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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 46: Cabinet Workaround

From: david@dave.st
Subject: Re: Superfly progress in Feb
Date: 6 February 2009 11:34:13 GMT
To: zinky@zinky.com

I take your point about the tubes.

There seems to be another option regarding the cabinet which you have not mentioned, namely that I have the silver-covered one and either live with the colour or get it recovered at my leisure here in England.

So how much for the silver cabinet? Less than the $290 originally quoted for a re-covered one I would hope.

David Jackson

It seemed so straight-forward and would hopefully break the deadlock:

I'd like to have a black case, but would settle for a silver one and could shop around for an affordable re-covering service in the UK once I'd received it.

So that just left the amp to be finished up...

Except that my email wasn't replied to, so after a few days, yet another call seemed necessary - see part 47.

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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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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 42: And The Rest?

From: david@dave.st
Subject: Re: Resending: Superfly progress in October
Date: 27 October 2008 16:35:56 GMT
To: info@zinky.com

OK, but may I PLEASE have confirmation, for third time of asking, that as well as the reverb fix, general upgrade and new power tubes, you can still supply a head-only cabinet with black grille cloth at $290 cost to me?

Regards,

David

Perhaps using some CAPITAL LETTERS will help?

No, in fact I got no reply and was so fed up with trying to get a straight answer from Mr Zinky that I left it for another month.

Then I had an idea - it's not so easy to dodge questions like that during a telephone call. The number's on the Zinky website so in early December 2008 I decided to give him a call - see part 43.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 41: Free Update?

From: info@zinky.com
Subject: Re: Resending: Superfly progress in October
Date: 27 October 2008 15:58:09 GMT
To: david@dave.st

Hello David;

This has taken so long, I can't charge for the update any more.

I have the amp on my bench. I have not had the opportunity to finish the amp yet. The problem was that the reverb control wasn't working properly, and I had to take the main circuit board out to get at the circuitry. We haven't made Superfly amps for years, so I had to reset the test systems for testing Superfly amps. I'm going to do my best to get it finished this week, as the sooner it gets done, the sooner I can have that bench back.

Sorry for the delays,

BZ

Suddenly the whole task appears more laborious than the early "nearly fixed it" emails implied.

But Bruce is going to try to get it done within a week and there'll be no charge for the update - that's got to be good?

I still haven't got confirmation on the other requirements though, so I had to send yet another email asking the same thing - see part 42.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 40: What About The Rest?

From: david@dave.st
Subject: Re: Superfly progress in September
Date: 16 September 2008 23:27:22 BST
To: info@zinky.com

Thanks for the reply. So can I just confirm that the head-only cabinet and new power tubes been taken care of too?

Regards,

David

From: david@dave.st
Subject: Superfly progress in October
Date: 14 October 2008 17:16:14 BST
To: info@zinky.com

It must be that time of the month when I wonder again why I've had no news for weeks?

In particular, can I please have confirmation on the head-only cabinet which I first raised in my email of 19 August? That's going to have something of a bearing on how it's packed for shipping back to me.

Regards,

David

From: david@dave.st
Subject: Resending: Superfly progress in October
Date: 26 October 2008 20:37:18 GMT
To: info@zinky.com

Thought I'd try again before we get into November already.

Still trying to be polite and understanding here.

So what about the other stuff? Well, there was no reply to my last email of September so another month later I tried again.

See how I actually think the amp is within days of being ready to ship back!

But there was no reply to that mid-October email, so I tried a third time at the end of October.

Finally I get a response, and it's somewhat self-critical - see part 41.

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Zinky Superfly Blog - Part 39: One Step Back?

From: info@zinky.com
Subject: Re: Superfly progress in September
Date: 16 September 2008 23:23:05 BST
To: david@dave.st

Hi David;

Got ahead of myself.

There was an issue with the reverb, where the reverb control wasn't raising the volume smoothly on every setting.
I took the whole amp apart again, re-did the reverb (I think there was a bad solder joint on a relay). I will be testing it and re-assembling this week.

The rest of the amp has been updated to the current specification and works perfectly.

Sorry about the false start,

BZ

Has Bruce identified an old problem more precisely, or is there a new problem. Whatever, it means more work, hence the delays.

At least the rest of it works "perfectly" now.

However, no info on the other aspects of the work that I mentioned in my previous email. A reminder is required yet again - see part 40.

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