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What should I do?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Drang22, Nov 8, 2019 at 7:26 PM.


  1. Drang22

    Drang22

    Nov 16, 2017
    Denver, Colorado
    I bought a used (1 or 2 year old) MAS 1-8 speaker from a fellow TB'er a few months ago. The speaker sounded amazing with my Clarus and plywood DB, but had a noticeable rattle or buzz on the low notes- like something vibrating inside the cabinet that I couldn't figure out. I called MAS, and a gentleman there told me that the vibration happens sometimes, and to send it in, and Mike would fix it for free.
    I thought, wow, that is great customer service, and I sent it in. I called Mike, and he said he'd get to it in a few days, no problem.
    That was about 2 months ago. I've had a few communications with Mike since then, in which he has said basically "sorry, I'm incredibly busy, but I'll get to to within a few days". Then nothing happens. Two weeks ago, he returned my call and said it was on his workbench, and he'd have it done soon. Still nothing.
    I'm trying to be patient, and I really appreciate Mike's willingness to fix this at no cost. It's an amazing speaker, and I have had several gigs I would have loved to have used it on. In the last few days, I've left phone and email messages, and had no response.
    I'm at a loss as what to do now. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Tell us all the details please
    - where is the noise coming from?
    - what equipment are you using when this happens? Settings?
    - have you found a way to stop it yourself? eg. notch at a specific frequency, changing pickup, etc.
    - is it intermittent or constant? Volume dependent?
    - have you asked here on TB for advice on fixing it yourself? Plenty of tech wizards here with spare time to help get to the root of it.

    If they have trouble reproducing it, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

    PS. Small business can be incredibly tough. His priority is being able to pay his staff, expenses, meet customer order deadlines, etc. I’ve been there. Still, it is hard waiting that long.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019 at 8:39 PM
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    All good suggestions, Mike is a one man operation and the MAS 1/8 is a unique cabinet design. It's not something you'd likely be able to do a DIY fix on your own.
     
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  4. statsc

    statsc Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Burlington, VT
    I had a similar problem on my MAS 16. It turns out that one of the “nuts” which dig into the plywood that the bolts which hold the speaker on threads into had come loose and was stuck to the speaker magnet, causing a rattle on the low notes. A quick trip to Lowes to get a replacement cured it!
     
    210superair likes this.
  5. Drang22

    Drang22

    Nov 16, 2017
    Denver, Colorado
    Thanks for your input Groove Doctor, its just something loose or rattling around inside the cab. I tried to figure it out, but couldn't. I can't fix it myself anyway, because I don't have it.
     
  6. I was trying to ascertain if you were technical gifted enough to fix it yourself. If so, I’d advise you to have it sent back. The collective brains trust here on TB is very good.

    I love pulling things apart and reverse engineering them. I guess we can’t all be MacGuyvers....
     
    210superair likes this.
  7. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    England
    All this advice is irrelevant. The issue is simply to do with lousy customer service. There’s a guy over here trying to sell a pair of MAS 16 cabs at crazy knockdown prices. No wonder he can’t sell them. Do the decent thing Mike!
     
    Fredrik E. Nilsen likes this.
  8. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Mike's always been great with me, I had to have the power amp section of my MAS 1/8 replaced. He turned it around in less than two weeks.
     
    210superair likes this.
  9. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    England
    No doubt, Ric. But Drang22 doesn’t seem to be similarly favoured this time.
     
    Fredrik E. Nilsen likes this.
  10. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Well, I look at it this way. If I purchase a amplifier or speaker cabinet new, then I expect for the manufacturer to stand by whatever their stated warranty period is (generally a 1 year in the U.S. although the Grace Designs Felix carry's a 5 year transferrable warranty.)
    When I buy something used, there is no warranty, so you're left up to the generosity and availability of the individual who built it. Acoustic Image is a stellar example of this as they repair anything they made, and only charge shipping. Walter Woods charges a flat $500.00 (up from $100.00 over the years)
    for repairs, past his warranty with the exception of the power supply. I buy a lot of gear used and I always check to see what the warranty is before I purchase the unit. Just my opinion however.
     
  11. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I'm so sorry. I've got that cab on my bench right now. I have been crazy busy and sometimes I get like a deer in the headlights.That's why I'm changing my business model. As soon as I get caught up I will not be taking orders. I'll be building cabs and then putting them up for sale on my web site. This way if I need to take time off to work on my house or whatever---I won't have laqte orders hanging over my head.
    This cab is weird. I can't get it to do the problem that it was sent back for. I've played it tons at home and have had it on two gigs. I can't get it to do what the problem the owner was experiencing.
    So---what I'm doing is just replacing all of the innards. It will essentially be a new cab. It will go out on Tuesday.
    Again---I'm really sorry about the wait. As soon as I got the cab I was like---"hmmm---sounds ok to me" And I'd keep going back to it to reproduce the problem. Maybe something was touching something else --like a speaker wire--and the shipping knocked it in place. I don't know. This is an early 18. Since then I have made improvements with wire management and securing components. So--hopefully when it's shipped back the problem won't reoccur.
    In the future I'll be building cabs when I want. I will no longer be in the position of pressure that I've been in for the last few years. If Faital runs out of 4 inch mids and it will be 3 months until they have them in the US--fine. (this just happened) Or if everyone in the US is out of round Speakon jacks and it will take months for Neutrik to re-supply---not my problem. (this happened a few months ago.If people are concerned about the quality of my cabs or customer service--fine. Please don't buy my cabs.I've worked my butt off to try to make cabs that do some very unique things that other cabs don't. With no help. It was fun at first--but not now. I'll be moving to a model where I'll develop new cabs as I see fit. And have fun doing it. The reason that I'm still doing it by myself is that the profit margins are so low that there isn't enough profit for outside manufacturing. At Musicmesse in Frankfort--three huge European manufacturers approached me because they were blown away and wanted my speakers as part of their lines. I then told them about the parts cost and complexity of build. All three said that they'd need to charge twice as much to make a profit. One was still interested---they thought it would be a fair price. I didn't want to go through the hassle.
    BTW--both Duke and I have had cabs returned where we couldn't hear the problems that were occuring.We've both just sold the cabs to the next guy in line. And have had no complaints.
    I'm not saying that the problem wasn't there--just that I can't seem to reproduce it. The cab will be completely rebuilt with new componenents. Maybe it'll be ok. And this is a used cab that I'm not making money on. And I'm doing it for free. Including return shipping.
     
  12. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    In the future I think I will refer UK orders to a wonderfully ethical UK bass cab manufacturer that I know.
     
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  13. The guy is a one-man shop. And a busy professional (heavy!) bass player at the same. I think his situation is utterly unique and deserves a little more understanding than most. Mike actually answered the phone and spend some quality time answering my questions about a cab I ended up buying used here. And he took the time to call me when I'd emailed him questions about his 18 cabs. I've had way, way worse response from Eden (back in the day) and quite a few other high end companies...
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 1:11 PM
  14. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    Also---Drang had been totally cool about this and I can understand his frustration. I'm really sorry.
     
  15. statsc

    statsc Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Burlington, VT
    Mike is a stand up guy who builds an amazing product, which probably explains why he’s so busy! I’ve had so many positive comments from other musicians who can’t believe the size and quality of sound I get from my little MAS 16, so much so that I’ve ordered an MAS 18 for louder gigs. The proof is really in the pudding; it’s definitely worth the wait!
     
    210superair and Ric Vice like this.
  16. 210superair

    210superair

    Sep 10, 2019
    Don't know Mike, but I'd buy something from him after reading this thread. A steakhouse can't kick out ur dinner as fast as McDonald's. That's why it's worth the wait.
     
  17. Thanks for responding @Mike Arnopol

    The worst faults are the ones you can’t reproduce. You never know if you’ve actually fixed them. You spend 10x longer on them than other repairs. Then after all that the problem is either still there, or they’re miffed it took so long. Bane of my existence too (.... but at least I get paid for my time. Hats off to you Sir).
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 6:51 PM
  18. Drang22

    Drang22

    Nov 16, 2017
    Denver, Colorado
    Mike, thanks so much for responding. And I totally understand being so busy that things fall through the cracks or get delayed. I run a one man business myself, and I've been there. I have no hard feelings at all, and I will continue to recommend your speakers to anyone- far and away the best I've ever heard. It's very strange that you could not reproduce the very noticeable vibration or rattle that I experienced, but that does make the delay understandable- it wasn't a simple fix. Thanks again-
     
  19. kerrycares

    kerrycares Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    As a small business owner I totally agree that the real issue here was customer service and more specifically communication.
    As busy professionals, we have to provide timely customer service to stay in business and ever hope to grow into becoming thriving or larger.

    As a customer I really hate chasing my money or chasing expectations once they’ve been established and I really get upset if I am ever the culprit.

    One of the early business lessons I learned was “under promise ,then over deliver”.
    When a person tells me “i’m Busy” or “i’m Sorry” I just sit back and wonder if they ever take into consideration how busy I am or how much anxiety or inconvenience could have been eliminated by an email , a text or a 30 second phone call.

    On Talkbass there are numerous threads of builders that don’t communicate and/or run off with the money of fellow bass players.
    There are also numerous builders that can’t estimate a job or a timeline if their own lives depended on it ....... lol!
    Unfortunately I have had too many dealings with a number of them so now I choose to buy used from fellow Talkbassers and avoid the hassle altogether and wait until I read great reviews about them ,their products and their customer service.

    I LIKE MIKE AND HIS COMMITMENT TO MAKING BASS BETTER AND I BELIEVE HE DOES GOOD WORK.
    I look forward to seeing his new business model launch and wish him much success.

    Speaking of bass players that launched small growing concerns , Marcus Miller’s Sire basses are being sold at Guitar Center.
    Heck , I remember visiting Ken Smith in 1984 when he was selling basses out of his New York apartment and Vinney Fodera was in collaboration and building basses with Ken.
    I never imagined they’d go on to change the bass world!

    I just bugs me to see grievances aired out on social media and I hope that the Talkbass community doesn’t become a dumping ground.
     
    Groove Doctor, Earl and Ric Vice like this.

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