You Don't know What You Got 'Til It's (Temporarily) Gone

Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
So I'm dusting my speakers a little while back and notice that a crack has developed on one of the baffles. Upon closer inspection I see there's a screw on a seam where the crack starts. Sigh...

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I sent those images to Dina, which she showed to Dave and determined it's a manufacturing defect and agreed to replace it under warranty. Nice. However, we had to wait 6 weeks for their next shipment of cabinets and since it's cosmetic it had no effect on sq so I was still able to use and enjoy them. Well they finally got the new cabs in emailed me a shipping label so I packed it up and dropped it off at UPS on Tuesday.

I haven't been trying very hard to sell the Ultras because I knew I would be without speakers during this time so I hung onto them. Now, when I first hooked up the Sierras my perception was that they are a nicer sounding speaker, but I couldn't definitively say how or why. I hooked the Ultras back up when I got back from UPS, ran Audyssey then REW'd and Mini'd my bass in and put some music on. My wife's music. It was her day off and she likes to listen to country music that she's super familiar with. As soon as the song started we both just looked at each other, surprised. Suprpised because the difference was so noticeable, and doubly so for me that my wife instantly noticed too!

I know, I know. The ol' "my wife can hear the difference!" cliché... I'm not talking about something amp comparisons tho, and there was a time when my wife would absolutely not know the difference, much less give me a look the instant the music started playing. I guess long story short, it's more noticeable now that we've spent so much time with the Sierras than when we first got them. I'm not saying the Ultras suck or that they're not still good speakers, but the Sierras are in another class. Enough so that my wife, who very begrudgingly agreed to let me buy the Sierras, is no longer so begrudging about it and in fact can't wait for the return. Just that alone tickles me, knowing that she's grown to love great audio as much as I do. She's spoiled now!

Anyhoo, I know I've been absent for a bit. No real reason, just been kinda busy but things have been good.
 
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Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Now for the vent part. I've been in contact with Ascend on numerous occasions and have consistently been dealing with them forgetting to return calls numerous times. The last time was when Dina called me last Thursday to let me know the cabinets were in. She needed to talk to Dave and would would get back to me by the end of the day to let me know the shipping details. She never called me back. I gave it until Monday and called again to find out I was forgotten about. Again.

This has happened numerous times now, but I let it slide. Times are weird right now and poop happens. I got my shipping label Tuesday and got the receipt with the tracking number which I texted to Dina. She was very apologetic and assured me that they'll be tracking and watching out for my speaker so they could turn it around quickly and get it back to me.

I just checked tracking and see if they got it yet to see the message "Delivery attempted, sorry we missed you. WIll try again tomorrow"...

Now I'm a patient guy, but at what point does one begin to feel very dicked around and start getting angry? This type of thing keeps happening with these guys and I keep getting excuses. They could have turned it around and got it back to me possibly as soon as this Saturday, but now probably won't be until after the weekend. Not to mention the extra mileage it's going to spend bouncing around in the back of a UPS truck, increasing risk of possible mishandling or damage. I'm still being nice and understanding when talking with Dina, but my patience is wearing pretty thin.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Spartan
Now for the vent part. I've been in contact with Ascend on numerous occasions and have consistently been dealing with them forgetting to return calls numerous times. The last time was when Dina called me last Thursday to let me know the cabinets were in. She needed to talk to Dave and would would get back to me by the end of the day to let me know the shipping details. She never called me back. I gave it until Monday and called again to find out I was forgotten about. Again.

This has happened numerous times now, but I let it slide. Times are weird right now and poop happens. I got my shipping label Tuesday and got the receipt with the tracking number which I texted to Dina. She was very apologetic and assured me that they'll be tracking and watching out for my speaker so they could turn it around quickly and get it back to me.

I just checked tracking and see if they got it yet to see the message "Delivery attempted, sorry we missed you. WIll try again tomorrow"...

Now I'm a patient guy, but at what point does one begin to feel very dicked around and start getting angry? This type of thing keeps happening with these guys and I keep getting excuses. They could have turned it around and got it back to me possibly as soon as this Saturday, but now probably won't be until after the weekend. Not to mention the extra mileage it's going to spend bouncing around in the back of a UPS truck, increasing risk of possible mishandling or damage. I'm still being nice and understanding when talking with Dina, but my patience is wearing pretty thin.
Wait a minute, Pogue, don't get the President just yet. Maybe we should consider this for a second. Maybe, and I'm just Spit Balling here, maybe, we have a responsibility as Audioholics. Maybe we as Audioholics have a responsibility to this Forum to see to that the men and women charged with its Delivery are trained professionals. Yes, I'm certain that I read that somewhere once. And now I'm thinking, Pogue, that your suggestion of being Dicked", while expeditious and certainly painless, might not be, in a matter of speaking, the Audioholics way. Ascend Acoustics stays where they are. We're gonna trust Dina and Dave

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NINaudio

NINaudio

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ugh, sorry to read this. Glad you're ok though. I was starting to wonder.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
When I had an issue with FedEx handling of my speaker deliveries from Dennis, I felt so bad calling him. At one point he even said FedEx was going to be the end of him. :eek:
I don't know how big Ascend's operation truly is, but I would give them the benefit of the doubt, my friend. :)
Hell, even when I was trying to figure out what was going on with my 3's as Dennis was going through his situation, I knew I couldn't/shouldn't take it out on Jim. In the end, for me, it paid off as Jim could have easily just ditched the project.

Patience and a righteous attitude will get you much further!

In the mean time, now you know exactly how important getting that Horizon Center, or another Sierra2 is!!! :)

Keep your eyes on the prize, cause the only step up from those is gonna be dropping ~$20K with Salk!!!

(Though Dennis is working on a new BMR Tower to go with his new line of speakers!!! :cool: )
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Ugh, sorry to read this. Glad you're ok though. I was starting to wonder.
Aw, shucks. Yeah man, all is well in the Pogre household still.

In a way this almost kind of a good thing, if you squint real hard... :p

I probably would never have hooked the Ultras back up, might have even sold them by now but for that crack. Having the Ultras back in the system is a nice eye opener and reassurance that I think I did good and got better speakers. It was eye opening for my wife too! That's the part that tickles me the most. There was a time when I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have noticed, much less give a poop, lol.

A few observations. The Ultras still sound detailed to me and have deeper bass overall, but the sound seems tighter compared to the Sierras. As in like the drivers sound stiffer and like a little more power to "loosen them up". The Sierras seem to reproduce sound more effortlessly and are just as good at low volumes as when you crank them up. The Ultras seem to like a little more power before they really open up.

The Sierras have a wider soundstage and better imaging. The mid bass is more detailed and textured. Songs with lots of bass sound more... muscular, if that makes any sense. Midrange is more detailed and present, and the the RAAL tweets... if I had not spent this time with them I don't think I would have noticed before, but yeah. So much smoother, open and cleaner. I'm totally spoiled now and will never look at a dome tweeter the same again. Now, I haven't heard the best of the best in dome tweeters so that's subject to change, but for now I'm absolutely a ribbon man.

So yeah, there's at least a bit of silver lining with the story. I'm noticing the differences more now than when I first got the Sierras. The experience is making me appreciate my new speakers even more, and I get that "new gear is on the way" feeling of something to look forward to again... Even if it ends up taking a little longer than it should.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
When I had an issue with FedEx handling of my speaker deliveries from Dennis, I felt so bad calling him. At one point he even said FedEx was going to be the end of him. :eek:
I don't know how big Ascend's operation truly is, but I would give them the benefit of the doubt, my friend. :)
Hell, even when I was trying to figure out what was going on with my 3's as Dennis was going through his situation, I knew I couldn't/shouldn't take it out on Jim. In the end, for me, it paid off as Jim could have easily just ditched the project.

Patience and a righteous attitude will get you much further!

In the mean time, now you know exactly how important getting that Horizon Center, or another Sierra2 is!!! :)

Keep your eyes on the prize, cause the only step up from those is gonna be dropping ~$20K with Salk!!!

(Though Dennis is working on a new BMR Tower to go with his new line of speakers!!! :cool: )
Ha! I just finished my post about finding silver linings that shares this sentiment.

Couple things tho, this isn't a UPS screw up. They delivered when they said they would, there was no one there to accept it. This is after a conversation with them where I gave the tracking number and was reassured I'm top priority and they'd be looking out for it. I don't like calling and bugging either. I waited 3 business days (5 total) before calling back to ask about shipping details after I was told they'd be in contact by the end of that day. Same thing happened when I first sent the images of the crack. I waited for days for a reply before I called to ask if she even got the images. There are a couple more examples of late, or plain not returned phone calls. I just haven't included them.
 
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afterlife2

afterlife2

Audioholic Warlord
Hope it gets resolved quickly! I know you love and cherish these.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
UPDATE!

I just checked tracking again and it's showing delivered now (hour and a half ago). Looks like Dina was able to get hold of the driver (as she said she was trying to do) and got him to swing back by again so we should be back on track. I think. She told me she would call as soon as they got it back and I have not gotten that call yet...
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Spartan
and will never look at a dome tweeter the same again. Now, I haven't heard the best of the best in dome tweeters so that's subject to change, but for now I'm absolutely a ribbon man.
.
I forgot the Tweeter that SVS is using in the Ultras but its no Slouch (unless they have changed it). I remember having a conversation with Tom V about it, but it was a while ago and can't remember what it is.
 
M

Mpsafranski

Audioholic
Feel ya @Pogre. Dina was never anything but sweet when I’d talk to her. But with my order it was one delay in the shipment of a cabinet, a part, etc after another. At first I was told it’d be a month but it ended up being 4. Then another month for the horizon to show up. It was so frustrating because the timeline was one reason I went with them vs Salk. And I’ll tell you what I really wanted those Salk cabinets.

all is good now, obviously but those months and delays were torture.

Glad that at least they are doing right by you with the warranty.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I forgot the Tweeter that SVS is using in the Ultras but its no Slouch (unless they have changed it). I remember having a conversation with Tom V about it, but it was a while ago and can't remember what it is.
It's no slouch at all, and I will still recommend Ultra speakers for the right price range.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
@Mpsafranski, curious, were your issues with Ascend covid related or from before? I'd forgotten about Pogre's crack issue (wait, that didn't come out quite right :) )...glad its being resolved. I've had several dealings with Ascend but a few years ago, and found the communication/service quite good.

I'm glad I'm no longer in international logistics, or a business depending on various international supply lines, during a time like this....it's gotta be nuts in general and we're not out of the woods....
 
M

Mpsafranski

Audioholic
@lovinthehd it was pre Covid, last fall.

It isn’t an attempt to smear their name or anything, I love the speakers. And they were very kind. There were a few times where I felt like I’d been given the runaround though. And I gave them the benefit of the doubt seeing as though they’re a small operation and things happen. But so many “couple more weeks” delays led to about 16 weeks of waiting.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
@lovinthehd it was pre Covid, last fall.

It isn’t an attempt to smear their name or anything, I love the speakers. And they were very kind. There were a few times where I felt like I’d been given the runaround though. And I gave them the benefit of the doubt seeing as though they’re a small operation and things happen. But so many “couple more weeks” delays led to about 16 weeks of waiting.
I didn't think it was, while I think they do overall well with CS, I've read of other issues as well, not everything always works out the way you want in running a business. Was just curious if yours might have been covid related.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
When I was shopping speakers at the end of 2018, Ascend informed me there were delays in getting the cabinets (Bamboo Shortage). It would have been months for me to get some of what I wanted to order.
I still want to hear the gear, and would love to A/B it with the Phil3 and BMR...
Regardless...
This is the risk of small operations. Salk is no different. The consumer is at the whim of the situation.
I Raals can't get delivered, or dyes, or ScanSpeak or Seas drivers...

What's an eager audio-head to do? :)
 

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