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ATH-CK10 broken after a year; what now? (also a cautionary tale from AccessoryJack.com)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

tl;dr

 

My beloved ATH-CK10 are broken after just a year and can't be fixed or replaced under warranty thanks to some ridiculous requirements from AccessoryJack. What do I replace them with?

 

I also recommend you avoid buying from AccessoryJack. If you take the plunge, be sure to keep ALL ORIGINAL PACKAGING AND PAPERWORK.

 

The whole story

 

A little over a year ago, I exchanged 300 of my US dollars for aural bliss. I bought my ATH-CK10 from AccessoryJack.com since I live in the States where they're unavailable through authorized channels. They sounded gorgeous. AccessoryJack's website assured me that I'd have the full warranty coverage, albeit with a bit more hassle:

 

Quote:

Do I have warranty on the products?

All products we sell are New and Genuine in original packing. We do not sell used or fake products. However, the warranty issued, unless otherwise stated, is usually effective in Hong Kong. To take the warranty, you will be responsible to mail us the product and we will help to fix it by authorized professional personnel at distributors. Then we will ship it back to you.

http://www.accessoryjack.com/faq#10

 

Given that and the legendary build quality of these headphones, I wasn't too worried. I expected to be set for at least 3-5 years.

 

Early this September, though, less than a year later, the right channel went out. I fiddled with the cable, cleaned the jack, tried multiple sources, and eventually concluded that the problem is actually in the housing. I contacted AccessoryJack to get this fixed in accordance with their policies. It took two attempts and two weeks to finally elicit a response from them.

 

Eventually they confirmed that I could get these headphones fixed or replaced under warranty, but I'd need to send them the headphones with the original warranty sticker. I'd thrown it away after receiving the headphones and confirming that they worked. After all, I've been an avid online shopper for a good 10+ years and never (ever) needed the original paperwork to get a warranty repair. At worst, I've had to forward a copy of my original order confirmation to a particularly disorganized company.

 

Since I don't have this paperwork, AccessoryJack politely told me there's nothing they can do.


Now, to be fair, AccessoryJack was relaying this requirement to me from Audio Technica Hong Kong. Maybe this is just how they operate, though ATUS told me it was because AccessoryJack was not an authorized reseller. I'd also have expected AccessoryJack to mention this unusual requirement somewhere on their website or order confirmation.

 

More than that, I'd expect AccessoryJack to stand behind the purchase. It might be unfair to ask them to take a loss here, but it's also unfair that I'm out $300 and a pair of headphones that were still under warranty because they failed to communicate the requirements. Instead, they basically shrugged their shoulders and said "Boy, that sucks."

 

I called ATUS to see if they could do anything. They told me that 1) These headphones have long been discontinued, so they can't replace them, 2) They're sealed earbuds so they can't repair them, and 3) I purchased from an unauthorized reseller so I can't get full value in exchanging for a different pair. They did offer to give me a discount on any set of headphones bought directly from them.

 

That brings me to my current position: where do I go from here?

 

The ATH-CK10 was my perfect IEM. The sound signature is exactly what I wanted (analytical, detailed, taut and controlled bass, sparkling highs), they were comfortable to wear all day, and they weren't at all flashy.

 

There's really nothing that piques my interest on the ATUS website. They go from the $550 CKW1000ANV to $120 CKS77BK. Not what I'm looking for.

 

Is there anything out there that matches the CK10's balance of deeply analytical sound with (what was supposed to be) leading build quality?


Edited by itldob - 10/28/12 at 4:41pm
post #2 of 16

Dude i feel your pain. My pair had the same issue not once, but also on the replacement model Audio Technica sent me. It's that stupid straight plug in. The bending and pulling kinda messes with the wire over time. I too am trying to find the perfect replacement. I keep changing my mind everyday because of the sheer amount of great iem's out there but I keep going back to Audio Technica and may be foolishly thinking about purchasing the CKW1000 ANV. I am fn nuts. I need an intervention.

 

Please someone help us to find the right replacements to these legendary iem's popcorn.gif

post #3 of 16

Also for good measure, has anyone ever had the cable customed for these? Is that at all possible and if so, how were the results?

post #4 of 16

re-272

post #5 of 16

Two options, reshell (inearz, um etc) or recable (btg-audio).

post #6 of 16

BTG would be the way to go.

 

Accessory Jack has no option but to get that stuff from you. Unless there is an original in country purchase receipt, there's no warranty unless they have another means to claim and that would be the warranty sticker. Most warranties don't include out of country purchase and the warranty sticker is Accessory Jack's way of dealing with it as your go between.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcotton View Post

Two options, reshell (inearz, um etc) or recable (btg-audio).

 

 

Thanks. I contacted btg-audio to start with recabling. We'll see if it's possible on these little things.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

BTG would be the way to go.

 

Accessory Jack has no option but to get that stuff from you. Unless there is an original in country purchase receipt, there's no warranty unless they have another means to claim and that would be the warranty sticker. Most warranties don't include out of country purchase and the warranty sticker is Accessory Jack's way of dealing with it as your go between.

 

That's fine, they just need to express this or find a different way to deal with it. It's unexpected unless you understand the details of the business (which I don't) so it requires explanation. Ideally, since they're the middle-men anyway, they'd keep the warranty info on file and I wouldn't have to give it a second thought. If that's not scalable, print a big warning on the packing slip or something.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by proedros View Post

re-272

Funny that you mention these, I'd just settled on them as a potential successor. If the recabling effort doesn't pan out, I'll give them a whirl.

post #9 of 16

(Maybe I saw this thread kinda too late, I'm not checking head-fi regularly anymore.)

 

My story: I traveled to Japan and bought the CK10 from a store. Then I'm back at my home country and few months later the driver broke. Fortunately, I know a fellow head-fier who lives in Japan and I shipped my CK10 to him, asking him to get a replacement pair from the store I bought.

And yes, it's a physical store so they might need papers and all the things that came in the box when asking for a replacement pair (which I shipped all of those, just to be sure). But turns out that when the 'phones came back to me, A-T themselves didn't really need those accessories. They actually replaced only my 'phones and shipped me back with all original (old) accessories I gave them. There's even a list of accessories I gave them in the repair paper.

 

See me original post in the CK10 thread here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/467576/audio-technica-ath-ck10/1365#post_8766354

Quote:
Originally Posted by W1CKED View Post

Overall, if my memory is correct, this thing looks even better than my original, out-of-the-box pair I bought from the store in Japan few months ago lol.

Maybe I'm totally wrong, maybe they've stock-piled these. But I really think they're still producing these 'phones. Especially they're still all over Japan.

 

 

 

BTW, if you still want to deal with A-T, I've read that the CK100PRO has the same sound signature of the CK10, while also sonically superior. I've also tried DBA02-MK2 which uses the same TWFK driver like the CK10, it sounds quite nice but not as the CK10. This may sounds weird to someone but I'd take the CK10 over a pair of Westone 4 any day. So I sorely understand how you might feel :'(

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

After a few emails back and forth with Brian at BTG, we agreed that this was not a cable issue. Since nobody's willing to fix the headphones at this point, I decided to open them up and see what I could find. With the little Audio Technica nameplates peeled off, the (or at least a) problem was immediately obvious: the rubber seal that runs along the inside of the enclosure was loose and warped in the bad channel. Opened up, both channels were equally loud.

 

I tried to get the seal back in place, but it's pretty hopeless. At best, an expert might be able to replace the seal. AccessoryJack.com contacted me after I posted this to see if I'd like to send the IEMs to Audio Technica HK and see if they'll repair them for a fee. Since the drivers appear to be intact, I'm going to give it a shot.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by W1CKED View Post

 

BTW, if you still want to deal with A-T, I've read that the CK100PRO has the same sound signature of the CK10, while also sonically superior. I've also tried DBA02-MK2 which uses the same TWFK driver like the CK10, it sounds quite nice but not as the CK10. This may sounds weird to someone but I'd take the CK10 over a pair of Westone 4 any day. So I sorely understand how you might feel :'(

 

I was curious about the CK100, but it doesn't seem to be sold by any authorized US reseller. I'm not risking this kind of debacle again.

 

The CK10 really does have a remarkable sound. It fits my preferences perfectly, which is why I'm so sad to see them go. It's a shame Audio Technica's US offerings are so limited.

post #11 of 16

If the drivers are fine then reshelling is still an option.


Cheers

post #12 of 16

I'm pretty sad that A-T service outside the Japan isn't all that great. Actually I contacted A-T South East Asia (where I live) before I sent mine to Japan and they actually tell me that they'll help coordinate with the Japan HQ for me. Then after some few emails they just simply gone silence. That's why I decided to let my friend help me out.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcotton View Post

If the drivers are fine then reshelling is still an option.


Cheers

 

Reshelling sounds like a good idea too.

If you have to spend your money for shipping and repair.. why not make a custom lol

You can even add a bass driver if you feel that you need more bass :)

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've contacted UM to see about reshelling.

 

I'm (perhaps irrationally) a little hesitant to go down this road after seeing the hassle so many others have experienced in getting universals custom-shelled. There's also the potential for the acrylic shells to push the sparkling treble toward sibilance. In any case, I'm thinking about it.

 

Unfortunately, this also got me thinking about the Unique Melody Miracles. Something I absolutely should not be thinking about.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

UM strongly recommended that I add in a bass driver if I get the CK10s reshelled. I took this to mean that the shell would push the balance further towards the high end. Since a reshell with a cable and an extra driver runs at about $340 or so, and only might sound as good as I want, I decided it wasn't worth it.

 

Today, I bit the bullet, went down to a local sound shop, tried out the Grado GR10, and bought them. I haven't listened to them for long, but thus far I'm pretty happy with the purchase. I'll post more in-depth in the GR10 impressions thread.

post #15 of 16

GR10s are really nice but imo, they're still a little behind CK10 in some regards.

But of course, it's a much better investment when you're not living in Japan lol.

And good luck with your purchase this time around :)

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