I knew it was sarcasm! Don't get me wrong. My post was a sarcastic reply as well. Didn't you see the smiley!?
Oh this thread will live on.. Definitely. Not being sarcastic here.
I think that it's silly to assume that this thread will be removed or altered in any way by the mods, unless someone drags it down into personal attacks, so let's hope that doesn't happen.
Ray Samuels, the man, is a very, very personable, intelligent, likable guy. I have listened to almost every amp he has made in the last 2 years, and he even loaned me an Apache to review. I have a lot of respect for him personally, and his work.
But he is human. He is going to make some amps that don't work perfectly.
Moreover, there is no such thing as a 100% silent tube amp. If you want 100% silent, you need a very, very good SS amp. I have (as everyone knows) tested 40 portable amps, and they all have some level of hiss, and the RSA amps were quieter than most, but not completely silent.
Ray can be a little prone to waxing poetic about his products on his website. But again, no more so than other manufacturers. Singlepower, whose amps I enjoy greatly, is just as prone to marketing hyperbole, and let's not even start to compare RSA and Singlepower as businesses.
I guess my point is this - what is the point of this thread, exactly? Is Ray Samuels Audio perfect? No. Does he have a 100% perfect product? No. Is there some conspiracy in head-fi to try to claim either of these things? No. Is there a company, or a man, who tries HARDER than Ray Samuels to make good products and support them with a good business model? From what I can tell, no.
Actually, my reading of the OP's posts and themarchingmule's posts greatly differ.
To the OP's point, I read the story as a story where he bought something based reviews and when he got it, it did not meet his expectations, he tried to correct it, couldnt and returned it. I did not read it as that there was an issue with Ray Samuel the person or the businessman.
I think the focus on the last sentence from MarchingMule's point kind of displaces and overshadows a very good point about this forum and this community. I did not take it as a "conspiracy" but rather an issue with human nature.
For example the point can be made that in general, there are alot more topics on how good a product(any) is compared to topics on issues with a product(any).
And i think the point is apt that because this is a specialized community, it is alot easier to get along with people who share similar interests then to raise a topic/issue because posts that laud a product are mostly lauded themselves. Topics that dispute a product draw the ire of some people, which seems to be starting here, it happens and I think it is natural
This becomes an issue with users who do not try out the products before purchasing due to the overwhelming amount of positive posts in regards to a product then to a negative one. And even that is natural because no one really wants to say "I bought a product that I really do not like".
So to the OP, my recommendation is that from now on try the product before purchasing and do not just depend on the reviews here, not matter how overflowing they are.
And the point about this forum being more conducive to general acceptance of products then disputing, I think it is true but it is nature.
Having just orderd a Raptor 2 days ago, I read this with interest. I read just about everything I could on this amp, including the mentioned reviews and combed through them to try to find what would be the truth for me.
Not having ever heard the amp, I am going on the assumption that this amp sounds good and is a good product. Some of this from reading and some from my dealings with Ray on another amp.
The only actual thing that I am buying at this time is Ray's good customer service based on his reputation and my past dealings with him.
The sound and quality of the amp is merely an educated guess at this time.