In Reply to: Re: BUY IT! posted by jcmjrt on March 12, 2007 at 09:55:34:
I can certainly vouch for Welbourne's prompt responses to basic and succinct pre-order questions -- particularly when it must look to Ron like there's a large and profitable order very likely to come his way should he spend a couple of minutes answering a short and simple e-mail or two. For what it's worth, here's my experience:
When the DRD series of amplifiers first came to market, I was *very* interested in them. (So interested, in fact, that on several separate occasions around that time, I had my "shopping basket" loaded up and was ready to hit the "send" button. I was really that close.) I e-mailed with Ron a number of times in connection with some basic (but critical) questions like speaker and pre-amp matching, room size considerations, etc. (This was my first foray into the land of the S.E.T.) He was normally prompt and courteous in replying -- although often curt. That is, not always as forthcoming, explicit, or verbose as I would have liked. (And I suppose that I'm willing to take most of the blame for those feelings; I was at a point -- like we all were at one time -- where I needed some hand-holding. I just happened not to get it. That said, I did understand that Welbourne was trying to run a business consisting of more than a single customer! So, I didn't take *any* offense. For all Ron knew, I was just hanging around wasting his time. At the end of the day, though, he was was wrong about me and lost a customer as a result.)
You see, the more we corresponded (and I didn't overdo it -- three times, maybe?), the more his interest level obviously declined -- to the point of almost no interest at all. Maybe that was to be expected. Like I said, he didn't know me, and I couldn't "prove" my own level of interest with anything but an order. But, that said, there *was* potentially a multi-thousand-dollar order coming his way, and I guess I was hoping for a little bit more in the way of enthusiasm from someone who, by all accounts, is very enthusiastic about what he does. I actually started to have doubts about his operation's interest (let alone timely ability) to execute my order. In the end, he simply made me feel like whether or not I became a customer didn't matter a whole lot to him; so, I *didn't* become a customer -- at least not of his. And it came down to nothing more than the fact that I couldn't get comfortable with his level of interest in me and my satisfaction with his products.
So, I decided to start talking to Jeff Korneff, who insisted on giving me his home number and who had all the time in the world for me as we sat around shooting the breeze about everything from 45s and the relative merits of different circuit designs to muscle cars and problems with the fairer sex. He *proved* his dedication to his craft and his deep concern that I be happy with what I was about to order. (Several times he tried to talk me *out* of a 45-based power amplifier. Thank God he failed!) His ethics were beyond reproach, and I realized that this was the "comfort level" that I was after. So, he got my order -- plain and simple. Did it take a long time to get my amplifier built? Hell yeah! Several months at least. *But*, that was part of our understanding going into the transaction. He was very forthcoming about just how long it would take. None of this "one to three weeks" turning into "one to three months" business. I paid him half up front and half right before delivery. And when he built my 76-based preamp, he suggested the same payment scheme. I went ahead and paid for the whole thing in advance, as I recall, such was my confidence in him.
Now, this post is not meant to be some Welbourne-bashing, Korneff-praising propaganda piece. (I don't even think that Jeff is in business any longer, so I'm not attempting to steer anyone away from Welbourne and to Korneff. Besides, in the end, their businesses are/were *very* different in large part.) What this post *is* meant to be is some advice to (particularly new) folks to make sure that they have a good, comfortable feeling going into a transaction with an "amateur" audio business. (And, believe me, I use the word "amateur" with a tremendous amount of respect -- as in, the type of person who is in this out of pure love as opposed to love of profit. Furthermore, I believe that Ron Welbourne fits the definition of "amateur" in all of the best, purest ways.)
Just understand what you're getting into, so that you don't end up disappointed. And if it feels wrong, don't pull the trigger; walk away. Otherwise, you're practically guaranteed to wind up disappointed -- particularly when your credit card has been charged, you've already received your monthly bill, no products have shown up at your front door, and the interest level on the other end appears to have evaporated. (Incidentally, my view -- and this is true across the board, in all forms of mail order, not just in specialty audio -- is that charging a credit card before items are packed and ready to ship is ***highly*** unethical. That would be a deal-breaker for me no matter how badly I wanted whatever it was that was being prematurely charged.)
Sorry to be so long-winded. But, whether or not it should, one's buying experience *can* color one's satisfaction with a product going forward. No one should spend lots of hard-earned money on something, only to have massive and frustrating problems in purchasing, shipping, building, customer support, etc. -- and then sit there when it's all resolved and feel like it just wasn't worth it in the end.
So, a couple (too many) words from someone who steered way clear of the potential Welbourne pitfalls -- although I understand that many, many people have had awesome experiences dealing with his company.
And a wish of good luck and enjoyable listening to all!
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Topic - Anyone having a problem getting their orders from Welborne? - reddmadder 07:44:05 03/11/07 (31)
- My Welborne experience.... - darkmoebius 13:59:44 03/15/07 (3)
- Enlightened Self-Interest - Dr Deville 14:51:14 03/15/07 (2)
- It's important to provide an overall perspective.... - darkmoebius 15:36:16 03/15/07 (1)
- I agree about perspective and my experience - firstname.lastname@example.org 04:49:02 03/18/07 (0)
- Re: Cheap, Excellent, Convenient--Pick Two - Dr Deville 21:04:36 03/13/07 (0)
- Nope. As a matter of fact - Quest 20:42:07 03/13/07 (0)
- I have had only GREAT service from Welborne Labs - Patrick Kopson 15:45:18 03/12/07 (0)
- Good Luck... - Thomas Martens 11:02:07 03/11/07 (0)
- Did you fax him, call him or even read the note posted on his website? - John Chleapas 10:04:10 03/11/07 (21)
- Re: Did you fax him, call him or even read the note posted on his website? - fan4fan1 22:45:48 03/11/07 (10)
- BUY IT! - Yehuda 00:01:22 03/12/07 (8)
- Re: BUY IT! - fan4fan1 08:04:33 03/12/07 (7)
- Re: BUY IT! - smart845 11:14:11 03/12/07 (4)
- Re: BUY IT! - fan4fan1 11:09:05 03/15/07 (0)
- Question - Cut-Throat 13:21:30 03/12/07 (2)
- Re: BUY IT! - jcmjrt 09:55:34 03/12/07 (1)
- Re: BUY IT! (But With Caution....) - Jim Hodgson 02:39:57 03/17/07 (0)
- Re: Did you fax him, call him or even read the note posted on his website? - John Chleapas 23:37:07 03/11/07 (0)
- Re: Did you fax him, call him or even read the note posted on his website? - Buzzman 19:06:08 03/11/07 (6)
- Dude where's my amp? - John Chleapas 23:45:06 03/11/07 (5)
- Dude, you wear condescension well. - Buzzman 00:16:09 03/12/07 (4)
- Re: Dude, you wear condescension well (Lets try point by point Dude) - John Chleapas 21:39:54 03/12/07 (3)
- Re: Did you fax him, call him or even read the note posted on his website? - Sonhouse 2 14:56:09 03/11/07 (0)
- Re: Did you fax him, call him or even read the note posted on his website? - reddmadder 13:58:46 03/11/07 (1)
- Re: Did you fax him, call him or even read the note posted on his website? - Jrook 17:51:11 03/11/07 (0)
- Re: BUY IT! (But With Caution....) - Jim Hodgson 02:39:57 03/17/07 (0)