Someone told me that he talked with Mikhail recently, and Mikhail said that there is an issue that has kept him from shipping my amps.
Yes, there was and is an unresolved issue regarding one of the amps, the Supra-XLR's front faceplate. In March, while I was expecting the amps to show up in the mail, I asked Mikhail about the functionality of dual volume controls. One of the upgrades was adding a second volume control to the Supra-XLR. Mikhail sent me a photo of the amp on March 27:
I was dissatisfied with the way it looked. As part of the upgrades, Mikhail added a second volume control and a second 1/4 headphone output. I thought the result looked unprofessional. We discussed a new front faceplate or replacing the entire chassis.
On April 18, Mikhail sent me photos of another Supra with a Maestro chassis, as an example. I was more interested in a new front faceplate. He did not respond and still hasn't given me an answer about this issue.
So yes, I do agree with Mikhail that there is an issue about the Supra-XLR that is still pending. I've acknowledged this point to him in our communications, and never expected (or wanted) the Supra-XLR to be shipped as is, without a fix for the faceplate.
But there is another amp, an ES-1. There were no unresolved issues with this amp. Along with the Supra-XLR, it was also supposed to have been completed in Feb. I've told Mikhail that I do understand that the Supra-XLR is held up because of the faceplate, but I don't understand why the ES-1 hasn't been shipped. He never gave me an explanation about this.
All along, throughout our communications in Feb. through June, Mikhail has been telling me that BOTH amps were fully completed and ready to ship. In June, I didn't want to take his word for it anymore and finally asked for photos of the amps to confirm that all the upgrades were made and that they were BOTH complete and ready to ship. I received these photos on June 20, which I've posted below. In the email accompanying the photos, Mikhail again stated that "the units have been ready for shipment for over three months."
I'll let you judge the photos for yourselves. Part of the purpose was to show each specific upgrades and parts, but I did not think that these photos showed all the upgrades and supposedly completed amps (Supra-XLR and ES-1) ready to ship.
Last week, I asked Mikhail to bring both amps to the Colorado Head-Fi meet on July 26. I'm hopeful that the people at the meet can examine and listen to the amps. This would prove to me that the amps are working, that the upgrades have been completed, and they are both ready to ship. It would be my fault (which I have never denied to Mikhail), if I was not satisfied with the Supra-XLR's faceplate and requested a change and would continue to wait for a solution. But I would expect the ES-1 to be shipped immediately after the meet.
I'm angry and frustrated with Mikhail, but I don't think that he had bad intentions or that he does not intend to fulfill his obligations. But if the amps are not brought to the Colorado meet and the situation continues to drag on, then I might be forced to conclude otherwise.
Note: the cover of the ES-1's power supply had scratches; one photo shows the old cover, one photo shows the new cover