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Where is Singlepower? Where is Mikhail? - Page 101

post #1501 of 1953
Sorry to post in the thread that is only for yellow mutt approved people but I am curious, how come more people are not insisting on refunds? I think if someone had my amp for 18 months (new order or repair) then that would constitutue Mikhail owning the amp.
post #1502 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elephas View Post
I'm an owner of a Single Power ES-1, and also have a Supra-XLR still in SP's possession awaiting modifications.

My take on the situation is this. We all have our own experiences dealing with SP. They might be good or bad. A number of bad customer experiences have been made public, and it seems obvious by now that they are not isolated instances but a pattern. Single Power has lied and deceived its customers, including me, about payment and delivery issues. In particular, it has been particularly negligent regarding making delivery promises and continually breaking them. I have first-hand experience of the frustrations.

Besides the issues with business practices and customer service problems, some more info about product design and build quality have come to light. In particular, the power supply of Icarium's SS1 is... I don't know what to think about this, a shock, a disappointment, a rip-off, obvious in retrospect, what? I don't know how the SS1 sounds, but I definitely didn't expect an amp at that price to contain those parts.

My ES-1 was formerly Icarium's. My troubles with SP began when I sent it in for upgrades in Oct. 2007, was promised delivery and made payment in Feb. 2008, and then waited with increasing frustration until I finally received it in Oct. 2008.

Since then, I've been pleased with the amp. I know, this sounds like a repeat of the other SP owners who complain, complain, and then everything is cool after they receive their "best I've ever heard" amp.

But this is the truth of my experience. I think the ES-1 is the best-sounding amp I've heard, better than my Aristaeus and also my Zana Deux, though the ZD drives dynamic headphones of course. I've also bought a few tubes and some adapters from SP recently. Now, one may ask, why am I still dealing with SP after they treated me badly (see my previous posts in this thread), plus all the other customer complaints and Icarium's SS1 power supply?

Well, my ES-1 works fine, and as I said before I think it sounds superb. True, I may open up the case and find crap parts inside. It may be a bad or unstable design. It may break at any time or destroy my tubes. I'll still be at SP's mercy and may be forced to endure more frustrations dealing with them. I might be ripped off (or continue to be ripped off, depending on point of view). But for now, I'm pleased with its sound and I don't think I paid too much for it.

The only one with the power to resolve all this is Single Power. They can get their act together, change and improve their business practices, and stop lying to their customers. They can take steps to reassure current and future customers that they stand by their products. They can do many other positive things, for themselves as well as us.

Or SP can continue their erratic and unethical ways. Treat some customers well, others not so well. Continue to break promises and lie. Maybe continue to sell arguably sub-par products with questionable value.

I hope for the former, but I'm not fully optimistic. I think people should be well-informed about the potential risks before dealing with SP, which has happened with this thread and other warnings. Potential customers should be aware of all the risks. We current customers will make our own individual choices and continue or stop dealing with SP. But stopping all association with SP would require selling our SP amps, and I think that's not very easy to do anymore, for us as well as for Single Power.

Mikhail, what are you going to choose?
I have waited a long long time before getting into this delicate issue. I don't plan to get to involved either. This particular post struck me hard because it describes much of my feelings. I don't want to get into the full story of my relationship with SP- but the basics are the same as others- lie after lie after lie. Delay after delay after delay. I was taken on a ride for many many years and ended up having to sell a defictive amp. at a huge loss. You would not believe what I went through. I do believe that Mikhael is at heart a good person it is just that business and money is pulling him and molding him. I really Like Mikhael- and I wish he did not put me through the torture which he did.

I do agree at the end of the day- (this is not a rationalization)- just a truth- that my ES-1 provides the most incredible music experience I ever could of imagined.

Two things I wanted to mention to fellow head fiers.

1. If you want a Singlepower amp.- they are the best sounding amps in the world. Never order and pay money up front. Tell Mikhael what you want and to have it built for you- then go to Denver and look at it, listen to it, play with the volume knobs, bias it with differnet tubes, turn it on and off 20 times and experiment with it for 2-3 days. If it is perfect- pay then and only then and take your amp. home with you. Call it a 72 hour personal burn in- if you wish. This is how I bought my ES-1- and it worked out well. (I was cheated on another sale 2 years earlier)

2. I have not followed this thread totally at all but if I am not mistaken, Mikhael has not spoken up. I do not really see any need for him to hide. It makes him look worse. I request of Mikhael to show up as a responsible adult and a grown man and post some words regarding the issues brought up here. I wish Mikhael for his own sake would admid publicly in this forum to his lying, cheating and misconduct; then apologize to all he harmed; then make arrangements to recompensate all those hurt and than make a promise to change- to all of us. It would be such a shame if Mikhael went under. His amps are the best sounding amps in the world- just stunning beyond belief.

MIKHAEL- PLEASE SPEAK UP- SHOW UP- WE CARE! WE WANT YOU TO MAKE IT FOR YOU AND FOR US.
post #1503 of 1953
I have to wonder why you guys are sending your amps to Mikhail for repairs and simple upgrades. I can understand it if they're under full warranty but tube amps are not rocket science. For the most part (there are exceptions of course like automated bias circuits) they're extremely simple. It would be another thing if Mikhail did flawless work ,which can be an art unto itself, but it sounds like this isn't the case.
There are lots of repair/designers who specialize in tube gear in all parts of the country. They may not have ever laid eyes on a Single Power amp but they have worked on preamps and amps that would make a headphone amp look like child's play. Some of them are the designers and/or builders of many of the boutique, mega buck speaker gear that cost upwards of $100k. But repairing and modifying other gear is their day job. The guy I use is world famous for some of his designs. I can take any piece of gear to him and in around 2 weeks I can pick it up and that's with a weeks worth of burning in. Even with my CAT Ultimate preamp I try not to send it across the country and they make their own capacitors for their gear.
When your BMW breaks down, you don't send it to Germany, you find a good reliable local guy and develop a relationship with him. I suggest that you guys do the same and share your guy with other SP owners on this forum. If this guy starts to get more SP work, he won't be able to help himself from coming up with his own mods and tailoring the sound to what you want to hear.
Taking the repairs load off of Mikhail will speed up the new amp building too. I've met Mikhail enough times to say that I like him. He's obsessive in what he does but I have a feeling that he's one of those guys that just can't say "no". A fatal combination when you're trying to keep customers happy.
I think it's clear that Mikhail isn't going to do anything about this situation and it's up to you guys to find alternatives.
post #1504 of 1953
May I ask who the guy is?
post #1505 of 1953
Scott Frankland. He's currently designer of the Wavestream gear but his earlier designs are still considered some of the best preamps/phono stages if you can find them.
post #1506 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbrsvp View Post
I have waited a long long time before getting into this delicate issue. I don't plan to get to involved either. This particular post struck me hard because it describes much of my feelings. I don't want to get into the full story of my relationship with SP- but the basics are the same as others- lie after lie after lie. Delay after delay after delay. I was taken on a ride for many many years and ended up having to sell a defictive amp. at a huge loss. You would not believe what I went through. I do believe that Mikhael is at heart a good person it is just that business and money is pulling him and molding him. I really Like Mikhael- and I wish he did not put me through the torture which he did.

I do agree at the end of the day- (this is not a rationalization)- just a truth- that my ES-1 provides the most incredible music experience I ever could of imagined.

Two things I wanted to mention to fellow head fiers.

1. If you want a Singlepower amp.- they are the best sounding amps in the world. Never order and pay money up front. Tell Mikhael what you want and to have it built for you- then go to Denver and look at it, listen to it, play with the volume knobs, bias it with different tubes, turn it on and off 20 times and experiment with it for 2-3 days. If it is perfect- pay then and only then and take your amp. home with you. Call it a 72 hour personal burn in- if you wish. This is how I bought my ES-1- and it worked out well. (I was cheated on another sale 2 years earlier)

2. I have not followed this thread totally at all but if I am not mistaken, Mikhael has not spoken up. I do not really see any need for him to hide. It makes him look worse. I request of Mikhael to show up as a responsible adult and a grown man and post some words regarding the issues brought up here. I wish Mikhael for his own sake would admid publicly in this forum to his lying, cheating and misconduct; then apologize to all he harmed; then make arrangements to recompensate all those hurt and than make a promise to change- to all of us. It would be such a shame if Mikhael went under. His amps are the best sounding amps in the world- just stunning beyond belief.

MIKHAEL- PLEASE SPEAK UP- SHOW UP- WE CARE! WE WANT YOU TO MAKE IT FOR YOU AND FOR US.
Yeah I used to believe that Singlepower amps are the best sounding amps in the world. I don't believe that anymore.

I do not believe that even if you dumped 50k into a SDS-XLR that it would necessarily sound as good as a TTVJ 307A or a EC Balancing Act. It may for some people, but it does not to my experience. Yet I do not believe that Mikhail would have any qualms with selling you a 50k SDS-XLR.

I mean sure it's subjective and maybe for some people they are the best sounding amps... but it is not a universal truth and I'd advise anybody who wants to buy into that but has not experienced it for themselves to verify it themselves before entering in any sort of relationship with a used Singlepower amp let alone Mikihail/New Singlepower amps.

Moreover.. even if his amps were the best sounding out there... reliability is an issue and will continue to be an issue.

It's really not that I don't believe your experiences. I myself have owned solid/good sounding operating Singlepower amps.. but if you really delve into this thread and others like it I think you will detect that Singlepower/Mikhail has only deteriorated in service/quality/performance in the last couple of years. I don't know if its strain/financial issues or what.. but at some point there was a tipping point and the sad stories started outweighing the success stories.

I don't doubt that there still are some success stories of happy satisfied customers... but it simply is not enough imo for any sane person to embark on.

Until he really gets his affairs in order then I really would not advise anyone I actually like to get involved regardless of what good experiences you've had with him 2-3+ years ago.

Moreover... given my own experiences and what I found in my amps I DO NOT believe that Mikhail knows what he is doing when it comes to solid state. He built his reputation on tube amps and unfortunately experience designing tube amps does not necessarily translate into designing solid state amps even though I both wished for it to and believed that it did when I purchased my amp.

Ironbut has a good point. Tube amps are not complex designs by nature (At least not Mikhail's OTL designs) so yeah.. a local tube amp repair tech probably could help you better than Mikhail can.

Lastly.. Mikhail is a dishonest man. For a long time I chalked up the inconsistencies to absent mindedness, but I stopped giving him any credit after he stole feet off my amp. I have documented evidence that he did this. If it was for "sonic improvement" or whatever then he should have run it by me. Sure it was only 40 dollars or so worth of black diamond racing feet, but it really opens up the door as far as what else he might have stolen from inside the amp.

That was the tipping point for me... after all the lies about deadlines/work done/cost/everything. I mean the guy told me that there were mosfets on my amp. Between 12 and 16 of them (He's told me both numbers on different occasions)... in fact he attributed a channel imbalance issue to these "mosfets." Well I've had the insides examined by diyers/an amp designer and two members of the trade and they tell me that there isn't a single mosfet anywhere. Either he doesn't know what a mosfet is... or he was lying. Which is more comforting heh? I suppose he could be using magical mosfets that are labeled as other parts and resemble those parts.. but if you believe that then I have a bridge to sell you.
post #1507 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium View Post
Yeah I used to believe that Singlepower amps are the best sounding amps in the world. I don't believe that anymore.

I do not believe that even if you dumped 50k into a SDS-XLR that it would necessarily sound as good as a TTVJ 307A or a EC Balancing Act. It may for some people, but it does not to my experience. Yet I do not believe that Mikhail would have any qualms with selling you a 50k SDS-XLR.

I mean sure it's subjective and maybe for some people they are the best sounding amps... but it is not a universal truth and I'd advise anybody who wants to buy into that but has not experienced it for themselves to verify it themselves before entering in any sort of relationship with a used Singlepower amp let alone Mikihail/New Singlepower amps.

Moreover.. even if his amps were the best sounding out there... reliability is an issue and will continue to be an issue.

It's really not that I don't believe your experiences. I myself have owned solid/good sounding operating Singlepower amps.. but if you really delve into this thread and others like it I think you will detect that Singlepower/Mikhail has only deteriorated in service/quality/performance in the last couple of years. I don't know if its strain/financial issues or what.. but at some point there was a tipping point and the sad stories started outweighing the success stories.

I don't doubt that there still are some success stories of happy satisfied customers... but it simply is not enough imo for any sane person to embark on.

Until he really gets his affairs in order then I really would not advise anyone I actually like to get involved regardless of what good experiences you've had with him 2-3+ years ago.

Moreover... given my own experiences and what I found in my amps I DO NOT believe that Mikhail knows what he is doing when it comes to solid state. He built his reputation on tube amps and unfortunately experience designing tube amps does not necessarily translate into designing solid state amps even though I both wished for it to and believed that it did when I purchased my amp.

Ironbut has a good point. Tube amps are not complex designs by nature (At least not Mikhail's OTL designs) so yeah.. a local tube amp repair tech probably could help you better than Mikhail can.

Lastly.. Mikhail is a dishonest man. For a long time I chalked up the inconsistencies to absent mindedness, but I stopped giving him any credit after he stole feet off my amp. I have documented evidence that he did this. If it was for "sonic improvement" or whatever then he should have run it by me. Sure it was only 40 dollars or so worth of black diamond racing feet, but it really opens up the door as far as what else he might have stolen from inside the amp.

That was the tipping point for me... after all the lies about deadlines/work done/cost/everything. I mean the guy told me that there were mosfets on my amp. Between 12 and 16 of them (He's told me both numbers on different occasions)... in fact he attributed a channel imbalance issue to these "mosfets." Well I've had the insides examined by diyers/an amp designer and two members of the trade and they tell me that there isn't a single mosfet anywhere. Either he doesn't know what a mosfet is... or he was lying. Which is more comforting heh? I suppose he could be using magical mosfets that are labeled as other parts and resemble those parts.. but if you believe that then I have a bridge to sell you.
I should be more careful with my words. I have not heard every amplifier in the world and the ones you mentioned may also sound fantastic- maybe even better. But certainly- report after report and review after review for years- yes years hold consistently that SP amps are of the best sonics ever.

I have experience with only two amps- the Aresteaus and ES-1. Again- it is well known and accepted fact that almost everyone who ever heard the Aresteaus was very impressed- I was as well- but to my ears the ES-1 far exceeded it sonically- especially with the 02; it was and remains a clear obvious sonic knockout to my ears.

Personally- I agree- as I said erlier- SP has been deceiving, falsifying etc. many people for a long time including me-- there is no excuse. I just wanted to make mention of an option to get a SP amp should anybody want one.

I still await and ask others to join me in asking Mikhael to step up and make some oublic statements regarding his behavior and if he plans to change or not and how we can be expected to trust him.

By the way, when all the troubles surfaced with SP- I wrote Kevin Gilmore and asked him if I should sell my ES-1 due to their being no service for it should it be needed. He told me that if it has been working for 6 months- the chances of anything going wrong for years to come was very slim and I should not worry.
post #1508 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbrsvp View Post
By the way, when all the troubles surfaced with SP- I wrote Kevin Gilmore and asked him if I should sell my ES-1 due to their being no service for it should it be needed. He told me that if it has been working for 6 months- the chances of anything going wrong for years to come was very slim and I should not worry.
As long as you don't tube roll till your eyes pop out of your head.
The standard tube sockets can't handle that.

And that also was before the issue of the filament to cathode voltage
on the output tubes problem came to light.
post #1509 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin gilmore View Post
As long as you don't tube roll till your eyes pop out of your head.
The standard tube sockets can't handle that.

And that also was before the issue of the filament to cathode voltage
on the output tubes problem came to light.
can you elaborate on the issue with the cathode voltage? are we talking about
stray currents due to forward biased diodes?
post #1510 of 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbrsvp View Post
I should be more careful with my words. I have not heard every amplifier in the world and the ones you mentioned may also sound fantastic- maybe even better. But certainly- report after report and review after review for years- yes years hold consistently that SP amps are of the best sonics ever.

I have experience with only two amps- the Aresteaus and ES-1. Again- it is well known and accepted fact that almost everyone who ever heard the Aresteaus was very impressed- I was as well- but to my ears the ES-1 far exceeded it sonically- especially with the 02; it was and remains a clear obvious sonic knockout to my ears.

Personally- I agree- as I said erlier- SP has been deceiving, falsifying etc. many people for a long time including me-- there is no excuse. I just wanted to make mention of an option to get a SP amp should anybody want one.

I still await and ask others to join me in asking Mikhael to step up and make some oublic statements regarding his behavior and if he plans to change or not and how we can be expected to trust him.

By the way, when all the troubles surfaced with SP- I wrote Kevin Gilmore and asked him if I should sell my ES-1 due to their being no service for it should it be needed. He told me that if it has been working for 6 months- the chances of anything going wrong for years to come was very slim and I should not worry.
Shrug yes but neither of those amps, nor the BHSE existed for these years and years.

I mean in the end we are still talking about increasing market and while design isn't advancing at a ridiculous pace... especially for tube amps, more products are coming out year after year. Given that it is prohibitively expensive to buy two top tier amps not many people do and the few that do really are not enough of a sample size to really base anything reliable off of.

Also market penetration isn't akin to software or even mass produced hardware. It's rare enough that someone has heard an es-1 with the same set of phones as another person even within this community... what about has spent time with an es-1/kgss? I mean I know there are people that have, but this number is probably ~20 and many of them in sub optimal conditions. How many people have heard them all?

Plus there are the factors of owner bias, the maybe-I-want-to-sell-this-in-the-future-with-not-a-lot-of-loss bias, and the i-spent-hella-scrill bias.

I suffered from all these myself. You spend 7k on a purposed 15.6k Singlepower amplifier and you tell yourself that it is the best ever and that it is worth it. Because the alternative is that you are an idiot who just wasted a bunch of money.. i.e. not very attractive.

In the end you will find this seemingly solid reputation is biased largely on hype by people with only partial context (Not having heard all amps in optimal settings). What you will find with many of these people (Me included) is a driving desire to seek the "best." I certainly was willing and interested very much in throwing lots of money to get the "best" and I bet a lot of other customers were too. Mikhail basically is a predator for exactly that. That above all is what Singlepower is all about.
post #1511 of 1953

Cathode V to output tubes problem??

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin gilmore View Post
And that also was before the issue of the filament to cathode voltage on the output tubes problem came to light.
Hi Kevin, can you educate us on this again? I have not heard about this. Is this a general issue or specific to some models? I have a MPX3 with a Supra power supply that can run the 450V octals as outputs at the higher voltage.

Thanks.
post #1512 of 1953
Only on the electrostatic amps. Max cathode to filament voltage
on el34's and 6ca7's is 100 volts. Mikhail exceeds that by an
additional 300 volts. Some tubes work, some tubes die way to
early. Does not apply to 3d21's which work fine. There is a workaround
that requires rewiring. More information available elsewhere.
post #1513 of 1953
I did like the 3d21as a lot.
post #1514 of 1953
He seems to have also promised to ship my amp sometime this week when he emailed me on the 6th. Batch shipping? Who knows...
post #1515 of 1953
Here are some unintended results of tube rolling with respect to
cathode to filament voltage.

6SN7 heater negative, 200 volts heater positive 100 volts dc+ac 200 volts
6as7g +/-330 volts
6080 +/-300
5998 +/-100

So for example in a white cathode follower, in this case, same as
SRPP, If you use 6sn7's and your power supply voltage is more
than 400 volts, then you are slightly exceeding the voltage spec
on the top tube as the cathode of the tube would be around 200
volts, and the filament at zero.

Same thing with a singlepower extreme or any other single ended
pure class A follower. If you use 6as7's, or 6080's and a 300 volt
supply (which would result in a cathode voltage of 150 volts) then
you are clearly ok. But drop in a 5998 and you exceed the maximum
ratings of the tube by 50 volts.

Lots of other examples. And no tube adapter can fix this problem.

Bottom line is to know the ratings of the tube you are planning on
using, and what the B+ of the power supply is.
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