL. I spend a lot of time to get advise in AA to find a truly appropriate amp to drive these ESL's. The information I gathered in AA forum was so confusing and contradicting, that I gave up to use it as a resource. Finally I bought, after careful interviews with the manufacturer, a pair of
GOLDMUND JOB amplifiers. Mr. Reverchon, the brain of Goldmund here in Switzerland told me on the phone, his amps would perfectly drive ANY loudspeaker available on the consumer market, a CLS for certain. Well the truth is: His JOB amps went up in smoke after driving the CLS for 10 minutes only. He then refused repair work (still under warranty), as he claimed, I had misused his amps...

After some time I send my CLS to a guy called "Electrostatic Doc" in the US. (the stators needed to be replaced). On his homepage he claimed, that he had the ultimate expertise in repairing and upgrading the CLS.

After the ML CLS had returned from him, the CLS had a foil with unaligned/screw spacers and after 2 month of use, the ESL started to click and arch.

ED suggested to send the CLS back to him (approx 1000 $ for shipping, on my expenses of course).

I bought a pair of Cain & Cain horn loudspeakers, after reading all the hail in the different internet publications (6moon & enjoythemusic) I thought I was safe this time.

Wrong I was again.

After pre-paying the Cain & Cain loudspeakers, I waited 8 (eight) month and hat to write countless emails to Terry Cain, I finally received the loudspeakers. The internet magazines stated: exceptional quality cabinet work. The truth: cabinet work was about the level of a mediocre DIY project. After hooking them up, I observed a strong
coloration in the vocal band. TC (he is a nice guy, really) suggested changing the amps and the cables (!). Of course nothing about the coloration was mentioned neither in a forum nor in one of the mentioned magazines. Then, one day one of the C&C speakers did not work anymore. I checked everything carefully and ended up in opening the frame with the binding posts of the C&C. Result: broken soldering
caused the problem (please keep in mind, that the loudspeaker was not moved around, but stayed at his place for month before the shutting down). TC was appologetic...

It seems to me, that hi-fi business is a madhouse full of in-honesty, arrogance and madness, where naiv jerks like me are cheated day after day by manufacturers, dealers and reviewers.

Anyway finally there was a posting that hit the nail on the head:

"Some people do not mind buying a product that performs wonderfully but operates temperamentally and requires constant maintainence and coddling. Having used a beautiful-sounding Krell SACD Standard that broke down 2 days after I bought it and has never worked properly for the last 2 years even after 12 visits to the dealer, I am eager to avoid another such relationship!"

The subject is more than "frequently bypassed." Even John Atkinson who to his credit does report on failings of equipment as they arise when he is testing, PLAYS IT DOWN.

In fact my wife who is the perfect sounding board having read numerous columns and reports of equipment failure cannot understand why I would want to take this on.

Sometimes audiophiles are so deep into their passion that the product failures and the shipping back and forth is totally taken as a given and taken for granted. But to an outsider it is every reason if not THE reason not to enter into the high end no matter how passionate one is about music reproduction in the home.

Again unfortunately we are forced to learn of frequency of repair from hard experience --the hard way--but by sharing our frequency of repair experiences we can help others so that they do not have to go through the same thing...why is this a hard concept--it is compassionate and generous to do so. (from another posting below)

Martin Logans tend to 'wear out' the panels in 2-4 years. You get them, they sound great. 3 years later, they still work. But they don't sound so good. Time to get the panels redone. Really a PITA, IMHO. It bugs the hell outa me that a 3-5 thousand dollar speaker can't be designed to work for ten years without expensive refurbishing.

I sent an email to HP reminding him of him long ago very good idea regarding a column discussing frequency of repair among brands...no reply

tniceboy
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Joined: Nov 20 2006 - 10:00am
Re: Antony Michaelson not backing his products?

Well, I have a happy ending actually. I have the transport problem with my Tri-Vista. I sent it back to MF. They replace my Tri-Vista with their kW SACD for free! They said they would have it delivered to me by tomorrow. (But I cannot be so optimistic until I receive the machine). I am not sure whether kW player is right for me but I think this is the best they can do.

Yeh, there is some problem with Tri-Vista SACD transports. Unfortunately, the old Krell SACD standards used this transport and therefore had the same problem. Krell upgraded their SACD Standard to use a new transport. They both use Philips transports and I guess Philips must know this problem and therefore discontinue the transports.However, I have heard that Musical Fidelity Philips for the past year for their customers,Philips weren't responding!

The bad thing for Musical Fidelity is that they are keeping producing these new limited editions player. When the real problem that they cannot solve come, they do not know how to solve it. However, to be a bit charitible to them, I don't think anyone could response well to such these problem. I am not going to argue with anyone here. I heard that they did not response to the problem very well at first. However, for me, I didn't expect Philips to be this irresponsible. Companies like MF or even Krell are on mercy of Philips on supplying transports. And not many company in the world producing transports.

I think Musical Fidelity generally try to do best to service customers. They secures Tri-vista valves as spare parts to service Tri-Vista players. However, they clearly did not prepare for this problem. (it must be a blow to other company such as Krell as well. but i have heard that Krell responsed better)

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