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Where is Singlepower? Where is Mikhail? - Page 81

post #1201 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodgy View Post
It's very unlikely in my mind that Mikhail started the whole game with the intention that it would be a scam, but it's interesting how the dynamics evolved to become very close to one. At some point he must have made the personal decision that pawning off low quality, often misrepresented stuff for extremely high prices was an acceptable business practice.
Obviously I, or anybody, for that matter, cannot speak about the financial situation of anyone else. However, it's quite normal, during a financial crunch, to take the current money that is coming in to pay off the hardships that were acquired from earlier days, in the hopes of someday catching up.

It is how predatory mortgage lending gained momentum.

It is also the the textbook definition for credit card holders who owe thousands of $ that make up a large part of our current population. Actually, unless you pay off you balance every month, it is the best example possible of "Robbing Peter to pay Paul".

In reality, living paycheck to paycheck is the epitome of our own pyramids.
The only difference, is that with credit cards and unrealistic outstanding mortgage debt, the only person that we are hurting is ourselves.

That's where the dividing moralistic line gets drawn in the sand.
post #1202 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium View Post
And this is when I discover that I might have overpaid a bit.


post #1203 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodgy View Post
It's very unlikely in my mind that Mikhail started the whole game with the intention that it would be a scam, but it's interesting how the dynamics evolved to become very close to one. At some point he must have made the personal decision that pawning off low quality, often misrepresented stuff for extremely high prices was an acceptable business practice.
We saw 3 of the early amps at the Chicago meet in the Spring of 2003. Not one of the amps arrived in working condition. 2 of the 3 were repaired on site and the other one never worked. The workmanship on all 3 was very poor, and the soldering was horrendous with excessive solder, improper terminations and cold solder joints. If I remember correct re soldering corrected 2 of the amp problems. Safety issues were also seen where the capacitors were not properly supported and if bumped could have very easily shorted to the chassis. Unfortunately I think the low quality has been there from the beginning with the PCB based amps being an improvement. From the beginning the lure of a better sounding amp has had people paying exorbitant amounts for a simple component change. I must say that both of the amps sounded very good but even then they seemed overpriced when you look at the insides and the types of components used. I am afraid I looked at the amps with the eye of an engineer and was immediately turned off by them. After the meet I had conversations with Mikhail about the safety issues and he agreed and made modifications, I believe, in future units.
The misrepresentations were there from the beginning beginning if you recall with the claim that the amps were single ended and original designs. Very few people wanted to listen as they were swayed more by the lure of a good sounding amp.
post #1204 of 1960
post #1205 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by john_jcb View Post
We saw 3 of the early amps at the Chicago meet in the Spring of 2003. Not one of the amps arrived in working condition. 2 of the 3 were repaired on site and the other one never worked. The workmanship on all 3 was very poor, and the soldering was horrendous with excessive solder, improper terminations and cold solder joints. If I remember correct re soldering corrected 2 of the amp problems. Safety issues were also seen where the capacitors were not properly supported and if bumped could have very easily shorted to the chassis. Unfortunately I think the low quality has been there from the beginning with the PCB based amps being an improvement. From the beginning the lure of a better sounding amp has had people paying exorbitant amounts for a simple component change. I must say that both of the amps sounded very good but even then they seemed overpriced when you look at the insides and the types of components used. I am afraid I looked at the amps with the eye of an engineer and was immediately turned off by them. After the meet I had conversations with Mikhail about the safety issues and he agreed and made modifications, I believe, in future units.
The misrepresentations were there from the beginning beginning if you recall with the claim that the amps were single ended and original designs. Very few people wanted to listen as they were swayed more by the lure of a good sounding amp.
My Supra Extreme XLR is 2 years old. What do you think of his work at this point?


post #1206 of 1960
DISGUSTING
post #1207 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by markmaxx View Post
My Supra Extreme XLR is 2 years old. What do you think of his work at this point?


That's much better work than Mikhail's earliest point-to-point amps. So he did improve there. There are no immediately obvious safety issues that I can see, though the use of adhesive tags as structural connection points some will probably take issue with. It still falls below the work of most point-to-point commercial tube amp builders (with some notorious exceptions, like ASL).
post #1208 of 1960
Wow ... lol ... He don't seem to like to put parts in order.

I should open my Dragon and take somes pictures too ... 8-)
post #1209 of 1960
Its sad, because P2P can be such a beautiful thing

post #1210 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbd2884 View Post
DISGUSTING
Well even though it is most the cleanest look, I'll have to disagree with "disgusting" Function or form what is most important? Here the shortest signal paths have been chosen. I think that is a okay look, It wouldn't be somthing you would show off, but from a practical point of view it is good.

But creating a "clean" tube amp is not as difficult as a ss.
And it wouldn't take much to create a much better look.

EDIT: After looking at the picture above (Woo something) I kind of disagree with myself. It is NOT okay, and disgusting is the right word...
post #1211 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by paara View Post
Function or form what is most important? Here the shortest signal paths have been choosen. I think that is a okay look, It wouldn't be somthing you would show off, but from a practical point of view it is good.
Perhaps...... but just imagine trying to troubleshoot the thing if/when something goes wrong. What a nightmare!

Quote:
EDIT: After looking at the picture above (Woo something) I kind of disagree with myself.
Woo GES - just the first example I could find
post #1212 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefy View Post
Perhaps...... but just imagine trying to troubleshoot the thing if/when something goes wrong. What a nightmare!

Woo GES - just the first example I could find
Yes, I agree, There is no need for such a mess... The few milimeters of cable wont make any difference what so ever.

Woo is pretty... mmmmmmmm
post #1213 of 1960
Is the Woo GES a version of a Kevin Gilmore design?
post #1214 of 1960
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
Is the Woo GES a version of a Kevin Gilmore design?
I believe so. There is a statement on the product page to that effect here along with a link to the original schematic.
post #1215 of 1960
Dan,

We specifically use very closely selected components to allow for use of
no negative feedback designs in most of our amplifiers due to the fact
that the designs are the most open and the very best sonically. You
cannot attain the level of purity and performance with the use of
negative feedback. You yourself loved the performance of the unit before
and you clearly loved it over anything else you have heard. This is
still the case. The design is proven and it is clearly a superior
amplifier in every way to any of those available. If you recall the
response of everyone at the Head-Fi meet at Richard's hotel you'll
remember that everyone loved it. Most who heard the amplifier even
stated that it was the finest they have ever heard anywhere.


Next, let's review the various details of the unit.


In terms of the casework the number of hours and level of effort spent
on this was far above anything we've ever done prior. The entire case
itself was hand polished and produced to a level of perfection that
included material flatness that exceeds precision to less than 0.001”
across the entire surface of the plates. This made it possible to
engrave the labeling to a level of .0008” below the surface of the
anodized material. This was a feat that required hundreds of hours of
labor for the chassis itself. Don't forget that the entire case was
designed from the ground up using multiple CAD renderings, a redesign of
the corner posts and a unique overall design that was made specifically
for this model. The engravings were made using a vertical CNC milling
machine with a 30,000 rpm 6:1 speed accelerator and a .0015” wide end
mill. This required coming up with a novel method of setup and execution
of the engravings performed to such a superior level of quality.


Now, for the implementation of the revolutionary design concepts in the
SS-1, keep in mind that this was the first of it's kind ever made. The
unit required many months of R&D to attain a level of circuit
performance that to this day has not been replicated by anyone else to
my knowledge. The required R&D to make such a circuit is the primary
reason that you're hearing others make reference to the fact that they
cannot keep the sound consistent with respect to environmental factors
and other factors, since no one else has put the design time into
figuring this out. The circuit in the SS-1 stays stable and consistent
over time, etc.


The entire circuit, of the amplification section was built, tested and
designed to provide a perfect sonic profile leading to a uniquely
detailed, open, and realistic sound.


The advent of the Square Wave and other Solid State amplifies that came
after, are based on this design study and implementation with many
aspects learned from the creation of the SS-1.


With respect to what was done for repair and upgrading of the amplifier
it is as follows:



Removal and reassembly of the power supply circuit, due to the fact that
it was completely damaged from the shipping to us. The case was severely
damaged on the PS and fasteners were sheared completely in many areas.

New design development on the new circuits that can be installed in the
PS.

Replacement of several circuit boards in the amplification section.

Testing and examination of the entire circuit in the amplification
section.

Auditioning, burn-in of the new components and tuning of the circuit.

Reconfiguration of the power and resistive selector switches in the SS-1


Rebuilding of the power supply, and design of a new power supply design
for the PS itself. This is not installed in the unit due to the fact
that I had installed a new battery hybrid supply in the unit, and
subsequently you did not want to cover the expense of the new supply. It
was removed and replaced with the power units you have in the PS. I
would of liked to have installed the other components back in the
supply, but simply did not have the time to do so. Based on your
handling the situation and backlash of what you were posting, all I
wanted to do was get the amp to you as fast as I could. This was not
intended to turn out this way, but I made this decision to send the unit
this way to just get it back to you quickly.


I propose that we do this:


When I visit you this weekend I will do the following:


Bring with me several of the power supply types and circuits so that we
can install, listen to the unit, and tune it to your liking. This would
allow you input and evaluation of the sonics as I built it.


Feel free to contact Tom Hankins and he will tell you that this is best
way to do this. He also participated in the process and is very happy
with the results. He now has the best preamp he's ever heard, and is
very happy with the results.

And my responses:

Okay let's clarify a few things. First of all...


"The circuit in the SS-1 stays stable and consistent
over time, etc."

I complained to you even before I fried it that a channel imbalance would occur and sometimes not go away unless I left it alone for hours.

Moreover single ended performance was atrociously noisy. There was essentially no reason to ever use the amp single ended. Balanced it performed reasonably well, but single ended it was profoundly terrible.

The tunable section had noise on the left channel.

None of these things imply a stable circuit.

So the 1750 went towards the items you mentioned:


"Removal and reassembly of the power supply circuit, due to the fact that
it was completely damaged from the shipping to us. The case was severely
damaged on the PS and fasteners were sheared completely in many areas."

This is a shipping issue we both agreed that it was well packed. You should have notified me so I could file a claim or you should have filed the claim yourself. You neglected to mention a single thing until months after you had the amp. Moreover was the power supply reassembled as is it was when I originally had it or is the mess that is in there your slap dashed replacement?


"New design development on the new circuits that can be installed in the
PS."

Okay great, but you didn't seem to put this in based on your comments later in your list. So you charged me for this even though I saw nothing? I don't get it. How much did this designing cost? Break it down for me.

"Replacement of several circuit boards in the amplification section.:"

Okay how much exactly did this cost.. parts and labor. Break it down for me.


"Testing and examination of the entire circuit in the amplification
section."

Okay how much did this cost. Break it down for me. Tell me how many hrs was spent on this. Does this mean after you repair the two capacitors that the amp will function perfectly without any issues? If there are any issues do I get a refund for this?


"Auditioning, burn-in of the new components and tuning of the circuit."

How much does this cost? How much time was spent on this? Break it down for me. So then you can guarantee things like there will be no channel imbalance and that single ended performance will sound great? If not then what does that mean.


"Reconfiguration of the power and resistive selector switches in the SS-1"

Okay how long did this take and how much did this cost? To be honest I never used that stuff expect to try and deal with channel imbalance. If you had gone over what you were going to do with the amp before doing it I would have told you to not spend any time here. But you did not discuss with me what you were going to do.


"Rebuilding of the power supply, and design of a new power supply design
for the PS itself. This is not installed in the unit due to the fact
that I had installed a new battery hybrid supply in the unit, and
subsequently you did not want to cover the expense of the new supply. It
was removed and replaced with the power units you have in the PS. I
would of liked to have installed the other components back in the
supply, but simply did not have the time to do so. Based on your
handling the situation and backlash of what you were posting, all I
wanted to do was get the amp to you as fast as I could. This was not
intended to turn out this way, but I made this decision to send the unit
this way to just get it back to you quickly."

Okay you never told me that you had a new design for the power supply that you wanted to put in. You never quoted me a cost. The only thing I heard was that what you had done so far was $1750 and that you had started putting in a battery thing. I told you I did not want the battery thing because I didn't want to deal with replacing it and I did not feel the cost was worth it. But it went in there anyway. If you wanted to save cost/time you should have taken it out or not even put it in in the first place as I told you I did not want it even before you had put it in (Unless you deceived me and had put it in even before telling me about it).

And I rushed you Mikhail? Do you remember sending me this email.

SPA
to me

show details 10/16/08


Reply


Dan,

I have about 90% of the work done on the amplifier. A little power
supply work left and to go through the mosfets. The amplifier is
working well with the power supply repaired. I still need to replace
the volume control power section in the PS itself. I ran the volume
power from a bench supply, but that's not a big deal. It would be great
to beef up the PS a bit and apply some of the changes that I've made
since the amp was built. It is a superb sounding amp, and can sound even
better with a few changes to the supply.

I'll get back to the amp by Tuesday, and continue testing and going
through it. What happened that lead up to the power supply not working?
Can't remember the details of exactly what happened, but, I had to
replace two of the transformers and the wiring to them. There are 8
transformers in the power supply. Did the power supply ever get dropped
by chance? The two transformers on the left side were shifted a bit,
but that had to take a lot of force to do since the metal retainers got
bent. I've added a second set of retainers, and it would take a serious
impact from about 10 feet to do anything to it."

Note this was nearly 2 months after you received the amp.. the first time I heard about the damage due to shipping. Moreover you said you were 90 percent done with the amp and that was a little over 3 months after I received it. So how did I rush you? I understand you have a business to run and other amps to work on, but you were the one who told me it was almost done and you NEVER gave me a serious estimate for how much longer you needed to do a good job. You simply told me that I would be satisfied with what I get. I continuously asked you.. did you do a good job? Will I be satisfied? You said I would be. I can quote more emails if you'd like. If you had simply said... I need X amount of time and Y amount of money to do something that will actually satisfy you then I would have given you that.

Moreover I didn't make my first substantive post on head-fi until 12-08-2008, 04:38 PM

I link to it here:
Where is Singlepower? Where is Mikhail? - Page 48 - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio

My first post on head-case was later on 12-11-2008, 05:44 AM:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium
Well to clarify I am reasonably sure the 1750 doesn't include the battery upgrade thing. He said something like he might be able to include it but he isn't sure. I don't know. I'm not particularly interested. I've never been super interested in battery type things since replacing it is a hassle esp if I have to go through him.

1750 I guess isn't a totally ridiculous number if he really had to replace all the transformers and a multitude of other things + upgrades and labor... given the original cost to the amp.

I dunno. It is just more than I expected and hoped... and it's a lot to swallow without something in my hands and no idea when I will have something in my hands.

I also worry that I may not get what was promised or paid for. It is perfectly believable that a guy that's as on the edge as he seems to be these days to cut corners esp with me breathing down his neck... but I hope that won't be the case. That's why I'm trying to stick with the... "Take extra time if you need it, but deliver something I genuinely will be satisfied with and meet the deadline you give me." and why I tacked on an extra week to the latest deadline he's given me.

I don't want to be yet another dude who has guilt tripped him into giving me free upgrades/work, although I would not say that it is a wrong thing to do esp when you get the olde extra year tacked onto turn around time + the freaky getting back different amps thing.

I do want to compensate him fairly for his time and parts, but it's tough to judge what that is. More so without seeing a before and after or really anything at all. Of course that is partially on me.
This was nearly 2 months after you said the amp is 90 percent done. How could I have rushed you to the point where you had to throw together some crappy wall wart power supply if what you told me before was true? Moreover how did you have time to experiment with a battery power supply that I explicitly told you I did not want when you could have been putting in the design?

I would like to let you resolve my issue... but I need a detailed explanation of what you are going to do to do so. Plus I need an answer to all my questions about regarding cost of materials/cost of labor and time spent for each of the items you listed.

I would also like a total with regards to cost of labor, cost of parts and time spent. If the answers to the questions I ask are satisfactory then perhaps we can work something out. If not then I refer to the previous solutions I mentioned in my previous email.

Addendum:

Also when I first called you to tell you about my issues I asked you about it and you said it would only cost several hundred dollars and that would only cover parts and you would not charge me for labor. It seemed at the time like this was a compromise because the damage was my fault, but presumably the amp was under some sort of service coverage as it is still a fairly new amp. Moreover some of the work that Sleestack paid you for was NOT completed re: crossfeed circuit and the dynamics dial. Did you subtract the cost of designing/implementing and testing that stuff out of the total? If so how much would the cost breakdown for that be (Time spent/cost of labor/cost of parts).

I am pretty certain that that stuff still isnt in there.. which is fine, but you were paid for that.

My expectations of a business that is repairing something of mine is that when you receive the amp that you deliver to me in a timely manner a cost estimate and a breakdown of what is broken and what needs to be done to fix it. You didn't give me this information up front.. you only gave it to me after the fact.

I understand this was a custom piece (Until you made more SS-1s), but you should still have been able to give me a range plus told me what parts and labor costs would be. If your earlier promise of no charge for labor was unrealistic then you should have been up front about that. Yet I got nothing except an undetailed invoice that for all I know was fabricated from thin air.

You can either give me a detailed breakdown like I asked in the previous email and this one... or I can go to a third party and have everything you listed verified to fulfill any obligation I need for my credit card dispute. Your call.


NOTE: Yeah I noticed the inconsistency where I mention that he didn't mention this power supply design and the email I quoted where he mentions beefing up the power supply and applying some changes... In my defense that I don't think is enough to imply a redesign like he describes and he never mentioned cost. I can dig through my my ~200 other emails I exchanged with him to try and substantiate this, but I think I'll wait til if my credit card company requires me to do that. Rationally speaking (Unless you think I am trying to deceive yall) if he had really mentioned it more then what's in that one email and/or a price I would have remembered it.

The only thing I remember was in a phone conversation after he had already begun putting in the battery pack that it would normally be ~1200 dollars to have that put in but he could maybe do it for 300. I don't know if putting in a battery pack = redesign, but I feel like it doesnt considering I do have this battery pack I don't want and wall warts as well.
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