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speakerfritz 28th September 2012 06:38 PM

opinions on supporting a past sale/trade deal
before I jump in and start owning a problem that may not be mine.....some opinions would be helpful.

did a trade plus cash about 5 weeks ago. I made a cash offer on a large amp and the seller asked for a trade in plus my offer. So we made the deal.

Amp I trade in worked for me for 2 years with no problems at all. gave the person the amp, cables manual (which has bias instructions) and a complete low time tube set.

seller calls me 4.5 weeks later and says he operated the amps one time....after 30 amp produced a hum...and now has a hum. Didn't check the bias during 1st power up....just plugged and played it.

amp I got from him...I checked the bias and made adjustments during my first power up. before powering it up checked all tubes and replaced a few. recieved amp works fine.

So , the opinion involved would you get on the problem with the amp you traded off? you really don't know the whole story. it's been over a month. You really don't know how it was put into service.

I don't want to jump in and start trouble shooting and set the expectation I own the problem. It worked fine when I had it.

Problem could be as simple a driver or input tube (have not suggested input tube swap from good amp to bad), could be a blown resister due to needed bias adjustments or loose tube during handling in their facility (would not suggest this until they verified tubes were properly seated and bias was good), or some other issue like shorted diodes, loose input connector shield, etc. blown resister would show up during a bias check.

I could probably check it out and ultimately repair it....but as far as I know...the thing could have been sold...shipped to a customer who may not have any tube experience....issue developed...and seller took it back...then called me...leaving out all the details of course. Amp is 20 years old, retubed about two years ago, used by me a few hours on the weekends. 200 to 300 hours tops on the tube set. Dead quiet with horns speakers when I had it.

What would you do? No warranties expressed or implied on either amp.

Bigun 28th September 2012 07:07 PM

I'd say do what will make you sleep well at night.

HollowState 28th September 2012 08:00 PM

If I were in your place I would first explain that it is the nature of electronics, and especially used tube electronics, to fail at any time without notice. I would also let them know that their amplifier needed bias adjustment and tubes because you checked it over before using it when you first got it. Further, it was their assumed responsibility to do the same with your amp in trade in a timely manor. So unless you gave them a use warranty, it shouldn't be your problem. At least not legally. I would suggest testing all tubes on a good tester. In lieu of that, try swapping tubes channel to channel and see if the hum follows.

Now, on the other hand, if this is someone you know, like or just want to keep satisfied, you might make the offer to help correct the problem either by communication (if at a distance) or in person if nearby. This is a judgment that you have to make based on what you know about the other party. But I would make it very clear thst tubes are not forever and they do fail. Sometimes earlier then we would like. Especially todays tubes which, IMO, can't compare to yesterdays vintage tubes. They might not like learning this, but it's a sad fact of life.

kevinkr 29th September 2012 12:54 AM

I'm still fully supporting products I sold more than a decade ago, and usually just ask current owners to cover cost of materials when something goes wrong.. (Fortunately volume was low, the stuff is scattered all over the place, and they've been quite reliable)

In similar deals I figure I am on the hook for at least 90 days after the transaction if I traded directly to another individual. If this was a dealer trade in I'm not sure whether or not you morally or ethically should feel compelled to address the issue provided it was a "good faith" transaction, i.e. the unit to the best of your knowledge was in proper working order and/or any minor issues had been disclosed. Personal sales and trades I think are an entirely different matter..

My situation is somewhat different since I am the designer and manufacturer of note for the gear I'm talking about in most cases, and there is obviously a reasonable limit wrt your obligation in a trade in to a dealer - i.m.o they should check the unit out fully prior to resale, but perhaps this is unrealistic given the nature of high end audio and the total lack of technical knowledge at most dealers these days.

aardvarkash10 29th September 2012 02:38 AM


Sounds like you both know what you are doing, went in eyes open and accepted your own risks.

Unless you have some specific reason for wanting to help out on a purely ex-gratia basis, a small shrug and a "gee thats tough" or simialr is all thats required imo.

bobrown14 29th September 2012 11:50 AM

I'd probably offer to fix it with the expectation the new owner pay for post BOTH ways and get that up front. That would make me sleep better. That is of course you know how to repair which sounds like you do. Make it a one time offer only. That would be a fair offer, often times the ship cost will be enough to get the problem off your table, and its a fair offer.


flatheadmurre 29th September 2012 12:37 PM

Best is to test a working product togetter with the buyer then there is nothing to argue about, it was working at delivery.

Asuming you tested the amp before the swap so nothing has died in storage.

Fix it for cost of material and shipping.

A happy customer is good for buisness and sleep at night:).

Captn Dave 2nd October 2012 08:22 PM

I think you could bench check it for him without owning the problem if you are upfront with him when you make the offer. Ask him to bring a six pack or a pizza with the amp and you'll do it as a favor.

evette 2nd October 2012 08:53 PM

I,d tell him bring both, 6-pack and a jumbo pizza all dressed. Evette

speakerfritz 2nd October 2012 09:07 PM

well, based on the comments, which so far have been helpfull, I've approached this from a general assist perspective.....providing a generic troubleshooting workflow...answering questions, etc. So far the person was able to localize the problem to some bad diodes. So, good possibility this can be resolved under a self help umbrealla.

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