Originally Posted by wower
I hope Mikhail adds to the thread. I'm really rooting for him because it would be a loss to the headphone world for SP to go under. But headfi is the center of the headphone universe and any searches for SP point here (to the site). If I was a small business owner I would be very concerned. But this is nothing that can't be turned around. He just needs more staff I think. An updated website maybe? Who knows. But threads like this make me cringe. I really wish him the best of success.
Seems like the best thing he could do would be to suspend new orders indefinitely until he has all his current stuff - queued builds and repairs - completely finished and shipped; to spend at least 2 hours a day answering emails and phone calls regarding current orders he has, and repairs/upgrades that are waiting; to really work on getting better shipping estimates and not tell someone their "amp will ship tomorrow" - he should let them know when it's actually been dropped off at the shipping location and then email the tracking number to the client; as has been said, create a "standard" line of off-the-shelf amps with a set list of upgrades for each amp; and limit himself to the "uber custom builds" to only having one or two going at any given time.
More people - especially a person dedicated to handling emails, phone calls, order tracking, and shipping - seems like it would also considerably ease the burden (and quite honestly, at the price some of these amps sell for, shouldn't constitute a financial issue at all, especially if he gets standard lines going).
It seems like the people who actually finally receive what they order are quite happy with their stuff (and again, based on the cost, I'd damn well hope they didn't have any disappointments whatsoever), but it's simply getting the stuff - even getting into contact with him - that's really dragging his reputation down. As a candid assessment, he could build the absolute best amps in the business, no argument whatsoever, and had I the money to order one of those amps, I wouldn't I personally have no patience whatsoever for poor communication when someone takes my money in exchange for a product - whatever the reason. Family issues I can understand, but "overworked" simply isn't a valid excuse to me, and constant "It's shipping out tomorrow!" without the package being shipped would top it off. Not that I expect a whole lot of people agree with me, but I do wonder how many other people have been in the market for a high-end amp and, due to the current situation with SP, have decided to go with a different manufacturer.
As one member stated earlier in the thread, their amps have been ready to be shipped for 3 months now...and yet they still haven't been sent out. It seems like some reorganization of priorities and workload assessment needs to be done before things can start being smoothed out.