telephone call

Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 50: Call 7

Telephone call on 31 March 2009

Bruce:

  • Apologised that no further progress had been made
  • Stated that he needed to remove one (or both?) of the transformers
  • Explained that this was causing a delay as they were firmly glued to... something
  • Needed a tool to address this
  • Couldn't find it as his workshop needed putting in order
  • Was proposing to do that before spending any more time on my amp
  • Wanted to get the amp fixed and out of his workshop so I would no longer be calling him up and "bitching" at him (his word)
  • Admitted that the Superfly was such a complex design that it ended up costing so much to manufacture than he couldn't make a profit on it at the advertised price
  • Denied that the Superfly was still offered for sale
  • Was surprised to be told that it was prominently featured on his web site
  • Made some more grudging apologies
  • Hung up on me

So this call didn't go particularly well, both of us lost our cool and nothing was achieved except that some of my suspicions concerning the commercial viability of the Superfly were confirmed.

As of October 2009, there are several retailers in the US and UK advertising "new" Superflys in stock or to order. If you've read this far, you would be expected not to want to buy one at any (low) price.

I decided that calling Bruce was no longer effective, so sent him a terse email with a few reminders - see part 51.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 49: Call 6

Telephone call on 17 March 2009

Bruce:

  • "Had the camera in his hands"
  • Was getting round to the "non-typical" tasks
  • Was using Nate "as his hands"
  • Took some pictures during the call
  • Explained the procedure required for testing a UK-spec amp
  • Believes reverb is now fixed
  • Will send pictures and get Nate back on it when he returns from lunch

From: zinky@zinky.com
Subject: Superfly
Date: 17 March 2009 21:44:07 GMT
To: david@dave.st

NATE and I will be testing and assembling this right now....

New Superfly board, on top of chassis...

With one of the transformers (Power) used to test the board. Output not shown. Note Power and Standby switches in old Footswtich box.

So my call at least prompted Bruce physically to take a couple of pictures and get them sent to me (see left).

How much more was done "after lunch" I doubt, but there at least is my amp... in bits, on the bench.

But Nate's attention must have been diverted because another two weeks went by and the "shipping information" that I had been assured of on 3 March did not materialise.

Low on patience I called Bruce again - see part 50.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 48: Call 5

Telephone call on 3 March 2009

  • Nothing had progressed
  • "Trying to keep the lights on"
  • Will be in contact later in the week
  • Would send some pictures and notification of shipping

This was a very hurried call, suggesting that the task of "keeping the lights on" was very time-consuming and that discussing with me work that should have been wrapped up many months ago - or even better doing it - was not a priority.

Little surprise then that the communications referred to did not materialise. So yet another call was required - see part 49.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 47: Call 4

Telephone call on 10 February 2009

  • Nothing more had been done on the electrics
  • Bruce would supply me the silver case for $175
  • The only other cost was $60 for the new power valves
  • I could pay by credit card once the amp was ready
  • Sorry about the delay

From: david@dave.st
Subject: Confirmation of agreed costs for Superfly Amp
Date: 10 February 2009 20:35:57 GMT
To: zinky@zinky.com

Just to confirm our earlier telephone conversation, you agreed to supply the used silver coloured head case at a cost to me of $175. The only other charge is $60 for the new power tubes, giving a total of $235 which I can pay by credit card when the amp is reassembled and ready to ship.

Regards,

David

The call was productive in the sense that I could have the silver case, but tediously predictable in that nothing had been done with the amp, irrespective of the issue of re-covering the case.

I decided to fire off a confirmation email just so it was in writing.

I had no real idea of how soon the rest of the work would be done; not very soon as it turned out, judging by my next call - see part 48.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 45: Call 3

Telephone call on 5 February 2009

  • The silver case has not been stripped even
  • The electrical work has not been finished
  • Bruce is sorry for the continuing delays

From: zinky@zinky.com
Subject: Re: Superfly progress in Feb
Date: 5 February 2009 23:48:34 GMT
To: david@dave.st

As I have said before, the replacement tubes were weak.

The problem with tubes is that the "acceptable" range runs the gamut from long lasting, but weak, to tubes that run hot and burn out very fast.

We buy all of our tubes pre-selected within a very narrow transconductance and plate current range. This yields tubes with long life, as well as maximum power. Tubes which fall outside of the desirable range are often sold to vendors which brand the tubes, silkscreening their own logos on the tubes. I think that's what you had in there.

Anyway, the new tubes are $60. You will pay nothing else. I will pay the shipping.

I can't supply a cabinet, because my glues are contact cements, which do not keep the vinyl from creeping, thus gaps in the material can occur. A harder glue is needed, and we don't have that here. Sending the cabinet out is not advised, as our cabinet maker takes three months to do anything. Lastly, we don't have the time to strip and sand this cabinet, nor do we have the time to make a single new cabinet from scratch.

BZ

This is really not what I wanted to hear.

I mentioned the replacement power valves and this was the first topic in a surprise email I received from Bruce later the same day (see below right). This email contained even more unwelcome information: they simply couldn't get the silver case re-covered! This despite being told during my first call on 3 December 2008 that "Nate" would do it next day.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 44: Call 2

Telephone call on 2 January 2009

  • The silver case had not been re-covered yet
  • Bruce would make a real effort to finish the electrics over the weekend of 3/4 January
  • The case could be sent out to be re-covered and should be done by the week ending 11 January
  • Due to a trade show in the week beginning 12 January, the work to finish off the amp would be done in the week beginning 19 January

I wasn't exactly overjoyed that "Nate" had not found the time to get the case re-covered in the intervening month since Bruce had assured me he'd be tackling it next day.

But at least there was something of a revised plan shaping up. Or so I thought...

Nearly five weeks later I've heard nothing more, so it's time for another call - see part 45.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 43: Call 1

Telephone call on 3 December 2008

  • There were no black-covered head cases available
  • A silver-covered case was to hand
  • "Nate" would re-cover it the next day

So I called the company and to my surprise got straight through to Bruce. The discussion focused on the availability or otherwise of a new head-only case.

He apologised for the delay and when pressed, gave the information on the right.

Being the eternal optimist, I took this as a positive sign and left them to get on with it, expecting that finally the work could be wrapped up.

When I had not heard anything more for yet another month, I figured I'd better call again - see part 44.

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