Thought I would share my experience-
Warning, its long and boring.
I recently purchased a 1 year old DarkStar amplifier from a fellow Head-fi'er for $2750.00.
The pictures the seller posted showed splotchy discoloration and purpling of the knobs, but I knew the unit was under warranty, or worse case I would purchase new ones. After receiving the amp, I noticed the same issues on the knobs in areas not touched by fingers (under the trim ring of the volume knob). Bottom line, bad anodizing. Not a big deal right?
On Monday 03-04-2013, I sent Ray of RSA an email with a picture of the amp.
My email to him-
quote " Hello Ray, how are you sir?
I have purchased a 10-12 month old DarkStar. The only issue with the amp is the discoloration (purple hue) of the knobs. Normally, the condition indicates insufficient of black dye absorption. Is this something you will warranty? Picture attached to email. Can I send you the parts only to swap or do you need the amp? Thank you. " end quote.
quote " That is normal with all of them. Cheers. " end quote.
Im thinking to myself- Really? I have owned a ton of black anodized equipment over the last 30 years, and have only seen a few pieces with the purple anodized look (15-20 year old equipment), but not fading with the finish coming off.
quote " The cost of DarkStar chassis is $1200.00 complete. we do not sell parts. Cheers." end quote.
Hmm ok, RSA does not sell parts, but he will sell me a complete chassis for 1200.00? Wow, that is insulting.
quote " Good afternoon Ray. Attached to the email, a straight angle pic of the amplifier. Honestly, does the amp look like it should? Purple faded knobs on a lightly used 1 year old hi end amp that sells for $3500.00? How can that be "normal"?
I am disappointed and surprised. Not because you wont warranty, exchange or sell replacement knobs, but because you are not standing behind your product. A statement product at that. Im asking you please, reconsider doing something, anything to make the amp look like it should. Thank you so much for your time, I know you are busy. " end quote.
I received no reply and he has not replied to several emails over the last 4 days. I sent an email this morning asking if posting my experience was ok. No reply.
I went ahead and shipped the knobs to a reputable company we use to machine us custom aluminum shift knobs, small parts and offers anodizing. So, I know a little something about small parts cost and cost to anodize. Maybe thats why Im having such a hard time understanding Ray's unwillingness to warranty, replace, or sell me new knobs. Now IF the amp was older, abused, damaged, or a lower line product... okay.
From RSA's website today-
THE EMMELINE PRODUCTS are warranted for THREE YEARS from the date of purchase. The warranty is transferable to a second and third owners with no questions asked.
So, what is the problem? The unit is under warranty. I am the second owner. The knobs are inexpensive. Aluminum anodized parts are easily re-finished.
I dont get it. Am I missing something? Someone give me a clue please!
Edited by CorvetteGarage - 3/10/13 at 7:27pm