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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 58: Get It On The Way?

From: zinky@zinky.com
Subject: Re: Shipping the Superfly amp
Date: 19 October 2009 15:55:38 BST
To: david@dave.st

David;

Sorry about that. As I've said before, the chassis is done. I just need to bolt it into your shipping contraption and get it on the way.

[my home address]

I'll do that today.

BZ

Ah, more apologies but no explanation where the last month went to.

Oh, and no mention of the silver case that should be housing the amp instead of my home-made shipping board.

Time for yet another reminder before Bruce ships me just the chassis. I wonder if that will stop him in his tracks as on previous occasions - see part 59.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 57: How Familiar

From: david@dave.st
Subject: re: Shipping the Superfly amp
Date: 19 October 2009 12:55:20 BST
To: zinky@zinky.com

So a month has passed since my last email below with no further progress. No tracking number, no communication, no amp. How familiar.

If you've really fixed it, as per your emails of 15 and 17 September, what's the problem with shipping it?

David

Frustration soars again - as far as I know Bruce now has a working amp, a silver case, a stock of power valves and my home address.

Just take my money and send it back. According to his reply it is indeed as simple as that - see part 58.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 56: Just Checking

From: david@dave.st
Subject: Shipping the Superfly amp.
Date: 17 September 2009 17:39:47 BST
To: info@zinky.com

Hi Bruce,

That's a pleasant surprise to hear you've done the work.

First up then, my address is:

[my home address]

Second up, please include the reverb pan I shipped out with it. Also I hope you will be shipping the new power tubes and silver-covered case as discussed at some length in February of this year. I am still willing to pay the agreed amounts for the latter two items.

Regards,

David

So, nothing complicated, just a reminder of what I'm expecting and an offer still to pay the agreed price for the silver case as well as the power valves.

That can't present a problem after all this time and discussion surely?

Well as suddenly as Bruce appeared to be focused on the amp again, he dropped it - see part 57.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 55: Ship Tomorrow!?

From: zinky@zinky.com
Subject: Re: $1000 says you can fix my Superfly by 31 July
Date: 15 September 2009 02:06:01 BST
To: david@dave.st

replaced the failed relay today.

Should ship tomorrow, no charge.

BZ

From: zinky@zinky.com
Subject: Re: $1000 says you can fix my Superfly by 31 July
Date: 17 September 2009 16:54:24 BST
To: david@dave.st

David;

could you email the address you want this chassis sent to:

info@zinky.com

That's the shipping computer. This computer is at my house.

BZ

PS: also had to replace the Mercury Magnetics brand reverb transformer...Which would have been the second MM reverb transformer in your amp we had to replace.

I knew the first one was junk (which is why we replaced it), but I had no idea the second one would fail, too.

We used a Marvel transformer to replace it, which is what we use for every reverb transformer now (No failures in the 5 or 6 years we've used them).

BZ

Oh, joy - actual activity! Ship tomorrow! A second email!

Some harsh words about their transformer suppliers there.

But hang on... what about the silver case? Perhaps I should send yet another reminder of what I'm expecting - see part 56.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 54: Paid Nothing, Got Nothing

From: david@dave.st
Subject: Re: $1000 says you can fix my Superfly by 31 July
Date: 9 September 2009 10:05:29 BST
To: zinky@zinky.com

But 90 days on, I have paid nothing and I have got nothing. In fact I have every reason to think that since you emailed some pictures on 17 March, you have done nothing, at all. I would be most happy to be corrected on that.

Just to confirm, my $1,000 offer is withdrawn.

David

31 July came and went and much as expected, Bruce had not put in the effort to fix the amp that I would have rewarded with the $1,000.

So another 90 days after I made the offer, it was time for an email.

Had Bruce really done nothing at all since 17 March? Six days later came a rather surprising reply - see part 55.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 53: Empty Assurance

From: zinky@zinky.com
Subject: Re: $1000 says you can fix my Superfly by 31 July
Date: 11 June 2009 21:43:57 BST
To: david@dave.st

I will finish it, and you will pay nothing.

BZ

Obviously whatever Bruce needed to devote all his time to was more lucrative even than a $1,000 bounty on fixing my amp.

So back came an effectively worthless assurance that he would do so at no cost - but when? No time soon it transpired - see part 54.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 52: Worth Your While?

From: david@dave.st
Subject: $1000 says you can fix my Superfly by 31 July
Date: 11 June 2009 21:04:18 BST
To: zinky@zinky.com

Hi Bruce,

I was thinking about this... there's no motivation for you to finish fixing my amp because as soon as you go back to working on it, it's costing you money, especially since you offered to waive the upgrade and return shipping costs back in October of last year. With a finite amount of your time available, it's more appealing to spend it in ways that actually generate revenue and will be "keeping the lights on" as you put it in a telephone call on 3 March this year. As a side point, you clearly haven't put a value on your reputation had I chosen to comment publicly on the circumstances of this warranty/upgrade work.

So here's the offer: I pay you $1000 to finish the work on the amp as discussed and ship it back to me by - say - 31 July, which sounds like a reasonable timescale to me in view of what has gone before. Compared to the $235 which I was otherwise expecting to pay for the used case and new power tubes, you're still "quids in" as we say over here even after you've paid for the return shipping.

Why this sudden initiative? After much consideration it felt like a pragmatic alternative to putting the equivalent amount of money or more into the pocket of some Arizona lawyer and breaking out of this tedious waiting game that way.

David

After some initial searching, it became obvious that, being separated by thousands of miles, the legal option could be costly and time-consuming itself.

I then had a brainwave - Bruce has no motivation to fix my amp. Would a direct financial incentive tip the balance? Worth a try...

The email response was almost immediate and worthy of any English cricketer's "straight bat" defensive stroke - see part 53.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 51: Food For Thought

From: david@dave.st
Subject: Re: Superfly
Date: 17 May 2009 23:15:29 BST
To: zinky@zinky.com

A few links to consider

http://www.zinky.com/superfly.html

whereas

http://www.zinky.com/service.html

and finally:

[URL for austin.craigslist.org listing 1150924407]

...the last paragraph is very reassuring. Do let me know if for some reason the page is not on-line any more, I've saved a copy.

The Superfly amplifier that I shipped to you on April 14 2008 remains my property, which I have been unable to use now for over a year. I have
not asked you to carry out any work on it other than what was previously
agreed by email before I shipped it. Any suggestions of you waiving the
return shipping and upgrade costs have been yours alone, as per your
emails of October 27 2008 and February 5 2009.

It is now two months since you emailed me the two pictures of the amp on
your workbench and over a month since my last telephone call on March
31st. I would be curious to know whether you or Nate have actually touched my amp since the latter date?

David Jackson

Before sending this email I checked the Zinky web site customer service page - it was blank (see picture on left and just for fun, try clicking the link in the email text!).

I also did a web search to see if anyone was offering a Superfly for sale, and I got lucky: there on the well-known CraigsList site was an ad which sang the amp's praises and made much of the Lifetime Warranty provided by Zinky.

For example:

It's truly a work of art and has a lifetime warranty, because Bruce warranties his amps for life.

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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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