Have you ever noticed on headfi that hatchet threads aimed at manufacturers always seem to come from low post count members?
As to the knobs, look at them, some careless owner has had some sort of chemical on their fingers to make that sort of mark, it does not look like natural fading to me!
Also, I have owned one of Rays blackbirds for well over a year now, no issues or problems, the black from day one had a deep pule hue in certain lights and I have seen it on other products from him so I would say the colour at least is natural.
As to the rest, I would say looking at the pictures it was down to owner miss use/ abuse.
Already this thread is deteriorating into a hang the maker thread. Rays responses have not been rude, they have been short, you all realize he is pretty much a one man band trying to make a living right?
Sorry, I trust far more Ray on this having dealt and spoken to him on numerous occasions than some low post count member with what llooks to me like an owner abused piece of equipment.
Why should Ray have to pay for what is obvious owner abuse??