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Cary Audio - Sad experience

PierreV

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Like others here, I am not an electronic guy. I have, however, adapted a few power supplies from 110 to 220. They are usually quite easy to understand, if not adapt or simply swap. Obviously, I tested them with a multimeter before and after the modification. I never contacted manufacturers in the process and did not expect them to provide any useful/reliable informations anyway. I understand your "tech" did nothing. In that sense, he is not to blame. Where he is to blame is that he clearly should have told you "under no circumstances should the device be plugged in 220v as it stands".
The small modern switching power supplies operate on a different principle. The big "coil based" ones are basically one way analog dividers.
 
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Varail

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I guess it was my mistake for writing "tech" instead "soldering guy".
I was in a mission to solder some jumpers as instructed and had the device to someone that could do it and didn't do anything because he didn't have to.
You keep pounding on someone that had to do a mechanical job.
If I would have had a soldering iron I would have done it myself, getting back to Cary in the process and in the same dead end like now.
I assume you don't need to be a tube amplifier expert to solder things..
If the soldering guy is taking so much flak what would that say about a HIGHAUDIO FIRM that should be an EXPERT in TUBE AMPLIFIERS and had to give directions about THEIR OWN PRODUCT and that had 3 CHANCES to convey the PROPER information and that was WARNED already ENOUGH times by emails and they still miss it ??
If it was everything so basic why did they miss it ??
I'm sorry but the way people are pounding on the soldering guy it feels like they did it on purpose and I'm positive they weren't.
 

aschen

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Really not defending Cary here. One of the few actual joys of high end luxury type products should be extraordinary support.


That being said, from there perspective: They built something years ago. It worked fine all these years and then ended up in a market it was not intended for. Somebody askes how to "modify" your unit to suit but is unable to send the actual unit for modifications.

From a customer support standpoint, Cary's biggest mistake answering your query on how to rewire at all. This is why so many companies would simply say "we don't endorse outside service" and be done with it. An unfortunate reality but you see how they get there. No good deed goes unpunished as they say...…......by trying (and failing) to be helpful they emailed themselves into a potential liability.

No excuses for them on sending the wrong advice though. THat is unforgivable but they probably though the soldering guy was more of a tech and would probe around with a meter before powering up
 

aschen

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Also as an engineer, this is just further proof that even the most simple technical tasks require decent documentation. Casual emails don't work.

They should have sent a schematic or said no thanks.
 
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Varail

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"No good deed goes unpunished as they say"..I think they punished themselves not when they replied and err'ed but when they didn't try to fix it and gone for the 100$ save instead.
In my book on this play field paying 200$ for good publicity is a steal. It was a missed opportunity.

Imagine the same story but with me ending in. "While they humanly erred at first in the end they were fantastic and lend the boat safely to the shore. Kudos Cary Audio !".

How many others wouldn't want to be in their shoes then? ..it was in their hands

Maybe I'm biased and wrong, can't say..
 
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Roland68

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Really not defending Cary here. One of the few actual joys of high end luxury type products should be extraordinary support.


That being said, from there perspective: They built something years ago. It worked fine all these years and then ended up in a market it was not intended for. Somebody askes how to "modify" your unit to suit but is unable to send the actual unit for modifications.

From a customer support standpoint, Cary's biggest mistake answering your query on how to rewire at all. This is why so many companies would simply say "we don't endorse outside service" and be done with it. An unfortunate reality but you see how they get there. No good deed goes unpunished as they say...…......by trying (and failing) to be helpful they emailed themselves into a potential liability.

No excuses for them on sending the wrong advice though. THat is unforgivable but they probably though the soldering guy was more of a tech and would probe around with a meter before powering up
Also as an engineer, this is just further proof that even the most simple technical tasks require decent documentation. Casual emails don't work.

They should have sent a schematic or said no thanks.
I think you're completely misunderstanding something here.
This device was intended by the manufacturer for a conversion to 220 volts, so a transformer was installed that has 2 primary 110 volt windings. The soldering jumpers for this are already included in the layout.
This is absolutely common practice in the Hi-Fi sector.
Take a look at the documentation for the Lake People / Violectric devices.

The manufacturer could have sent documentation or referred to a download.
Printing the jumper options on the board is common practice, even for most DIY projects.
Even a sticker for 2 cents under the device or in the lid would have sufficed.

And one must not forget that this device is in the high-price segment, especially in relation to the number of components used and the simple circuitry of the power supply, tube preamp and power amp.
A DIY Whammy headphone amplifier should be similar in terms of the number of components and the complexity of the circuit.
 

aschen

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I get it, easily rewireable transformer, yet still screwed up without proper documentation or markings. If its not marked on the PCB or in the instruction manual then it seems like they don't want the casual home user doing it.

I am no EE tech (though am an ME). I think I could figure it out without an email. Look for primaries that are paralleled for 110v move them to series for 220v so there is still 110 across each of them. Maybe isolate the secondarys and check the voltage(s) before and after and make sure they are correct before hooking back to PCB. Did I get this more or less correct?. I think Cary was careless with their communication and assumed anyone confident enough to go in with a soldering iron would do some sanity checking.

Not defending them really, just that they really had no chance of "winning" here and probably shouldn't have responded at all.
 

High End Refugee

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I would have jumped on the $100 ship cost and let them repair it. With fuel prices as they are, $100 seems more than reasonable.
 
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Varail

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I would have jumped on the $100 ship cost and let them repair it. With fuel prices as they are, $100 seems more than reasonable.
If you read carefully I said that once I found a way to send the board for 200$ they said that they were fine on paying half (100$) but they wanted the full unit instead (10+lbs) which is A LOT more expensive to ship.
At this point I lost all my confidence they wanted to do anything in good faith.
 

Blumlein 88

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If you read carefully I said that once I found a way to send the board for 200$ they said that they were fine on paying half (100$) but they wanted the full unit instead (10+lbs) which is A LOT more expensive to ship.
At this point I lost all my confidence they wanted to do anything in good faith.
They couldn't know whether the problem(s) were the board or elsewhere.
 

ta240

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I'm no attorney, but how can EU warranty law cover an item never sold new in the EU, shipped into the EU 2nd hand where the manufacturer does not do business? We also don't know if it is 4 years old or 20 years old. The OP purchased it from someone 4 years ago.

And even if it was covered how would it possibly be enforced?
 

Remk

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If you read carefully I said that once I found a way to send the board for 200$ they said that they were fine on paying half (100$) but they wanted the full unit instead (10+lbs) which is A LOT more expensive to ship.
At this point I lost all my confidence they wanted to do anything in good faith.
As the defect is not happend in 'normal' use and after the 3 year warranty period. Al they do is goodwil.

But... probably the repair is not to difficult or expensive, rebuilding the power supply on the pcb would cost around 75 euro on parts.
Other part that can be damaged is the power transformer, you can get a custom made new one for under 200 euro. Though a toroid transformer likely survived.

Rem.
 

Punter

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Seriously, the damage to the amp is likely to be isolated to the power supply and possibly just some protective components therein. As you're the second owner of the amp, you don't really have any status with the manufacturer. I'm aware that they gave you and your "tech" some bad advice and that does confer some liability on them but not at the same level as a warranty. I know how you feel though, I was installing an $80,000 transmitter and the manual wasn't very clear about the transformer connections. I called the supplier and their tech gave me some very bad advice. I switched the unit on and I knew straight away that something was wrong. I hit the breakers and killed the power just in time as the main output modules had gone into thermal shutdown. I then made a call to the actual manufacturer in Canada and they gave me the correct advice. Crisis averted! As others have said, find a competent repairer and let them look at the unit. My guess is it will cost less than $200 for the repair.
 
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Varail

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Seriously, the damage to the amp is likely to be isolated to the power supply and possibly just some protective components therein. As you're the second owner of the amp, you don't really have any status with the manufacturer. I'm aware that they gave you and your "tech" some bad advice and that does confer some liability on them but not at the same level as a warranty. I know how you feel though, I was installing an $80,000 transmitter and the manual wasn't very clear about the transformer connections. I called the supplier and their tech gave me some very bad advice. I switched the unit on and I knew straight away that something was wrong. I hit the breakers and killed the power just in time as the main output modules had gone into thermal shutdown. I then made a call to the actual manufacturer in Canada and they gave me the correct advice. Crisis averted! As others have said, find a competent repairer and let them look at the unit. My guess is it will cost less than $200 for the repair.

Can you point at least one point in my story where they made anything right, please? We are talking about a high audiophile company that wont answer your phone call in a crisis. Buyers beware.
 

Billy Budapest

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Can you point at least one point in my story where they made anything right, please? We are talking about a high audiophile company that wont answer your phone call in a crisis. Buyers beware.
Does Cary Audio have a user forum? I think a post there about your issue would get more attention from Cary than here.

Also, as someone suggested earlier, working with Cary’s representative in Romania could help, too.

One final idea—see if Cary or their representative would offer you trade in credit for a new unit.
 

Aperium

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Sorry to be late to this discussion. Just to be clear, some questions.

Did the Carey Amp power cord have a plug for 110V? Are power cord plugs for 110V and 220V the same in your location? If the plugs are different, how did you connect directly to 220V and then experience a problem?
 
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Varail

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Sorry to be late to this discussion. Just to be clear, some questions.

Did the Carey Amp power cord have a plug for 110V? Are power cord plugs for 110V and 220V the same in your location? If the plugs are different, how did you connect directly to 220V and then experience a problem?
A power cord is just a power cord, You can either swap it or use an adaptor. What is important if the unit is compatible with the voltage ..
 
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Varail

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Does Cary Audio have a user forum? I think a post there about your issue would get more attention from Cary than here.

Also, as someone suggested earlier, working with Cary’s representative in Romania could help, too.

One final idea—see if Cary or their representative would offer you trade in credit for a new unit.

So the "creme de la creme" from Cary management killed my unit . Do you think a regular grunt could help me out ?
 
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