Smyth Research Realiser A16
Apr 19, 2020 at 4:51 PM Post #8,611 of 12,990

Got the Shakes

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$482!!!??? :scream:

So tell me, how much did you insure it for? $4000? Also, I have mine packed up in the original box with original packing, ready to go as soon as I get to my local UPS store tomorrow. I wonder if they will make me repack mine. :thinking:

On a side note, I was also going over the details in Kickstarter update #59. Here are my takeaways:

1)It appears that the Smyths at least plan on having some version of the Realiser Exchange up and running around the same time that many of our units are with them, being upgraded. Specifically, the update from March 11th estimated 6-8 weeks which would be anywhere between this week up to 3 weeks from now.

2)The stated plan, further, is for Smyth Research to upload the CanJam PRIRs as an incentive for people to sign up for the Realiser Exchange. Hopefully, that means that those PRIRs would be available at the time of the launch.

The following points are of much less significance to me at this time.

3)The APM110 platform will be compatible with DTS-X Pro decoding: "We have been informed by MDS that they are in the process of porting the new dts-X Pro decoder suite to the APM110 platform which is slated to also support up to 24 speakers." DTS-X Pro, in fact, can run up to 32 channels and is limited to 24 channels with APM110 upgraded A16. https://dts.com/dtsxpro

4)The APM110 equipped A16's, nonetheless, would still be limited to 16 channels should Smyth Research decide to get a license for Dirac Live room correction. On the other hand, APM89L equipped A16's will remain incompatible from a hardware standpoint with Dirac Live.

5)Anyone in the future choosing to sell their A16 would, obviously, have to take into account whether or not they have the fully upgraded A16, along with what the market value of an A16 might be when sold sans a Smyth Research warranty.

Yes. I certainly got charged a bit more because I was using a UPS Store and having it repacked was like $24 for the box and that stuff, but when I put the larger box size I had to use and everything in the UPS online calculator it says $432.10. I didn't have the original box, so I used a smaller one. What happened was for the UPS insurance to pay out was I needed a box with more space for padding than the one I used. I was hoping to keep the cost down by using the smallest box possible. The dimensions of the larger box added $100 to the shipping cost (it was only 4" longer and a few inches deeper but with the billable weight formula UPS uses it added a bunch of cost). I insured it for $4000. Anything over $2500 tripped there needing to be like four extra customs forms. Basically without help there was no way that everything would have been filled out how it needed to be and I would have been insuring something that they would never have paid a claim out on because of the box.

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up of my experience since I might be the first one in the US at least to deal with shipping their unit back. I don't know if there is a better option when it comes to cost than UPS, but the other options that I looked at online were all like $380 or more and some of those were before insurance.
 
Apr 19, 2020 at 5:23 PM Post #8,612 of 12,990

esimms86

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Yes. I certainly got charged a bit more because I was using a UPS Store and having it repacked was like $24 for the box and that stuff, but when I put the larger box size I had to use and everything in the UPS online calculator it says $432.10. I didn't have the original box, so I used a smaller one. What happened was for the UPS insurance to pay out was I needed a box with more space for padding than the one I used. I was hoping to keep the cost down by using the smallest box possible. The dimensions of the larger box added $100 to the shipping cost (it was only 4" longer and a few inches deeper but with the billable weight formula UPS uses it added a bunch of cost). I insured it for $4000. Anything over $2500 tripped there needing to be like four extra customs forms. Basically without help there was no way that everything would have been filled out how it needed to be and I would have been insuring something that they would never have paid a claim out on because of the box.

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up of my experience since I might be the first one in the US at least to deal with shipping their unit back. I don't know if there is a better option when it comes to cost than UPS, but the other options that I looked at online were all like $380 or more and some of those were before insurance.
Thanks for the very complete and helpful response. So it sounds like it should be in the ballpark of $330, depending on where one is shipping from(e.g., you’re in Michigan, I’m in Massachusetts). I think I’ll reopen my box, throw in a sufficient amount of styrofoam peanuts and then let UPS seal it after they inspect it.
 
Apr 19, 2020 at 5:47 PM Post #8,613 of 12,990

Got the Shakes

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Thanks for the very complete and helpful response. So it sounds like it should be in the ballpark of $330, depending on where one is shipping from(e.g., you’re in Michigan, I’m in Massachusetts). I think I’ll reopen my box, throw in a sufficient amount of styrofoam peanuts and then let UPS seal it after they inspect it.

They told me that there needs to be 2” of packing on all sides of the unit whether that be airbags, styrofoam peanuts, whatever packing you decide to use. If you put in the dimensions of your box in the UPS quote builder with $4000 of insurance it should get you in the ballpark of what the store will charge. Like I saidI did so after the fact today and it spit out $432 and the store charged me like $450 for the shipping portion of the transaction. They were extremely helpful with the customs documents though. They did all of the leg work and all I had to do was sign and initial a few things. That part I don’t think I’d ever have been able to properly navigate myself.
 
Apr 20, 2020 at 9:42 AM Post #8,615 of 12,990

Got the Shakes

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Have people tried netparcel shipping rates through PayPal? Usually some savings over walk-up rates. But you need a PayPal account and you pack it up yourself.

I actually thought about going that route, but never pursued it because I didn’t trust myself to properly deal with all of the documentation needed for customs and international shipping. I’m guess it would be a good deal cheaper though.
 
Apr 20, 2020 at 3:24 PM Post #8,616 of 12,990

esimms86

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I just returned an hour ago from dropping off my A16 with UPS. I was told by the staff there that the maximum value I could specify and insure for was $2499.99(USD), so this is what I chose. I'm aware of the fact that @Got the Shakes was able to insure his for $4000(USD) but I did not argue with the UPS staffer and just went ahead and accepted his information. Of course, @Got the Shakes paid $4000 for his A16 and I paid about $800, so the insurance at least reimburses me fully for my cash outlay all in counting the upgrade and shipping, so I can live with that difference in insurance. The price I paid for shipping then was $369.04(USD) to ship from Massachusetts to the UK. Obviously, however, it does not pay replacement costs for a new unit but c'est la vie. Anyway, I will continue to be optimistic(a Kickstarter requirement, if I must say so) that the unit arrives safely in Smyth Research's hands without issue.

I am aware that Smyth Research has agreed to pay any import fees and then bill us for their outlay, with reimbursement to them due before return shipping to us. I have no idea what the import duties might be(nor did the UPS agent have any idea), so that remains an open question. I was also informed that if Smyth Research refused to pay the import duties then the A16 would be returned to me and I would be on the hook for an unspecified amount of return shipping costs, so I very happy that they will not be refusing our precious packages.

I don't know what the return shipping costs will be for Smyth Research, however, I hope(anticipate?) that they will be substantially less than what I have paid thus far as I can't imagine that they paid anywhere close to the same amount that I have now paid when they originally shipped my Kickstarter unit to me. Face it, how much would they realistically be willing to invest in shipping an $800 unit to a Kickstarter backer? Anyway, if I am wrong then it is already literally and figuratively out of my hands at this point so it will be what it will be.

Last note, I did respond to James' email this morning in which he asked to have the unit shipped out by Friday, April 24th. I replied to him with the UPS tracking number for my unit, just in case he ever needed it to get a sense of where Smyth Research stood at any given time in regards to the status of committed return A16s.

I very must look forward to receiving my new and improved A16 back in my hands by some time in May or June, at which time I am also hoping that the Realiser Exchange will be at least partially functional, with my CanJam PRIR also available for download.

I know that we are incredibly lucky to have our health and safety and also to have the luxury of focusing on first world issues like an upgraded A16. I hope that none of you has been visited, either personally or in your family or greater social spheres, by the spectre of Covid-19. May we all be safe and well and be allowed to continue to enjoy the music and video.
 
Apr 20, 2020 at 3:43 PM Post #8,617 of 12,990

Got the Shakes

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I just returned an hour ago from dropping off my A16 with UPS. I was told by the staff there that the maximum value I could specify and insure for was $2499.99(USD), so this is what I chose. I'm aware of the fact that @Got the Shakes was able to insure his for $4000(USD) but I did not argue with the UPS staffer and just went ahead and accepted his information. Of course, @Got the Shakes paid $4000 for his A16 and I paid about $800, so the insurance at least reimburses me fully for my cash outlay all in counting the upgrade and shipping, so I can live with that difference in insurance. The price I paid for shipping then was $369.04(USD) to ship from Massachusetts to the UK. Obviously, however, it does not pay replacement costs for a new unit but c'est la vie. Anyway, I will continue to be optimistic(a Kickstarter requirement, if I must say so) that the unit arrives safely in Smyth Research's hands without issue.

I am aware that Smyth Research has agreed to pay any import fees and then bill us for their outlay, with reimbursement to them due before return shipping to us. I have no idea what the import duties might be(nor did the UPS agent have any idea), so that remains an open question. I was also informed that if Smyth Research refused to pay the import duties then the A16 would be returned to me and I would be on the hook for an unspecified amount of return shipping costs, so I very happy that they will not be refusing our precious packages.

I don't know what the return shipping costs will be for Smyth Research, however, I hope(anticipate?) that they will be substantially less than what I have paid thus far as I can't imagine that they paid anywhere close to the same amount that I have now paid when they originally shipped my Kickstarter unit to me. Face it, how much would they realistically be willing to invest in shipping an $800 unit to a Kickstarter backer? Anyway, if I am wrong then it is already literally and figuratively out of my hands at this point so it will be what it will be.

Last note, I did respond to James' email this morning in which he asked to have the unit shipped out by Friday, April 24th. I replied to him with the UPS tracking number for my unit, just in case he ever needed it to get a sense of where Smyth Research stood at any given time in regards to the status of committed return A16s.

I very must look forward to receiving my new and improved A16 back in my hands by some time in May or June, at which time I am also hoping that the Realiser Exchange will be at least partially functional, with my CanJam PRIR also available for download.

I know that we are incredibly lucky to have our health and safety and also to have the luxury of focusing on first world issues like an upgraded A16. I hope that none of you has been visited, either personally or in your family or greater social spheres, by the spectre of Covid-19. May we all be safe and well and be allowed to continue to enjoy the music and video.

I think what happened with your insurance is that anything under $2500.00 allow you/UPS to not need to fill out additional customs and duty paperwork before shipping. Anything above $2499.99 triggers that additional paperwork that does involve some additional effort from UPS. Maybe they misinterpreted that as not being able to declare a value over $2499.99.

UPS couldn't really tell me anything concrete about what customs may need to be paid, but it is nice that Smyth Research will deal with that and invoice us for it. UPS also told me that there is also a chance that if there is customs or duty due that I would receive an email that would allow me to just cover it myself using a credit card.

I also sent my tracking to James yesterday as he actually asked me to do so in a previous email. I was a bit surprised that he didn't ask for it in the email he sent out this morning regarding shipping.
 
Apr 20, 2020 at 3:53 PM Post #8,618 of 12,990

esimms86

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I think what happened with your insurance is that anything under $2500.00 allow you/UPS to not need to fill out additional customs and duty paperwork before shipping. Anything above $2499.99 triggers that additional paperwork that does involve some additional effort from UPS. Maybe they misinterpreted that as not being able to declare a value over $2499.99.

UPS couldn't really tell me anything concrete about what customs may need to be paid, but it is nice that Smyth Research will deal with that and invoice us for it. UPS also told me that there is also a chance that if there is customs or duty due that I would receive an email that would allow me to just cover it myself using a credit card.

I also sent my tracking to James yesterday as he actually asked me to do so in a previous email. I was a bit surprised that he didn't ask for it in the email he sent out this morning regarding shipping.
Thanks @Got the Shakes. I just think that it's critical that we share our experiences with others online in order to give others a more complete heads up as to the shipping procedures and so as to make it more likely that Smyth Research receive the total return shipment of A16s in the most timely fashion.
 
Apr 20, 2020 at 4:49 PM Post #8,620 of 12,990

Got the Shakes

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How come you might have customs fee ? Is it clearly noted on the papers that you send it to service ?

Mine is clearly noted, it’s one of the things the UPS Store helped with. They just couldn’t guarantee that there wouldn’t be some duty charged even though it is for a repair. I think that was just them trying to cover their butts should duty get charged for some reason.
 
Apr 20, 2020 at 5:48 PM Post #8,621 of 12,990

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Just came back from the UPS office... went to a large UPS HUB... figured they might know more than just a UPS store... anyway the place was a dump, you didn't want to touch anything.. they only let 3 people in at a time and no one that didn't have a mask could come in... this is how it went.. $277 - one way and they would not insure above the $2500.00 ... she didn't even look in the box to see what was in it... at first she saw the " return for repair/service and said they don't ship broken items... had to explain that it wasn't broken... left the place not feeling the best of options... but that was all I had at the time ...so its off to see the Wizards in the UK... maybe the round trip we can get Smyth to just bill us... I did ask why it was so expensive and she told me its not that high if you have an account... I told her I just setup an account this morning... and she said... a commercial account... so anyway... can't wait to get it back... best of luck to us all...
 
Apr 20, 2020 at 6:00 PM Post #8,622 of 12,990

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Some more information on my earlier suggestion to use Fedex International...

I just called what is named "Fedex Great Rates Hotline" (877-463-7408), which is open to all Fedex account holders (and I am one, which is how I got that "great rate" sending my headphones back to Stax in Japan from Los Angeles for repair back in 2018). If you don't have a Fedex account the retail rate is more than double.

I gave them an approximate carton size and weight going to Bangor Ireland, and they said there was a minimum weight of 11 lbs. to qualify. I think that probably would be just about right for the A16 double-boxed for shipping, and she suggested just adding a little something extra inside to make up any difference required.

To insure the item with a value of $4000 costs $41 extra. The fact that the value is greater than $2500 means you have to get that EEI licensing I mentioned in my earlier post, which would be a $10 to get that export license approved by US Customs electronically. If assistance is needed regarding the EEI license (e.g. to pick the proper "commodity ID") or something, there is an EEI Tech Support Hotline you can phone (866-352-3252).

Two estimated prices for shipping as quoted by Fedex Great Rates:

(a) Fedex International Priority - $113 (plus the $10 EEI, optionally plus the $41 insurance), approximately 4 days delivery. Retail price $240 (plus extras) if no Fedex account.
(b) Fedex International Economy - $100 (plus the $10 EEI, optionally plus the $41 insurance), approximately 6 days delivery. Retail price $222 (plus extras) if no Fedex account.

The above price quotes do not include any customs fees or taxes that Ireland might levy upon entry. But if the description of the item is "being returned for repair" I would imagine there would be none of these taxes or fees.

She gave me a quote #, so that if I decided to go forward with this I would call the Great Rates Hotline back and provide the quote #, and they would get the paperwork process started. All the necessary documents would then be printed on my own computer printer. I'm personally not going forward with this myself (at least not at the present time), but I just wanted to suggest this Fedex "Great Rates" alternative to UPS retail, if you happen to have the ability to ship using a Fedex account.
 
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Apr 20, 2020 at 9:17 PM Post #8,623 of 12,990

Got the Shakes

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Just came back from the UPS office... went to a large UPS HUB... figured they might know more than just a UPS store... anyway the place was a dump, you didn't want to touch anything.. they only let 3 people in at a time and no one that didn't have a mask could come in... this is how it went.. $277 - one way and they would not insure above the $2500.00 ... she didn't even look in the box to see what was in it... at first she saw the " return for repair/service and said they don't ship broken items... had to explain that it wasn't broken... left the place not feeling the best of options... but that was all I had at the time ...so its off to see the Wizards in the UK... maybe the round trip we can get Smyth to just bill us... I did ask why it was so expensive and she told me its not that high if you have an account... I told her I just setup an account this morning... and she said... a commercial account... so anyway... can't wait to get it back... best of luck to us all...

Funny thing is I took mine into the UPS Store sealed and taped up and she actually wanted to open the box to see what I was sending. Which is what triggered the issue with the way I had it packaged.

My A16 is officially moving through the UPS system and is so far scheduled for delivery on Friday. The woman at the store said if I didn't hear from them today then it means they confirmed that all of the customs documentation and codes were correct (my $4,000 of declared value triggered a whole mess of additional customs paperwork). They never reached out and it looks like my A16 was picked up. This is the end of the journey I'm worried about, once it's (hopefully) in the hands of Smyth Research I'll be able to breathe easy.
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 3:32 AM Post #8,624 of 12,990

You Gene

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It is once again possible to order the upgrade from the French importer on his web site (EUR 497). Although the upgrade was a one time offer ending on 31st March...(for his own customers only).
So much the better for everyone...but I do not understand anymore ! What changed the parameters of this one shot deal ? Is someone deciding to extend the offer ? Gilles cannot extend the offer without the say-so from the Smyths as he was supposed to receive the cards in one shot only...end of story.
Shipping costs : you have to contact him for a quote back and forth.
Delivery schedule : nothing is mentioned.
https://av-in.com/collections/acces...hdmi-carte-processeur-pour-smyth-realiser-a16

What is your deadline with Smyth Research Ltd : April 22nd ???

A little picture to make you salivate :
1587454027860.png
 
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Apr 21, 2020 at 7:09 AM Post #8,625 of 12,990

Got the Shakes

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Didn’t take long, but looks like there’s already some customs issues popping up. Received an email late last night from UPS as they were trying to clear things through customs. They wanted me to fill out all sorts of additional paperwork. It seems like they were trying to process things as a item that was being exported for sale and not repair, even though it was clearly stated when shipped that it was a return for service/repair. I explained to them in an email why the unit was being shipped. I never heard back, but the package started moving again and was cleared by customs. However there is now an item in my tracking info from the customs agency in the UK saying that “additional information is needed from the importer to provide duty relief for shipment repaired at origin”. That is obviously something that Smyth Research would need to provide, but I’m not even sure how to go about dealing with any of this.

Edit: I spoke to UPS and there’s nothing wrong with the export paperwork, it’s on the import paperwork that Smyth Research is going to need to provide some info on. I emailed James to give him a heads up but didn’t get a response yet.
 
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