Trying to stave off sleep for the last 4 hours of my 12 hour overnight shift (3 12's 9p-9a makes for a 4.5 day weekend) so I thought I'd share my story as I'm about at the breaking point. I got my start in head-fi by building a starving student for my 'O' AKG K240s which broke about a month later, moved on to the M50's and loved em. Bonus day came around and I had been wanting to get a really nice set of cans so I went and picked up a pair of the 100th anniversary Denon AHA-A100's and absolutely fell in love. I have 36 hours of solitude every week and there is nothing better than a tube amp and a set of cans that you love. After about 12 months I started to notice a couple of small cracks on the armatures that connect the ear pieces to the headband, a couple of months later a small chip had come out. These cans were either on my head or in their otter box which kept them completely motionless so I chalked it up to a small defect in the manufacture.
I put off taking them in for service as I didn't want to be without them for any period of time, but eventually a trip to China for a couple of weeks presented me with an opportunity to take them in and not miss them too much. After two weeks in China listening to my mediocre IEMs I couldn't wait to get my Denons back, after waiting a week I called my dealer for an update. No love, another week, no love, arrrggghh, I'm going crazy.....finally I get word that they are having a hard time finding parts as these were only made for 1 year. Another couple of days go bye and the service guy from my dealer calls and gets ahold of my wife, he explains to her that they don't have the parts and asks her if I would like my original headphones back or a set of new D600's and she guesses that I would want the new pair. She promptly calls me and informs me of the conversation at which point I do a quick spot check of the reviews for the D600's, I wasn't impressed and called my dealer back and informed them that I would like my old cans back, cracks and all. Later that day I received some very troubling news, "according to Denon they have scrapped them" he says. My chin hits the floor, what?!?! To my dying day I will be convinced that someone walked away with them thinking they were freebies, there is no way they were scrapped because of a couple of small cracks in the plastic.
At this point the service manager at my dealer got involved and to make a long story short I soon had in my formerly nicotine stained hands a pair of the D7100's with a commitment from me that I would not sell them for a year as they were labeled "demo units". Fine, whatever, I'm still not ecstatic about the trade as the D100's had an intrinsic value to me in that they were my first pair of fairly high end headphones. This was around Christmas 2012, and I start listening to the D7100's and think they sound pretty good, they'll be better after they burn in, but there is something that is bothering me. Every time I listen to these headphones my subconscious is telling me that something is not right with the sound, and I start to become consciously aware that the imaging is off and there is something lacking on the left side. Music that should feel centered down the middle of my head feels oddly shifted about an inch to the right. I start changing amps, sources, cables, etc.. it's driving me nuts. I finally go to the Ultimate Heaphones Test site http://www.audiocheck.net/soundtests_headphones.php and start playing the tests. The driver matching test is where I get my first clue, somewhere in the 1-3K range the sweep shifts to the right and then back to the center. Then I try the quality test and I hear a rattle in the left driver at the very start of the sweep, so I finally have evidence that there is something reproducibly wrong with the left driver. I reluctantly take them back in for service; on Wednesday that will be a month ago.
I call my dealer once a week asking for an update, Denon hasn't even updated the ticket yet. I am so tired of my IEMs that I went to Best Buy this Friday and bought a pair of Harman Kardon BTs which I am currently listening to and trying to like. I plan on selling these if I ever get my Denons back which I'm not sure will ever happen at this point. I have also lot quite a bit of faith in Denon, I have been a fairly loyal customer of theirs I currently own two of their higher end home theater receivers and have always planned on purchasing them until I'm in the McIntosh market but I am very much reconsidering my loyalty. I feel like my dealer has gone above and beyond, and I am very happy with the service I've received from them. They are a small local shop and when I have an opportunity to spend money I like to do it at those kinds of places, and in this case it was money well spent, not so much with Denon.
If you read this far, thanks for listening to my sob story, it feels better to share...LOL. Has anyone else had dealings with Denon service? I'm wondering if I should start to contact them directly or if I need to escalate this at my dealer, or just wait it out.
Again, thanks for the shoulder :)
Edited by d34dh0r53 - 2/18/13 at 3:44am