Sunday, June 25, 2023

Service matters - thank you PS Audio.

If you monitor audio forums it won't take you long to find people complaining about the service and support they have often failed to receive from one company or other. There's always two sides to every story, sometimes companies are short-staffed, sometimes they oly want your money at the point of sale, and in an age of continual bargain-hunting online it might be there is a disconnect between price and reasonable support.  Regardless, a simple shout out today to PS Audio. Depending on your perspective they are either innovators or scammers, but for me, they are a company I always like to do engage. Why? Forget the prices for their upper end DAC or cables (and conveniently forget that they also offer a lot of affordable options) but this company has always given me great support. I've had a few problems over the years with their amps and digital front-ends but they never left me hanging without help or reasonable options. I can't spring for the latest Directstream DAC at $7k, much as I'd like to, but they have repaired my old PerfectWave DAC when it had a problem after 9 years. How many companies who sell DACs can you say that about? 

Anyway, feeling the sound of my system was not quite what I expected last week, I figured the tubes in my BHK 300 monos were due a replacement, and since I had a set on hand, why not do it.  Well, the answer to that became obvious as soon as I tried to wrestle the amps off the racks so I could access the rear.  I know I've aged since I bought these but man, those amps weigh a ton. Worse, the feet on which they reside seem to have decided to meld with the shelf making a simple slide off to a conveniently positioned support impossible (I'm still not sure how I am ever going to break that seal).. Anyway, I did the swap, sweating and breathless, and telling myself that this amount of heavy gear belonged in the past, before having the ultimate horror, one channel popping sharply and dying on boot up.  Uh oh.....

In a mild annoyance at the stupidity of audiophile life, I considered my options. Do nothing and sulk? Not the most reasonable. Go online to figure out what might be happening and if I had damaged anything?  This is my natural response...but I supressed it. Instead I visited the PS Audio site, and, even while contemplating an email to support, decided to do what I almost never do -- phone them. Well, you might call everyone and anyone, but I despise phone calls and the disembodied communication involved. Nevertheless, keen to have an answer, I dialed. What a pleasant surprise to get through to a human (Tyler? Taylor?) within a few seconds. I explained what was happening and asked what my options were. Nobody wants to hear that they need to ship a boat anchor of an amp but What I heard was far more positive. The pop was probably just the shut-off safety kicking in, if I kept the volume down on my preamp I'd not have heard it (duh!) but most likely, I had not fully seated one of the tubes. Better, no damage was likely done and I could safely try it again (volume suitably muted of course). More, this positive voice told me to go ahead and try this and to let him know..  I did, checked the seating by removing and reinserting both tubes in the right channel amp and booting up. Success. Wonderful sounds ensured. Yes, my tubes had gone to the point where the sonics were deteriorated. Better yet, a simple call had reassured me, gave me options, and solved the problem.  I called back just to say 'thank you'.  And that is why I like this company's way of dealing with customers. Kudos.

1 comment:

lash said...

First off, I'n happy PSA helped you. I have none of their gear, but they seem like a good company.
But....the "disembodied" voice on the call bugs you....but email is just fine?? Seriously??