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  • Frustrations of this Hobby

    I'm sure we all have experienced annoyances, disappointments, anger, and many other negative emotions from this hobby over the rears. My recent disappointment and frustration with this hobby - record buying. First, is the obvious one - buying used records that aren't graded properly. However, I never would of thought returning a sealed record would create such frustration. I recently purchased a $60 sealed record from Acoustic Sounds. After reading some new reviews on the pressing, I decided to return it sealed, unopened within the 30 day return policy. I receive an email saying the corners of the jacket got dinged in transit and they are deducting a 20% restocking fee for the return. First, the reissues are cheaper cardboard and not high quality. The high expense for audiophile records in most cases is not for the high quality packaging, artwork, and outer jacket. They are often really cheap considering what we pay for the record. Second, I guess we need to buy insurance on returned sealed records? Third, I've received a lot of new sealed records where the jackets are not 100% mint. This is highly subjective and I really don't care if a corner is dinged and have never bothered to bring it up to the retailer. Are we supposed to return these and expect unobtainable perfect corner on all our shipped records? Is this hobby getting that pretentious? Am I in the minority, or do you expect perfection in every sense of the word from this hobby? I think we add one more to the list…"You know you're an audiophile if…." Maybe I'm not an audiophile to this point? What are some of your frustrations?

  • #2
    if I paid $60 for a new record that was dog eared before I even broke the seal, it would bother me. I don't know how bad the corners were dinged I guess if you called them rather than use email the result might have been different. I've never had a problem returning a record to Acoustic sounds for what I perceived was a 'bad' pressing. Its the habitual 'returners' with buyer's remorse which trigger vendors to slap restocking fees, I'm not saying that's what happened here.
    TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | Boulder | Magico

    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

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    • #3
      This was my first return actually after ordering dozens of records. I called and received a return RMA number. I received an email from Acoustic Sounds saying they were deducting 20%. I'm not sure what recourse buyers have anymore. It may have even been dinged when I received it, as I don't care about that as others may. Better customer service is also something I would think to be better in this industry, considering how much buyers are spending on this hobby. Maybe there isn't enough competition? I mean, how many places can you buy some of these audiophile records or even equipment? In many cases, there is only one game in town. I care about greatly about music quality, but I guess I'm not hardcore in this hobby to the point that many are.

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      • #4
        I remember purchasing some LPs from a small independent used reseller and wanted to return 3 of them. NP. But they were returned dog eared and I got dinged big time from them, much more than 20%. I don't purchase much from them any more needless to say.

        Another frustration I've had is I think I was sent a used/demo amp when I purchased new. Difficult to prove, and from a high end dealer for some very expensive gear. Don't go there any more either.
        Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

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        • #5
          I think part of the pleasure of the hobby is dealing with the issues that come up. Often, I will think-oh, shit, this is a serious problem, and it turns out to be a minor one- reseating of a tube or something. Occasionally, i've had more involved issues, but, knock wood, I've been pretty lucky, I guess with the current system, which dates to about 2007 or so. Back when I was running the SP-10mk ii preamp, I had a regular cycle of sending it to ARC to tweak it, hot rod it, get rid of noises, change tube sockets, etc. Not that it was a bad preamp- it was a classic, but man that thing had so many tubes in it- ugh.
          Records- it is hit or miss. Chad's packing is pretty good, if the record came to you dinged, you shouldn't have gotten knocked on the return, in my view. I buy so many old records, I guess I expect to face warps, mold, scratches and assorted other nasties. If it is a record for serious money, I'll return it. Usually, it's the cheapies, and it isn't worth the trouble or postage. One thing I've learned--mentioned this elsewhere- when you buy records from "Heidi's Gifts 'n Things" don't expect much in the way of serious grading.
          I bought an older record recently- asked the seller to confirm that it wasn't warped, and he sent me a brusque response, to the effect that "you'd have to be an idiot to sell warped records...". Guess what? I didn't bother to write him, or seek a refund. I'll stick it in the Furutech, and chances are, it will be fine.
          My compressor is making a burbling noise at the regulator- not loud, you have to put your ear to it, but, I called Silentaire- and said, you know, there's no drain on this thing. What's up? It apparently has an electronic gizmo that keeps the moisture out, but I have to refresh one of several filters. Like I said, it's always something, but as long as it's not freak-out time, I'm good. On those occasions (rare) when a component needs to go back to factory or something that takes me out of play--even for a short while--I'm always a little fidgety 'til I get it back and things are running again. But, on balance, whatever W.C. Fields said.

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