affordable valve company not responding

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by Lt Cdr Data, May 21, 2005.

  1. Lt Cdr Data

    Lt Cdr Data om

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    Well after considering buying one of the cheap £250 valve amps from AVC, I saw on his ebay listing that he is misquoting me.

    I bought one of the kt88 lim hiends stanless steel very nice, too off someone secondhand, and emailed to say it wasn't my cup of tea the sound, that I preferred a different amp.Nothing wrong with it, nicely made and very heavy, just not my cup of tea.

    I then find that my question has been printed on the ebay testemonials, and as most will know here, I know my valves, so I found it rather insulting to have that turned on me....

    the jist of it was, I can't find it atm, but " you must have an amp from someone else, we dont' recall selling you one of our amps, perhaps you had the magma or TAC, our customers say they think our kt88 is the beez neez and if you don't like it, its you.... and such like" AFTER I had pointed out it was s/h, no doubt making me look a little stupid on ebay.

    dur....it said AVC on the front!!

    anyway back to the point, i was interested in the £250 vr70, emailed about it, asking what was the difference between the basic version and the 2 modded versions, one I belive is triode wired, and the other has some different mods.
    thsi was on ebay, no response, emailed again, no response again.

    wtf? I was going to buy one.

    So I have taken my business elsewhere after finding them on Germany, still with 2 yrs guarantee. he's lost a sale, its been weeks, and 2 emails. wwhat can you say?
     
    Lt Cdr Data, May 21, 2005
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  2. Lt Cdr Data

    BaronSamedi

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    Simple: buy a PrimaLuna!
    :D :D :D
     
    BaronSamedi, May 22, 2005
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  3. Lt Cdr Data

    julian2002 Muper Soderator

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    data,
    lim has a bit of a reputation - not a good one either. just look at his advertising copy it certainly makes me want to run a mile, not buy something that's for sure.
    personally i wouldn't be sending him a penny of my hard earned cash but others opinions may vary.
    cheers


    julian
     
    julian2002, May 22, 2005
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  4. Lt Cdr Data

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    Lim is an unpleasant character, and one who is not welcome here.
     
    I-S, May 22, 2005
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  5. Lt Cdr Data

    Gaffer74

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    Lim used to be very courteous to me on the phone. I felt that I needed replacement valves and asked him for a quote, to which he said £50 for 4 5670's and 4 EL34's (svetlana winged c). I gave him my credit card details and patiently waited. And waited. A long time passed.
    Then a strange thing happened to one of the EL34's. It suddenly started buzzing and glowing bright white/blue (like a bulb). I immediately switched off the amp and let it cool for a few hours. During this time I contacted Lim and spoke to his assistant who said that I had done the correct thing. As he passed the phone to Lim I overheard Lim saying "Gaffer is the type of person who...." I didn't quite catch the rest. He then got the reciever and started spouting on about "not freezing valves as they shorten valve life".....eh? what? who asked anything about freezing valves? and what sort of a person am i?....anyway I bit my lip in case I had got the wrong end of the stick and told Lim what had happened. He told me to send the amp back to him so that he could ascertain what valves to replace them with and if anything was wrong with the amp. A couple of hours later I unplugged all the valves and re-seated them snuggly. I cautiously switched back on (yeah..silly i know) and the amp was fine. Delighted I rang Lim and he said "oh...er ...well in that case...er...it must have been the valves not being seated properly. You'll be fine now. No need to send the amp back. I'll send you replacement valves. I already have your card details."
    I must admit I wasn't really satisfied with his explanation as the valves hadn't been touched previously and this had never happened before...but then again, everything was fine now.
    It's now 1-2 months later yet again. Still no sign of replacement valves. So i keep, waiting. The amp has done nothing odd despite continual use since then.
    I had asked Lim for the bias readings for the amp for replacement valves as it is fixed bias, but he refused to give them to me saying that "only he could supply correctly biased replacements".
    I contacted thetubestore.com who have e-mailed me to say that they can send replacements "of an average bias that should work well".
    Do i:
    *wait for Lim to send me replacements (for how long I don't know, and I didn't really like the way he talked about me so I don't want to be reliant on him for spares)
    *despite not knowing the bias, let thetubestore.com send me their 'best guess' replacement tubes and risk them not being optimised for the amp
    *alternatively how can i find out the settings needed for the valves so that I can order replacements from anywhere?

    PS I would love to use this amp as a "second system" and buy a brand new Prima Luna Prologue 2 amp and never have to worry about bias settings again (although this would be too expensive for me so will remain a pipe dream for now :( ).

    thanx for any ideas/help
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2005
    Gaffer74, May 23, 2005
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  6. Lt Cdr Data

    Tenson Moderator

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    Well for one I would bug him about the valves you paid for but never received! I always thought his adverts looked dodgy, especially the way on his website he talked about a reviewer who didn't like his amps saying something about Quad ESL's not being right for the review.

    So what effect does biasing actually have on an amp? As long as it isn't way out, does it basically just effect the channel balance?
     
    Tenson, May 23, 2005
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  7. Lt Cdr Data

    Gaffer74

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    Tenson....it's 03:20 and you're still awake :eek: (I'm on night duty so I have an excuse :D ).
    I've been closely scrutinizing my credit card account and he hasn't requested anything from them (yet), so i'm not too worried if I never hear from him again.

    Anyways...I think the bias sets the corrrect current draw or something....so that underrun valves don't sound loud enough but over run valves have shorter life and run too hot.

    ...but someone feel free to correct me/
     
    Gaffer74, May 23, 2005
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  8. Lt Cdr Data

    Lt Cdr Data om

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    its very difficult to set bias on the avc amp, much easier on the icon, on the avc, there are 3 pots and I have no idea which one does what.
    typcical bias is adjust current by measuring volts across cathode resistor.
    then maximum power for an el34 is 26 watts, adjust so you get between 50-85% of max power.

    you do this by tweaking the trim pot to give required volts.

    its the anode current times the anode to cathode volts(400 ish) = 26 watts max.

    then scale, ie 50% min. too low gives crossover distortion, too high shortens life of valves.

    interesting, VAC, the company that supplies lim from china has stopped making valve amps, so I have no idea what he will do when stocks run dry

    to be fair, if you say don't use with esl's and a reviewer does, its the reviewers fault.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2005
    Lt Cdr Data, May 23, 2005
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  9. Lt Cdr Data

    T-bone Sanchez

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    Lt, glad to see your getting a dynavox, great little amp for the money.
     
    T-bone Sanchez, May 23, 2005
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  10. Lt Cdr Data

    Lt Cdr Data om

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    yup, lim has lost a sale so I voted with my feet. if he thinks people aren't worth responding to enquiries, its goin to happen he had a few mails on ebay and didn't bother to reply
    I don't know what sort of people won't tell you what bias the amp is meant to be, shame on them, american makers who use fixed bias wouldn't hear of it, there are some strange secretive paranoid folk around, some pro audio companies even give schematics, and their market is far more competetive than home hifi. In addition, Japanese companies produce expensive well written service manuals, some of which I have, and as everyone knows, the Japs are hugely competetive with products changing all the time, yet they give out their details.

    MF don't give circuits out which isn't unusual, but their service dept is helpful and informative, tho some of their circuits are from application notes, apparently, some 'proprietary' transistors are nothing of the sort, just selected, naim claim proprietary but I don't know, they won't sell them to you to put in a damaged amp if I am correct, all sorts of funny attitudes designed to enshroud in secrecy and make them look good.

    Proacs lovely speakers don't tell you anything about them, totally uneccesary, as the drive units are mostly modified seas, so you can't make them on the cheap anyway, if you were mind to, you could reverse engineer the crossover slopes anyway which are all pretty much the same. and you can't do those lovely castle cabinets like them anyway. Its odd, the impression I get is that the attitude is 'our stuff is superb, we are the experts, you don't need to know about it, just take it from us its good, but we won't tell you about it'

    I find that bizarre and odd and insulting considering audios prices, and also even more strange as an awful lot is based on the chip makers application guides,(musical fideltiys xdac is almost a direct lift from a burr brown dac guide, and the kw phonostage the same from an analog devices) sometimes direct copies. So much for proprietary designs eh? you learn much....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2005
    Lt Cdr Data, May 23, 2005
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  11. Lt Cdr Data

    Tenson Moderator

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    True, but to insult the guy on what is supposed to be a professional website is just stupid and only makes him look bad!

    I had a reason for being up, I was doing some mastering which had to be done for a deadline. Also being a teenager I have teenager sleep patterns!
     
    Tenson, May 23, 2005
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  12. Lt Cdr Data

    rsand I can't feel my toes

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    The guy at edenlake has been very helpful and quick at responding to my e-mails, have a word with lordsummit (richard) for his comments, he's very happy with his.
     
    rsand, May 23, 2005
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  13. Lt Cdr Data

    T-bone Sanchez

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    If you look at his ebay ads he claims to be an official dealer for pro-ject and EAR yet doesnt advertise any of their items and only mentions them in phono questions. Strange bloke.
     
    T-bone Sanchez, May 23, 2005
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  14. Lt Cdr Data

    lordsummit moderate mod

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    Edenlake have been very helpful to everyone who has dealt with him. I'm not sure how is after sales are having not experienced them though. Long may that continue!
     
    lordsummit, May 24, 2005
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  15. Lt Cdr Data

    Gaffer74

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    Well I happened across a maplin catalogue (old) that displays the different sockets on the el34 valve socket and what each pin does. I plan to buy a good (or borrow) multimeter to get the readings for there (grid 1 voltage, grid 2 voltage and current, grid 3 voltage, h voltage and current, anode and cathode readings, k resistance etc etc). I think I'll send all the info to tubestore.com so that they can match me a quad of wingedc or mullards.

    PS I agree with the reviewer being at fault for testing with esl's despite being asked not to. I can't find a link to Lim's AVC ebay page. Was looking forward to reading it....."me have BIG transformers yyeeeesss...difficult to see future it is...only using best RUSSIAN valves hmmmmm...much anger in this one....."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2005
    Gaffer74, May 24, 2005
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  16. Lt Cdr Data

    Lt Cdr Data om

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    someones been watching star wars...

    he's not hard to find, he's on ebay, in loot!!, on american audiogon I think, ads are everywhere.

    just type affordable valve into google.

    you don't need to go to that troulbe for a matched set, just buy a matched quad and you'll be fine.
     
    Lt Cdr Data, May 24, 2005
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  17. Lt Cdr Data

    rsand I can't feel my toes

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    What are the characteristics of valve brand types? The KT88's in my II40's are quad branded so I dont know who makes them, but don't see the point in paying extra for quad rebrands. I want to buy some as spares/experimenting, quad say my amps are self biasing and dont need to be matched quads or pairs.
     
    rsand, May 24, 2005
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  18. Lt Cdr Data

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    He also advertises in hifi choice. So much for their ethics... they saw fit to ban him from their forum for his views, but they're happy to take his money.
     
    I-S, May 24, 2005
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  19. Lt Cdr Data

    la toilette Downright stupid

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    Don't buy anything from AVC, that's my advice.

    I had a Lim signature KT88 amp, that I bought 2nd hand, sounded great but one of the outpout valves died. AVC (Lim) refused to help or answer any further emails from me as soon as he found out I didn't buy the amp new - I wanted to buy a replacement quad of KT88's so it wasn't like I was asking for something for nothing - their dumb-ass secret fixed bias bollocks meant that buying from them seemed like the easiest option, but alas no, he wouldn't even talk to me let alone sell anything to me.

    AVC write the preformance values of the valves they supply on the valve bases, so you can attempt to buy quads with similar performance if your supplier is willing/able to do this. I bought Electro Harmonix from the states (sounded loads better than the Svetlana's).

    Amp sounded great with new valves but Lim spoiled the whole experience for me , so I sold the amp and went vintage. Shitty attitudes like this make resale values poor also, so they're a bad investment.

    If I could influence any potential buyer from buying a new AVC, then I'd actively do so. Steer clear, there are plenty of worthy alternatives.....
     
    la toilette, May 24, 2005
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  20. Lt Cdr Data

    la toilette Downright stupid

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    Might mention though (on balance) that they're good value 2nd hand provided you are aware of their stupid attitude in advance. Used prices are relatively low, and I have to admit that my KT88 amp did sound excellent..........better (in a valve sort of way) than the Sugden A21a I replced with it - and I reckon that's quite a compliment.

    ......I'd still never buy another one though.........
     
    la toilette, May 24, 2005
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