SWR Service Problem, San Jose, CA.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jnprather, May 23, 2002.

  1. Hi,

    I am posting here hoping that someone can give me some advice and help, and also to warn others, sorry if it gets a bit lengthy.

    I live in Tracy, California. I have used SWR products exclusively since I began playing (about 4+ years). Prior to my recent experience, I had only needed one service for an SWR amp (A Burned out power switch on a Super Redhead). The only SWR Service Center within any reasonable distance of me (Musicians Service Center) is about an hour and a half away in San Jose, Ca. I took it in, and wasn't really happy with my experience, but the job got done (albeit with a wrong-colored switch and some delay), so that was that.

    About a year ago, I purchased a new SWR Goliath III. About 2 months after I bought it, I discovered that one of the speakers didn't work. At the time, I was hesitant to take my cabinet in for service because of my earlier experiences, and I didn't have a use for it, so I put it off, hoping maybe i'd find another way to get it fixed (I didn't want to ship it to the factory and pay a $50 shipping fee)... until recently, when I developed the need to get my Goliath III fixed. I then took it in to Musician's Service Center. I was told the item wouldn't be covered under warranty because it had been a year. I then told them that the Goliath III was actually covered for 2 years. They told me that they would look at it and if they had a problem with the warranty they'd call me (they also told me they had a 2 week turnaround right now, to which I said okay). A little over 2 weeks later, they called me, and told me that the item was covered under warranty and would be fixed. I assumed that it *would* be covered because I noticed the speaker early on before I had ever run my amp past 1 on it... I figured it was just a defect. Then, a few days later, they called me back and told me that it was a blown speaker that *wouldn't* be covered under warranty. At this point I was kind of bothered because I really didn't think there was any way I could have blown the speaker. It seemed odd, but I figured what the heck and told them to go ahead and fix it... They told me that it would probably take about 5 days to get fixed so I said that was fine. somewhere between 2 and 3 weeks went by with no word from them. Finally, I gave them a call. I was told that they were still waiting for the "reconing kit" to come in, and that they'd call me when it came in. Originally he told me it would take about 3 days to get the parts, so it seemed strange to me that it would take this long, but I let it go. Again, another 2+ weeks went by, with no word... Finally, on Monday of last week (May 13th), I gave them a call and left a message. They called me back, and told me that the reconing kit was in, and that it would be fixed in (3-4 days). Before this, they had always told me it would take 2 days once the parts came in, so now suddenly it's 3-4 days. Oh well, at least i'll have it by this weekend (by this time it had been close to 2 months without my 4x10 cabinet). Sure enough, 3-4 days goes by with no word from them. It's now Thursday of the FOLLOWING week and NINE of their business days since I last spoke with them.

    I'm now quite angry about this situation. If I had known I would go 2+ months without my cabinet, there's no way I would have let them go ahead with the service. The way the situation went, I now begin to question whether my amp should have been covered under warranty or not. It just really seems like there's something strange going on here. I really don't know what I can do about this situation. I really don't feel like I should have to pay full price for this service, and still question whether I should have had to in the first place.

    When this is all said and done (hopefully soon!) I will probably contact SWR about this. Their customer service has always been great and i'm sure they'd like to know about this kind of thing. I hope that some users on this list may be able to share their experiences and/or advice. Any help/opinion is appreciated. At the very least, maybe this can serve as a "heads up" to SWR users in the bay area. Thank you for reading and have a good day!

  2. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy easy there, Ned Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    Hey Tracy, Modesto here. I get the feeling that a service center might call any kind of speaker malfuction or defect a "blown" speaker so they don't have to take extra time to determine the real problem. Since it's under warranty, they will fix it the way they choose, but if it wasn't a warranty claim, I would have just purchased a replacement driver an performed the install myself. Of sourse, you couln't have known that it would be this much hassle. Anyway, another thread here at TB mentioned the fact the SWR no longer does it's own warranty and service work, that they contract it out. I guess they're too big for thier own britches now.

    I've actually owned quite a bit of SWR gear in the past, Redhead, SM-900, Goliath II, BigBen, and now I have an IOD, and they were all purchased used.
  3. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    yup - i think i was the one who reported that, but i think the speaker stuff is still done by SWR. it's just the electrical shiz that gets contracted out.

    i've had 1 good and 1 seminotgood experience

    good = reconed 2 10s, took a week and a half including shipping, did a great job.

    seminotgood = fixed my interstellar overdrive, took a long time, but it's fixed. so i guess i can't REALLY complain.
  4. Thanks again for everyone's replies. SWR emailed me today and told me that they contacted the service place, and that they were told that the delay was because they had discovered that the "magnet had shifted" on my speaker. They told me that this is not normally covered under warranty, but due to everything I had gone through, they would cover it this time, and that I should have it by the end of next week! I find it interesting that I was always told it was a "blown speaker"... the shifted magnet makes more sense because it probably got jolted during shipping, much more likely than me ever blowing my speaker.

    In any event, chalk one up for SWR's support!

  5. Build a working relationship with SWR... send them a nice thank-you note. If there was a specific tech who helped, send a note to his manager. Techs have long memories, both good and bad.
  6. bgavin,

    I already made sure and send many thanks to all of those involved. I was first emailed by Kelly in support, who turned the matter over to the Service Manager for SWR. In all, they delt with the matter in about 15 minutes it looks like. I made sure and thank all of them, and let them know they pretty much erased my first and only bad experience with SWR products or support.
  7. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I've owned a lot of SWR gear through the years and found the company to be very helpful and customer oriented. I'm glad to hear this has not changed since Steve Rabe left the company.

  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    They gave you the ol' "shifted magnet," huh? Are they going to replace the harmonic balancer, too? Usually it goes out if the magnet shifts.
  9. No, they gave me the old "blown speaker"... they gave SWR the old "shifted magnet" :)

    I'm happy to have my situation resolved, I just hate to think that SWR is having to foot the bill for a shady service center...
  10. i have a harmonic balancer on my vette! ......mungi
  11. Well, I finally got my Goliath III back. The guy was a complete jerk to me, and acted like this was some kind of "lesson" for me to learn from. He didn't even offer his thanks for my business let alone any kind of apology for everything I went through... on top of the fact that it was probably twice as dirty as when I gave it to him... !!$^@#... anyway, I took it down to my practice space... I plugged it in and all of the speakers moved, although I wont play on it until tomorrow. I took the grill off to take a closer look at it (the grill was put on very sloppy and not very well done, with a screw missing)... the upper left speaker, the one repaired... looked fine... however... the LOWER LEFT speaker... which wasn't fixed, had a PUSHED IN CONE... obviously the guy accidentally pushed it in and decided to leave it, without even trying to fix it, assuming i'd never notice... I don't *think* it should be a big deal as far as tone goes, but maybe you guys can fill me in about that... A friend of mine suggested taking a vaccum cleaner to it to get it back out... but i'm wary about touching it...

  12. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I've successfully pulled 'em out with a vacuum cleaner, no prob. Just use a good one that really sucks. I used an old standup Kirby.