Problems with Gripracer / Cigarboxaudio - diyAudio
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Old 13th January 2011, 11:11 AM   #1
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Default Problems with Gripracer / Cigarboxaudio

It's with a heavy heart that I post this, but I've been ripped off by someone here who is still taking money from people, and I feel it's my duty to warn people about this guy. What follows below is based on a post I just made in Swap Meet.

The guy involved is Ted Wilson, of Atlanta Georgia, goes by the usernames of Gripracer and also Cigarboxaudio (also has an ebay shop in the latter name). I can provide his full address and a genuine phone number to any other victim having problems.

I'm a DIY novice, posted here for advice last Feb, Ted offered to build me some stuff. I'm in the UK, he is in Atlanta, Georgia.

I sent money in Feb for a 'cigar box' DAC ... there were various enhancements we agreed on including output transformers and some component upgrades, so I sent extra cash.

In April i sent more cash for him to do a Shigaclone, and had a donor machine delivered to him. He also offered to do a step-up transformer for me too so I had some Altecs delivered as well.

Anyway after much hassling him (and months of no communication and a very bizzare tale over several months where he said he's shipped, no tracking info, but somehow it showed up back at his house weeks later) I finally got some kit through in November, the DAC and the SUTs.

The SUTs were wrongly wired ...each side wired wrongly, but differently wrongly, quite an achievement! I still haven't been able to make them work. The DAC works but is very badly made ... he may know the theory but his execution of soldering and enclosure-making is very shoddy.

The Shigaclone wasn't part of the shipment as he'd broken the donor board somehow. I sent another donor and am still waiting on my Shigaclone (though he did sent the PSU for it). He says now his paypal account is locked (am I surprised?), so he has no money to ship (though he claims it's fixed) - this latest delay has been going on since November.

I would have posted this long ago but I'm out more than $800 dollars all up including parts and donor machines and I didn't want to completely spoil the chance of getting the Shiga in the end. However I suspect it's too late for that and I'll never own a Shicaclone now, after going 'public'.

I must say I was shocked, as a Brit, my experience of Americans over many years has always been that they are just about the most trustworthy people in the world, but this clown lets your country down very badly!

I've only posted this because I've been in touch with three other people now who have had trouble getting this guy to follow through with promises do deliver projects or components. I don't believe he is deep down a bad guy but he lacks any sense of personal responsibility in following through with what he promises.

At the same time he was messing me around and not answering emails, he was running a competition promoting his business on swap meet (for a free 'Wineclone' as he calls it, an am based on the Red Wine chip amp + batter concept). I raised this with the mods earlier, but held off posting till now. I've now given up any hope of getting my Shigaclone in order to warn other people.

This guy has no place in this or any other hifi community and I would urge people not to deal with him.
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Old 13th January 2011, 12:37 PM   #2
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A sad tale indeed. Reminds me of the singlepower saga over at headfi.....
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Old 13th January 2011, 01:33 PM   #3
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Frankly, for what he charges for his "mods" and the poor workmanship visible in almost every pic he posts of his stuff; I'm surprised anyone still hands money over to him.
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Old 13th January 2011, 02:36 PM   #4
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Sounds like a crackhead I know who tried to do some home repairs for me. He actually used 18p nails to apply some Sheetrock. Had to spend more money fixing what he "fixed".
Thanks for the info, after I saw all the hype with that Christmas giveaway, I had considered a purchase....glad I didn't do through with it. Sorry it came at your expense.
I am also in a situation with a forum member I am about to out, I purchased a par of Eminance Lab 12 subs from someone who literally threw both of them in a 14" cube box stuffed with a little newspaper. Both arrived wrecked. Frames were cracked on both too where it appeared the screws were over torked on mounting. He claims this occurred during transit. He is attempting a claim with FedEx but the drivers have been out of my possession now for 2 weeks and I have yet to see a single cent of a refund.

Were you able to make any claims with PayPal on the cash you sent this guy?
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Old 13th January 2011, 07:43 PM   #5
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Sadly this is true. I dealt with him on ebay. Stories went on for a month. Fortunately I used paypal. Finally I told him my next step was to open a dispute. The item did arrive . I guess I was lucky.
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Old 13th January 2011, 07:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmillerdoc View Post

Were you able to make any claims with PayPal on the cash you sent this guy?

Sadly no, the 60 day limit has long expired.
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Old 13th January 2011, 07:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theAnonymous1 View Post
Frankly, for what he charges for his "mods" and the poor workmanship visible in almost every pic he posts of his stuff; I'm surprised anyone still hands money over to him.
Sorry my bachelor's degree is in music, not engineering and when I started out this it seemed legit (the guy does have knowledge and sends emails like he knows what he's talking about).

It was only when the first bunch of stuff eventually arrived (paid for Feb; arrived November) when I realised that not just was he messing me around over dates but the quality was very poor as well.
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Old 14th January 2011, 12:16 PM   #8
john65b is offline john65b  United States
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Yes, he seemed a bit odd, charging some steep money for his "Time" on simple ebay purchased Tripath boards (that were dirt cheap), by adding a capacitor, cigarbox and battery.

I have had nothing but success working with the members that post in the Vendors Bazzar, and have chanced a few members, who were very new to the site, from China that have come through every time, but this guy was a little too seedy for me. Not that I was ever interested in any of his "Work" anyway....

Sad to say, but deals like this show that the vendor's bazzar can probably use a "feedback" or "honesty index" like ebay...
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Old 14th January 2011, 10:38 PM   #9
DrRick is offline DrRick  United States
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Hi,
I'm sorry to hear of your plight. I've had nothing but wonderful experiences dealing with other DIYaudio members.
To be fair, everyone now and then has unexpected problems that can interfere with commitments one's made, so I always try to give others the benefit of the doubt. I try to consider their intent.
It appears you've extended every courtesy possible to the other party. It also appears that the other party has not the intention to do the right thing by you.

I'm sure you thought long and hard about your post prior to hitting the "Submit" button.

I was trying to figure out a way to lend you a hand, but being on different continents makes it difficult. I do have one thought: If you can get the other party to pack up all your Shiaclone stuff (in whatever condition it may be in) and send it to me, I'll assemble it for you gratis.
I'm only a few hundred miles from him so I'm sure he can afford to pay for the shipping. If he uses shipping cost as an excuse he can send it shipping collect and I'll pay for it upon delivery.
I must warn you that I have some ups and downs with my health which sometimes slow me down a bit. In the absence of health problems I would normally estimate a week or so to complete it (assuming all the required parts are included or I have them on hand). Given my health issues (just back problems, nothing life threatening!) it will likely take a month or two to complete it. I've read the Shiaclone story here and on the Polish (?) site and it is a pretty simple project. I would have built one for myself but I was unable to find the original JVC boombox it was based on.
As I mentioned, my efforts would be a gift. I would only ask that you pay for the shipping from the US to you when it's finished.
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Old 14th January 2011, 11:44 PM   #10
john65b is offline john65b  United States
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This site is full of generous members willing to help and promote the understanding of electronics I otherwise would never be able to grasp.

God bless you for your offer.
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